Tuesday, April 29, 2014

let's talk student-teaching.

Hey!  So, yeah.  I reeeeaaaalllly am enjoying my role as a student teacher.  Technically, I am not in the "official" student-teaching portion of my degree (that happens in January), but I am in a first-grade classroom two days a week right now to work on my pre-clinical tasks and such.  I love it.  I am toast by the end of a workday, but it's so SO worth it.  It has always been hard for me to imagine myself as a teacher, or in any influential-type role for that matter, but I can actually picture it now.  I finally see myself as a big girl and capable of whatever I set my mind to.  At almost-40, it's about time, don't you freaking think!?!  

These photos are from a field trip the first graders took last week.  As you can see... not a warm, pleasant Spring day.  But it was still fun.  We were out looking for signs of Spring, which you know, is much easier to do when the flowers and animals aren't cowering from the cold, but we managed to spy some new blooms and buds and a Robin or two.  I took tons of photos and turned them into a movie for the students to watch a few days later.  I think I found my niche, being the one always toting a camera.  I told Husband that when I'm a teacher, I know exactly how it's going to go... for every activity, I'll be snapping photos and a few days later we'll be watching ourselves in an iMovie, set to some super cool tunes.  I am already looking forward to producing Open House slide shows of my students that will bring all the moms to tears.  The key to getting us sappy moms (myself included) crying tears of joy is two things: smiling children and an emotional tune about growing up.
This is going to be so good.

For now, though, I'm just happy to be participating in someone else's classroom.  I really have such an amazing example of a teacher, so I am feeling very blessed.  :)

a palm springs wedding.

It was a beautiful wedding on such a perfectly warm, sunny day.  And palm trees.  I love those things.

Truth be told, I felt like such a bloated pig compared to that tiny, beautiful bride.  It didn't help that my dress fit like I had wrapped my entire body tightly in duct tape.  And it didn't help that ASOS had given the name of that dress the "wiggle dress" unless they weren't actually describing wiggle room but rather meant that I'd have to wiggle my way aggressively back into it after using the ladies room.  If that's what they meant, well then they nailed it and it fit perfectly!  

The gorgeous bride is my cousin and dear friend (cousins make the best childhood friends don't they?).  I was so happy to be part of her big day.  I put my camera to use and got some really great shots.  I will only show these few though because it just doesn't seem right to plaster someone else's wedding all over my blog, you know?  People get in trouble for that.  And well, I seem to get myself into enough trouble without adding that to my plate.  :)

So, that's that.  A wonderful night in Palm Springs.  
And I wish the happy bride and groom all my best.

Monday, April 28, 2014

spring break in palm springs.

I have been such a bad blogger lately.  Really, I am not even sure I can be described as a blogger anymore.  But I'm here now and so let's just focus on that bit of good news...before I disappear back into my crazy, busy student-teaching hole.

A few weeks ago I had a lovely, little reprieve from chilly Pittsburgh.  When a Palm Springs wedding invitation falls into your lap, you don't say no.  It was just such perfect timing, really.  My brain was about to explode from too much work and too much winter.  I hadn't even really had time to even dream about Palm Springs in advance and mentally prepare for the trip.  I was in the classroom one day, packed that night, and on a plane the next morning.  With very little pre-thought, I suddenly found myself baking underneath palm trees and sunny skies.  It was magnificent.  Even better, the trip turned out to be three full days with my mom!  Just us two in the desert.  Boy, did we have ourselves some fun: a tram ride, eating in every restaurant I have missed since moving to the East Coast, casino time, buffet time, pool time, shopping, etc..... you name it!

The trip seems like ages ago now, as I am back to the grind and back to finding my balance between family and school.  Palm Springs was like a little sneak peak of summer.  I know what I have to look forward to, I just have to survive the craziness that is at the end of every school year.  We are almost there!!!!  I just have to get through May, right?

May = Me & McKenna at outdoor school + Student teaching + 1 PECT exam + Jury freaking Duty + Yearbook photos + 1 birthday + 1 grad party.

No problem. 
I mean it.
No problem at all.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

teacher wear.

Here's what I wore to my first student-teaching day, in a first grade classroom.
All Day Long.
I don't know where I found the energy to take these photos after such a huge day,
but here I am.

What a spectacular day!  First graders are just the bomb-diggity.  And oh guys, I hit the jackpot as far as host teachers.  Mine is just the sweetest.  She made me my own little desk area with my name on a placard and everything and she is just going to be so easy to work with, I swear.  The kids had been expecting me, so they were so excited to meet me this morning and as the day wore on the girls were trying to hold my hand and sit next to me during circle time.  At recess they desperately tried to coax me out into the grassy field to play, but my little heels were just not going to cut it, so I told them I'd wear more sensible shoes next time.  The teachers stood together on the playground, chatting and checking their phones, but I have a feeling I'm going to be easily convinced to play kickball or tag or something.  Can you just picture me rolling down a grassy hill with the kids, getting grass stains on my knees?  I can too.  I have no control.

I also experienced my first rainy-day morning commute across Pittsburgh today too.  Stop and go, stop and go.  It was actually an okay thing because I had to concentrate so hard on my driving and directions that I had zero time to get nervous or anxious.  My own kids experienced getting themselves ready and out to the bus on their own this morning.  Of course they are totally old enough and more than capable of the task, but it meant change and so that was on my mind, as I can be a worry-wart mother.  Will she get out to the bus on time?  What if she misses it?  But it all worked out and I can pat myself on the back for trusting my kids to be independent {if being independent includes texting and calling until they are safely out the door).  Baby steps.

It was a good day.  I am so blessed.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

the beginning of the end.

The beginning of the end.

That's the term I used in a conversation with Husband today, regarding what is left of my schooling.  Tomorrow is my first day of student-teaching!  Well, my preclinical student-teaching.  In my program, I have to participate in pre-student-teaching to prepare for actual student-teaching.  And that is totally fine by me.  The more practice, the better!

Husband seems to think I'm going to wake up tomorrow morning with the nervous disease {I'll let you figure out what that entails}, but I am actually totally excited and relaxed right now.  With all of the stress I have experienced to get to this point, I am just completely thankful to be here now.  I am ready!

In other good news, today got up to 80 degrees, no April fools joke!  We have one bunch of flowers blooming right in the middle of our yard and I have been taking the opportunity to clear the crunchy left-over leaves that have spent the winter tangled in all of the branches.  Any excuse to be outside.  It's the beginning of the end of cold, Winter weather {I hope, anyway}.  Pittsburgh weather changes so much, from one day to the next, so no promises.  But I definitely feel like this is a great time for fresh starts.

Bring it.


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