This is me

I really relate to this verse right now…


Oh yeah!


It’s our first holiday of the school year! Don’t get me wrong: I love the kids and it’s going well but we neeeeeed a break. It’s been a long first two weeks of school.

It is going well but it’s been hard. I’m struggling to get used to the schedule (I used to teach on a block schedule with 1 hour and 20 minute classes and only 6 periods — now my classes are 50 minutes and there’s 7 periods), the subject I’m teaching (before I taught combined reading and grammar/writing and now I teach grammar/writing/spelling) and the age group (before was 6th, now is 5th). All of these changes are OK — they’re great! But change is change. It takes some getting used to!

It was a great day!

My first day as a Pilot Point Bearcat was great! I’m loving these 5th graders. It was a wild and wooly day for sure, but somehow, we all made it through.

Not everything went according to my plans but that’s OK. All I hope is that everything went according to God’s plan for today. :) I’ve always loved this verse but now I’m learning how it applies to the life of a classroom teacher!

Lamentations 3:22-23

lam 3-23

New Teacher Training

Today was the first day of teacher’s inservice for new-to-Pilot Point ISD teachers. Can I tell you how excited I am now???

We got to know one another and hear each other’s backgrounds plus we heard some great training (on video) by legendary educators such as Dr. Mike Moses and Dr. Harry Wong.

Teaching-workofheartThe big takeaway for me today was this: The teacher is the No. 1 biggest factor in a student’s success. I had been taught that in graduate school and certainly tried my best to live that out while teaching at Madras Middle School. But that’s the kind of statement that teachers can’t hear too often. And it’s not just some hype that administrators or principals tells teachers to pump them up. It’s proven by research.

This doesn’t mean that a great teacher can turn every student into an A+ student. Success for one student might be passing the standardized test in a particular subject area for the very first time ever. Success could be making a B. Success could be overcoming a fear of reading aloud. Success is leaving my classroom as not only better Language Arts students but also as better people. At least, that’s my dream for them.

There’s tons to do before the students show up on Aug. 24 but I already know this: It’s going to be a great year!!!

PPISD_BearcatSooooooo you probably know by now that I’m going back to teaching school. I’ll be the 5th grade English Language Arts (ELA) teacher at Pilot Point Intermediate School this fall. Woo hoo!

Friday was my last day at Tribune Publishing and it was bittersweet. The past year has had lots of ups and downs, being part of a brand-new publicly traded company. Corporate America is a tough workplace. But it was fascinating seeing the inner workings of it all, especially that close to the top. And I learned so much about investor relations (some of which I thought I’d never understand) and about the news industry today. I made a very good friend at our office (I’ll miss seeing you every day, Jenn Oas!) — something I never expected.

Now the adventure begins. Again! Being a first-year teacher is hard. I was one in 2011. This is kind of “first-year teacher 2.0” because it’s a new school, a new grade, a new subject (well, sorta — I taught ELA and Lit as a combined subject in Georgia), a new curriculum, a new state-mandated test… I think I need a new brain. Ha. The Lord will help me, this I know!

Monday is my first day. Let’s go, Bearcats!

P.S. Thank you to Ma and Dad for the awesome box o’ school supplies and other goodies! That will help the year start off right! Love you


Monarch butterfly, El Rosario Butterfly Sanctuary in Mexico. Photo Credit: Astrid Frisch

It’s spring! Such a lovely time of year. :) And it’s almost time for one of my very favorite creatures to show up: butterflies!

I was talking to my Ma today and asking when the Pipevine Swallowtail caterpillars would be back in her flowerbeds. They are so cute and fat. And of course, they turn into gorgeous butterflies. But you have to plant their favorite food: Pipevine! Ma found this out from a neighbor and planted some last year.

We started discussing how to attract more butterflies to our yards/flowerbeds/gardens. I did some Googling and here are some links. A few are specifically about Monarch butterflies. Enjoy!

Reminds me of the time Dave and I had such a great time at the “Butterfly Extravaganza” in 2008 with the monarch! Read about it here.

Real Love…

john 316 valentine-sweet


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