Tuesday, February 24, 2009

An Update

So in the footsteps of Jennifer, I too am going to assure ( again) that I am not out of the blogging loop permanently...just temporarily. Here is an update on what is going on with us:

- I am two weeks away from completing all the classes for my Masters degree. Woohoo! This is such a great feeling as it will free up my at home time and my Meredith time. While the next two weeks may be hard ( finishing a powerpoint, one more test, an article summary, research proposal and another test), I can do it and then I can enjoy my after school life.

- My internship for my Masters degree is starting in March and will run through next March. I will complete it while I work full time as a gifted teacher. The beautiful thing is that there is some overlap in my Gifted responsibilities and counseling. These would include all the assessment I do and the plans for education. However, I am also going to be the counselor during summer school and talk to students about how they can improve in the areas that they fell short in on the first attempt on the CRCT.

- In regards to my gifted teacher position, I am really proud of myself. I started the year with:
5 second graders
10 third graders
10 fourth graders
16 fifth graders
After a whole lot of testing ( which I am not even done with), my numbers have really skyrocketed...
7 first graders
5 second graders
20 third graders ( and counting)
10 fourth graders
19 fifth graders
I like to give myself credit on giving kids who show the slightest potential a chance to prove themselves. Right now my biggest challenge is that the legal limit for gifted children served by a FOCUS resource teacher at any one time is 19( and that is observing next year's limit due to the budget cuts....it really is 17) and third grade has surpassed that. So right now I am looking at having some third graders come with fourth grade. That is fine except it makes next year challenging when some of the kids have already done a unit and others haven't.

- Brad and I are working on planning two trips. One of which is in April for our one year anniversary and has had little to no planning effort put toward it at all and a cruise in May to celebrate my "graduation" for my Masters degree. That one has gotten more attention and seems to be taking us to Grand Cayman, Cozumel, Ocho Rios and Haiti.

- My goal once I am done with my Masters class is to start working out again. Pick back up with walking/jogging 2-3 days a week and Wii fit 2-3 days a week. I still weigh in at a weight my Wii Fit tells me is underweight but the packaging of it all is shifting and I don't like it. I just want to be in good health and good shape. I am not looking to lose weight.

- I used my crockpot for the first time last week and made a roast with carrots and potatoes. The meat lasted for two meals , appearing the second time as BBQ. My next goal is to make homemade spaghetti sauce in the crockpot.

- Healthwise Brad and I have done pretty well considering we both work in schools. However, I am trying to pick up a cold. My inlaws may have nipped it in the bud by giving me Zycam Nasal Swabs yesterday. I feel better congestion wise but I have a headache. It will get better.

That is about it on this end. I will be back full force in two weeks.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Another Step Closer to Being a Counselor ( If I Choose To)

On Tuesday, I received my PRAXIS scores electronically. While Georgia no longer recognizes the PRAXIS score as a certifying score, the University of West Alabama uses it as their comprehensive exam for the School Counseling and Guidance Masters program. Well, you need a 520 to meet the requirement and I got a 650! Yay!

I am very excited. Things are really coming together. Instead of taking the Georgia Certification Exam to get certified in Georgia, I am going to apply for counseling certification in Alabama and then apply for reciprocity. Anything to avoid taking another test.

Now all that stands between me and completing my degree is four more weeks of these two classes I am currently in ( educational research is NOT a favorite of mine) and then a 300 hour internship which my principal has allowed me to work on during summer school as well as during the course of this and next school year. By doing that I will get 90 hours out of the way this summer. Also a lot of the testing and meetings I give and conduct as a gifted teacher count toward counseling responsibilities as listed in the internship. So Masters degree ( and even better Masters level pay) here I come!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

An Early Valentines Day

Last week my Valentines Day started early on Thursday. I had bought Brad a Valentines Card that day and when we sat down to dinner that night, he asked me if he could give me something that he bought me. He told me it wasn't for Valentines Day. I said that he could hold on to it and use it as my Valentine. He insisted on giving it to me and left the kitchen , only to return with six red roses. He had bought them to celebrate our ten months of being married as last Thursday was February 5th. It was very sweet.

Then on Friday night we opted to do our Valentines outing so we would avod the crowd this week and because we are going to go to UGA and see Classic City Jazz perform. We first went downtown to my favorite restaurant in the city, Chow Baby. I LOVE THIS CONCEPT!!! and wish they would bring out to the suburbs. You go through a line and build your own chinese stir fry dish and then they cook it on a huge wok for you and bring it to your table. The best thing is you can go through the line as many times as you want for $11.99. I like to do rice with sugar snap peas, baby corn, mushrooms, bell peppers, water chestnuts and pineapple. Then I add teriyaki and sweet and sour sauce and throw some chicken into my protein bowl. Yummy!

Once dinner was over, we headed back toward our neck of the woods and saw a movie thanks to a Christmas gift card from Daniel and Nan. We saw the new Renee Zellweger and Harry Connick Jr movie New in Town. It was much cuter than I thought.

Overall, we had a very nice Valentines Day. We still will trade cards and small gifts this week but I am pleased with how the first Dillard Valentines Day went.