Thursday, August 20, 2015

Don't Judge On Construction

As you walk through the halls at Christie Elementary you will immediately notice streaks on the floors, bare bulletin boards, a courtyard that is "under construction," dirt pits on the playground, an impassible front drive, & many other indicators that we are not ready for school to start on Monday. In fact, finding a place to park among the construction vehicles and debris presents its own set of challenges.

When you look past the mess and start to observe the things happening around our school you see hard work, dedication, teamwork, and collaboration. Teams of teachers sitting together discussing how to plan, what to plan, and what will be best for their students. You see binders open to grave level TEKS, computers projecting weekly plans, TEs scattered, and educators fully engaged. Construction workers come in and out of the room sanding, painting, talking... and the teachers keep right on planning.

The TO DO lists of our teachers seems to grow longer every year... but you don't see anyone looking at their lists today.

We are a tech savvy school... but the phones have been put away.

We are all here for one greater purpose. We all have the same end goal, to grow our kids.We know what we have to do, and no matter what the building looks like... we will do it.

Our teachers were just told that they are not allowed to come to school this weekend because of last minute construction preparing for kids to arrive on Monday. One would think that they would be relieved to get the weekend off before the start of a busy year, but they are not. These teachers want everything to be perfect for the students entering their rooms. They wish for their classrooms to reflect the excitement and love they feel for their incoming students.

As I walk through the halls at Christie Elementary I feel pride. I can't wait to see what amazing things happen during the 2015-2016 school year.

Sunday, August 2, 2015

The End OR A New Beginning?

Around August 1st each year I start developing symptoms.. it's the same thing every year for the past 11 years....

*exhaustion by day and insomnia by night
*lethargy and the desire to "do nothing"
*procrastination (but if I'm being honest this is a 24/7...365 symptom of just being me.)

I feel as if I were momentarily taken over by Grumpy the dwarf and I have to fight hard to not have an attitude with those around me...the ones I love most.

It hits me like a ton of bricks. It's when I stop sleeping that I then realize, summer is over.

No more waking up and slowly sipping my coffee while I watch my daughter explore the world.
No more traveling around to see family. No more lakes and beaches.
No more days spent at the pool.
No more spontaneity of plans, back to structure and routine.
No more staying up late.
No more free time.
No more being a stay at home mom.

But then I think about my job...
...the kids
...the teachers
...the admin
...about what I actually do

What is the real source of my stress? What am I worried about really?

I have built up this fantasy in my head about the summer break. A dark cloud lurks over August.

I will always cherish my summer vacations but with school starting comes a new beginning.
A chance to make a difference
A chance to reconnect with colleagues

Here is what I know for sure, when school begins...

I will laugh.
I will reconnect with friends that by the end of the year are more like family.
I will collaborate.
I will teach and they will learn.
I will watch as light bulbs of understanding flicker on a million times.
I will be part of something big.
I will have ideas that are unimaginable in August.
I We will dream and implement.
We will celebrate successes and work through failures.
We will grow together.

I must force myself to stop and reevaluate my body's response to the end of summer.... what am I so worried about?

After 11 years I know one thing for sure, I love my job. I love the kids.
Summer is over but will come again.

Now it's time to get my butt in gear and rev up for an amazing adventure.

BRING ON the 2015-2016 school year!