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Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Tap Out Tuesday

Why Tap Out Tuesday?  

I figured we all need a day where we can release ourselves from the day to day of teaching, parenting, adulting, etc.  So, use this space to tap out.  Each week I will share a moment that I need to be released from, a moment that knocked me off my socks and now needs to be sent out into the atmosphere.  I chose to "tap out" because of an experience I had when my daughter was in 10th grade.  It still haunts me to this day and even though we laugh about it now, we couldn't tap out back then.  I will finally release it here and take a deep breath.  A breath that once and for all cleanses me from that moment.

The call came in to my principal and then I was called to her office, where she handed me the phone.  We were also friends, so it wasn't odd for me to be called to her office, but when I had to go behind her desk and she motioned for me to sit in her chair while handing me the phone, I knew it was bad.  We have all made the phone call to parents where we say "everything is ok, but", well today I was being told that "everything was ok, but the paramedics are on their way just to be safe".  I could barely move.  My principal already knew so she was next to me, just in case I fainted.  I didn't, but I couldn't breathe.  My daughter had been caught in a choke hold in a game of "tap out" (she didn't know what tap out meant, so she didn't tap out) and she lost her breath
and fainted.  This happened in her high school classroom with a good friend of hers, who didn't mean to hurt her, but it happened and now it was bad.  She was fine, they let me talk to her and I cried.  I think her older sister was worse off because she was called out of class and rushed to the office to help her sister. 

When I got to the school, a resource officer asked me if I wanted to press charges (I did not) and we went home.  My husband had a different reaction, but that is a story for another day.  I tell all of you this because these games are games until someone gets hurt.  Fortunately, my daughter only fainted and she was fine within minutes.  This is not always the case.  

I taught first grade at the time and I went back to school the next day and told them the story.  My little ones couldn't believe that she didn't tap out!  I had never watched MMA fighting and have never watched it since then.  Not everyone is well versed in the lingo of such things.  There are families who don't know what that stuff entails. It was a lesson for me at that moment.  We live in a time where some children watch content that is not appropriate for them and where adults like me need to be educated on what is going on in the world, just in case.  

My little miss ended up going to prom with the boy who taught us about tapping out.  His promposal was "Don't tap out, go to prom with me".  They have been friends since third grade and are still friends today.  I am friends with the teacher who was in the class when it happened and I do not place blame on anyone.  We laugh about it and we even make "tap out" jokes within our family.  We can do this because the outcome was one where things ended up in our favor.  

Little Miss at Prom (2013)
Thinking about all that is going on in the world today, teachers and students may not be able to tap out if we are caught in a classroom with a shooter or someone who is there to harm us.  Be informed.  Be aware.  Teach your kids to say something.

What would you like to release into the atmosphere today?  Choose to "tap out" and let it go.

Friday, March 23, 2018

From Time to Time...Again and Again

Today marks the day when I start blogging again.  It is a first, again.  I have been here before, time after time, again and again.  This time is different.  I have inspiration, once again. 

Two wonderful things have happened over the past few months and it is because of these things that I will once again share my thoughts about life and teaching.  The first wonderful thing:  Little  Miss followed me into the world of teaching. The second wonderful thing:  Big Miss is now engaged and will become Married Miss in March of 2019.  

Little Miss graduated in August and became a middle school English teacher in October.  My heart skips a beat when I see her leave each morning, lunch in hand, to mold young hearts and minds.  I pray each night that she holds true to why she chose this vocation of teaching and that she doesn't listen to those who are trying to steer her away from her heart's desire to get kids to read more, think more, and be more.  I have watched her cry, because we all know teaching is hard.  It is difficult to teach kids who are 5 years behind and it is even more difficult to teach kids who don't have enough to eat or haven't slept or have seen things we would never imagine anyone seeing.  She is doing it, though, and she is getting through to these kids.  Most of all she is getting through to herself.  She is learning that she has so much to offer.  My heart skips a beat just thinking about the inspiration she will bestow on future generations.

Super Bowl Sunday will forever be known as the Super Bowl of Love in our house.  Big Miss dreamed of the perfect engagement and I think her love outdid himself.  Imagine a backdrop of a snow topped mountain in Colorado and a man on his knee expressing his love to you.  That is what my girl received and it was magical.  The weeks since then have been filled with Pinterest pinnings, venue viewings, dress designers, and wedding whimsy.  We are filled with lots of craziness ahead of us, but we are having a blast.  I was especially surprised to be asked to attend the Bachelorette Weekend when it comes up.  My heart skipped yet another beat to know that I am still the cool mom!

