Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Well, I did it. I completed the first run of the summer season. I didn't do as well as I thought I would do, but you have to (re)start somewhere. I feel fabulous and my motivation has returned. Actually, it really never left, just life somewhat interfered. 

 The summer is going swell so far. I have been seeing family and friends, as planned. I have been slightly deprived of sunshine, but soon it will come.  Gotta love Midwest weather... (or not).

 Camera update: 
 I actually have a camera that works!!! I have been taking lots of pictures and it's fabulous. I love taking pictures. My favorites are candid ones. Candid ones tell such a story in retrospect. Posed ones are okay but aren't as fun to take. I have nothing against Canon, but their Power Shot model is quite the lemon of their products. It's not all that it is cracked up to be. I have switched to their competitor and love it more than anything. I love taking pictures and it's refreshing to have a camera that works.

 I have a  bunch of different activities planned for the next few weeks. I am going shopping to a favorite outlet mall, Wisconsin for teenie bopper camp (I am a counselor), and a friend's wedding,  trip to California, Missouri, many trips to the beach,  etc. I can't wait  :o)  Of course, continuing my outdoor, morning runs. They're double-y fabulous!!!!

Enjoy the beginning of Summer. Think warm weather and great sunshine!!!  

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Hooray for Summer Break!!

  Yes folks, 'tis the season that all teachers adore and parents loathe. Summer break!! Yay! I successfully made it through my first year of teaching (BIG sigh). I did it! I cannot believe I really make it through. Most teachers say they dread their first year of teaching, but I truly enjoyed mine.  I made it through because I have a great mentor teacher who kept me laughing the whole time. Thanks, Ms. Grenman! :-)  I also had a great team to vent to, when needed. They know who they are...  (thank you my friends!) I was very bittersweet about packing my belongings up in the classroom. I was really excited for it to be summer, but sad to know I won't see the kiddies until fall. Some of them, I won't see at all. They will be moving to another school for fourth grade. (Good luck!!) Anyway, so my first week of break is almost over. It feels wonderful! I have slept in. I have done things that I wanted to do (including a well-deserved pedicure!). Ahh. And so the warm weather, leisurely reading, and summer festivities begin.  I have good intentions on getting back to working out again. I kind of took an unplanned hiatus from it for  loooonnng time.  I worked long hours at work and also brought work home. No time for the gym.  Trust me, I will return. Nothing like a good run under the morning sun. Awesome!

  So a lot of people have been asking what my plans are for the summer. I don't really have a  plan, per say. I do have things that I would like to do, such as travel to California for a bit. I would also like to work on preparing for grad school. Of course, there's the usual plan of seeing friends and family too. I did have the opportunity of teach summer school, but I turned it down. I just want a break. A breather.  I have the rest of my life to teach summer school and pursue higher degrees. This summer, I am choosing to relax and do things that I want to do. I cannot wait!
   I do plan on posting pictures of my activities over break. Stay tuned... :-) 

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Dear Friends,


      Have I got news for ya'll! Despite all the budget cuts and job loss, I have been asked back for next year. I am awaiting on the signing of my contract. Hooray! Also, I have obtained a highly qualified status. I earned this by passing yet another expensive, paper/pencil, test. I am stoked!
     I am two months away from completing my first year teaching. I can hardly believe how fast it went. It feels like yesterday I just started. As we come closer to the end of the year, I find myself becoming upset knowing I have to say goodbye to my wonderful third graders. After this year, they advance to fourth grade, in another building. I have developed such a wonderful relationship with them. I have watched them grow physically. developmentally, and educationally. That being said, I am so proud of the students they have become. Each of them have worked so hard, despite having learning disabilities. We had our good days and our bad days, but they are troopers. These third graders are the reason why I love to be in the classroom. To all my students: I am so very proud to be your teacher. I am proud of all of you!!! Please keep up the good work. Remember: Pay Attention to Details!!!!


Sunday, March 29, 2009

Allow to me write yet another letter. Here goes.

