Saturday, August 22, 2009

Back to School

Well, this is my last weekend before fully returning to the workforce. I actually went back to work on Tuesday (well actually the Thursday before if you really want to be technical), but my kiddos don't arrive until Monday. My room is awesome. Luckily in the spring, I had done a lot of spring cleaning, so when I came back, I had plenty of time to decorate. My goal this year was to make my classroom more learner-centered. So, this summer I collected a bunch of NY Times and Abby and I high-fived them (a strategy we teach our kids). I used that as the bulletin board background. I also hung up student-made posters on high-five, inference and other reading techniques. My friend Alissa went to the AVID conference this summer and one of the presenters said he requires two rules of his students: Listen with understanding and speak with good purpose. I made posters and put those up as well. And while they won't be my only rules, I want to focus on them. My student-desks are in pairs so that my students can pair-share or work in groups easily. I also removed all teacher-seats up front, so that I don't get in the habit of just sitting at the front of the room when we read. My desk is in the back of the room (not my choice, but due to technology requirements), so I never have had the option of sitting back there. I plan to be up and all over them (in a good teacher way, not gross way).
I'm really excited about this school year. Last year was a good school year, but I think I kind of shut down emotionally at times. I had a lot of highs and lows in my personal life (my cousin's death, depression, marriage) and I struggled with how to make sense of my emotions and support my students at the same time. I really want my students to feel comfortable in my class and like they have support from not only me, but from each other. Like a little family. maybe I'm being idealistic, but I can try!
I have lots of changes this school year:
new name: I'm no longer Miss W, but now I'm Mrs. Soup! I don't know how I feel about Mrs. It makes me feel old. When I see the word Mrs, I just think of an old lady. I'm very far from old. However, I am excited to have Soup stuff all over my classroom!
less responsibilities: I'm excited just to be a teacher! I'm not on every darn committee! I really hope to build the Student Assistance Team program and of course make my classroom a rockin' place to be! Oh and when I go home, I no longer have a wedding to plan or grad school assignments to complete.
new car: Well not really. Murad bought a new car last fall and I'm going to drive it this school year. My car seems to be a hypochondriac. Anytime I repair something, something else is in need of repair. Murad doesn't want me to drive my car right now, so he offered to switch cars for the school year. I think he really just wants the sun-roof.

new roommate: Well, today I am cleaning, doing laundry and organizing. Murad's brother flies in on Wednesday. Murad doesn't think he'll stay long, but nevertheless we are beginning to outgrow our little apartment. If his brother is here next summer, we'll have four people (Abby) plus two dogs. Even if he isn't, we'd like to have an extra guest room and really let Abby have her own room so that we can entertain more people. We're kind of stuck because our lease is up in May, but neither of us don't think we'll be ready to buy until May 2011. We could rent a house or duplex, but a lot them are more expensive than a monthly mortgage. So, we're stuck. We're 90% sure we're going to stay in this area after Murad finishes his MSW and we know we'd like to live in West Richardson, but we still need to save. I guess it wouldn't be bad to buy sooner, but we'd really have to get on the ball! I've really been slacking on all things related to the wedding. I still haven't hung up our broom nor have I begun to pick out pictures for our album. I planned to do it in the summer, but I just didn't want to do it. I finally got some wedding pictures ordered and put up. I love looking at them and remembering the first day of our lives as a married couple. I just hate doing the work to get stuff up!


  1. i will live vicariously through you-- all of your talk about going back to school, organizing, cleaning, decorating, implementing good rules-- ahhh, i miss teaching. for a moment i was picturing myself as the teacher in the room you described and it felt so good. thanks for that other trip down memory lane :)

  2. i love that your THAT kind of teacher. i loved reading about your teaching aspirations for the year : ) you're the best ash. sounds like you've done a good job of sitting down with yourself and really working through the stresses of last year. remember to stay in the present and believe that it'll all work out in the end (i.e. your housing questions)

    love ya!

  3. I wish you would have been my teacher :) And no worries on the wedding album, I still haven't done an album for my own wedding, and that was over 3 years ago... No matter when you do it, you'll get it done before I do :)

  4. extra virgin olive oil. rachel ray says it & i got it from her. i think it actually made its way into the dictionary:)