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Friday, June 3, 2016

Start of Summer....

I was going to say "my week in review" but I really want to cover more than just one week. My life since I have not gone to see my students every day....

First of all, since school got out two days early (unused snow days), and we were contracted to work those days, we had professional development. Loved it. Seriously. A lot of colleagues said they wished they could be working in their rooms (okay, I had PLENTY to do in my classroom), but I was just happy that we could get paid and increase our knowledge. We are adopting a new math program, we adopted Envision 2.0. We had a day of instruction about the new curriculum one day and we did pacing for our grade level on the other day. I have heard plenty of mixed reviews about Envision but I am very excited for some structure in math and for the guidance and support materials!

I also had the chance to learn more about PLC's, Professional Learning Communities, and what they should look like if they are running smoothly and as they should! I can't wait to see how this plays out this year and the difference this makes in our teams!

Next, I took advantage of the opportunity to learn about ways to document interventions and to facilitate conversations that help children become or remain calm. We used the ERASE model. I am looking forward to using it and continuing to learn more about students who need the extra structure and need to be taught the skills to succeed.

My district offered a morning of paid Professional Development to restructure, refine, tweak, revamp, fine-tune our classroom management structures and practices. Maybe we just needed to change a few "little" things, maybe we wanted to revamp our entire system. And of course, it should match and complement our behavior structure (PBIS) program. We use CHAMPS and I think if we can really implement it with (sorry to say the F word) FIDELITY, we'll see a huge difference in our schools over the next 5 years as structures remain in place giving kids stability and continuity, some things that our high-risk/high-needs kids really need in place to feel safe and to thrive.

Wow. I've been so busy. I didn't even touch on packing up my messy, unorganized classroom, flipping the teacher closets with the classroom I am moving to, moving all my stuff, making sure I got everything moved, marked, centered, etc. for the big event of moving rooms, end of year cleaning and packing and so forth. I believe that I do not have photographic evidence of this. Trust me, if you know me, you can imagine how cluttered and unorganized it appeared. (If you know me, you know that is in part a ruse.... I am organized in a way, but that way is messy. Most of the time I know exactly where that whatchamacallit is located under the pile or other whatchamacallits amid the mess of every day life). Documentation of the mess is not necessary, it was scary messy. Now it's not. End of two-long-days story.

Now for the summer rejuvenation part....
Yesterday I met up with some of the members of my teacher tribe. And yes, I love them. We laugh, we plan, we share what we did that worked, we share heartbreak, we share the professional and the deeply personal. We have declared the meeting of the tribe to be a safe place and what is said there, stays there. Thank goodness because I have shared the deeply personal more than once. And let's face it, for me, the professional is also deeply personal. I love my students and their families and their success is personal to me.
Tribe members. These girls make my heart happy! 

On this journey yesterday I was initiated into the teacher store world. We went to Bizzy Bee in Wichita. My first time to go there. I practiced restraint. I bought myself a new planner. It is not Plum Paper, or Erin Condren, or Bloomz. But I think I am going to love it. It has 8 periods and my planner last year only had 7 so I had to double up in one section. It's not bulky, but it's complete. I am really excited about it.

I have been carving out some time for my daughter, the Punkin, who has magically and mysteriously grown up recently. I look at her and think.... what happened to that little girl? This young woman has curves and moods to match. *sigh* But we are loving our back yard, which is truly ours again thanks for a privacy fence to define our space and give us a sense of security and safety.
This part where the gate is, is temporary. Eventually it will extend past the sidewalk and up to the front corner of the house on the North side

*ah* Beautiful privacy!
A girl and her dog.

She got me to braid her hair during our "watch the game" night at Grandma and Grandpa's

Selfish, self-centered, reading for fun. Don't expect it to make sense....

And reading to better myself. As a person. As a mom. As a teacher. As a lover of children who wants to treat them with respect and teach them to respect others at the same time.

So in the two weeks that I've been without students, I have been lazy, busy, hard-working and in pursuit of fun and fellowship. It has been great. I miss my kiddos. I think about them. I say a prayer for them. I remember their hugs. I look forward to the kids I will meet in Fall.

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