Monday, March 21, 2011

Teacher Mom

I don't post about my specific teaching experiences on my blog. I don't believe in doing that. I'm very aware that my blogging is public - any parent, teacher, principal in my life could easily find my blog - and I'm not ashamed of that. They could also look at my Facebook if they wanted to, although some would have a hard time finding it. I live my life out loud. If there's something I'd need to hide, I just don't do it -  not because of my job as much as just because that's who I am. This is why I'm okay with writing this post, knowing full well that it could be read by parents, teachers or principals in my life.

I believe I will make a great teacher.

One of the reasons I believe this is because I'm a mom. Obviously I don't believe that teachers who aren't moms aren't great teachers, but for me personally, becoming a mom has had a profound impact on what kind of teacher I will be. For one, after reading Kelle's post today about down syndrome, it said something that stuck out to me. As a mom, like Kelle, one of the things parents care about most is that the world will accept their child. "To love them, praise them, high five them on the soccer field, compliment their awesome sneakers, invite them to birthday parties, ask them questions and really listen when they reply, pick them for playdates, help them when they’re struggling, teach them when they need it and recognize all the good they have to give the world." (Kelle's words)  

After having a child of my own, I understand that desire more than I ever did before. And as a teacher, I totally get that. Every year I'm teaching, every class and every student is different. Finding the rhythm that works with each unique class will be something I work out each year. One thing that it hasn't ever been difficult for me to do, though, is to find those things I love about people - my students included. Sure, we will have behavior management discussions, I'll have to redirect, discipline and deal with difficulty in my classroom.

What I can guarantee though, as a teacher and as a mom, is that I will be on the student's team. I will be the Captain of the team, but I will be on their team. I will root for them. I will encourage them. I will see the potential in them. I will do everything in my power to make school a positive experience for them. I will make every effort to ensure that students leave my classroom better than they were when they entered it - not only academically, but as a whole person because I believe education is so much more than teaching facts and figures. I will do that by partnering with parents, school personnel and the students themselves. I believe in children. I believe in their potential. I believe in their differences. I believe that every student, no matter their cultural, socio-economic, racial, emotional, mental, or even chromosomal background has beautiful and unique qualities that make them important, relevant and irreplaceable in the world.

I may not understand the specifics of where students are coming from. I may not have walked where they've walked. I may not have seen what they've seen. I may not look at the world the way they look at it. Again, I will do everything in my power to find what shade they view the world in and for as many moments as I can to take a walk in their shoes. I will recognize differences, embrace differences, encourage differences because I believe one of the most important things you can give a child is confidence and an understanding that they have something significant to contribute to their world.

I will make a great teacher. Because I care. Because I see potential. Because I accept students. Because I praise them, encourage them, compliment them.

Because I am a mom.

And when it comes down to it, because I will expect nothing less from my own child's teachers. If my children deserve great teachers, then so do the children who will be in my class.

Teaching is a huge responsibility, but so is motherhood.

I chose both.

I am so proud of both.

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Friday, March 18, 2011

Technology Milestones

I find it amazing how quickly kids pick up on technology. My friend's 6 year old can play games and things on the computer that I couldn't do in 4th grade! Although, to put things in perspective, the fabulous computer games were just coming out when I was in 4th grade, but still! We let Isis play with our iPhones & our computers sometimes. I thought I'd share a little list of what she can do right now!

  • Unlock an iPhone
  • Scroll through menu screens or pictures on the iPhone
  • Click on apps on the iPhone
  • Hit the home button when she's done scribbling on my Scribble app (or when she wants to get back home from any app or screen)
  • Push the keyboard buttons when it's in the text messages
  • Move a computer mouse around & click buttons
  • She knows that hitting the space bar when watching a YouTube video will pause the video & then hitting it again will start it (she giggles a lot when she does this)
  • Hold the phone to her ear & say "hi!"
  • Hit buttons on the computer keyboard
  • She also smiles for pictures when I hold up my iPhone
  • Points the remote control to the TV & pushes buttons

Crazy. Just wait till she starts playing actual games on the iPhone!

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Wednesday, March 16, 2011


If only I had an extra $188.00 lying around...

...I would totally buy this dress.

