prayteachlove

A little faith and a lot of love go a long way…

Still got it!

The end of the summer is near.  It’s bittersweet for me. It’s no secret I’ve had a tough time since losing my dad, but the past few weeks have almost…almost…felt normal. I guess it’s my new normal since things won’t ever be the same without my dad, but it’s something. It’s hope. I haven’t had that since December 2013, right before my dad’s mass was found, so I’ll take it, and cling to it, and pray things continue to look up.

Enough of the sappy crap. On to more Pinterest!! I can’t even believe I forgot to mention a certain recipe in my previous post because it was the biggest hit of them all!

I made stuffed French bread and it was beyond delicious. I think. I can’t truly tell you because I only got a very small portion of the 2 foot long loaf that I stuffed and then Big Daddy B ate the rest.  Thanks Big Daddy B. 😏 He was pretty excited about that meal though and it’s definitely one I will make again.

So on to my classroom adventures! It turns out my partner teacher who will focus on ELA is AWESOME! She’s been a huge help in my transition to a new building and position, even entertaining my kids in her classroom while Big Daddy B and I worked tirelessly to unpack and organize everything! She’s been so patient with me too, because I haven’t even been able to focus on any of the curriculum and procedural planning than happens before a new school begins because I’ve been so anxious about the physical state of disarray that my room has been in.

Thankfully, my room is about 95% ready to go as of today. Here are some before photos…   

    
    
  So. Many. Boxes. 😂

And now for the after photos, including my finished “focus” sign! ***Special shout out to Big Daddy B – I would not be so close to being ready right now without his help and support. ❤️❤️❤️***

   

  

I’m using both tables and desks this year. I’m excited to see how that works!

Besides working in my classroom, I also put together some first day of school gifts for my kids’ teachers. I got the idea and free printable here 

I included the following items inside each mason jar:

Chap stick, hand sanitizer, Tic Tacs, Rolaids, Tylenol, a nail file, cute post its, milk and dark chocolate

I’m on a ROLL!

2 Comments »

So many updates!!

Basically, I’m amazing.  Or at least, that’s what I’m telling myself. There’s so much to catch up on!

To begin with, you may remember that I spent the last two years as a Math Coach.  Well, as many districts have already done, mine finally cut all coaching positions. 

What does this mean for me? I’m going back to the classroom! I’ll be teaching 6th grade Math, Science, and Social Studies in a different building. While it’s no secret that I’m terribly sad to leave my current school family, I am already acquainted with much of the talented staff in my new building and I’m actually SUPER EXCITED to go back into the classroom. It’s true, I really do LOVE teaching! (Someone remind me of that during report card time…😋)

Anyway, with one week left to go in the summer, I’m still trying to get my room unpacked and organized as I only found out about a week and a half ago where I would be. I’ll post before and after photos once I have them!

For now though, I’ve completed a couple Pinterest projects for my classroom. First, I found this clever idea:  

So I created my own letters which I’ll hang before school starts!  
Then, I found this adorable idea…

  

So tonight I just completed the first of two canvasses. Definitely not as nice as the pin but I tried!! (It’s pretty obvious why I teach Math and not Art, Hahahaha!) (The kids will add their fingerprints in green as leaves the first week.)

    

I’ve also been cooking up a storm thanks to Pinterest! 

I made these delicious sweet and sour meatball skewers which were very tasty!

  
I also made this potato salad but I didn’t take a photo of it. It was yummy too! 

Then I made chicken stroganoff and it was also delicious!

  
I also made a loaded cauliflower and chicken casserole that was good (no photo).

Jumping back to the topic of school, I’ve kept busy getting primped for going back to being a full-time working mom. I even changed my hair color for the fall! 

 

So many projects, so little time!! See, I don’t spend ALL my time moping around! 😋

I’m anxious about getting my classroom ready in time for the first day of school, but looking forward to sharing the finished product photos! Coming soon!

1 Comment »

It’s summertime!

