Tuesday, June 14, 2011

ABC - It's Easy as 1-2-3!

ABC - It's Easy as 1-2-3 is what I am singing (or praying) as I embark on my new journey - grad school.  I have been accepted into grad school to get my Master's degree in Educational Leadership through the University of Tennessee at Martin. 

This has been a huge work in progress that started back last year before the wedding.  I knew that I always wanted to further my education, but I just did not know when exactly a good time would be.  Well after the wedding, I decided that there really will not be the perfect time, but I just needed to go for it.  I started researching various schools and found that through UT Martin I could do all my work online which is great for a person with a jam packed schedule like me.

My first obstacle was the dreaded GRE.  I decided that I needed to make sure I could pass it before I went on with the application process.  I studied up on the format of the test and what to expect the night before the test.  Yes, the night before!  I am so thankful for Kevin leaving the house for awhile that night so I actually would sit down and read over the stuff.  I have never been much on studying for huge tests like the ACT, Praxis, etc.  I figured if I know the stuff I know it if not then I just won't know it.  That Saturday I journeyed to Lambuth University to take the test.  Let me just say that the GRE is not like any other test I have taken (or at least at Lambuth it was).  First, it is all on a computer. Second, you are on your own in a cubby with a camera behind you so a little lady can watch your every move in another room.  Third, you have to do a lot of writing.  (Thank goodness for teachers like Mr. Norvell who provided me with a good basis for writing.)  Fourth, when you submit your final test your scores come up on the computer for the part that wasn't writing.  Oh what terror that brought me!  What if I had done all that work for nothing!  I knew what I needed so I hit submit and I made above that score.  I was thrilled!  Then, I just had to wait on my writing scores to come in the mail.  I got those back, and I was excited to continue with the process.

I had all the items for my application file turned in to the university in January.  However, the college was waiting on a transcript from a school that I attended online for one class one summer during my college years.  In March when Martin had still not received the transcript, I began making phone calls and the college had lost my files in a change in servers and failed to notify me.  Thank goodness they were able to get a tech person to find it out in cyber space!  So we were waiting again for Martin to receive it.  Well May came around with the deadline quickly approaching and they had still not received it, I got on the phone again to see what the problem was this time.  The college mailed my transcript to Martin, TX.  Ahh!  I was so mad, because there was no way that a copy could get to UT Martin before the deadline.  Thank goodness for the gracious man on the other end of the phone who offered to call the school and explain that it was their fault and not mine that my transcript had not been received.  Martin was still not able to ensure me that I would get it since I technically missed the deadline, but they were going to try to persuade the panel to let me in.

Memorial Day weekend I got an unofficial e-mail from a lady from Martin saying that I had been accepted and to expect the letter in the mail the following week.  I finally got my letter on Thursday, began making phone calls to my advisor and such on Friday, and found out school started that Monday!  What a whirlwind it was trying to get everything set up for me to be prepared for my first class, but I was so thankful to be in the program.  So far, I actually love being back in school!  I am hoping that I will continue with this mindset through the whole program.  I'll be sure to update as the time passes.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Three Years of Teaching

Wow!  I can't believe that I just finished my 3rd year teaching.  It seems like yesterday I was starting my first year.  So many things have occurred over the 3 years that I will never forget.  Here are some of those lasting impressions (good and bad) and some things that continue to live on: (Thank goodness I have pictures of lots of these things so I will never forget.)

- No lights on my very first day of teaching.
- Phone calls and letters in Spanish that I actually was able to understand. (Learning Spanish is a major Bucket List goal.)
- Annual Vocabulary Parade
- Tornado warning that lasted so long my students fell asleep
- 4 classrooms in 3 years - in the same grade and same school (Let's just say I don't have too much junk :))
- Starting Recycling (Fridays have become a memorable day every week with the kids doing Recycling.)
- Falling out of my chair during Small Group Reading Time (Yes, my kids know I'm clumsy!)
- Charlotte the Spider Scarecrow and Recycling Reggie Scarecrow (So much fun to do each year!)
- Classroom Olympics
- Leak causing a huge mess in the classroom (Yay! It's now fixed.)
- Top Toucan each week
- Stoufee (a huge doll from Children's Museum) falling over during a presentation
- Annual Grandparent's Day in the classroom
And the list could go on and on!

Most of all I will never forget the memories I have made with each student.  It is so fun getting to know the students at the beginning of each school year, but yet so hard to say good-bye at the end.  I learn so much about their home life, their feelings, and their families that I grow so attached to them.  I hope I always keep my passion for teaching for many years to come.  I couldn't imagine doing anything else!

This year I earned two more things to add to my list.  I earned tenure with Haywood County School and I earned my Professional Teaching License.  Two more things to mark off my goals for this year!  Now, it is on to planning and creating things to make next year successful.  I can't wait to see what the next school year holds, but I will never forget the past years.  They are what made me what I am today.

Here's a video that highlights some of the things we did this past year in Room 10:


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