Friday, December 19, 2014

Christmas Spirit

Guess what today was! Alright, I'll let you was the last day of school before winter break. We have just about made it through the half way point in the school year. It's become tradition this time of year for our school to have a pajama day as a reward for school wide behavior. It's a ton of fun. The kiddos get to wear pj's, enjoy a treat and watch a holiday movie. I've enjoyed spending time with my students at this event every year since I began teaching, but this year was extra special now that I teach kindergarten. They are still at that age when everything is magical and exciting. They were able to be kids today and it was a beautiful thing to observe. 

What has touched my heart this holiday season is the love that my students have given me. Many of them wanted to give me something, anything, as a Christmas gift. Some sadly told me that they couldn't and others gave me something sweet, like a snowman ornament. While I enjoy the gifts that I received, I let my students know that the greatest gift they have given me this season was the chance to be their teacher. I'm completely truthful when I say this. The trust, faith and love they bestow upon me is amazing. Each "aha" moment from them when they finally figure out a skill they have been working on to master is a gift. When a student beams at me because they can blend the sounds in a word and can finally read it always brings tears to my eyes. I just get so excited for them when they are able to achieve their goals. 

When you take away the stressful parts of teaching, the parts no one tells you about in college, and you focus on the moments when you are teaching, what's left is magic and reminds you about the spirit of Christmas. Everyday I'm thinking about others and how my actions affect them. I want to know how I can help my students to make their lives better in the long run. Once I figure it out, then I do it.  That's what Christmas is about- focusing on blessing others and thinking about them. 

I hope my students have a wonderful holiday season. Yes, I'm excited about break because I get to spend time with the Baby Monster, but I will miss my kiddos!

Monday, December 8, 2014

Enough is Enough

Well, I was going to write about my diminishing desire to keep up with my workouts, but I decided to watch Women of the Bible on Lifetime. It just made me decide to get over it. I need to drop the excuses, believe in myself and just DO IT! Women are strong human beings who have endured through centuries. I can endure a 20 minute workout and I can respect my body by nourishing it.

Poor me. Why me? Why aren't things going the way I want them to? It's no one's fault but my own because some where along the way to where I am now I lost something. My tenacity is gone. My hope has vanished and the fear has set in. It's time to start looking at myself like those around me see me. I am beautiful. I am strong. I am tough. I am enough.

Monday, December 1, 2014

'Tis the Season

Going back to work, whatever your work may be, is difficult after a lovely vacation. Today was my first day back in the classroom after nine days off for our fall break. I enjoyed the time I had with my husband, son and the rest of my family. We had a movie night that featured Frozen and Malificent. We shopped at the mall as a family to find the Baby Monster a pair of new shoes because his feet are GIGANTIC! Mom and I baked holiday cookies. My week was filled with moments like these. So, to say I had extreme Monday blues was an understatement. The Baby Monster didn't make it any easier when he burst into tears the moment he saw me walking out the door. I had to wipe a few tears of my own away by the time I made it to the car.

Then, when I walked to my classroom door a pop of red caught my eye and the joy of the Christmas season made its presence known. One of the amazing teachers I work with delivered a small poinsettia to every teacher on my team. Right then and there I knew it was going to be a good day.

My Monday continued to get better when I  picked  up my kiddos and every face broke into a smile when they saw me. Just like that I couldn't wait to get back in the classroom teach. It's hard not to smile and feel jolly when children are all a buzz because they know it's December and that brings Christmas. But wait, it got even better!

 During one of our lessons a student was working on addition word problem. Now this student was concentrating and hard at work connecting cubes to model an addition sentence. Then suddenly he stopped what he was doing, looked at me and said, "I missed you last week." My heart melted. Being a teacher feels like a privilege some days because I have the chance to earn the trust and respect of children who look up to me everyday and count on me to guide them. My Grinch heart definitely grew a few sizes within those moments.

My day was a perfect example of what the holiday season is all about. It's about giving, working to make others happy because you want to while spreading kindness and cheer.

It also means eggnog, which now completes my magnificent Monday.