Well, well, well…look who’s back…ME! 1 week ago today I wrapped up year 8 of teaching. The year, like each year, had its challenges from time to time but overall, it really was a fun year! Thankfully I’ll be heading out of the classroom on a high note…oh wait, what’s that you say? You’re wondering why I’m leaving the classroom? Well, that’s because I applied for and got  the job of MATH COACH for my building!!! Who-hoo! I’m excited beyond words but guess what?  I am terrified too! The previous Math Coach retired but she was amazing! I have some seriously big (& colorful!) shoes to fill.  That makes me super anxious. I don’t want to let anyone down. My mentor has given me some sound advice to cut myself a break, especially the first year, & recognize that I can’t please everyone. Unfortunately I’m a people pleasing perfectionist. Hence my anxiety. Thankfully I’m more excited for the new challenges ahead & determined to do my best more than I am scared or anxious though.

The MOST exciting news however is that it’s summertime….and my next post will be an update on my role as a summer mommy who has already had some Pinterest successes…and failures of course.

2 Comments »

So this is Thanksgiving…

Call in the search parties! I have been found alive and well! (If you were offering a reward you can just make the check out to me…thanks.)

As anyone in education knows, November is the most hectic month of the year. After my last post in early November I had to kick it into high gear in order to be ready for conferences, complete my standards-based report cards (which are way more in depth than a typical report card with a percentage or letter grade), keep up with my normal work load and grad work, and squeeze in some time to be a wife, mom and oh yeah…get ready to host Thanksgiving dinner.

pics4learning

Mmmm, turkey….***this is not a picture of my Thanksgiving dinner though…want to know why? Keep reading…

#1 we live in a small townhouse…that means we do not own a dining room table large enough to fit more than 4 people…and even that is stretching it. So we sit everything out on the stove and table and what little counter space we have.  Then everyone goes at it buffet style and we eat in the living room.  Though we set a table up there, (that makes everyone extra squished but we try), most people just chill out wherever and eat and that is totally fine with us.  We are flexible like that.

#2 I didn’t even make Thanksgiving dinner.  Oh I hosted.  And I worked real hard tearing open packages.  But I sure didn’t cook.  Look, I’m a Capricorn which means I’m nothing if not practical.  Not only do I live in a small townhouse, I have a husband, 2 year old and a 1 year old, an 85 pound dog, and a job that requires that I basically live at work for the 3 weeks leading up to the holiday.  I refuse to add to that stress by cooking a 10 course meal. So I happily ordered my holiday meal (pies and all) online from a local grocery store that does catering, promptly picked it up with my son at 8:30 am on Thanksgving morning and by noon we had a beautiful meal set out and all I had to do was sip my wine and throw packages in the oven to heat up while enjoying my family and friends. Sounds like the perfect way to show my gratitude for being finished with 3 weeks of no sleep and constant work.  Also sounds like one of the ultimate ways to Fake It. SCORE.

Oh and I also didn’t use the nice china that needs to be handwashed. Hell no I didn’t. I spent $6 at Wal-Mart to buy 12 plastic tumblers and 12 plastic plates in fall colors that are sturdier than paper plates/cups but nothing fancy (obviously for $6).  Then I splurged and bought two packs of plastic forks, knives, and spoons. Happy Thanksgiving from the classiest broad around.

Next, I will conquer Christmas…

pics4learning

I’m coming for you next Christmas!

Leave a comment »

Fake It Friday

I promised I’d be back and here I am.  This is an extra special edition of Fake It Friday for several reasons…

1.)  I have not had any wine yet this evening but I have begun typing.
2.)  I will give 3 tips on how to “fake it…”
3.)  …however I will also update you on the cupcake fiasco
4.) …and I will also integrate some Pinterest project updates in this post!

Wow, you all must have been good this week for all that. 😉  Speaking of “you all” I think we should celebrate because I now have 20 followers! Do you know what that means? There are 20 geniuses out there in the world.  20 geniuses with impeccable taste. So if you have not yet joined them in following me, do it now. If you do, I’ll hug you. (No, I won’t…I don’t like hugs. But I will make you laugh. Or at least try.)

