Yo Soy

Today’s slice was inspired by Jen’s post yesterday. It’s a biopoem & it’s somewhat like slam poetry but with less raw emotion.

Anna

Competitive, Driven, Loyal.

Lover of books, music, quiet spaces, and autumn.

Who wonders if I’ll ever find the time to go on a road trip anytime soon or finally bite the bullet and book that flight to Chicago.

Who fears heights, cooling towers, and dead birds. (Yes, dead birds. Why? I have no clue.)

Who feels happy when I’m surrounded by my group of 4th graders, reading, or in a library.

Who cares about how my students, no my kids, see themselves academically and personally.

Who dreams of one day moving to a bigger city and owning a house where I can read in a bay window.

Who resides in West Virginia.

Barrick

A Better Day

Today was a much better day. My students worked all morning with zero complaint. My BD kid didn’t show up until 11:30 but his day went smoothly. He did his work and stayed on task. He told me at the end of the day that after school he was going to go home and meditate. He said that he was pretty sure he had a good day. I told him that he had a very good day. He wished me a good afternoon and left.

I didn’t mention yesterday to him at all. Instead of focusing on the negativity of yesterday I chose to focus on the positivity of today. I commended him on his good work today. I told him that his explanations to the social studies worksheet were well thought out. He’s a bright kid but his temper tends to isolate him from the other students. But today was a good day. Here’s hoping tomorrow is too.

Is it Friday Yet?

Have you ever had one of those days where the minute your eyes opened you just knew that it was going to be a long day? Today was a VERY long day. The morning started out okay and the kids complained very little when we started working on our vocabulary worksheet. The kids went to gym, I did a little grading and made copies for math, picked them up from gym and sent them back to the room while I waited on a few girls to finish in the bathroom. I get back in the room and that’s when it all went south.

My BD kid is sitting there with a look in his eyes. Someone had said something to him and he was stewing over it. Before I can say anything he exploded. The aide and I told him to go walk it off and he stormed out, slamming the door, and letting the dust fall from the ceiling. We called the office to let him know he was on his way. I headed to the office while the kids started working on their math worksheet. By the time I get to the office the situation had become worse. He was becoming physical with the Special Ed teacher and cussing out our Superintendent. Another 5th grade teacher and myself met with his mother and explained what had happened and how he had been triggered but he was still sent home for the day. I go back to the room and the kids are working quietly. The rest of the morning was uneventful. After lunch I head to the cafeteria to get the kids lined up for recess. The second I enter the speech teacher comes and tells me one of my students was caught with their cell phone. That’s an automatic detention. I call his name for detention then head down to the room to fill out the form for the detention teacher. As I turn the corner there’s said student standing in the doorway refusing to go to Detention. After fifteen minutes of complaining about how it’s unfair he finally goes. He has detention again tomorrow. The rest of the afternoon was uneventful and I am quite glad that this Monday is finally over. Here’s hoping tomorrow is a better day.

A Note of Thanks

Over the course of the past twenty six days I’ve come to know several new teachers. Each day I check in on their blogs and am given a snapshot of their life. Sometimes their life is full of joy in the form of an announcement of a new grandchild, sadness in the form of their beloved fur family member passing away, to being stressed from work. No matter what’s going on in their life I can relate to them in some way. Sometimes their slice can trigger an emotion in me that I’ve tried to bury away for so long but it inspires me to write something that is soul baring. Other times their slice can inspire me to write a very lighthearted post about childhood. This slice is a slice about gratitude. To those of you who have read my slice of life posts every day thank you. Thank you for taking the time to read about the going-on’s in my life. To those of you that I’ve checked in on everyday allow me to say thank you.

Thank you for inspiring me to put myself out there. To write about why I love teaching was quite an easy post. The post Slammed however was the most difficult to write. In writing that I was forced to re-open feelings that I thought I had done so well to hide away. But in the days following I found that I kind of needed to write that piece. Everything has finally been closed now. I feel like that I’ve been able to find out a little bit more about myself through this Slice of Life Challenge. I’m a very guarded person and so for me to put down those walls and let each of you into my life (even for a second) was a little difficult.  Your comments and kindness had an impact. You may be thinking, ‘It’s not that big of a deal,’ but remember we’re all kind of like our students. Sometimes the smallest positive comment can have the largest impact. Again, I thank you.

