May is for Superheroes: The Teacher Homestretch

I’m exhausted.

Last week I had a student ask me if he could play me a song on his nose.

Befuddled, I nodded. They didn’t teach me how to answer that question in college.

He proceeded to place a finger on the side of his nostril and create a rattly humming sound as he “played” me a very unique rendition of Jingle Bells. I stood there in the hallway, questioning my life, and listened. Listening turned into singing as I joined my student in the medley. There I stood in the middle of the hallway, performing a nostril duet to a Christmas song.

Tomorrow is May 1. The official start of the homestretch (according to the calendar based on my opinion and perspective).

Like most teachers, I am looking ahead to the last day of school like it’s a light at the end of the tunnel. A shining beacon of hope that calls me to keep walking as the days feel impossibly long and the list of spring commitments grows impossibly more extensive.

I have reached the point where I would rather pull my hair out than say “Bummer” one more time.

Yes, Timmy, it is a bummer that you tied your shoelaces together and now you can’t walk.

I probably say “bummer” as many times as I hear my own name in one day (70,000).

I’ve reached the point where I have heard about so many lost teeth that when they tell me they lost a tooth, I tell them “I hope you find it” and laugh hysterically at my own joke.

It’s the time of the year that I’m questioning everything:

Can I do this? No, like seriously; is this actually possible?

Will I make it until June 14? Will those around me make it until June 14 having to deal with me?

Am I actually losing my mind or does it just appear that way in every facet possible?

I am so tired. Everything in me wants to auto-pilot the next 30 school days, getting through them with caffeine and a prayer. And while I will use both of those things in excessive amounts over the next month or so, I really want to fight the urge to mentally check out.

As summer break draws near and even as the curriculum winds down, those kids still deserve the best version of me. I think it’s possible to still look forward to summer yet live mindfully over the next 6 weeks.

In many classrooms in my district, we have been focusing on mindfulness with our students. With so many distractions, being present in the current moment is now something that really has to be taught, especially to some of our children who struggle behaviorally.

If I am going to practice mindfulness over the next few weeks, I am able to still be excited for summer, however I can’t be living there.

I can look forward to the pool time without inflating the floats and sleeping on them nightly.

The kids in front of us in May need us as much as they did in September. It may feel like we have nothing left to give: no ounce of creative energy, no ability to write another learning objective, no patience to respond kindly when a student still hasn’t learned an appropriate time to ask to use the restroom.

But the month of May is where the inner-super-hero comes out. Somehow we do it, year after year. We make it until the last day of school, sometimes with sanity hanging by a thread, but we do it.

We are going to make it. We are. The goal I am putting in front of myself is to not wish away each day, because the days go fast. The year has been like a  movie roll: month after month changing the calendar in the front of the room wondering, “How did we get here?”

I don’t want to wish away the years of my life, looking only forward to the next chapter (no matter how needed or well-deserved it is).

Even the day that feels the longest flies by and the years whiz past right along with them;  I don’t want to wish them away.

The weeks that are left, as exhausting as they will be, still have little moments that are going to feed my soul. They will have giggles and “aha” moments and new discovery. They will have dry markers, broken pencils, squirrelly behavior and probably some tears on my end and the students. But we are going to make it because that’s what we do.

Finish strong, stay in the moment and caffeinate regularly. Recommended dosage is 4 cups a day. Superheroes need their fuel.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Talking School: 4 Reasons to do it less this year

I speak 3 languages. English, Spanish and School. I am a Trilingual educator.

“Talking School” is a teacher phenomenon.  Teacher-ese if you will. Do not underestimate the tiny crevices into which  school talk can leak.

 

I have talked school floating in the pool. (I do not like it, Sam I am!) On a beach in Jamaica. On top of a pile of snow. At weddings. With strangers. On airplanes. At Bachelorette Parties. At the doctor’s office. At the car wash. With family. With any living being with ears (and the occasional inanimate object).

