Category Archives: teaching

Valentines Day 2012

Valentines Day 2012

Actually, my Valentines Day started back on Saturday. I had been anxiously anticipating this particular Saturday for months. And all because my awesome husband snagged us 3rd row tickets to see one of my favorite musicals: “Wicked”.

That’s right. Jared had the insight before we even knew about Baby Boothe to buy the matinee tickets, which meant that we got to go at 2:00 PM instead of 8:00PM, which was much better for my pregnant body. And naturally, the musical was again, incredible. And Jared was great when the rest of the evening thereafter I kept singing songs from the musical… Didn’t complain once.

In summary: it made for an amazing day.

Today the magic continued. The surprising part was that my day started off so well at work because my students were so incredibly sweet. I have never received so many thoughtful gifts from my students for Valentines before! I got all sorts of candy, cupcakes, and even these beautiful flowers from a seventh grader student:

Crazy, right?

Then, when I thought the day couldn’t get any better, Jared sent flowers to my work, which were also beautiful. And they made all the girls in my 5th period class go “Awwww” because of how sweet it was that my husband sends me flowers at work.

Then I got to come home, make a fun dinner for my wonderful husband, and eat said dinner with my wonderful husband. Then, to top it all off, we did some additional gift-giving, wherein Jared went over our pre-arranged money limit (he usually does) but always has thoughtful gifts that I love!

All in all, it’s been a wonderful day, and I feel so lucky to be surrounded by great people, especially my incredible husband! 🙂

Holiday Ducks

Holiday Ducks

I love this time of year. It’s my most favorite. There’s something about Christmas time that makes everyone generally just a little bit nicer (well, most people, anyway).

As I was decorating our house this past week, I came across this:

A student gave this to me two years ago at Christmas. This particular student stood out for two reasons. First, in a year filled with a rough group of kids (seriously, lots of them had some serious attitude and behavioral problems), she was one of the few sweet ones who wanted to do well. Secondly, she was obsessed with ducks. Her folders, binders, and notebooks were covered in ducks. If she doodled on her homework assignment, you knew it was her even if she forgot to write her name on it. 🙂 And she had the craziest collection of rubber duckies. Ducks of all colors, animal types, holiday types… You think of a rubber ducky out there and she’s got it. Somewhere around my house or classroom I have a tiger-duck that she gave me when I told her that was my favorite animal.

Anyways, I guess this stands out to me this year in particular because it’s been the roughest year of my teaching career. With the drastic changes and little support from admin, district, and parents alike, most days threaten to crush me. But when I look at something simple like this, I remember the students that are doing everything right. The ones who do always do their homework, and come to class with a great attitude, and even thank me as they leave the classroom for teaching them. The ones who are consistently honest, good, sweet kids. And those are the ones that help me power through when I feel like I can’t do anymore.

So this year, I put this little duck on the mantle. I know Jared thinks it is a little tacky, but whenever I see it, I have to smile at the memories.

And let’s face it. This year, I need to find more reasons than usual to help me smile.

It’s been a week…

It’s been a week…

You know that there’s something wrong with you when you look at your blog and go, “Wait! Why is that the top post?! Did it not save my latest few posts?!” and then realize: “Nope. I had a lot going on it my head, but was too busy to do anything with it.” Yes, I really did have that train of thought run through my mind.

Anyways, this past week has been insane. It was the end of the first grading period, and it almost did me in. The whole past week, I have had 7th grade papers as my constant companions. When I wasn’t grading, the thoughts of what I needed to grade haunted me. Poems, book reviews, and miscellaneous late work fluttered around me… and it was horrible. Even with these two hanging out with me as I tried to work hard:

Thanks for your patience with papers being all over the house (and pets), Jared. I know that was rough.

On the flip side, to balance out the misery and chaos created in my life by grading, this weekend was General Conference weekend for Church. And it couldn’t have come at a better time for me. I was triple booked this weekend (between grading, my CTWP conference, and an amazing book festival going on within a hour of here) along with General Conference. And they were all important and/or meaningful things for me to be involved with. I had to make a conscious choice to choose Conference.

I always seem to enjoy the Saturday sessions more. And this year I was not disappointed. Within the first two hours of Saturday morning, I had several talks that felt like specific parts were addressed directly to the struggles and discouragement I have been facing. This year has had so many things go wrong, and I have never felt so hopeless or discouraged, even when I have tried so hard to focus on the good around me.

General Conference touched me and reminded me that all these things will pass. These issues and doubts that have plagued me are temporary, and that I can rise above it. I feel so lucky to have such easy access to inspiring and good people sharing simple truths about how to live our lives.

That, and the fact that grades have been officially submitted, make life a much happier place to be.



So, I got to go back to work today. Apparently the district wasn’t concerned about the 45% fire containment over in the neighborhood where I used to work (since they were letting residents back into their homes) and whatnot, so they got to go back to school in their fire zone. And we got our school back now that it and the high school weren’t being used as shelters anymore.

This might sound like I’m unhappy about this situation, but actually, I am oh-so-glad school is back in session. It makes things more normal, less scary from these fires. And I am happy that the vast majority of those residents were able to go back to their homes. (By the way, I am being sincere about this!)

Back to the point. We were back in school today, and the air was just a little heavier than usual because of how so many people know somebody affected by this crazy wildfire season. It just adds an extra layer of “What if?”s and worries to the air, even if you were aren’t directly hurt by it.


Then one of the counselors brought a surprise to share with everyone.

Normally, I am not crazy about food smiling back at me, but this cupcake just made me happy.

Look at it! Doesn’t it make you smile , just a little?

Something as little as a cupcake can make your whole day a little brighter. Especially if it has cute little candy eyes and a silly, simple smile!

Still sick…

Still sick…

But I’m back, baby!

So, I felt SO much better today. Not 100%, by any means. But my head stuffiness was about 75% better, and I could breath, and mostly talk. So what did I do? I went to work.

And the amount of kiddos who acted excited to see me back was phenomenal. It was like I had been gone a whole week, not just one day. I was shocked. That plus the great gratitude they showed me for allowing them library time yesterday when I was out sick was astounding.

I’m really liking these kids as a whole. They are really sweet. I hope, against all odds, that they stay sweet seventh graders and don’t get that 8th grader attitude until the very end of the year. They are enthusiastic, positive, fun kids as a whole and I want to maintain and harness their positive energy!

Now here’s to hoping the cold isn’t moving from a head cold to a chest cold.