Friday, October 28, 2011

First Big Step

Today, I took my first really big pedagogical step as a teacher. I'm really proud of myself. It's funny because I was so anxious to do it. As a new teacher, I'm trying to always find the delicate balance between valuing innovation and respecting the work of my seasoned peers. I believe there is room for both if done in a professional manner. I finally gathered my strength from the hubster and his wise words. I also had these words from Steve Jobs echoing in my mind, "Don't let the noise of others' opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition." I know everyone is quoting that Stanford commencement speech, but it's really stuck with me. It's not cliche to me. It's the truth that is so often overlooked and underestimated.

This Week's Highlights

I don't have as many random silly moments with the big kiddos as I did with the littles. The big kiddos are too sophisticated and on their A-game this year. Here are some that I popped up this week: 
  • "Mrs. Trac, I'm comparing my two favorite teachers. You're one. What's your favorite coffee?"
  • Me: "What's a satchel?" Kiddo: "A man purse!" 
  • As we're dying our printer paper to look vintage, a kiddo says, "Mmm...this smells like ice tea."

Thursday, October 27, 2011


I'm now the proud owner of an iPad2 after much hesitation of wanting to join the Apple family. I'm hoping my PC and iPad can happily co-exist. Three things need to happen now. 

1. My case must come as fast as lightning because I want to start traveling with my iPad everywhere. 
2. I need to find a cute affordable satchel for work to carry my goods in. (Yes, I used satchel. It's one of our vocab words.)
3. I need a name for my iPad. My hubster thinks "Patty" is clever. I vetoed him. 

Any help with numbers 2 and 3 would be great. Thanks!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

The Big Kiddos!

I usually keep my birthday pretty low-key when it comes to the kiddos. I'll pass out cookies at the end of the day, so it's mellow. Otherwise, it turns into a barrage of cards that I feel guilty tossing out. My co-teacher told the kiddos that it was my birthday. I was gone the first half of the day, so there wasn't too much birthday craziness. 

As they came in from last recess, I was giving directions I could tell that they had a surprise planned. The ear-to-ear grins are totally a tell-tell sign. After I was done giving directions, the kiddos all shouted, "Happy Birthday, Mrs. Trac!" That was totally magical then something even more magical happened. The next door class shouted, "Happy Birthday!" Then, another fourth grade class two doors down (like way down the corridor) shouted, "Happy Birthday!" All without the prompting of their teachers. Definitely one of my top ten moments of the year. 

It's nice to know they love me as much as I adore them. I totally adore them, quirks and all.

Happy Birthday to Me!

This past weekend, we celebrated my birthday. It was total college-themed birthday festivities. We had lunch with a prof, roamed around downtown, and ate pizza from our favorite 2-for-1 pizza place. Instead of a birthday cake, I had a half Cowboy Cookie sandwich (snickerdoodle and Heath Bar). Then, we stayed at a mineral springs resort then headed up to Cambria to meet some friends. We went on our 4th Hearst Castle tour. I highly recommend the evening tour. We went to Hearst's library, saw actors, and got to hang out in the kitchen. Our tour guide was hilarious and a joy to listen to. Well deserved relaxation and loads of fun. Hubster, thanks for one of the best birthdays ever!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Monday, October 24, 2011

J'adore Paris

I've been sharing the postcards from my postcard buddy with the kiddos. The way their eyes sparkle when I share the postcard totally melts my heart. I love sharing the world with them. I shared the Paris postcard today. One kiddo thought he was clever and he said, "Washington DC was so ten minutes ago. I'm going to Paris now."

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Friday, October 14, 2011

Falling In Like

Finally, I gave into all the hype and watched New Girl. I had to stop the Wedding episode five minutes in, so I can finish it with my hubster. It's hilarious. It's the kind of hilarious that makes you chuckle on the inside and out loud when it's totally ridiculous. Here are a few reasons, I have fallen in like with the show: 

1. Jess is a teacher. They've worked in totally believable teacher dialogue like:  

I’m a teacher so I’ll probably be bringing home a lot of popsicle sticks. 
I have to get to school cause it's astronomy day and I'm dressing up as Galileo, so I have to put on my beard.

