Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Settling In {SOL 9-16-14}

This week is our third week of school.  Although, when I stop to think about it, it could be our 30th.

I am amazed at how quickly my new students learned the routines and expectations of our classroom.  They are eager and enthusiastic learners.

To the outside observer, it seems like we've been at this forever.  Walk in my room during silent reading time and it is just that...silent while students read.  They have already built up to 30 minutes of solid reading time.  When it's time to stop, they say "Awww...." and I smile to myself at their love of reading.

I should be happy that everything is going so smoothly.

And I am.

But maybe a little part of me isn't.

You see, while my students have slipped into the routines of our classroom, I have too.  Some of these are the old routines of years past.  These routines are comfortable and familiar.  But I slowly feel them pushing out anything new I have learned that I wanted to implement in my classroom.  It's as if they are saying, "Go away, new kid.  We don't need you here.  We've got a good thing going."

And all of those new ideas are trying to turn around and retreat back to safety where nothing changes and life is easy.

But this isn't about "easy."  It's about growing, and learning, and stepping outside of my comfort zone as I try new things, possibly better things.

Old habits are hard to break, but break them I will.

It's nice to be comfortable, sitting under the tree of learning that I have created over the years.  But we all know that real growth occurs up there at the end of those branches.

Time to get my ladder...

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Apple Orchard, Where Have You Been? {SOL 9-9-14}

How appropriate that today's Slice of Life is about a visit to the apple orchard where you are encouraged to sample slices of apples!

There is a very quaint apple orchard near my home. I love this place so much, I would move in there if I could.
This is not your ordinary apple orchard.  Here, the apples are already picked and waiting for you in big wooden crates.  No climbing trees or fighting with bees!
This orchard features a massive variety of heirloom apples.  Bill, the orchard's owner, is probably one of the friendliest guys you'll ever meet.  He can tell you anything you want about any apple.  I love the way he labels the crates with paper plates.  His descriptions of the apples are a perfect lesson in adjectives.  Who knew an apple's taste could be "sprightly", "zippy" or "snappy"?  (The English major in me LOVES that!) 

To make the best pie, just walk around and put one apple from every bin into your bag.  Mix them up.  You won't be sorry! The pie I made on Sunday was amazing and I'm so glad....I waited all summer for it.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Celebrating New Beginnings {9-06-14}

I have many things to celebrate this week.  It has been a week of wonderful new beginnings.

I celebrate my new students.  I have 24 this year and while there is a huge range between them, they are eager to learn.

I celebrate returning to work and being with friends.  I am thankful I have a place to go every day, work with people I enjoy, and spend each day doing something I love.

I celebrate routines.  The beginning of the year is a crazy time.  I am looking forward to settling into a familiar routine where I don't have to look at my schedule every 10 minutes to know what I'm supposed to be doing.

I celebrate independence.  Last night, my son drove himself to Boy Scout camp which is about 90 minutes away.  This is the farthest we've ever let him drive by himself.  (He got his license in May.)  He arrived safely, and even remembered to text his worrying mom to let her know.

I celebrate the bounty of my garden.  The tomatoes are ready -- really ready.  I will spend some time tomorrow figuring out how I am going to use all of them.  I see a huge pot of chili and spaghetti sauce in our future...

What are you celebrating this week?  Be sure to visit Ruth's blog and link up.

Wishing you a week of wonderful celebrations!

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

First Day Poem {SOL 9-02-14}

First Day

Wake before the alarm
Here we go
Months off have refreshed me
Restored me
Relaxed me
But have they prepared me?

Multiply my anticipation
By 24
And that's a lot of responsibility
To carry
To own
To balance.

But my anticipation breeds action.

I am off --
To inspire
To nurture
To grow
(And with a little luck)
To teach.