Thursday, February 26, 2009

A Frickin' Elephant

I may be the only person who thinks it's funny, but it reminds me of my daily adventures in Kindergarten!


From the diary of a Kindergarten Teacher :
My five-year old students are learning to read.
Yesterday one of them pointed at a picture in a zoo book and said,

"Look at this! It's a frickin' elephant!"
I took a deep breath, then asked..."What did you call it?"
"It's a frickin' elephant! It says so on the picture!"

And so it did...

" A f r i c a n Elephant "

Hooked on phonics! Isn't it wonderful?


Saturday, February 21, 2009

iMovie

So, Cameron has been experimenting with the movie making program on our computer, iMovie (oh, how Apples loves their i-labeled products/software).  He took my video camera to MacWorld with him back in January, and has finally had time to sit down and put a video of his trip together.  I have to say, it is pretty amazing.....and he said it was relatively easy!  I guess there is hope for me to make a movie montage at some point!  Anyway, for all those curious as to what he did at the convention, here is a short movie that hits on a few highlights of his trip in both photos and video.  There is music to it, so you will need to mute my blog music at the bottom of the page.
video

Sunday, February 15, 2009

My Life According to My iPod


I saw this on a friends blog and thought it sounded kind of fun. I also am looking to do anything to avoid doing the dishes :). So, here it goes............

Rules:
1. Put your iPod on shuffle
2. Fill in each number with the NEXT SONG...
3. DON'T CHEAT!!


1. How am I feeling today?
"What Goes Around/Come Back Around" By: Justin Timberlake

2. How far will I get in life?
"Down" By Something Corporate (That doesn't sound promising....)

3. What is my best friend’s theme song?
"Single Ladies" By Beyonce (Woot Woot Stace!!)

4. What was high school like?
"Love Story" By Taylor Swift (Kind of ironic.....)

6. What is in store for me this weekend?
"Lost" By Coldplay

7. What is the best thing about me?
"Sometimes You Can't Make it on Your Own" By U2

8. What song is about my parents?
"Personal Halloway" By Bush (?????)

9. How is my life going?
"Buttons" By The Pussycat Dolls (Loosen up my buttons huh?)

10. What song will they play at my funeral?
"Till I Collapse" By Eminem (Wow, that is pretty funny :))

11. How does the world see me?
"Apologize" By One Republic/Timbaland (I wonder what I need to apologize for....)

12. What do my friends think of me?
"Juicy" By Nortorious BIG

13. Do people secretly think I’m good looking?
"Evil Angel" By Breaking Benjamin

14. How can I make myself happy?
"XO" By Fall Out Boy

15. What should I do with my life?
"Cold Contagious" By Bush (I do get a lot of colds.....maybe I am always contagious)

16. What is some good advice?
"Hells Bells" By AC/DC (Hmmmmm, interesting.)

17. Will I get married?
"1,2,3,4" By Feist (I hope that isn't the number of times I will get married :0)

18. Where will I go in life?
"Where the Streets Have No Name" By U2

19. Will I have kids?
"Capital G" By Nine Inch Nails (D0es that mean I will have all girls?)

20. What is my current theme song?
"Liar and a Cheat" By Take the Fall (I promise I am neither of those things......)

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Happy Valentine's Day!

Everyone who reads this blog are people who we love and care about.  On this day of love, I want you all to know how much we love you!  You all mean so much to Cameron and I, and we are so lucky to have you in our lives.  

Happy Valentine's Day!!!

Monday, February 9, 2009

Gratitude


Today in faculty meeting, my principal talked to us a little about gratitude.  With so many things being up in the air in my school, she felt it was important to give us ideas on how to deal with some of the anxiety many of us are feeling (we have 5 brand new teachers who are in jeopardy of being let go because of the school budget short fall, and our school taking on a Dual Language Immersion program that will change the structure of our school).  She gave us a hand out on an exercise called "Better Mood from Gratitude".  I really felt like it was a meaningful exercise, and thought I would share it here, for anyone who may be feeling some anxiety for one reason or another and seeking any form of relief.  So here it is.........

