* It’s all About Me

Welcome to the new and improved me!  Thanks to Suzi for her inspiration!  This is my big FAT statement on what you can expect to find on my blog.  OK, since no one wants to read a 1,000 word post, here’s the short version.

m-and-me

Love my dearest teaching widower!

nikko

Love to worship Jesus!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

me-and-ym

Love to teach!

me-and-kiddos

Love to play!

 

old yeller

Love dogs and love to take photos!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Love to read, HATE racism, love technology, and love exclamation points!!!   Did I say I HATE racism?

 

 

 

* Share Your World

Once again, in response to Cee’s Share Your World challenge, I’ll answer a few questions and suggest you visit Cee’s site for the most delicious picture of mac n’ cheese I’ve EVER seen!  Yum!  Is it time for dinner yet??

When I was a child, I wanted to be a teacher.  I taught everyone and everything I could get my hands on.  And look where it got me!  Yes, this was an early morning Google Hangout for long distance tutoring.  I look like Captain Kangaroo, who always scared me.hangout 2

My favorite food as a child was chocolate and that continues to be my favorite food group.  I do teach nutrition, if you want to sign up for my course.

If I were invisible, I would go to the beach and sit in the sun, since my invisible skin couldn’t burn.

Would I rather forget everyone else’s name all the time or have everyone forget my name all the time?  That’s so easy.  I don’t care if everyone forgets my name.  Whatever.  People often stop and stare at me, trying to figure out my name.  How hard can it be to remember “Captain Kangaroo?”

I am looking forward to watching another episode of The Last Ship from season 1.  PLEASE don’t tell me what happens!  I’m not listening!  La-la-la-la-la-la-la-la-la-la-!!!!!!!!!

     

* Ten Things of Thankful

Lizzi, the creator of Ten Things of Thankful, shared her amazing week of relationships, relationships, relationships, and more relationships!  It’s such a joy to read!  Yes, she is still trying to get folks to vote for their favorite badge for this event, so I decided to post my choice below.  It’s from The Bipolar Mama blog, which is another blog worth reading.
ten-things

I am going to follow Lizzi’s free-flowing format instead of my typical list style. We’ll see how that goes!  One of my happiest moments of the week was hearing that a student scored in the 98th percentile in reading on his EOY testing.  He is a gifted kid who lagged in reading due to a lack of systematic phonics instruction.  I knew he was going to ace it and I’m so proud of all his hard work in the past year.  It was an academic challenge that could have made him feel inadequate, but he persevered.  His parents gave him SO much support!  Woohoo!

This past week was a paperwork nightmare, with more to come, but I got a lot done.  Thankfully, I have a great computer and scanner.  How did I live without this technology?

I found a new mystery series, another British goodie.  I’ll save the details for my AlphaBooks Blogging venture.  (Don’t remind me that I’m a week behind on the AlphaBooks calendar I created!)  Back to the mystery.  It’s set after World War I, which brings back memories of my grandfather’s amazing survival in Russia.  The British troops had made their way to the frozen tundra, but the supplies didn’t catch up.  Without the generosity of a generous Russian peasant, my grandfather would have died.  I’m grateful he lived to tell the tale!

Speaking of grateful, my dearest blogging widower also survived another week of intense training (he’s the trainer!).  Just a few more weeks to go.  If you had told me, back in the day, that my introverted widower would be leading groups of social workers, police officers, DA’s, lawyers, judges, and medical personnel, I would have fallen over.  Wow.  If you had told me I’d be living a life of peace and joy, I might have strangled you or jumped off a cliff.  So that makes six things of thankful.  Not that I’m keeping a list.

I am grateful for the parents who have trusted me to teach their kids.  For trusting my judgment.  I’ve always been so sure of myself, even when there was nothing to warrant it.  That’s actually called arrogance.  But I have learned a lot in my career and I’m grateful for God’s grace in every part of my life, including my teaching niche.

If you are reading this, I am grateful that you are taking the time!  You have no idea how much it means to me.  Maybe it means too much, but honestly, there seems little point in writing if no one is reading.  I’m thankful for the blogging world, which forgives my lapses in keeping up with all their great writing.  I have a lot to read today!  And that’s all, folks!

* Blog Of The Day: Meet Teachez Well!

Suzi81 Speaks was amazingly generous. She “edited” my blog and I see that my dear widower must have his own page. I’ve already heard from a sweet woman who was called “extremely lazy” as she battled with dyslexia. After failing her first attempt at college, she went back! And graduated! Books on tape made all the difference. Way to go, Floridaborne!

Suzie Speaks

imageMeet Katherine!

She’s the creator of Teachez Well Blog, a site dedicated to teaching children with learning difficulties and special needs, and with over forty years of experience, she’s more than qualified to provide assistance to anyone who has children that have certain needs!