You may think you’re safe until the beautiful red of a setting sun reminds you of the day your “tough kid” got all Green Traffic lights until the very last section where you had to color it in red due to a certain throwing incident. Clearly, I need to text my friend about this memory and lament how I had only used 67 strategies with her that day when I could have used 70. Nuts! I missed the sunset.

You’re drifting off to sleep camping and feel a weed by your feet in your tent. All of a sudden you remember the failed seed growing experiment in your classroom because you forgot to water them over the weekend. So you ask the person next to you, “Am I the worst human being in this world?”

Teachers have this uncanny ability to bring up work in the most random of situations.

“School talk” forms immediate and comfortable bonds with other educators who genuinely and totally understand. If you are engaging in School Talk with someone who is not a teacher, for example, your spouse, cousin or 7 year old you are babysitting, you might lose them when you start name dropping Marzano and Danielson like they are old friends.

This school year, I am setting some goals for outside of work: not so much school talk.

Now, before I explain why I want to have less “school talk” this year, let me first define school talk as conversations about work in social settings that have no relation to school.

I am not proposing we stop collaborating, discussing ideas or brainstorming solutions to problems as teams of teachers. Obviously, during the school day, school talk IS my life.

I breathe lesson objectives (and pencil sharpener dust).

I drone on about schedule changes.

I ask for advice on specific students.

I share stories with colleagues.

I email my team.

There is no end to school talk. And that’s how it should be.

Just like workers at Papa John’s talk about pizza making and delivery routes.

Like Librarians talk about missing books and check-out times.

Like Starbuck’s barista’s discuss how they are angels sent from the Lord above who deserve eternal rewards for their contributions to society, and specifically teachers.

During the work day, I am devoted to my job. Heart and soul (except for Monday mornings…I will admit that sometimes my heart just isn’t in it then. Okay and Friday afternoons and days before break.)

But when I close up shop and walk out of room 15 this year, I need to remember that a whole other life awaits me outside those walls. I forget that sometimes. But I CAN leave school stuff at school. Here are 4 quick reasons why I am trying to do that this year

  1. It tends to turn negative

I LOVE my job. More than I feel like a job should be loved. However, get me chatting with a couple of teacher friends at the beach and even with the best of intentions, the conversations can turn south quickly. I don’t want to be a part, or the cause, of negative talk or gossip that involves colleagues, policies or things happening in my place of work. The less “outside” teacher talk, the less chance I will put my foot in my mouth and say something I shouldn’t say.

2. It’s annoying to those who don’t speak the language

A normal amount of talking about jobs is good and healthy. We spend lots of time at our work and I think if you are married to a teacher or love a teacher, it is important to hear a bit about what happens in the classroom. Sharing highs and lows of the day, funny moments and frustrations is wonderful and wildly entertaining for others.

However, when the conversations become obsessive or to the people you are talking to, you might start losing the crowd. My dad, who works at the Post Office, loves to hear about the happenings of my classroom, however if I go on a rant about the new state requirements  and the online educator system glitches, and how I am exhausted of tracking data on a particular student’s behavior, I might hear some deep breathing and the occasional snore. My dad can sleep anywhere.

3. We have other things going on

Hey. My life is so exciting. I have SO many awesome things going on to talk about. Okay, a little bit of sarcasm, but for real, there is more to me than being a teacher.

I can talk about being a Christian, a friend, a daughter, a writer, or even talk to you about my love of snack food and my favorite kinds. My teacher friends have families and pools (amen amen) and health issues and famous people sightings and cool things happening. Maybe I will learn some new things about coworkers this year if I talk to them about those things at the Christmas party instead.

If teaching defines me as a human, if the ups and downs of my classroom dictate my persona, then I advise everyone to run far away from me any week of a full moon, or the week before and after Halloween. Those kids be crazy.

It is normal to celebrate successes and lament tough days with others, but there should be a healthy balance, and I am learning that more every year: that I can let things go.

