Not bad for a fat girl


Two Down, One Hundred Seventy-Eight to Go!

School_Clip_Art_1163School days, that is. Not that I’m counting.

Two busy, fun, kid-filled, hot, humid days. Two days of teaching rules and routines, expectations and procedures. Two days of learning new names and figuring out new personalities. Two days of writing in new notebooks and opening new text books. Two days of school supplies and notes home and practicing quiet lines.

These past two days have been exhausting, but they have also been exhilarating. I LOVE this new class. They are smart and funny and kind and they are ready for all the challenges that fourth grade will provide.

Each year I¬†forget just how much mental energy (not to mention physical stamina) it takes to teach. I’m tired, but I’m happy. These kids are mine, and already I know we’re going to have a fantastic year. What a lucky teacher I am.


Welcome to the 2015-2016 School Year

School starts tomorrow and once again I have that nervous, anxious, excited, crazy vibe buzzing through my veins.

Yes, my classroom is ready.welcome_back

Yes, my curriculum is ready.

Yes, I have met most of the students and many of the parents at “meet the teacher” night, and they’re amazing.

I should be fine, right?

I’ve done this a lot. It should be a breeze. A walk in the park. Just another day.

But it ISN’T just another day. It’s a really big day. The first day of school is a new beginning.

It’s a fresh start for me and for all of the students in my care. We don’t know each other, and it will take a bit of time for us to figure each other out. I will make it as simple as possible for them to understand who I am and what I expect, but they don’t usually make it quite as easy for me. Still, I’m a seasoned veteran, so I’ve got this.

I KNOW this is going to be a fantastic school year. I can feel it in my bones. Still, the jitters persist. I know it’s only because I care so much about each and every little detail. As soon as the kids show up, though, I’ll take a deep breath, welcome them to fourth grade, and do what I do best.

I can’t wait!

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One More Week

welcomebackI have one week left of summer vacation before I head back to school for meetings and planning and classroom setup. One week left to get to the doctor and the dentist. One week left to attend to all the things I was going to do over the summer, but didn’t. One short week.

Maybe instead of focusing on what didn’t get done I should instead take a look at what I have accomplished.


First of all, I managed to have a wonderful vacation that really felt like two vacations, since I was in two separate locations. I spent a good amount of time with my family and I got to see several friends. I walked the beach, I ate s’mores, and I swam in several different pools. I laughed until my cheeks hurt and I explored the area where the Pilgrims landed in the new world. I played mini-golf and I went to the movies and I drank wine and ate salsa with jicima and blueberries. I listened to live music and ate from a food truck and buried my toes in the sand. I saw where the Kennedy’s played football on the lawn and I ate peanut butter cup pancakes and I watched fireworks from the beach. I showed my son my university and goofed off with him in a way that just isn’t possible at home. Maybe that was enough. Maybe I didn’t have to do anything else, but I did.


AibKpyGETI took care of my car, which was an unpleasant task, but what can I do? I need a car. I waited out the air conditioner’s coy way of fooling the repair guys, and restored some cool to our indoor space. I cleared out some items that we no longer need or love and donated them to charity. I also started cooking a little bit more, and began relying on going out a little bit less. Of course that means more trips to the grocery store, more meal prep, and more cleaning up. Oh, and laundry. I must have washed a zillion loads of laundry (that’s a lie… I’m actually boycotting laundry because I’m simply not in the mood for it).

Social Butterfly

If you know me in person and you choked on this heading I apologize. Let me clarify: I was a social butterfly to my way of thinking. I went to a baseball game with my son, I went to a painting party with a couple of friends, and I had a few lunches with friends. It all counts!


I read quite a bit this summer. Some of the books I loved, others I was less enthusiastic about, but I felt good about reading. In reverse order, I read:

The Outsiders by SE Hinton

The Husband’s Secret by Liane Moriarty

The Orphan Master’s Son by Adam Johnson

The Middle Place by Kelly Corrigan

A Dog’s Purpose by W Bruce Cameron

The Noticer by Andy Andrews

All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline

We Were Liars by E Lockhart

The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

The bolded titles were the ones that really stood out. They were the ones I most hated to put down and the ones that gave me the most to puzzle over. That’s not to say that I didn’t enjoy the others. I did. In fact I enjoyed them all.


Oh yes, I did four weeks of teaching youth, I can’t forget about that. It was an enjoyable four weeks, and I would definitely do it again, should the opportunity arise. Spending my mornings with kids who enjoy creating stories and narratives is a pleasure. Helping them to refine their ideas and turn them into words on a page is remarkable. Being involved in that story telling process is quite an honor.


I admit it, I slept. I slept in, I took naps, and I went to bed when I felt tired. My body thanks me, but I’m a little bit worried about going back to work. No more nap time!

I’m okay with going back to work. A new school year is always exciting for me. I love meeting my new students and helping them to form a cohesive community of learners. We become a family of sorts, and that’s a beautiful thing. I also love seeing my former students, a few months older, a summer wiser, as they enter the fifth grade. The change in some of them is truly remarkable, and it’s so rewarding to watch those kids as they mature.

Yes, I’m about ready to go back, but before I do I’m going to enjoy one last week of r & r, there’s no need to rush it.