Sunday, January 8, 2012

Closing Out the Old, Bringing In the New

I cannot believe I have completed a full semester of my first year of teaching. I can honestly say I love my job, even on the days I think it's ridiculous. I've learned so much from these children, and have seen the fruits of my efforts. For those of you who like to see updates, here are a few...

Spooky Science Lab Day on Halloween.
The students all got a baggy of oobleck to take home.
We explored a non-newtonian fluid...FUN!
I had to cut the kids out, but their reaction
was truly heart-warming.

My homeroom class made the wreath and enjoyed helping with the door.
All my classes made snowflakes and other decorations for the classroom.

My favorite thing about this semester was watching my students transform. I watched them learn to work together, and appreciate each other for their strengths. I witnessed them become more interested and aware of their future career options. I encouraged them to think critically, and many complied. I see their potential each day, even when I'm losing my mind, and that makes it all worth it. 

Jena and I presented at the Conference for the Advancement
of Science Teaching in Dallas, TX. We have been accepted
to present at the National Science Teachers Association
Conference in Indianapolis, IN in March!!
This job has not been a walk in the park. I have definitely had my share of stress and bad days, but I would do it all again for the successes I've seen, small and large. 
Student pictures are on the door.
We are "Having a Rockin' Time in Science"
to go with  the theme for Magnet recruitment.

The holidays have come and gone, and it's like they never happened. Everyone knows I absolutely LOVE everything about the holidays. I collect three things in my life...Christmas decor, crosses, and mugs...I may or may not have an extensive Christmas mug collection in addition to the rest of my Christmas decor. I did quite a bit of entertaining at my house this year during the holidays. I really enjoy having people around, and my house has been perfect for that. 

Stockings we grew up using. Each year, we added a piece that described us. 

Decorative stockings and mantle decor
The infamous bear and his friends. 

Frame I made to display the annual card.

Christmas Card 2011. Each year, we put things in the picture that are
relevant to what we are doing this year. 

We took the Christmas card at my house this year. My family has a Christmas card tradition. The year I was born, my parents bought a big, white bear. Every year since, we have taken our Christmas card picture with that bear.

The poor bear is starting to sag a bit these days. Who knows how many more years he will last. 

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from our family to yours! The New Year has brought with it many opportunities to spend time together as a family. I spent most of this weekend with my family. It is so nice to have the 4 of us together. 

My mom asked us over dinner the other night if we made New Year's Resolutions. I quickly admitted that I hadn't as I prefer not to do so. My reasoning was that it just gives us one more opportunity to make a commitment that we, most likely, will fail to keep. Quite frankly,  I don't need to feel failure anymore than necessary. I don't think they really liked that answer. I admit, it might be a smidge bit negative. 

To me, the New Year is the sad realization that the holidays have come to an end and mushy gushy February is on it's way. The joys of winter aren't as exciting when Christmas spice tea is out of style and coffee can't be drunk in a Christmas mug. It's the time I have to box up all my Christmas loves and deep clean. It means the big breaks from school have passed and the next relief isn't until spring break, my least favorite season. 

However, there is beauty in the newness. It is time to reevaluate where we stand spiritually, physically, mentally, and relationally. It is a chance to put our priorities in perspective and make necessary changes. It is a chance to find balance and refocus our hearts. This new year has brought more excitement than years past. I am excited about new possibilities. I am exploring life outside my comfort zone and trying new things. I still have yet to declare a New Year's resolution, but maybe it's because I have too many thoughts to put my finger on just one? 

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