4. You need a break

You just need a break. You’re tired. Between the 7 hour school days, 8 extra hours of meetings, before and after school prep, writing sub plans and extra commitments like conferences, don’t you think you talk school and think school and breathe school enough?

 

Don’t get me wrong. As the new school year is just days away, I truly cannot wait to get back into the classroom and “talk school” until I am blue in the face at work. I am only saying that I want to make a more conscious effort this year to not lose the other areas of my life that tend to get buried between the months of September-June. Outside of the freshly cleaned hallways and newly waxed floors, lives a 25 year old  with more knowledge about frozen yogurt than anyone I have ever met. I need that side of me to make more of an appearance this school year.

 

 

 

 

 

 

My Summer Break Acceptance Speech

Greetings to all who read this.

I am used to having an audience of about 27 little humans, so being here on stage to accept this award does not faze me in the slightest. When you have asked  students to tell you if you have chocolate on your face or not, it takes a lot to feel embarrassment anymore.

Summertime is here.

I can tell you that there were times I didn’t know if I would make it. I didn’t know if we would make it.

Specifically towards the end of October. And then March. And then again today.

Yet we have reached the end of another school year, and entering summer break with this acceptance speech is my utmost honor.

I have many people, food items, and inanimate objects to thank for reaching this point.

Let me begin with the most important. First and foremost, I would like to thank coffee for everything it is to me and everything it will be.

You might be thinking, “Jenna, as a devout Christian, shouldn’t you being thanking God first for helping you through the year?”

God made the coffee. And He and I have it worked out. He understands. God is everywhere. Even in an elementary school. He knows.

Not only would i like to thank coffee, I would like to thank everyone and everything associated with coffee.

Thank you to the coffeemaker in my kitchen that rings a sweet glorious sound when the coffee is ready. Thank you to the filters for allowing the water to run through it in a way to make the coffee juice taste good without getting grounds in it. Thank you to all the workers at Starbucks and Biggby who have my order memorized. Specific shoutout to the worker who poured me a new coffee when I spilled mine all over myself.

IMG_2268.JPG

notice the coffee spilled on my desk. and the general mess.

 

Thank you to every colleague who has brought me coffee in moments of distress, or out of sheer kindness. Thank you to the coffee farmers in every remote area of the world. I love you and I thank you.

Now I would like to thank the Lord. He heard my 1pm prayers and 6:50am cries as getting out of bed became harder and harder every day in May. He got me up. He reminded me at the perfect times why I love my job. He brought amazing people in my life that makes the job even better. He made coffee. And it was good.

Next up is the Teacher’s Lounge. A resting place. A time of solace, laughter, or sometimes silence because it’s only Tuesday and it feels like Friday a 4pm.

That brings me into my teaching family. From the amazing staff who clean my classroom each day, to my teaching partners,  to parapros to secretaries and lunch staff. We are a family. Sometimes a dysfunctional one, like families can be, but we love each other in the mess and we make the best out of it. So much love to you people.

You have saved the day and covered for me so I could go to the bathroom.

You have brought me kleenexes when I am having an adult meltdown.

You feed me snacks.

You people are some of the best parts of my job and I genuinely love you.

IMG_3387.jpg

Next, I would like to thank bandaids and water fountains. Bandaids and water fountains cure 95% of all student ailments. Magic.

“My head hurts.”

“Okay honey, why don’t you try a drink of water and see if that helps.”

“Ms. Wiley, I’m bleeding”

*uses magnifying glass to find microscopic speck of red*

“Okay here is a bandaid.”

Bandaids and Water fountains- the MVP’s.

 

 

I would like to extend a thank you to each of my fabulous little students. We have our moments. They give me grace. I give them grace. We laugh. We cry. We learn together. It’s a great gig. Thanks for everything guys. I loved *almost* every minute with you. It was awesome but now teacha needs a break. Thank you for bringing in Hawaiian leis and celebrating the end of the year with a Karaoke Party in my room yesterday after school. Kids rock.

