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 :)

1 comment:

  1. Congrats on being pregnant! I had my little guy in October and it actually worked out really well because I could meet the kids and get things in order, left, came back for a couple of weeks and then was on break again for the holidays. I love the new blog design!
    Fun in ECSE