Making Over Third Grade!: 14 in 14 Link Up and Getting to Know a Little More About Me
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Wednesday, December 24, 2014

14 in 14 Link Up and Getting to Know a Little More About Me

2014 was the first full year without my mom and it has been a very hard year. I wanted to take the time to reflect on some of the positives of the year and this link up seemed like a perfect way to do just that!

I have several favorite quotes. These two are included in my signature block for my work email. I love them and think they they sum up how I approach teaching.

If we are having a good time, and learning is fun then kids will be engaged and they will give their all in everything they try. I work to create a family environment in our classroom and it pays off in the relationships we forge and the bonds we create. One of the best rewards of teaching is when kids come back year after year to visit. The relationships we create in our classroom are lasting. This is something I am very proud of. 

The other quote that guides my life and is a favorite is the golden rule. I am not always successful at this but I try and it is my goal each day to try to be successful at implementing the golden rule in my life. Some days it is more a work in progress than others but I continue to try. 

I love my flip-flops. I even wore them today when it was 59 degrees outside! Can't help but love the feeling of free toes! I really love the Nike cushioned flip-flops I got this year. They are like walking on clouds! 

We don't go to the movies often. Most of what we watch we see On Demand. So we are usually behind what everyone else has seen. I mean, we just now have "The Lego Movie," "The Book Thief," and "Saving Mr. Banks" in our favorites for what to watch next! Having said that there a few movies we have gone to see that we were willing to go see (there are always more it seems we want to see there just never seems to be enough time). Of the few we have seen in the theater, I would have to say my favorite so far this year is Mockingjay. 

I love the books and have waited with baited breath for each movie to come out. I haven't been disappointed yet. I even have several of the songs from the soundtrack on repeat at the moment.

Just one huh? Okay, well then it has to be Outlander. It started off a little slow but I love it and it has held up well next to the books. It was much anticipated in our house and I have to watch it when Robert isn't around as it is not his type of show he says but really, if he gave it a chance I think he would like it, he loves Game of Thrones and other period dramas like that. It is a good thing we had Starz already because if we didn't, I would have subscribed just for this show!
Yea! LOVE this new series! 

I live in what is essentially a large town/small city. (We are located about half-way between SF and Sacramento.) Most of our restaurants are chains. My favorite at the moment is Johnny Carino's. I love them because they have great pasta and some of the best chocolate martinis.
This one is easy! Blogging! Technically I have tried blogging before but never really got into it or stuck with it. This year I made a commitment to try and to make it my own. I have been working on my blog since June and have, I think, made it my own thanks to tutorials by others. I am proud of what I have learned to do, what I have become comfortable with doing (working with the HTML even!), and sticking with it. In my busy schedule that last one, is HUGE! 

The best gift I have received this year was a gift card that covered most of the cost of a Silhouette Portrait bundle (it came with several tools and a dust cover). Now I just have to learn how to use it! That is one of my winter break goals.

Rings! While there are several home improvement projects and school things that I have pinned this year my favorite things are always things that have bling! LOVE, LOVE, LOVE diamond rings. 

I want to answer this by saying "all of them" since I have stuck with this so far this year. However, selecting just one post as my favorite, I would have to say it they (yea, I have two) would be the post about my class being filmed by the Shutterfly crew as we were one of their pilot classes for their Photo Story app and the one where I created a link up for 1:1 teachers complete with a cute button. I just really wanted a cute button for 1:1 classes and couldn't find one so I created it and then learned how to create a link up. Now if only I could get others to actually link up it would be great. :)

This one is easy! Turning my classroom into a truly student centered 21st century classroom! We have comfy chairs and pillows, soft rugs, our Hokki stools are on order, and we have been given permission to dump the school furniture as long as I don't personally pay for the replacements. This is HUGE! It has been a game changer in how I approach teaching and how the kids interact with one another. It is one of the things I am most proud of at the moment. 

The second would be the fact that I have stood up in front of a room of adults and given a coherent presentation realted to the new district ELA units of instruction and Front Row (a really cool math application/website for student practice). 
I hate having photos of my taken and even worse hate sharing them with others. But this is a good one due to the fact that Dad and I were both exploring a new place, we were enjoying each others, company, and we were able to smile again even though it had been just over a year since we lost my mom.

Hmm...I went to Tulare for a CUE conference and due to car trouble ended up sharing the trip with my Dad which turned out to be a great get away for both of us. I went to Vegas with several co-workers for the No Excuses University national conference and got to spend time shopping and whatnot (hello! It was VEGAS!). While in Vegas a few of us went to see "Jersy Boys" which was great! I saw "Wicked" in Sacramento with a friend and "Motown: The Musical" in SF with my Dad. Then last Friday I had an AMAZING conversation with someone that has the potential to change my life. So all in all, this year had its fair share of ups as well as downs. 

I have several goals for 2015. The first, and perhaps the most important one, is to take more time for myself and those I love. I am a workaholic (though I think that is because my job brings me such joy) and it is important that I try to find a balance that works for me this year. I also tend to have an addictive personality so right now this blog is consuming a lot of time as I am trying to learn how to make it cuter with each passing day. (My current mission is to get the home buttons I want to actually work.) My second goal, is to take time to get healthy. I have gained a considerable amount of weight over the course of the last five years. With each sorrow or trial I faced 15 - 20 more pounds seemed to find their way to me. I need to find a way to cope with stress without turning to sweets and to find the time to exercise more. These are things that I will be working really hard to accomplish in the coming year.

In the coming year, I need to remember to love myself and forgive myself as I try to repair the damage depression has had on me. I need to remember when I am stressed that I really do love my job; yes, even on the stressful days. I need to remember to take time (see goals for 2015 above) to be more present with the ones I love and who love me. With love anything and everything is possible. I want 2015 to be a year of endless possibilities for me. Here is to hoping that happens! 

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