Monday, January 5, 2009

94.5 School Days 'til Summer Vacation

Busted! I posted a status update on Facebook that asked the question, "How many days 'til Summer Vacation?" and one of my current students commented, "Gee, Mrs. Crawford, do you really hate us that much?"

Of course I responded truthfully that it wasn't the students I dreaded but the EARLY MORNINGS! My body has to get reacclimated with retiring before midnight and rising before the sun. Actually, today was a great day and I found myself easing into the new year without too much resistance.

This morning, I picked up Sherry and Angel at 7:30 and we headed over to the new Hardin Valley Academy for our "motivational" event. Chick-fil-A served "chikin" biscuits and scrumpticious cinnamon rolls. There were many familiar faces as teachers from South-Doyle, Karns, West Valley, Bearden, and Powell met together for the first time.

Our speaker, Riney Jordan, did a great job sharing funny stories of his experiences as an elementary school principal in a small Texas town. Most of his humor was self-depreciating as he poked fun at his hairpiece, his religious convictions ("you're just gonna have to get over it!"), and his family, particularly his second child, Todd. He used the acronym HELP to define our role in the classroom.

H=Hear them
E=Encourage them
L=Love them
P=Prepare them

Our job as teachers is to "H.E.L.P." kids. He shared his personal story of a teacher who saw potential in him and even helped him acquire a college education to achieve his dream of being a teacher.

After his speech, we watched the documentary, "Paperclips" which was filmed in Whitwell, TN just 20 mi. outside Chattanooga. Wow. Imagine the learning that could take place in our classrooms if we weren't so tied to the test!

The morning concluded after a 16 yr. old girl, Amanda, shared her personal story about being involved in the Paperclip Project. She was poised in the midst of "technical difficulties," and everyone loved her courage. (I was only slightly distracted by the fact that she sounded exactly like Kellie Pickler! "Hungary? Hungary is a CUN-TREE?"). I know , I know, I'm bad!

We grabbed a quick lunch at Sam and Andy's and headed back to "The Valley" for a little room time. I'm looking forward to trying out a few "powerteaching" strategies tomorrow.

Back at home, it was hotdogs for dinner. What? You thought I was a gourmet cook? Addie updated the dry erase board in the kitchen with a cute 'n' clever Valentines theme (future teacher?), and they both worked hard getting their toy closet organized! Sam and Addie and I started the novel, Bud, not Buddy. Two chapters into it and they're hooked.

Chelcie heads back to UT tomorrow. I'm sure going to miss her. It's nice having her around.

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