It's already been two weeks since my last post, and I had every intention to keep up, not catch up in 2009! Today is Groundhog Day and it seems that we are have six more weeks of winter in store for us as Puxatawny Phil DID see his shadow today.
I didn't see MY shadow, but I did see a lot of snow falling outside my classroom window. The morning started out "harmless" enough with temperatures in the mid-40's, but conditions deteriorated quickly. Flurries began to fall about 9:00, but by 9:25, the flurries had grown considerably! An hour later, an inch of snow was on the ground and I was receiving text messages from various folks "outside the system" asking if "they" were going to dismiss school early.
Finally, after much speculation and many, many announcements requesting students be sent to the office for dismissal, the call was made to dismiss school at 12:30. What a mess! Lunch was chaotic, but the kids, for the most part, handled things very well. The "no cell phone" rule was temporarily lifted, and we're grateful that most kids had a phone from which to call their parents. The roughest part of the day came when I was outside with about 300 kids waiting for their parents to pick them up. Slushy, muddy snow, excited middle schoolers, lack of adequate supervision, and opportunity to misbehave. Several students took advantage of the opportunity to throw snowballs as hard as they could into unsuspecting groups of people. Unfortunately, some of their brains have not developed to the point at which they can visual the consequences of their bad choices, and I had to "remind" many of them. I must have said, "Drop it!" and "Put the snowball down!" in my "teacher voice" at least 100 times. Truth is, I understood their excitement and couldn't blame them for their youthful appreciation of the snow. I felt like a grown-up today as I was one of the ones to put an end to their fun.
The highlight of the week for me was receiving word that I had been chosen West Valley Teacher of the Year along with my good friend and colleague, Sherry Storms, and fantastic 8th grade Science teacher, Anthony Hussey. Unfortunately, Anthony has not been teaching the required five years to advance to the County competition, but earned the honor nonetheless! The paperwork is a little overwhelming, but Suzanne Stelling said she's help me with it.
I have mixed feelings about this honor. On one hand, I feel that there are so many others at WVMS more deserving than me. There are others that need the "positive push" that an honor like this would give. Then, on the other hand, this could be a great opportunity to share Reach Them to Teach Them with a wider audience. Before I can share the details of Reach Them, I would have to make it past the County level. Based on my level of education, and my lack of leadership positions in professional organizations, I have my doubts. Regardless, this award means a great deal to me. My heart is encouraged and my resolve strengthened. I pray that God will be honored and glorified wherever He has me! More later....