Friday, February 27, 2009

To whom much is given...

...much is required.

I hope that I can adequately record the events of this week because I promised someone that when I write my book someday, I will include the details of what happened. Last Thursday, Nancy Meyer and I attended an inservice at South-Doyle Middle that Karen Hembree had said would be "wonderful." I enjoyed Dr. Beaman's presentation at our last inservice, so I trusted her judgement. The lady was from a rural middle Tennessee County and Ms. Hembree was obviously taken with her. I, on the other hand, was not as impressed. While she obviously loved her students, the activities she shared with us were not feasible with 150 students, nor were they all that impressive. The presentation felt like going back in time. She had her students make diaramas, dress as book characters, and create magazines based on the books they read. Very little technology, and very little higher order thinking. I was disappointed that Karen did not ask someone from within the system to share ideas as I believe there is a wealth of expertise and ideas right in our own back yard!

Saturday's highlight was meeting with Erin Powers at Panera to discuss our plans for the Mentoring Institute. We have to present a brief skit/commercial/video to promote the summer institute. We decided to create a take-off of an SNL skit of four people in a car going on a trip. Music will play a significant role as will good script writing. The pressure is on! Our "outside the box" idea is to have the front of a car, a convertible, or a golf cart brought in to serve as our setting.

Our Small Group met on Sunday night at Ed's dad's house. Ed made chili and everyone brought sides. I picked up a peanut butter pie from Perkins and brought a leftover chocolate pie that Phil gave me. We didn't do much Bible studying. Tom came late and brought along the White family. They are moving to Knoxville from Virginia(?) with their three daughers and son (triplets)! We decided that our next book would be "Defending Your Faith." I need to order it soon so we'll have time to read it.

Laurie Macnair and I finally got together Monday evening and it was nice catching up with her. She's taken on more responsibilities at work and is stressed and tired. Blake is doing well, and I'm glad he has his opportunity to be in the spotlight instead of the shadow of his big sister.

Tuesday, Mickey and I spent some time chatting about what it takes to make it as a teacher. I feel like I've failed him this year as his mentor because I knew he struggled, but couldn't find the time or words to give him the help me needed. Hopefully, I provided him with some encouragement this afternoon.

I called for substitute on Wednesday because my application packet was due by 4:00, and I still hadn't finished it! I got up early anyway and took the kids to school (a little late), then dropped off sub plans at WVMS for Brandon White. Brandon did an excellent job as my sub and left detailed notes for me.

Chelcie had a short break between classes, so she and I met for breakfast at Panera on the strip. After accidentally paying $10 for a parking place a half mile away, I headed to the City-County Building to pick up letters of recommendation from both the city and county mayors! Both did an excellent job! I was very impressed. Wanda Williams actually works in Mike Ragsdale's office and she remembered me and was very kind.

Then I hiked over to the AJ Building to meet briefly with Dr. Alves about including the additional references in my packet. She suggested I include them, so I did. Dr. Alves was supportive and encouraging!

Once again I headed back to the car for a race to A.L. Lotts in time to catch the second half of Addie's lunch. I enjoyed chatting with her and her friends. "Miss Jenny" and I had a few minutes to catch up as well and I dropping in on Jane Manning before leaving Sam a little note from his secret admirerer. I finally completed the editting of my application in time to head to WVMS to make copies of it before heading back to Lotts for pick-up. Once I got the kids picked up, we dropped by Sonic for some ice, hot fudge sundae for Sam and some popcorn chicken for Addie. Home at last, but not for long. We traded Sam for Taylor then made another (my third in a day) trip to WVMS to make another set of copies! Finally, I breathed a sigh of relief and collapsed joyfully at home a tired, but satisfied mom!

Thursday, Thursday, Thursday! Here we go again...Back at school I was not as prepared as I would have liked to have been, and "Barney" my worthless laptop computer was not cooperating with me! Helen Abee, from the technology department emailed me to ask if she could stop by to take a picture of me teaching with the ActivBoard. I thought is was kind of strange that Dave Armstrong called and asked the same thing, but just shrugged it off. During my plan time, I booked out of school and drove like crazy down to the AJ Building to drop off my final packet. It was a much quicker trip this time as I met with no resistance, parked in the parking garage for $1 and did not speak to anyone as no one was in the office. Unfortunately, Helen had stopped by for the pictures and I wasn't there. I called to apologize and she was insistant about coming as soon as possible. She sounded determined and said she needed to speak to me when the kids weren't around. I thought that something was wrong. Maybe someone had found porn on my computer of something (of course, there is no porn on my computer), but I was worried none-the-less. She asked if she come during plantime on Friday. Unfortunately, I had a conference already scheduled. She asked if she could come back after school. I told her I had National Junior Honor Society, then a community forum presented by KLF on Child Abuse, but she could stop by between 4:15 and 4:30.

When Helen arrived, she came in on the tail end of NJHS as the kids were trying unsuccessfully to create a wordle with NJHS words. I told them I would get it printed for them as time was up. Helen let us use her laptop to save their wordle, and once again I was filled with jealousy because the Mac computers seem to be much more conducive to use with an ActivBoard. Helen asked me to pose with the ActivBoard and pen and had even made me a flipchart that said "Welcome to 8th Grade!" I posed dutifully, then she said to click the screen which opened a new page that said, "Congratulations Amy Crawford!" Click here. I was surprised and kind of embarrassed, then Helen told me to click the screen again and another page appeared that said, "I hope you enjoy your new MacBook Pro!" and Helen pointed to the computer she had just connected to my IWB. I was in shock!

All I could think about was "To whom much is given, much is required." God has poured out His blessing on me this week far beyond my wildest expectations. I do not want to disappoint Him. My prayer is to leave this world completely used up for Him. I've got some work to do!

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