slice of my life

Monday, October 27, 2008

Relfections---Deep Thoughts

I have taken the day off to work on my certification training. I haven't posted in so long because it's not a super-priority. It's not urgent---and this schoolwork actually is. My deadline is looming: November 12th. I'm in the last section, and I plan on whipping out at least 3 more assignments today. Woo-Hoo!

As one that is all for killing two birds with one stone, I submit my Reflection (deep sigh). Doesn't it sound dreamy and wonderful to sit and reflect on life? Well, I am all for pondering, too. I like to think about things. But his one is about my stress level, and it stresses me out to even write about it. But here it is anyway---don't let it stress you out, too. (I was supposed to rate myself on a 1-5 scale, hence the first sentence.)

My stress level up to this point is right in the middle of the road at 3. Some stress I feel is necessary, as I hold these children’s educational experiences in my hands. I’m concerned for each of them and want to give them a wonderful, nurturing, inspiring Kindergarten year that they build on as they get older. I get stressed about working on my lesson plans and getting them turned in on time. Other stresses I put on myself and aren’t even necessary, such as having the room look perfect, getting the copy machine to work exactly right, and making my lesson plans look a certain way.

Several situations this school year have been worthy of my stress and thought. Our whole school body was affected by Hurricane Ike in September when hurricane evacuees came to live in our building for a week. We were out of school for three days, and even after we came back we had families sleeping in our classrooms and hanging around in our gym and hallways. Classroom management and inconsistencies in my schedule have caused the most stress. I have two distinct groups of students in my class---those who are ready to read, and those who are not familiar with the alphabet and the sounds of the letters. Trying to address these groups has been stressful to me, especially when I realized the curriculum I was using was above the ability level of so many in the class. After consulting with the other Kindergarten teacher, I have a plan of action. The schedule changes that cause me stress are frustrating because of inconsistency. All the enrichment classes are taught by volunteers who often will cancel because of a sick child or other issue. The period when these classes are taught is my conference period, so if the teacher isn’t there, I will have to work with the other Kindergarten teacher to take her class with mine one period, and she takes mine for another period. That is an additional stress on me to figure out what to do to enrich these children’s half hours myself. I also stress about my lesson plans, which I certainly need and want to turn in to my principal in a timely manner. It is truly work to keep the ideas fresh and varied for Kindergarten students, while also addressing the varied needs of the group. It’s also stressful to me to have full responsibility for every subject matter these students are encountering. What’s very stressful this week is that my deadline for finishing my iteachtexas coursework is looming over the horizon.

For the most part, though, my experience has been a good one, and I am enjoying my time in the classroom. I try to leave the stresses of school at school, and the stresses of home at home. I try to have a go-with-the-flow attitude about changes in my schedule and remind myself that we’re all here to help the children. I try to give myself a break, too, when I can. I am reading books for pleasure, rewarding myself a Coke or candy, and allowing myself the flexibility to set aside the lesson plans for another day when the pressure’s too great to get everything done in one day. My principal made it clear from the beginning that we had personal days we could use if our stress level was too high, so today I am taking advantage of that to advance myself further along the iteachtexas path. I feel like my stress level has been appropriate, considering all that’s going on in my life.

Now, back to writing, editing, reading. And by the way, if you're on Facebook, I just put myself out there. Find me! ;-)


Saturday, October 18, 2008

Saturday Photo Scavenger Hunt, October 18th

Today's' Photo Hunt theme is family. Just about all I post pictures of is family, so I decided to focus on my childhood family unit.

This is a picture of the 5 generations alive when I was born---me, my dad, his Mother, her Mother and her Mother. I was the oldest child, Dad was the oldest, Granny was the oldest, and her mother was the oldest daughter. Each one was close to 20 when they had their first child. That's how you get generations all smooshed together in one spot in time. With people delaying marriage and children, this event will become more and more rare.

