Monday, August 30, 2010

From the Desk of Ms. Griffith

The beginning of the school year is so hectic! It's like I forget each year how stressful those first few weeks can be. Here's a short situation that happened last week that made me smile. I love how 6th graders think, and how middle school is literally a whole new world for them.

(End of the day on Wednesday - the first normal schedule day for our middle schoolers)

Ms. Griffith: Bye guys! Have a good afternoon. See you tomorrow!
*I walk out into the hallway to help with lockers and monitor the halls*
Student 1: Ms. Griffith, where do we go now?
Ms. Griffith: Um... you go home.
Student 2: Ms. Griffith, do we go home now?
Ms. Griffith: Yes, honey, it's 3:25 and it's time to go home.
Student 3: Ms. Griffith, what class do I go to now?
Ms. Griffith: You go home. You're done for the day.

LOL It's cute that they don't think all the way through their questions, and they're just so afraid of doing something wrong, that they don't even want to leave until they're 100% sure they're supposed to. I wish I could bottle up their innocence and sweetness, and keep them that way all through middle school. :)

So, overall, school's going great. Just trying to keep all my ducks in a row and I feel like I make tons of "to do" lists every day, and just try to tackle one at a time. I'm trying lots of new stuff in my classroom, so that's been an adventure. Lots of group collaboration, which requires a different kind of classroom management, so it's definitely a learning experience this year. Overall, I'm excited about the way things are going so far, and I'm looking forward to this year being really great!

A place to showcase students' work and then my blank word wall for vocabulary

A new strategy I'm trying this year to keep kids from saying "I don't know" when I ask them to answer a question.

A place to keep my sports calendars for the year.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Ready or Not!

I made sure to plan a fun, relaxing weekend so that I can really feel refreshed and ready for school to begin. Friday night, I got to eat dinner with my mom and Brian (and Mal of course) at Tillman's Roadhouse. It was fantastic! Then we went to a place called Barcadia and played their fun outside Jenga game.

LOVE them!

Mallory (aka Vanna White)

Bri - Bri did a good job!

And Mom was the unlucky one this time. :) We had so much fun!

Saturday was a perfect girly day. I got to spend the majority of my day with my awesome sister. We got a massage and then had a fantasy football draft at my apartment (for an all girls league of which I was the champion last year!). Then Saturday night I went to dinner at Abacus with Annie and Megan. It was so great to catch up with my girls.

Now it's Sunday, and I'm still not 100% convinced that I'm ready for our first day of school tomorrow. I guess we'll find out when my alarm goes off at 6 am. Good luck to all my teacher friends! I hope this next year is full of students ready to learn, and teachers willing to take some risks to become the best we can be for our students.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

So Content

What a fabulous weekend I have had. Having such a great weekend makes me really grateful to be where I am in life. I have a wonderful boyfriend and family that I love spending time with. I'm very very blessed. Joe came home Friday night, so that was definitely a great way to begin the weekend. Saturday was a relaxing day at home just hanging out. Then, Joe and I went to Kelsey and Rebecca's house for dinner and to watch the Rangers game. Kelsey is one of Joe's friends from high school. He's just as much into cars as Joe is, which Joe loves and Rebecca and I get along really well, so it works out perfect. The Rangers lost, but overall, it was a really fun night.

Today, Joe and I went to North Park and saw Despicable Me. It was definitely the best 3-D movie I've seen in a while. It was hilarious and the theatre was packed with families and lots of kids, so I really enjoy that too. I love hearing the kids gasp as a weapon or character comes flying toward the audience. And who doesn't love popcorn and ICEE's for lunch!!! We had a great time!

Then, tonight, my sister came home! YAY!!!! I surprised her by being at my parents house when she got there, and we all had dinner. It feels good to have her home. I've totally been spoiled in the past, because I'm used to her being with me all summer. However, this summer, she's been working as an intern feeding baby deer in south Texas. It was a really good experience for her, and I'm proud of her for sticking it out and staying down there all summer. I definitely don't think I could have done it! I fully plan on spending as much time with Mal as possible this week before she heads back to Aggie Land next weekend.

I'm really glad I was able to have such a nice, relaxing, fun weekend, because tomorrow, it's back to reality. Teacher work week begins tomorrow at 8 am. I am looking forward to a new fresh year with my sweet 6th graders! I am not looking forward to waking up at 6:30! So long summer time!

"Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer." - Romans 12:11-12

Sunday, August 8, 2010

First (Unofficial) Day Back

I spent 6 hours at school today working on my classroom. It was good to get back in there and start unpacking some of my desk stuff. We always have to pack everything up at the end of the year so that they can pull everything out and clean (which I love!). So, I started working on getting things back to normal today. I got a lot accomplished, but also enjoyed the time chatting with some of my coworkers that were up there today as well. I have had a fabulous summer, but it's always fun and refreshing to start a new school year with brand new students, so I'm really looking forward to the upcoming weeks. Here's a pic of my classroom from the first day of school last year. Most of it will stay the same, with a few updates here and there. And I'm hoping for tables instead of desks.

Last week, I had the privilege of attending a Wednesday night service at Saturn Road Church of Christ to hear Rick and Beverly Ross speak. They were fabulous. They shared details of the past 5 months since Jenny died, and they are truly an inspiring couple. I admire their honesty in sharing their trials. One thing that Beverly said really stuck with me. She said, "You have to realize that you may not have another thing go your way while you're feet are on this dirt, so you have to intensionally decide to have a 'no matter what' faith." Isn't that awesome? I've never heard it worded that way, but Beverly said that Jenny always talked about having a no matter what faith. I love the implications that come with that. It reminded me that I'm not in control of anything in this world except my attitude and actions. So, I've got to make the choice to be a true, 100% follower, no matter what, of Jesus Christ. It's not an easy task. But it's definitely one worth striving for. And that's the attitude that I'm taking into this school year. Allowing God to use me the way that He wants to and just trusting that He's in control of it all.

On a lighter note, my sister comes home in a week, and I'm more than excited about that. So here's a pic in honor of the time we're going to spend together next week!

Monday, August 2, 2010

Catching Up

Five things you've missed in the last few weeks:

1. Joe and I had a blast on the cruise!

Ice cream at least three times a day made me very happy!

2. I got to spend my birthday in Cozumel, which was so much fun!

Yummy cappuccino ice cream cake

3. Answered Prayers - Joe's dad is doing much better than he was two weeks ago. While we were on our cruise, he went to a cardiologist and they discovered some serious blockage in two of his arteries, so they put in stints. He has to wait 6 weeks before going to the neurologist for them to run some more tests to see if they can determine the cause of the seizure. All that being said, he's feeling better and that is a huge relief to everyone!

4. Camp Erin - I just spent three great days at Camp Erin. I was in a group with 2 male counselors (Cabin Big Buddies), and our campers were 4 sixth grade boys. I wasn't sure how I felt about having boy campers, but I ended up having a blast. Our team name was "Miranda and the Blues Brothers", and we had so much fun! If you don't know anything about Camp Erin, it is a camp for grieving children. It was different from any camp I've ever been a part of, and I loved it. Camp Erin is a nation wide camp, and if you want more info, you can check it out here:

5. Blessings - This past weekend at Camp Erin was a huge reminder of how grateful I am for every person in my life. I have a fantastic family that loves and supports me daily. I have friends that I love spending time with. I have a boyfriend that adores me. I have a new appreciation for how much God has blessed my life. I hope I never take those things for granted.