Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Currently... (Edition 3--Summer 2012)

Practically the whole summer has gone by without a bit of blogging....sorry followers!  Shame on me! I feel so bad, BUT I've been a little pre-occupied... 

Right after my surgery, I interviewed for a teaching position at Christian Center Elementary and was offered a full time 1st grade position!  So, I (er....WE-- the whole "fam") have been busy as bees getting ready for ME to go back to school.  I'm truly just "giddy" with excitement!

Our family fell in love with Christian Center Elementary when Josiah attended school there as a Kindergartner.  However, due to a variety of circumstances we weren't able to send him there last year (for first grade).  Although Josiah loved riding the bus to and from public school each day, it was a tough year for him & us...we truly missed the school, families, friends, teachers, and culture at Christian Center!  So, when God dropped the opportunity in my lap to apply for a job at CCE...I immediately jumped on it!  In fact, I literally finished filling out my application in a hospital gown during pre-op :) 

I'm so thrilled that God has given me this opportunity!  First grade is my "sweet spot" so I'm anxious to serve and honor Him by teaching my little first graders!  I give thanks that not only has God provided the resources for me to go back to teaching, but also that He has restored my health so I can return to the classroom! (Side note:  As of yesterday, all my "labs" show that all of my blood levels are within NORMAL range.  Yep, that's right friends & family--- I'M NORMAL!!)  ha ha

Since I was offered the job, I've hardly sat idle one moment! So here's just a bit of what I/we have been doing to prepare for back to school.  

  • First up, I had to renew my teaching license so I took 3 classes to accomplish that!  If you want a peek of what teachers learn and do in their classes just click on this link to view one of the assignments I submitted for my online Differentiated Learning graduate level class, in which I had to create a "before and after" unit on place value, showing the difference in differentiating instruction to meet students' varying skills and learning styles..  (Note:  The link is large and cannot be scanned for viruses).  I also attended a phenomenal conference led by Jill Eggelton, in which I became better prepared to teaching oral language, reading, writing, spelling and phonics. During my third class, I learned about a variety of  websites that help teachers extend technological learning in their classrooms.  All of the classes were so beneficial in helping me get back into the groove!
  • I've sat endless hours at my computer researching activities and organizational tips to renew my mind and fill my files with FREE ideas to make me organized and learning more engaging for my students. 
  • After making myself completely overwhelmed, I finally had to break out the post-it notes to brainstorm and organize my wandering thoughts.  I use this brainstorming method often (usually on a smaller scale) because it really helps me focus.  The day I "went to town" with my brainstorming...Rob commented, "I wondered how long it was going to take you to pull out the post-its!".  I brainstorm these types of list when going on vacation, house cleaning, make ahead/freezer cooking, Christmas, etc...  When I have a lot of little tasks that need done, this is the best way I find to do it.  Using post it notes makes it easy to "move" tasks into categories and then I write or type up a master list from that.  
  • Trips to the teaching store to buy 50% off bulletin board supplies equalled lots of punching out for Josiah :) 

  • And all my math, literacy and Bible preparations and printing equalled MEGA amounts of cutting for Rob!  Here is a look at his "office".  I'm really thankful the Olympics are on right now because that makes him more willing to sit and do all my "cutting" :)  He refers to this task as his "2nd job!" :)

  • As of Monday, I was given the "green light" to move into my classroom :)  Here's what it looks like....needs a lot of TLC, organizing, and color huh?   :)  But, I thought it would be fun for you to see before and after pics, so I'll post "after" pics later in August.  I'm centering everything around an ocean/beach theme so it will be a SUNNY and BRIGHT classroom. 

    So that's a peak into what is currently going on in our lives.....SCHOOL, SCHOOL, SCHOOL!!  I report to school on Friday, August 17th and Josiah goes back to school on Wednesday, August 22nd.  So little time, so much to do!! But I'm not doing it alone....I'm so extremely grateful for so many of my family members that have helped me with this journey--- punching out, cutting, providing ideas, building, gift certificates, and babysitting!