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Monday, March 14, 2011


Oh, so many thoughts, and I already know I'm going to fall short of articulating them the way I wish I could. I read blogs like Melissa's, Adriel's, Queeny's & Kelle's and I am blown away by the way they use words. It's like painting a picture. I don't have that, but I pretend sometimes that I do.

I've been teaching about the American Revolution in the 5th grade class where I'm doing my long term sub. This is my first time teaching 5th grade content & it's been interesting to see where their foundations are & how they view some of the concepts we are covering. Before discussing the American Revolution, you have to cover slavery because the colonists and other explorers brought slaves from Africa before the Revolution. When we finally reached the discussion of the Declaration of Independence, it was such a beautiful, but bittersweet moment when several of the students kept asking questions about why the founding fathers would put in the Declaration of Independence that "all men are created equal" but then still have slaves. It wasn't just a they ask a question & I gave an answer kind of thing. They genuinely couldn't fathom that those two things could exist at the same time - no matter which way I explained it, it didn't make sense.

What a beautiful innocence. It got me thinking about Isis. Right now - and for many years to come - she won't know of cruelty like slavery. She won't know of genocide, hate crimes, murder, famine, the need for clean water, murder or rape or even natural disasters like the earthquake and tsunami that have currently devastated parts of our world. Devastation created by man and nature are all things that are difficult even for me to understand. For right now, I can hold her in my arms & protect her from every bit of that, all the while knowing that one day these things will have to be explained.

I hope that one day I can approach those conversations and explanations with grace and hope. By teaching my children about devastation like AIDS, genocide, natural disasters or famine, I can also give them a voice to share those frustrations when they identify immediately the injustice of it. I can teach them about these things with the understanding that they have specific strengths, intelligence & compassion that could help work against the cruelty & destruction they find in the world. At the same time that I teach them about the bad, I can teach them how to be a part of bringing good - one step, one person, one act of kindness at a time. 

I love that students wouldn't understand how slavery could exist in our society because they have known their whole lives that it is wrong. It proves that in some ways, we are moving in the right direction. But I know that we have many current issues that will be a reality for these children. I pray that God will give me the wisdom & discernment to know when it is an appropriate time to breach these issues with my own children. Until then, I will continue to hold my beautiful girl in the safety & warmth that I can provide, knowing that one day the devastation in the world will break her heart, but hopefully I can give her the strength she needs to handle that & to also hopefully play her part in doing something about it.

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Wednesday, March 9, 2011


This is our little trooper in the waiting room at the doctor's office. We finally got a smile when we pulled out the iPhone.
We've had one sick girl at our house the last couple of days. It started with a happy girl on Monday with a 99-100 degree fever. By Tuesday morning, it was a 102 degree fever & a bit of a cough. By Tuesday afternoon, it was a pitiful girl who didn't want to play, couldn't keep her eyes open, with a 103 degree fever that wouldn't go down & a cough that sounded like something was rattling in her chest. We took her to the doctor Tuesday afternoon. We knew something was wrong when the nurse took one listen to her chest & left the room to talk to the doctor. They immediately sent her for a chest x-ray before we even got to see the doctor. 

It's pneumonia.

Luckily we caught it early & we were able to go home with antibiotics. They said her fever could stick around for a couple days & the cough would definitely stick around for a while. We didn't really anticipate how bad it would get that night before the antibiotics kicked in. It was absolutely heartbreaking to see her with just no energy, wanting to just be held. Her cough was more sporadic than frequent, but when she coughed it sounded awful & then she would cry because it was clearly hurting her. Her fever was down to 101 at the doctor, but went back to 103 by the time we put her in bed. She woke up frequently after we put her to bed. We kept going in & comforting her & giving her Pedialyte & checking her temperature. She would sleep when we put her back down, but then she'd wake up after 45 minutes to an hour.

This is her "I just coughed & it hurt & I'm about to cry" face.
Finally around midnight, her fever broke. She woke up crying one last time & we took her in the bathroom to do a steam shower & try to clear up her chest. Her temperature was down to 99.5 degrees and she coughed a couple times & it seemed to clear her up a little bit. After that, she slept until 7:30am! 

She's been happier today. Still not wanting to play much, but she did play a little. She mainly just wanted to be held, but her fever didn't go over 100.5 all day! Her cough sounds horrible still and you can hear the congestion in her chest when she's breathing. Overall, though, we're through the bad part. Antibiotics are working! We're just very thankful that we caught it early. We know it could have been much worse. God definitely comforted all of us & got us through it! 