So, how do you fake it? Well, here’s what you DON’T do….you don’t write public blog posts telling the world what a faker you are and how you do it when you are supposed to be working hard to make it look like you’ve got it all together.

Hi, I’m a faker…you’re not supposed to know that but I went ahead and started blogging about it every Friday.
*If you want to fake it, don’t admit that you’re faking it on a weekly basis like this clown above.

So besides keeping your faking ways on the DL (down low for you oldheads like me out there), here’s tip #2:  adult hair.

(“Adult hair? Where is she going with this?” – you and the rest of the world)

Get a hair cut that is appropriate for your age and if necessary…get it colored.  If your hair looks professional, you are on your way to looking like you have it together.  That’s why I found a nice picture of Jessica Simpson (my hair muse and role model) on PINTEREST (surprise!), took it to the hair stylist and said, “Lady, I’m about to be 30. I need to start looking like a professional adult instead of a hobo!” which led to the birth of sunlight on my head, a.k.a. HIGHLIGHTS.

“Let there be light.”

 

Well, well, well, look who joined the party…

Hi, I’m Kari’s glass of wine and I’m going to give you the third tip to faking it!

 

3rd tip:  DELEGATE      Say yes to pretty much everything then delegate, delegate, delegate. If you’re like me, you’ll wise up and choose a particular person to delegate regularly too…someone who you can count on….someone like Big Daddy Byron. For example, I thought I’d go ahead and attempt look like that cutesy (yet irritating) teacher who is so with it that in between working and raising children, she had some spare time to craft an adorable little Halloween treat for her students and fellow grade-level teachers.  Hehehehehe…but guess what? All I did was pin the idea on Pinterest….then I sweetly asked for Big Daddy Byron’s assistance, (and if he tells you I was anything but sweet he is LYING), and ended up with 40 marshmallow ghosts hand-crafted by my darling husband.

Casper’s cousin who came all the way from the land of PINTEREST!

Speaking of that darling husband of mine, would you like to know what he and his buddy, “The Godfather,” were up to on Halloween after trick-or-treating?

Sampling those tasty CURDLED CUPCAKES!

Happy Friday!

 

2 Comments »

I’ll have my Tuesday with a side of PINTEREST!

AMEN for an awesome student teacher. While she’s busy learning all about what it’s like to be a real, live teacher I’ve had some downtime to implement some super ideas from…cue the music…PINTEREST!

***I should note that my student teacher, or apprentice as Big Daddy Byron insists on referring to her as, is looking mighty exhausted. I took a picture of her plugging away at her desk but I won’t post it since I don’t have her express permission (Sarah, give me permission). I remember being exhausted as a student teacher and thinking I’d never make it as a teacher. Kind of like how I was exhausted right after I had the Gorilla and thought I would die from sleep deprivation but it turns out you just adjust and make it work. I think they call that survival.

So back to Pinterest. These may seem like “duh” types of things that I’m implementing, but the truth is, I lack a gene for creativity and one for common sense. I was probably distracted by something sparkly when God was handing those out and so the things that everyone else easily understand to make sense and be logical are the hardest for me to grasp. For example, let me show you my knew Substitute Information binder.

Look, it’s a sub BINDER…you know how awesome I think BINDERS are! 😉 (https://prayteachlove.wordpress.com/2012/09/08/fake-it-friday/)

There are colorful dividers with labeled tabs…I know those tabs make you wish you could be my substitute already, but if not…check out the next pic…

BOOM! Insert pictures into notes for substitute about your classroom procedures, routines, where to find things, etc. THANK YOU PINTEREST!

I’ll give you a minute to pick yourself up off the floor. I know you have to be completely blown away by my immaculate substitute binder complete with pictures. (Or you’ve fallen to the floor in a fit of laughter since apparently everyone but me has been doing this kind of thing for years. Whatev. I finally caught on and am trying to be one of the cool kids. Like that will ever happen.)

