It’s almost NOVEMBER?!

23 10 2016

WHAT KIND OF EVIL SORCERY IS THIS?!

Oh, right, it’s just time, flying by at warp speed. Did it speed up? Am I just going crazy?

Wait, my sanity has taken quite a hit lately! Regardless, I guess I’m just busier than I have been in a while. Or, like ever.

Good news, though: I’ve been teaching 5th grade for a month and a half, and no one has died! Or even been majorly injured! (Except my sanity.) I gotta say, though – teaching is HARD, ya’ll. Not so much the act of teaching content, life skills, and social skills to 31 individuals all at different levels and with different learning styles and abilities – no, that part I feel like I have down. If only that was all my job was about. But then you throw in the other things…the bus duty, and cafeteria duty, and changing schedules, and parent communication, and tracking/documenting every little thing. Don’t forget to collect evidence for the yearly teacher evaluation, and remember your month for birthday snacks, and didn’t you know everyone wears blue on Fridays?? Well they do. And that kid that won’t get on the bus needs consoling so he’ll board and everyone can go home. Staff meetings every Tuesday, new teacher meetings on Mondays, grade-level collaboration on Wednesdays, weekly catch-up on Fridays, and someone is sure to stop by on Thursdays. Don’t worry, the adventures of being across a parking lot from the main building in portables only adds to the everyday excitement! It’s just a little rain kids, we won’t melt!

So yeah, time has left me behind. Thankfully, I have the greatest group of 5th graders on the planet, and the most amazing coworkers to pull me through on a daily basis. The struggles some of these 10-year-olds are forced to face would rip your heart to pieces, but they still push on. I require all my students to write in a journal, and turn it in once a week. Some write beautiful poetry, some create incredible works of fiction, some regale me with tales of their weekend adventures. When the threat of a bad grade is removed, and they aren’t focused on spelling or grammar, they start writing all kinds of things. And man do they love science! And history! We currently have jugs of mini compost habitats for red worms on the bookshelf, and our butterfly larvae just built their cocoons! We researched butterfly facts all one afternoon, after spending the morning lost in the rainforests of Central America searching for Maya ruins. It’s been a lot of fun. If they learn anything at all in my classroom, I hope it’s to use their imaginations to problem solve, and that finding information isn’t nearly as important as figuring out what to do with it.

And I even managed to sneak off one weekend and tie the knot with that handsome JBoo of mine. Our families flew in from all over, several friends drove in from Bend, and we had an epic weekend overflowing with love. It was pure magic. We all gathered at a big beach house on the Oregon coast and just relaxed together. The weather mostly cooperated and two families became one. Since we had all weekend, everyone got to spend time together, and we bonded over ax throwing, ultimate frisbee, long walks down the beach, rowdy games, and lots of amazing food. The collaborative spirit of our friends helped us pull the whole thing off, and the whole group contributed to make the weekend go without a hitch. Despite the incredible weather we were blessed with, it turned windy, cold, and foggy Saturday afternoon for the ceremony. Thankfully, it was a pretty short and sweet affair, though we didn’t quite get all the pictures I wanted. It was too cold to stand out there! But our awesome photographer, Jon, snapped quickly and captured some fantastic pictures. He was able to shoot all during the weekend and documented the candid fun beyond just the formal ceremony. So good.

married on the coast, Rockaway Beach OR 2016

Happily ever after.

Yep, I’ve been a little on the busy side. We’re settling into a routine, and life is chugging along. We just booked our honeymoon over winter break, so we have something big to look forward. My class size was reduced to 27, from 31, which has made a big difference in my classroom. I’m figuring things out and finding my way around my school, while trying to find a work/life balance. The next time I get a chance to blog, it might be Thanksgiving…or New Year’s…but that’s ok. I have found where I’m supposed to be, doing what I’m meant to be doing, and I’m happy.

Life is good. 🙂





I Know There’s a Light Around Here Somewhere….

11 11 2015

Grad school is trying to kill me. Like, literally. Or maybe that’s my stressed-out, sleep-deprived, 14-chapters-in-and-5-left-to-read brain just hallucinating. Either way, I’m not totally convinced I’ll survive until July. I might fear for my life, but I just don’t have the time.

In case you’re wondering, I’m supposed to be writing papers right now. One short paper due tomorrow, one beast due on Monday, and Godzilla due next Wednesday. So of course, I’m procrastinating by rambling on in a blog post.

This is what my life has become. But it’s been EONS since I wrote anything that I didn’t have to justify with research, or reflect on, or submit to anyone for a grade (please don’t grade this).

In happier news, I do get to break up the slog of university classes with two days of 5th graders. Every Tuesday and Thursday I get to hang out with 26 ten-year-olds and they rock my world. They make me laugh and they make me learn and they make me try harder. I’ve started teaching them, too – a history lesson here, a reading lesson there – and I have discovered things about myself I never even thought to think about.

And those kids – they’ll give you an ego boost and an ego deflation several times a day. I started jotting down quotes from my crazy class.

  • “If you can’t trust the CIRCUS, then WHO CAN YOU TRUST?!” (after watching a video of the Chinese circus)
  • “Ms. Glasgow, I really like your hair today. Its just so wild and frizzy and EVERYWHERE!”
  • “Ms. Glasgow, Ms. Glasgow! All of my pencils have escaped from my pencil box! Can I borrow one of yours?”
  • “Ms. Glasgow, your dress is really nice, I like this outfit. It looks so comfy! Actually, it looks like a nightgown, but I bet you’re comfy!”
  • “Wait, you’ve been in college longer than I’ve been ALIVE!!” (I had to explain that there was a break between the first time and this time. But it sure feels that way…)
  • “Ms. Glasgow, Ms. Glasgow! I need to go to the library! I don’t want this book anymore, ’cause it smells like feet, and I don’t want to read smelly feet!”

One of my favorites came after a math lesson. I had spent many, many hours writing out a math lesson plan and accompanying rationale for class. This project is 50% of my total grade, and the final product was a whopping 18 pages long. Then I had to actually teach it. So after hours and hours of prep, I stood before my 26 little faces and proceeded to teach my heart out. We were learning exponents that day, and I was determined they were going to be experts at the end of that 50 minutes. I was so caught up in hitting all the parts of my mega-huge lesson, that I didn’t realize that I didn’t check the answer of the kid that showed us the correct strategy, and I essentially taught the rest of the lesson wrong.

By the end of it, every student was lost and confused. So was I. As we walked out to their next class, one of the highest-performing kids walked up to me and said:

“Ms. Glasgow, I’m really smart, and I have no idea what you were doing up there. Are you going to teach us the rest later?”

I just about died. As soon as he went in the building, I laughed and laughed. Then I asked my mentor teacher if I should just quit now, and she said not yet, that happens all the time and I could give it another shot the next day.

And I did. Teaching is all about flexibility. And guess what? By the end of Exponents: Part II on Thursday, every one of those kids could work with exponents. Maybe I’ll be an alright teacher after all.

******

Today was a day off from university classes in observance of Veterans Day. In a week and a half, I board a plane bound for Texas to see my family for Thanksgiving. When I return, I’ll have two more weeks of class, then one week of finals, and then the semester is over. Three weeks of winter vacation.

There is indeed a light at the end of the tunnel!!

 








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