Merry Christmas!

MERRY CHRISTMAS!

I hope this finds you well and that you've had a terrific Christmas Day with your loved ones. I find it hard to believe that Christmas is already here. In some ways I think this year has gone by really fast and in other ways it's been slow. It is 3 days to OneThing and I can hardly wait.

I have come to the parental unit's house to relax. A friend is flying in tomorrow and we're gonna hang here for a day or so and then head to the conference. I can hardly believe it's almost here. One week from today I will wish I could rewind and experience it all over again. I feel like that every year. It goes by so fast... I can't believe we're here already. Wow.

I don't have anything else to say at the moment. I'm sure I'll have more to share as the conference draws near and even throughout the conference.

Have a wonderful Christmas!

Later!

Christmas Eve Eve

So, I have been quite busy so far on break. Fortunately it's all pretty much been busy in a good way. I have just about all my gifts bought and wrapped, I've baked cookies for the dinner tomorrow, and have cleaned my part of the house. I tell ya, when I'm on a mission, I get stuff done! It's been good though because I do better if I'm busy rather than bored. I still have stuff to do, but it's all pretty cool stuff. I think sleeping in will be my favorite part of tomorrow. :-) Just kiddin, but it will be a highlight.

One week from tonight I'll be at OneThing. I can't wait!

Later!

Break is underway....

Well, I sit here, and school is officially "out" for break. I still need to go tutor a little boy before my break begins, but it's all good. We have our staff party tonight, and I'm looking forward to it. We're doing a white elephant gift exchange. I am anxious to see how it all goes. Knowing our staff, it will be hilarious!

I am loved very well. I sit here with about 3 bags of gifts on my desk. I've never gotten as much as I did today before from kids. I'm blessed.

My favorite gift came from a former student. Alexis came to see me, and she brought me a Hershey bar and a card. Just seeing her blessed me. It was a really cool reminder of how many people really are watching us when we don't even know it. I liked Alexis when she was in my class but I didn't think we had "clicked" like I do with others. Well, apparently we did because she comes back fairly regularly to see me. It makes me smile. We all make a difference, but we don't always know what sort of impact we make. Very cool stuff.

Well, I need to load up goodies and head out. I'll give you periodic updates throughout the break.

I do find it odd how it's called a "break". I've still got massive shopping to do. Not so sure it's a break just yet... :-)

Later!

Holiday Technology On Ice

I'm likely to spend the Holidays off the internets, so everyone enjoy yours (Holidays, enjoy your Holidays).

Happy finals (for my bretheren and sistern laboring in block schedule high schools), Christmas, New Year, or whatever you've got.

Vocabulary Can Save Lives

This, friends, is why you have to learn new words. When your students ask you, you learn new words to save lives and feed the hungry. So go here. Learn words and save lives.

Again, you're welcome.

Back to work...

Greetings!

I returned to work today! Yes, I had ALL last week off due to an ice storm that came through the area. The storm knocked out power many of the schools in the area, so I had a free week off! I tell ya, I got so much done. I got shopping done, and Christmas cards done! It has been great. It felt weird though, I could go shop, but I couldn't teach little kids. Go figure.

I had a really good day at work too. The kids were excited to see me, and I was glad to see them. I am teaching my math groups a new concept, and it was fun to see them "catch" it today. They did better than I ever expected them to do! :-) It was good.

It was also good to be with my friends at work. I had missed them. It was good to get caught up with them. The more I talked to them, I felt more blessed and guilty because we only lost electricity for about 3 hours total. People at work went days without power. Weirdness. Some kids were still without power. It's amazing how people make things work to survive. Needless to say, it was great to see them.

So, now I need to go buy something for my Secret Santa. I had forgotten until a little while ago that tomorrow is our party. Having a week off has thrown me off, but it's all good. 4 days to Christmas break and the OneThing conference. I can't wait!

Thanks for reading!
Later!

You're Welcome

Find out which presidential candidate in the huge field of competitors best matches your views.

As We End The Year Of The Sweater...

I am still without a handmade sweater. In my defense, socks got in the way and I found them a worthy challenge. However, I had nearly forgotten my promise to the entire internet that I'd finish a handmade sweater in 2007.

It's not gonna happen.

But I found the one I will do!! And my project slate is fairly clean save one scarf that I'm throwing together for a friend at Christmas (don't get any ideas, anyone, she's not a blog reader).



This little lovely covers all my bases. Can be done in Cotton-Ease, available in sizes for larger Americans, not boring (take a look at the picot bind off! and cables! and exotic increase/decreases!), able to be layered and multi-season.

I have consulted a knitting professional regarding said increase/decreases and she offers some good help. I'm open to more. I'm also mulling over the color possibilities.


*Cat not included. Really, I'm a 36 year old single English teacher who knits. Let's not have me fulfill every stereotype all at once.

iced in...sort of

Well, quick post here. School is still out of session and it's Wednesday. I'm now caught up on paperwork, grading, and am now working on Christmas Cards. Our phone line went out during the ice storm, so I sit in a parking lot getting caught up on email and such. We still have parts of the area without power, so school is out for today. I just drove through part of the area, and there are still many areas without electricity. The good news is that the roads are fine, so I can go and do. Only deal is, the store I wanted to visit is closed due to power. Ah well, this too shall pass!

