Saturday, April 26, 2014

A Day in the Life of State Testing

 Knock, knock, and the sound of the class door handle shaking. "You know I don't have morning duty today student please go where you're supposed to," I thought to myself as I looked up to see a pair of tear filled eyes. "Miss, I'm so scared for this test!" Instant comforting mode, I willingly motioned for the student to come to my desk. "Say I'm going to pass my test 50 times and the last time you have to yell it!' I responded back, "Say it like you mean it. Believe in yourself because I believe in you."

Twenty-one bright eyed students, 21 sharpened #2 pencils, 21 state tests. State testing day was here! Man oh man! You have to do this, make sure to do that, please do this and don't forget to fill in the bubbles. The instructions were read. "You may begin!" I stated with all the excitement I could muster up in the hopes that the students would mirror my attitude about their test.

Half hour in and the eyelids started to droop. Walking up and down the aisles monitoring each and every sleepy child. One hour in. A collection of students with eyes glazed over and peering at the recently blank walls trying to gather more energy to conquer the next questions. Pacing back in forth in the classroom my mind went from prayers to student nicknames to what animal would each student be to what should I do with my classroom next year. Eyes peering at the clock to monitor the time... really? Only one minute has passed!? Oh there goes another administrator through the courtyard! Man I could use some minutes outside these four walls.

DING DING DING! 21 pairs of eyes instantly shot up to glance at me for any signs that it was time to go to lunch. Less than 35 days left of school and knowingly what our schedule is it never failed, each time the bell rang 21 eyes shot up in anticipation and hope that the clock had fast forwarded another hour.

Finally lunch came and surprisingly went with a sense of slowed time. I guess that since the clock was moving extra slow this particular day that the plus side was that lunch seemed to last forever. Back to the classroom we walked. Through the courtyards we walked in silence. Glancing around monitoring students I saw some guilty looks as students tried to whisper a simple something to one another without getting caught on the day of silence.

Forty five more minutes... I can do this I thought to myself. Without a doubt the last forty five minutes drug on and on and on. The last hand raised, the last test turned back in, the last bubble filled out. I survived my first year of state testing!

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Four Months In

"God will open new doors"
Revelations 3:8

It's the fourth month into the year and blogger tells me I've only blogged TWICE. SAY WHAT? Seriously? Sad. I cannot even believe how fast time goes. It seems like yesterday I was standing in the doorway of my classroom knees shaking, full on anxiety attack to meet my first sixth grade student. I cannot believe my first year of teaching has almost come and gone. There is a saying that goes along the lines of this "don't be afraid of the time it will take you to do something because the time will pass anyways." The truth to this statement is both motivating and brings a little sadness with it. This past year has been filled with change. I cannot believe its been an entire year but as quoted the time sure does pass anyways. My first year teaching has been one filled with hope, inspiration, 78 different life journeys, a lot of tears, even more laughs, some wine, and a lot of coffee. From fireworks in the classroom to the sad reality of twelve year old drug involvement I wouldn't change a single moment of my first year of teaching. I have been forever changed by the lives of my 78 children. Yes, I call them MY children. Because truly that is what they are between the hours of 8 am and 4:30pm.

Along with a year full of teaching I have had many other changes in my life. God opened the doors for me to start grad school where I am pursing a masters in educational counseling. After two years of living the single life God brought me somebody to share all my crazy adventures with and I couldn't be happier! Along with the good comes the trials of this life. I lost my grandma along the way through this year's journey and that season of life still lingers. The sadness, tears, and unstoppable flowing thoughts of never getting to call her up again to tell her my crazy stories. I know she is in a much better place and I will see her again but that doesn't make it any less hard to lose a loved one.

I have been so blessed this past year of change and I cannot wait to see how life continues to turn out. I have a lot planned for this summer including keeping this here space updated on a regular basis. I hope that those of you who come along my little blog that I see as a safe haven stick around to hopefully be inspired.