Thursday, June 20, 2013

Dreaming Big!

I had a farewell lunch date today with the other upper elementary teachers...we went to LaParilla and our time together was way too short! We talked very little about actual school though a couple of *cough-cough* students came up! I loved teaching with this group of ladies and will greatly miss them and their genuine personalities!

 Left to Right: Me(4th) Mrs. Wofford  (2nd)
Shannon(5th) and Charlotte (3rd promoted to Principal next year :)

Small school so small staff and only 1 teacher per grade but definitely by far the best with a whole lot of God gifted teaching talent :) Words can't even begin to express how warming and friendly these ladies have been to me this year from the very beginning!  Charlotte was the one I always went to for educational advice...she is so experienced and knowledgeable and will make one hot "orange" headed of a principal next year. She helped  me so much by setting expectations high and challenged me to be a much better educator! Shannon was the one I always vented and cried to. She taught me to be bold and tough and not to take things personal! She was my neighbor and her son was in my class so we spent a lot of time together! I'm sure she'll still be the educator that I cry to on those insecure and failure days :) Mrs. Wofford was the only one that I confided in when deciding to change schools. She taught me how important it is to keep a promise, be the one that others can confide in, and trust the Lord! I sure will miss these ladies and our working relationship!

 I spent the rest of my day mulling over the dilemma of no vision for my classroom set up. I was given permission to go to this Scratch and Dent store and pick out anything that I wanted, sticky note it and was told I'll get it...I chose four bookshelves and had a really hard time determining if I wanted 2 big and tall ones or 4 shorter ones :/ I went with the four shorter ones and will probably regret it. I also chose a filing cabinet with doors, a short smaller one with two drawers, a 12 foot magnetic white board (we shall see how awesome my new admins are because they also had 8 and 6 foot ones that were a lot cheaper and the best find of all was as I was leaving I found a HUGE stack of flip chart tablets the vertical and horizontal ones so I put four of those on my list and they were only priced $5.00 a piece! Way better than 12 bucks from the school supply store! Here's hoping I get everything I stickied because I sure could have stickied a whole lot more!!! Here are some of the pics I took of the Computer Lab soon to be my 5th grade classroom:
One Corner with a car load of my stuff shoved into it.

That door looks like a cute little closet but nope it's the server room :/
I can foresee lots of distractions in my near future.

I ended the day by admiring and dreaming big with some jewelry at my Mom-in-laws...Paparazzi Jewelry to be exact and I am now my own independent consultant :) Yay for me! Can't wait until my shipment comes in next week and I can start selling :) The best part is everything is $5.00! Hoping it helps supplement some income so that ONE day I can be that Stay at Home Mom to my own cute little toddlers

Check it out...

Earings Galore!

Stretchy rings to fit any size finger :)

Silver and Pearlie necklaces

Black necklaces

Brown necklaces

Colored necklaces!

 I am so excited to get started besides the greatest part is NOTHING costs more than $5.00! (even though I'm having an EXTREMELY difficult time parting with any of it! I just love it all! ) What teacher doesn't want to look stylish while she's teaching?!Check out my website and BECOME stylish :) 
 #jewelrymakesmefeelpretty #dreamingbig #paparazzigirl

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Revitalized and Ready!

After today's hair appointment (which always leads to a deluxe pedicure at the nail salon next door:) I am revitalized, refreshed and ready for the many new things ahead in my life! Yesterday I met with the principal of my new school and was asked to design my room which is going from being a computer lab to my fifth grade classroom...a grade I said I'd NEVER teach :0 I stayed for almost two hours alone and in this computer lab of a dungeon (no windows :( and left overwhelmed and unsure of where or how I wanted to set it up! A great problem that I'm sure many teachers wish they had but this country girl is just use to working with what I've got. I had to measure how far apart I wanted book bag hooks and how far up from the wall I wanted boards (a girl who just last year measure a window for curtains with a piece of paper), post the walls with sticky notes and make a hard copy for the office, and was left with the daunting task of going to a scratch and dent store and picking out the furniture that I want for my classroom but the most frustrating part was without anything in there, I couldn't decide which area of the room would be used for what nor could I envision it! Then I thought of the Bible verse "..where there is no vision the people perish" and became over whelmed at the thought of a class full of 5th graders with a teacher who has no vision!  I even went to bed dreaming about the corners of my new classroom that is windowless and woke up with that anxious feeling of I've got so much to do and don't know where to start...a feeling I shouldn't be having this summer! Unfortunately ALL I can think about is my new class and my new school and all the changes that I will be making with this move in just under a month...where has my summer gone?! I was so thankful to be going to get my hair did today because I always feel lighter, happier, and full of vain superpowers when I leave there :) I wanted to go short but long enough to keep it pulled back next week during youth camp.
This is my long, stringy, untamed hair this morning...

This is my new and improved style! I plan to get it stacked in the back and a little shorter after camp!
My hair appointments are usually once every 3 months and I NEVER use to be a regular until I taught this one adorable, smart, hyper, and Vietnamese student whose Mom owned a hair salon! She convinced me to let her color my hair...I started getting grays at 24... and ever since it has become a very important and necessary part of my life not to mention she only charges me half price! and it took me persuading her to do that...she used to do it for people! Her family is so sweet and they also own a delicious Vietnamese restaurant, they are hard workers, came to America legally and fully support a fair taxed America but the gem in their family is their son, Jason, whom I was privileged to teach in first and looped to end up having him in second grade also.