Have a great day!

:-)

Ice Day!

So, today was GOOD! Why? Because school is cancelled for Monday! An ice storm has hit our area (pray we don't lose electricity!) so we don't have school tomorrow. Life is good!

I love teaching!

Only Licensed, Third Party, Professionals Need Apply

State testing used to be maybe two weeks long. This year, the state has added End of Instruction Exams in three new subjects. So it's no longer EOI week, it's EOI season.

The mayhem this addition has caused is tangible all over the building. The teachers who ignored my stress induced squinting and bloodshot eyes are now squealing like piggies. "You've got to HELP us!!", "We don't know what this test LOOKS like!!!", "We don't have enough INFORMATION!!".

Um, duh. That's what we've been doing for years. Remember when you asked me what the big deal was with all this testing and why were we so tense? Because I do.

My season ed English II colleagues and I are proud now that we've developed a thick testing skin that allows us to withstand these outbursts. We don't engage the outbursters, and we don't ourselves burst out.

I am not, however, immune to stress. I've two pools of stress now. They reside right around my shoulder blades, twin pools of tension. I've been trying a lot of weird stretching to shrink them, but to no avail.

So when my Debate class asked (as is their custom) if I can be bought, I deviated a bit from my normal indignant "Never!".

"Yeah. I can be bribed. You could buy me with a gift certificate for a massage."

With this, a young man I'll call "fingers" perks up.

"Oh, Miss! I can give good massages!!"

"Ummm...no, Fingers, I don't think that's a good idea. It sounds like
something that might be a Lifetime movie. It would have to be a gift
certificate."


...and then we all laugh together and with a bit of warning, go quickly back to work. And we're working away silently, work, work, workity work, when another kid speaks up.

"Ms Educat, what if we gave you a gift certificate for Fingers to give you a
massage?"


Guess what? I still have the stress pools.

Light at the end of the tunnel...sort of...

So, today I did it. I swallowed my pride and told one of my supervisors that I need help. I wrote 2 IEP's this week for NEW kids. I'm now up to 24. I kept thinking, "It's okay, with God I can do this." True, I can, but I need help. I'm treadding water, not moving forward in my classroom because my students require so much of me. (Probably doesn't help that I have a boy that is really building my character in a BIG way right now)

Apparently my supervisor had already heard that I was overloaded, and she said we were going to have to use SlowLady to help. I knew that was coming...and I hated the prospect of my kids going to SlowLady. So, I told my supervisor that it would be better if GigglyGal took my kids because they're given our State Test this year and SlowLady can't handle that. She agreed.

So, we're working on juggling kids around so that GigglyGal and I have decent caseloads. She's at 22 now and I'm at 24. We're giving SlowLady the little little people. Nothing's official. We haven't told our Regular Education Teachers, but they're not going to be happy.

Neither are the kids.

We're waiting until after break to move kids around.

So, it's sort of a light at the end of the tunnel.

I keep thinking that three weeks from tonight is OneThing.

That's going to keep me sane the next 21 days...

Crushing Disappointment: The Real Bear Necessity

There's new curriculum in Ms. Educat's Afterschool Club For Kids Who Don't Read Good (actually a credit recovery program for kids who've failed English). The kids have to read much more (hurrah!!) and write much more (Yay!!) and it's much more on a par with what we're doing during the day in classes.


The girl in the Insane Clown Posse hoodie (she wears it Every. Single. Day.) is getting ready to start the literature portion of the course and I excitedly inform her that she'll be reading The Jungle. I read that book as a wee girl with my father (Yep, it's the stuff that bedtime stories are made of in the Educat home. You know what our other favorite was? 83 Hours Til Dawn, the very creepy story of a kidnapped heiress who was buried alive!!). So I tell ICP hoodie she'll be reading The Jungle and her eyes light up too! It's magic!! She knows this book and is excited to reread it!!! When the words form, I'm rather deflated.



"Awesome!! You mean the book with that big blue bear and the nekkid
kid!?"




A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood!

So, today the sun was shining, and it was a pretty day! Oh yeah, and OU WON THEIR GAME SATURDAY NIGHT! I tell ya, going to school today was fun!

In case you had missed my blog post from the other day, I had a friendly deal with our fifth graders about the OU/MU game Saturday Night. If MU had won, I would have come into school today with an Ice Cream Sandwich for each 5th grader. Well, that didn't happen! :-)

I had made a deal with one student that if OU won, he had to bring me M&M's. I only made the deal with one kid because I know his family and they would know it was all in fun!

Well, I got A LOT of candy today! First off, the boy I made the deal with gave me TWO bags of plain M&M's. (My favorite!) Then two other students from an entire other class gave me M&M's.

I walked up and down the fifth grade hall after the student gave me the candy he owed me just shaking the bags, saying, "It's a beautiful day in the neighborhood."

And then, the coolest part...one of the regular education teachers gave each student in her class a Hershey Kisses and they had to come down and congratulate me on the win and give me the candy! It was a hoot!

As the day went on, I gradually got more and more candy from other kids. It was a hoot!

So, I am still a true-blue, KU fan.

But I tell ya, I'm smiling now because OU won.

Now I can't wait for the real college hoops season starts up...I wonder if I can get more candy then...

:-)
Later!