She has a wonderful sense lf humour, and her About page (and indeed every email she has ever sent me) makes me smile when she discusses her husband, the blog widower…

I am a semi-retired special educator with 40+ years experience. Yes, that makes me pretty old and I was probably teaching long before many of you were born. I always wanted to be a teacher, probably because I had some amazing and loving teachers myself. I have taught kids with a wide variety of disabilities, primarily in the public school system at the elementary level. My specialties are reading and social skills. Have you…

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* 5 excellent reasons to join AlphaBooks Blogging

badge2AlphaBooks Blogging, where you share your favorite books from A-Z, starts soon!  Here are 5 excellent reasons to join the fun:

1.  It’s so easy!  I will post the calendar (below) on my site or you can copy it now so you’ll stay with the gang.  No, it is not a periodic table, but I do like the effect.  It makes me feel like a scientist.  And I thought Dr. Pi might like it.  Back to the easy part of this: I’m sure you have read many wonderful books as a kid, teen, or adult, so tell the world about them.  You can also share your (gentle) impressions of not-so-wonderful books.  Plus, you have TWO days for every letter of the alphabet.  And for a limited time, I will include a set of steak knives for everyone who joins the fun!  (That’s a joke, folks.)calendar

2.  It might rocket your OWN book to fame!  I will reblog everyone who posts about their own writing if you link (ping?) to my site.  Once I figure out that you have linked to my site.  I’m hoping for a bit of free IT support here.  There must be a way on my stats page.  Don’t worry, I’ll figure it out.

3.  You could find yourself revisiting old reads and exploring new books.  I haven’t finished The Zombie Survival Guide, but I have until the end of June to do that!   Why not try a genre that you typically avoid like the plague?  My husband, for example, could read a book about some aspect of special education.  Who knows where that could take our relationship?

4.  This blogging challenge might help you lose weight.  You could spend so much time reading and typing that you forget to eat!  Or the challenge might lessen the number of hours you spend watching TV or playing games on the computer.  It certainly has helped me in these areas.  Warning: These statements have not been approved by anyone but me.

5.  You could win a prize!  I don’t know how or what, but it could happen!  More on that to come, since I have weeks to figure that one out.

* Is blogging rocket science?

Is blogging rocket science?  Sometimes it feels that way, but it’s actually an organizational challenge.  I changed a category name without realizing that all the entries under that previous name would go SPLAT across the page, untethered and unmanageable.  Since I have over 200 posts, adjusting the menu now takes so much time that Google Chrome is constantly begging to kill the pages.  I do empathize, since I want to kill the lengthy mess myself.

kill the pages

Then there’s the issue of replies.  My chalkboard theme buries replies below “see” level.  As the writer, I can easily read all comments, but there’s little chance of a dialog between readers.  I probably need to fiddle with widgets (listen closely for the screeching sounds).

Finally, I am unable to save this post.  When I click on the save button, I get this error message: oops

What method is allowed?  Maybe HAL (of Space Odyssey fame) is now handling my blog.  In which case, this IS rocket science and my life support is being compromised.  Now I can’t publish this post either.

If it does eventually appear, you’ll know that Space Odyssey has a revised, happier ending.  antares-orb-3-532595_640

* Well, duh.

SpamI never realized that bloggers get spam.  At first, I used to carefully glean every spam comment, and even clicked on their links.  How fantastic that SO many people commented on my blog!   I wasn’t even sure how they found my blog.  Surely these comments were not SPAM.  No one would take the time to send junk to a teacher’s blog, right?  After reading hundreds of comments about ladies’ shoes and weight loss programs, along with the ubiquitous “Dear web admin, you seem to be missing something,” I have almost stopped checking my spam box.  But then I found one insightful comment:

Yes! Finally someone writes about mastercard balance transfers.

How did they know about my use of credit cards?  If you’ve been following this blog, or even if you’re a first time reader, I hope you don’t follow my example.  My husband calls each school year “The Great Teachezwell Giveaway,” prompted by my never-ending purchases of teaching supplies.  Perhaps there’s a reason to keep checking that spam box after all.

* Five Minute Friday: Dare!

dog 3This week’s Five Minute Writing Prompt (thanks, Kate Moutaung) is “DARE.”

“Double-dog dare you!” was the ultimate childhood challenge from one kid to another as I was growing up.  We would dare one another to do something that seemed quite dangerous, something that would get you in BIG trouble if you were caught.  The words were thrilling when I was challenged to do something I actually longed to do anyway.  Other times, the dare was manipulation, plain and simple.

I wish someone had double-dog dared me to do a cartwheel every day.  Maybe I could have learned how.  I watched other girls do perfect cartwheels, legs straight and spinning like the spokes in a wheel.  My cartwheels were slumped and off-kilter like a flat tire.  My desire to perform a perfect cartwheel remained strong, so when I entered college, I took a “gymnastics” class, a kind of “roll around and balance yourself” affair, not Olympic-style performances.  Tall and thin, graceless and scared, I started double-dog daring myself to cartwheel across the gym.