IMG_4863.JPG

Karaoke Parties are the best way to celebrate the end of the year.

 

Thank you to the yoga balls on which my students sat this year. You let them move and wiggle and bounce and be all hyper while letting me still teach. I got a little motion sickness at first, watching the ups and downs in rhythmic form. But I got used to it.

 

Thank you to my friends and family outside of work. The ones who understood if it was a “bad day” and listened to me vent as needed.

Thank you to my Spring Break vacation. I needed you.

IMG_3709.JPG

Me and my nephew enjoying a relaxing dinner in Florida. Turns out caring for an infant isn’t vacation.

Thank you to the substitute teachers who literally saved my life by filling in for me on days I was out.

Thank you to antibiotics for the 2 times I got bronchitis.

IMG_3460.JPG

 

Thank you to the teacher I share a classroom with one day a week. Your healthy life tips are appreciated. I am a hoarder. Thank you for dealing with my piles everywhere.

IMG_4855.JPG

You could have played iSpy with the stuff I found in there.

Thank you to the people behind “treat days.” Seeing random treats in the lounge for no reason at all gives you a perfect excuse to binge eat the stress away. Carb loading on donuts did come with a few consequences, but in the end, totally worth it.

It was an amazing year.

An exhausting, happy, emotional, fabulous, insane year.

As you see, I never could have done it alone. So with great joy and little to no pride (I have none left after some of the  lessons I have taught this year), I accept summer vacation.

Congratulations to all who made it. Your trophy is sunny and sandy.

And to anyone who thinks it’s unfair that teachers get summers off:

actually, never mind. I honestly don’t even have the energy to debate with you.

Happy Summer

xoxo

Jenna

2lynfdf

 

 

Why I Don’t Want a ‘Normal’ Job: 11 times teaching is the best, even when it isn’t

About 39 times a year, I question why I went into teaching.

It’s a crazy life. A life that one can only understand once in the trenches: tying the shoes and wiping the tears and teaching the words.

There are some days where on my way home, I am convinced that I am never stepping foot back into my classroom again. It can go on without me. You can find me working at an animal shelter under a heap of  puppies. I will just be laying there, arms stretched as puppies and kittens bound across me and lick my face. That is what I will do.

But alas, I wake up the next morning and I walk into my classroom and I tie the shoes and I wipe the tears and I teach the words.

Today was a bit of a crazy afternoon and to be honest, a crazy week for me, but amongst the chaos and tattles and peer arguments, my head started to fill with all of the reasons I could never do another job right now (except maybe the aforementioned job where all I do is lay on the ground and get tackled by baby animals).

I grabbed a sticky note and started jotting down some of the reasons that this is the best job there is. Even when it isn’t.

Maybe in the future when my life circumstances change, I won’t be in a classroom anymore. But right now, a classroom is home to me.

With all of the stress that comes with teaching, I think it’s easy to forget all the amazing things I experience as a teacher that would NEVER be the status quo in a “normal job.” For example…

  1. Small chores being done for you

I can’t remember the last time I filled my own water bottle or walked across my classroom to retrieve the coffee from my desk. When I ask the little students to do small chores for me, you would think I am bestowing upon them the grandest honor of all. Students take pride, and gloat shamelessly to their peers when they are selected to complete basic life tasks for their teacher.

Beaming, they wipe off my table, as though the most important job in the world. For some reason, I think this would be an issue in the corporate world if I expected all of those around me to wait on me hand and foot.

“Steve, can you run across the office and rinse out this cup and fill it with water for me?”

“Margaret, I spilled my tea. Could you grab me paper towels and jump up and down on the spill so it all absorbs?”

“Dan, can you come here and open my window halfway? I’m a little warm.”

Something tells me I might struggle to develop healthy coworker relationships.

2. The compliments 

My classroom is pretty much the only place I am considered “cool.”

Small children love to lavish compliments. With my specific job, I have over 700 students in and out of my doors per week, so the compliments reach incredible heights as I get a new group of kids each hour.

