Sunday, November 6, 2011

Am I crazy?

Just a little update on me and what I am doing. During my second year of teaching I started my Masters in Educational Leadership. I enjoyed the classes and was set to move into a leadership role. Then came the big move from New Mexico and I did not finish my degree. When I came to my current county I decided that I needed more time. In that time I have taught for 13 years and received my Masters in Education. I have always remembered my desire to go into leadership and have enjoyed opportunities to lead and to teach. This summer while at camp (you might remember those crazy times) I was prompted to put this dream back towards the front of my priorities. I also spent time this summer with one of the greatest principals (she will remain nameless to protect the innocent :) I was able to help with interviews, scheduling, and to see some ins and outs of what goes on. She encouraged me to move along with my education.
So, here is the update! I went to an information meeting on Sept. 27th for a Specialists program with a local university. I was very impressed and knew that this was the program I had been waiting on. On October 18th all of my paperwork was due to the county to be accepted into their leadership cohort. On November 3rd I got my acceptance letter and will need to turn in all my paperwork to apply to the university before Dec. 1st. Yesterday morning I bought my practice book for the GRE and last night I reserved my seat to take the test on Nov. 17th. (The last day to take it and reach all the deadlines.) Some think I should be scared, but I don't have time to think about that. I welcome any words of encouragement or tricks of the trade for doing well.
I know that this is the path I should be taking right now, so I know it will work out. I am excited for this new adventure, but just thinking about it makes me a little tired. I think I will go take a nap! :)

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Why Don't You Blog About It!

I have gotten this response or the question, “When are you going to update your blog?” a lot lately. I really don’t have an excuse except I know I don’t have time to do the kind of job I would like to, so I don’t do it at all. I am sure I have a problem that Dr. Phil could help me with.
Amanda asked me when I would blog about Korea and I said, “Oh, I haven’t done that yet?” I was then asked about Alaska and Argentina and then I think they were just teasing me, but it helped me remember something that was said to me the last time I was in Africa. As I got to know the team members better and we shared parts of our lives with each other a friend of mine told me I lived a charmed life. I believe that is so true and I am grateful for everything I have experienced. Sometimes I get bogged down with the busyness and everyday schedules to realize what a charmed life I do have and to remember to share my joys with others.
Thanks for those of you who have cared that my blog was not updated and I will try to do a better job.
I will share a few pictures from my recent days and then do a better job in the future while I try to catch up on the past.

I don’t know why but when I saw this shirt I had to have it and every time I think about it I think of Joseph for some reason. Anyone know what I am saying?

This is the window in my new classroom. It is all fogged over because the air works well in the room. Oh yeah! BONUS! Here are some before pics of my room. Yes, I am already at school working on my room for next year and spending plenty of time planning.

I had quite an adventure at girls’ camp this year including a horrible storm that wreaked havoc on our camp. I was very lucky to come out of it unharmed physically. I was in my tent surrounded by trees for the worst of it. Limbs took out tents, cars, and the quick shade that was right next to my tent. It was the “Paper Mill Party Place” complete with a disco ball and everything before the wind and rain came. I got a few pictures after the storm and one during, but the limb had been removed and cleanup had happened before I thought to get out my camera.

Katherine brought joy to camp even during the storm. Evidence of our stormed on Party Place after quite a bit of cleanup. Me with the disco ball, it survived. :) My tent with the wreckage in the background. The storm came up so quickly, we really are lucky to have come out of all of it fine.

How can you not laugh when someone this cute makes such a mess?
I cherish any time I can spend with the little ones in our family. Come on over!
A few random pictures of the fam.

The end of the school year was a whirlwind of excitement with the temple rededication celebration, testing, and relay. At times I was not sure I would make it through, but I have great memories from it all.

OK, that is enough charmed life for now! Good night :)

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Math Made Me Cry!