So next up I got the idea to create anchor chart binders. Obviously I love binders. And I think they serve several purposes, the most important being one of the most effective accessories for faking it. So while my exhausted student teacher is slaving away, I spent a few minutes flitting around my room snapping photos of all of our anchor charts.  Then I printed them, snapped them in a binder (complete with dividers of course) so that students can refer back to the anchor charts throughout the year, even after the charts have come down off the walls/ceiling.

Our expectation anchor chart folder

Impressed yet?

Look at those dividers and that anchor chart! You ROCK Pinterest!

That’s all I’ve got for now. Stay tuned though, there are still millions of pins I haven’t seen yet but I’m determined to at least glance at them all. 😉

4 Comments »

Fake It Friday!

Well, hello there! It’s time for another heart-warming rendition of FAKE IT FRIDAY!! This week’s Fake It Friday is brought to you by…

Alpine Spice wine…tastes like adult apple cider…just what the doctor ordered on this FAKE IT FRIDAY!

Before I go on, I have a disclaimer.  Last week’s Fake It Friday post was very well received in my opinion. I must make my readers, followers, die-hard fans, stalkers, and haters aware of one thing though…”faking it” is a fine art that takes time to develop.  If you feel like you’re not faking it well yet….just keep at it. In good time it will happen young grasshopper.

On to tonight’s lesson…faking it is all about looking like you have it all together even when you don’t.  It’s about perception.  So my top tip for faking it is to be genuinely friendly. Why? Easy.

1.)  The number one reason is that jerks suck. There really is no actual need for you to be miserable. Suck it up and deal like the rest of us. Try spreading a little love and positivity. Your life will change in ways you never imagined.
2.)  People like those who are genuinely friendly. When you’re liked, people tend to think the best of you…like how you have it together (even when you don’t.) Oh, and for those rare times when you might get caught faking it…people are more likely to forgive and move on if you’ve got a good rapport and are liked. So be genuine. Life’s too short to be a jerk.

Hi, I’m so friendly. I must have have it all together.

Tonight’s second tip for faking it and faking it well is to save all e-mails.  I have over 2,500 e-mails for work and probably close to 4,096,038,084 in my personal e-mails. (Yeah, I have e-mailS…gotta have more than one so I can be on the DL when I need to be…)

(Oh, DL is code for “down low” for all you oldheads, like me, out there who aren’t always up to date with the hip lingo of today’s whippersnappers.) Let’s just go ahead and be honest though. I actually have multiple e-mail addresses because I continuously forget the passwords of each of them so I create new ones. I don’t actually need to be on the DL for anything because I am an loser on the fast track to senior citizen status who is lucky she can remember her own name at this point. 😉

But back to the e-mails…save everything. That way when someone mentions a date you’re supposed to know about you can just nod and smile (and of course be genuinely friendly) and then run to your desk the second they leave and search for the e-mail they claim to have sent 3 months (or 3 minutes) ago with this date.  Read through the e-mail once found and refresh your memory on what it is you’re actually supposed to be doing on that date. Panic on the inside for a few seconds, (because typically this scenario is only going to occur on the date that happens to be the one you were supposed to know about beforehand), then go take care of business when you realize that you’ve faked it by at least looking like you knew what was going on…all because you knew you could get the info from your e-mails since you never delete them. WINNING! (Maybe that should be, FAKING!)

You’ve got mail! Lots and lots of mail!

You don’t actually have to have it all together at all times. You just need to look like you do.  You can and will if you just keep faking it. Happy Fake It Friday!

7 Comments »

Exhausted Mama

I think it’s time I cleared something up.  There is a misconception about me (and other teachers) floating around out there in the universe and frankly, the world needs to know the truth. Yes, I am a teacher. No, I do not get to “play” for 7 hours a day then go home and live my life while plotting how to spend my “3 month vacation” while rolling around in the mountains of taxpayers’ dollars that I allegedly make for being a “glorified babysitter.”

