Tuesday, September 29, 2009

The Best Kids In Town

'Tis the season for Parent/Teacher Conferences and I LOVE them. It is such a pleasure to brag about the kids to their parents and see the delight in their eyes -- the kids and the parents!

Now, everyone who has ever attended school, even for one day, would know it was a big fib if I said everything at school was perfect every day, but most days are. :) -- It is wonderful to meet with parents and visit about the strengths of each child and the ways to best meet the needs of those with challenges. It is also heartening to see the concern and care parents take when they leave busy schedules to come to school and support our classroom.

I'm sure that I have the BEST KIDS IN TOWN all in my classroom!

Happy Fall,

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Who am I??

What an interesting question to pose ... Who am I? And the assignment to include a photo of oneself. Hmmm. What do I want friends and strangers to know about me?

I am a wife, mother, grandmother, aunt, sister, daughter and friend. I am a school teacher at a wonderful public school (first grade), and I think everyone ought to have the chance to view life through the eyes of a six-year old!

Last weekend I attended a workshop about keeping kids fit. One of the breakout sessions was all about hula hooping. I loved to hula hoop as a kid and found that I still love it! The woman teaching the class indicated that 10 minutes of hula hooping is the equivalent of a 2 1/2 mile run. She claims the loss of two dress sizes in two months of regular hoop use. -- Hope that proves true for me too! If it does I'll be the next famous fitness guru. Can you imagine a better way to keep fit than playing? ( I also wonder if I can market my marvelous hoops on etsy. Kind of a quirky item for a handmade gadget!)

Back to the "who I am" portion of this blog. I like to read, write, sew, cook, can, and compute. I don't like to clean, wash, run, or talk on the phone. I love to send snail mail, make charms, surprise family and friends, walk my Lucy-dog, and yard sale. I hate to sit on the floor, put away shoes, or eat peas.

I love being a mom and double love being a grandma. I love having the best friends in the world and I love my book club -- the books and the women!

Speaking of the book club, it is my favorite monthly activity. The members include 2 twenty somethings, 2 thirty somethings, 1 forty something, 2 fifty-ish, and 2 seventy plus, members. We take turns selecting the reading material. The discussions are always lively and we rarely all agree. Except, we all agree that we wouldn't trade the club for anything else.

If this post is somewhat disjointed it's because I'm a little sleep-deprived. Some weeks are just that way!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Transformations ... Enjoy the Ride

It's interesting that nothing ever stays the same for long. Change is inevitable from minute to minute, hour to hour, day to day, year to year. Some changes come quickly and others take time. I am truly a creature of habit and have only learned to embrace change in the fairly recent past. I like routine and predictability. Life, however, is unpredictable.

I live high in the mountains of Northern Utah. Our weather is drifting from summer to fall and as the days shorten the first signs of the next season appear bit by bit. I saw a red leaf today, the lawn needs less water, the dahlias aren't blooming quite a prolifically, and children are speaking of Halloween...already? I saw a Christmas display in the mall last week too.

Some transformations are inevitable...they happen whether or not we want them to and whether or not we take any action. Others, though, we create ourselves.

The transformations I am working on, at present, are attitude changes. I want the ability to take life gently, to adapt more easily to the changes and bumps in the road we call life. I want to stop more often to enjoy the world through the eyes of the children in my life.

I remember riding in the car to the hospital, more than 28 years ago, to have our first child. I recall saying to my husband, "It will never be the same, never be just us again. Isn't it exciting!"

The changes of that day remain dear to my heart. I loved seeing the world through the eyes of the cute little red-head that joined our family on that day. He was, and is, an optimist. I love to think of the hot summer day when he was 3 and I was great with child awaiting his soon-to-be sister and our car broke down many miles from home. I was worried and shed a few tears. He said, "Don't cry mom, we'll take the city bus!" We did. It was an adventure, and all was well.

It is wonderful to watch a child grow, learn, explore, and transform into a parent himself. Now he and his dear wife have a 3 year old who imparts words of wisdom, and they are awaiting a brother or sister to add to their family. Life circles.

Take time to enjoy the ride no matter where the ride is taking you. It will always be an adventure.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Getting to Know You

Do you like to meet new people? -- One of the best things about a new school year is watching the new friendships form between children. It is completely delightful to watch them learn to love and care for each other. It is wonderful, for me too, to learn to love each of the children in my class as I learn about their individual strengths and just what I need to do to support them in learning new things.

My favorite kinds of learning are very rarely the lessons I plan, but more often the lessons the children bring up. I love the opportunities that fall into place unexpectedly.

Yesterday a smart little boy that I'll call Sam asked if pennies could float. In typical teacher fashion I asked him what he thought would happen if he tried to float a penny. He wasn't sure and thought we ought to try. The timing was off at the moment, but I told him if he'd remind me we'd do it tomorrow. Well, today was tomorrow and remind me he did!

We got out the bucket and 22 scientists sought out items to try. We filled a big plastic tub with water and took turns trying out many items. FYI: erasers of all kinds sink, playing cards float for a while and then sink later, pencils float, scissors sink, apples float and so do double dice, baby clothes pins kind of dance in the water neither sinking or floating, popsicle sticks and tongue depressors float even if you push them down first. -- This wonderful impromptu activity was fun, but the end result fantastic when my most difficult student, Mr. T, announced, "This was the best day ever! I'm going to tell my mom I love school."

Well, I love school too. Isn't it nice that I get to go every day? -- My wish for you, reader, is that you get to do what you love most each day too.