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Mum likes reading, decorating, shopping with the girls, and Starbucks. She also feels funny writing in the 3rd person. Papa (also known as Sparky) is currently looking at me with a blank stare having asked him to add something about himself to the blog. (Now he wants to say something) The only thing he loves more in life than music and Coke is his wife and kids. (Awww...) :) Little Lotte is a genius on the computer and makes me fall over laughing every day with her quick wit. She loves computers and animals. Sweet Pea abandoned her family and moved to Phoenix for work and is now married as of 2/28/06. She is beautiful and smart and the most nurturing person I know. She gave me the greatest gift ever when she made me a grandmother. I am the proud Mum Mum to Andrew Christopher. There are no words to describe the joy of having a grandson!

Monday, July 16, 2007

Old picture... new school year!

Today was the first day back for the kiddos. Usually I take a Tylenol PM on the night before school begins again because I toss and turn all night. I toss and turn all night because I obsess over the first day, knowing I have to be "on" for the whole day after having spent 6 weeks doing nothing more intellectual than reading the directions on a box of pudding.

But I was really calm about today so I didn't take that Tylenol PM. Unfortunately, I tossed and turned all night. Fortunately, it was because I was actually EXCITED about going back to work. I guess the transitions of a new school are behind me and I know all 623 kids and they know me. So I was really looking forward to getting back to them.

The picture here (I think this is from 1999) is funny to me. I think my smile looks a little forced. Like I just got done giving the evil eye to the kid in the front row (in the white shirt on the left) who is trying to look at his brain with his eyes rolled up in his head. (Click to enlarge the photo,it's hysterical!) But I absolutely LOVED teaching 4th grade. I just love that age group for teaching. Sadly, because of NCLB, the joy of teaching had been taken away from both teachers and students. I won't get into testing/accountability issues. Of course I am not stupid enough to think we don't need tests and accountability but the way we have gone about it... ANYWAY, let me stop right now as I am getting away from my original thoughts for the post...This teaching gig is great but only because I am a specialist.

It was a great day. Pure and simple. I love my co-workers and I love the students. Even the 1st graders. (Ha, just keep reading and see how this mood changes as the year moves on!)

My smile wasn't forced today. It was so amazing to see how much these students have grown in 6 short weeks! It's fun to watch their faces light up when they see me, a familiar face, in an otherwise uneasy first day with new classmates and teachers. All the boys had short haircuts and all the girls had new shoes that they couldn't wait to show me. (I had playground duty this am so I got to see LOTS of new shoes!)

If I had to be in the classroom with only one class, it would be much more difficult. Don't get me wrong - there are tradeoffs to being a specialist. I don't have the one on one bond with 25 students but I also don't have 25 parent/teacher conferences and daily phone calls. I miss the variety in the day but I don't miss planning 36 lessons per week. Now I plan 5 lessons for writing for grades K - 5th. I LOVE teaching writing! I love gaining their trust and pushing them to write more than they ever thought they could. And by more, I mean deeper. I hope I can share some of the sublime and silly in my blog this year, as I did last year.

And next year? I am buying a new pair of shoes for the first day so I can show off too!


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