This past week alone I put in well over 40 hours. In fact, I logged nearly…hold on, let me get my calculator…43.5 hours…and that was for a 4 day week and did not include the 5 hours of work from home that I did on Monday, (it was Labor day…so I labored), or the time I spent yesterday which ended this lovely week. I make thousands of decisions daily. Decisions that can make or break a kid sometimes. I’m not perfect but I do the best I can with what I have at the time when I’m in charge of meeting the diverse and unique needs of the 24 kiddos in my care each day, usually all at the same time. And that takes time. A. Lot. Of. Time.

Which is why I feel like such an exhausted mama right now. Oh yeah, I also feel like when it comes to being a wife & mama, I’m just a big, fat, epic FAIL.

Exhibit A: The place is wrecked and we are in full-force TV mode with Woody, Buzz, and the rest of the Toy Story gang. Mama’s too busy trying to stay awake to care at the moment.

Oh, and yes those are indeed stones on the end table…my son collects stones every time he goes to the mailbox with Big Daddy Byron. I’m just waiting for it to click with Big Daddy B that this is not a good idea. The Gorilla + stones + lil sister Binxy = imminent disaster + unplanned trip to the hospital.  Go ahead, do the math…it’s a balanced equation no matter how you look at it.

Exhibit B: The Gorilla is zoned out, glued to the TV while he snacks on some yogurt. Keep viewing the boob tube lil man, mama’s ready for a nap!

Exhibit C: “Hi, I’m the cute baby…if I just keep sitting here, looking cute, no one will notice that I’m about to swallow my big brother’s train. It’s a good thing my mommy’s too exhausted to stop me!”

We are only 12 days in and I’m already exhausted.  Not only am I exhausted though, I miss my family too. And I feel like the world’s worst mom because I spend more time with and thinking about other people’s kids most days than my own.  It’s like I’ve got nothing left for my babies when I get home because I’ve given it all and then some to everyone else at work.

Thanks for coming to my pity party. It was just one of those weeks.  You know what made me feel better though? Big Daddy Byron and I went and did some random acts of kindness while we ran errands today.  I don’t really want to post what they are because I’m not looking for credit, but one of the things we did we’ve never done before.  The opportunity presented itself out of nowhere though and we took it and hopefully made a difference. Amen for that!

1 Comment »

Fake It Friday

It’s time for….FAKE IT FRIDAY!

So, there are all these organized, awesome teachers who have beautiful blogs and they write posts for “Make it Monday” where they show these wonderful things they’ve created and then share them with others. Well, I’m not that teacher.

I’m the teacher who blogs for FAKE IT FRIDAY! This is where I’ll teach you the art of faking it.

Fake It Fridays are brought to you by Franzia, the classiest boxed wine in the world!

So for my first Fake It Friday post, I’m going to explain how to fake looking like you’re organized in the classroom.  Here we go!

1.)  Spend 7 years writing notes on post-its and scraps of paper that will be lost withing 1.2 seconds of you setting your pen down.  Finally purchase a set of notecards that are bound together like a notebook.  Continue to take notes and make to-do lists (to-do during the day on the front of the card, to-do for the evening on the back) and no longer lose them…but still get nothing done because you never do what’s on your list anyway.

You can keep all your notes in one place and still not get anything done by doing everything you can think of except the things on the list you made in the book you haven’t lost…yet.

2.)  Get a binder.  Everyone thinks people with binders are organized. Pssshhh…Not true. I have so many binders and organized is not a word you would use to describe me if you really know me. However, you can fake it if you carry a binder around.  Oh, and if you make an official looking cover for it and snap in a pencil case and some fancy dividers, (be sure to put that on your to-do list on your new bound index card to-do notebook), then carry it to and from your house in front of people, they’ll think you’re organized.  Don’t worry, you don’t actually have to open the binder.

Looks official! She must be organized!

Ooooohhhh…a pencil case! She must be so organized!

