Monday, August 30, 2010

All my favorite things..

This weekend, I got to do all my favorite things!

It all started with camping with my TH and our friends.
The B's and the H's spent an awesome weekend at Lake Arbuckle in their newly aquired pop-up. I think I've been spoiled. I love tent camping, but there is just something about sleeping in air conditioner that gets my heart. So we cooked over an open fire, sat around the camp fire, walked to the lake in the dark, slept, ate again, went fishing, and ate lunch and packed up. It was relaxing, perfect fun.

When we got back from the lake, I drove to Guthrie to eat dinner with my favorite teacher friends. It was nice to catch up, hear about school stuff, and vent a little. Teaching away from these two is super hard for me. It's SO great to see them! I think all 3 of us are ready for 6th graders again... :)
My weekend ended with a little baking with Ashley. I messed up my clean kitchen and loved every minute of it. We tried to make each cupcake a different color. They tasted good and were very nice to look at. She tried baking some in ice cream cones. That worked, but in my opinion it made the cones taste stale. Lesson learned.
All in all, the perfect weekend!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

The KEY step

A conversation I had with my class, and Ms.C's class today.

Ladies. We all know that using the restroom is a part of each day. I would just like to remind you of a key step. It's actually the most important step. You must sit down on the toilet. Now I know this sounds like common sense, but if you forget this step, bad things happen. Bad things like poop on the floor. (insert kid laughter here)

Yes folks, poop on the floor, two days in a row. Glad I got to witness it. If I didn't have pups I would have been much more offended.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Duggars and Chinese food

Warning! This post might be offensive. Then again, if you are reading my blog, you're used to my straight forward talk. So here it goes.

What do these two pictures have in common?? Well. One a picture of Asia and the other, a long skirt both describe each of the substitutes I worked with today!

Yes. It gets better. BOTH of the experienced HP 3rd grade teachers had to take off today, not of their own choice. So I was left the lone ranger. The lone expert of 2 weeks. Yep. It was a good idea. I walked into the first subs class before school and she had her VBS supplies to manage the class. Take a guess which picture that describes. She was not wearing any form of deoderant! She had grand plans, which I knew right off the bat wouldn't work.

The second sub was lost and couldn't find the school. Mostly due to a language barrier. I started her class out for her. When she did show up, she wrote how to say my name in her little dictionary. How-werd Yes. True story. I'll let you guess which picture describes this sub.

So I will leave you with the thought, we are working in a high poverty, low education area that has great kids, great kids with discipline and learning problems. Our kids are different from VBS and Asia. It was a LONG day.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Out of the mouth

I was talking to my mom on the phone today. She used to be a third grade teacher, so we are in the same ball park these days. She asked how it was going, I told her a few of the things that come out of my mouth during the short 8 hour school day.

Yes, it is important to put your shoes on before you go to the bathroom.

Whose shorts are laying over here?

Did you wash your hands? No? Well then please just raise your hand, don't pat me.

No writing with highlighter is not allowed. Why? Because I can't read it. No, I'm not too old. No one can read highlighter. You can? Then please read what you just wrote for me. You forgot what it says already? Ok, then let's try pencil

Please don't kick in the hall. or the classroom. please just don't kick

Why are the scissors in your mouth?

Why do you have 4 gluesticks on your desk? You were making a bridge? Can you please finish your construction project later and do your math? You don't know what construction means? Well ask your mom when you get home. Yes your auntie will be able to tell you as well. No, I dont want to know where your mom is right now. Please finish your math.

Please don't karate chop your homework. Because its hard to read in two pieces. No, it doesn't help if you staple it back together. Please put the stapler down.

Please remember to raise your hand if you need to tell Mrs. Howard something. Yes? You don't need to tell me that you are going to drop a number two. You can just ask to use the restroom. Yes you may use it. Hurry back. Okay, well if it takes a while it's okay, please just return to class when you are finished.

Lordy, help me. How many days until May?

Friday, August 20, 2010

drop by please

At the end of today, I got an e-mail from my new principal.

I'm so glad you're here! Drop by this afternoon after school if you have a few minutes.

Her name isn't really MDC, I'm just calling her that. Mostly because those are the initals for the what the kids call her. She is a Dr., But they call her Mrs. Dr. C(her last name)

I would have to say in the last two years of teaching, I've never got an e-mail (let alone a birthday celebration) from a principal that was just to me. AND it was a nice e-mail...she's glad I'm here!!! So I went to see what she wanted.

