Sunday, October 5, 2014

fall break

i have the next week off of school. part of what i love most about being a teacher is the rhythmic pattern of life that is a school calendar. especially here in the south where fall break is a thing (not to mention fall itself).

i have so many plans and it is tempting to make a calendar for myself, but then again i am a spontaneous person. it's been a recent goal to not change our dinner plans based on my mood, because that was really frustrating to spencer to try and cook only to have me come home late and say, 'naw- i'd rather have ______.'

but i do love lists and crossing things off, so here we go in no hierarchical order:

sit and be online however much i want
read some books
bake zucchini muffins
track down a place that sells farro and make more
try new recipes that are vegetable-centric
have fires in our firepit on the deck
switch our bedroom and the extra bedroom because the other one is bigger
take tubs of stuff to good will
sell some of my clothes i never wear and use the money to buy new clothes
go walking/running because it is GORGEOUS outside
put new songs on my iphone
work a couple hours each day so it doesn't pile up (yes, teachers always work)
call friends who are far away
keep tucci away from spencer so he can finish his album (spencer, not tucci)
mow the lawn and move some bushes/plant new ones so our yard is not a shame to the block
read my bible and not just that but spend time dwelling in God's presence each day
pray
hang pictures and curtains on our plaster walls
deep clean some areas in our house that have been neglected
ichat with family
meet with someone about putting money into a 401k (something i have never done but really need to start)
replant herbs in the planters on the deck and squirrel-proof the dirt with mesh or rocks
figure out a plan for cooking and keeping the house clean that breaks things into small daily tasks so all my breaks don't have to be catch up time
hopefully get a new bathroom sink and install it
buy new sheets
buy a new journal

that seems like a lot, but i have 7 days and part of today.

i am also really excited because spencer and i are going to forgo using our credit card this month to see how much money we can save and really stick to our budget. i am excited to see how it changes our spending habits and mindset about money. thanks, jerk in brooklyn who stole our credit card info and got our card cancelled yet again- you inspired us to make a life change! Oh, and God knows who you are.

happy sunday afternoon! we're off to two open houses that our friend Thomas is doing. No, we're not in the market, we just always love getting ideas;)

>>>>>>> tara noelle

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

letters to my students

dear antwan,

Wow! What a year it has been! I think you were in 3 different classes this year, and I think being in my 4th block ended up being horrible for you. for many reasons- tyreke and you are great friends, but you were awful in the same class. ELA is the hardest class for many students because they're behind in reading, and then you had it at the end of the day! It was like a perfect combination of bad luck. and i now i did not make it easier because I always got on you for every little thing. you see, I have seen other students who are good at sports-and they get treated special- teachers bend the rules for them, let them get by without doing homework, all because they think that the sport is what will help the student. that may be true. But letting someone do something like always get water or never do homework - and not being the same toward all the other students- that is not fair. and in the long run, I think it is better not to let someone get arrogant and think they are above the rules. You will think other rules in life don't apply to you then.

I'm not saying this will happen, but i don't want it to happen to you. You seem to be really good at basketball, i just don't want you to think you're going to the NBA- if you do- AWESOME! i will buy a "BEANS" Jersey ;) But if you don't, then what? what do you want to do in life? start your own league for boys and coach? go to college and study business and be a CEO? Great. you should have a plan. And college is the best- at least one of the best- times of your life. you meet awesome people. Maybe the future Mrs. Beans ;)

If you get another horrible teacher like me who writes your name down for not having a pencil or something like that, before you do your scowly face with your lips pouted out, I want you to think, "hey- is this teacher trying to hurt me in the long run or help me?" Most teachers don't secretly hate kids (although my 4th grade teacher, Ms. Mullens, might have). Most do this under-appreciated, under-paying, overly stressful job because we love students and want to influence lives. I wish you all the best Antwan.

love, mrs. smith

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

letters to my students

dear cristobal,

i actually just shook my head as soon as i wrote your name. i want to kick you for wasting so much of your potential this year. but i have a feeling i will get payback next year when you come crawling back asking for help with stuff that you have to do at christian brothers. that is, if they still let you in ;)

seriously though, thank you for the times you did work hard in my class. you are extremely intelligent, and i'm sorry i couldn't spend more time differentiating so that you could be more challenged. however, you could have improved in grammar and writing, and on informational text like newsela. but that will come later.

i hope you really do have a successful time in high school and get to go to a really great college. i think if you work hard and challenge yourself, you'll be more interested than always being so aloof. i hope you find a career that is exciting and challenging.

it has been an honor to teach you this year- you always challenged me. come back and visit once in a while, too.

love, mrs. smith