Wednesday, August 28, 2013

He Had a Dream...

**This is part of an email that my mom sent out this morning.
I loved reading it and got permission to share.**

Jordan, just letting you know that you were there.  You might have looked like an almond or something, but you were there for the commemorative march.

Thirty years ago today, my husband and I celebrated our first anniversary on a charter bus with a group from the American Friends Service Committee, a Quaker group, headed to DC to attend the 20th Commemorative March on Washington.  I was 2 months pregnant and am lucky I did not miscarry because it was 105 degrees in the shade.  People were dropping like flies.  I credit popsicles and the two 2-liter bottles of water I carried in my backpack.

It was a bittersweet day for me.  I was a young idealistic woman who was naïve enough to think that everyone in attendance was on the same page, joined in unity and moving forward to break down barriers.  I was disheartened to find that this was not true.  The ones who made this most clear were the ones for whom we were marching.  I don’t fault them; I realize their battle was a tougher one than mine and, now, I realize the power of White Privilege and the benefits I’ve had just by being born white.  It breaks my heart.

In fifth grade, I learned about the Melting Pot and fell in love with the notion that we were all one.  Young, naïve, and hopeful.

I am still filled with that hope and am fighting the good fight. 

Though it may sound like it, this email response is not about me.  [This] email just caused me to wax nostalgic.  I pray we move forward.  For our kids’s sake, I hope we move forward.

Some photos from that day.

My beautiful momma.
(And me!)

Mrs. B

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

First Day!

I can't believe it!
Another first day has come and gone!
I was very calm going into this one.

Like I said yesterday, I didn't label anything before my new nuggets arrived.
Those students who came to school for our open house the night before had already picked lockers and I simply assigned the rest.  
The lockers were still only labeled with marker since I wasn't sure who was going to actually show up yet.

The nuggets were thrown for a bit of a loop when they discovered that they could pick where they sat to begin the day.
Don't worry...there's a method to my madness.
I haven't assigned desks prior to the first day for a few years now.
I like to see how the group interacts with each other first.
Who bugs whom.
Who the besties seem to be.
Which couplings are Chatty Cathies.
I have found that this works the absolute best because I don't have to do a ton of rearranging after the fact.
Over my lunch break I worked up a quick seating chart and moved them around in the afternoon.

Some things I like to do on the first day:
get-to-know-you activities
share about our summers
let them ask questions about me
give them a quick tour of the room
a couple simple worksheets
go over expectations and procedures
practice expectations and procedures
give lots of bathroom breaks but let them know which times will be our regularly scheduled break times
finding out how they get home each day

I had a few nuggets that tried to push my buttons on the first day.
However, since I had already gone over the expectations I let them know that their behavior wouldn't fly by reminding them of the expectations and talking through how they could be more successful.
There are a few that are going to be definite "toughies".

I ended the day with some simplified end-of-the-day procedures.
While lining up I had 4 of my new boys wearing their backpacks on their fronts and saying, "Look!  I'm having a baby, too!"

I can't wait to get to know their little personalities!


Mrs. B

Monday, August 12, 2013

Back to School...

Is it just me or does anyone else hear Billy Madison (as played by Adam Sandler) singing this whenever it's said?
Just me?

I approached the dawning of this school year more calmly than I ever have.
I didn't set foot into the school until last Monday.
That's unheard of for me.
I am usually the teacher that will go in every few weeks to clean and organize or spend hours online looking for new projects and ideas.
Well, not this summer.
It can best be summed up like this:
I needed time to be "Jordan" and not "Mrs. B" for a while.
My teacher batteries were running on empty.
**I wouldn't let my phone battery get that low, if you know what I mean!

So, I geared myself up and headed back to school.
I had a meeting Monday morning, student home-visits all day Tuesday, and meetings all day Wednesday (our first contract day).
Thursday was a work day followed by our back to school Meet, Greet and Eat night where the students and parents can come into the school, drop supplies off and meet their new teachers.

I spent the day purging cupboards and organizing anything I could get my newly-polished nails on.
It was very cathartic.
However, that meant that I was scrambling to clean the visible parts of my room an hour before parents were set to arrive!

I like to begin the year with my walls being a clean slate.
I get overwhelmed by visual clutter and know that my nuggets usually appreciate a visually non-stimulating environment as well.
Also, since we start fresh each year with anchor charts and such it lets the children slowly adjust to where learning resources (anchor charts, posters, signs, etc) are located in the room.

One thing that I changed this year is that I didn't label ANYTHING before the children arrived.
I usually label their lockers, books, and supplies.
However, we had some major glitches in our student data system which left class lists very up-in-the-air.
So, I decided to take labeling off my plate.
During the Meet, Greet and Eat I carried a dry-erase marker with me and let the nuggets pick their locker placements.
They loved the ownership and I loved that it took some work out of it for me.

Here are some hastily snapped photos of what my room looks like so far:

Carpet area (view from door)

Mrs. Miller's corner (our Title One Instructor) 

View from the back door of the room 

Where my class' writing binders are stored. 

 Science book storage
Classroom library
Writing binder storage for the other two classes
(I was so bummed to find out that they didn't fit in the desks and take up a TON of room!)

Our SLANT poster (from Teach Like a Champion) ((will be framed by tomorrow))
Daily and End of the Week objective frames

Work display area
Coffee nook

 View from behind my desk

Isn't this the most perfect writing teacher sign?!

Important information
(The schedules will be framed by tomorrow...had to go the the dollar store!)

I think that the best recurring tidbit of advice I hear is "Be flexible."
I agree whole-heartedly.
These are a few of the ways that I started off flexible this year.


Mrs. B 

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Bump Watch: Week 17

Due Date?  January 17th.  Handsome Husband thinks he/she will be born on the 9th, though.

