Tuesday, September 24, 2013

I Couldn't Have Done It Without You!

Today I join my fellow bloggers in "serving up a slice" 
to the Tuesday Slice of Life sponsored by 

When the school day ends, I hustle to the copy room to finish copying parent handouts for this evening's Curriculum Night.  Then I head out to the hallway to match star connections (a fun activity we used to connect with each other) to student quilt squares.  It takes longer than I expect, and my first set of helping hands arrives as Mr. Reyes, a teacher new to our building, helps me match stars to quilt squares.  Since he taught some of my Superstars in 5th grade, he shares stories from his experiences with them as we finish stapling stars to the bulletin board.  

Then I arrange student folders on desks for my first block of classes.  A few quick more tidying up touches and the clock reads 5:20.  Yikes, I had planned to head home by 5.  I dash home for a quick change of clothes,  and grab some smoked turkey and freshly picked cherry tomatoes for my drive back to school.  After opening my classroom, I step out to brush my teeth and discover that I've locked my keys in the classroom (no pockets in my skirt).  I sprint to Mr. Harrington's room, borrow his keys to open the door, and ask a parent standing in the hall if she'll return the keys for me.  Later in the evening, I discover that my second set of helping hands is Aidan's mom.   More help arrives as Mr. Barone, a fellow teacher and administrative intern for this year, steps into my room and inquires if I need any help.  I hand him pencils to distribute to each desk so that  parents without writing implements can write a quick reply to the student letter in the folder.  Another set of helping hands quickly writes the schedule for the evening on the board for me.  And Pamela's mom has the best teacher handwriting ever!  

These helping hands free mine for the important work of greeting parents at the door and directing them to their student's desk.  The next ninety minutes fly by as I spend it with parents from my two Language Arts/Social Studies blocks.  I talk about what we'll learn this year, how we've worked to build a community in Room 104, and how blessed I feel to have each of their children in my classroom this year.  Our evening is successful because of the helping hands of many people who arrived at just the right moment throughout the afternoon and evening.  Sometime soon my helping hands will receive a thank you note and home-baked treat!     

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Blessings Abound!

Today I join my fellow bloggers in "serving up a slice" to the Tuesday Slice of Life sponsored by 
If you read my post last week, then you know about my lipstick in the dryer episode...with all my favorite outfits.  I was up long past my bedtime scrubbing and rubbing with no results in sight, and then unable to find my car keys the next morning.  With my husband out of town with the only spare car key, I phoned my dear friend who rescued me and got me to school on time!
A service offered to another friend led to prayers for me and my lost keys.  On arriving home, I found the keys in the 2nd place I looked with enough time to head back to school and serve pizza to our 6th graders and their families.
Wednesday evening found me too exhausted to attend my monthly book club.
Thursday night found me frantically editing my students' quilt squares.  No, they're not real fabric quilt squares, just paper quilt squares, but I love putting them up each year to introduce my students to our larger school community.
Friday night I was back at the laundry room sink with two new stain removers.  I was victorious.  Even the yellow tee shirt is now lipstick free!
Saturday morning we received a happy call from the east coast - son passed the bar exam!
Sunday found me making his favorite breakfast bars.
Monday I was at the post office before school to send those bars across the US to Virginia.  (Gotta love those self-serve post office kiosks.)
And here I am on Tuesday, smiling and slicing.  Despite the tribulations that began my week, I was richly blessed.  Today I can happily report, "All's well that ends well!"

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

One of those days!

Today I join my fellow bloggers in "serving up a slice" to the Tuesday Slice of Life sponsored by Stacey and Ruth from Two Writing Teachers.

It started, well, as Monday mornings often start, a bit slow.  But things picked up throughout the day.  I found myself trying to finish my first parent letter before my haircut, but not enough time.  Save it to dropbox . . . so I could work on it later at home.
Haircut, home, a quick dinner, throw in a load of laundry, time to work on my slice for tomorrow, planning a quick post about this year's voracious readers.
Oops, there's my phone alarm reminding me to move the clothes to the dryer.  Back upstairs and time to work on the post...
Yikes, I still need to finish the parent letter!  Hit the send button a bit after nine, run downstairs to hang the clothes and open the door to the laundry room to a loud clanging sound.  First thought, is there a hanger in the dryer?  Second thought, no, it's a tube of lipstick.  In the dryer!!!  If I had been downstairs, I would have heard the clanging.
Call my sister in tears.  This load of clothes has all my favorite outfits from the first week of school.  Everything I'm comfortable in and feel good about myself in was in this load. Sister advises me to check the internet.  I google "lipstick in dryer" and this blog post pops up:  Lipstick in dryer ruined clothes. Blog author advises the reader to not give up hope.  Use dishwashing soap.
One hour later, after scrubbing through the entire load (every single piece of clothing was touched by Sunstone multiple times) with dishwashing soap, liquid hand soap, and stain stick (hey, if one doesn't work, why not try another? what have I got to lose?), I put the washer on cold, and head back upstairs with raw, irritated fingers to peck out this week's blog post. I'm hoping that the scrubbing and some prayers will do the trick.  Teachers have no time to shop for clothes in September, and this teacher doesn't even enjoy shopping. This summer, I scored several times at end of the season sales and was so pleased to update my tired wardrobe with my several new tops for back-to-school.
And now, it's way past my bedtime, so it's off to catch some shut eye before looking at my clothes again tomorrow morning.   Wish me luck!  May the laundry gods bless my efforts!  Only time will tell.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Currently I'm ...

Today I join my fellow bloggers in "serving up a slice" to the Tuesday Slice of Life sponsored by Stacey and Ruth from Two Writing Teachers.

Listening:  to nothing...It's time to check out a new book on CD from the library 
(Anyone have a good recommendation?)
Needing:  to sort through the hodge-podge of papers that I brought home from the first day
Anticipating:  the activities of the next few days as I get to know my new students
Hoping:  that former students will drop by tomorrow for cookie bars, their sweet reward for posting on our Sweet Summer Reads blog
Reading:  Mr. Lemoncello's Library 
Wishing:  that I hadn't left it (Mr. Lemoncello's Library) on my desk at school
Striving:  to help this year's students catch a vision of themselves as writers and readers
Loving:  this quote from Looking for the Write Words,  "The good news for me is the act of writing and the writing of others is helping me to look closer at the world around me and to be a better listener.   I want to notice and wonder, and linger and learn."