February 26, 2012

Too Legit to Quit

Eep! Did you notice anything different about my blog? I'm super excited to unveil my new logo/banner designed by the talented Miss Meghan Thome. Or, as I like to call her, Meghan Thomey Homey.

Motivated by many of the blogs I follow (you can check out which sites I stalk on the right side of my page), I've long thought that having my own design would help me to establish myself in the blogging community. Meghan helped me find a creative way to showcase the the various (sometimes schizophrenic) topics I cover in my posts with a creative and unique look and feel. I love the final result!

Meghan has recently made the leap from elementary school teacher to graphic designer extraordinaire, and I'm so pleased she agreed to help me with my little blog. She's creative and professional, and I highly recommend you check out her site for more sample work (seriously... there's some amazing stuff on there). And you should totally hire her for all of your designing needs!

I feel like a legit blogger now that I have my very own graphic. Woot, woot!

Thanks again, Meghan!!

February 14, 2012

What Teachers Do

I honestly feel like there are fewer jobs that are as misunderstood as teaching. I guess because everyone was once a student, everyone assumes they know what teachers do.


Most of what entails a teaching career happens behind the scenes, meaning that students don't see it. The 40-some minutes I spend with each class does not even begin to describe my day-to-day responsibilities. That's why I'm at school 1-2 hours early and stay after school that same amount. There simply aren't enough hours in the day to do this job because the reality is that the work NEVER ends. There's always more to be done. But since we're human, we have to set limits!

Someone posted this on Facebook tonight, and it made me laugh. It's so true, except for the part about what my friends think I do... since many of my friends are also teachers and know better! :)

We All Deserve a Leo

In honor of Valentine's Day, I wanted to do a quick post about a little romantic movie I saw with some friends this weekend. You have have heard of it: The Vow. (Don't worry, I won't give anything away.)

I don't think the film delivered Academy Award winning performances, but I loved the plot of this story. And the fact that it's inspired by a true story? Be still, my heart!

For anyone who doesn't know, the movie is about a couple dealing with the aftermath of a traumatic brain injury from which the wife is unable to recall who her husband is much less any details of their life together. Leo, the husband, fights desperately to help his wife regain her memory and working endlessly to make her fall in love with him again.

Ladies, if you haven't seen the movie yet, you definitely need to. Tonight's a great night... go with your Valentine, your girlfriends, or your gays. Just go! Seriously... buy your tickets now!

And not just because Channing Tatum stars in it. Although, that kind of eye candy is a pretty awesome bonus. Go see it because it will rekindle (or intensify, as the case may be) your faith in love and marriage.

Every girl deserves a man who loves her so deeply, who will go to any length to prove that love.

And I promise that when I find my Leo, I won't forget him!

February 9, 2012

Things Kids Say

As a follow up to my red carpet post, I thought it would be appropriate to share a coincidental conversation I had with one of our 8th grade SPED (special education) students on my way to class this morning...

Upon seeing me, her face lit up, and she exclaimed (very loudly, I might add), "Miss L., I can't believe how many people adore you!"

I paused for a moment, unsure of how I should respond. To be honest, I was perplexed by how this could be confusing for anyone. What did she mean, she "can't believe it?" What's so unbelievable about this?

Instead of questioning her, though, I sarcastically (yes, I believe there is a place for sarcasm in schools) replied, "Well, I am pretty awesome!"

She then turned to her aide, seeking approval, and declared, "She's soooo popular! I want to be popular like her!" she declared.

It was all I could do to not burst out laughing right then and there. I'm not sure how I feel about called popular by any student, much less this particular one, but if my classroom celebrity continues to rise, I think I just found the president of my fan club!

Seriously... kids are hilarious!

February 8, 2012

Classroom Celebrity

Every Tuesday (and many Thursdays), I work as a "floater" in one of my schools. My purpose is to cover for classroom teachers while they're in IEP (Individualized Education Program) meetings. In this school, the special education, or SPED as its commonly called, students are all one one team per grade level. While this isn't the most inclusive method, it is often necessary because there are only so many teaching assistants (and funds) to go around.

The reason this is relevant to my job is because I spend a good amount of time working with these SPED teams. I sub for the same teachers often, which is nice for me because I have groups of students I know very well. It's nice to walk into a classroom, even if I will only be there for an hour, and know the names of my students. It's even better that they know me, that I'm my just another random sub. In fact, my presence in these classrooms is usually met with a lot of excitement. I often joke that I feel like a celebrity when I walk in the room and they all shout my name like I'm walking the red carpet!!

Yesterday morning, I was working with the sixth grade team. This teacher's third period class always complains that I never sub for them (because the meetings are usually finishes before they start), but on this day, I was scheduled to spend the entire morning in the classroom. Their excitement was overwhelming.

About five minutes into class, though, the classroom teacher returned early from her meeting. She walked in with a big smile on her face, ready to greet her students. What she received, though, was a chorus of boos from a very disappointed class. We looked at each other completely speechless.

"Okay, I'll go grade papers, and you can stay with them," she laughed.

The classroom erupted in applause, and the classroom teacher laughed her way right out the door so we could continue our lesson.

I have to say... It's good to be a celebrity! :)

February 4, 2012

Fun Surprise

Last night was bowling night for the league I'm in with my friends. Most of us aren't very good, but it's a great excuse to get together for some laughs and a few beers.

He's not so little anymore!
In the middle of our second game, one of the employees walked over with a plate of food. I immediately recognized him, but I couldn't remember how. On his way back, I stopped him and said, "I know you from somewhere."

Without hesitation, he responded, "PALS!"

PALS is a before and after school program at one of the elementary schools where I grew up. I worked there with my best friends in high school and over the summer in college. It was a great job because we pretty much spent the entire day playing with kids... crafts, games, coloring, playing on the playground... it was totally worth the crappy pay.

Ryan, the guy I ran into, was not a coworker, though. He was one of about 60 kids. Twelve years ago, I might add.

"Oh my God!" I exclaimed, "I can't believe you remember me from PALS!"

"Of course!" he laughed, "You were my favorite!"

And then he proceeded to rattle off memories of me picking him up all the time and telling him how adorable he was for using big words despite his young age. Doesn't that sound just like me?!?!

We played a few rounds of "Do you remember so-and-so?" and took turns pulling up pictures on our iPhones (it's moments like this that make me love technology). And then we took a picture to send to his sister, who also remembers me. She was my favorite coloring buddy back in the day.

And I sent one to my best friend, Ashley, who used to work with me at PALS. After seeing how grown he is, she immediately responded with, "Damn, we're old!" hahaha

I still can't believe this now 19 year-old remembers playing with me after school each day back when he was only 6 and 7. It was so heart-warming. You just never know the impact you can make on someone.

As it turns out, Ryan's mom is a teacher in one of the school districts where I currently work. Upon hearing the name of the school, my friend Brian (our league captain) turned around and instantly knew I was talking to the son of his elementary school teacher. Of course, this led to more pictures and texting to Ryan's mom, who remembered Brian and his siblings.

It's a small world, ya'll!

February 1, 2012

Take Notes

I figured out number one when I was in high school, and it's bothered me like fingernails on a chalkboard since that day. I want desperately to correct people when they say it. Dumb. Dumb. Dumb.