2. The reverse Mormon joke went perfectly with our marathoning of Sister Wives on Netflix.

3. My hubster loves the running Douchebag Jar joke. 
4. Can't beat the classic comedic set up of one girl and two or more guys living together. 


I'm pooped, exhausted, fatigued and any other word that describes being too tired to barely type this post. My hubster's been on travel for a few days, so I decided to catch up on everything at work. I had been dying to tackle my mountains of paperwork and student work, so I stayed an extra hour after homework club. Doesn't sound too bad. Well, I've been leaving work around 5ish then running a few errands. Then, dealing with my usual one-way 45 minute commute. I got home around 6:30ish the past couple of nights. Then, I graded science tests, math tests and reading homework. Oy! It makes me even more tired just typing it all out.

The perks? I only have my giant language arts pile left. My files are organized. The kiddos files are organized. Grades are entered into the gradebooks. My room is all spiffy and redecorated. I have an official to-do folder for my aid. I also have all my field trip forms organized for the huge field trip on Monday. Totally worth the extra work, but I don't want to do it for awhile. 

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Thank You

Dear Parents of the Kiddos,

Thank you. Thank you for sharing your hopes for your child with me. Yesterday, I finally got around to reading the surveys that I asked you to fill out a month ago. My apologies that it took me so long. We've been quite busy. Oh, those unassuming half sheets of paper. As I read your answers to "What goals do you have for your child this year?", my heart became overwhelmed. All of sudden, I was so humbled by your honesty and your hopes. Most important, I was humbled by the trust you have in me. Thank you for trusting me with the intellectual, social and emotional well being of your child.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011


When things start feeling heavy, I start getting my traveling itch. Any type of trip will soothe my itch. I'm absolutely content to travel a mere hour and half to the north. I just want to be anywhere but here. I want for a few brief moments to feel free as free as I did when I was in college. 

Perhaps, my traveling itch is getting itchier because it feels like fall has finally rolled in. The sky is clear blue. The air is crisp. The fog hides the hills in the morning. Pumpkins of all shapes and sizes are strewn about. It reminds me of getting settled back into college. I miss buying new books, strolling on the pathway and having professors push my thinking. I miss feeling the weightlessness of being free from any major responsibility. My only responsibilities involved going to class and getting good grades. Everything else was magically taken care of by my parents. 

Oh, how I'm craving that weightlessness again. The countdown to October 21st begins today. It'll be our first mini getaway trip this month. 

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Throwback Tuesday: Dreamlover - Mariah Carey

Monday, October 10, 2011

Birthday Buddies

My hubster and baby Greyson are birthday buddies. How ridiculously cute are they when they're together? Greyson is actually the first baby that my hubster and I are not terrified to hold. We've seen how his older brother and sister toss him about, so we figure he's pretty sturdy. He's also the first baby that has wanted us to hold him. For all those reasons, we think he's pretty fantastic. If you're wondering if we have a major case of baby fever, the answer would be, "Yes!"

Thursday, October 6, 2011

From PostSecret

*Please don't let me be the 'Don't Scribble' teacher.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

11 Day Cruise + 1 Week in Italy

We're in the middle of planning our summer vacay. Here's what we want to do after our Eastern Mediterranean cruise:

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*All photos from Pinterest

Monday, October 3, 2011

First But Not Last

This week, I had my first slice of humble pie for the school year handed to me. I've been having amazing literature discussions with the kiddos and watching them successfully complete their math worksheets. I totally went in feeling confident that they were going to do well on their literature and math tests. OMG. How wrong I was. Now, I'm going to spend the next week re-thinking and obsessing over my lesson delivery. How can I get them to transfer their ideas to a starch white paper? How can I get the ideas sticky enough to stick long enough? Perhaps, they're just overloaded with information?

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Happy Birthday, Old Man!

I just want to say I love you.