Monday, December 26, 2011

"Picture" this

Back at the beginning of the school year, I had a project funded through Donor's Choose. If you are unfamiliar, this is a website where teachers can go and select items and supplies that they can use in their classrooms. People can then go on the site and either search for a friend's or loved one's project or select a project at random to donate to (yes, I just ended that sentence with a preposition. So kill me). It is GREAT! I have gotten some great stuff through here, things that either I wouldn't or couldn't afford to buy myself.

This project included some dry erase boards, markers, writing paper and the best part...picture dictionaries! My kids LOVE them and I love how excited they are to look through them. They're discovering new words, how words are spelled, expanding their vocabulary, etc. The only down side is that I only ordered 6, thinking the kids could share them. Not so much. Now we have to take turns, which in Kindergarten can be problematic. I'm thinking of creating a "dictionary center" to incorporate into my language centers. Any ideas on how to make a center out of these??

Check out how cute they are:

(ok, I have to admit these pictures are staged. Part of the whole Donors Choose thing is that as the recipient, I have to submit photos of the supplies being used and make a thank-you package. I had forgotten about the photos until the last day of school, so had to quickly "pose" some kids with the dictionaries. But you get the idea! They really do look through these like they are the most exciting books ever!)

Sunday, December 18, 2011


I know, I know, I have been missing lately. I'm sure all of my readers in Saudi Arabia and Russia have really been missing me (p.s. how cool is it that I have readers over there? who are you? I would love to know who you are and how you found my blog!)

Things have been say the least. School is crazy busy, I've been prepping and stressing for my first formal observation (that basically determines if I still have a job), I'm feeling a little overcommitted with church and Junior League and to top it all off I have a new boyfriend. yay! So to say that I've been busy is an understatement.

Two weeks ago I was sick- nothing horrible, just really dizzy and had some sinus congestion and pressure. Enter Prince Charming to come and make me some chicken noodle soup and make it all better. Except that then I had about 158390 assessments to administer to my kids- individually!- and presents to buy for the custodians since I'm chair of our Sunshine Committee, plus the food schedule to create for our 3rd annual potluck, plus getting all 7 kindergarten classes organized for the school-wide sing along, plus tutoring after school and babysitting/housesitting for 3 days and leading a craft at my church's family craft night. And now I'm sick again.

Now that school is out I have time to slow down and reflect on things. Sort of take the time to reorganize and prioritize my life. I need to start taking better care of myself. I need to start working out more and eating healthy (doesn't everyone say that this time of year?). Most importantly, I need to learn how to say no and how to ask for help when I need it. Let's face it, teachers are not the best at asking for help. At least in my opinion. We're teachers because we like the control we have over our classroom and our students. And we don't like giving up that control.

But this Friday, I had to do just that- give up the control. I was up all night Thursday night with the stomach flu and knew at about 1:32am that there was no way I was going to make it to school for our last half day. So I put in for a sub. I did wake up at 6:35 and called my team teacher and told her I wasn't going to be there, but that's all I did.

I didn't stress about not having plans, I knew the sub would be fine. I didn't stress about not being there for our faculty Christmas potluck, I knew my committee members would handle it. I didn't stress about not giving my Secret Santa her last gift, she'll get it in the new year. And guess what? The world didn't stop! Everything was fine. So maybe getting sick was my body's way of saying, slow down Clare. You'll be fine.

I do want to continue this blog because I love it and I love sharing my love of Kindergarten with you (that's a lot of love). But just know that if you don't see or hear from me, it's because I'm trying to focus on what's really important. I challenge you to do the same.