Sunday Lately #117

Sunday Lately  is a weekly linkup hosted by the Blogger Tribe, which is led by the powerhouse duo Katy (Wild and Wanderful) & Angelica (Gardening in High Heels).  We e-hangout every Sunday, sharing a small glimpse into the past week of life in our own worlds. We’d love if you could join us!

This week’s themes: Basking, Discovering, Tinkering, Feeling, Switching.

Basking: In the glow of the sunlight from this afternoon’s gorgeous sun! It was rainy for a little bit, but the sunshine has returned! It’s helped improve my mood greatly because I’ve chosen to be lazy this weekend.

Discovering: new books! My classes are finally finished and I’ve spent this weekend relaxing and looking for new books to begin reading. Right now I’m reading the one my friend wrote-Kicking Mediocrity in the Crotch: How to Get Unstuck and Take Your Life to the Next Level.

Tinkering: With my private Pinterest board that has all of my Boudoir inspiration ideas. I booked this two weeks ago but due to classes I haven’t had the time to look at ideas. Now that I can I’m a little overwhelmed with the amount of clothing and poses.

Feeling: tired of being sick! I still have that stupid cough and had to go back to the doctor this Wednesday. I was given another antibiotic and maybe, just maybe, this one will work.

Switching: My work wardrobe over to my spring outfits. I’ve missed wearing these lighter dresses and the jean jackets.

A brief week but it was kind of a blur.   

Sunday Lately is a weekly linkup presented by the Blogger Tribe.Next week’s themes: Working, Loving, Stressing, Growing, Visiting.

Downtime

For the past month and a half I’ve been busy every day of the week. Monday through Friday I was working on stuff for my classes, going to work, and going to the gym. Weekends were spent getting up early to work on more stuff for class, Adult Prom, a shopping trip, or church. For the past three weeks I’ve been sick with that bronchial ick that’s going around. But it didn’t keep me from going to work, the gym, or church. But yesterday it hit me that I am exhausted. This weekend my plans are the following: relax. 

I slept in today & it felt amazing! The rest of the day was spent lounging about on the couch or my bed. I’m still fighting a stupid cough & I’m over it. It’s been three weeks of coughing and taking medicine and it’s just tiresome. I think I’ll spend the rest of the evening watching my favorite episodes of Bob’s Burgers and eventually crash for the night.

Sunshine & Slingshots

This morning started out rough. My acid reflux was acting up & I was in a lot of pain. My BD student was pushing my buttons but I let it slide because I did not want nor did I NEED another blow up like last week. It helped that he was picked up early. Seriously that made all the difference in that room. The afternoon was full of fun. My kids worked hard this morning and had completed a lot of writing without much complaint. They had recess from 1-1:35. They came in and sat down ready to start Health. I looked around and with a small smile told them that if they sat quietly for an allotted time we would go outside for the rest of the afternoon. They were as still as statutes. We lined up and just as we started out the door I told them if anyone talked in the hallway we’d turn around and sit back down to complete the Health worksheet. Again-silence. As soon as we hit the doors to the playground I told them to go be kids. They took off running and suddenly all 22 of them froze. They began pointing and whispering and growing more excited. Looking ahead I noticed one of the 4th grade teachers standing there with this huge slingshot in his hand and he was loading another water balloon into it. They looked at me and I told them to go over and stand with the other students. 22 eleven year olds scampered onto the pavement and eagerly awaited for Mr. L to shoot another balloon into the crowd. Two minutes later two of my students were very wet. Third and fourth grade were out there too & the minute Fourth grade realized Ms. B was outside I was surrounded. I had two of my girls from this year and last year hanging off of one arm, two other girls were hanging off my other arm, and three were attempting to hug me from behind. Suddenly I heard “Look out!” I may have grabbed one of my girls and lifted her up as a shield. When I brought her back down she was splattered with water and did not look happy with me. Her best friend was laughing so hard she nearly had a side stitch. A few minutes later Mr. L aimed the slingshot my way again and my one girl didn’t learn from before and didn’t move fast enough before I used her as a shield again. The balloon was released and she was soaked this time because his aim had improved. This time I was the one with a side stitch.