"Really good moods are like gold dust.  They bring optimism, laughter, creativity and sheer joy.  Good moods help us bear all the daily irritations of live with good grace.  Psychological research agrees.  Positive emotions are associated with greater creativity, increased problem solving ability, and greater overall success in life.  In a study done by Emmons and McCullough (2003), they found that participants who took the time to write down 5 things they were grateful for each week for 10 weeks, were 25% happier than a comparison group who simply listed 5 events from the week."

So, here is the exercise.  Each week, take 2 minutes at the end of your week to write down 5 things you are grateful for.  It can be done in as little as 2 minutes.  If it is possible that even the simplest negative thought to provoke a change in mood, then why couldn't a positive grateful thought change you mood as well?  They can be as simple as being grateful that.......
  1. I don't have a headache today.
  2. I had a good lunch.
  3. I have my family.
  4. My new socks keep my feet warm.
  5. I made a joke and people laughed.
Some of these are on the trivial side but no gain of thankfulness is too small once you've exhausted the usual suspects (ie. I have a home to live in.).

"Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life.  It turns what we have into enough, and more.  It turns denial into acceptance, chaos into order, confusion into clarity....It turns problems into gifts, failures into success, the unexpected into perfect timing, and mistakes into important events.  Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today and creates a vision for tomorrow."  
               ---Melodie Beattie

Since everyone is thinking about their loved ones this week since Valentine's Day is Saturday, I thought this would be a great time to start doing this, and I thought I would list my 5 things I am grateful for here so I can look back on the items each time I am feeling down.  So, here are a few of the things I am grateful for.
  1. Cameron.  He is my voice of reason, and best friend.  He knows how to keep me calm and sane when times get rough.  
  2. My family.  I have the best family (in-laws included)!  They support me in all I do and are my best cheerleaders.
  3. My career.  I love waking up each day to something new.  I never dread going to work.  I can't imagine ever hating my job!  I feel bad for people who do.
  4. Insurance.  I know it sounds silly, but without it Cam and I would be in trouble.  The surgery I had in December on my ovaries would have cost us over $5,000 if we wouldn't have been insured.  I wouldn't have been able to have it, and would still be in constant pain.  Yay for health care!!!
  5. A place to live.  I never really thought about until this school year.  I have a homeless child in my class who lives in a shelter.  I couldn't imagine not being able to go home to a place of my own, and sleep in my own bed. 
Take the time this week to think of what you are grateful for, instead of what isn't going the right way in your life.  You may be surprised to find yourself in a more positive mood.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

The Return of the Black Plague

** This post took me SEVERAL days to write.  I started Tuesday, and finished Sunday.  Sorry if it seems scattered :).**

I am a firm believer that the plague has returned......and returned to my classroom and home. It all began with a few kids
 in mid January that came down with a nasty cold/flu/cough "thing". Well, it has spred like WILDFIRE, and also picked up the stomach flu bug to go along with it. No matter how many times we wash our hands, clean the tables, and remind the kids of how to NOT to spread germies.....in the past week I have had on average 5-8 kids gone per day, and send 2 or more kids home sick. Today was the icing on the cake though......I had 5 kids gone......again.......and had 2 kids throw up all in the same 10 minutes!!!! At least I didn't have to witness it, because I would have freaked out! Everyone know what a major phobia I have of throw up......so naturally I was a little on edge for the rest of the day. **This was Tuesday.**

Not only have all the kids in my class been sick, Cameron and I have both been "plagued" with the lovely germs. Lucky for us, we have AMAZING health insurance, and were able to go and get some antibiotics to help kick the bugs, and some fantastic cough medicine to help us sleep and control the awful coughing. We're finally starting to feel better, slowly but surely (it's only taken me2 weeks!!!). Now, if we can only stay healthy and germ free! 

