Yep. Four more days. What a Summer it has been. We have had some serious changes this Summer in my family, some super sad and some exciting. It always seems to happen that way that the Summer is so seldom a slow burn. I can’t decide which way I like more. But I am ready to head back.
The crazyiness will begin soon, as I step into a new school. After my babies left for High School I’ve decided to take the leap and start a new adventure. As sad as I am to say goodbye to my old school, I am really excited to get my hands into a new place, new population, and forge new friendships. I get so much inspiration from the people around me, sometimes I think they get fatigued from my harassment! So now it’s time to give someone else a turn.
To prep for returning, I started reading The Balanced Teacher Path which has really helped me get into the mood to set my mind right, and remember to support the teachers on my hallway. It’s such an easy read, contains personal stories, and suggestions for the classroom and home. I seriously recommend it, and think it would be an amazing all-school read.
I also got to spend today in training with all of the secondary counseling peeps in VB. It was tough to wake up early, but it was so perfect to get me reignited and ready for the year. I am itching to get in, take care of scheduling conflicts, and get the year rolling. It feels so good to be in a profession that excites me enough to get my tail out of yoga pants and into business.
I have had the most exceptional, fun, laid-back, good kids for the last three years. I cannot even begin to imagine what work will be like after this year as I tearfully drag my feet and throw a fit the size of adolescent attitude move forward and usher in a new group. We rotate at my Middle School, so I will also be back with the littles. It takes adjustment, but it is really exciting to meet a whole new group and start the puzzle all over again.
The 6th graders are so crazy different from 8th graders. It is hard for me to remember my students being those little minis only a couple of years ago. A handful of them cried at the mere expanse of the school, some of those quiet mouths have blossomed, and others walk taller every day. I have also had plenty of time to think about things that may have helped them transition to Middle School and be more successful while there.
One of the things that I would love to know in advance is who will be my frequent fliers from the beginning. How can I help them? I look at plenty of data to get ideas, but who can I keep from flying under the radar for a year causing me to lose essential support time. So I got an idea to send some SOS packets to Elementary counselors. They know them best, they have lived with them for the last 5 years and they have all the dish I need to know who to approach and how. Imagine the time saved in rapport building to already have an in!
I gave each of our feeder schools’ counselors a couple of SOS envelopes, and asked them to write their frequent flyer students a letter that might help them when the hormones hit the fan in Middle School. I can pull them out and have a link for the kid to an easier, more familiar time. I also included some CLMS swag so that they can give some away and also have Middle School stuff around their offices. I figured this might subliminally add some face-time for us.
When I’m not wagging my finger speaking with my 8th graders, I start to imagine students in 5th grade and what they are doing. They have no idea how different their life will be, and I can’t wait to see another group grow and experience.
Due to my recent obsession with Fixer Upper (damn you Jo and Chip! Just kidding, love you BBFFFFFFFF4evassssss!!!), I have been revamping a few things at home. Lovely, lovely weekend therapy.
First, I took a look at my fireplace and knew it needed some work. It was bad. Of course, I love the rustic Jo and Chippyness (give me shiplap everywhere!!!) and I thought that might be perfect for the middle of fireplace. I also wanted to update the brick without doing the whitewash that’s popular right now because I love the red look. Here is the before (eek)-
It’s rough. BBBUUUTTTT look at the magic of the concrete stain!
And when it fully dries it really looks nice and natural.
Now, for the added wooden amazingness. I got standard (and cheap) 2x4s and a bunch of stains. It was super fun and really easy. I just layered and sanded. I LOVED the blue tinted and white stain, but I had to go easy because my husband lacks vision (and taste, not that I’m bitter, but I am).
And voila! I added some HomeGoods goods and am super happy with the results! For my bookish friends, I am smitten with myself over my theme- I pulled from my hoarded collection of books and decorated with banned books…in the fireplace..get it?!
OK, for time and space’s sake, I’ll add my refinished side table all together. I did a little work on the glass to make it look like mercury glass (with a vinegar and mirror glass spray paint party). It doesn’t, but I felt like it wasn’t a total Pinterest Fail because I am on a roll and choosing to be loyal. Leave it alone. Then, I used some good ‘ol chalk paint and did some distressing. Basically, I’m in love and we are getting married next week.
(PS- excuse the bad pictures and whatever that little piece of paper is next to the side table in the finished picture. I’m too lazy to take it again, so focus on the Buddha if it annoys our OCD tendencies as much as it does mine.)
For real, it’s been amazing! A stay-cation with the kids and hubby (for half of the week), holidays, family, empty calories, and plenty of break-therapy craftiness. Note that the exclusion of lesson planning, deep and educational industry article reading, e-mail fretting, and general housework is sincere and deliberate. And it was worth it.
Two things I’m excited to continue going back to post-holiday and break unconsciousness: