Monday, August 25, 2008

Overheard in FOCUS class

We were still working on choosing a mascot in third grade FOCUS today. These cute comments were overheard while doing so. We are currently down to choosing between an otter, a tiger, a shark, a monkey and a dragon.

R: Tigers eat antelope.
B: Yeah, that's a fruit.
R: I think you mean cantelope!

While talking to a student in the group presenting on the Mako shark....

Me: Are you guys almost done? You only have five minutes left.
J: Yes, we only have to write one more thing.
Me: Then it looks like you guys are going to make it.
J: Don't you mean that we are going to mako it ?

Friday, August 22, 2008

Well if we are going to share about our students....

I just got done reading Jen's blog and enjoyed a good laugh over some of her students' comments. I thought about what I had experienced with my students the past few days and realized that I also have some comments that are worthy of sharing and may bring brightness to someone else's day.

Ironically, the grade levels I am enjoying the most right now in the FOCUS classroom are 3rd and 4th. I think that is ironic for two reasons:

1) Those are the two grade levels I have taught in the classroom since I graduated: 3rd grade for four years and 4th grade for one year

2) The fifth graders are the students I know the best. I thought I would enjoy them the most. However, sometimes I think that results in them feeling too comfortable so we have to lay down the law hard the first few weeks. Then I thought I would like second grade because that is the grade I originally wanted to teach. While I love them and they are precious, I am new at working with people that young. I am having to remember it just takes them longer to do things.

So with my precious third graders, I have had some really good conversations. They all have what I think of as old souls in a way and many of them have classic names. The first day I had FOCUS with them only one showed up on time so we had some extra time to talk. We talked about a variety of things but then the subject of the presidential race came up:

J: I am so glad that Hillary Clinton didn't get the vote to run for President.
Me: It is not because she was a woman is it?
J: No it is because she was a CRAZY woman.

Then this week we have focused on goals and setting good goals in our third grade group as a team. Since we are a team, we have decided to have a third grade FOCUS mascot. Yesterday we opened the floor for suggestions. I started by saying maybe we could be the otters because they are not only super smart but fun. We want to have fun in FOCUS and we want to work hard to be supersmart. I had no idea how equally and deeply they had considered their suggestions

Suggestion One: Turtle - We don't want to go fast and get all the answers wrong in FOCUS. This suggestion carried on with a detailed example of a case of going to fast and the consequences associated with it.

Suggestion Two: Ninjas - Ninjas stand for grace and grace of mind. Ninjas are smart.

Suggestion Three: Monkeys - This stands for being crazy about FOCUS. We want to be Crazy about everything we do in FOCUS so we can reach our goals.

Suggestion Four: Stegasaurus - The stegasaurus was the smartest of the dinosaurs and we want to be the smartest of the students.

Suggestion Five: Shooting Stars - Our school mascot is the comets and shooting stars are like comets. We would be reaching for our goals. They are light in the darkness.

Wow, huh? Yes, that is right....third graders!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Being Busy is Working So Far

I hate to say it in fear that I may jinx it but so far juggling the triple role of wife/teacher/student is working out. Classes for this eight week session of my Masters started yesterday and I have already completed two chapters of work. I am all caught up and ahead of where I need to be in lesson planning at work and I am loving teaching this year. Finally, the wife thing is of course the favorite role I play. Brad and I have been so enjoying our evenings together curled up on the couch watching the Olympics together. We also had a great time hosting Dad for dinner last night. Brad cooked hamburgers on the grill, we played bocce ball in the backyard and ate up pecan pie that Dad brought over. It is a good time to be a Dillard.

This week is coming up to its halfway point and we still have a lot left on our agenda for the week. Tomorrow we both have to go to county headquarters but at different times so we have to drive separate. My meeting is after work hours ( :0( ). Brad will head to church after work. Thursday night IBM is hosting a retirement dinner for Dad. Friday night we are attending a housewarming party for a friend. Then Saturday we are going to White Water (YAY!). We stay busy around these parts but like I said, it's working for us so far. God has given us the patience, strength of mind and grace to get through agendas like this like never before.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

For Allison and Jen

Because I blog stalk, I sometimes find myself at Jen's sister in law's blog. These pictures are for her. I have 16 of these candles.

I have 8 of these glass bowls with scalloped mouths

I have six of these glass bowls with wrought iron stands.