Believe it or not, we have had a few highlights in the past 2 weeks. I got together with my family on the 29th for my Grandma's birthday.  Cameron was at school, so he didn't have the chance to enjoy the DELICIOUS carrot cake my mom made for the celebration.  I have the best Grandma!  I hope she had a fabulous birthday, because she deserves it!

Cameron's grandparents made it safely home from serving an 18 month mission in Germany. 
They came home on Saturday January 31st.  We weren't able to go to the airport for their arrival because we were still too sick, but we were able to see them at the Super Bowl/Birthday party for Poppi on Sunday.  It is good to have them home safe and sound! 

Cameron has been talking about wanting a nice digital camera for a long time.  I kept trying to figure out why on earth he wanted one, since we don't really have a ton of stuff to take pictures of .  I mean, we don't travel a lot, or have kids, ya know the typical things people take a lot of pictures of.  Well, he finally talked me into letting him get it!  I have to give him credit, he did do a lot of research on where he could buy the best one, at the best price.  He has taken a lot of really great pictures!  He makes me laugh because on his days off, he sometimes just goes and wanders around 9th and 9th and takes pictures.  He also has took a lot of great pictures at the Auto Show a few weeks ago. 






Our other exciting moment of note from the past few weeks, is that I am officially a Grad student!  I've been talking a long time about going back to school and getting my master's degree, and have looked into several options.  For some reason or another, things just weren't working out in my favor.  I've had MANY discussion with my principal about what my future holds as far as career wise, and she really encouraged me to get my master's.  I always thought I would just get my M.Ed, with a reading endorsement for my teaching license.  I had never really thought about anything else.  I am very happy working as a classroom teacher.  Martha asked me if I had ever thought about a career as an administrator.........naturally I being 24 I said no, because that seemed like something that would happen a long way down the road, if ever.  I mean, I never had a "young" principal.  She told me to seriously think about it because I "have the qualities that good administrators need"(whatever that means), and that in the future, administrators were going to be hard to find, so there was no doubt in her mind that I would EASILY get a job using my new degree.  Well, I got an email from the personnel and HR director at the district office with a link to an online University in Arizona, that they were encouraging teachers to use if they were looking into a graduate degree.  I went to their website, and looked at what they had to offer, contacted one of their enrollment people to see what I needed to do, and well........a week later I took Martha's advice and am now a student at Grand Canyon University in Education Administration.  It will take me 18 months to finish all the necessary classes, do an internship at my school with Martha, or another administrator in the district, pass another basic competency test, and I will have a license to be a principal!  It has all happened so fast, I am still a little in shock.  My financial aid is all taken care of, my books are ordered, and I start classes on March 9th!  I am excited to get my master's and possibly start working in this new line of work.  Who would have EVER thought I would become a Principal!!!  

Cam and I also got new living room furniture last weekend.  It is wonderfully comfortable!  Sorry, I have no pictures of it this week.....but will include them in the next post.  The next week is CRAZY for me, so I can't promise there will be an update.  I am taking the kids on a field trip to Discovery Gateway, am celebrating the 100th day of Kindergarten and Valentines Day, have 2 kids with birthday's, and will be in a mentor teacher meeting for my student teacher.  Oh, and the state board of education will be coming to observe in my classroom on Tuesday to see if they feel that extended day kindergarten is worth putting money into!  All in the same week!  It should be fun!!!

On a more serious note.  I am normally not so passionate about political agendas, but when it directly impacts what I do for a living, I care, and care a lot.  We all know about the hideous economic situation we are currently in, and how it is impacting EVERYONE.  Well, it is going to hit education hard if the state legislature doesn't support Gov. Huntsman's budget plan.  My district alone is losing 4.5 million dollars in funds next year, and possibly more (which is a TON for such a small district).  There is talk about increasing class sizes (mind you, I already have 25 kids in my class which is about 7 children over the recommended class size for kindergarten), cutting days out of the school year, and doing away with a lot of important jobs (para-educators, reading coordinators, etc).  If you know who your legislators are........write, email, or call them and ask them to please support the Governor's budget.  It will have the least impact on education, and human services which are so important for us NOW, and will continue to be important in the future.