One of These is Not Like the Other

One of These is Not Like the Other

So, Chris and I are working on this new classroom management system that we are designing with a web team that we have been lucky enough to put together.  Last night, I was logged into our backend program, looking at some of the initial designs from one of our web designers.  There is a place for us to chat and leave feedback and comments to each other on the program, so I went over there to make a few notes on some of the work she has done. And that’s…

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If You Want Something Done, You’ve Got to Make It Yourself!

If You Want Something Done, You’ve Got to Make It Yourself!

This past December was the end of the first semester at my school.  Like most schools, endings of weeks, months, quarters, semesters usually mean reports are due for teachers.  I was sifting through spreadsheet after spreadsheet, trying to comb through the random data I had been able to collect while teaching that quarter and I found myself wishing there was something I could use to easily organize, sort, store, and report on my data for me – ALL the data. Any classroom teacher will tell you that reporting on data…

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Small Goodnesses

Small Goodnesses

Last week, I was hurrying through my 6th period class, counting the minutes until the bell would ring after 7th period.  It had been a long day of teaching argumentative writing to 14 and 15-year-olds who argued expertly with me all day that they didn’t really NEED to know how to write essays.  I was ready for my pajamas and maybe a Girl Scout cookie… or 12. I had been walking around my 6th period class for the past forty-five minutes, attempting to control a classroom of low-performing, high-energy students…

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An Unexpected Lesson of Immanuel

An Unexpected Lesson of Immanuel

On Friday morning, while in the middle of teaching, I looked down at my email and saw a message from Chris.  It said, “I hope you’re having a good morning!  I’m kind of having a rough one.”  He went on to… well, to wallow a little bit.  And Chris never wallows, so I knew he must really be down.  Basically, Chris has been getting the short end of the stick for about a month now – both at work and at home.  We were weeks away from buying him a…

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Prepare Yourselves for BIG CHANGES.

Prepare Yourselves for BIG CHANGES.

Big changes are happening right now in my life, guys.  BIG.  HUGE.  So big, in fact, that I haven’t shared them with you because I wasn’t quite sure how it would all work out.  But I think I’m ready to write about it. I’m switching to a digital calendar. I know!  Insane, right?!  You all know how much I loves me my Erin Condren planner.  I have used one for three years now, and I am in love.  Then, last year, some of the teachers on my hallway started getting…

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Classroom Tour 2016-2017

Classroom Tour 2016-2017

Imaginary friends, how I have missed you so!  I have been swept up in the back to school craze of pre-planning.  By the end of the day, my brain is shot, my feet are tired, and I can barely form sentences.  I am not used to being productive OR friendly for this long!  Summer has gotten me out of social shape!  But I have gotten myself to a great spot and I am getting pumped about this coming school year. I thought I’d share a little tour of my classroom…

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The Master’s Plan

The Master’s Plan

I have very few regrets in my life.  Very, very few.  I believe that mistakes and missed opportunities in our pasts help shape and guide us into our futures.  Regrets are just part of the plan.  But my one regret for the past ten years has been my Masters degree. My big plan in life was to go to law school.  Chris and I had planned that when we graduated from undergrad and were married, we would move to wherever I was accepted to law school.  And then, about four…

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A Family Hero

A Family Hero

In my 8th grade language arts classes a few years ago, we used to write essays on the topic, “What defines a hero?”  Students spent all quarter studying all different types of heroes, and from those various texts, they had to come up with their own definition of heroism.  Year after year, we almost always came to the conclusion that a hero is someone who puts others before themselves.  This might mean someone in a position to physically save lives, like a police officer or a doctor.  Or it might…

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Why We Cancelled Our Family Vacation

Why We Cancelled Our Family Vacation

I’m supposed to be camping in the mountains right now.  Did I tell you about that?  Back in March, Chris and I decided that it would be super fun to take the family camping just outside of Gatlinburg the first week of summer vacation.  For several weeks, I pinned every Pinterest pin possible (say that five times fast) about what to do with kids in Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge.  I even came up with a little schedule for our vacation. And then May and June happened. I don’t know about you,…

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Purging My Schedule

Purging My Schedule

The other day at lunch, I ran up to the grocery store near my school to pick up a few things for an ice cream party I was throwing some of my students.  At the grocery store, I ran into a teacher that I used to teach with.  She has kids my own kids’ ages, and she quit teaching last year to stay home with them for a while.  I asked her how she was doing and what she was getting herself into these days. “Nothing,” she said.  “I gave…

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