Saturday, August 27, 2011

Friday Night Lights.. Small Town Texas taking down #1.

Last night was the season opener for our local high school football team.

We played a BIG rival! There is a good deal of bad blood between our schools and while a game that doesn't count for the district standings is HUGE to us. You see, prior to the game, the rival school was ranked #1 in Texas in our division and we were #9.

Here are the girls as we were leaving the house for the game.

At game time, it was over 100 degrees!  The stands were PACKED and it was electric.
There is just something about Friday Night Lights!! 

The girls were hot and tired so we only lasted the first half.  I wish we could have made the whole game!

We kept up with the score, but it's just not the same thing. :(

The final score of the game? 

We WON!!

How sweet it is. 

Monday, August 22, 2011

Ideas At Work: My 2011 Classroom Decor

And so the 2011-1012 year begins!

This year my room is

Under Construction: Ideas At Work!!

It got rave reviews today.

Notice the DANGER and CAUTION signs around my desk!
The student's thought that was funny, and true. 

So there it is!

My hope is that it will inspire students to be creative and allow


Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Teaching is a Family Affair

Getting ready for a new school year is what I consider to be one of the funnest things about teaching.
I love decideing on a new classroom theme.
I love making new charts and class procedures handouts.
I love bulletin boards and posters.

I know, it's kinda weird for a secondary teacher to say that, but I do. 
I guess that's why teaching art works for me :)

But along with all the new, there is a lot of work.
And lots of hours go into making a classroom a nice place to be.

Below you can see my girls hard at work helping me get a first day of school activity ready!
By now, Maddie is a pro. 
Lexi is learning and staying on task with moderate redirection.
Kylie is participating.

 Here are all the bags stuffed with their "goodies".

 And for any Art 2 student out there... here is a sneak peek to your first project for the year!

Friday, August 12, 2011

The Bell Ringer!

Yep, teachers have gone back to work!  You know how I know?  I have a kid that got a "BIG OUCHIE" and she's not feeling great.  That's how I know.

What is it about kids and work?  I tell you, they just intuitively know when I have to be at work and when I am just working in my room.  The last few weeks I've spent a good deal of time at school getting my new curriculum for my SEVEN preps ready, but I've just been working on my own time, so I came and went and the kids just chilled and all was well.

Then, Wednesday night, (the night before teachers went back to work officially) Kylie and Lexi were playing in Kylie's room.  I heard a crash and a scream and I run in there and Lexi is playing all innocently with the baby dolls in one part of the room and Kylie is laying in the closet floor crying.  Notice the protrusion on Kylie's forehead!

All in all, Kylie was fine.  I called my sister, the nurse, and she gave me some pointers.  I didn't have an ice pack, but frozen corn worked, well until Kylie ate the corn.  It was a typical Mommy's getting ready to go back to work night! Thankfully Doug returned home from a work conference a couple of hours later, after being gone for five days, and the world returned to it's proper spot on it's axis.

Friday, August 5, 2011

The Hardest Part of Being a Working Mom

In case you didn't know, being a working mom is hard!  There are so many decisions that a mom agonizes over when it comes work and family.  But hands down the HARDEST PART OF BEING A WORKING MOM IS CHILDCARE!!!

This has been a constant strain, struggle and cause of sleepless nights in our house for the last eleven years.  Crazy isn't it. 

Maddie was born in May 4, 2000 and since I'm a teacher, I had off until we want back to school after summer. That was July 28, 2000. That marks the begining of our journey with daycare.  And here we are in 2011 still enjoying the world of childcare.

Kylie started at a local daycare on Monday.  I have to say, I'm really not the greatest fan of daycare centers.  I like a homey feel.  I like my little one being with just a couple other kids and a mom/grandma. 

But sometimes in-home settings don't work out really well and sometimes the loved grandma-type retires!  So after looking around a while we decided on a facility that we felt comfortable with. They have an awesome schedule and after years of working around challenging in-home care schedules, it is really nice to have consistent hours.

Here is Kylie on Monday morning on her first day of "school."
Isn't she soooo cute!  She was happy to go and did great!  In fact, I waited to write this post as I wanted to get the whole week in so if we had any major issues, I could report them!

But thankfully, no problems.  Kylie played well, she napped, she ate and never cried.  I would say that is a good week!!

Believe me, I know we will have problems, that is the nature of childcare, but here is the recap of the things I liked about the week.  (And yes, I will have to look back at the post sometime in the future to remind myself I am sure..)
  1. I love the fact that a staff member greeted my child and made her comfortable every morning.  They were genuinely (or great fakers) happy to see her and made my departure seem natural!
  2. I appreciate the fact that my child's teacher is with her all day.  No mid-day teacher changes!
  3. I LOVE the video cameras!! It makes me feel like I am involved when I can ask about the interactions that I can see on camera. 
  4. I am grateful for the daily report pages that tell me what was for lunch, how long my child napped, and when diaper changes occured and other sundry items. This makes me feel like I am a part of my child's day.
Being that I am not a newbie, I know that things will not always be great, but I do know that the first week is vital in a childcare setting.  Kylie is happy and doing great.  That means the world to me.

Interestingly, this facility is owned by a couple of "momswhoknow" and I think it makes a difference.  If you have never had to leave your child in daycare, be thankful.  If you have, you understand what I mean when I say what a relief it is to know that Kylie is safe and happy.  Truly, one of the greatest gifts to a parent is not having to leave your child crying while you go to work.  Cause I'm sorry, it doesn't matter that "she only cries for a minute." And telling me that "as soon as you leave she stops crying" doesn't make my heart hurt any less.  

 Hopefully, this is just the begining of a great childcare relationship!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Classroom Under Construction

If you were lulled into the summer schedule and didn't realize that August 1st came and went.  It did.  As a teacher, August 1st is THAT DAY for me.  I really enjoy June and July at home.  I do a little school work and piddle around the house.  I love that time, but in the back of my head, the date, August 1st sits there and reminds me to not get too comfortable.

It really is kinda funny.  Last week (prior to August 1st) I was up at the school and it was me, one administrator and the cleaning crew.  It was DEAD!  Then August 1st, Monday, arrived and the school is a hive of activity.  Our students don't officially arrive for the first day of school until August 22nd, but the building is crawling with kids.  In fact, tomorrow the 4th, we have a full morning of freshmen as they get acclimated to the campus and our procedures.

I can't wait to show you my classroom!! I am the lone high school teacher probably in the world (or so it seems) that decorates my classroom.  I guess it's that artsy-elementary brain I have!  This year I am doing IDEAS AT WORK.  Complete with orange construction barrier stuff draped on my ceiling! 

Hopefully by next week I can show you the room!  It is going to be fun.  And a good thing.  30 art students in one classroom with one teacher is going to be NUTS and LOUD!  I've even bought myself a Yakker Tracker (sp?)  It's a stop light that will change from green to yellow to red depending on the noise level.  I think it fits my construction theme perfectly!

So that's what I am up to.  If you live in the area and feel the need to organize, label, sort or hang.. give me a call.  I can use all the hands I can get!