Saturday, January 18, 2014

Inspirational Stories... and a Giveaway too!

A million years ago, I was in sixth grade. My teacher's name was Mrs. Shaar. She was young and new to the profession. She loved all things Snoopy. And she loved sixth grade.

At the end of the year, my teacher got married. And she invited her entire sixth grade class to her wedding! She became Mrs. Moore. And, without either of us knowing it, she became my inspiration for teaching.

Mrs. Moore made school fun! I couldn't wait to get out of bed and rush to school each morning. I have a million memories of my sixth grade year. Here are three:
  • If you were a strong reader, Mrs. Moore put away your basal reader and let you choose "real" books from her cupboard. I remember I read Rascal. And Beowulf. (Almost five decades later, I still can't believe I read Beowulf! I'm not sure I could read Beowulf now!) She established a love of reading in my life that nudges me to encourage my own students to love books too...
  • My friend's mother passed away in the middle of sixth grade. After that happened, Mrs. Moore took Maura and me out to breakfast once a week "to be sure that Maura drank her milk." I think all three of us knew it was much more than that. Those memories remind me that a caring heart is remembered long after everything else...
  • Mrs. Moore wasn't afraid of "authority figures." Our principal was a serious man who wore a suit and tie. I don't remember him as a smiling fellow. One day, we were dancing around in class, singing a song about elephants. I'm guessing it was a spontaneous decision... We linked together like an odd sort of Conga line, danced out of the classroom, and danced THROUGH the principal's office! I remember him standing behind his desk, mouth agape as we all filed through. And I remember my teacher smiling!  I often "dance" (badly) my class to our classroom. (More than once one of my sixth graders has commented, "Perhaps you shouldn't dance in public...")
Why am I telling you all of this? Because my wonderful friend, Susan, from Middle School OCD is co-hosting a celebration for reaching the 300 follower milestone. In my opinion, she should have 3000 followers. She's a wonderful teacher and a fun-to-read blogger! Susan is celebrating with another along sweet blogger, Miss Lifesaver, who has also reached the 300 follower mark!

(Hmmm. Does this sound like the beginning of a word problem to anyone else?!)

Together, these two BloogyBuddies are hosting a giveaway and a scavenger hunt. You will have an opportunity to read about some other "favorite teachers" and the ways in which they influenced the lives of those who are teaching (and blogging) today.

It's a WONDERFUL giveaway with some really great prizes (Starbucks, anyone?!) Better than that, you have an opportunity to meet some new bloggers... and that's always my favorite part of adventures like this!

So hop on over and join in. Just click the cute graphic above. You'll have an opportunity to read some  inspirational stories and just feel GOOD about teaching.

With that, I'm wishing you a wonderful weekend--and a restful three-day for those lucky enough to have Monday off...

PS  Sorry to those who now have THREE copies of this post cluttering up your blog feed. Blogger and I aren't on speaking terms at the moment. We've been arguing all morning. Finally, at least for now, I am winning.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

It's Currently January... WooHoo!

Wasn't I just talking about Currently YESTERDAY?! Oh yea... and I completed the December edition so late the "collection" had already closed?! (That's a first... and not one I'm proud of! My heart ached over that one But I've moved on! It's 2014 and I have another twelve tries to do better!

Swirly frame by Ginger Snaps Clip Art HERE on TpT!
So, for January, I am not last. And I will be "in the collection." It's like being in the in-group in high school (I wasn't, by the way. I was in the middle. Does that make sense?) Oh dear. I am digressing in paragraph two after spending twenty minutes trying to find the right shade of turquoise for the font on the Currently graphic! I am never going to get on the list this way!)

Well, if I type really, REALLY fast, I might be able to break into the first one hundred. What a great way to start out the new year. I was looking for a post from my pal, Middle School OCD, and a Currently graphic flew by! Do you know Susan? She is a true sweetie pie. And if you are an upper grade teacher, you should stop by her blog. You will love her language arts posts. She works with some struggling learners (like me!) and she always makes me feel motivated... and hopeful! Click on her button below to visit her! By the way, Susan REALLY wants to get to 300 followers on Bloglovin' so if you're reading this... Please click on the BlogLovin' botton (It's very cute!) on her site. She would be so thrilled to see that "magical number" and you could help her do that!

Which brings me back to Currently! The thought that this vacation may someday end is starting to creep into my conscious thought. I keep pushing those thoughts away, but I know in my heart that one of these many "Sundays" (during vacation, all of the days seem like Sunday to me!), it really will be a Monday and I will have to go "back." Ooooh. Big shiver.

Time out for coffee.

Mmmmmmmmm. Good pot o' Joe! (Hey! Why Joe? Why not Kim? I'm sure I drink more than my fair share!) I'm particularly pleased with this batch of goodness. I didn't have any coffee filters so I ended up using tissue paper from the Christmas wrapping box. At that last minute I decided against the red-and-green striped piece. Wouldn't THAT have been a mess!

Don't you love my cup?! I bought it during my first year of student teaching! That makes it over thirty years old! It's probably made of some toxic lead-based material that is mutating my chromosomes as we speak (heeheehee). BTW, any reports that I have a hoarding problem are absolutely UNtrue!

I know... A better photographer would not have had that funny blue blur in the middle...
Now, back to Currently. I really want to be more HOPEFUL and POSITIVE this year. I don't think those are my one two little words this year, but I was trying them out. I have been feeling a bit discouraged that my kids don't seem to be learning much this year. One day they even told me so! (Now THAT is a blog post for another day...) So, I want to go back to school BELIEVING they will learn more... and doing everything I can to make that happen! Believing. Nice word... But, no, not it.

Which brings me to another part of Currently. I am SOOOOO bad about writing my lesson plans. I always usually know what we are doing. After thirty years, I can predict where we're going, where we've been, where we could have been, and where we are not going. I just don't write things down. And I don't compress the activities into the amount of time I have, so I just keep teaching and teaching... and then June arrives too quickly. So, I am VOWING (so NOT my one little word) to be more consistent and diligent in writing down my plans and planning farther ahead.

Well, it's clear that I have wandered all over the place with this post. And I forgot to add in the Currently graphic. So here it is! (I'm rather pleased with the shade of turquoise in my favorite Christina Bainbridge font... It's called CBPlain and you can find it HERE on TpT). And, honest truth, I am going to rush and post this, since I have slipped from a possible #28 spot all the way to spot # 52. Afterwards I am going to go back and edit all of my spelling and typing mistakes. Let's hope I don't add in another paragraph or two of semi-connected thoughts!!!

With that, I am off to another cup o' Kim (Joe can get his own coffee!)

Now, remember to make Farley proud (and happy). Check into Currently. Add your lovely (filled in!) graphic and your thoughts. And then join in the party. Most importantly (and dearest to Farley's heart), leave some love for the people before you and after you in the link up. In fact, click all over the link-up. Find some new friends... you don't even have to click on the links in order! (Although some people do... because they're just that way...)

Wishing you a HAPPY New Year with many wonderful blessings in 2014!

PS I'm not positive--but I just think it's likely... that my one little word might be... JOY!