Sunday, May 31, 2009


Tonight was our last "official" youth night at church as we break for summer schedule. I am humbled and flattered that three of my six senior girls came tonight simply because they knew I was going to be there. After we got our ice cream, one mentioned that they wanted to talk. We all walked over and sat on the pavement and I realized then, that talking was simply what they wanted to do. They didn't need a deep conversation, they just wanted to be together, away from the others. Tonight was somewhat of a good-bye night. Tonight moves us onto a new chapter. Tonight, I am simply flattered. I have journeyed with these girls through ups and downs and have seen amazing growth and transformation...I am in awe that I had the pleasure to be a part of their life. Thank you girls!!!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

You got to check this one out...

The title says it all!!!


Today was a day where I was completely blessed...a parent came in and was subbing in our building and she stopped into my room to ask if I needed help. She proceeded to grade papers and help organize almost 100 books for me...amazing! Then a college student and his girlfriend came in and hung out with my class today and helped with centers. We accomplished quite a bit this afternoon. It was a great day...

Tuesday, May 19, 2009


I am a big believer in compliments. This world is always so negative it seems and a little kindness and genuineness go a long way in my book. This past week I was observed by two different teacher now a coach and one student who was a former student of that teacher now coach. They were both able to sit and watch my students during our workshop and the sharing that occurs at the end. I received compliments from the both of them that truly are humbling...I am so blessed to be in the position that I am and so grateful that there are others who see what I do and what the kids accomplish and get's nice to be complimented.

During our sharing time while the student was there, the students inquired of a child who has an IEP what he was trying to teach them, how that would make them better readers, and is he trying to say... The reason they say these things is because of modeling. The reason they are a community and speak to each other the way they do is because it's expected of's because workshops work in classrooms.

As of right now, students will be placed next year into classrooms by the computer (data)'ll be interesting to see if a random selection of students will also exhibit the same community that has been built in my classroom for the past few years. Also, I'm going to have a student teacher for January through March, so that'll be interesting too...any ideas would be greatly appreciated. How do you handle the conferencing and focus lessons with a student teacher.

With the year wrapping up, I am enjoying my students and enjoying each day with them...the good and the bad.

Saturday, May 9, 2009


When I got done reading this inspiration piece...I just wanted to shout AMEN!!!

There are just days when you need encouragement and I hope for those of you are teachers and read my blog are encouraged by this...

The dinner guests were sitting around the table discussing life.

One man, a CEO, decided to explain the problem with education.

He argued, 'What's a kid going to learn from someone who decided
his best option in life was to become a teacher?'

He reminded the other dinner guests what they say about

'Those who can, do. Those who can't, teach.'

To emphasize his point he said to another guest; 'You're a
teacher, Bonnie..

Be honest. What do you make?'

Bonnie, who had a reputation for honesty and frankness replied,

'You want to know what I make?
(She paused for a second, then began...)

'Well, I make kids work harder than they ever thought they

I make a C+ feel like the Congressional Medal of Honor.

I make kids sit through 40 minutes of class time when their
parents can't make them sit for 5 without an I Pod, Game Cube or movie rental.

"You want to know what I make." (She paused again and looked at
each and every person at the table.)

''I make kids wonder...

I make them question.

I make them apologize and mean it.

I make them have respect and take responsibility for their

I teach them to write and then I make them write..

Keyboarding isn't everything.

I make them read, read, read.

I make them show all their work in math.. They use their
God-given brain,not the man-made calculator.

I make my students from other countries learn everything they
need to know in English while preserving their unique cultural identity.

I make my classroom a place where all my students feel safe..

I make my students stand, placing their hand over their heart to say the
Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag, One Nation Under God, because we live in
the United States of America .

I make them understand that if they use the gifts they were
given, work hard, and follow their hearts, they can succeed in life.'

(Bonnie paused one last time, then continued.)

