Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Students to Remember

After 8 years of building relationships at a school a person runs across a few kids who leave an impression.  I have several and each kid is very memorable to me. They are the kids who inspire me to continue what I do even when I run across a tough kid or a tough class.  On the days when my patience is short and someone walks in for a hug they inspire me to keep going.

The Cynthias, Braxtons, Kias. Joels, Deseans, Kaydees.  There are the Melindas, Kevins, Whitneys.  Skylers, Michaels, Thomas', Blaines, Andrews and Louises.  Hibas, Madisons, Carmens, Zachs Valerys and Brendans.  They are the inspiring kids who make me want to change the world.  They are the ones who stick out in my mind as kind, thoughtful, hard working or funny. 

Some always remembered to open the door and let me leave first.  One was honored last weekend for his exemplary ACT score as a 7th grader.  One remembers to stop by every day and say, "Good MoWning!" each day.  A few had me for 2 years and came out of their shell so completely that they almost got a little lippy with me. 

I had 2 exit special ed or trial periods of it because they love reading now and want to do better.  I hope I had some small part of that.  Recently one young lady came to visit with her middle school choir and she was so excited to see me that she kept waving from the stage even though I know she wasn't supposed to.

I've gotten used candles, broken figurines, small gifts from a garage sale pile.  But I've also gotten hugs and smiles, improved reading scores, MAP progress.  I've gotten Facebook friends, Chinese food and requests from parents to have me as a teacher for his or her child.  I have a nice note pile so full that it is spilling out. 

But I feel like I've taken away much more than just that.

Monday, May 21, 2012

And so it Begins.....

I was never one of those seniors who pronounced each milestone as his or her last. 

You know the type, "It's the last first football game, ever!"

But today is an emotional week for me.  It really is the last Monday of my stay here at West Englewood.  And I'm going to miss it here.  This school made me an adult.  It helped me shake the dust off the party nights of college, the Thirsty Thursdays and puking in parking lots.  During my stay here I got a dog, then another.  Caught myself a husband, bought my first car all by myself.  Here I became a mother and this place helped me learn what to expect, what to let go. 

At West Englewood I saw 8 first days of school.  I saw 2 first grade classes, 3 second and 3 third.  I whipped a group of misfits into shape, referred kids to special ed, saw kids read so hard they exited special ed.  I graduated out 4 groups of kids to middle school, each year feeling sadder than the last.  I had favorites and I had some who I don't remember all that well.  And of course I had a few who I didn't feel too sad about when they walked out for good. 

I have learned a lot about what it takes to be a teacher during my 8 year stay here.  I owe this school a lot for the staff development, leadership opportunities, and most importantly, examples of the best of the best.  It's going to be a hard last week.  Saying good bye to friends, saying good bye to kids.  Closing the door on a huge part of what makes me me to step out in the unknown.  But I think I'm ready.  And I owe a big part of that to this school. 

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Hey Big Guy

Reese and River are two of the cutest little sugar muffins I've ever seen.  Rivaled only by my two sweet nieces and nephew on the cute factor of course.  But sometimes the sibling love makes a Mama's heart fill all the way to the top with happiness.  Here are a few examples:

One day River was really talking away.  He had his fists balled up and was talking to Reese and laughing at her.  She kept looking at him and then at me and she'd throw her hands up and say, "River! Uh, River!" Like he was hilarious.  She was smiling and in awe of how funny and cute he was.  I knew how she felt.  As his fists were balled up she kept hitting them to give him bumps, she just wanted to share all her love.

Another instance was seen by the two little darling's Dad when he was hanging out watching TV on the bed.  He looked over and Reese had ahold of River's hand just to make sure he was okay.  She didn't do it because anyone was watching, in fact she probably barely knew she was doing it, but she just wanted to hang on and let him know she was there.

Whenever River is on the floor in his gym or playing on a blanket, Reese is right there beside him.  She laughs and talks to him just like he's one of the gang. 

Probably my favorite though was yesterday.  I was in the bedroom finishing up before it was time to go.  I heard Reese say, "Hey Big Guy!  Hi There!  Big Guuuuy, Hey Big Guy!"  She hears Dustin call River that all the time and she just wanted to share her love.  Even when we aren't watching, she's right there with a smile, a hand to hold and a few words of love.  I know River will appreciate her someday but for now he just thinks she's hilarious.  And protective.  Because watch out!  That girl will bite anyone if you come too close to her Big Guy!!

Friday, May 11, 2012


Awhile back, we were bored and needed to get something at Metro North.  Turns out the store we were needing had finally shut down too so we were there and had the idea to take Reese over to the balloons.  We turned to corner and all I heard was, "Ohhhhhhhh!"  She was thrilled.

After spending many a Saturday at the mall the balloons brought out some nostalgia in me.  I danced on the platform once and I just think of trips to the book store to get another in the Christopher Pike series or running in to Claire's to test out their Stress Test key chains whenever I go in.  Capturing Reese there made me smile and I hope they do you too.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Meet My Niece!

Monday, April 30th a wonderful young lady was brought into the world!  Her name is Kenna Paige.  Born at 11:50 am weighing 7 lbs 7 oz.  I am so excited for my sister, brother in law and of course the new big brother, Deakan!!  Congratulations!!

Here she is!!

Here is Kenna with her Grandma and her Daddy, Jason.

Just so precious!!