I Survived!

These are the exact words I said as I left Dunbar on Friday afternoon.  It has been the LONGEST week ever, but I think we’re off to a great year.

This week, I had my kids write an essay about themselves.  It’s an easy way for me to get to know them, but it also lets me assess their writing.  And, I’ve gotta tell ya, they are all over the place for me this year.  I have some that need help getting what’s in their head to come out on paper and I have others that write better than I do!  I’m going to have to get really creative with my lesson plans to be sure.

I already have some kids that really stand out (some for good reasons and some for not so good reasons), but this year, I don’t want to lose focus on those middle kids.  As a kid, I was one of those middle kids.  Smart, but not a genius.  Quiet and never got in trouble.  Always did my homework and never caused any problems for anybody, but none of my teachers ever seemed to really see me because they were busy doting on the really smart, good kids or were disciplining the bad ones.  So, one of my (many) goals this year is to not lose sight of the middle guys.  I’ll let you know how it goes.

One week down!

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Classroom Tour

The first day of school was today.  Even after 6 years, I still get the jitters on the first day.  It’s just unsettling when you don’t know you’re kids and you’re about to spend 9 months with them.  So intimidating.

I’m happy to report that the first day went well.  My kids seem pretty solid and well behaved.  I give them until Wednesday to start showing their true colors.  Ha!

Here’s a little tour of my classroom this year.  I should do a before and after when the year is up to show you what 8th graders can do to a classroom.  It’s pretty amazing.

A little chalkboard on the door for notes and directions.

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Classic book covers to decorate the closet door.

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A little student station.

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A white board and a word wall.  Essentials in the English classroom.

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I got crafty and covered the shades with fabric this year.  They look SO much better, but don’t roll them down because you’ll see the old shade…

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I love this bookcase!

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My little work station.

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Not too shabby!  I love this time in the school year when life is full of possibilities and excitement.  I’m trying really hard to hold onto this feeling for as long as I can.

The Last Weekend of Summer

Yes, I realize there will be more weekends and yes, I understand that I shouldn’t be complaining because I’ve had the whole summer off while everyone else had to work, but I’m still going to make this weekend a big deal, okay?!

We really didn’t do much, which was perfect.  The weekend before school starts should be as relaxing as possible.  Every other day after this will be a whirlwind of grading papers, calling parents, and meetings.  Oh, and teaching English somewhere in there, too.  So, all I wanted to do this weekend was hang out with my family and try not to think about Monday.

The weather was amazing this weekend.  High’s in the 80’s in August?!  Thank you very much, Arkansas.  We’ll take it.  We took advantage of it and spent Saturday morning at the park.

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Who needs expensive playground equipment when you have rocks?

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Saturday was also Nani’s birthday and she wanted to eat at Hardin Farm and Market in Scott.  It was in the boonies, but so good!  I recommend the shrimp and grits.

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Bennett recommends the beans.

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Happy birthday, Nani!  We love you!

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I can’t say I didn’t think about Monday at least a few times this weekend, but overall, it was the perfect, relaxing weekend before the official first day of school.  I can’t believe school starts Monday!!  Ahhhhhhhh!!