When we finally advanced to the cartwheel stage, I confessed that I was too scared to try.  My instructor reassured me that I would be fine. The other women cheered me on as we laid a long path of mats on the gym floor.  Everyone stood in two lines along the path, my human safety rail.  The instructor would be ready to spot my landing.  I didn’t hear a single double-dog dare.  Instead, I heard a chorus of encouragement and support.

With the most powerful leap I’ve ever made, I catapulted forward and OVER the heads of my safety rail.  I smashed flat on my back on the hard gym floor.  An ambulance took me away.  That was about 40 years ago, but occasionally I double-dog dare myself to give it another try.

* Five Minute Friday- Thank a teacher

Thanks to Kate for her Friday writing challenge, which I found on Clothed With Joy, a favorite site of mine.

I have 5 minutes to write, no editing or do-overs, so here we go.  Oops, what is my topic?

I’ve been thinking about all the teachers I know who work like crazy, day and night, weekends and holidays. They love their students and hope that those in their care will be the better for time spent in their class.  These teachers are bombarded with one new initiative after another, tremendous amounts of paperwork, and pressure to perform in a system that may barely reflect why they chose teaching in the first place.  Would you take the time to thank one of them?  

Of course I want to give you some ideas for showing your gratitude:

1.  Ask your child if they would like to draw a picture of themselves with their teacher.  Or just the teacher.  I adore the pictures that kids create; it’s terrific to see the world through their their eyes.  This one was impromptu, while a student was supposed to be working.  Well, I guess she was!

drawing

2.  Write a note to your child’s teacher, telling them three things you appreciate about them.  “Thank you for smiling as you cleaned up my child’s spilled lunch, for letting my child hold a praying mantis, and for telling my twice exceptional child that they don’t need to do homework after a looooong day at school.”

3.  Ask your child to share the funny things Mrs. X says at school.  Write them down.  Send a copy to the teacher to remind her of school day fun:

“Try to ignore those footsteps on the roof; those guys are trying to fix our leaking ceiling.  No, there’s no such thing as a zombie.”

“Let’s hope that Tim feels better; someone should be here soon to clean up that mess.  Yes, it does stink.  Watch out, Tracy!  It’s OK, we’ll get your shoes all cleaned up.”

“My back is stuck like this.  Yes, it hurts a bit.  Could one of you go next door and ask Mrs. Dear to come here quickly?  No, not ALL of you!  But quickly, please!”

“The principal is coming soon.  She just wants to watch ME, not you.  What should you be doing while she watches ME?  Yes, working.  Yes, that’s right, being kind to one another.  Good, raising your hand.  Oh yes, listening to me.  I think I hear… hello, Dr. Pam!  What a surprise!”

* Reflections on two months

(That is a dreadful image to start an 8 second clip!  Yikes! The first one had closed eyes, so I am two-and-done.  Plus, I just got rid of some malware that had fastened onto this post.)

Today marks the two month anniversary of my blog! Whoopee!  Here’s what I have learned:

1.  Blogging is not for wimps!  I end up doing a lot of my posting late in the day when I sometimes want to flake out.  It also takes a lot of time to read and comment on blogs I follow; I’m finding that more difficult as I acquire more sites to read.   Fortunately, I am a speedy writer and reader, so writing a blog is a good fit.

2.  “Technology is great but cannot be trusted.”  (That’s a quote from a technology specialist at a school where I taught).   About three weeks ago, my computer became paralyzed and had to be replaced; it was four years old and had served me well.  I am now using a bigger, monster computer!  I have learned to save my drafts, because I’ve accidentally tapped some odd button that whips me away from my blog, eliminating the draft forever.  I was once on the last sentence!

3.  Bloggers are interesting and talented folks.  The art, poetry, stories, photography, and touching anecdotes are compelling and thought-provoking.  Bloggers invite you into their hearts and minds.

4.  Blogger are so kind!  I am amazed that virtual strangers will take the time to comment on posts and encourage others.  When I go to another site, I might be 20th in line to reply to someone’s questions.  I love that!

5.  I do need to keep track of my frequent statement, “More on that later.”  I still haven’t organized a system for remembering what I plan to write about next.  My posting tends to get rather ADHD, bouncing around from topic to topic.  I am also wondering if this theme is user-friendly for the number of posts I have made.  I love Nerd In The Brain‘s theme, which looks like an organized classroom.  This endless chalkboard may not be so endless.  I guess I could ask a theme wrangler.

6.  I love blogging!  Golly, when WordPress announced some job openings, I actually checked out the possibilities!  Sometimes I find myself composing a blog as I drive home.  My family jokes about how much I blog, although my husband remains SO supportive.  Thank you, sweetie!

Thank you, dear readers, for making this a special adventure!