Category Archives: Taking Care of Teacher

We Can Do This!


I found this in my unfinished drafts from almost a year ago.  So I revised the title and deleted the text.  The original title was “End of the Year – We Can Do This!”

And we did.  We finished the last six weeks of school and all students and staff came out alive.  Then the new school year started.  To say it’s been difficult would be putting it mildly.  For a host of reasons, the entire school, parents, staff, and students have been struggling.  It has taken all my energy to get through each day so I could go home, eat something, and go to bed.

I almost quit last fall.  I wasn’t the only one.

But now it’s Spring, the time of year when everything seems fresh and new.  And many things are fresh and new at school.  We have a new superintendent, a new principal, students have come and gone, and I am left with twenty-one students who still wear me out, but I can honestly say I love all of them.

And in one more week, I can start counting down the weeks on my fingers.  So I know I can do this.



Organizing on Spring Break


I have been so looking forward to organizing, snapping Nat Geo quality photos, and celebrating the beauty that is my art supply cabinet.  But they keep expecting me to teach all day.  Don’t they realize I am trying to create a thing of beauty here?  No one understands artists.  It’s so hard…

And now I’m on Spring Break.  I’m not sure if Spring Break is supposed to be capitalized, but I feel it deserves the reverence that capital letters bring to it, don’t you?  So there is no work being done on the organization of my classroom. In fact, with my teacher bag and rolling cart still in the car, there is no schoolwork of any kind being done.  I’ve been doing my best to pretend I am actually retired, at least for the next week.

Yesterday, however, I was talking shop with my daughter, who is also a fifth grade teacher and phenomenal at it.  (Yes, I know she’s my daughter, but I keep hearing it from other teachers she works with, so there.)  She has every awesome power point, rubric, and graphic organizer she’s created over the past four and a half years.  And they’re all amazingly organized on her laptop, where she was able to quickly pull up things to show me.  I am ridiculously envious of her organized files.

So my goal this week has shifted from flat-out denial to going through all of my computer files to sort, discard, and organize my resources.  And then steal all my daughter’s wonderful stuff before she wises up and starts selling them on TPT!

Next week, when I return to work, I will also return to the Week 5 Clutter-Free Classroom Challenge and by gosh, I will post those after photos!  Until then, check out The Clutter-Free Classroom and the latest challenge!

Gone Fishin’


One of the nicest things about living in Florida, is that you don’t have to travel on your Spring Break.  Which starts in 58 minutes, by the way.

As hectic as my weeks have been of late, I plan to rest and enjoy the sunshine and warm breezes coming off the Gulf for the next nine days.


A few days of this and I should be feeling much, much better.  And to get off to the right start, I’ll be heading to Tarpon Pointe, a wonderful open air bar and restaurant right on the Manatee River, just off the Gulf Coast.  I’m starting to relax already!

Welcome to My World


Two years ago this spring, I packed up my many years’ worth of teaching supplies and donated, sold, and gave away most of them.  I was not going to teach anymore.  No siree, enough of that nonsense!  I’d bounced grades down from fifth to second in the space of three years.  I was tired and I was moving back to my hometown for a fresh start.

That lasted… two months.  A week before school started, I headed back to my school district in Florida to a new school and back to my beloved fifth grade.

Of course, I had given most of my posters, books, manipulatives, containers, and whatnot away, so last year was almost like starting over.  This year, I have a room and a blessedly large storage closet with piles and boxes of jumbled up teacher stuff that I can’t put my hands on, but I know it’s there somewhere.

My desk is no better – yuck.

I hate my desk!

As I rebuild my classroom, I will share with you those things I found to work great, and those things that crash and burn.