I am only 3 years away from the age my grandmother was in this picture. That's weird!! 1971 or 1972, in Memphis, TN. Family may comment to verify! ;-)
This is a picture of my dad's college graduation (yes, the one where I yelled out, "Look at the clowns!" when I saw all the professors in colorful hoods). These are my parents and my Mom's Mom. Short skirt, Mom! Also in Memphis, 1973?
This isa photo of my sister and me on Dad's back. Love that pacifier hanging out of her mouth! 1975?
And this is from Granbury, TX, 1987, I think. This is our family unit, plus Mom's dad. We were all skinnier then. ;-) Mom had graduated from nursing school, and the grandparents were in for the occasion.
I enjoy looking over those family photos!

Go over to TNChick for some more family photos. Next week's theme is scary! woooooooooo!
Love to get your comments! Thanks. :-)

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Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Baby Name generator

This came out so funny, I had to share. And I am adding edits!! I posted without really completing my post---computer freeze up, you understand.

I heard about the Sarah Palin Baby Name generator, and since I can't resist a good name generator, I plugged in all the family's names. No disrespect to Sarah Palin! But her names are a bit unquie, but in a vein (vane??) I didn't follow. I am a Jennifer, and since every 5th person in my class was Jennifer, I went for unique for my kids as well. Enough said! Here goes, our names, had we been born to Sarah Palin (aka, Alaskan Flair!)

Me---Jenny----Krinkle Bearcat Palin
kinda Chrismassy!

My hubby Lar---- Copper Catfish Palin
This is not the name he came up with when he put his name in, but it's not a bad name, if you're fond of fish. Which I am.

J---our son----Falter Locust Palin or using his full given name, Stockyard Mudslide Palin. J loves catfish, so too bad he didn't get his dad's middle name.

this is the best one:

B--our Daughter---McCain Fortress Palin
Ha! We were all LOL over here.
But would she have named a child that before she got asked to join the ticket? Or is only now that she would?

Here's a link you can follow---Palin Baby Name Generator. Enter at your own risk! Do leave your alternate name on the comment section!


Sunday, October 12, 2008

Slices of this Week

J was 3rd chair french horn in the All City Band! This is all the kids from his school. There are now 4 junior highs in our town. Way to go, J!!

This is my favorite spontaneous shot of the week. This was a sunrise, taken right before I got in the car for work. Aren't the mornings wonderful this time of year?? I actually wore a jacket. Great!!

This was my favorite moment at school this week---a dad came in and talked about his business---a Kolache shop. Kolaches came here from the Czech Republic, and the original was prune flavored. My favorite is cream cheese or cherry, but the guys in my family like the sausage ones.

Here are our things we made at B's party---I picked them up on Thursday. Love B's little blonde gnome! ;-)

Have you noticed J's weird avatar on the right sidebar?

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Saturday, October 04, 2008

Happy Birthday, B!

Today we had B's birthday party, celebrating her turning 10 last month. We ate lunch with her friends at her favorite restaurant---Subway. It was a bit crazy, as these photos indicate. Here is B modeling some presents. I got some good photos of her friends, but I won't share them here for their privacy! ;-)

Here's her cookie cake---we picked it out this morning at Kroger. I thought it looked like a really grown-up style.
I didn't get good photos if them painting much---I was working on my project and got busy!

Outside the store, their sandwich board was giving B a birthday greeting!
It was a really fun party! She had wanted to go there for her party all year, so it was a dream come true. I did spend more than I ever have for a party, but I didn't have to clean my house like a crazy woman, and they all enjoyed themselves a lot. Plus they get their figurine in a week, a momento of the day. Going to U Paint It is really a treat, any time of year.
I put a couple more pictures of the party day on the 365 blog. I wish I had pictures of them crossing the street----in our town we rarely walk anyplace, so it's funny to even walk across the street, and I was kind of nervous with all these girls in my care. We crossed at the safe crosswalk, but they were being so silly and having too much fun. Oh well!

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Saturday Photo Scavenger Hunt, October 4th

Today's theme is sad. I don't take a lot of sad pictures, I realize. This is B being sad about having to sit on a strange man's lap----even if it is Santa.

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