Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Brimming with Blessings

{The whole point of starting this blog was to reflect on my teaching.  I had originally written this post back in March, but I am finally getting around to publish it as it was a day that I do not want to forget.}

As I stated in an earlier post, my room was chosen as a Writer's Workshop model classroom for 3rd grade.  This year, my district purchased the grades 3, 4, and 5 Units of Study in Opinion, Information, and Narrative after rolling it out in grades K, 1, and 2 last year.  Before each writing unit, our district organizes a workshop day where teachers gather at one of three schools to learn and gain insight into the unit we are about to teach.  The district hired an independent writing consultant to come in and further coach us educators in the writing unit, confer with students, and "prepare us" for the unit.  My room/students was one of the three chosen rooms for 3rd grade!  YAY! :D

Today, we had our last workshop to prepare for Unit 4 - Once Upon a Time: Adapting and Writing Fairytales.  Now, I did this unit last year, so I was familiar with it.  Today, though, it brought back sooo much excitement!!  Studying fairytales. Asking questions of why did authors make the decisions they made, how can we change the fairytale to make it our OWN. ahhh .... :) #happiness #greatwaytoendtheyear

I just need to give a shout out to my colleagues.  If it wasn't for them, I wouldn't have been able to attend the workshop today and receive so many blessings and encouragement from other colleagues who visit our school.  Since the workshop was held in our school and we were short substitute teachers, my two ELA 3rd grade teammates were not able to be with me as a 3rd grade Literacy team.  Instead, one of my colleagues had a substitute, yet she passed her substitute over to me so I could attend the workshop since the workshop would be using my students as the "test writers" and models.  #blessed

[Jess & Sam - Thank you for your patience and flexibility.  Thank you for giving me the opportunity to grow as a teacher, observe my students through a lens with other teachers, and to be a part of a priceless professional development day.  I appreciate working with you two ladies and how we always have each other's backs. <3]

Unfortunately, I didn't get to take pictures of my students during their retelling and acting of The Three Billy Goats Gruff. :(  I left my phone on my desk, on the other side of the classroom which meant I'd have to cross the sea of teachers crowding my students' desks and just interrupt the whole model lesson. -_-
Nonetheless, I was #soproud of my students!  I am truly going to miss the 23 little ones I was blessed to educate this year.  They were acting out to help storytell, they coached each other, they were participating, they wrote, they conferred so we teachers could listen in on the conferring with our writing consultant.  I always leave the model lesson wanting to cry because I couldn't be any prouder of my students.  I demand so much from them, and they just rise to the occasion and then some!  They impressed so many other teachers as well!

I love days like today though because I get to talk as a teacher and share what I'm doing in my classroom.  Since we come into my classroom, teachers take pictures and have a thousand questions: "What is ____?"   "How did you do ___?"  I love being able to talk with other educators about my ideas and in turn, they share theirs too! :)

Following our model lesson, we had a break for lunch, broke down each session for the unit, and I was forced volunteered to share and read the story Seriously, Cinderella is so Annoying!  It's great for point of view!  And at this rate, with the advanced writing my students produced in one day, our consultant encouraged me to push my students to do more than what the unit is asking, that's how awesome my kids are. <3

The very last few minutes of our day, though, our consultant asked us to write down 3 sentences - could be what we hope for our students (beyond just Common Core), could be a thank you to someone, or whatever we wanted.  Sure enough, numerous teachers volunteered to read their "thank yous" ... to me.

My heart couldn't take any more for the day!

Thank you for your hospitality and providing food and beverage for each workshop.

Thank you for talking with me about your classroom management.

Thank you for your inspiration.

Thank you for opening up your classroom and welcoming us into it.

I started to cry.  It was just one blessing after another today.  I didn't know what to say other than "thank you".  I don't do what I do to be acknowledged, but sometimes I need to acknowledge what I'm doing to take pride in all that my students have been able to accomplish.

My hope?

That my students take pride in all that they accomplished this year.  That they remember their 3rd grade years as one of their *favorite* years in elementary school.  I hope that when they remember how I made them feel, that it brings warmth and comfort to their day.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Currently: JUNE!

Knock, knock! 

June has finally come to arrive, and I have decided that - with the end of the year and thinking about things for next year - I'd "knock" on the door of my blog address and open the door to blogging with a more committed attitude.  

To kick off the June celebration, I'm linking up with Farley at Oh' Boy 4th Grade for June Currently!  

listening:  I love listening to my sisters play the piano.  I do not play as frequently as my sisters do since they take lessons, but I do miss playing as skillfully as they do.  God has truly gifted us, and it is a blessing to give it back to Him in church.

loving:  JUNE HAS COME! I have been mentally checked out of this school year since the beginning of May.  While I love, LOVE, LOVE my class this year (& they will probably be my favorite class I ever have) ;), I am *so* ready for summer.  It has been a verybusy school year, and a few months of R&R is much needed. (Though we all know there isn't much "R&R" with how much thinking and planning and preparing we do.)

thinking:  So I think I'm getting moved to middle school next year. #thestruggleisreal   ...while I student taught 5th grade, I don't know how ready I am to change my mentality from teaching 3rd graders to 6th/7th graders. I have gone back and forth with what I want to do for next year school year - teach 3rd grade all subjects and have that "control" over my day and lessons, or teach middle schoolers, have debates, read advanced novels, attitudes, yah know...

wanting: So of course my mom shows me this Oriental Trading catalog featuring "Faith & Fun" = perfect ideas for Sunday School and Jr. Church decorations/prizes!  Then my sisters and I start creating a whole plan for doing VBS at our church this summer - theme, songs, activities, and all!  Hopefully we get permission to do it!

needing: Okay, seriously?! I called last week to confirm I had everything for my application.  The wonderfully patient admissions representative told me my application was good to go and that the committee was reviewing my application so I should hear back soon.  How much longer do I have to wait?! :(

summer lovin': I am so excited and beyond thrilled for one of my best friends .. after much ado, she is finally getting married and has asked me to be a bridesmaid in her wedding.  I feel so honored, and it has been so exciting planning the various activities with the other bridesmaids.  I'm also looking forward to redoing and reorganizing my bedroom that I share with my youngest sister.  All while finding time to read and tutor students on the side. ;)

Okay, go link up with Farley and other teachers!  And wish me luck as I #seriously commit to blogging more frequently. :)