How to Communicate Clearly: Lesson 1: When your 3 year old nephew brings you an adjustable hat that he has undone and wants you to fix, don’t say: “Come here, I need your head. I don’t know where it goes.” He will point to the top of his head and say “It goes right here” and you will feel silly.
The last day of any year is a time of reflection. We look back at the year and analyze it. Some focus on the good, others focus on the bad. I choose to focus on neither. This year, I will be focusing on a journey.
Last year at this time I was a grad student who was beginning to think she had gotten in over her head. I was also working at a wonderful elementary school teaching struggling readers surrounded by my friends each day watching them work small miracles all day long.
Today I sit here no longer working, still a student, but finished with my coursework, and facing a semester of student teaching with a new group of kids and faculty. What a difference a year makes! If this year made that much difference, I wonder where will I be this time next year?
Will I be teaching? Where? What grade? What subject(s)? Will I be happy there? Will we finally be climbing out of the financial hole we have been digging for the past several years as I have been in school? Will my kids finally understand the sacrifices? Will my brother’s new baby be a new niece or nephew?
Only time will tell. All of these questions will be answered, for better or worse. Focusing on good or bad in the past does not change it. Looking forward, making plans, and having faith that it will all work out the way it is supposed to is how I plan to spend my New Year’s Eve.
How will you spend yours?
This past Thanksgiving, my brother and his wife announced the May arrival of a new little bundle of love. They already have one little punkin’ boy who has dubbed me Auntie Penguin. Now, he likes to play hard to get with his Auntie Penguin when she wants a hug or to steal some sugars from his little face, but that’s ok. He tells his mamma that he loves me and I know he does. So, of course we were thrilled for Number 2 to be on the way.
Maybe it’s a little early, but it IS the holidays and the new bambini is with us in a way, so there will be gifts for that one too. I was so excited to find the perfect little toy for the sweet new addition. It’s a monkey that is laying on it’s side sweetly sleeping. It has lovely nature sounds and even some lullaby music to gently calm your sleepy newborn. It also lets you record your own voice. I decided to go ahead and do this before I wrapped it up.
So, what should Auntie Penguin record? A loving message? Not quite the style of this sarcastic aunt. But then I remembered that my sister in law used to say she wished I was around more to sing to my nephew since I can sing and she can’t. Ah ha! A song! It has to be the perfect one to play over and over to a slumbering little bundle of cuteness. But which one?
Why, there is only one perfect choice: Soft Kitty
Bazinga Number 2! Auntie Penguin is starting you off right.
Photo credit: thinkgeek.com
On another note, looks like it will be a great weekend for checking out some doomsday preppers’ garage sales. Last minute holiday gifts should be easy to find. Hope the folks on my list like industrial sized Spam.
Photo Credit: Wikipedia Baker Shot nuclear test 1946
While it seems strange to be doing this after years of doing some form of teaching, I am officially moving on to student teaching. I left my reading interventionist position at the elementary school I adore this week. It was really tough to leave the sweet kiddos and my coworkers that I am blessed to count among my friends. I had a tremendous foundation there thanks to some remarkable mentors who supported me through grad school.
But now, I am finally finished with my coursework (insert happy dance here) and am ready to student teach. It seems odd to me and others I worked with that I am even required to do this given my work experience, but there you are. The state cares not. I will say that I am more than a little pleased with my assignment. The teacher is fun and excited to have me in her classroom and the principal of this new school is a former assistant principal from the school I just left.
I am looking forward to this adventure and know that each experience makes me a better teacher. There is a bit of sadness, yes, as I leave a wonderful school, but much excitement too. And the stew of emotions is flavored lastly by a pinch of apprehension. With the stakes raised more than ever in regards to teacher evaluations and standardized testing, I am walking into a fourth grade classroom hoping I have what it takes to help the students rock that test!
If nothing else, the experience will give me much to reflect on and write about!
“The journey is part of the experience – an expression of the seriousness of one’s intent. One doesn’t take the A train to Mecca.” – Anthony Bourdain