Hope this helps ladies!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Back at Work

It is Day Three with Kids and yet I have not seen any kids yet. All this week I am not to pull FOCUS kids. It is due to creating the schedule and allowing the students to get into a routine within their homeroom. It makes it where two things happen :

1) Teachers complain about the FOCUS schedule and I have to work miracles to find alternatives

2) I get a whole lot of planning done!

I love this new position. I will be serving 38 children total. I am not allowed to have more than 17 in the room at a time and my smallest grade level currently is second grade. I will only have 4 at once! This position is incredible. The best thing about it is that I am enjoying being a teacher again. I am actually enjoying planning things and seeing how everything ties together. I had lost that spark over the last few years due to the adult drama going on around me. For the first time in awhile, I can't wait to see my students! The fifth graders are the ones I am most excited to see as I have been with that grade level class the last two years since I looped with my homeroom from third to fourth. (It is certainly going to be hard to say goodbye at the end of the year) Overall, I am just happy to be doing what I am doing. Even though there is still a huge learning curve to come with testing and screening new children for the program, I enjoy myself so much that I am even finding myself staying late to work on things or bringing them home. I get to eat lunch with my fabulous mother in law everyday. The Specials team is awesome. I even enjoy car rider duty! God has really blessed me so far this year.

The weekend that led to this great week was fun too. I was a bridesmaid in my roommate from UGA's wedding. Jason and Nicole had been together the whole time I have known Nicole. Nine years, so this wedding was something I had waited for and was so happy to see happen. Everything went off without a hitch, and the newlyweds are currently in Hawaii....for two weeks! Not fair! I hope they are having a good time. It is even her birthday today. Here are two pics from the weekend -

Me with the Beautiful Bride

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

So Long Summer

Yes, summer is officially gone. I have been back at work officially for two days. So far, I am really enjoying it. So far I feel a lot more prepared than I usually do at this point. While I have no lesson plans and my covered with cloth by me alone bulletin boards are bare, I have a room that is completely organized and could take children at this point. I only stayed late Monday because I had to wait on Brad to come and move a filing cabinet. I usually stay all nights of preplanning for as long as the building stays open. Tomorrow I am going to a training and meeting session with all FOCUS teachers in the county and will become reacclimated with the curriculum which will get me more prepared to make lesson plans. It is all just going really smoothly. I have some great ideas that I am excited about and the chance of me seeing children next week is low. The best thing is my grade level is the best! I am a part of Special Areas, the home of a crazy mix of people. We are the Gifted teacher, music teachers, PE teachers,Science and Math Specialists, Counselors, Technology and some technology people. I like how no one is clicky and we all include each other. The last two days we have all gone to lunch and had a blast. Everyone has a nickname. I think they have decided mine is Dilly (which is cool because people called Brad that in high school). I like my hangout time with JD, McG,JMar and the rest. They are still working on a nickname for Sheila. I am looking forward to a much better year socially and professionally.

But as I get excited about the upcoming events of starting a new school year, I wanted to think back on the top five things about my summer:
5) This summer felt long for some reason and I feel much more refreshed than I usually do at this point so I am grateful for that.
4) I got a beautiful new car which was a big deal for me as I often refuse to spend money on myself and it was an opportunity I afforded myself by being responsible with my money since college.
3) I got to see Sarah and Jen ( along with Emma Grace)which always makes me feel good. This is an exciting time for all of us as God has blessed us with exciting life events simultaneously and it is so exciting to see how He has touched our lives so we can enjoy it together. New homes, new husbands and new baby= fun times.
2) I became an aunt with the most beautiful nephew in the world. Keeping up with him is such a fun and new experience. He is changing and growing all the time. Every chance that we get to interact with him gives me a peek into what Brad and I have to look forward to in the future as parents. Plus, I look forward to getting to know his personality. He is already smiling.
1) I had a whole month solid with my husband to build a deep foundation of quality time together. Our trip to San Antonio was such an awesome opportunity for us to just be immersed in us. I hope we make a point of finding times to be immersed during work times. Things can sometimes get crazy , but my marriage is my priority.
And as we bid farewell to summer, we also bid a final farewell to Chester. My Escort sold last night at the price of $1540. I was sad but didn't cry. However, there is an interesting side story that some of you will be party to at some point.