Missing In Action

I feel terrible.  I have not been able to post anything to my blog in several days.  I have even dropped the ball on the photo challenges I have been participating in with SDAWP Photo Voices.  I have been challenged by my 2nd graders this year.  It has gotten to the point where it has taken up my free time at home!

As a fellow blogger, Texas Teaching Fanatic (KaylaShook), stated, “There’s nothing quite like beginning-of-the-school-year tired. I know this will get better, but right now I’m pooped!”  She totally wrote what I feel.  I am pooped.  More and more I am finding out that my students have needs beyond the academic.  It has literally zapped the energy from me, and it takes a lot to do that!

I must remember why I became a teacher in the first place.  I know I am going to make a difference in my students’ lives.  I have to stop thinking about everything as a challenge.  I need to start enjoying what I do in the classroom more.  I think that is the reason I am so tired all the time.  I am reminded by a quote by Deepak Chopra.

The past is gone.  The future is not here.  Now I am free of both.  What am I
choosing right now?  Choose joy.

I need to remember to choose joy.


Photo Challenge: Patterns

This week’s SDAWP photo challenge was on patterns.  I don’t know why I had a hard time with this challenge.  Perhaps it was due to starting school this week.  I was so focused on what I had to do in my classroom, that I did not have a chance to really “see” my environment to look for patterns.  I felt like I didn’t have a chance to slow down at all this week.  It is hard to use your peripheral vision when you have blinders on.  Getting ready for my students took all my focus.  I did mangae to take some photos.  Here are some of my favorites.




The first picture is of a section of carpet I saw in a hotel lobby.  The second one is of the wine cork basket in my kitchen.  The last photo is the backrest of the chaise lounge in my backyard.  I liked how these patterns repeated itself in a predictable pattern.  I, especially, liked the cork basket with its criss-cross pattern and curved design.

Later in the week, I found my eyes drawn to patterns that were not predictable.  The next photo is a wall of paneling at my district office.  The last photo is a barrier wall at a local restaurant near my home.



I really had to look hard for patterns this week.  It’s strange because I am always telling my students patterns are everywhere.  Maybe they are so prevalent that I have become desensitized to it?  I am not sure.  And, as I said earlier, my mind was preoccupied with back to school things.  Next week the challenge will be on repetition.  I hope to do a better job focusing on this.  For now, here is a collage of favorite patterns I found.


Small Surprises

Yesterday I had to go to our district’s offices to attend an inservice about a new computer program we will be getting at my school. It’s actually an old program that is being updated, and I am expected to train the rest of the teachers at my site. The new and improved program is different than what teachers are used to doing. So, I bet there will be a lot of moaning and complaining over it. But, hey. My response to that is to “suck it up.” The change is here, so we all better learn how to roll with it.

Anyway, this post is about small surprises. The first of my small surprises came at the end of the inservice when I was given a time sheet for attending. I was able to claim the hours I spent in the inservice and will get a little monetary bonus. It was a nice surprise and something I wasn’t expecting. My friend told me that we were getting time sheets, but I wasn’t sure. It doesn’t always happen. Most of the time I have to pay to attend an inservice. I was glad that I would be compensated for my time.

The next small surprise came when I left the training room which is on the second floor of the building. As I made my way to the stairs, I noticed this interesting shadow on the wall. I thought it would be a great photo for my photo of the day challenge for SDAWP Photo Voices. This week’s challenge is on angles.


I thought the shadow made a great design. I liked all the angles in the shadow. I had never noticed that shadow before, and I have been to the District Office many times before. I don’t know why I never noticed it before. Maybe I was not in the District Office at the time of day where that shadow would be cast on the wall. Or, perhaps that shadow had been there before, and I just never paid attention to it. I stood there for a moment with my iPhone and wondered where that shadow was coming from. That’s when I looked up and saw my third small surprise.


It was the sky light in the ceiling of the building. I did not realize that the building had a sky light. I just thought it was well-lit. Wow. It is neat to discover something  you never knew before. It’s like finding a secret treasure.

If I had not been participating in the SDAWP Photo Voices challenge, I would not have been looking for angles, and I would have never looked up. I am glad I took the time to slow down, stop, and look around before I hurried out of the building to my car. I think this is a great lesson to teach my students. If you slow down long enough you might learn something new. There are lots of small surprises waiting to be discovered.