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Welcome home

17 Jul

Waiting at the arrival gate doors  at PDX (Portland International Airport) for my sister to arrive, I observed the following:

  • A dad and two kids –  a boy and his younger sister. The little girl was in her nightie. Dad and the little boy held flowers. The little girl held a box of chocolates. When Mom came through the doors there were lots of hugs and kisses.
  • A man with long grey hair and a long grey beard holding a “Welcome Home” sign. The two young black-haired girls who came through were swallowed up by the sign as he embraced them.
  • Two women who were obviously waiting for the same flight from Toronto. One had Princess Leia buns. A Canadian flag sprouted out of each.
  • A middle-aged couple came through the doors towards their daughter and son-in-law. The mom said. ” I spotted the tallest guy in the room.” The daughter laughed and said, “You’re embarrassing him. He’s sensitive,” as she looped her arm around his waist and brought him into the group hug.

I got thinking that, if I am ever feeling sad, this would be a great place to come to cheer myself up.

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The elephant in my summer vacation

3 Jul

I love my job, working with gifted 6th graders. I especially love 6th grade because I get to guide these wide-eyed newbies into the world of middle school.

But our numbers are down.

Just over a month ago, our admin team came to tell us and said that our four person team would be reduced to a three person team if the numbers stayed the same. They also said they had applied for an additional position, which, if it were to be granted, would keep us a four person team. They also said that, if it didn’t come, we would go from 2 Humanities teachers to one. That meant my job or my teaching partner’s job.

I worried that last month of school. I was the newer Humanities teacher. I was the one who had changed jobs and/or rooms five times in the last six years. Finally, the last week of school, I heard that, although they were still hoping for the additional teaching position to be added, I would be the one to change jobs.

And so I am enjoying summer, trying desperately to ignore the elephant that is with me on vacation.

The team I would move to is wonderful.

I wouldn’t have to change rooms, though I would be teaching regular 7th grade.

Even though this year’s 6th graders have moved on, I feel as though I am leaving them.

I try not to check my email and phone several times a day, hoping for the message that say we got the position. It has yet to come.

I figure I can pretend and ignore the elephant through July, but once August rolls around, I might need to accept reality – unless that call finally comes.

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Bringing Back the Books

12 Jun

Last week, I slowly inventoried my classroom libraries. I keep track of two libraries: one bought & paid for by the school district, the other by me. In total there are about 750 books. As of Friday, 58 books were “missing”. A few were checked out, more were not. Monday morning I charted the missing titles. By Monday afternoon, only 41 were still outstanding.

Before

We still have a week of school to go. I am confident that, come next Tuesday, most, if not all of the books will be back.

After the Book Club

5 Jun

I belong to an adult book club, made up of mostly librarians. I missed last night’s June meeting and the flurry that happens at the end. That’s where we decide which books we  will read for next month. Yes, I said books because we only read children’s and YA books. It is the best book club ever!

We usually choose about 10-12 books a month, a mix of picture books, longer fiction, non fiction and graphic novels. As we make each decision, phones are out and holds are placed at libraries.

Because I missed last night’s meeting, I didn’t see the list until I checked my email this morning. Before I began writing this post, my holds had been placed. All is well with the world.

Here is our July reading list(with links to my local library system):

Shorter Fiction:

Longer Fiction:

Nonfiction

Graphic Novel

Upcoming

 

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Seedlings

29 May

Several weeks ago, I planted cilantro and basil seeds in pots on my front stoop. The packages said to sow them 6″( basil) and 12″ (cilantro) apart. when I opened the packet, though, the basil seeds seemed so tiny. How could I plant single seeds 6″ apart when I found it impossible to pick up a single seed? So, I didn’t. I sowed both herbs liberally.

I waited and watered and waited some more. The basil seedlings appeared first. It was almost another week before I saw signs of life in the cilantro planter. I was pleased and relieved.

Now, some 4 or 5 weeks later, I can see that the package hadn’t exaggerated. Each pot is packed with herbal goodness.

I needed some basil over the weekend, so I thinned it a bit. And now I am thinking that, when I have thinned a little more, I might add the leftover seeds to the pots to ensure a constant supply of my two favorite herbs through the summer.

Audiobook Tuesdays

22 May

Books get published on Tuesdays. By that I mean that new books come out on Tuesdays. Don’t ask me why the publishers do this. They just do.

Because publishers publish on Tuesdays, I know that, when I get up Tuesday morning, I will have a message from my local library. You see, I am not an audiophile, I am an audiobookphile. I always have the maximum number of audiobooks on hold – sometimes I even exceed the maximum because I recommend books for purchase. When you recommend a book for purchase, you are automatically placed on its hold list, even if your holds are already maxed!!! Biblioheaven

This morning, when I got up, there were two new, just released audiobooks waiting for me. They are downloading to my iPad as I write. And I already added two books from my wishlist to my holds list, so my holds are maxed again and all is right with the world.

My next recommended book comes out in two weeks.

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In the meantime, I have 19 other holds to think about and several borrowed books to get through. The last month of driving to and from work will be just delightful!

 

Testing is snot funny

15 May

SBAC testing is very serious, and yet, I couldn’t help but laugh at the cacophony of upper respiratory noises emitted during our first day of testing – a mix of allergies and a feverish upper respiratory thing that has had kids out for a week, was sweeping my classroom. So many kids had to get up for tissues during the test period that I decided to put a box on every table for the next class.

As I knelt to pull out the last tissue boxes from the cupboard, I uttered a small gasp. The last boxes, in a Target multipack, were perfect for test season.

 

Although all the teaching posters were covered, I decided these were completely appropriate.

 

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