Monday, September 29, 2008

Miss Pancake!

Things have been going great! I am finally connecting with my little fifth graders. I don't think I mentioned this yet, but my class is all girls! This particular school separates the boys and girls in fifth grade only. So I have a room full of giggly pre-adolescent girls and it's super fun :)

The first week was a little awkward because the teacher let me introduce myself to the class but didn't really allow me to have any interaction with them after that. Then I was supposed to teach them a lesson to be videotaped the next week! So the day of the lesson arrived and I was so nervous because I barely knew anything about the girls and I was really pining for my little kindergartners at that point.

LUCKILY (at least in retrospect), the teacher had a PTA meeting in the middle of the day (weird huh??) and so I was responsible for picking the class up from PE and bringing them back to the classroom and keeping them occupied while she was gone. She ended up being gone for an hour and a half!

Those girls were so excited to see me arrive by myself at the end of PE! I think they were dying to find out what my deal was. I took them back to the class and told them what was going on. I told them that if they say quietly I would let them ask me anything they wanted to.

Before they started asking, one of the girls said "You're going to be an awesome teacher." And a couple of the other girls agreed. Remember, this was really my first instance interacting with them! I laughed and said "How do you know that??" And another girl replied "Because you're being awesome right now."

It was a great moment. This why I'm doing all of this.

Then they asked me a full range of questions: When's your birthday, are you married, why did you decide to become a teacher (I almost cried when I tried explaining it :p), etc. After that, I took them outside to run around a bit. During this time, a bunch of them huddled around me and we chatted some more. One of them decided that she would like to call me Miss Pancake instead of Miss Cook and it has sort of stuck for the whole class ever since. They're so great :)

Thanks to this opportunity to get to know the girls and develop some mutual admiration and respect, my lesson went extremely well. One down, two to go and I'm home free!

I also took the K-6 Subject Area Examination -- a 5-hour test that is the ultimate determiner of whether I can be certified or not -- on Saturday morning and PASSED!!! What a perfect end to a not-so-great week.

Monday, September 15, 2008


My weekend in Atlanta was awesome! I haven't really been to Atlanta since I went with high school choir in 1998. It is so huge, and way more urban and diverse than I imagined. We had a great time visiting Jacob's friends, who were so precious. I loved having the opportunity to meet some of the people from his hometown that he talks about all the time. It was a shame we could only stay for 2 days. There should be pictures eventually.

I am back in the swing of things at home now. All is still well with school -- as far as I can tell I am still very much on top of it. I will meet with my classroom teacher on Wednesday afternoon, I can't wait. We've been emailing and she seems very sweet. I take my most major exam for my certification on Saturday th 27th. It's a 5-hour test. I'm usually pretty good at standardized tests but this one has me worried, less because of the content and more because of the significance it holds to my future. The good thing is that you can take it as many times as you need to but you have to have 31 days between test times. And it only costs $25 :)

The next really exciting thing I have going on is going camping with Jacob on October 11th. I reserved a beach camp site at Fort DeSoto, which has twice been voted America's best beach. It's really cheap to rent the site but you have to reserve months in advance. Some of the best sites are already books through April of 2009! No dogs allowed unfortunately but I always appreciate alone time with the boy.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

I got my classroom assignment and it looks like I'll be with fifth graders this time around! Talk about going the whole spectrum -- from kindergartners to fifth graders, with a brief period of summer reading camp with the second graders. Even though I'm slightly scared of kids this old (as cliche as it is, they're not the same as they used to be! My mom, when hearing the news, exclaimed "You and your sister were so precious at that age!" Oh, to be so naive :)), I am really looking forward to the challenge. I am only praying that my classroom teacher is incredible, because it will make all the difference. I am there to learn after all!

I am heading to Atlanta with Jacob this weekend to visit some friends of his from his hometown who just got married. It's a very spontaneous trip and I'm excited for the adventure! We're leaving Friday at 2 in the afternoon. I'll have to actually take pictures of this trip and post them -- yes, something I constantly neglect to do!

Monday, September 8, 2008

When you do things from your soul, you feel a river moving in you, a joy.
~ Rumi

Friday, September 5, 2008

Let us be grateful to people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom. ~ Marcel Proust