Saturday, October 18, 2008


I decided that I do in fact think my kids are better this year than last. and my 2nd year is better than my 1st.
Now that things are well under way, and I'm comfortable in my classroom (which really does feel different even though it mostly looks the same), I realized that I like my second year.
I still have some of the same ol struggles of not being prepared, not fully knowing what i'm teaching (ok, i have to teach the cultures of the world - the whole freakin world), having too much on my plate, not really knowing how to challenge the smarter students while making sure the slower students are on the same page (sometimes literally). But I take comfort in knowing that I'm getting better at all of those things and that even veteran teachers haven't quite figured some of them out.
There's a part of me that will always love and romanticize my first year and my first students. They were truly a part of something special. But seeing them in seventh grade and comparing them to my darling sixth graders, I realize that I do have a good bunch this year. They are sweet, attentive, interested in learning. I have some that are very smart, but they don't necessarily blow my class off. I have some that are not quite with us, but are working very hard to get there. They all seem to like me (which yes, is important to me) and have fun with me.

I offered an opportunity to participate in putting together a mock election on this campus (which again, shows how much i've grown that i'm willing to sponsor something on my own!). I had 3 7th and 3 8th graders show up and about 20 6th graders. They all jumped right in and are planning this whole thing. They are making the decisions. They are creating the ballots and working the registration table. They are creating booths and deciding what would be an appropriate distance for privacy. They decided that a photo ID is required and that they need to register ahead of time in order to make it realistic. They researched outside of class and discussed with adults how our election could be as much like the real one as possible. I could not be more proud of them (and ok I'm proud of myself for following through).

I think this year is going to be ok.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008


along those same lines:

Things that bring me joy:
1. singing, especially in the shower or in the car
2. discussing life with close friends
3. my cat - holding her, watching her play, etc.
4. laughing with my students
5. hanging out with the youth
6. Friday night bowling with coworkers
7. watching and discussing tv/movies
8. playing with puppies
9. eating delicious foods - both salty and sugary
10. reading/learning
11. testing my knowledge (trivia, puzzles, etc)
12. laughing with my husband
13. being complimented/acknowledged
14. great weather
15. planning events

and now I just have to figure out how to combine this list with the last...

Friday, October 3, 2008

striving towards

In light of a previous post (one before last) and a recent blog, I have decided to make two lists:

Things that strengthen my relationship with Christ:
1. Dr. Marr and Southcliff Baptist Church: weekly challenges, faithful community
2. The youth at Southcliff: interacting with them, teaching them, watching them grow
3. Reading my Bible: the stories, the challenges, the encouragement.
4. Chatting with my husband.
5. Thinking about the past.
6. Thinking about my future.
7. Teaching
8. My email group
9. Nature
10. The right kind of song
11. Singing
12. Being loved
13. Thinking about tough controversial issues
14. Watching movies
15. A beautiful day like today
16. Thinking about pregnancy
17. Thinking about money
18. Realizing how lucky I am right now
19. Bubble baths
20. Reading
21. Writing
22. the daily moment of silence at my school
23. my morning shower

Things that weaken my relationship with Christ:
1. Busy-ness
2. too much TV
3. the wrong kind of movie
4. thinking I am number one.
5. Sleeping in/staying up
6. the wrong crowd
7. stress
8. the attitude that I'm always right
9. dissension
10. loud neighbors
11. an oppressive boss
12. my Sunday afternoon lethargy
13. wasting Saturdays
14. the wrong kind of song
15. traditional Baptist social theology
16. Family Guy at 10pm
17. being angry or bitter
18. ignorance
19. yellow/red lights

And looking at these two lists, I can reprioritize my life so I can live it more abundantly. Philippians 3:13-14 & Hebrews 12:1

Also, looking at this list - thinking promotes my relationship, whereas feeling detracts... very interesting... from now on I will only think, I will not feel (ha!).