Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Needs, wants and wishes for the new school year

I was looking at some of my older posts, and also what other slices are thinking at this time of the year--right before of after the new school begins. I decided to write
my needs, wants and wishes for the new school year. Here it is:

I need to prioritize! It is not like I have never tried this before, but I am actually thinking that this time I need to keep my priorities for the WHOLE year!
I need to read books that inspire me as a teacher so that I can then in turn try to inspire my students. I think this might also be a want.....
I need to make sure that I get the most out of my fitbit--walking, swimming, eating right AND sleeping enough.
I need to get paperwork done in order to start a Science Olympiad Club at school this year.
I also need to get parents involved with the Science Olympiad as I don't know anything about building bottle rockets etc.
I need to guard my quiet times in order to sustain myself spiritually, and listen to what it is that God wants me to do in the midst of all the things that I feel that I should be doing.

I want to show my students what good writers and readers do--not just telling them what they should do.
I want to write stories and essays that I can use in my classroom. Maybe even a story for the younger students??
I want to have joy all year long! I want to enjoy teaching!
I want to encourage our new teachers. Maybe remind them occasionally that no matter what happened yesterday (or earlier this morning), each new day starts fresh (or each new class)!
I want to make new friends as many of my old friends have moved away
I want to get a new hobby as home feels a little quiet (daughter has moved to live closer to campus for senior year in college.....) Or could I revive an old one???
I want to spend time with God. Maybe He has some new things for me to do?

I wish to travel someplace sunny when it is so dark here in Michigan
I wish for students that want to learn and are willing to work hard (don't we all?).
I wish (and pray) for babies for those fellow teachers who struggle with longing to hold one of their own children.
I wish for wisdom to solve difficult situations
I wish for patience and linguistic ability (that would suddenly materialize in order for me to understand all the languages that my students speak).
I wish for more computers in my room, and smartboard that would work every time!
I wish for ideas to improve my blog--not sure where I am going with this....Maybe I also need to wish for clarity in my future endeavors that relate to blogging.

And for you who have read this far, I wish you a few extra blessings for today, sunshine to shine on your path and one positive surprise to brighten your day!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Boxes, mess, botanical garden and time with my niece

Unpacking boxes in a new room
sitting and trying to visualize how to organize everything
Why is the space between the windows too small for a bookcase? Shouldn't there be a standard??
How about a magic fairy who comes and puts all the bookcases together, and moves them into the correct places without anyone straining her back?

Uniform rules, sign in procedures, tardy rules, supplies, sub plans, so many things to think about and I don't even have my files in the cabinet yet!

But while I sat in a meeting this morning my daughter and my niece came and helped me file reports! Sunshine moment!
After work, having dinner with my niece, and then walking around the botanical gardens. Sunshine moment!
At home, watching my niece eat an ice cream cone that only took three bites! I guess we should have read the label a bit more carefully! Sunshine moment!

And tomorrow I get to go back to work and continue to organize my bookshelves--hopefully in the correct places in my new classroom. Sunshine moment!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

End of Summer Vacation Thoughts

In the beginning of my vacation I had written a poem/list of things that I would like to accomplish this summer. Now I have five more days before going back to school--what have I really accomplished?

Summer thoughts

What are my plans for this summer?

I want to write, so I joined the Teachers Write Virtual Writing Seminar.
I did really well before leaving for Finland, but no so since then. I am hoping that the assignments will still be on the blog, so that I can do them later on.
I want to clean my basement, so I am avoiding going down there.
I have a plan for this, and I will start taking stuff back to school on Monday.  Basement should look a lot different in a week.
I want to see friends that I have not seen in a few years, so I am flying solo first time in over 20 years.
I want to read more "teacher" professional books, so I have them piled on a table in the living room--I am still waiting for inspiration to open one of then hit me.
I have started doing this!
I want to eat healthy, so I had french toast for dinner and then ate some cherries and raspberries to make me feel better.
Well, I think I have done this partly. Hoping to do better once I am back on schedule--in five days!

I want to keep watching TV, so I finally had to buy a digitally equipped TV.
I did watch the Olympics!
I want to watch some new shows, so I am hooked on hulu.com
This is a lot easier when only one at the house us streaming shows on the computer.
I want to buy some new clothes for my summer trip, so I am searching for coupons.
No coupons, but sales!
I want to go to sauna, so I am flying across the Atlantic.
Oh Yes!
I want to improve my writing, so I am writing more, and thinking about my long term goals regarding writing.
Used my journal, but I have done more thinking. I have read blogs about writer's workshop and trying to figure out how to make it work better for my Sheltered English class in high school.

I want to spend time with my daughter before she moves away.
I want to watch funny movies and laugh, so that I can live longer.
I want to watch the sun rise with a great cup of coffee, so that I do not waste any time during this summer.
I want read a romance novel, so that I can be transported to a different world.
I want to search for a deeper reason to serve, so that I can remember that I am part of a greater community that works together to help others.
I want to remember that everything has a purpose.
I want to spend time by the lake and just be amazed by the beauty of creation!
YES! Thank you to my wonderful friends in Finland, and a surprise board meting at a members house by a lake here in the US.

I believe I also accomplished many more things that never made my list in the first place; like meeting Terje in Estonia!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Finnish cousins

I loved my trip to Finland! One of the special days during the trip was to go to a family reunion. This was family on my paternal grandmother's side (mind you I never met my grandmother as she had passed before I was born).
It had been at least 21 years since I had seen any of these relatives. I went with my cousins. It was a beautiful summer day. Raining while driving but sun coming through just as we arrived at the reunion.
The reunion took place at the farm where I rode a horse the first time, heard the cousins (or actually my dad's cousins) talking with a specific accent (signaling where they were actually from), and getting to taste foods that only my dad's family would cook.

Meeting with the cousins again was truly special! All of them are in their mid to late 80s. Possibly the last time that I will see these cousins. I had the opportunity to talk with them, look at old photos together and try to figure out the dates and people in the photos. My dad's cousins are also singers. So it did not take long after dinner when the signing started. It was a treat! Too hear their harmonies and familiar tunes that I had not heard for a long time; and a chance to sing along (with lyrics provided).
I am so grateful for this opportunity! And yes, we had the younger generation with us as well! And let's not forget: Finnish summer=cream cake with fresh berries!