Things are great, just super busy. My students (at least in 7th and 8th grade) are a bit behind, as I expected they would be this year. However, despite that, it's been a great year thus far. My students are awesome. My coworkers are amazing. The school just has an outstanding feel, overall. We are pushing for excellence, and we will achieve it. Gab has had a great start too. We're all tired and wiped at the end of the day. Wish us luck as we push through the adjustment to this new school year.
We had our back to school meetings this week. It was great to see everyone again. I'm both excited to get started but also in complete denial the summer break is over.
The overall theme of our back to school meetings was showing our students we care about them. You might think, " Well, you're teachers. Of course you care about students." Not the case.
In my classroom, I have three rules for discussions, comments, questions, etc. If the words aren't kind, positive, and productive, then there's no reason for them to exit your mouth. This can be tough with middle school. These kids are figuring who they are and who their friends really are.
I try my best to set the tone when I see them in the halls in the morning and as they enter my classroom. I greet them by name, with a smile, and listen when they want to share.
I want my kids to know I care. I care: about them, about the job I get to do every day, about my life outside school, and about who they are outside school.
Show you care. It goes a long way. Not just in the classroom, but life in general. I'm a sensitive person and I feel things very strongly. I care deeply, it's just in my bones. I care even when I can't express it.
Now that I got that off my chest, let's get this year started.
I need an outlet. A place where I can talk with other like-minded creative types. I'd love to find a writing group (face-to-face preferred but online would even work right now). I'm a member of teacher groups online and that is great to recharge me for the classroom. However, I need to recharge my creativity also. I need a safe group of readers and constructive critics. I don't just want someone to read my work and tell me it's good. I want to bounce ideas off people. I want to be able to approach difficult and uncomfortable topics without having to whitewash everything. There's a writers group that meets in town, but I'm not sure it's for me. I don't want to have to censor myself. I miss my college creative writing classes where we did just that. I wonder if I can get any of that old crew together again. Hmmmmm, that's a thought. Until I find the perfect writing group, I'll continue to write and look for my outlet.
Before I finish up the Myrtle Beach travel journal, I want to wish my partner in life a very happy birthday. I'm probably not always the best at showing him how much I love and adore him, but the feelings are there.
Several years ago, we both read the love languages book. It put into an easily-digestible format what we already knew: we love each other but we speak different love languages. What resonates with me, is more difficult for him and the opposite is also true.
So, a quick note to my guy to say "Happy birthday!" However, a conscious acknowledgement and reminder on my part that I need to continue honing my skills in his love language in order to show him how I feel.
The travel journal is on hold again, as we've had an incredibly busy weekend. Friday night Gab and I went and picked berries with my mom, while Mitch went to a mixer for his class reumion We picked a ton of berries and they are delicious.
Then Saturday was the reunion bbq and party itself. It was so incredibly hot but so much fun. We don't often times go out, so it was great to have a night out with friends, dancing, and spending time together.
I'm writing from the beach. I skipped the past two days because I was exhausted by the end of the day.
Yesterday, arriving at the beach, it was everything I remember. The sand is so soft and fine under your feet. It's such a relaxing feeling to just sit: feeling the sea spray against your skin, the briny taste as it dries against your lips, the sound of the waves beating the sand drowns out the voices of the hundreds of people nearby, and the fresh marine scent fills your nostrils. This is most certainly a description of relaxation for me.
I'm not sure what all we are going to do this week, but I hope we are able to make the kayak tour. That was one thing I really wished we had done last time.
Time to close my eyes and just be.
Despite the moderate chance of rain, the day was dry, sunny, and beautiful. I got to relax, Gab and Mitch got to play, and we had a great time.
We just relaxed in the condo this evening. Gaby and I chatted on the balcony before snuggling in bet to watch part of a movie, which Mitch helped finish the first of what will be many puzzles this week.
I'm not sure what we'll get going tomorrow; however, I do know at least two kids are anxious to go down to the street fair.
If I concentrate hard enough, I can turn the sounds of traffic into waves crashing on the shore. With that, I might just lull myself to sleep.
I'll get back to the travel journal and photos tomorrow.
Since we've been back from vacation, I worked around the house the first two days. Today, I've been trying to get planning done for the upcoming school year.
Honestly, I'm starting to freak out a little bit. There are many things I want to do differently from last year. I haven't seen my classroom yet. I need to rework parts of my curriculum and increase the rigor for the students. I'm feeling the pressure!
I know I'll get everything finished, but I'm putting a ton of pressure on myself to be a better teacher than I was last year. I want to take what I've learned and apply it to make improvements. I know that I'll see growth sooner in the students, if I can get this task accomplished.
Man, being a responsible adult kind of stinks sometimes. I have to remind myself, the reward is when I have my crap together in front of my students and I see them learning.
Well, it's day one of another Green/Rizner family vacation. We've all completed various tasks to prepare for the trip: grocery lists, menu planning, packing, stressing, and many others.
Our goal was to leave between 6:00-6:30 this morning. Well, Mitch and I were both up by 4:45, and Gab burst out of her room with a huge smile across her face around that time. Change of plans, we were ready to leave, so no reason to delay. We left home at 5:45.
The drive was rather uneventful. Of course, there was rain and road construction; however, it was a great drive. We did, again, enjoy the beautiful drive through north and central Tennessee. This river country and lush, rolling, green hills is about as beautiful as I could imagine. The layers of rock eroding from the rock cuts is very different from the landscape I'm used to seeing.
We did make a quick stop in Nashville for lunch and to kill some time. Nashville seems like a cool town, but I was ready to get back on the road and to tonight's hotel.
Gab has been a wonderful traveler. She rides well and doesn't usually make too big a deal about things. The iPad helps, but really, we've got a good one.
Once we all checking in, we went to this little, local ice cream shop with an awesome neon sign. Hands down, the best ice cream I've ever had. If you're ever in Cookeville, TN, visit Cream City Ice Cream and Coffee. It's worth the stop.
Sitting here in bed, reflecting on the day, I realize how blessed I am. I have a loving husband, an amazing daughter, and spectacular extended family. I'm a very lucky girl, and I haven't even mentioned my incredible friends.
Day one was great, despite driving on my birthday. I'm looking forward to mountains and more fun tomorrow. Now, to bed for some much needed rest.
I'm officially over this road trip. Don't get me wrong, we've had a great time. However, I'm ready to be home, sleep in my bed, cook my own food, and sleep as late as I want.
I always find traveling fun, but enjoy getting back home. Starting tomorrow, I'll share my travel journal entries and some of the pictures. I hope you enjoy reading about the trip as much as we had on it.
This seemed incredibly timely. I'm sharing the link below to an old post that's one of my favorites. Not the favorite, but one of them. I feel like everything I've written still holds true today. Enjoy!