Day 17: Formula

This morning at church, our sermon series has been all about living a life that is “fully devoted.” I loved the part where our pastor said this:

Information + Application = Transformation

A simple yet powerful formula. Now, in my life, I view this from a couple different standpoints. Obviously I want to glorify God in how I live my life (if you know me, that’s probably not a surprise!) but I also think this formula can be applied elsewhere. In fact, during the sermon, I was thinking about school. About my students.

As their teacher, I am the one supplying information. I teach the sounds vowels make, how they fit together with consonants, various “rule breakers” (thanks, English language) and try to show how it applies in passages and books. We practice blending to help our decoding which then helps our fluency and before we know it – ta da! We can read.

However, there’s the application piece. This is the part I can help provide but it is my students job to apply themselves and the information I’ve given. They have to be the ones who step out and take risks to learn and grow. That leads to the next step.

Transformation. In school, this transformation can be as little as my students recognizing digraphs for the first time and suddenly they are fluently tapping out and blending words with digraphs. That’s huge! Transformation, I’m learning, takes time. It’s a process that oftentimes doesn’t even happen in an entire school year. While my students are working on the application piece, I am bettering my information piece and together we both transform.

Day 16: Whirlwind

I had every intention to write today about how great our Saturday was. Truly! The weather was so nice. Still a bit chilly, but sunny and so refreshing. Hayden and I got a lot of errands done today which is always a great feeling. I was able to clean the house a bit and Hayden and I had a little date night this evening.

In all the commotion of a both relaxing yet busy Saturday, here I am late at night struggling to find words that capture our day! So instead, I’ll keep it short.

Today was bright. It was fun. Today was a whirlwind. A good one.

Day 15: Parent Teacher Conferences, day two

We meet again, computer screen. I’ve had two conferences this afternoon that went super well! One student we are hoping to reevaluate and terminate his IEP, so that’s exciting! Another student’s parents I met with for the first time this school year and it was amazing to share progress with her about her son. I love my job.

The rest of today I’ve spent organizing my cabinets, making copies, writing lesson plans, you name it. I feel productive today. I’ve got some calm indie music playing in the background as my fingers click and type away. I’m enjoying this calm before tonight when I go to my parents restaurant to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. My mom makes stew, Irish soda bread, and corned beef and cabbage. My cousin comes to sing Irish folk songs and there’s a bagpipe player who plays while people talk over their beer and appetizers. I’m excited. Us Walsh’s LOVE St. Patrick’s Day. Now that I’m a Bradley (still kind of Irish), I have to show my hubby how it’s done!

Just a couple more hours here, Erin. You can do it. Then you get an ice cold beer and are allowed to wear an endless amount of green. Hello, weekend!

Day 14: Parent Teacher Conferences, night one

Ah, today’s that day us teachers sit in our classrooms waiting for parents to arrive (or not arrive) for a fifteen minute chat about how their child is doing in the classroom. As a special education teacher, I don’t have a full class, which means that I don’t have very many parents that choose to come talk with me about their child’s progress. For that reason, here I sit. Writing on my blog. Chewing some gum. Crossing my fingers somebody brings me a coffee to keep me alive, awake, alert, and enthusiastic.

However, for the parents that I do get to sit with tonight…man oh man. I am so excited to share the growth I’ve seen in my kiddos this year. Being my second full year of teaching, I’ve only had one prior year to compare growth to. I’m amazed. Amazed at what can happen in just one year. Kiddos I met in kindergarten who didn’t even know the letters in their own first name are reading 70+ sight words and utilizing sound-tapping skills to blend sounds together to make words. I met with a parent tonight who has been so concerned about her son’s growth and when I shared how he’s actually the leader in our group because he works hard and perseveres even when it’s hard, she started to cry. Cry! I’m not a parent but I imagine that, God-willing, when I am someday I will react the same way.

I feel proud on an almost daily basis. I say almost because let’s be real. Not everyday in teacher land is a dream boat. Some days are hide-your-tears-tough-it-out-today-is-just-Monday-you-are-an-adult days. But then there are the wow-I-am-so-amazed-you-just-did-that-yourself-look-how-you-are-growing days. Those days are the reason I went in to the field of education. The look on a child’s face when it finally “clicks.” I live for that.

So, yes. I’m tired and cranky because I miss my dog and my bed and today’s a long day. But today (and tomorrow) is also full of so much joy and appreciation from parents for the help I am privileged to give their children.

Stay tuned for day two…

Day 13: Windows Down

For the first time in a long time, I drove with the windows cracked just a peep today! My dog spent the day at my parents house while I was at work because my brother is in town from Texas, where he goes to school, and wanted to see her. I dropped her off this morning and was honestly a little disappointed at the gray color outside. By lunch, I felt the same. When I left work after a tutoring session though, the temperature shocked my system!

Though it was still gray and a little rainy here and there, Camper and I drove with the windows down. She loved every minute. I really need a car wash because, wow, the windows of my small car are covered in puppy licks and nose marks. She loves the car.

Spring, we are ready for you! More days of windows down, please!

Day 12: Cancelled Plans

I heard on the news the other day how one of the best feelings in the world that adults experience is when plans are cancelled. It’s like your entire evening opens up and the options for what you might do suddenly become endless. I experienced this very thing today. So here’s my list of what I might do tonight INSTEAD of hosting a dinner that was cancelled not by me.

  1. Finally do the laundry. There’s so much of it.
  2. Buy a new pillow that doesn’t hurt my neck.
  3. Start that new book I’ve been meaning to for weeks now.
  4. Watch Grey’s Anatomy. I just started season 11!
  5. Clean the bathrooms.
  6. Go to the gym.
  7. Take a walk with my dog and husband.
  8. Try a new recipe in the Instant Pot.
  9. Organize my closet.
  10. Take a bubble bath (after I scour the bathtub).
  11. Call my best friend and catch up on FaceTime.
  12. Paint my nails.

So, your turn. If you had tonight totally free – what would you do?

Day 11: A Good Night’s Rest?

When my husband proposed and we started searching for our first place together, we knew we’d need a new bed. Hayden, being the saver that he is, decided he’d find a mattress online. He spent hours on websites reading countless reviews and finally landed on one. We ordered it, it shipped to our new town home, and ta-da! We opened the box to find a huge king sized foam mattress. I was pretty excited. For the first few months leading up to our wedding, I got to sleep in this thing all on my own! Only problem was…it sucked.

I mean, really, how can a foam mattress be that uncomfortable? It was too firm. The pillows it came with wrecked my neck. “Please can we get a new one, please!” I’d beg to my hubby. Fast forward 10 months, we still have the dang thing. Hayden doesn’t mind it but I think finally my aches and pains were starting to make him feel guilty. We called up the company (they offer a full year to test it out before returning) and set our return date.

So what did we do this weekend? Mattress shopping! I never knew how much joy came from trying out mattress after mattress. Kind of awkward having some sales man watching you and your husband pretend you’re sleeping on every bed in the store; but we went with it. We found one we LOVED and it gets delivered today!

Tonight will be the first night in a long while I’ll get to sleep in a comfortable bed! Stay tuned for the verdict.