'Then, when people try to judge me by what I make, with me knowing money
isn't everything, I can hold my head up high and pay no attention because
they are ignorant... You want to know what I make?


What do you make Mr. CEO?'

His jaw dropped, he went silent.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Blueberry Thinking...

We are focusing this week and next on determining what's important as we read. I led into this with an idea from Comprehension Connections, but then I also (while conferencing) thought of another hands-on activity that the kids would understand. Today, as I was reading to them from Recycle by Gail Gibbons, I shared what I thought was important. And how some of the facts that I read were interesting, but not overall the most important thing. I then shared about how it's like a blueberry muffin. Sure, the blueberries are great, but the most important thing is that you have a muffin. Well, then, one of my little cherubs took it a step further and she said, "So...the blueberries would be thin thinking and the muffin would be the thick thinking." I told her to kiss her brain, because that was awesome!

So, I am still up at 9:15 making blueberry muffins for the kids while we read and think! Steal away any of you who want to use this idea...chocolate chip cookies would work too...

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

What you've all been waiting for...

First's my 300th post. Congrats to me. I've become a stronger writer and think more than I used to. Thanks to Ruth for challenging me and thanks to all who read this. It means a lot to me as you journey with me becoming who God intends me to be.

Second...the race! I finished! That's what counts! I began the race near my pastor and his daughter (who's in my small group), but as we got nearer the start line, I took off. I just had to begin the running. Yes, I had to weave in and out of those darn walkers (seriously, how did they get in front of me at the start of the race) and groups of four or five who had to walk side by side, so the first mile took about 12 minutes. Not to mention that it took 28 minutes just to cross the start line (every mile marker involved a little math computation to figure out my correct time).

The first three or four miles were really good...great pace and I felt great. Sweating a lot, but AMAZING WEATHER! Cool, cloudy, little sprinkles here and there, with just a little bit of a breeze. Those miles were about 10-11 minutes. As I got nearer to the track, I knew I didn't have to stop at every water and Gatorade station. Looking back, I should have hit more. I thought I was going to die after 11 miles. I walked...stretched...ran...walked...ran...walked...the cycle continues. As I hit the 12 mile marker I had about 12 minutes to make it to my goal time that I wanted...needless to say, whether it was panic, my body, or whatever, I didn't make it. UGH! The final posters of 3/4 and 1/2 were honestly the worst things for me to see. I just felt that I couldn't go without passing out or throwing up, whichever came first. As I was walking, thanks be to my shirt, a guy yelled my name and I hunkered down and tried to finish in the strongest way I could muster. 2:32. I was shooting for 2:30...but I did cut off over 11 minutes from last year (which is almost a minute a mile).

In the days that followed, my left side of my body hurts more than the right, but I did Zumba tonight and felt a little better. I am proud that I finished. I am proud that I took a chance. I am proud of me regardless of not making my time. There is always next year (wait...did I just say that???).

Me being tough

After the race

What I gave my medal to...because there are kids who are fighting battles and are braver than I.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Morning Thoughts

I lay here in my sister's bed...waiting for the alarm to go off. I tossed and turned all night. Thoughts kept running through my head. All I have to do is run today. Why am I making it such a bigger deal than what it needs to be? Maybe it's because I've done it before and I know how long 13 miles truly is...maybe because I have a time I want to beat...maybe it's because I set up a bet with a co-worker.

Regardless of what time I run today, I am going to be proud of myself. I have worked hard and put it many miles and hours to not be proud. Today is a day of no regrets. I am going to run the race that is laid out before me and nothing else. I have nothing to prove to anyone. My next post will be my 300th post and I'm excited that it'll be about my run.

Goals for today:
Pray for others
Take in the awe of running with 35,000 people
Be thankful for the ability to run 13.1 miles
And yes...I want to be my time as of last year. But if I don't, I'll still be proud of setting a goal and working towards it. I have a cold and I am hoping that doesn't overly interfere with my breathing on my's all mental!!! I am in charge this morning.

Will let you know!!!