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Are We There Already?!?!

I just clenched when I saw my calendar on my new iPhone.  It seems to say that I have to report to work in 2 weeks.  Technology these days. Gosh, guess I'll just live in denial, procrastinate, and piddle for at least another week!

I've been trying to change my personality---just a little bit.  I've been working a few hours a week throughout the Summer on getting some of my beginning of the year activities together. I hate having them all over the place (like my personality) so I bought some stupid cute clip art and put them all in one pack.  I will say that this pack is purely selfish for me and my brain, but I'm all for making things....

A lot of these activities can be used for multiple levels and abilities-- I would dare say you could use this K-6 and have pages that correspond with it.  I love having kids do things organically but sometimes you need a sheet in front of them and though I hate to admit it cutesy isn't all bad.  (Thanks Elizabeth Hall)

So here it the pack that is on TPT and then some freebies just because nice will almost always be apart of my personality :)

These things are free--- just like my bad/inappropriate jokes.  

Thank you, Mrs. Bigler

A few months ago I saw a special name pop-up on my blog.  Now this is no ordinary name.  This is a name that immediately triggers memories.  Ole' Miss Darlene Bigler- my 1st grade teacher is following my blog.  As soon as I got to Utah I got her number and couldn't wait to dial.  Now mind you-- Ms. Bigler RETIRED at the end of my 1st grade year--- 20 something years ago.  Her daughter answered the phone and I could no sooner say my name before she ripped the phone out of her and started cracking jokes with her iconic laugh.  She even shared a sweet memory of my late Aunt Paula who came to get meet me one day for lunch and I ran up to her, jumped into her arms, and wrapped my legs around her.  The little things are the big things.

We scheduled a date to meet and I went home to scour through the memory books to find a picture. While digging I found a picture of me with crimped hair and a postcard she sent to each student over Fall Break.  I also stumbled upon my report card--- making progress in all subjects--- except listening and talking.  No shock there!  I pulled up to her house, she jumped out of the seat, offered me cookies from the best bakery in town, and we chatted for hours.
She has aged much better than I have!

Our conversations were overlapping between me, her, and her wonderful daughter-- all educators.  After poking a little fun at this Utah debacle  ...

and solving all of Educations "problems"  :)  we came upon doesn't matter what technology you put in front of us, what new and improved curriculum with a shiny sticker is dropped off, how many times you are professionally developed... it all comes down to the Teacher and that Teacher's response to her students. It's a choice.

It's easy to become overwhelmed teaching as our responsibilities extend so much further than planning lessons and include endless amounts of ________, ___________,  and __________.   <---- that can be whatever it is at the moment.  As Teacher's we have got to take care of ourselves because everything we do all day flows from us.  It doesn't matter what I know and have, if I don't respond appropriately to situations people will never know/care what is in my noggin.  With my students- if I'm happy, they are happy, if I'm disorganized, they are disorganized, if I'm stressed, so are they. They respond to how I respond.  What power that holds.

I was fortunate to have incredible teachers (w/ the exception of my 3rd grade teacher- I just clenched :))  for my education experience.  After spending the afternoon with Mrs. Bigler I realized had I not had as many of those incredible models of response Ms. Sarah would be in a MUCH different place.  Another one or two of my 3rd grade teacher could have altered my educational path in a serious way.

So THANK YOU Mrs. Bigler- your power extends far beyond the classroom.  This is not because of how you taught phonics but because of your power in response in dealing with us because that's just who you were and chose to be--- which probably started with that big laugh of yours.  I can only pray that I'm as feisty as you are when I retire and that my former students will come eat cookies with me. 

I'll see you at Christmas. xx