Monday, June 2, 2014

Currently for June

I don't know how it is possibly June! Where did the school year go? I am not going to lie at the same time I am ready for the summer to start, have a little time to get things done, and prep for next year. I am linking up with the amazing Farley over at Oh Boy Fourth Grade for the June Currently.

listening: My dog is laying with me on the couch as I type. I have the TV on, but all I can hear is his snoring. I never knew a dog could snore so loudly. He is lucky he is so cute :) 

loving: I am loving the beautiful weather we have been having in Seattle lately. I am excited for summer to come a little early and be able to get outside. It makes me excited for being off this summer.

thinking: I need to be making some lists to get myself organized. There is a lot I need to accomplish before the end of the school year. We also have to pack our rooms up, as we are having some construction done at our school this summer. I am wanting to put some end of year books together for my kiddos and I have yet to start. I have 13-14 school days left to get everything accomplished. We are also expecting a little one in October. I feel like there is a lot to organize for that and I am hoping to accomplish most of it over the summer. I don't want to miss anything or be running around at the end. Last, I just need to organize myself for the summer. I want to make sure I am using my time off effectively has I am actually going to have this summer off (no summer school or tutoring). I want to make sure I stay active and keep up with everything for school, while enjoying the time with my husband and family.

wanting: I feel like I get the itch to travel every year at least once. Last sumer I had wanted to take a trip down the west coast, but we just couldn't get it to work out. I am going home at the end of June to see my family and have a baby shower, but I am hoping we can travel to somewhere new. Even if it is for a weekend, I am hoping we can go have an adventure together. A massage also sounds amazing right now. I am getting into the part of my pregnancy that I just have a hard time always feeling comfortable at times and my body is feeling it.

needing: We are in full on baby prep. Over Memorial Day weekend we headed to the outlet mall to take advantages of some sales, since we had found out we are having a boy. I also had taken advantage of a sale Gap was having online. I have a huge pile of clothes that I need to start washing and put away. I feel like October is months from now, but I know it will come quicker than I think and I will feel better once I have it done. We also have furniture and other items showing up weekly. I need to start find homes for this stuff and organizing. I feel like it will be much easier once school is out to focus on this and have more time.

summer bucket list: I want to make sure I get out more this summer and enjoy the city and weather. Last summer I was so busy that I didn't feel like I had enough time. I also want to make sure I stay active, I have to watch what I do for exercise. I want to get everything prepped for next year and my leave. I feel like in a way it isn't a bucket list item but I want to make sure it is completed and I am not stressed and rushing. I want to go on some sort of adventure before the summer is over. I love to see new places and take a break. It will also be the last adventure before our little man comes. Again baby prep maybe isn't the best bucket list item but I want to get things done as early as possible and really enjoy this time. I don't want to be rushing or stressed about it.

I hope everyone has a great week! I am off to read everyones Currentlys and get ready for the rest of my week!

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Five for Friday on Sunday :)

Of course I am late to the game. I think my blogging in this last year would support that. My goal now that things have calmed down in life for a little bit, is to get back into the swing of things.  I didn't want to miss posting for this week and maybe do a little summary for my Five for Friday about what has been going on in my room this last week, but also what has been keeping me so absent over this last school year.

First off I start out the school year in my position for from the year before. It was a mixed program were I was the resource room teacher and an autism inclusion teacher. It was a hard mix especially since we lost our half time teacher. I really enjoyed my job and had prepped for the whole summer. At the end of October a dream position and a dream school became available in another district (my home district- I had been making a very crazy and expensive commute). I applied because I felt like it was an opportunity I couldn't miss out on. It was a really hard decision for me, but after reading some amazing blog posts from some other bloggers about the challenges they faced in switching positions or leaving during the school year, I decided to apply and see how it unfolded. I felt horrible about possibly leaving my students during the school year, even though we had been in school for a month and half. I interviewed and received news that I got the job- they would like me to start as soon as possible. Then came the hard part….making the decision. I would be closer to home and not keeping crazy hours anymore- positive. It would be such a positive for my health and wellbeing as I was very run down at the time and my health not the best. It was more money and less of an expensive commute- positive, though not the most important. The job itself was really what excited me, a self contained/inclusion classroom for students with autism k-2, eight students. In the end I knew it was the best decision for me to take the job, even though I felt horrible leaving my students and families during the school year. I also felt like I was letting my school down. In the end I knew I needed to do what was best for me, as no one else was going to look out for me. And truly I believe that things happen for a reason. I had taken the position I was in, even though it seemed crazy at the time. I learned a lot from that job and had some great experiences. It was in a small district that really provided support for me to learn and grow as an educator. This position had come to me on a day where I really needed it and helped me make the change I needed. So to make a long story short my district released me in less than a week. I let my boss know on a Tuesday morning and my last day was Friday (Halloween none the less). It was a crazy transition and I started my new job that next Monday. The classroom I took over had not had a classroom teacher since Dec 2012 and had sub since then. I will just say it kept me very busy. There was a lot to get in place and not much time. So from there I spent all of time working on my new classroom. I could barely keep up reading my usual blogs. Instagram was about all I could handle as I could look at it quickly during a break or while I ate. I would take pictures of everyones amazing ideas so I could remember to go back and read about it.

