Hibernation

 

I am pretty sure that I just spent the last month in hibernation. This statement might seem silly to those who have seen me every day since school let out for the summer-since I seem to be a fully functioning adult. But I have been hibernating. Allowing myself to slowly recharge and rest from what was probably the most stressful and crazy year of teaching. During the 2015-2016 school year I taught 4 different classes (I know that all you elementary teachers teach that all the time—I get it—I have done it—thus I’m not complaining about it-much..) 2 of those classes were in a grade I had never taught before. 7th grade teachers, I salute you, and I wish to never teach that grade again. So, 4 different preps, admin responsibilities, chorus, and adjusting to Lee working a very different job just made for an emotionally and physically exhausting year (hello all the hives, all the time). The blessing of this exhausting year has caused me to make some significant changes in my life. That I will list below to prevent this from being any longer.

 

  1. Finding a primary care doctor-and visiting him-and liking him-and finding out that it isn’t normal to not be able to catch one’s breath after walking upstairs-hello inhaler and being able to exercise again.
  2. Starting a bullet journal-many a blog will be devoted to this-if you haven’t heard of these before –google it-life changing!
  3. Saying yes when I want to say no- inviting people to my home, even when I want to not see anyone
  4. Reading everyday
  5. Forgiving myself and forgiving others.

 

I feel as if I am now emerging from hibernation. Lee even asked if I was okay this morning because I had already had coffee, had devotions, cleaned the basement, and was going the laundry mat. Un-hibernating is a slow process, it’s painful, it confuses people, it’s exhausting. But it’s necessary.

Waiting for machines

I am tired. I am sure that if I tried really hard I could come up with a better adjective to describe how I am feeling-but alas I am too tired to think of one. “Go to bed” you say. Grunting in your general direction “Nope. Can’t. Waiting for the machines to finish. The dishwasher needs to finish, and the washing machine needs to finish. The washing machine needs to finish so that I can put the clothes in the dryer-and then wait for the dryer to finish.

I have spent today waiting. Waiting for kids to finish tests, waiting for meetings to be over, waiting in rush hour traffic. Waiting for inspiration to strike. Waiting to gain insight into the art of waiting.

If I can only chose my response to a situation….then how am I responding to the waiting? Am I patient with others and with myself? Or am I rushing them?  How would my attitude shift if I were mindful about waiting?

 

 

A thankful heart is a happy heart

Guys, I am really ready for the school year to be over. Like, really really ready. Tensions are high at school. Everyone (myself included) smells a little bit- we just all are ready for a break from one another. As much as I would really love to sit and write about all the horrible things that have happened today and this week I instead want to focus on the good of today.

 

  1. My 7th graders rallied and all took notes during my observation.
  2. 3 teachers made it possible for me to leave early to go to a doctor’s appointment.
  3. 1 teacher who offered to take my yogurt-legit big deal!
  4. A doctor who listens and then remembers things I said at the beginning of my check-up.
  5. That I only have tendonitis.
  6. 6th graders singing One Direction
  7. 2 exuberant parents who talked with me about their student’s successes in my class.
  8. A teacher friend who values my thoughts
  9. A very long Facebook thread about things said at school
  10. 4 more days of school

So take a minute, create a list, change your mood, change your tomorrow.

When your class bursts out in song

Ironically, it is 5:30 and I am again eating a snack. To be fair, I did not eat any school snack today. Today’s snack is Honey Dijon chips-which are completely dairy, gluten, and soy free-and they are good which is a bonus when you consider that the dairy, gluten, and soy are all missing. They are deliciously tangy, and I have had to move the bag far away from my grasp.

During AM break today, I spent time asking my soon to be 7th graders about book order for next year, and then because they were being awesome we decided to listen to music (also FYI-if you haven’t checked out Amazon Prime music yet do it now!!!) As we were listening some of the students were singing along-but when “All of Me” began to play ALL of my students started to sing. 16 6th graders singing a love song. This wasn’t a mumbly, I don’t want my teacher to hear me sing-but a full throttle belting of the song-which I then made them do again for their Social Studies teacher. It was beautiful-and made my day, that is until the butterfly showed up.

 

Today is a day for popsicles

It is 5:30 on a Tuesday and I am eating a popsicle. Blogging, like much of my existence these past few months, has been a bit of a chore. Something I should do, but don’t have the energy to do after a long day of teaching. And so, I don’t. Days turn into weeks turning into months and it is almost as if all the creative juices have left my body. Students in my sixth grade class will often stare at a piece of paper saying that they don’t know what to write-I have that same sense of dread today. That whatever I write will be poorly received, will be laughed at, or the worst case scenario that it won’t be read at all. With that in mind, today is a day for popsicles and new beginnings and hopefully a renewed sense of purpose.

