and here we go

When i got my job last year, I started at the end of September. Do you realize how brilliant that actually was, and how the Lord truly was sparing me? OH MY GOSH i was not prepared for this year and the craziness it is. Truthfully, i love working and being with the kids is priceless. However. This week has been running around finding our kids, seeing who is in what classroom, how long they have to see us, getting permission forms, figuring out who needs to be tested, finding scores, and working out the schedule…a lot of running around. And let me say this- the first week of school coinciding with the last week of a graduate summer course- NOT ideal. But I made it. DONE.

This year i moved to 1st grade, which is good and bad. I love older kid content better, but I definitely love the hugs I am already getting from my soon-to-be kids. The good part is I am team teaching with a great teacher- and then surprise- we have so many ESL kids our numbers require us to have NINE esl teachers- so we got another teacher with us. Out of control. It will work out best for the kids so we can still bring in 15ish kids (we have about 80ish to see) and we can break up into small groups for centers.

There is the small factor of the classroom. We are out in the wasp/yellow jacket infested portables, crammed with two teachers who have been teaching for years, all their crap, and me, the one who has a low tolerance for cheesy teacher decor. BUT I have come a long way from last year when I was confused and annoyed by the colors and decor. And thankfully the two teachers I am working with are incredibly flexible, upbeat, open to new ideas, and willing to work with each other.

So I should probably let you in on some things from Portable 301…

20120810-225947.jpgWe began the week with no AC. Therefore we missed out a few days to set up the room.

20120810-230005.jpgThis sweet lil’ poster is hung up so it’s the first thing you see when you walk in. BAM. Does that not just make ya wanna SMILE?! (or puke)

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20120810-230033.jpgThe mess of the board. Blah

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Tanya tried to put this poster up. Stacy (the main teacher I team-teach with whose portable we all moved into) was nice about it, but I quickly vetoed this.

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Tanya’s messy corner- this is what happens when you teach for 16 years- YOU ACCUMULATE

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So….this was Tanya’s old Classroom Rules with the bucktooth apple…

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This is Stacy’s with the children and her see no/hear no/speak no evil monkeys

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And here’s what we actually ended up using…(default since their writing didn’t come off on theirs)- the simplistic, minimalist version I made.

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And here is my poor attempt at making some form of conduct. I put the whole thing together, then realized WAIT, we have 80 kids…let’s hope they don’t all jump on S the same day. And ignore that the lessons are crooked and it’s just a mess. Perfectionist I am not.

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I popped over to the reading corner to give the visual of what we hope our kids end up loving to do. And we hope they all have this excited of an expression when they read.

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And when all else fails- CAFETERIA PIZZA RULES. It’s gonna be a great year

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a new one is added every year…

This blog post has been a year long process in the making. I started it last year, didn’t finish, then figured I would wait until the next year for an even better post. Good thing I waited because there’s an AWWW moment at the end (at least in my opinion. People cried over this, just saying.)

Meredith Pace…many words describe her: fearless, Jesus-loving, kind-hearted, compassionate, wise, lover of books, smart, strategic, and a heart friend to many. Every year her birthday party ends up being a sweet time of friends getting together to celebrate her life and to also have a really fun, mid-summer party. This blog post is dedicated to her and to some of my favorite memories of living in Memphis.

July 12th…

Year 1: 24th birthday

Mere, Cass, Bobby, Karen and I ate amazing Indian food and went to the Matt Kearney concert. This was also when Mere informed me when she learned that his name was pronounced “carny”, like a carny, it made her feel weird since apparently she feels weird about the carnies. This photo also symbolizes why you will most likely never see me in a pattern (solids or stripes all the way!). This photo also documents Bobby’s first time of eating Indian food. I officially began falling in love with him at this point. Thanks Meredith.

Year 2: 25th birthday

This birthday was so special because…Brad, Amy, and Sarah made appearances! Plus, this was the first ever friend gathering with Brad, since he had just gotten off the plane from Central Asia. He easily fit in to the group and Bobby was happy to have another guy. We played Who Knows Meredith Best (a consistently popular party game). We learned Meredith’s favorite cereal is not Smackums, she doesn’t only eat organic, she always washes dishes before goes to bed, and I’m pretty sure I won.

Year 3: 26th birthday

This year…WE GOT SETH!! Seth is a perfect fit in so many ways, and we couldn’t be happier to have him and his bow-tie loving self. And clearly Mere loved being surrounded by these men. This year we all acted out our favorite Meredith moment, most of which included our road trip memories with her to D.C. or Indiana. This is the event I learned I CANNOT BAKE. Don’t ask me to bake. Don’t even let me volunteer. This offense was repeated for Karen and Sarah’s birthday gathering, and I’ve officially learned my lesson.

Year 4: 27th birthday

Let me preface that this year might appear that there was not one added, but people taken away…

BUT NO!! We did gain a new one…BABY LUCRETIA!!!

It’s horrible quality, but my phone is displaying a picture of Amy and her bump that’s heading our way in October (!!) She texts us pictures every month (instead of posting on FB), so we had to include it. This year we had our last dinner party at Mere’s McLean apartment, because she bought a house! The Angelus house with its perfect porch has some incredible times ahead.

In conclusion, thank you Meredith for having fantastic birthdays and being an example of a solid friend to us.
And thanks friends for slowly bringing new members of the family. Love you all!