Monday, November 30, 2009

Thanksgiving, Tennessee, Teaching

Thanksgiving was wonderful. Went ahead and ate some extra but walked the hills of Tennessee and came out even. I love Tennessee. Even in November. Saw snow up close on the mountaintops, came down to pleasant weather. Walking was a workout but what a way to go. Gorgeous stars at night, mist on the lake in the morning, sunset glow behind Bay's Mountain. That's what I'm talkin' about.

Saw my sister and her husband. He's very ill and I wanted to spend time with him. Got to talk to my sister. I'm not a phone person so that was great. We also went to Ashville and got to see a lot of arts and crafts, but did most of my shopping at Mast General Store where they have everything. Got almost all my Christmas shopping done there.

This was a major holiday, normally an absolute stuffed to the gills holiday. I did eat stuffing (my favorite) but I was not stuffed. I enjoyed my food and all the leftovers over the weekend. The band definitely helped me walk away. I had to watch the quantities of slider food. But taking lots of walks and not just sitting around my sister's house helped a lot.

I really became aware once more of how much I need to move and be busy. With the weather going to be getting worse around here I know I won't be able to walk outside as frequently and some weeks (months?) not at all. Plus the walking doesn't work the same muscles as climbing all those hills in Tennessee and that definitely upped my workout. So I'm going to get to school early most mornings and do the stairs there for half an hour. Did that this morning. Didn't even break a sweat. Sixty lbs ago I'd have been covered in sweat after one or two rounds.

I'm also doing a hundred ab crunches on our ab cruncher my husband picked up at a garage sale. Don't really feel that either. My cardiovascular system has to be vastly improved.

I am having such a good year at work. My groups are all manageable, and remarkably well-behaved. They're making great strides in learning that I can almost touch. I have fewer kids whom I see more often in many cases allowing me to really tackle remediating their weak areas while strengthening their strengths. I'm better at using Love & Logic to manage classroom behavior. I'm getting better and better at teaching, period.

I love teaching. I feel so good when I'm teaching. I can't wait to get to my job in the morning. Seeing these kids faces when the light of comprehension dawns, watching them decide to take learning seriously, the enthusiasm for the novels they read and the new math techniques they learn just inspire me. The kids can't wait to get to my classroom. Even the 6th-8th graders are buckling down in ways that are amazing me.

I think there's been a sea change at the school. We lost many students when we cracked down on those not paying tuition, but the kids we're left with are coming from families determined to make the most of the dollars they're spending. I think its making a difference. Now we need to attract more of those families and students. With the Lord's help, I think we will.