So, nothing school related here, just some news about my girls.  I felt it was fitting to include them as my start restart to blogging.  I hope I still have followers out there and I hope I gain some new ones as the weeks and months pass by.  Get ready to laugh, cry, and live in the moment with me once again as I share the teaching antics of my life.  Of course, there will be sprinkles of my girls, my hubby, and my puppy girl from time to time!  

Live your best life lovelies!

Monday, January 2, 2017

One Little Word

One Little Word. 
So many of us choose a word each year that will help us define our thoughts and our actions.  Each year I try to choose a word that helps me work on something that I have lacked over the years.  As we grow older, we sometimes find that we become less of who we want to be and more of who others want us to be.  I admit, I have fallen victim to these exact circumstances.  Be focused, be brave, be confident, be smart, be anything other than who you feel you should be.
I have been pretty good when choosing a word.  Last year my word was pray and I was conscious of praying each and every day.  I learned that praying isn't always reciting a prayer from our youth with meaningless effort.  Prayer is being one with God, talking to Him, reading scripture and learning from it, and even watching Him through the eyes of others.  I prayed.  I read scripture everyday and it changed me.  My word completed my thoughts and actions.
In the light of being in a prayerful year, I wanted a word that would really help me become more of a thinker.  I want to be one with myself this year. I want to step back and relish in all that others have to offer the world.  I want to be silent.

Silent.  My one little word,  I will listen more and talk less.  I will hear what is being said without the intention of always giving an answer.  I will work on my heart.  I will sit in the light and hear every little sound.  I will be silent.
I think this will be my loudest year yet!  It is in the silence that we can truly see who we are meant to be.
What word are you choosing this year? 


Sunday, July 10, 2016

The Top Ten Reasons Why I Haven't Blogged in Almost a Year

I am hoping that I still have followers who are patiently waiting for me!  I can't even begin to tell you what I have been up to this past year, but know that even though I did let life get in the way, blog posts were finding their way into my head!  I figured my first post back would give you the fun facts of what has kept me from you all these months.  I hope you have fun reading what ended up being a really long post.

Reason 10:

I transferred to a new school last year and with that came 2 new grade levels and two new subjects.  I had to take off my primary teacher hat and make the move to 4th and 5th grade.  If that wasn't scary enough, I no longer teach Reading!  I am now a Math and Science Teacher!  Ladies and Gentleman, I had to learn how to do upper elementary math!  Have you seen this stuff?  I was so scared and thought I could never master this stuff, but you know what?  I did it and I did it so well that my principal has decided I am staying in 5th and will be a math and science teacher again. 

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Reason 9:

Not only did I become a math and science teacher, but my new principal thought I should also be the math coach.  Um, didn't you hear me in my interview when I said I really don't know anything about math?  All I can say is this helped me so much because like most of you, I am up to any and all teaching challenges.  Being a math coach only helped me because I learned so much and I was able to bring that to my classroom.  By training other teachers in things that I had to learn, I became stronger in my content knowledge.

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Reason 8:

I became an Everglades Literacy Curriculum Trainer.  Sounds important, right?  Well, those who know me know that I hate the outdoors and if I would have known that is what this meant, I would have graciously declined the offer.  Really, I thought Everglades Literacy was about reading about the Everglades!  Apparently, you need to immerse yourself in the actual Everglades in order to become literate about what goes on there!  It ends up that I LOVE this part of my life now and even though I refused to walk through the slough, I did get in a canoe!  I now train teachers all over Miami-Dade County on bringing this curriculum into their classrooms.  If you are in the state of Florida and are interested, please comment below and I will get you the information on how your school can become an Everglades Literacy School.

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Reason 7:

My Big Miss graduated from UCF last May and she was finally home from college!  Well, closer to home. She lives 20 minutes away.  We have spent some quality time together over the past year and have more than made up for the 4 years she was away.  It is so fun having her back and I am so blessed to have a new friend!  She left a baby, but came back an adult.  

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Reason 6:

My house needed some tender loving care.  I don't know about you, but I find that I just don't have the time or the energy to clean anymore!  I guess I do have some time, but I like Netflix!  I had to get things under control!  Even though I still have a lot to take care of here, at least I started and it may take another year to finish!