It was a dark and silent time in the cafeteria...just thought I could make it a scary story, but then I changed my mind. Friday before last the lights were out in the cafeteria. At our school this means no talking. We have last lunch this year and my class has been struggling with their behavior. Every time I turn around someone is saying to them, "I don't understand, Miss Martin always has the best class." I want to say to them, "I do understand, they are no worse than any other class, they just have no one else to take up any of the attention." Anyhow, when the lights were turned back on someone in my class decided to express their joy by yelling YEAH! I was innocently enjoying my lunch in the staff lounge when the head custodian came in to give my the bad news. Apparently not only did the yelling occur, but no one would rat out the offender. He told me that I needed to take care of the problem and that until the guilty was pinpointed my class had silent lunch. Silent lunch! What, it is one of two times during the day when they get to talk about whatever they want. We have such a hard time making it to that time of day anyway. I decided that this would come to an end quickly. I just knew that I could handle this situation. Friday after lunch usually involves those who have behaved participating in "Fun Friday" (30 minutes of recess). Hey, I didn't make it up, but have to go along with it because it has always been this way. Those students who have not behaved must stay inside in the "Reflection Room" (a horrible place where they have to miss the time outside and fill out a paper detailing all their wrongs and how they will behave in the future) Again, a tradition and a place I hate to be every fifth week. Anyhow, I was scheduled to be outside as was my entire class. I decided we would take as much of Fun Friday as was needed to take care of this problem and move on. I let the class share I statements about lunch, this means they could say, "I heard someone yell YEAH" not "So and so yelled YEAH". We went about this until I had heard enough. No one was volunteering to say, " I yelled YEAH!", so I decided to take it one step further. Everyone was asked to come speak to me in private in the hallway (just in case they did not want to confess in public). I just knew this would find the culprit. One by one they all came out and one by one they said they had no clue who did it or they blamed someone, but with nothing to back up their blame. This tactic didn't work so I decided that now we were all in the reflection room. I pulled out the reflection sheets and made a big deal about passing them all out. I even had to make more copies and told them that I didn't ever expect to have to use this may in a whole year much less in one week (true). They all wrote down the despicable behavior that got them there and then one brave girl raised her hand and asked "what am I supposed to put for how I will act next week when I didn't do anything wrong?" She was right! I had no idea. I quickly covered up my stumpedness and told her she needed to be creative. They all signed their guilty papers, I signed them and I made a pile to send home to their parents. I couldn't believe this was happening. I told them the story of when I was in third grade and I spilled red kool-aid on my parents white bedspread while no one else was around. When mom discovered it and asked who did it I was not about to confess since no one could prove it was me. Mom gave us one hour to find out who did it before we all got punished. After an hour of "did you do its?" I still hadn't cracked. The time was up and just before the spankings began, I confessed. Oh the horror! I never wanted to feel that way again and tell that story every year to teach the importance of telling the truth. Even Miss Martin has to learn that lesson once! No one cracked! Sincerely what is wrong with this class or was it me. I took it to the next level, technology. I pulled up my e-mail on the SMART board to show them all how I was letting the custodian know that his punishment of silent lunch for the REST of the year would stand because no one had confessed. Before I hit send I asked if anyone wanted to stop me. NOTHING! I thought, OK, one day of silent lunch should do it. I personally felt the punishment was too much, but I can't take back what was already decided while I was innocently eating my salad. Sincerely people, don't say something you are not ready to follow through on. I give the custodian credit because on Monday when it was time for our first silent lunch, he stayed with them. Thanks for not making me do it. One day, two days, FIVE days! I couldn't believe it. Everyday we had a short little lecture and I told the class that I was always available to anyone who needed to talk. By day five I just knew I could no longer take it. The looks of disappointment on the faces of the innocent ones. All along I thought I knew who the guilty one was and I would make sure to look him in the eye whenever I lectured the group about the injustice of it all. Well, you ask, what does this have to do with math and crying. OK, I will tell you. About Wednesday, I started saying that I couldn't believe that someone was making the whole class have silent lunch for 30 minutes each day when their punishment would have been to sit out at recess for 5 minutes. By Friday I was determined to make this all come to an end and so I pulled out my old friend, MATH. Five minutes times one person is five minutes. Thirty minutes times five days is 150 minutes. Well that is the time that one person had spent in silence over all this. Well, 17 people times 150 minutes is 2,550 minutes! I did the math for them and let that sink in. I then told them that we have silent lunch for the rest of the year and 2,550 minutes times 30 more weeks (that's right people, only 30 more weeks of school) and that would be 76,550 minutes of silence versus 5 minutes of recess. I let that sink in while I called them up one at a time to get ready for this week's Fun Friday. One by one they came up. We got to the boy who I had silently blamed all week in my head and nothing. My brain thought, "ARE YOU KIDDING ME! WHAT HAS HAPPENED TO THE CHILDREN OF TODAY?" I had almost made it to the end of the list when I heard the silence broken, "Miss Martin, I did it, it was me!" I looked across the room to see the tortured eyes of an eight year old. Can you imagine the guilt of knowing all week that it was you causing all this trouble. The class looked around in shock. None of us has suspected this little boy, not even me. I began to cry! I did not realize how much stress I had been carrying around over all this. I could not imagine letting the guilt build for a whole week. I had barely made it one hour when I was his age. I got myself composed and moved on from this whole ugly ordeal and he spent five minutes sitting out at recess after he apologized to the whole class. Luckily for me the lights were out and maybe they didn't realize that math made me cry :)

