Tuesday, June 12, 2012

This one goes out to my team!

I felt the need to do a little gloating about my team! :)

Going into my first year of teaching two years ago, I had no idea what exactly to expect.  Yes, I had completed a semester of student teaching and worked with a wonderful 1st grade team for planning so I had an idea, but boy oh boy I was in for a ride.  Student teaching is just a small glimpse of what it is really like to be a teacher. 

If my principal had asked me to list the characteristics of the "perfect" team and given me my "perfect" team, I would have been okay.  The team I joined though exceeded ALL expectations and dreams I had of a team.

Here are a FEW ways I would describe my team:
  • Sharing:  We share everything, from a stapler, tape, scissors, and usb ports, to more important things like our ideas, creations, thoughts, feelings, frustrations, and celebrations.  We LOVE sharing!
  • Caring: We all care about our children, their progress, ways to help them, what is going on in their life, and what more we can do for them. We also care so much about each other and what is going on each others lives, professional and personal.
  • Compassionate, driven, and dedicated:  I believe all the wonderful ladies that I have had the privilege to work with have these past two years have all three attributes.  It is my opinion, that to be a "good" teacher, you must have these three things.  You must have compassion not only for your students, but also for what you are doing.  You have to let your students drive your instruction, where you want go, and your goals.  Being dedicated is also a must, if you think being a teacher is an 7:15-3:15 job, you're wrong.  Just because you leave at 3:15 doesn't mean the work is done once you get home or you don't have to work on the weekend and during your summers. (Today I finished 2 of 7 days of professional development for this summer alone.)
  • Constructive Criticism:  I love, love, love that we are able to give each other criticism about an idea, situation, or lesson and it is taken in a way that is constructive, rather than taking it personally.  I think we all do a good job of this!

What brought me to the feeling that I need to share so much about my team?  Well, I had the pleasure of spending the last two days in a professional development class for Writer's Workshop, with two of my amazing teammates!!  I absolutely love the way we work together, the way we SHARE our ideas, the way we brainstorm our ideas all throughout our lunch break, and the way we think alike.


They are the best!  

I am blessed, thank you ladies. 

I plan to make a post SOON about the workshop we went to and some of the wonderful ideas that were shared with us, it makes me so eager and excited about teaching writing next year! 


Thursday, June 7, 2012

This past year.

It is hard to believe that a year ago I was pregnant and anxiously awaiting the arrival of my sweet baby girl.  I felt huge, I looked huge, and didn't know how much more my belly could stretch! 

This picture was taken a month before my due date, so it gives you an idea, but it grew, much BIGGER!

Berklee's room was completely in tact, clothes all washed, hospital bags packed, and carseat by the door.  At this point in time a year ago, I had decided on her name, however I had only shared it with very few people.  Berklee's due date came and went, I remember trying several of the old wives tales to induce the labor "naturally," I was oh so ready to meet my sweet baby girl.   On my due date my doctor and I scheduled the day for my induction, June 29th.  It worked out perfectly that the 28th was my moms last day teaching summer school so that she could then help me out without any worries of work! 

This was my last picture before heading into the hospital.  
My mom insisted on taking the picture, even though I didn't want to, I'm glad we did now!

Berklee finally joined us on the afternoon of June 29th.  It felt as though the world stood still the moment the doctor handed her over to me.  The next several hours were such a blur, who am I joking, the next several weeks were a blur!   I was in complete awe of my beautiful baby girl.  I was in disbelief that I created this beautiful baby girl, that she grew in my stomach, that she was perfect in every way.  I remember just sitting and staring at her as I held her in my arms, for hours upon hours. 

One of Berklee's first pictures! 

The summer flew by, I don't know where the almost 7 first weeks with my baby went!  Although I was not ready to go back to work, I was thankful that I had a job and a incredibly supportive team to go back to!  The first few weeks were the hardest.  I was always ready to leave as soon as I could everyday to go get my beautiful baby girl.  The school year flew by and my, oh my, did she grow!  

Here are a few some a lot of pictures from her first year.

All ready to cheer on Uncle Bubba!

Our first trip to the zoo!
Hi Mom, I want the camera, please!

Beautiful baby!

One of my all time favorite pictures of her.  It shows so much of her personality!
This past year has brought  on many changes in my life, none of which I would change.  I have become a mommy and am beyond thankful for a healthy, happy, loving, playful, loud, talkative, funny, sensitive, independent baby girl.  Although so days have been hard, doing all of this as a single mom, I wouldn't have it any other way.  I get her all to myself, I don't have to share her , I don't have to share my attention, I don't have to share my time with anyone else, Berklee is all mine!   While her father has been absent in her life thus far, I hope one day, when I'm ready, I will find a man that is willing to fill the shoes that he created, but doesn't wear.

Many people don't understand what it is to be a mother, especially a single mother, working full time.   I try to make time for my friends, but it has been hard to juggle.  When I get home from a long day of work teaching, 22 seven year olds, being away from my baby all day, the ONLY thing I want to do is hold, love on, and play with my sweet baby girl.  I am so thankful to those that have held on and been understanding throughout this past year.  I have enjoyed my quick trips to Dallas (even though they are a tough drive and involve very little sleep), my weekly dinner dates with friends, the long talks with my team, and the occasional phone calls that I get to make.  This whole single mom thing is tough, but it has made me stronger than I ever thought I could be!