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Reason 5:

My mother has gone downhill since my grandmother passed away.  For some reason, she has aged tremendously in the 3 years since grandma left us and my sister and I are just going nuts.  Mom fell and was on the ground for about a day before we found her.  Long story short, she ended up in the hospital and then rehab and now she requires us to do things for her that we never expected to have to do, at least not yet.  I ask for prayers for mom and for my sister and I to have the strength to continue on with her care.  

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Reason 4:

I started my Jamberry journey last year and it took up some of my life for a few months.  I am not as obsessed at this point!  I love my nails and I love sharing with others.  It pays for the nail sheets that I want for myself, so that's really why I continue with the business.  I have also met some great people over the course of the year!  If you need some Jams, check out my page at https://pinksmyink.jamberrry.com.

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Reason 3:

I also became a Beachbody Coach and this has made a difference in my life!  I am loving my Shakeology every morning (this is why I joined, I wanted to get my Shakeology at a discount) and I am helping others who want to follow a healthy lifestyle.  I have learned that being healthy is a mindset and until that mindset changes, you can forget trying.  So, if you want to come along for the fit and healthy journey, you can find us on Facebook at Let's Get Fit and Healthy.  If you want to know more about Shakeology or any of the programs (I LOVE the 21 Day Fix and 22 Minute Hard Corps) then you can go here:  www.beachbodycoach.com/pinksmyink and I will help you find what works for you!

Reason 2:

Out of sight, out of mind.  I just fell off the social media platform.  I want to say that my mind just needed a break.  I had to rethink my goals and priorities.  Now that I had the time, I realize that blogging was very important to me and it filled a niche that I need.  I miss all of you so much and I need that interaction from like-minded people.  I hope you are all still here!

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And the number one reason why I haven't blogged in a year:

My Little Miss decided to go away to college after vowing not to leave! This hit me hard folks, really hard.  It is her senior year for goodness sakes!  I thought I was home free!  Around October, she came home from visiting friends at FSU and decided that she wanted to finish off her college career in Tallahassee.  I can't blame her and I reminded her that she was supposed to go as a Freshman, but decided to stay home.  Anyway, we moved her up a few weeks ago, but I spent this past year breathing her in every moment that she would let me.  So now it's just me and the hubs, in this house, alone.  It's our time, I know.  We both miss her tremendously and even though we are having fun, it was better with her laughter!  It's only a year....

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That's it folks.  I am back and I have so much to share with you!  Stay tuned and I hope you come back for more!

Sunday, August 9, 2015

TA DA! New Blog, New Look, New School Year! (A Freebie For All)

Can you see all of the pink polka dot goodness?  I am totally in love with my new blog name and my beautiful poppin new look!  I will miss my old blog name (Faithful in First) because it was my first go at blogging and we had many good years together.  Then my grade level changed last year...and again this year... which meant I wasn't too faithful to first, was I, lol.  I remember someone saying that when you choose your blog name, try to stick to something that will follow you for a lifetime, so I chose my two favorite things:  Pink and Polka Dots, and the new blog name was born.  So farewell Faithful in First, you were so good to me.  It's where I met all of the blogging greats!  It is also where I started following Christi Fultz and fell in love with her awesomeness!

Christi was the first person I shared my new blog name with and she verified that is was the perfect fit for me and my mission.  Her blog design process was pain free and she was oh so helpful and understanding!  It was as if she knew me all along and was able to pinpoint exactly what I wanted, even when I didn't know what I wanted!

I decided to get all matchy matchy and now my FB page and business cards match my blog design.  I am in pink polka dot heaven!  So, if you are in the market for a new blog or anything else that you want to update, please head on over to my new blogging bestie, Christi, and check out her Design by Christi page!

With a new school year fast approaching, I know many of us are in preparation mode.  To celebrate my new name, my new look, and the new school year, I want to share one of my favorite products with you for free.  It will be free all day today and will go back to being only $1.00 tomorrow.

This is my "Tweets to Repeat" board.  They work like exit slips.  Students fill out the speech bubbles using 130 characters or less to tell about something that you have chosen for them to tell.  It helps students summarize and stay on point, and it also helps you see if they got it! Students also love the social media aspect.  I keep the "tweets" up all year so students can see how much they learned. Once you download, please leave feedback.

Thanks for following and I look forward to a great school year with great students!