Sunday, August 16, 2009


The big third graders in front of their classroom.
Don't you just love their braids?

Grace HAD to photograph her cool new backpack.

Grace in my classroom before we walked over to their school.

Emma in my room the first day. You can see my new teacher friend, Carol, in the background, looking for Shakespeare stuff to borrow. She likes Shakespeare as much as I do!

Grace took this picture of me on the first day. The air conditioning was out for 3/4 of the day, and I was already getting sweaty....ewww!

The girls on the day before school started with their fun pillows and my laptop set up for movies.

Hello, Long Lost Blog!

I must say that I've truly neglected this blog over the summer. What was I doing instead?
Well...first, I was preparing to teach a new grade level at a new school, so moving, reading, and planning took up a lot of time. Next, I was working on my Arts and Technology class- the Master's class that happened to fall over the summer. I learned a lot, but BOY it was a lot of work. One of the projects required me to interview someone about a technology that changed his or her life, and I chose to interview Grandma Otti (of course.) I put together a very cool multi-media presentation about Grandma that I will treasure for years, but it was a lot of work. To top it off, the class required me to write a lot of papers, most of which included research. Yikes! The final thing that kept me busy this summer was my family, of course. I really felt like I took the summer to enjoy them. We swam. We went to the beach. We hung out with friends. We went whale watching. We enjoyed every minute with each other.
And now, it's early August, and we've already started school. I chose to move to a new middle school in our district for a variety of reasons. The most important reason? I'm able to take my girls with me to school every day. Their school is on the same campus as mine, so I bring them with me and then they walk over. That has been AMAZING. I love our conversations in the morning, and our drive to school is filled with fun sites to behold- mules, goats, cows, and horses. Our new school looks like it is plopped down right next to Ma and Pa Ingalls' Little House on the Praire. In fact, all last week, there was a herd of sheep and a shepherd in the field next to the school. Each morning the girls stuck their heads out of the window and yelled, "Bahhhhh!!!" Grace asked why the shepherd didn't have a cane and a robe. (I thought that was pretty cute.)
I have a cabinet in my new room just for the girls. They have body pillows to lay on, blankets, toys, and games. They are SET. The vibe at my new school is really that kids are welcome. The principal is really nice and doesn't care if the kids are around on their early out days, or if they are in my room during a meeting, etc. In fact, there are teacher's kids all over the school. That's SO nice.
Middle school is new for me. 8th graders have a streek of silliness that most high schoolers have either outgrown or carefully hidden. 8th graders are squiggly...goofy. They make me laugh. I have probably laughed more in the last three days of teaching than I have in a while, which is good. Still, I am a bit homesick for my friends and students at the high school. We're making it a point to get together as much as possible. Grace and Emma have also had moments of missing their old school, teachers, and friends, but we're all adjusting, and I know it will get easier every day.
Another reason I moved to my new school is that it is the "visual/performing arts" focus school in our district. Although it isn't a charter school, it is a school of choice, which means any student from in or out of our district can apply to got there. Since my Master's degree is in Integrated Arts Education, the fit was obvious. I can't wait to start integrating the arts into my lessons. :)
The pictures above should give you a little glimpse of our first day of school. The girls took the pictures of each other (and of me) in my classroom, and then I took the pictures of my wonderful BIG third graders who I was able to walk to school for their first day (for the first time since Kindergarten!)
So far, change is good.