Friday, August 12, 2016

Summah Luvvin...

...had me a blast!

Wow, today was another superb summer day in Massachusetts!  I thank my lucky stars that school vacation is July and August for us.  I follow so many teachers who have already started back up, and I just feel so sad for them!  So this Day in the Life blog is going to be a fun one to reminisce upon...

My snuggly boy, Toby
Woke up at the leisurely hour of 8:30 am with two beautiful dogs snuggling up on me.  Turned on the Olympics and cried all over again for our hometown heroes Aly Raisman and Kayla Harrison for winning their medals in gymnastics and judo, respectively.  Lost my mind and sobbed uncontrollably for Simone Manuel and her history-making gold medal in swimming!  I am not too ashamed to admit that I suffer from Olympic Fever!  It is an addiction.  (Do they have an Olympics Anonymous?)  I can't fall asleep at night because I just can't turn it off! GO USA!  

By 9 am, it was already 102 degrees and muggier than a Tennessee swamp, so I knew I had to treat the boys (a.k.a. my dogs Toby Juan Kenobi and Ziggy Marley) to a swim in the ocean.  Loaded them into the car and brought them to our favorite beach/boat ramp so they could splash around and cool down a bit.  My youngest boy, Ziggy (who is Toby's biological son, by the way) is a spaz when he swims.  I swear he's the only lab in the world who doesn't know how!  He usually slaps the surface of the water in a frantic mess.  But not today!!  Today he swam like Michael Phelps with his paws underwater, so graceful!  I was so proud of the nugget!

Came home to float around in my pool for a bit.  I definitely practiced all of the strokes, and totally felt like I could make it on the Olympic team.  I feel like I might get the call in a few years that they're ready for my contributions to Team USA.

Husband gets to come home for lunch every day, so our summer lunch date was fabulous.  I pre-ordered some Panera, he picked it up and we sat inside melting while consuming it. We were lucky to enjoy a quick swim together too before he headed back in.
Olympics are life.  New couches
are pretty great, too!

Our brand new couch got delivered shortly after he went back to work.  We needed a new 
 one because the new one we bought just about 2 years ago got chewed to shreds when we brought our beloved Ziggy home.  I started to read my book for my book club (Life After Life for those interested) but I got real sleepy after a few paragraphs and decided to go upstairs into the AC and take a nap.

Woke up to a few emails and texts from colleagues about different math questions they had.  Responded to all, and also saw that the Assistant Superintendent wanted me to call her.  Chatted with her for an hour about our curriculum maps that we are working on, the upcoming school year curriculum schedules for all grade levels, my PD that I just finished presenting on Thursday, and the PD she wants me to present on the second week of school!  We covered a lot, but I feel great about where the district is heading this year.  Of course we didn't cover everything, so we set up a time to meet next Tuesday to hash out more of the details.

By this point husband was home and we tried to decide what to do for dinner.  He has a cousin visiting from Florida right now so his whole side of the family was getting together for a seafood dinner.  We weighed the pros and cons (pros: yummy food, spend time with family  cons: we're broke) and decided to go and order conservatively.  Before dinner, we enjoyed another float around in the pool!  Dinner was delicious and the company was wonderful.  Home in time to get into bed and watch Katie Ledecky DOMINATE in the 800m freestyle!  As Ice Cube says, today was a good day.

And now, time for reflection. I'll be ending every post with the following reflection questions:

1) Teachers make a lot of decisions throughout the day.  Sometimes we make so many it feels overwhelming.  When you think about today, what is a decision/teacher move you made that you are proud of?  What is one you are worried wasn’t ideal?

I am glad I made the decision to move upstairs to the air conditioning once I started feeling sleepy! I'm sitting in the non-air conditioning kitchen right now writing this and there is a puddle of sweat underneath me. I'm also glad I decided to call my doctor and ask if it was okay to swim again. I had a surgery last week that prevented me from swimming for some time, but I got the all clear from him today! I'm worried my less-than-ideal choice was to take the above-mentioned nap. I completely forgot that I had to finish my application for getting a graduate certificate in SpEd, so now I need to do that tomorrow. I really could've used the nap time to get some of that work done.

2) Every person’s life is full of highs and lows.  Share with us some of what that is like for a teacher.  What are you looking forward to?  What has been a challenge for you lately?

I know I said at the beginning of the post that I'm so thankful that I'm not back in school yet, but oddly enough, what I'm looking forward to the most is starting school again! Teaching my PD class this week and sitting in on some interviews for potential new teachers has gotten me really excited to jump right in. My biggest challenge for myself lately has been that I don't have enough confidence in what I'm doing. I'm a habitual worry-wort, so lately I've been uber stressing about whether I designed my PD course well enough (I didn't) or if I did enough to help coach my teachers last year (I didn't) or even if I spend enough time with my husband and dogs (I don't). I just need to get out of my own head sometimes, because I know in reality the PD was great, I coached the best I could, and my husband and my dogs are spoiled by me on a daily basis.

3) We are reminded constantly of how relational teaching is.  As teachers we work to build relationships with our coworkers and students.  Describe a relational moment you had with someone recently.

I work with a staff of 22 teachers.  Being brand new to the district and building meant that I needed to start at ground zero, and start with many people who wanted nothing to do with me.  It was a challenging relationship-building year, but I did form several good professional, and personal, relationships.  One particular teacher had an extremely difficult year last year, both personally and professionally.  I always got the impression that she fell into that category of "Leave me alone, I'm good", therefore I hardly ever visited her room, and didn't have much interaction with her.  She took my PD course this week.  We laughed, we bitched, we learned.  It was great!  She sent me an email Thursday night thanking me for such a great course and telling me how excited she was to work with me next year!  I may or may not have (yes, I did) shed a little bit of a tear when I read it because I'm so excited she's opened up that door.  I sent her a text thanking her for her sweet words, and her reply just made me smile all day long.  I know that this upcoming year is going to be a great one working with her! 

4) Teachers are always working on improving, and often have specific goals for things to work on throughout a year.  

I have many goals for this year.  I'm a list person, so here's my list:
  • Write this blog on the 12th of each month, if not more
  • Share my blog on Twitter, and with my staff
  • Participate in at least one Twitter chat a month
  • Inspire a colleague to start a blog
  • Start my SpEd coursework, finish it in 15 months
  • Stay on top of the coursework for those classes
  • Increase number-sense in my building (I have no idea how I'm going to make this a measurable SMART goal, but it's a work in progress)

5) What else happened this month that you would like to share?

Well I planned and delivered that PD course that I talked so much about, and that was no small feat.  It was worth a graduate credit, so I guess you could call me a professor.  HAHAHA yeah right... Besides working on that course, I was also working on the curriculum maps for next year.  It's such a long process that I wish every teacher had the opportunity to be a part of.  The fact that I get to see the vertical alignment for 6 grades worth of math is such an advantage!  


  1. You are always an inspiration! I can't wait to read more; your insight, passion and sense of humor are invaluable! I'm so proud to work with you and I'm so looking forward to the year ahead! Thank you for challenging us all to become more self reflective in our practice.

  2. Enjoyed reading your blog! Your PD was excellent and I'm so looking forward to use the BOF in my classroom this year! I'm also looking forward to working with you this year to help make me a stronger math teacher! Look forward to reading your next blog!