Short, sweet, simple.  This is how you fake organization.  Get lots of items that are made for organization, carry them around, promise yourself you will use them and use them well, then let the world think you’re an efficient, well-oiled organizating machine. No one has to know the truth…your secret is safe with me. 😉

Tune in next Friday for the another edition of…FAKE IT FRIDAY!

14 Comments »

And then it was Friday

Well, well, well…we meet again. Here it is, Friday, and I have survived my first week back to work, though only three days were with students.  You should know that as I type this, I am enjoying a well-deserved beverage since I have barely slept at all in the past 3 days.

Snake Wine...not what I'm drinking

SNAKE WINE

Ok, so I am not actually enjoying snake wine. However I found that image on a site with free images for education called Pics4Learning and thought it was cool.

Let me back up to the beginning of the week…on Monday my student teacher joined me for the first two days of opening activities in our district. Oh yes, I have a student teacher for the first time.  It. Is. AWESOME. (BTW, if she’s reading this, Hi Sarah! Hahaha!) Having a student teacher is like having a personal assistant. I know because I was a student teacher myself and now I have one. Besides the fact that since she just started I’m keeping her busy making copies, laminating, and doing bulletin board stuff, she’s actually a really nice person too. So I get to work with someone who’s not a jerk and that’s always a good thing. AND she’s doing an awesome job as a student teacher for the first week already so I’m not too worried about having to school her in the ways of being an awesome teacher and then making her cry. I don’t like to make people cry but I will if I have to. 😉 The best part though is that I’m learning from her too! I’m learning how to be a good cooperating teacher (I think I’m doing ok so far) and she taught me some things about Google Docs already too! (It turns out that I HATE Google Docs.) I’m just sad that she’s only with me for 8 weeks.

I look like this sad/grumpy puppy when I think about not having a student teacher anymore…

On Wednesday I got to meet my students for the very first day of the year. It. Was. AWESOME.  The first 3 days in my room at least are boring for the kids but necessary in order to set the stage.  I continue to set the stage for the next few weeks, but I go hard for 3 days straight teaching procedures and routines. In my experience, spending the time on it now will pay off in December and April.

I’m like a drill sargeant (which I think I spelled wrong) teaching a new soldier how to raise the flag!

I also spend the first two days of school calling every parent.  I introduce myself, let them know how the 1st day or 2 went, and let them know they can contact me when they need too. I leave a message with that info if no one answers. These calls make for very long evenings however they are very purposeful. My first call home is positive. Parents recognize that and they recognize that I took the time to do it and know that I am willing to go above and beyond right from the beginning.  It also gives them a chance to give me important information right away. Finally, I get a good feel for what it will be like working with each parent/set of parents for the year. The major downfall is the time it takes and the fact that I actually hate talking on the phone. (Yep, I’m the person who texts you back right after you called.) But it’s worth it to do because it saves me lots of headaches down the road. I learned that lesson very early in my career.

I need more time!

Phones are my arch nemesis…praise Jesus for TEXTING

Back to my students…they are great. Really. I know, I know, it’s only been 3 days.  But I can already tell they are a good group.  I say that every year, and every year it’s been true. How is that? Because I believe it is.  Let me break it down for you.

Everyday I have a choice. I can be a negative jerk who complains about things or a positive person who sees a challenge as an opportunity.  I choose to be that positive person (most days…I’m not perfect). Why? Because I serve an amazing God. Every student in my class is there because God knows they need me in some way.  Every student in my class is there because God knows I need them in some way. By day 3 I don’t always know what the reasons are, and I may never know, but my faith is stronger than my need to know so it doesn’t matter. What I do know for sure is that God knows what He’s doing, He’s always been there for me, and this will be no different.  This class is special though for sure. God’s got big plans for us this year. I have already learned so much about myself, education, being a mom, love, patience, the power of prayer, and blessings. I know I will have many opportunities to learn and grow and serve God this year and I. Can’t. Wait. 🙂

Love God. Love Others.

 

1 Comment »