  Dear Friend Of Mine,

    Thank you for making me smile. I appreciate the effort you put into turning my frown upside down. I find myself smiling more when you are around. I truly enjoy our endless conversations that cause extreme laughter. I look forward to them. I don't think you know how much of an impact you have on me, but I do want you to know that you are wonderful. 

  Much Appreciation,

    Miss Becky  :-)

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Heart and Soul.

   I started a conversation with my mentor teacher about the interview process I went through to obtain the job that I have now. I did ask about the other candidates that interviewed along with me. She briefly told me about each one. She did go on to say that they chose me because I was easy to get along with and that they saw the heart and soul I have for teaching. Heart and early? 'Of course!' she said. I could not help but smile. Yes, I do have the heart and soul for teaching. I love every minute of it. I do have my ups and downs, but I am excited everyday to see what adventure it brings. I <3>

 I cannot imagine myself doing anything else. I do see myself advancing my education in the near future, but for now, I plan on enjoying the completion of my first-year!

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

95% sure.

  That's the answer I received when I asked my principal if I was being asked back for next year or not. She's 95% sure I will be, but anything is possible. Okay, sounds good. 

 This time of year is quite stressful for non-tenure teachers (teachers that have not been teaching in the same place for more than 5 years). This is the time for budget cuts and pink slips. Who would have thought that a pink little piece of paper is the barer of news??

 Anyway, that's the latest.  I hope to hear more in the next week or so. Stay tuned!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Dear Readers,

  I have always been a huge fan of Valentine's Day. As most people think it is a 'Hallmark Holiday', I look at is as a day where you really get to appreciate loved ones. As you should all year round, this day is really special. It's one that is nationwide and everyone seems to be in good spirits on the day of love. Well, until last year...One year ago on Saturday, a tragedy entered my life and the world around me in my school community. If you are unsure of what I am speaking of, it is the shooting at Northern Illinois University. Allow me to tell the story, through my eyes.

 Thursday, February 14, 2008:

   I was student teaching at a local elementary school. I loved what I was doing and completely appreciating the experience. We were able to dress down that day, to celebrate the holiday. I was not seeing the kiddies that day, for I was in meetings with other staff members. The meeting had just adjourned at 3:30(ish) and I was preparing my lessons for the next day. Word came to the office that there had been a shooting. The speaker grabbed my interest and being a person of details, I naturally asked for more. He had said it occured at NIU. 'NIU?!?!?!', I thought. Was he sure? Was this a rumor? I immediately went to the website and in fact, my worst thought had become reality. My heart sank and I begin to tremble. I immediately thought about my friends who still live on campus. My cooperating teacher allowed me to get home to contact everybody. In the mean time, my phone was ringing off the hook with fellow friends and family members checking in for my safety. It all seemed like a dream, a BAD dream. It truly had not hit me until it was on every news channel. When I saw the campus on television, wrapped in yellow tape, emergency vehicles, people sobbing, blood shed, I began to cry. You see, what most people do not know is where it all happened was footsteps of where I used to live on campus. In fact, my window faced Cole Hall. One of my favorite things to do to relieve my stress of homework is to look out the window and people watch. The same very sight that brought me serenity, now has brought me to tears. I was devastated and inconsolable. ' How could this happen?', I thought over and over. 'Why NIU?'
   What really helped me understand and begin to heal was when I visited campus on February 16th, the Saturday after the tragedy occurred. My heart was broken, I was broken. I was filled with sorrow. The very sight of Cole Hall made my stomach churn. The tears rolled down my face uncontrollably. I visited all the mini memorials, read all the uplifting messages and saw my fellow classmates just as devastated as I was. My thoughts, feelings, tears, sorrow were all validated at that moment. When it was time to head home, I knew it was time to begin healing. 

  Here it is, a year later. I think about February 14th, 2008 on a daily basis. As I was not there physically, I certainly was there spiritually. There is a special place in my heart for the five innocent angels whose lives were taken on that day. I pray for them. I pray that they are now in a better place. 

  NIU is hosting a memorial on campus on Saturday. I plan on attending. There is nothing more powerful than to stand with the community and bond in prayer. We all were affected by this tragedy, now we all stand together as we move forward. 

  PS- Happy Valentine's Day !