Let’s start with the popsicle.

 

Hello February

Before I begin my breakdown of my February habit I really want to spend some time today reflecting on January. When I first started this journey I did pick something a little trivial. Who cares if my work bag is clean every day? I clearly didn’t. I also didn’t think that it would change my outlook on other things, or give me such a feeling of accomplishment. Unlike other years where my New Year’s resolutions take up 5 pages and where nothing seems to change, I can tell that this year will be different. I have already had success-and it feels amazing!

Now on to the challenge:

School Challenge: January-bag, February: not “living” at school every day. In case you are not one of my co-workers you might be unaware that I try to arrive at school by 6:15 AM. I don’t have to be there until 7:30 but I like to get things organized, feel more confident about life-okay I have absolutely no idea why I feel like I need to be at school that early. Anyway, I am trying to only be that insane 3 days a week. Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday. The other days I will stay home until 6:30 and then drive in. Today was day 1-and it was SUPER Hard. When I finally allowed myself to drive in to work, I found that I still had 30 minutes to get things done. I also left work today at 4:15 with everything ready for tomorrow.

Home Challenge: January-living room & dining room clean: okay, lets face it-I didn’t even blog about this. Because we are very ever in these two rooms. Our tv is in the family room, and I am either grading on the couch downstairs or not at home. Which means that this room is already super clean. February-bedroom clean. Already this is difficult. I cleaned the room over the weekend and found that the biggest culprits were tea cups and laundry. The laundry I am getting a handle on, and I’m also just making myself to a quick clean up every time I leave the room. Hopefully this will become so ingrained that it will no longer seem like a chore.

Stay tuned—

Harris

Bag Challenge-Day 2

Today was a day. The day after a long break is always difficult, but couple that with a very cold building meant a very grumpy set of teachers and students. I froze. All day. When I get done with a long day-or most any day for that matter-I don’t want to deal with my work bag when I get home. —This is probably why I have run into the bag problem to begin with.—–

Anyway…

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Day 2 starts with emptying out your bag again and answering some questions.

 

  1. Did you acquire anything new? Looking at the contents of my bag, I have a copy of our 7th grade novel and a random piece of gum. Throwing the gum away, and making sure that the book gets returned tomorrow morning to my classroom.

2. Did anything get “left” at school (and by left I mean did you just leave it on your desk? Looking back at yesterday’s picture is important.

3. Ask yourself, “If I left any of these things at school tomorrow would life be okay?” Right now I could probably leave my folder at school, but I feel like having a folder to store papers in might be useful. Otherwise I still need all this stuff.

4. Repack your bag. It’s late, go watch some tv, or read a book, or binge watch a netflix show and then realize it is 2 in the morning (oh wait, that is only me).

January Bag Challenge Day 1

Welcome to Day 1:

I am writing this on a Sunday evening, but you might be finding this on a Monday or Tuesday. The steps remain pretty much the same. This should only take you about 20 minutes (longer if you are debating between bags).

 

Step 1: Find a bag that you like.

 

This is my Kate Spade bag. I mostly love it.image1

Step 2: Empty bag of all the other crap you have in it.

Thankfully I didn’t have a lot of stuff in this bag. However, the bag in my car has some stuff in it (I think a homework, or a test, or something-its papers). image3

 

Step 3: Check to make sure that there isn’t anything super important in that crap you just dumped out. Otherwise just leave the stuff in a neat pile-we will deal with it later.

——Leaving that other bag in my car, not looking at it—

 

Step 4: Put your basics into the new bag. Only put your basics. We don’t have time to make lists or debate stuff. If you think you will need it tomorrow, put it in the bag. Tomorrow we will review our bag and make adjustments.

Here are my “basics”: Planner, notebook, hand lotion, folder (it holds the stickers), pencil case, tea mug, and tea bag holder. image2

 

Step 5: Recheck your bag. Tomorrow if my first day back in two weeks so I am nervous about forgetting something.

 

 

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That’s it. 

I look forward to working on this challenge with all of you! Please post your bag pics below!

January Teacher Challenge-The Bag

I am pretty obsessed with bags. This can be a good thing (I share this obsession with my dad so we always have bags to talk about) or a bad thing. It especially becomes a problem when I am lazy/busy and don’t want to clean out my bag. Because I have so many, I just swap a few things over and use the new bag-only returning to the old bag when I have lost something (like a homework assignment). This is not a good practice and causes a lot of undue stress and for my first challenge I will strive to keep 1 bag neat and organized. I will post a weekly video update on Friday to share my progress along with a daily challenge to help get and keep us organized.