This afternoon while I was surrounded by this group of fourth graders and a few of the third graders I felt myself beaming. Yes, my morning started out rough but these kids-my kids-were the medicine I needed today. I felt a lot like Miss Honey this afternoon. OH! And the best moment? As we were walking back inside one of the 4th grade boys flew past me, running at full speed, when he suddenly froze, turned around with this sheepish smile on his face and said, “Um Ms. Barrick, I think you’re about to tell me to walk so I’m just going to walk back to the point where I started running and walk it this time.” He did just that and before he could pass me I caught him and told him to ask his teacher if he could come to my room for a minute. He started to dip his head but I told him that I wanted to give him a STAR ticket. His smile grew much bigger then he asked why I was giving him a ticket. I told him because he was a responsible student and recognized the fact that he was making the wrong choice and corrected it. He was over the moon when I gave him a big STAR ticket. He wished me an awesome weekend, followed by a thumbs up, and then he left my room. I really did need an afternoon like today.

Group Therapy

Every third Thursday of the month my Zumba group goes to the local Mexican for a Happy Hour. But on the months that there are five Thursdays we go the fourth Thursday. Tonight was very much needed because this week has been long. We had a smaller group due to the WVU game starting at 7:30, but it was still fun.

This group almost has a therapy session every month we do this dinner. Sometimes there are tears but a majority of the time there’s laughter. Several of us that are a part of this group are educators. We range from aides, elementary, secondary, Special Ed, secretaries, or retired. Only a couple of ladies work in retail and another is an insurance agent. 99% of the time we throw around the acronyms we’re all familiar with: IEPs, 504 plans, DIBELS, etc. We talk about the kids that we’re proud of, the ones that have a minor set back that day, and the ones that keep us up at night. Those that don’t work in education cann’t seem to understand why these kids are on our minds 24/7. We’ve tried to explain but they just don’t get it. They don’t understand that sometimes we’re these kids biggest cheerleader.

But our time isn’t spent talking all about education. We talk about our lives too. Right now we have a woman whose husband was just released from the hospital last week after fighting with sepsis. He’s still weak but he’s home. Tonight she took the time to thank all of us, but she really didn’t have to do that. This Zumba group is more than just a fitness group. We’re a family and just like a family we support each other. I’m lucky to be a part of such an awesome group of women.

 

An Elementary Snapshot

Spring Picture Day is quickly approaching and my kids are already stressed over what they’re going to wear. I handed out the papers today and several of the girls immediately began discussing dresses and ribbons while a few rolled their eyes and shook their heads. I laughed and it made me think of how my classmates reacted way back in the 90s. When I came home tonight I looked through my yearbook and let me tell you I found some gems.

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I’m not sure where to start. The leggings clearly were inspiration for today’s LulaRoe designs, the shirt must be the precursor to the Irma, and my hair was held together by those little marbles that nearly gave you a concussion when they broke apart. Next, you’ll notice the Jackson Pollock-esque block I’m seated in front of. What’s the point of it? I still do not know to this day. And my excuse for the giant crayon in the background? Well it was the 90s after all…

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The outfit in this photo I always called my business suit. Honestly this isn’t a bad photo & I kind of miss my hair being this length. 1993 was the year for this picture which would make me 5 years old attempting to be 25. I’m not kidding. Anytime I’d play dress up with this outfit (even though it wasn’t really a dress up outfit) I’d grab a suitcase and tell everyone it was my briefcase and I had important business to take care of.

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Yes, my hair was really that long. Yes, it was a pain in the summertime. 1994. 1st grade and I thought the serious look was the way to go for spring photos. Why did we use triangles for the background? Apparently we loved random shapes to be our background in the 90s. But if I had to choose between the generic starburst color of red, green, orange, yellow, blue, purple, or tye-dye OR the ones I had I’d pick mine. They’re unique and definitely eye-catching.

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I Wonder

I’m a big fan of TED-Ed talks & I only have one person to blame for that. I’ve binge watched numerous talks, but my favorite is this one:

While it’s no surprise that I love the music in this video this lesson combines my love of music with space. The Hubble Space Telescope has always interested me. The first time I watched this lesson I was struck with the idea that we really are just a small speck in this universe. When you think about how our solar system goes beyond what we know it’s quite incredible. There’s so much we haven’t explored & who knows what upcoming explorations will find.

What do you think of when you look up at the night sky? My eyes are always drawn to the ones that shine bright against their dark canvas. I think of summer and how magical the sky looks with the lightning bugs illuminating the sky almost in competition with the stars. It seems that my wonder turns child-like when I look to the sky-even now at the age of 28. What is it that makes the night sky so fascinating to us?

I know this may seem like an odd slice but space and stars have been on my mind today since we read our story for this week.