Sunday, January 12, 2014

Just Thinking About...Thinking

I just read a report that says if you drink caffeine, your memory will be better. I sure hope so because I feel like I have more to remember than ever. Proven today when I had to remember the score of my tennis match (yipee...won 6-2, 6-1...thanks to my partner, Cathy) and then had to remember where the heck my car key was. It fell off my keychain, and had to be in my pocketbook since I hadn't taken it out. Couldn't find it. Looked all over. Couldn't find it. Now logic says either it was in the car or my pocketbook so I started in on the car. Sure enough, it had fallen between the seat and consul. Whew. Also glad I remembered to leave another key at my parents' house...just in case.

Then I had to remember to bake for tomorrow's surprise "thank you treat" for the bus drivers in our district. We have a facebook pay it forward event going on. I will be interested to see how many people remember to thank the drivers after what happened with the icy conditions on Friday. I baked brownies, apple muffins, and brownie cupcakes, which I kind of DIDN'T remember to take out in time.

This week I have to remember four rehearsals, two meetings, and, of course, teaching. Should be a fun week.

I think.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Just Thinking About...The Power of a Thank You

As many of you read yesterday, driving in Medford was very tricky. Our transportation department, which consists of more than fifty-five members, had the daunting task of bringing students in grades K-8 to school. Buses were late, some didn't make it to their stop at all, they were "grounded", and yet they all made as many runs as they could. Many drivers helped their students (and make no mistake about it, they are THEIR students) from their homes to the bus, others made the suggestion that perhaps parents may want to wait a bit and bring students in themselves, but the underlying focus was safety and care.

As a thank you, I am reaching out to the Facebook Community of parents, assistants, and staff members to see if each school can greet one of the buses with at least a dozen of something (bagels, cupcakes, brownies, whatever). If each school does that, we would have more than fifty-five "thank you"s for our members. They can bring the goodies back to the transportation center and share it with others throughout the day.

Let's see if this works and how many people will respond. It would also be nice of the Board of Education and adminstration would do something...including sending a thank you email to ALL the staff members. I'm sure they are working on this now.

So...just you think it will work?

Friday, January 10, 2014

Just Thinking About...Safety

It looked just like this...rain, or what people that was rain, falling, and turning to ice on impact on the road. Today was quite a day. I, myself, made it to work in twenty minutes from Haddonfield to Medford, arriving around 7:20am, but shortly after, everything was iced over. Buses already on the road with students, were slipping and sliding, and then finally making the proper decision to pull over and wait. Accident abounded with people trying to stop and yet, not being able to. We were so lucky that none of our staff was hurt, although three association members were.

I am so proud of our transportation department. They worked hard to keep our students safe. This is why we don't let strangers drive our students to school. Our custodians worked hard to make sure our parking lots were safe. The teachers, secretaries, and assistants were working hard answering telephones and covering classes so our members could arrive safely.

Yes, there were complaints that school was open. It was a hard call, but it was what it was. Everyone in Medford Township should be proud of their public schools and the people who work there. And thank them.

Just think about it.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Just thinking about...gratitude

This month, my third-graders are involved with a great deal of writing projects:
writing valentines for each staff member in the school
writing a valentine for another school
monthly pen pal letters

BUT the most important writing they are doing is every morning in their journals. This month we are writing gratitude journals. Each day they need to come up with things they are grateful for, usually from the night before, and they have to write WHY they are grateful, thereby learning about cause and effect. This to me is so great. In morning greetings, each person says to the other, "What are three things you are grateful for today?" and they respond. Some always say family, friends and heat, and that's okay because at least they are thinking about things, but others are really thinking.

For example today B said, "I am grateful for jokes because I love to hear people laugh." It's that type of writing and insight that makes the day start off just right.

Just thinking about that makes me grateful.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Just Thinking About...changed my mind

I WAS going to write about my day, rehearsal, county meeting, dropping off my car and taking Mom shopping, but then I saw this on facebook and wanted to share it because it was so darn awesome.

It reminds me of the poem that has the lines "fog creeping in on cat's feet". It looks ALIVE

Just thinking freaky this really is.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Just Thinking About.... cool people are. I am the director of the school play in our building, along with two other teachers a parent helper and now a young choreographer who is helping. We do this because we love theater, but more importantly because we love working with these kids. Now, there are some very talented kids in our show...very talented...and they will always be chosen to be in shows, but I am especially impressed with the child who doesn't have as much talent but has put him/herself out there to be on the stage. I don't know that I would have had enough "guts" at age eight, nine or ten to do that. If I had, maybe I'd be more of an actor than a director.

So, today I am thinking about that kid...the one with that little something extra inside of him/her who goes for it.

Monday, January 6, 2014

How Many Conversations....

Today I was JUST THINKING ABOUT how many different conversations on how many different topics I had. From making sure the custodian in the building was okay with everything this morning, to teaching about national parks (did you know how much a round trip ticket is from Philadelphia to Anchorage, AK?), to doing break apart multiplication, editing skills, pen pal writing skills, trying to enable Skype, yes, it WILL be cold tomorrow, don't wear shorts...learning about which planets are gas and which are to say a line from the script in "Annie" to make our association better...asking questions at the local board of education meeting...making the daily phone calls to parents and close friends (thank you,God, for the good news about no cancer!) to finally coming home. And this isn't all...but enough for today.

Best two conversations of the day were 1) finding out a friend is cancer free and 2)listening to the things my third-grade students are grateful for...and knowing that we are going to start every day this January with sharing these things.