A new group of kids to comment on my outfit, lipstick and shoes. Though I should probably take them with a grain of salt (many children still can’t tell the difference between me and the building art teacher), I let them go directly to my head.

Why not? If you had tiny humans lavishing affirmations upon you all day, you might get a little pompous, too.

Compliments from children are also contagious. If Maddie compliments me, and Ginny hears it, Ginny will try to one-up the previous compliment with an even better compliment, until I am fending off compliments with quick “thanks, honey, but you need to go sit down.”

Again, that same something tells me that I couldn’t expect this kind of praise in a “normal” job.

IMG_5305.jpg

My first year of teaching, students rolled a red carpet to my desk.

IMG_4754.jpg

Me, drawn as a queen on her throne. (Those are puffy sleeves).

IMG_5264.jpg

This was written to me by a Kindergartener who was moving away at the end of the year.

 

3. But yet, they keep you humble

While this may seem conflicting after pointing out how children make you feel like a million bucks, it should be noted that young children are brutally honest. I was sick yesterday and was struggling through the morning. Students, concerned and confused asked me, “Did you forget to put makeup on today?” “Why does your face look like that?”

Just when your head is getting a little too big, they are there to humble you with their innocent and honest observations about your appearance.

A few months ago, upon returning from Florida, I was rocking’ a deep, dark tan. I was flaunting my sun-kissed skin and basically using my classroom as a runway, when one 10 year old boy took one look at me and told me I looked like a “burnt hotdog.”

Extra points for the creative simile.

IMG_6594.jpg

thanks?

 

4. The Weirdness

If I had to manage adults for a living, I think the turnover rate at my company would be alarmingly high. I am very, very weird . I can’t help it. I was born like this. I love that kids GET my weird.

All of the following are statements that would make perfect sense to almost all of the students that walk through my doors:

“If you aren’t going to bounce like a baby kangaroo, you will sit on Broccoli Island.”

“You guys are only giving me a Parmesan Cheese level of participation. I need to see more Sharp Cheddar.”

“Ms. Wiley, can we dance to this song ‘Spicy Nacho’ style?”

“Guys, you know that while Cottage Cheese is still expected behavior, you make me happiest when I don’t see any of it at all!”

(yes, there is a cheese scale for attitude, engagement and participation in my room).

“Are you at Belly Button University right now?”

Need I say more?  It sounds even weirder in Spanish.

IMG_3441.jpg

Me pretending I am lost in the Amazon and need to be rescued. #weird

IMG_5101

Agreed, kid. Agreed.

 

5. The camaraderie with other teachers

While teaching is definitely about the kids, the relationships and bond I have with my colleagues is one of the highlights and most treasured parts  of my job.

Teachers have a look they give each other in the hall when they pass and when they can’t audibly say “I am about to pull my hair out if I hear my name one more time…”

Work friendships are amazing. This morning, a colleague, and dear friend, brought me coffee. I frequent the classroom of another dear friend to break into her stash of 3 year old gum balls when I need a rush of sugar. I know where the chocolate drawer is in most of my teacher friends’ rooms.

Those small interactions, encouragements and moments with my amazing teaching family  keep you sane and keep your caloric intake high.

The most comforting thing of all is when you have another adult, like a beautiful, priceless Paraprofessional (God bless you, wonderful people) in the room with you and something insane happens and you can look at each other and say “Are you seeing this???” “Is this our life right now?”

IMG_9374.jpg

Cheering on a teacher friend as she runs a marathon!

IMG_0241.jpg

I have an open coffee tab with most teachers in my building.

6. Shake Your Head and laugh moments

I am sure most careers have funny, memorable moments. But oh, if the walls of Room 7 and Room 22 could talk. There are moments in my classroom where all I can do is laugh.

Hilarious, unbelievable moments.

I have a kiddo who is fiercely protective of me. I have had him for years, and we have a very special bond. If this student ever perceives someone isn’t treating me well or I am in ‘danger’, he comes to my rescue like a flash of lightning.

