Saturday, November 21, 2009

Buddy Walk

My niece Hanna has been such a blessing to our family. One of the ways that she has blessed me has been by opening my eyes to how wonderful and sweet people with special needs are. On Saturday, Daniel and I with some of my family were able to go to the Buddy Walk for Down Syndrome. It was a big party and walk at the town square. It was so fun to see all the kids with special needs dancing and playing. I just love Hanna and I'm glad that we get to do stuff like this with her.

I had to post this picture of Chloe and I because I love this lady in the background with her sign.
My sister Jana, Hanna, and my mom. Chloe was in the background wandering by herself.

The people from Home Depot donated a ton of building stuff so my dad and nephew Hunter got to build a tool carrier.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

First good day in a long time!

Daniel is in school full time. I am working full time. Hopefully all this will get us somewhere soon.

Nevertheless, I am beginning to understand why anybody would stay with this job longer than their first year. Here's the whole sleazy story:

First of all, I go to at least five meetings a week for school. Some of these meetings require me to report the test scores of my students to show my accountability as a teacher. I stress so much about this. I feel like my students are darlings, they are funny, they are thoughtful of me, and most of them are able to catch on to what I'm talking/ teaching about but not enough on paper.

For the past two weeks I have been teaching multiplication and division concepts. I am pretty sure that they are getting it so I'm so excited when I gather them on the floor around me to start my lesson. So far so good. I figure "Okay, let's review for our test tomorrow. If I buy one ticket for $5 how much would two tickets cost?" I call on one little boy sitting in the back. He was raising his hand so I figured he knew. His response "Eight dollars. It's eight dollars!". I almost lost it.
(Just so you know we talked through it, pulled out the play money, I'm pretty sure he knows it now.)

The children leave, I vent to Daniel and my mom about how hard I'm trying, then I decided that I can only do so much. In Daniel's words "You can't take the test for them."

Next day, a little extra practice, a little extra encouragement. They take the test, which took about an hour. Stressed me out! After school I grade the tests and analyze the scores. My class was at 90% proficiency, which means 90% of the kids who took the test scored higher than 80%. All but about 2 or 3 students out of 26.

I couldn't stop smiling when I reported that score at my meeting that day. I felt like I had arrived as an actual teacher. Those smart little buggers sure fooled me. I guess all my hard work, missed lunches, and walks to my car in the dark parking lot (I hate that) after school are paying off.

I'm starting to think that good days aren't necessarily up to the 26 third graders I teach, it's most definitely up to me!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Girls Night!

Can I just say that I absolutely love my friends? Daniel and I have such great couple friends that we have so much fun with but because my girlfriends have all been spread out in different places until recently I rarely get to see them all at one time. The last time all of us were together was two years ago so it was due time.

Girls Night is wonderful because it doesn't cost a lot and we just laugh and laugh the whole time. This time we had it at my house and although I don't like all the cleaning that I do leading up to it, it is definately worth it to have a nice, warm place for us all the eat and catch up. I have been friends with these girls since we were 15 and I miss them a lot now that we aren't running around screaming anymore, but they are all totally unique in what they are doing with their lives and they are just awesome examples to me.
Just look at this group: a world traveler, a recent R.M., a nanny, an orphanage volunteer, and a teacher. P.S. Three of these girls are still single, so if you know any guys that like crazies, let me know! :)

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Happy Halloween!

I wish that I could post some pictures of my cute class but I have been encouraged not to post anything for privacy reasons. Halloween in the third grade was pretty fun-EVERYONE got dressed up. The only melt down I had was when the room mom's busted out the gooey, sticky donuts that I knew would make a huge mess.

The third grade teachers.

As far as Halloween day - I totally vegged out while Daniel finally found time to fix up our Jeep. It felt really good to do nothing. That night we had homemade chili and corn bread at my parents (YUM!) and then headed over to my sister's to see the children in their costumes. I didn't really get dressed up but Daniel pulled out the old alien mask and scared people. We had a pretty mellow Halloween but it was good.

My dad with my niece Chloe

Daniel the alien, my nephew Hunter (Obi Wan), and Chloe the ladybug

Sunday Afternoon at the Carpenters

Daniel's brother Chad's family came down last weekend so we got to visit with them a little bit at the Carpenter's. I love my mother in law's cooking! It was neat to see his brother Jarod with his trophy from racing Nationals and our little nieces and nephews. I just thought I'd post a couple pictures for the far away family.
Such cute litttle girls!