Saturday, February 6, 2016

In the Quiet of the Weekend...

I find myself reflecting on a quote I saw on Instagram last night.

No matter how many years we have been teaching, we should feel like a ROOKIE every year by trying something new and not being afraid to fail. --Heidi Pauer, educator

Dreaming about the classroom I want to create.

Sipping a chai tea.

Pinteresting--finding tools and ideas that would be awesome in my dream classroom.

Pulling that all together...

I often feel like I am trying something new that I saw on IG, FB, or a blog. I love to incorporate someone's great idea or teacher trick. These have helped my classroom be fun and exciting for me (and hopefully the students). 

And I often wonder--when will it be good enough? Will my classroom, my instruction ever meet my expectations?

Probably not. 

That used to stress me out, but not any more. Because each change, each idea is adding to the instruction and hopefully the success of the students who pass through my classroom. 

So--off to incorporate the something new for next week!

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Saturday, January 30, 2016

Things Kids Say

You know that "kids say the darndest things"...

1. At recess Friday afternoon--

Student: "Mrs. Bartel, can I go get an ice pack for my hand?"
Me: "What happened to your hand?"
Student: "I bit it."

Really? You bit your hand? I really wanted to say all that, but his hand hurt, so I decided to be nice and let him get an ice pack.

2. After school on Friday--

Student: While patting the messy bun on my head, "Mrs. Bartel, you finally did your hair, it's beautiful."

She thinks that my normal hair (which isn't fancy, but works for me) needs a pony or something... And has told me that before.

Moving on...

Yesterday was Kansas Day and we celebrated semi-big in first grade. Some pioneer learning and dressing up.

Now I leave you with a few pictures of our fun...

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Friday, January 15, 2016

Magic #2

Yesterday was The Day.

The Day.

The day that I dreamed of when I was little, and in the summer and all the days in between.

The day that the stars aligned. Everyone had enough water, breakfast, chai tea and sleep. The little minds assimilated all of the information that grown ups have been patiently, eagerly giving them. And they read.

Read words. Fluently. With confidence. 

Tears dripped from my eyes. Smiles across all the faces. And I witnessed a six and seven year old realize they could do it. Without me.

More magic in first grade. Pure magic.

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Friday, January 1, 2016

January 2016 CURRENTLY


Thanks to Farley and her monthly party.

Today is such a great day. For reflecting. For dreaming. But before I get to all that--how about some explanations...

Listening--My house is quiet. Everyone has an electronic devise and are plugged in (not proud of it, but it is what it is).

Loving--On the Saturday of the start of this break, I created a list. (Thanks to Alison at A Teacher's Best Friend for a wonderful post on thinking and being intentional.) Mostly the list gave me permission to rest, and fill my soul with good things that get depleted during the throes of the school week/year. So, as I come to the end of my Break, I am loving how I feel: rested, refreshed, and grateful.

Thinking--Nothing more needs to be said. I planned on doing it sooner, but some other stuff took priority (rest, refresh, gratitude).

Needing--Sometimes I just need my BTPSM (best teaching partner soul mate). Hoping that can happen soon. Check out this article... Teacher BFF or BTPSM in my case for a smile.

One Little Word-- I think this year will take some courage. Good things are happening, and hard things are happening. So, I will fill up my courage cup and do the best I can in every situation.

Do you have a word for the new year? I think this is the first time I've had a word. My wish is that my word can guide me and keep me grounded. 

Here's to a great 2016!!!

Hop on over to Farley's place and read some more Currentlys.

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Thursday, December 17, 2015

High Strung

Waiting for an after school meeting to start today, visiting with a friend/school person about stuff and I said--

"You know, I'm a little high strung."

She was serious and said--"no, not really. I feel and see your passion, but not high strung."

To which I said--"but my insides are screaming! All the time."

So, how do tame the beast that I feel? Especially today?

Especially every day...

Wish I had kept up with mindfulness.

Thankful for two weeks coming up to fill that cup and create a new path for the high strung beast that lives in me. 
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Tuesday, December 15, 2015


When the day is busy and we are trying to do all the stuff and be the places and take care of the needs, I do not always see the magic.

I saw it tonight as I was reviewing the photos of the day.

The community. 

The growth.

When we take the time to "be" humans, to be social. To take it easy academically, but promote soft skills. When I really focus on observing the little people, I see so much that I am thrilled with.

Compassion. Sharing. Teaching. Helping. Friendship.

They stick up for each other. Like friends, or family.

I do not see this every day, but when I do, I have hope for our future, for their future.

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Friday, November 27, 2015

Gratitude Lately

Recently my friend and I have started daily thankful lists. We text our lists to each other just before bed (or the next morning, if we fall asleep before we get it done).

What has this practice taught me? To reflect daily on what I'm thankful for. And to start the day looking for what to write that night. (That was my friend's comment, but I love it also.) 

Many of my lists go like this...

My Family.

My job.

My teacher support network. Both far and near. Those that I know in real life, and those that I wish I knew, but get ideas and inspiration from.

Cozy blankets, delicious drinks, soft lotion,

Often my list is something specific about each of  the above...

My sons who talk to each other, me and my husband and think that it is fun and normal. A student who showed love in a note. Lunch with a friend on a day off of school. A crazy class activity (making pumpkin pie) and coming out on the other side smiling.

There are more. Because when I start being thankful, the list goes on and on...

Michelle, thank you for a linky that gives me space to reflect on what I'm thankful for on this day.


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