I have so much respect for this wonder leader. She asked me how my first week went, if there was anything I needed. (she then provided the chalk holder, extra smart board marker, and extension cord I needed!!)

She went on to assure me that her door was always open, if I needed ANYTHING and reinterate that her whole job was to be 'my personal servant' to help me be successful. She wasn't there to judge me or tell me how things should be done. If I ever needed her to come in and work with a small group, or just needed to vent. She was my gal.

Both MDC and the assistant principal Mrs. I are wonderfully positive ladies. I respect how the juggle the job of discipline and encouragment. I love how they walk in my room in the morning just to make sure they know all the kids names. I love how they sit in the lunch room and check to see if the kids know their lunch numbers, and reward them when they do. I love how they teach our 5th graders how to fold the flag, and how to come in the younger rooms and be role models. I love how they run around with walky=talkys so they are prepared for their duties, yet out of the office. I admire how the paper work gets finished but no one seems to notice when. I love that in the first week and a half of school I've had more interaction with my principal in casual ways then I had all of last year. I couldn't be happier with where I am.

Its true when they say, the beginning of every great school is great leaders.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

The day from....

Today was the day from YOU KNOW WHERE!

The honeymoon period is over. I don't know the first thing about class management of 3rd graders. For one thing, if you get on to them they cry! But if you don't get on to them, they are out of control! They talk more than my 6th graders would ever dream of! Anyways, I came the closest to yelling as I have in my 3 years of teaching. We had to play a group building game instead of continuing with Math. I had to stop Reading Workshop early because they couldn't stay on task. By the end of the day, I was ready to pull out any remaining hair, cuss, and quit teaching forever.

Then I got home..

and this was waiting for me. In my facebook messages.

Mrs. Howard!!!! Hey! :D Jr. High was good. I miss you. No teacher here is as awesome as you. Thanks for getting us ready.

Now if any of you out there know this young man, you know he is too cool for school, pretty quiet, an amazing writer, girl crazy, and just a good kid. He is extremely loyal to his friends and most of the time is in a daze from his meds.

I wrote him back, telling him that I was glad he enjoyed Jr. High. That I knew he was ready, and to have a great year. It's because of things like that, I deal with these days...

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Birthday Week

You may have heard..I had the BEST birthday ever!

It was more like a week.

It all started with a quick trip to Missouri. I love going home when I get to see a few of my favorite people that I don't get to see often. This list included: my long-lost favorite cousin, VRum, my Grandma Nina, Carissa, my parents, my inlaws, and the Hefleys. Wow! So many people that have had an affect on who I am today...

After a great weekend, Monday night Trevor and I went to Shawnee to see Lindsey and Matt! Lindsey and I have been getting together for birthday lunches for a while now, but her new AWESOME husband changed things up my cooking me dinner! Steak!

Tuesday! My actual birthday! I woke up and got ready for school! It was a first on my birthday. Wow, HP really outdid it. I was announced over the intercom in the morning, donned a crown, was told Happy Birthday by practically EVERY student and faculty there. At lunch they served a birthday cake.

After cake. I went back to my classroom and these were delieved from my secret pal and husband.

Later that day my students enjoyed cupcakes. We ended the day doing my favorite subject:Science!
I came home and took a nap before going to dinner at Zach and Brian's. They cooked me a 2nd birthday dinner! I spent the rest of the evening at home with Trevor, enjoying his last day off work. If my 25th year is anything like the birthday itself, I can't wait!


Thursday, August 12, 2010

Third graders..

Today I officially began my third year of teaching. In a lot of ways it was like my first. New grade, new school, new classroom.

Third graders are needy.
Third graders give lots of hugs
Third graders draw you heart pictures
Third graders take longer to do everything
Third graders can not have down time
Third graders need to practice everything
Third graders can not read very directions very well
Third graders like to use markers
Third graders like to show their teacher their finished work
Third graders like to save their snacks for later
Third graders like to sit on the floor and play games
Third graders are not like 6th graders

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

I need to..

get some smartboard skills

shave my legs

go to bed early

feed Ezra and Samson

figure out who I'm going to see when, this weekend

enjoy this very moment because I'm not behind on grading...yet

be thankful for how helpful Ms. C and Ms. S are

on another note...I've just recently noticed that I call all the teachers at HP by their first name. Now, I'm taking 65 year olds, 40 somethings, and teachers within a decade of me. I have no idea why I made the switch, maybe it's this birthday that's coming up. 25 some how gives me permission to address other adults by their first name. So, if you're someone who's has encourage me to start using your first name...I think I can now... :)

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

The best class in the THIRD grade

ten things about today

1. I woke up wondering if I was out of my mind for switching to younger kids. Could they be self-sufficient? Would they need entertaining every moment of the day?