I will never forget the one very special day that his life changed forever in my second grade classroom. It was a Wednesday morning right after Chapel during math class. During Chapel for about a month I had been reading a story about a missionary family who visited Communist China and how they witnessed to the Chinese people and this one little boy named Yung-an and his family chose to worship the one true God and became followers of Jesus Christ even though it threatened their lives. The book was interesting full of adventure and kept his attention very well but never once did I even think about the way it would change his life. I remember it just like it was yesterday we had been back in class for almost 15 minutes, had done some whole class math fact review and I was turned around to pick up the speed drills for passing out. I was startled when I turned around because Jason was standing behind me, he never got out of his seat without permission, and he had a real serious look on his face and motioned with his finger for me to let him tell me something. I thought maybe he had an accident in his pants or something but when I leaned over he whispered in my ear "Mrs. Jennifer...I believe in Jesus." I then asked "that's great Jason...what made you decide that today?!" You see in a Christian school everyone says they believe in Jesus whether or not they have recognized their need for a Saviour and accepted Him. But Jason's statement was more powerful than just I believe in God, there was a passion in his voice and a look in his eyes and a sudden realization and then he said "I don't believe in idols. I believe in Jesus." Clearly the story from Chapel that I had forgotten about but he couldn't keep it out of his mind, meant something to him and I asked if he wanted to talk outside. You see in his families culture they worship Buddah. I took my Bible showed him some very important verses all of which he understood because the Lord had already worked in his heart. We prayed together and he asked God to save him because he no longer believed in idols.One of the absolute BEST teacher memories I have!

After leaving the salon today, I was even more refreshed than usual because his mom told me that they are enrolling him at the school I'll be teaching at this upcoming year :)
Here is the little cutie at our Open House night when he was in second grade!

The Barn was an actual part of my class but sure made an outstanding prop for this Readers Theater performance!

Great kid! Great memories and an overall Great Day :)

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

End of the Year Gifts

Last week I finally got motivated, guilted, and kind of pressured from my sweet husband and my visiting neice and nephew to finish and mail my end of the year gifts. The schtuff was haunting me as it lay scattered out in my living room floor. I knew I wanted to incorporate pics of them in the photobooth with some kind of poem all wrapped into a special keepsake. I kind of wanted to do a Wordle and loved the ideas I saw but wasn't sold on them plus the fifth grade teacher will make them one for Christmas next year. I planned to have whatever gift I came up with ready for my last PT conference that also included the student and wanted to read the poem to them with their 'rents. Such a sweet thought but since that didn't happen I planned to have them to give the last day of school, since that didn't happen I planned to mail them...what kid doesn't love getting mail?! I can just imagine them getting this awesome package in the mail and the big smile that accompanies it while they think of themselves as all growny because they got their own mail...just the thought helps me to compensate for the fact that it cost me a big $22.00 to mail them all and about a 45 minute wait in the post office line...I need to seriously not procrastinate on these next year so I took lots of pictures so I would remember exactly what I did.
The front included a photobooth frame with their pic from open house, a pic of them with their folks, then an end of the year pic, and last a pic of them with their teacher. I then typed a "You Are" poem for them from my perspective since they had written "I Am" poems about themselves this year. The back was a cute vintage circus page with a Dr. Seuss quote.

A close up of one!

Them all together!

I finished them with some stickers from my great finds at Michaels that were circus themed and kind of vintage too!
I then laminated them all to hold their value...lots of time on my part! Really they were a little too thick for my laminator but I made it work :)

Then I used my handy glue gun and attached a ribbon for hanging and waala...a cute end of the year keepsake :)

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Still Learning and Learning at its best!

This will be my first attempt to load a picture, not that I'm comfortable with the whole blog posting yet but I want to try :) This is from the photobooth in my class and is of one of my former, highly motivated, and awesome students with his sister and mom. We were teaching pals last year until I made the decision to change schools...a decision that I'm still struggling with simply because the group I taught with was so awesome but a decision that I know is best for my family...don't you hate those kinds! Anyway, she is also awesome and I know she won't mind me posting her pic as long as I'm attempting to smart-up on my technology skills. :)

 Silly Stewarts :)

Yay! I posted a pic on blogger! :) Such an awesome feeling after desiring and envying all of you other bloggers for over 3 years!  Thanks Shannon, Ty, and Emma for being my guinea pigs :)

I Think I Can :)

PTL... Starting a blog is and has been the #1 thing on my summer bucket list for the past 3 years! Finally, thanks to Mrs. Fultz from Mrs. Fulz's Corner for her Youtube step by step tutorials and her peppy "If you can email, you can blog" slogan (hopefully one day in the near future I'll know how to link to her blog for that reference) I am taking the plunge and I can email so I think I can blog too! (Thomas the train is chanting "I think I can! I think I can! I think I can! and by golly I hope to soon say like he too, I know I can;)