Friday, April 24, 2009

Those Things that Make Teaching ( and Counseling ) Worthwhile

Especially at this time of the year, it becomes hard at times to remember why we got into the teaching profession. CRCT is a four letter word and textbooks are inventoried and collected so early that we might as well feel like we are Norton Daycare at certain times rather than Norton Elementary. However, I always try to work hard and especially this year as FOCUS teacher I am keeping it challenging right up until the end of the year. Still, I sometimes feel like my hard work is overlooked or not appreciated. Yesterday and today have brought experiences that make me feel differently and in a good way.

- Yesterday one of my fifth graders asked if he could stay after class and talk to me about something. I could tell that he was out of sorts and not being himself. When class was over, he shared that he felt things were going poorly at home. I asked him to give me specific examples. Then I asked him to think if he had done anything that could have upset his Mom. We talked through it and came up with the idea of him writing a letter to his Mom about his feelings and giving it to her at a calm moment. We also talked about how even if he didn't give the letter to his Mom that it would be an emotional release for him. At the end of all of this, he thanked me. He told me that I am the only person at the school that he knows he can talk to. Wow. It made my heart melt. It also made me feel like counseling may very well be my calling.

- Today the woman that teaches next door to me walked into my room and said " Your room is like grand central station" I looked at her puzzled and asked her what she meant. She said, " So many students have passed me while I had hall duty and they make a beeline for your room. When they come out, they are all so happy....even students who usually don't smile. The students really like you and it shows what great work you do with them"

- I just talked to one of my colleagues from fourth grade last year. We actually looped together. She told me that teaching gifted is my gift. That she truly appreciated that I went out on a limb and asked fourth and second grade teachers if they had students who should be considered for the program. When I told her that I was really excited that the program has gone from 44 students to 71 students this year, she said that it was because of me and wished that our principal would recognize it.

So some days it is a really hard job and we are expected to work miracles, but sometimes the " miracles" get noticed.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Wrapping Up Spring Break in Pictures

Us on Sunday Night in Greenville After Our Anniversary Dinner
So imagine our surprise when we left our cozy 70-80 degree temperatures in Greenville and found this as we wound around the Mountains from S Carolina to N Carolina to Tennessee.

Yes that is snow....and it continued while we slept Monday night...

So we woke up to this....

And stayed in all day Tuesday because the Accord was NOT going on slippery Mountain roads. But it was okay because our cabin was so cozy! These are pictures of our den and bedroom. We had a gas fireplace, screened porch with hot tub, jacuzzi tub and it was only $100 a night!

Once we got into town on Wednesday, we hit the Pancake Pantry for breakfast. This was a place I had remembered going to as a child with my family on October Mountain trips. Still so good. You can see Brad enjoyed his pancakes and sausage and I loved my pigs in a blanket. We highly recommend this to anyone going to Gatlinburg.

The rest of the day in Gatlinburg we walked up and down the strip. It sure had changed in the fifteen years since I last went with my family in eighth grade. Almost too jampacked with stores for my liking. We ate at Bubba Gump's for a light lunch/dinner. Following that meal, we drove down the Parkway in Pigeon Forge and hit the outlet mall in Sevierville. Very nice and good sales but I only managed to get two graphic tees at Aeropostale....bogo and a pair of exercise capris and a blouse at Gap outlet. My husband got sooooooo much. We spent one last firelit night in the cabin, enjoying the hot tub. Then we hit the road and as we wove around the mountains on our way home, three days since driving in this is what we saw...

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

As Sarah Was Saying in Her Blog....

Spring Break is Over :0(

And with that being the case, CRCT starts today. I am proctoring for two students who have accommodations that allow for the test to be read to them except for the reading passages and more time. While I am not sure that I am going to appreciate the monotony of this testing process, I know my internship will. I have to clock 300 hours to be done. I only have been at it for a month and I already have 54 hours and 35 minutes. This is because I do a lot of psychological and educational testing to get children into the FOCUS program. It carries over nicely to one area of the internship. And with the CRCT taking a normal class testing setting 2 hours, I am thinking I may get three hours a day out of this for five I will be very happy.

Happy is also how I feel when I think about how school gets out for the kids in a little over a month. The last day for students is May 20th. The last day for adults is May 22nd and two days after that I will be on a big Royal Carribbean boat sailing away. While I will be up here during summer school to serve as summer school counselor, it will still be nice to get away for a while.

Keep watching the blog for when I complete the posting of pics from Gatlinburg.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Happy Anniversary

One year ago....

We became husband and wife. And today we have had such a fun time celebrating our one year anniversary and it is not even over yet. I woke up to my anniverary card being on the nightstand next to my side of the bed. Brad and I then exchanged presents. I received the Fray CD and the Gavin Degraw CD. I gave Brad a puzzle of Mickey Mouse. Brad really likes to solve puzzles and we don't have any. I chose a Disney one since we spent our Honeymoon at Disney World. On the puzzle box I wrote, " I am not puzzled about why I love you ". I also gave him a pair of black flip flops. On the sole of those I wrote " I do not flip flop over my feelings for you." And the last thing I got him was the DVD of the Quantum of Solace. On that I wrote about how much solace I have received from being with him this past year.