Moral of the story for you to take with you: if your little one has a high fever & a bad sounding cough, go to the doctor ASAP. I'm so happy we didn't wait!

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Sunday, March 6, 2011

Isis' Favorite Books!

These are the books we read over & over at our house! They  may or may not be Isis' favorite, but we read them a lot, so I guess maybe they're the most familiar right now! Since we've read them a lot, she tends to point to her favorite people in them. It's so funny! I've been in the market for some new kids books lately! I have a running list of ones I like that I've heard of & read, but I'm always interested in adding to my list!! Please let me know your favorite children's books!

Who doesn't love this one? I love the end: "Goodnight stars, goodnight air. Goodnight noises everywhere." Everytime we finish reading it, I'm wanting to just tuck myself into bed!

We actually love all our Llama Llama books! We have Llama Llama Holiday Drama, Llama Llama Misses Mama & Llama Llama Red Pajama. I was looking for Llama Llama Mad at Mama at the bookstore the other day, but they didn't have it! Looks like I'm ordering it off Amazon!! Isis always points to Llama Llama and then points to the Mama & she'll either say Mama or Dada. I love it!

This book is just super cute! It was given to me as a gift from the Kindergarten class where I did my practicum when I was pregnant. It's supposed to be for my class when I'm a teacher, but right now Isis gets to enjoy it!

I love Dr. Seuss & I just love reading this book to Isis! For some reason, this book has always made me emotional. I discovered the other day that we have 3 copies of it. I think that's funny and awesome.
This was one of the free kid's Nook books that was on my Nook when I got it! It's become one of our favorites because Isis loves flipping through the pictures on the Nook! It also reads to her & she'll watch it like it's tv.

This book is adorable! My mom got it for Isis along with a little tea set. We love it because Isis' middle name is Ruby! We love reading it to her & dreaming about her having tea with...the Queen!!

This is another book that was given to me by the Kindergarten class I did my practicum with when I was pregnant. We have read this to Isis several times & it's the weirdest thing - she absolutely goes crazy for it!! She will laugh at every page & point to everything like it's the best thing she's ever seen! It's just a book showing different colors in the real world. The colors are really bright & beautiful & apparently it's just the coolest thing for a little girl!!

We also love reading to Isis from a children's Bible. We actually have 3 or 4 of them. Some were given to us by friends, one she got at her baby dedication & one was mine from when I was a kid. I love how they are written in kid's language & they've got great pictures! I still remember reading mine when I was little!!

I'm also working on a big wish list of great books I know about, but haven't yet purchased or had given to me from book-loving grandparents!! I would LOVE to hear your suggestions!! What are your favorite children's books?

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Saturday, March 5, 2011

Dropping a Nap

For the last 2 weeks, Isis' naps have been all messed up. She would only sleep about 30 minutes for the first nap and then less than an hour for the 2nd nap. Something just wasn't quite working. It was like she wasn't quite tired enough & she was just taking cat naps to get her through the next couple hours. We finally decided to try dropping a nap. I realized I'd rather her take one really good 2+ hour nap than 2 naps that were starting to be less than 45 minutes each.

Today, instead of putting her down at 9:30am for her first nap like we normally do, we went out for some family errands! We went to Toys R Us to get her a table to color & draw on because she's been trying to color on everything & rather than her color on my kitchen table, we decided to get her own Isis-sized table! We picked this one. It has 3 setting for size so it can grow with her & it wasn't horrible colors that clashed with my house! Then we went to Joseph Beth Booksellers to get her a book, which they didn't have (boo). We finally went to the grocery to buy some food! By the way, I have some great children's book & new recipe posts coming up inspired by my outing today!

We came home, fed her lunch around 11:00am & then put her down for a nap around noon. It's 1:40pm & she's been sleeping like a log since we put her down! She wasn't too fussy this morning, so it seems like this is what she needed. Now she'll get one really great nap & hopefully feel better all the way around!! We'll see! It's just day 1 and I've found in my last 14 months of motherhood that everything has a transition period.

How did your nap transitions go?
When did your child drop to 1 nap a day?

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