A few weeks ago, I was eating an apple and teaching. That combo has never typically worked out well for me, but that day I was confident I could do it.

I had choked a few times and cleared my throat, but finally after the third time I choked on a piece of apple, I exclaimed, “Uh! This apple is trying to kill me!”

Upon hearing this, the student immediately snatched the apple out of my hand and threw it in the trash can forcefully. There was NO place for an ‘evil apple’ in my classroom.

With every bone in his little body, he was protecting me from that apple. It was the most precious thing I have ever seen.

Once, first graders were having a discussion amongst themselves about why I wasn’t married yet. Before I could chime in to encourage them to change the subject, a passionate 6 year old yells “Don’t rush her guys! She’s not ready yet!”

Those types of moments are ones that keep me coming back, day in and day out.

A more concise list…(I am getting wordy. And if you are a teacher, you should probably be grading, lesson planning or doing 17 other things right now, so allow me to wrap this up.)

7. Pajama Days

These are the best. There is nothing left to say.

8. Birthday treats

It’s always some kid’s birthday. Except for when I go on a strict diet (2x a week), birthday treats are the reason I make it until 3:45pm.

IMG_5295.jpg

This was ONE day’s worth of birthday treats. #summerbirthdays

9. Summer vacation and Snow Days

Duh.

10. When you watch students “get it” right before your eyes

This is a magical, inexplicable moment. When you have a breakthrough with a kid and try not to cry and then they laugh at you for being so emotional.

11. It’s always an adventure.

No day is the same. You can try your darnedest to ensure an airtight plan and seamless routines and transitions: but EVERY day, something unplanned will happen. Every. Single. Day. You roll with it. You get really good at that.

Just when you think you aren’t making a difference, a kid’s flip flop breaks so you tape paper all the way around it  so they can walk home with their shoe still on.

IMG_5294.jpg

#changinglives

 

I don’t want a ‘normal’ job.

I want this crazy, exhausting, hilarious, stressful job.

I wasn’t born to be normal, anyways.

Here is to the last few weeks.

Jenna

jennawiley@yahoo.com

 

Hearing from you is pretty much my favorite thing. Love to hear teacher stories and connect with people all over the world. Shoot me an email or follow my blog on Facebook.

My Blog on Facebook!

 

 

 

 

To Every Teacher Going Back to Work This Week

Hey, teacher, paraprofessional, principal, administrative assistant, social worker, speech pathologist, substitute, specialist and every every other 408 job representations in a school building.

It’s almost noon on Sunday and I am still in my pajamas sipping from a mug of coffee.

Tomorrow at this time, I will have seen over 85 students, 3 different classes, and will probably even be in real clothes, potentially even with my hair done and not slicked back in a messy ponytail. #ambitious

It seems a little daunting. I don’t even remember how to pack a lunch. Do I really shape young lives for a living?

After two blissful weeks of vacation, holiday and family time, and lots, lots more sleep than I am used to, the thought of walking into my classroom tomorrow, flipping on those lights and welcoming little bodies into my room is enough to make me crawl back into bed.

I can count the number of times I have worn makeup during this break on one hand.  I didn’t use my teacher voice. I didn’t hear “Ms. Wiley” at all, and I didn’t touch a lesson plan.

I watched 17 episodes of “Lock up: Women behind Bars” on Netflix and didn’t set an alarm when I went to bed #lifeontheedge.

I got a flat tire late in the evening, but didn’t have to stress out because it wasn’t a “school night” and I hadn’t set an unrealistic bedtime for myself.

It was wonderful.

But it’s not what I was born to do.

I’m a teacher, and these breaks are absolutely necessary and totally key in our mental, physical and emotional health, but now it’s time to go back.

It’s time to walk back into your classroom and do what you love to do.

Because you do love it.

At the core of what teaching is, you love it.