After presents, breakfast and prep, we went back in to the downtown area. In Greenville there are nine mice statues hidden along Main Street so we spent the morning looking for those. We also went to the Children's Garden. We did a lot of walking and people watching. The afternoon in town was completed with another stop at Spill the Beans. Today I got vanilla with cookie dough and brownie while Brad got chocolate with peanut butter and coffee. Tonight we have reservations at Smoke on the Water, an upscale BBQ experience. We also found a Greenville Christmas ornament while we were making our reservations at Smoke on the Water. It has been a very good day.

The Mice on Main ( or two of them)

The Children's Garden

Here's to a great second year of marriage starting tomorrow and a great second half of the trip as we drive off to Gatlinburg and our private cabin.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Day One in Greenville

Good afternoon from Greenville.
It is a beautiful day here. My day started with a much needed sleeping in, followed by a complimentary Hilton breakfast of a sausage biscuit with grape jelly and a banana. Following breakfast, I took a shower and got ready for a day in the Downtown area. We headed to the zoo first. It was great and very reasonably priced at $6 an adult. We saw some cute elephants and a tiny baby monkey as well as an orangutuan. The zoos in every city we vacation to are so much nicer than Atlanta's.
After the zoo, we traveled further into Downtown and walked through Falls Park on the Reedy River. I took some great pictures of a cable bridge and arch bridge that will do really well for my fourth graders who are completing their bridge unit. The downtown area is very cute and really growing. The landscaping is awesome. Furman University backs up to the downtown area. We had "lunch" at a place named Spill the Beans. They take the Marble Slab concept a step further - you pick vanilla or chocolate frozen yogurt or ice cream as your base and then toppings of your choice. They blend it together in what looks like a blender but doesnt cause the ice cream to lose its solid form. Sooooo good. I had vanilla with peanut butter and oreo. Brad had chocolate with cookie dough and oreo. We walked further into town and went into a chocolate kitchen where we talked with the owners who have been married for forty four years. We ended up giving them some business through the purchase of a white chocolate covered pretzel for each of us and a peanut butter cup for Brad. Finally, we made it back to the parking deck.
On our way back into the hotel, we stopped at the Shopping Mall across the street. Our legs have done some major walking. We are resting in the hotel room now and have reservations at the Overlook Grill at 7pm. My friend Lindsay recommended it as she had her rehearsal dinner there. It overlooks the Reedy River. Very pretty.
Tomorrow will most likely bring finding the Mice on Main and a continued search for a Greenville SC Christmas ornament. Everywhere that Brad and I have traveled together we have bought a Christmas tree ornament for. No sign of one today. And of course tomorrow we will celebrate one year of marriage!!!!

Friday, April 3, 2009

Getting Away When the Days Seem to Be Doing the Same

We have made it to Greenville and it is so nice to be on Break. At school today, it truly did not feel like this was the day leading into Spring Break ( no matter how much I have longed for the day to get here) and in looking at the PTA calendar at work....the rest of the year will fly by. With all the dates consumed by the CRCT, it will take us to about the end of April and then with the Annual Drum Show and Fifth Grade Play....there are not many days left.

But enough about work..... :0)

We made it here about 7:00pm. It is a little cooler up here. Our hotel is in walking distance to Don Pablo's and a restaurant named Copper River. We opted for the latter because Don Pablo's seemed a lot like what we could get at home at On the Border. The wait when we got to the Copper River was stated to be 50 minutes but I think we made it to a table in 30. I ordered my first ever steak at a restaurant and it was pretty good. Their house salad was very good , topped with almonds, bacon, tomato and egg. Now we are back in the room and stuffed.

Our plans for tomorrow include the zoo, Falls Park on the Reedy and eating dinner at The Overlook Grill . Then Sunday, the one year of marriage mark. Yay!

Thursday, April 2, 2009


As a preparation for our trip this Friday, in an attempt to finish Brad's anniversary gift and because I finally got the 30% off coupon in my Kohl's mailer, I went on a shopping outing to Kohl's yesterday after work. Of course on any day, I try to stretch my money to make it go as far as I can but yesterday I impressed myself. I bought the following items:

Two nice shirts to wear with either jeans or dress up with slacks

A White Hoodie Jacket to Wear on Our Trip

Two Bath Towels and Two Hand Towels as Wedding Present for Someone at Church

Three items that will go unnamed right now but contribute to Brad's present

So a total of ten items....And the grand total spent $ 80 and some change. That averages out to like $8 an item. Incredible! The two nice shirts were originally $36, were on sale 50% off and then I had the 30% coupon to bring them down to $12. The towels were on sale for $5.99 and $4.99 a piece and again , take an extra 30%.

How exciting! I just hope I find some great bargains like that at the outlet mall in Pigeon Forge! (where we may see snow showers according to the ten day forecast)