Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Faith like a Child

I love it when a student encourages me to love Jesus more. There is a precious child (I'll call him Cam) who comes to my classroom most mornings because he wants to sharpen pencils. It is amazing that he actually wants to do this, because I hate sharpening pencils (but I am so thankful that somebody else wants to!). This sweet child loves the Lord and it is so neat to watch Cam shine Christ to the other kids.

Sometimes another student (I'll call him Cade) comes to help sharpen as well. One day Cade asked me what church I go to. He also said that his family does not go to church but that he wants to go. I knew that Cam's family is active in a church and that Cam would love to take Cade to church with him. So I mentioned to Cade that he might want to ask Cam if he could go to church with him sometime.
I am not kidding, the very next morning Cade and Cam were both in my classroom and I overhear Cade asking Cam about his church. Sweet little Cam went on and on about the things that he loves about his church and Cade was genuinely interested. What a precious moment for me to know that God was at work in my classroom (of course he always is, but today it was so obvious!). I have been praying for opportunities to shine Christ to my kids and what a neat way that the Lord allowed me direct a student to another student who could openly share with him.

I hope I haven't confused you with all the C's... I know I have confused myself since these aren't really their names! :)

Thursday, September 17, 2009

A Camera Crew, Balloons, and a Three-Foot Check!

I was eating lunch in another teacher's classroom today when my principal walked in and asked, "Andrea, how long are you going to be here?" I said, "In my life?" thinking he meant how many more years...Stupid response I know, that was just my first thought. I almost started explaining all the different possibilities until he laughed and said, "No, I mean today. How much longer are you going to be in this room right now?" "OH!!! About 10 minutes!" "Ok, don't go anywhere!"
So then all the other teachers started speculating about what I was waiting for...
One teacher said, "Is the news here?" and he said, "I don't know...maybe."

So that's how the surprise was spoiled a smidge. I don't think I was quite as excited had I been if I had been caught totally off guard, but it was still so much fun when the camera crew walked in along with about 8-10 people carrying a 3 foot check and a dozen balloons or so.
They told me that I had received a STAR Teacher Grant!
Yea, I am getting a CPS Chalkboard! The woman holds up the microphone and asks what I am going to get with my grant. I say something really stupid about how I am getting a CPS Chalkboard, which is an interactive technology that allows my students to see the internet and powerpoint from anywhere in the room. What a dork! I made it sound like the silliest purchase ever! I promise that this technology is amazing and completely transformed my classroom last year when I was blessed to use it for half of the year. Hopefully, my "interview" does not show up on the evening news anytime soon!
Oh, well! I am so thankful to the Abilene Education Foundation for the opportunity to use technology to transform my classroom! Thank you so much!

Friday, September 11, 2009

What is Children's Literature?

Since I made the decision to finish a second masters degree I have had a few moments where I want to turn back. I am still planning to finish but I have definitely bitten off more than a mouthful. Originally when I met with my advisor, I found out that I was only lacking a few classes for the second degree, so it seemed obvious that I should finish. Since I needed a few electives I started looking through the classes being offered this semester and found a children's lit. class. I had actually already taken this class from a different prof but the class is a requirement for both of my degrees and I thought it might be interesting to take it again with a different prof since the topic is so relevant to what I do daily. My advisor loved this idea but said that she would title the class Practicum in Gifted Children's Literature and talk to the professor about having my requirements be a little different so that it would fit perfectly into my degree in gifted education. Somehow this "great" idea has morphed into something much bigger... I am now the graduate assistant for the class, which includes teaching a little, as well as monitoring and grading all of the discussion board posts. In addition, I have many other additional requirements like writing a few articles intended for future publication in an education journal. Of course all of these things are wonderful opportunities, but I am a smidge overwhelmed with all of the things on my plate right now. I must go so that I can grade the mound of papers I brought home for the weekend and create my presentation on Children's and Young Adult Literature for our first night of class next weekend.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Rollie, now and then...and a little Duke

Just for fun, here is a pic of the Bush's Baked Beans dog, Duke...everyone says that Rollie looks like him...

Here are some pictures of Rollie...
Our puppy is growing up.
Here he is when we brought him home in April at about 8 weeks old...
Here he is today at 7 months old...

And here is one more of him at about 8 weeks...
I can't believe how fast he has grown!