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

MY Snowman

Last time it snowed I told Andrew I would make him a snowman, but the ice (snow) would not cooperate. So, this time I made the best snowman in the neighborhood for Andrew and Angel. I knew you would like him!

He even made friends quickly! He did get to stay in town longer than most, but left today :)

Saturday, January 30, 2010

A Lesson I Learned

This summer one of the things I learned or relearned while I was in Kenya is that everyone has something they can teach you no matter who they are. I am trying very hard to remember that on a daily basis. Some people really try me where this is concerned. I need to just get something off my mind and it is not directed toward any of you, but if you need the lesson feel free to learn. If you don't have your act together please stay out of my business! All up in my kool-aid and don't even know the flavor! OK, I am done and will move on now! :)

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Who Knew?

Who knew that 10+ years ago when I bought an emergency gas can for my car I would actually need it!

So, yesterday was one crazy, busy day. It started at 4:00am and went strong ALL day with school and getting ready for our joint activity, Are You Smarter Than a Deacon or Beehive? (lots of fun BTW) During my nonstop day and while turning around for the second time because of bridge repair my gas light came on. I had not a spare moment and was not headed in the right direction to stop at my favorite Chevron. (Seriously, it is crazy to get to if you are not going in the right direction especially during rush hour(s), but they have the best prices.) It crossed my mind to go over after the activity, but I opted for the morning.

I am taking a sick day today in order to get over my cold before parent teacher conferences start next week. Because I borrowed desks from my classroom for the activity I had to bring them back in this morning. My morning started at 4am because I wanted to make sure I got my plans done without having to rush. I headed out to school in time to get gas and make it to school just as the doors opened at 6:00. I went the route needed to pass by the gas station only to find out that it is not open in the 5 o'clock hour. I decided I would just have to stop by on the way home. I went to school and had all the desks waiting outside the door when it opened at 6:00. I got everything ready for the sub and headed home.

I decided to take the non-interstate route even though it would mean I was headed in the wrong direction for the gas station, but I figured it was early enough that I would be OK. About half way there I knew I was in trouble. My car felt like it was coughing as bad as I was last night and slowed ready to stop several times. I sent up a plea to heaven because I was not sure I would make it around the corner to the next major road. I did not want to be the cause of a major traffic problem especially in the rain. Of course the traffic light was red and my plea got stronger as I could not find a turn off to get out of traffic. With help I made it into a parking lot wondering where the nearest gas station was. I usually take the interstate and don't pay attention to gas stations on the back roads because I have always filled up in time. My GPS told me there was a Shell 0.1 miles away :) Who knows if I could have made it, but I had no problems walking there. I got the gas can that had been silently waiting all those years and headed out.

I was glad for the sidewalk and thankful that the rain seemed to have slowed to a sprinkle. Luckily I had opted to put on my jeans instead of heading out in my pjs. I had opted for my flip flops, but we are having some spring like weather.

I got my gas and the rain didn't even pick back up until I was back at my car. I filled up and made a stop at Chick-fil-A to calm my nerves. There is nothing like a chicken mini or four to make me feel better :)

My stomach is full and so is my gas tank. I was back snug in my bed all before school started or the sun even came up!

Only problem: now my emergency gas can stinks and has ruined the clean linen smell of my car. Do I throw it out and get a new one or can I clean it somehow?