Saturday, March 28, 2009

thoughts on student teaching #5

About a week and a half ago I finally moved over to the high school choir room for my student teaching assignment. I love it. I really do! Yeah, the drama is more intense, the kids are a little scarier, and the talking is louder. But this schedule is awesome! We are on a regular 7-day period schedule, and she has 1st period and 7th period planning, and then lunch right in the middle. Also, she has an assistant director, so she only has 3 choirs she's in the room for, with the intention that she can be called on to help or accompany or whatever, which she often does. Keep in mind though, I came in on a "down" time, since there are no huge trips they are planning for and taking tens of thousands of dollars for (just got back from Seattle over Spring Break, last year they went to Austria, before that they went to Hawaii, etc), or any huge concerts. They are preparing for UIL contest, which is fun for me. I like the polishing process. To me, it's when the music finally clicks with the kids and there are many more "wow" moments for them. That's when it gets fun.

When stuff does pick up, there are tons of afterschool rehearsals and night rehearsals and weekend rehearsals. And stress. I'm sure of it. But what job doesn't have a certain amount of stress?

Anyway, I love getting to know the kids and talking on a more mature level with them. They already know lots of musical terms and how to produce them, so it's far easier to explain things. Obviously. I think my personality just fits with older kids better. We'll see how the weeks progress though.

This week a girl had a seizure and fell off the back of the risers, through the shell that was behind her. It was scary, but everyone thinks she's fine. No history of seizures before. Also a girl got something stolen in class and came to us reporting it, but wouldn't let us know what "it" was. She explained that it was something very valuable and special to her, later we found out that it was her cell phone. Yeah, that's another thing different that elementary school. Most of the time, at least in our classes, cell phones aren't too much of a problem. Kids are (for the most part) engaged and it's hard for them to hide them behind their folders. :)

Anyway, the first weeks have been good. Stay tuned.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

mama don't like tour

Philip left yesterday morning on choir tour. To Houston. It's only 5 days he'll be gone, but it seems like an eternity sometimes! The really sad thing is that they'll be playing at the beach all day Saturday, and... I won't be. Oh well. I always thought it would be fun to go on a choir tour with all the college kids and get to room with my husband! Boo-ya. But that never happened. Another oh well.

It's going all right so far. We text all day long and he sends me lots of pictures, mostly silly ones of himself on the bus making silly faces. Oh, my sweet goof-ball. I love him so much. If you guys only saw the side I see sometimes...

I'm staying so busy though with teaching and mommy-ing and updating my facebook status and updating my blogs. As you can see. Reeeeally productive. I even made Deron his favorite dinner tonight. Waffles. And they were whole wheat. And I even threw in some strawberries. Go me.

Bundle up tomorrow. I hear there's a winter storm of "epic proportions" headed our way.

19 weeks!

I thought I'd post a picture, since I'm sure you're dying to see... (this was from last week, I'm now 20 weeks. Stay tuned for the big unveiling of the gender! We find out Tuesday!)

wintry air

So Sunday afternoon after church we walk in to the house and I feel a frigid breeze penetrate my sleeves. It was a nice 70-ish degree sunny day outside, and as soon as I felt the wintry climate in the house, I was worried that my plants were going to keel over. I quickly went to the thermostat and saw that the indicator was pushed all the way to the left side, causing the air conditioner to, no doubt, be running all morning! It was 58 degrees in our cute little abode! Brrr. I asked the bug if he had touched the thermostat on the wall that morning, and he cutely and innocently looked at me with those sweet blue eyes and smiled, "I'm really tall! I can reach that!" It was so cute. Little does he know that he'll be workin' that $40 bucks off for awhile.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

3 year-olds say funny things...

This morning on the way to church, Deron says to us...

"Mommy! Look at the clouds!"
"Ooooh, those are some pretty clouds! Cool!"
"God made those clouds, Mommy."
"You're right. God did make those clouds, honey. What are some other things that God makes?"

Friday, March 13, 2009

new wineskin - the home

Our Pastor has been teaching on new seasons and new wineskin.

Luke 5:36-38
36 Then He spoke a parable to them: “No one puts a piece from a new garment on an old one; otherwise the new makes a tear, and also the piece that was taken out of the new does not match the old. 37 And no one puts new wine into old wineskins; or else the new wine will burst the wineskins and be spilled, and the wineskins will be ruined. 38 But new wine must be put into new wineskins, and both are preserved.

Our church is on the verge of some pretty amazing things, one being the purchase of "the" white mansion that sits right next to our property. We now have a contract on it, and are in the option period getting all the details worked out for inspections, etc. There has been tremendous favor on this aquisition, and it's just so exciting to see that property used for the Kingdom! For many years, as prophets and other ministers have come to our church, there have been many words spoken over that property, even some before they knew a white mansion lived next door!

