A Year Like No Other...

If someone asked me to sum my year up so far this year I think I would have to say unusualweird.out of the ordinarydown right peculiar.
I have had things that have happened this year that I have never been subjected to before.
Maybe it’s because it’s my 13th year teaching. Maybe it’s because I’m a little older. Or maybe it’s because we expect so much from these young ones today. Or it could be that not enough is expected of them.
I don’t know what it is or why it is, but this year isdifferent.
This year I have had a child suspendedtwice, never happened to one of mine before.
This year I have had a child that has had been paddled by the principal.
This year I have had wet pants, muddy pants (and by mud I do not mean the kind that starts on the outside).
This year I have had children crying, lying, stealing, stalking, nonresponsive, throw tantrums and overly whiney.
This year I have had a boy ripped from my room (and loving foster family) a sent back to his home state and a reservation he knew nothing about.
This year I have cried. 
This year I have amazing writers.
This year I have kids that love poetry.
This year I have had children that learn math facts in no time.
This year I have kids that love to dance. 
This year I have had kids that have gone from not knowing letters and sounds to reading on a second and third grade level.
This year I have had kids that hug me daily and love me as I love them.
This year I have laughed.  
This year has been a year unlike no other, and it’s only half over.
And tomorrow I get a new child

For the Love of Jon...and Kristin

You all know how much I love my kids, and how much I talk about them. I cannot even imagine if at some point in their young lives (or now) what it would be like if something had happened to them. It would end me.
This Christmas my daughter raised over 500$ in cash and gifts for a young boy at here day care (she works there part time while in school) that was diagnosed with lung cancer. Lung cancer at the age of 4. In a single parent family and with 4 children under the age of five. I cannot even imagine.   
Maybe that’s why Kristin’s post hit me so hard. Or maybe it’s because although miles apart I have come to think of her as a friend, a fellow teacher, a fellow blogger, a person to laugh with and now cry for, we have a connection.  
We as teacher’s go through things most people never consider when they think of “teachers.” This past year should be a testimony to that after Sandyhook, and the tornadoes here in Oklahoma. But beyond that it is a day to day stories and lives of these children that affect us the most. Are they hungry? Where are they sleeping? Will they be safe over the break? These are just a few of the worries we teachers are faced with each and every day for our kids, our babies.
To say I know what Kristin is going through would be so unfair. I have no idea how she will get through, how she will feel, how she will face her other babies in the coming days. But I know she is strong. I know she has tremendous faith. And I hope she knows she has a support system that reaches from edge to edge of this country, and there is not one of us between here and there that would not hesitate to help.
So am asking you to read her post. Help if you can. Please.  I did. How could you not For the Love of Jon?

The Deciding Month

We go back to school on Monday. I know, I know, way too fast and too soon. But I know some of you have already gone back and for you I say-I’m so so sorry.
Tomorrow I plan to go to my classroom and get it ready of my kiddos on Monday. I am always anxious about January. One of the first bits of advice I received from my idol teacher when I started teaching was “January is the deciding month.” This amazing teacher had been a first grade teacher for thirty years and she knew (and still knows) all the ins and outs of children and teaching. She is the most amazing women. But she could be a whole nother post!
January is the deciding month. It is the month that more often than not we (teachers) can tell whether or not our little protégés will be headed toward the big wide world of second grade or maybe just across the hall to the other first grade.  Even before all the testing and benchmarking and standarding we (teachers) can usually tell who will be traveling on and who won’t.
Of course this is never written in stone and NOT what you learn in college or textbooks. But it is what we (teachers) know.
It’s called being in tune with your kids. Knowing what they are capable of and what they are not. It comes from watching, listening, observing and recording where they’ve been, where they are, where they’re heading.
January is when we do all the retesting, do all the revaluating to remeet with the parents that we met with in October to tell them where we see their precious child heading. This is probably hardest of conferences. And the best defense is the paper trail we’ve set up.
So in a few short days I have to have all my P’s and Q’s together so I can meet with a few parents to let them know that their angel may or may not be moving on next year. Of course it is way too soon to tell a parent most definitely will be back in first grade, but it is not too soon to give them a heads up. The last thing a parent needs is to have that news sprung on them in May.
Talking to them now gives us (and them) the opportunity to find strategies that work, work on skills they have missed, and find extra time for one on one. And hopefully stress once again how important it is for them to read with their children every night.
Do think January is the deciding month or do you wait until after all the “big” testing in April to decide the fate of your kiddos?       

Currently 2014

Time for the first Currently of the year! Make sure and stop by and link up and read all the latest Currently’s from your blogging friends.
This morning when I stepped out to out the dogs out it was beautiful out. It felt just like spring. By the time I got inside the wind had shifted and clouds were rolling in. Bam winter is back. My poor hubby had to grill our New Year steaks in freezing temps and windbut they were yummy!
Both kids were home last night for the New Year which is a rare treat. Both kids, good friends, yummy treats, funny games makes for an awesome end to an old year and start to the new.
I have done nothing schoolish over the break. I really need to get over there and get things ready to gomaybe tomorrowor Sunday.
Mr. Hub-o has been having some blood pressure problems and it’s really stressing him out. We spent the early morning hours at the ER for our first day of 2014. He feels a bit better, but I think there are things he’s not sharing. SO tomorrow he will be getting an appointment for a full work up with the Dr. Happy New Year to him!
While the hubby needs a Dr.’s appointment I need a hair appointment. It would make ME feel sooooo much better.
My daughter always makes me smile and happy, nineteen years old and still up before the sun to check the stockings and open gifts!
Don’t forget to link up with Farley