Next big change that took place for me was mid to late January I found out I was pregnant. I recently post a picture on on Instagram of our little man. We just found out two weeks ago that we are having a boy. It has been a very exciting and kind of stressful experience. I had finally felt like I was back on my feet and ready to hope back into the teacher/blogger world. I had a number of products and activities I wanted to share and our little man came along and knocked me on my bottom. The first 11 weeks were hard. I spent our whole mid winter break on our couch, it was all I could do to feel like I wasn't going to die. We have moved passed all of that and I am feeling good now. I spent some time really enjoying the fact that we are having this little one and am ready to get back to the balance of everything. We also moved to a new house, which took up some time. I am hoping I can spend the summer blogging and prepping for next year and getting ready for baby. I am due in October, which made me a little nervous at first. I really didn't want to be leaving my kiddos in the middle of the year. But if anything I have learned that I don't have control and can't plan everything.

I am very excited to be back to blogging and having an amazing new blog design. I had gotten on the fabulous Megan's waiting list over at A Bird In Hand Designs at the start of the year. I though maybe having a new blog design would be a good motivator for me to keep this blog up to date. I was so excited when it was done and to see it during the process. She had so many wonderful designs, I just couldn't decide. I would highly recommend her services if you are looking for a new blog design. I am hoping to get everything updated and up and running in these next few weeks to make sure I am using all of the features of her beautiful design.

Now on to what we have been doing this last week. We have 14 days left of school (13 after Monday). This is exciting as I am ready for summer and I think my kiddos are too. At the same time I keep thinking it is just not enough time to get everything done that I would like. We are busy doing assessments for end of the year data, ESY, and what we need to work on for these last few weeks of school. It excites me to see their growing progress even over these last few weeks. One of my students is still having challenges with her letters, but I have found that even though she may not be able to verbally identify the letter, she can match the capital and lower case letter and knows the letter sounds. For her that is a huge accomplishment. I know I put a lot of pressure on myself to get my students where they needed to be after losing so much learning time. There are days that I feel like we haven't accomplished everything I was hoping for and that I really step back and reflect on all of the other things we have accomplished that are more important then their academic achievements. We sit at desks and are on task. We can participate in group learning. We are able to self calm. There are so many things that at times I take for granted because in a way I think as educators we have been forced to have such a focus on academics. And I know better then anyone else that my students really need to have a number of skills before they are going to be able to be successful with their academics. We have accomplished so much and even though we still have a long ways to go, I am so proud of us! :)

The last couple of weeks we have been watching our caterpillars eat, make the journey to the top of the cup, and go into their cocoons. It had been a while since I had done this with my students, like 3 years or so I would guess. I don't remember it being as stressful of an experience as this has been. It took forever for the caterpillars to come. I was worried we weren't going to have enough time or that they were not going to come at all. Of course the day they came was one of the hottest days so far in Seattle and they had been baking in the 80 plus degree sun on my porch for a number of hours. When my husband text me to say they had come and he opened them I was relieved. Until the next text came that he didn't think any of them were alive and they hadn't been moving. One of my students had been crying daily because the hadn't arrived and now I was going to have to tell them they were dead. Not something I was looking forward to. Luckily after being in cooler temperatures they began moving again. Thursday before Memorial Day they started to form their cocoons and before I left on Friday I made the switch into the horrible butterfly net (that is a whole other story). Two of them had sprung into butterflies by lunch time on Friday. I have never seen my students so excited. They were very serious about getting the home together for them and showing them to anyone they could find in the hall. In the end I am so glad it all worked out. I am just hoping they have made it over the weekend. They will be so sad if not. We are going to have to let them go this next week and I think they are going to have a very hard time with that. They just want to keep them around forever.

I hope everyone is having a wonderful weekend! For those on summer break, I am jealous! For those in school still I hope you have a great week! I am off to get ready to see our last Broadway Across America musical for the season- Once :)