At the beginning of the year, we are sun-kissed and fully rejuvenated. In September, after a long summer break, our classrooms are organized and our outfits are picked out and that “new school year buzz” circulates around the building.

Heading back to work after Winter Break is a whole different ballgame.

We face the dreaded winter months. The Holidays are over and the only visions dancing in our head are hopes for a snow day…or six.

But still, we press on. It’s time to go back to work.

You see, teacher, you have a high and holy calling on your life.

Through all of the turmoil in the education system, through every long day and working lunch, one thing makes it worth it for me every time: the faces.

 

Forget about the “extras” for a second with me.

Just picture the faces.

The ones of kiddos that even though they wouldn’t admit it, cannot wait to see you tomorrow and have spent break feeling alone and unloved.

The ones that have made you those drawings of unidentified objects on ripped out pieces of lined paper and check back a week later to see if you still have it.

Think of the face of the student that needs an excessive amount of hugs every day because she doesn’t get any at home.

Picture the face of the studious, high achieving student that lives and breathes for school.

Remember what it feels like to read the words of a letter a student wrote you, telling you how much you mean to him/her and how you’re their favorite teacher (who cares if they say it to their teacher every year. It’s your year).

Picture the crocodile tears of a student who can’t handle his emotions and just needs to cry to you because he can’t find his lunch card.

Envision the look a student has on his face when he finally grasps something he has been struggling with for months.

Just for a second, forget about the “other stuff” with me.

Just for today, focus on the faces. The faces of those little, or big, kiddos that you are entrusted with this year.

You mean the world to them. The calling on your life right now is to walk back into your second home, your classroom, and love and teach those kids with everything in you.

It’s exhausting and the days are long. You might go in when the sun hasn’t even risen and go home long after it’s gone down, but you put in those hours because of one reason: love.

Like it or not, school starts again tomorrow, and if I have learned one lesson from my short 5 years of teaching, it is that attitude is everything. I have had days I taught with a horrible attitude, and days I taught with a fantastic attitude.

I bet you can guess which days went well.

Tomorrow we will be tempted to complain to each other about how break was too short and we aren’t ready to be back.

Of course we will miss family time and sleep and being a normal-functioning human, but instead of feeling a little bit of dread or uneasiness about going back tomorrow, let’s face it with excitement.

It’s not a new school year, but it’s a new year. A new start. No matter how the first part of your year went, this is an opportunity to have a fresh slate and begin again.

We will spend the next few months zipping up coats,  tying shoelaces (sometimes wet shoelaces), helping kids find their mittens, giving directions to change from their boots to their gym shoes, counseling friend problems,  taking patient breaths when a student says

“I have a connection…” and oh yeah, teaching.

Remember your calling. Embrace it.

And  if all else fails, text me your coffee order. I do deliveries.

Go change some lives tomorrow. Maybe there will even be a few straggler presents that they forgot to give you before break #dreambigforgiftcards.

We will start the Spring Break Countdown in February and I will hit you with another post for the homestretch 😉

And if you need just a LITTLE bit more of a reminder why you should get up tomorrow, check out 11 Reasons Teaching is the BEST! You haven’t lived until you have been told you look like a burnt hotdog.

 

Teach on, Teacher Friend. Start tomorrow with a dance party.

 

Would love to hear from you! I am treasuring EVERY single message, comment and post from people all across the country. My little blog has been shared all over, and my heart gets a little fuller with each message and story I hear. I would just love to hear from you. Teaching is the best family. 

Email: jennawiley@yahoo.com

Follow my blog here on Facebook, or

 

Click here to follow me on twitter!

jennakay_tweets (personal)

senoritawiley1 (classroom)

Instagram:

Click here to follow me on Instagram!

@blessingsnotchins

 

FullSizeRender-8

 

Third graders know exactly how to write encouragement cards.

IMG_7413.JPG

You heard the girl! Reach your heart out and be a diamond!

IMG_7409.JPG

And never forget to reach for the stars for your life!