Monday, September 1, 2014

The {best} Currently of all!

So I haven't been a great blogger - despite my best intentions.
My excuse: the first two weeks of school have me whipped.
I have no energy after school.

I'll get used to it soon.
I hope.

Anyway, since it's Labor Day,
and since I have the day off,
and since it's my BIRTHDAY month (!),
I definitely couldn't let the Currently pass me by!

About those trips:
I am not a lover of traveling.
When I travel, I want plenty of time to relax
read a book
drink fancy coffees and fancier cocktails
laze by a pool
or a lake
or any water, really.

But I have always wanted to see the Library of Congress -
I mean, really?  a whole building filled with my favorite things??
I'm in!

in a cabin or a lodge
with a fireplace
and books
and coffee
or maybe... in a camper
with air conditioning
and books
and coffee

the mix of old and new
the food
the people
Need I say more?

Your turn:
Link up with Farley at 

I have to go write those lesson plans now....
Guess they are not going to write themselves...
I've been waiting all weekend for those suckers to get busy...

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Reflections of an {almost} Mentor Teacher

So, yesterday at 3:45, I was asked to take the training to become a Instructional Mentor to our Resident Educators.  Today I am sitting in a hotel two hours from home - having completed our first full day of training. 

I love learning new things, and this is right up my alley! 

But, holy cat, has education changed a ton since I started teaching more than 15 years ago! 

Back in the day, there weren't mentors.  No one was really worried if I was stressing out, or would even know unless I freaked out in the teachers' lounge (which happened a bunch my first couple of years!) 

I was so fortunate to work with teachers who were more than willing to help me out when I needed it.  At some point during those first few years, I made a nuisance out of myself to nearly every teacher in our building!  I remember crying more than once over kids' bad behavior or particularly hateful parent letters.  I also remember the joy with which I told every teacher who ever helped me out how great a certain kid did on his latest math test!  Those friendships have survived the test of time - they are some of the women I call "besties" to this day!

I also had great classes my first few years who made it easy to hone my skills.  I started teaching my first year at the end of first quarter when a teacher suddenly quit.  Let me tell you, folks, this was such a blessing!  All of the decorations were up, the gradebook was set up, there were discipline procedures in place, and (best for me, even though I feel a little guilty about it) the parents were so glad to see the previous teacher leave, they love, loved me!   It was like when I was little and my sister got in trouble; for a while I got to play the favorite child, you know what I mean? 

One other factor that I believe helped me a ton was my professional history up until that point.  I left school with a teaching certificate, but didn't use it for about 5 years.  When I went back to the profession, I started as a sub.  The lessons I learned from subbing were invaluable!  I kept a notebook with good/bad ideas of the teachers' for whom I subbed.  Taking on the responsibility for 28 kids at age 28 was, for me, a lot more successful than it would have been when I was 23.  There's something to be said for life experience!

I'll be able to write a more comprehensive post about the RE process after tomorrow's class, but today I just felt like sharing a quick reflection.  With almost 50% of all new teachers leaving within 5 years, it was an interesting trip down memory lane to see what caused me to stay.

So, then, I'm curious about your journey.  What factors have influenced your path in education?

Friday, August 1, 2014

Currently {and a Favor!}

I've been waiting for this for, like, weeks!  I want to get back into blogging on a regular basis.  I'm planning on working it into my weekly schedule - I've had a blog planning sheet for years (you can get it here); this year I'm really going to use it.

The problem in the past was I hid the planning sheet from myself by putting it in the back of my plan book.  This year, it gets its own clipboard on the wall next to my desk.  That way I'll be sure to see it.  And use it!

Anyway, here it is: the first in what I hope will be a more active blog...

There it is!
the first in what will be many more to come!
Like that positive thinking?  I'm turning over a new leaf!

While your here - I have a favor to ask:
See the top left corner of my blog design?
There's supposed to be a really cute bird house looking thing up there.
Only when I log on, I don't see it all the time.
Can you see it?
Let me know in the comments, please...
Not sure what's goin' on up there...


Now go link up!

Monday, April 28, 2014

Super Six! {Take Two}

Bewitched Bookworms is back with a new Super Six Sunday linky:

Six books that make you laugh!

Jennifer Cruisie is about the funniest author out there.  And her funniest, by far, was Wild Ride.  Written with her sometimes co-author Bob Mayer, Wild Ride is totally different than her other books.  Maybe that's why I find it the most memorable.  Definitely anything by Jennifer Cruisie is worth the time - I know I'll be laughing out loud.

Speaking of laughing out loud, Meg Cabot's books are also guaranteed to get me going!  The Boy Next Door, the first book I ever read by Ms. Cabot, remains my favorite!  Written entirely in emails between the characters, I read it in one night and have re-read it twice since then.  (Which is a huge thing; I almost never re-read books!)

 Another favorite author is Sophie Kinsella.  Wedding Night almost caused me to get into an accident - I was laughing so hard as I listened to it in my car. 

As for kids' book that make me giggle, it's hard to narrow the choices down to just three!

My favorite read alouds that keep the kids in stitches are Lois Lowry's All About Sam and Roald Dahl's The Witches.  I defy you to read either of these books aloud and not have to stop to wipe a tear!  The best part is listening to the kids laugh - every class loves both of these books!

Finally my suggestion to nearly every student who asks for a funny book is most often Mudshark by Gary Paulsen.  So cleverly written, especially the subplot narrated by the principal at the beginning of each chapter.

I can't wait to add to my TBR pile for the summer when I check out everyone else's books over at bewitched bookworms!  Check it out!

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Better Late Than Never, Right?

After changing my blog design earlier today, I am motivated to get back into blogging!  Summer's approaching and I'll have more time to share more about the huge challenge my new job has been - in both bad and {mostly} good ways!

But for today I'll join in with a new linky party I've found: Super Six Sundays, hosted by bewitched bookworms.  And even though it's Saturday, and they'll be starting a new linky tomorrow, I loved the topic they chose for this week and can't help but join in the fun!

This week's prompt:  List Six Books You Couldn't Stop Thinking About.

Zoo by James Patterson

I have to admit, I'm not a huge fan of James Patterson, and usually when I finish one of his books, I can't remember it for more than a couple of hours.  That's what makes Zoo so different!  I read it months ago and I keep talking about it to anyone who happens to bring up books, reading, animals, or almost anything else!

Henry's Sisters by Cathy Lamb

This is one of the best books I have ever read.  I recommend it to everyone who asks, but I have never known another reader who has read it!

The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate

I spent all of last summer looking for a new great book that could measure up to the previous summer's offerings - to no avail.  Read my review for Ivan here.

Okay for Now by Gary Schmidt

The same summer that gave me Ivan also introduced me to Doug Swieteck.  I have still not recovered from my angst for Doug.  Read my original review here.


Madame Tussaud by Michelle Moran

Historical fiction at its best. Meticulously researched and brilliantly executed, I felt like I was in the midst of the French Revolution, and Marie's struggle to survive!

The Book Whisperer & Reading in the Wild by Donnalyn Miller

The best professional books ever!  Each one confirmed for me what I already knew and justified my teaching style to anyone who doubted me!

Click each title to see the book on Barnes and Noble.