How far along?  17 weeks and 1 day.

Size of baby?  He/she is the size of a sweet potato.

Weight gain?  8 lbs.  I didn't gain any between Dr. appointments, but I had a bit of a foodie week after and packed 5 pounds on.
However, some of it was water retention from the sodium and a couple lbs came off since I've been on my feet so much with school starting up again.  

Maternity clothes?  Oh, totally!  I am just now starting to show so I wore maternity shirts and such to emphasize that I was chunky for a reason.

Movement?  I don't think so, but I've been wondering about a couple of incidences.

Food cravings? I had a massive chicken wing craving the other day!
Ice water is a must every day still.
However, most of the time I'm not craving anything in particular.
Just my normal likes and such.
My new mini fridge to aid in my daily ice water crisis.
Separate freezer...SCORE!

Gender?  We aren't finding out.
We think it will be more exciting!
Believe me you, thought...the anticipation is killing me already!
Don't worry, though...I'll stay strong.

Labor?  None.

Bellybutton in or out?  In.

What I miss?  Deli turkey.
Copious amounts of Diet Coke (aka teacher crack) during the school day.
A glass of wine while cooking or blogging.

Looking forward to...?  Feeling movement.

Here's to more smooth sailing!


Mrs. B

Friday, August 9, 2013

High 5 for Friday 8.9.13

1.  I had the privilege of going to see Maroon 5 with two of my besties this past weekend.
I. Had. So. Much. Fun.
Handsome Husband commented that he doesn't know if he's ever seen me laugh that hard before.
We seriously had tears rolling the entire night.

2.  I have been prepping to go back to school this week so HH has been preparing dinner.
I was particularly fond of Wednesday's dinner. :)
It's such a great feeling knowing that my partner in life supports me when I am overwhelmed.
However, I'm worried that once he goes back to school as well we might starve!

3.  My room is put together!
I made a few changes and additions to it this year.
I was going to take some photos for a room tour post, but didn't get to it.
Next week!

4.  I am back in the thick of things as of this morning.
I currently have 24 new nuggets, but could easily be at 25 on Monday.
All in all it was a pretty great day.
I'll be writing about it next week...sometime...

5.  Since my corporation hasn't outlawed personal fridges yet (and because the baby needs ICE water and yogurt) I went out and picked up a new one to share with my coworker.
It's gigantic!  (As far as personal fridges go...)
I LOVE that it has a separate freezer.
I can fit a ton of ice in there!
Happy baby.

I hope you also had a great week!


 Mrs. B

Thursday, August 8, 2013

It's Baaaaaaaaack!

Holy fast, Batman.
My summer is O.V.E.R.
It feels a bit strange to say that and have it actually be true.
You know...because I usually say it's over once August starts, but this time it's actually true.
This sums it up nicely.

I'm holding my could-be-really-ugly freak outs in (so far).
My room is clean.
My cupboards are somewhat purged, but clean.
I have my plan for tomorrow.
Um...hi...that's a lot.
Who knows though.
I could have anywhere between 20 and 28 nuggets actually show up.
Wish me luck...lot's of luck.

So, the days of swollen feet and ankles, 
endless hoards of dull pencils,
stacks upon stacks of need-to-be-graded-right-now papers,
"I've gotta go to the bathroom",
"He/She budged",
inhaling my lunch,
tripping over chairs,
wanting to change my name by the end of some days,
and more are back.

So, I am off to rest my weary feet, eat the yummy dinner Handsome Husband is cooking, and stare at the wall for a hot minute.


Mrs. B

Monday, August 5, 2013

No One Ever Believes...

...that I'm actually an introvert.
I found this great article a little while ago and it sums up my situation perfectly.
I may be a very social person, but that doesn't mean that I'm an extrovert.

As a friend of mine so eloquently put it, "I'm an introvert who leads the life of a social butterfly."

I have been told that I could talk to a wall and the wall would talk back.
I love hanging out with my friends and being social.
I love teaching my nuggets and talking with my coworkers.
However, in order for me to do that, I MUST MUST MUST have time alone.
Whether it be blogging, trolling the internet news sites for some random bit of gossip, watching a show I've already seen, or crocheting it has to be done.

I went through a very bad time in my late teens/early twenties.
Panic attacks GALORE.
I now realize that it was in part because I couldn't recognize that I was actually an introvert and was therefore going against every fiber of my being.

Whether a person is an introvert or an extrovert isn't determined by how they act around people.
It's determined by how they recharge their emotional "batteries".
Introverts recharge alone, extroverts recharge around others.

So, which one are you?

I'm off to be alone! :)

Mrs. B

Friday, August 2, 2013

High 5 for Friday! 8.2.13

Woot woot for Friday!
Boo hoo for my last Friday before school starts on Monday.

1.  I have crocheted my brains out this week.  I have made 8 hats, 7 decorative flowers and zero progress on putting my granny square quilt together.  
I have a few more hats to make for some friends.
I LOVE the easy patterns I have found over at Sarah's blog.

2.  I have loved doing the crossword puzzle each day this summer. 
I'm sure going to miss it when school starts.

3.  I went into my classroom for the first time all summer and made a little headway.
Simply putting my desks where they belong made a HUGE difference.

4.  I got my polish on today.
I don't usually paint my own nails because I'm not patient enough to wait for them to dry.
However, the dealership that we got our Escape from has a manicurist on staff.
And it's free!
This may become a weekly thing until the baby comes...

5.  I had my first, true pregnancy craving this week.  
I wanted chicken wings from a place we never go to.
They had to be the real deal, too.
No boneless wings for this baby.
Handsome Husband laughed at my insistence.

I hope you had a great week, too.
Please forgive me if I don't post every day since the school year is starting up and I never know what could happen!

Check out the other H54F blogs here.


Mrs. B