In our personal lives, God has challenged Philip and I to go to a new level in many areas. For me, many principles He's given me have been for our home and to keep it a haven of peace and dignity. I have asked him for a long time to give me some guidelines to follow (because those sure make it easy!). Now, many women have got these down pat. They were taught these things, and it's second nature. I'm not that way and needed help. I was feeling overwhelmed and frustrated that I couldn't keep my house clean for more than a day, and I felt too tired and exhausted to put a lot of effort into it. These are so practical, but Erin wanted me to post them, so here you go, Erin!

1. Before crawling into bed, put clothes away - shoes, hang-ups, folded clothes, or in the hamper. I'm notorious for doing the laundry and not putting it where it belongs. Also, I end up with a stack of shoes on the floor right next to where they belong. If I can keep it put away, it's a much smaller job every night!

2. Do laundry on weekends and get it all put away *and IRONED* before Monday. The weekends are when I typically do laundry. Some moms like to have a perpetual laundry system going all week- this does not work for me. Giving myself the whole weekend to get it all done helps me not feel guilty or too pressured, but I know that once Monday hits, I have a much lower chance of completing this task, and then #1 hits.

3. Do the dishes that night after dinner. To me, after dinner, I want to relax. It's been a long day and I'm tired! Who wants to do the dishes? But again, I've learned that if I can just do the small amount (even washing pots and pans) every night, that sure keeps me motivated to keep the sink clean all week.

4. Put all toys away before bedtime. Deron loves his trains and train track. It's so easy to just get him bathed and in bed with all of his toys strewn about the house. When they are left out, I can not relax! We don't have a large living area, so we're constantly stepping over Stanley and the Troublesome Trucks, and legos and blocks. If we all pick up right before bedtime, he's learning a valuable principle and I can head into the last few waking hours at peace. Those hours are special!

5. Only get out one genre of toys at a time. This can be hard. It requires the cooperation and understanding of -an almost 4!- year-old. As I've implemented this though, he's really taken hold of it! When we're ready to move on from a puzzle to the trains, we put away the puzzle first. Then after the trains, we move on to something else. This sure makes pick-up easy. Duh.

So there are 5 that highly apply to me. I'm still willing to hear on cleaning issues, easy to remember principles that will help me keep the bathrooms sparkling and the kitchen floor clean. And these aren't hardened rules, just guidelines to help me be the best keeper of my house and have more quality time to spend with my family (and friends)!

This picture is proof of #1- how wonderful of a husband I have, and #2- to show how keeping a house does not have to exclude the husband! Philip is such a great husband to -without asking- wash out the nasty kitchen trashcan. He knew I hated it and it needed to be done. Thank you, honey! I love you!

thoughts on student teaching #4

I have 2 make-up days to take care of at the Elementary I am at next week before I move on to the High School I'm assigned to. Last week was a crazy week! My cooperating teacher's daughter went in to the hospital to have her baby, so that left me in charge for the week. We were both anticipating her having to leave for 5 days, and actually this turned out to be the perfect week anyway, since I was in charge of all of the lesson planning and teaching for all of the classes all week. And I got paid for 4 1/2 days of subbing. Can't complain there.

The kids consistently grew more and more restless as the week went on and we got closer and closer to Spring Break. And the weather was changing. And the 4th graders watched "the video" (you know what I'm talkin' about). And TAKS was on Tuesday. Many ingredients to make for an interesting pot-o-kid-behavior stew. Don't think I want to dish that one up again. Seriously, it wasn't terrible, but I was more than ready for a week-long break!

One of the goals that was in our packet before teaching began was to help us student teachers decide if this career was really the one that we want to keep pursuing. After 7 weeks at the Elementary level of music teaching, I can't say I've fallen in love. I can tolerate it for longer amounts of time though. Isn't that a plus? The kids don't scare me anymore, the lesson planning doesn't haunt me any longer, but I just don't think I could do that job day after day and really enjoy it. I'm still sorting out exactly why, but maybe after I'm teaching High School for a little while I'll understand more. I do know this. Teaching takes a monstrous amount of time- outside of school. Especially teaching music to 5-6 different grades. The planning alone can eat up hours of afterschool and evening time that are reserved (in my opinion) to my family, home, and marriage. I just don't think I'm willing to sacrifice those precious hours for making cute little construction paper "crescendo" and "decrescendo" alligators (which I did last week). I realize that the first couple of years, yes, most teachers do end up working a WHOLE lot, and then the years after it's much easier to keep work at work and come home with not much to do. Maybe later I can invest. Just not now.

Oh, and kudos to working moms!