2. I got to school and had to walk thru the cafeteria because the back door where I usually enter was locked. They cafeteria ladies were actually NICE. I didn't get my head bit off, instead I got welcomed!

3. I had to check people's enrollment status and bills to verify with names of parents. It was an odd feeling to look at someone elses' bills and asking if they rent or own their own house. I felt intrusive

4. I was pleasently surprised by how supportive and enjoyable the parents were. Most of them appeared at my door with at least 4 kids total and appeared to be my age.

5. These kids are a lot more excited about school than then ones I'm used to.

6. My feet and knees hurt froms standing all day

7. I took my lunch to school instead of eating an effort to save money and eat healthier

8. I appreciate the helpful, friendly teachers at HP while missing my favorite teachers in the world who are at GUES...I wonder if that will ever change

9. I could not be more thankful for my new principal, who is truely the GREATEST

10. I learned how to send orders to the district print shop, so they will make all my copies for me, and then deliver them to my room!!!

Sunday, August 8, 2010


5 reasons I don't want to be 25

1. Its pretty close to 30
2. It's an odd number, I like even numbers
3. I'm as old as the parents of my 3rd grade students...
4. I'm not in my early twenties any more
5. I feel like I need to think about having kids in the next 5 years

3 Reasons I want to be 25
1. It's another year I get to spend with Trevor
2. I get to make all my own decisions
3. I'm a year closer to owning my own home

Wednesday, August 4, 2010


I found it interesting that when interviewing this summer one of the questions that was asked was, 'What do you expect from your administration?'.

Oddly enough, after last year at GUES, I've thought about it. It's amazing what a change in principal helps you notice.

My simple answer to this question was school wide expectations for behavior. I have no problem with the independance to achieve the desired result the way each teacher sees best.

I feel like with out a united goal there is no goal at all, or every teacher expects different behavior and outcomes which can confuse students and cause problems between staff.

Today at HP training we chanted and cheered the districts mission statement. I am so excited to see if this makes a difference in student behavior and school pride.

So this year I pledge that:
When a young person enters my school they will be SAFE
When a student enters my room they will be CHALLENGED
When a student leaves they will be READY

Cheers to a new focused year!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Bluejay turned Cowgirl

After my first day of technology training for the Mid-Del district, I'm super excited! They have so many more resources that I can see myself using on a daily basis. Smartboard, Airliner, Document Camera, Edusoft, an awesome gradebook, online benchmarks etc.

I've also met some incredibly welcoming people. Each teacher at HP is so friendly. You literally can't walk by a classroom without the teacher inside coming out and chatting. It's really a breath of fresh air.

That being said, I miss the quirks of my friends at GUES. I feel like the farther I get into my teaching career at HP the less I will remember some of my first teacherfriends. So here's my attempt to capture them for myself for the years to come. Names have been coded :) Kinda.

LR- Mrs. Professional. Always in control of her demeanor. Helpful in a mature way. Keeps her emotions in check..except when in teaching meetings. Hard to explain things to, but just because she had put so much thought into her stance. Leader

JG- GIGI! Never met a person she didn't like. Very nurturing. Tries hard to keep up with new things. Always willing to take on a challenge. Legend. Vanilla coke Lover

CL- Tough nut to crack. Friendly when you make the first effort. Very knowledgable but not very understanding. Passionate about high standards. Old School

WK- Always walking fast. Helper to the brand new. Pulled in many directions. In the office voicing opinions. Strict

BK- Quiet in big groups. In control of her kids. Mature for her age. First a mom and wife and new home owner. Flexible

HJ- Artistic. Fun activities. Best wall decorations. All around teacher. Innovative ideas. Fair. Does what is best for the students. Hard-working

RL- Grouchy but loveable. So Funny. Thinks the world is out to get her. Worksheet queen. Retired.

Now, I know that I left off a certain two if you two are reading this...its because I know we will remain I'll get to see your amazing personalities all the time! And feel free to help me add to my list. :) See you two Friday.