I am grateful for all of the above, that I have the ability to do all these things. I am also grateful to the people who choose to give up their time with families to serve on local Board of Educations. Three of these people were sworn in today:

So what am I JUST THINKING ABOUT now???? Silence...pure silence.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

January 5, 2014

Just thinking about how COLD it is and going to become in the next few days. I had four layers on today before I played tennis so I was comfortable, but on Tuesday the temperature is supposed to go well below zero. Tomorrow we are finally going back to school for the entire week. There is so much to do and catch up on, but still, want to take it a tad slowly as kids and staff are getting back in the swing of the New Year.

People who LOVE this weather are plumbers. Lots of frozen pipes in the area, so the advice is to keep water running so they don't freeze. With my past experience of pipes bursting outside, I am heeding that advice.

Played tennis today. I played pretty well and so did my partner, but we still lost and so did everyone else on the team. Oh, well. We lost to the first place team, so I don't feel too bad...well, yes, I do, but we get another shot at them later.

Off to put up the 365 photo. Same as the one here.

Just thinking that tomorrow is going to be a tough day...teaching, drama rehearsal, MEA meeting and BOE meeting. Already tired.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Just Thinking About...FOOTBALL

Today in the Philadelphia area, all attention is on the Eagles vs the Saints football game. The Eagles, to everyone's surprise, made it into the wildcard round of the NFL playoffs. The game is on now and the Eagles are ahead in the first half 7-6, although the most people predicted a high scoring game.

The other big news is the weather. It is bitterly cold here in NJ, although it's cold ALL over the US. I find it not too bad, but I'm blessed to have a heated car, a home, and warm clothing. Still, record breaking temperatures are expected for the rest of the week.

I was also thinking today how difficult and overwhelming it must be for my mom...I had to bring her iphone in to get fixed and bought new cordless phones for their house. Just those two things are items she never had to deal with until the really just a few years ago. No one had cordless phones, especially those that had to be connected to a modem..and even know what a modem is...and an iphone...just the amount of change people her age have had to endure in the past ten years must be sending their brains reeling. My dad, on the other hand, ignored everything tech which wasn't a good thing either. Perhaps if he had learned some of these things, his brain would not be turning off now.

Just thinking about all of this..makes me tired.

Friday, January 3, 2014

Gonna Have a Snow Day

I'm thinking about...the fun it was last night waiting with people on Facebook for Medford School District to FINALLY tell us we were having a snow day today. Of course, the kids had already predicted it yesterday and worked on it last night by turning their pjs inside out, a piece of ice in the toilet (I admit, I did that as well since I had never heard of that before) and a spoon under the pillow. It worked!

It wasn't too hard to get the snow off the car this morning, driving was okay (but still scary) later in the afternoon when I went to get my hair trimmed, washed and blow dry. Then to Five Below to get a USB (an??) cord for my tablet since I left one in school, CVS, and then to my parents. There Sunny and I had a romp in the snow in the backyard.

After that it was telephone terror. I was trying to figure out health care for my brother and on the phone for more than two hours!! I can't complain as Mom has been on the phone for DAYS trying to figure out this whole government health care plan.We both decided to try again on Monday and after that, whatever happens happens. Even the people I was speaking to were clueless about what was happening. Oh, they apologized, but I just can't imagine running a company like this is being run. I can see both side of government health care, but unfortunately today I am seeing the bad side.

I'm thinking I need a tomorrow...I'm having one.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

January 2, 2014

Today I am just thinking about....

...the snow that is coming down and wondering when my district will decide to close schools. Others around me are already closed.

...the answers my students gave today when asked what was their favorite gift they received and one answered, "My Raggedy Ann doll." So much for technology.

...the fact that I can't figure out how to move photos taken on Galaxy to iphoto

...and that my students started their January gratitude journals today. Most said they were grateful for their family, homes, health and pets. Each day we will expand on that. For example, on the sixth, the challenge is to write six things for which we are grateful. My students are wonderful with their "Helping Hands" project (thank you, Angela Maiers), I want them to see all the things they are so lucky to have. Today one of the students started to cry because he didn't have a special pencil (which he took home and won't admit). I'm not one to give into tantrums in third-grade, but it didn't take long for two of the boys to volunteer their pencils to this child. They practice what I preach, and I can't fault them for that. We test so much in my grade level that I am happy to be able to also send my students out into the world as thoughtful caring people...which I believe is much more important even if the educational "powers to be" don't agree. Hopefully, this journal challenge will enrich my students and myself more than they realize and will give them something to look back on when they grow up.

Just thinking...

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Just Thinking About....

I'm such a follower. Today I am following Kelly Hines who just happened to be the person I was Secret Elfter to this past holiday season and know from Discovery Education, and Meg Griffith, whom I also know from Discovery and is an inspiration to me each day as a teacher and person (reverse that order). Kelly has challenged herself (and us) to write a blog for 20, I'm going to take the challenge.

Thinking About Today...I'm concerned about my dad and what this year is going to hold. He is suffering from Degenerating Disease (AKA demensia)and each day it seems a bit worse. My mom is under so much stress, that I know I need to make some major decisions. so...

I am thinking that maybe someone else should be president of our association next year so I can spend more time with my dad and mom.

I am thinking about doing the 365 photo challenge this year...well, not just thinking about it but doing it.

I am thinking that there is no way I can learn all the things the new Samsung Galaxy Note 3 has, but I'll learn a little more each day.

I am thinking about how the heck I will be getting the photos from my galaxy to my iMac. I need my pictures!!!!

I like the title of this blog...I think.