Monday, April 29, 2013

Week #12

Can you believe I am done with student teaching and graduating in less than a week?  It seems so surreal.  I had a wonderful experience with student teaching and would not trade it for the world.  I learned so much and grew in so many ways (not to say I don't still have need for growth).  I am just about done with college.  I have grown to love West Virginia, and am sad to leave.  This has been my life the past four years.  I told Daniel yesterday, that I am thankful I have exciting things in my future, because it makes saying goodbyes a bit easier.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Week #11

I can hardly believe that I only have one week left of student teaching.  This brings mixed emotions, to be sure.

We had our achievement testing this week, so the schedule was way off.  My students did so well though with the testing, and having positive attitudes about sitting silent for so long.  I am so proud of them.  This meant that I essentially had all morning of sitting still and quiet in the back too.  I was able to get a lot of work done though, for which I am thankful.

The students have been learning about contractions, so for a learning center, I made several contraction flowers.  They are laminated separate from the stems/leaves, so the students have to match them up.

 We have also been traveling across America visiting different landmarks of our country.  As a cross curricular activity, the students each made a Flat Stanley, that we sent to different people across the country. Here are a few pictures I have gotten back, signifying their state...

 Flat Ella in Virginia with the Dogwood flower.

Flat Stanley in Pennsylvania at the Steamboat Inn in Lancaster. 

Flat Ella in North Carolina in the cockpit of a commercial flight. The Wright Brothers had their first flight in North Carolina.

I had wanted to post this last week, but clearly that did not happen.  My sweet host teacher gave me a gift to help relax for the PRAXIS.  She has been a huge blessing.

I had my last observation this week, and am working on tying up all loose ends as I finish student teaching on Thursday.  Friday is our senior day, and then next week is post student teaching meetings, and then Bible Conference.  I graduate in two weeks--WOW.  I get married in three weeks--WOWER!  So thankful for the Lord carrying me and allowing me such blessings.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Week #10

It was so good to be back after being gone for Spring Break, oh how I love my students.  I have a natural tendency to get sad simply anticipating a sad event. This is no exception.  I find myself getting teary realizing that very soon I will be done attending Daniels Bible Church, and will be done teaching in this precious first grade classroom.  I am thankful there is great excitement though in my future to counteract the sadness of phases of my life ending.  I will admit, I don't expect to miss the college scene too much, though that is not to say I did not enjoy my college days.

I dropped Bible and Reading this week, which was an adjustment.  I have been teaching those two subjects for several weeks.  I learned a lot though in observing from the perspective of having done it. 

The weather was spectacular, allowing us to go outside.  My host teacher had mentioned that I would notice a huge change in the demeanor of my students once they were outside...this could not have been more true.  They are ready to sit for classes when they have been outside in the fresh air, allowed to run around, scream, and wiggle, to their heart's content.  It is also nice for the teacher to sit outside and get some warmth during student teaching.

Yesterday, I took my PRAXIS (test determining if I am eligible for my state licensure).  I could never have imagined how exhausted I would be.  It affected me a lot more then I remember the SAT or ACT ever affecting me. I was thankful to have a dear friend go with me, also taking the test.  We both walked out, took a deep breath, and simply said "I never want to have to do that again".  We were famished hungry (after a good hearty breakfast and nutritious snack between the two tests) and so decided to get some lunch.  The results are scheduled to come out on Daniel and my wedding day.  I ask that you not ask me about it though on my wedding day, haha.

This upcoming week is our standardized achievement testing.  I am eager to observe it from the perspective of a teacher rather then the student taking them.  I technically give Language and Math over to my host teacher this week, but because of the testing schedule, I will be in charge of afternoon activities and she will be in charge of all morning activities (including testing). 

The teachers try to not do any traditional academics this week, just to alleviate the pressure of testing.  It works out well as I had several PE activities that I needed to get in before I left, so we are doing lots of fun activities in the afternoon.  Another fun afternoon activity is a project where the students are designing their machine to do a first grade chore. It will be fun to see what comes of this.

I had hoped to put pictures in this post, but alas, there are only words.  I thank you for your continued prayers, Only 2 weeks left of student teaching, 3 weeks until graduation, and 4 weeks until I become a Mrs!

Monday, April 8, 2013

Spring Break

Spring break is done, and I am back at teaching.  Thankfully I love what I do so much that going back wasn't too hard...besides being exhausted.  Last night I was having panic attacks in my sleep from nightmares.  This is my second restless night of wedding detail nightmares.  A wedding is wonderful, but involves far too many details.  The one part I most particularly remember from the nightmare is that the food we had lined up for the reception didn't work out at the last minute and we ended up having to serve our guests popcorn.  That is a terrifying nightmare... let me tell you!

My spring break involved a lot of traveling.  Having no school on Friday, I was able to head down to Charlotte.  I made it just in time for my eye appointment.  There was a bit of traffic, but I still made it.  Early Saturday morning I went to work with Daniel and caught my flight.  The flights were not looking probable at all, but, Praise the Lord, I made the flights and landed in Albany soon after 11. Tim, Beth, and Evan picked me up.  Needless to say, this aunt did not mind sitting in the back with her quickly growing nephew.

I was able to spend a few days at home working on wedding details. I specifically took Sunday off though to celebrate Easter with my family and friends.  What a fun time that was.  We had over 20 people at our home.  So thankful for the lessons I have learned from my mom on hospitality.

I flew back to Charlotte Tuesday evening and then had Wednesday and Thursday morning with my mister. We explored our new city and simply enjoyed being with each other.  It is a beautiful city, and I am excited to learn what the Lord has for us together in this city.  Please continue to pray as I look around for job opportunities to teach.  Daniel's commute is down to 20-25 minutes, and is still enjoying his job and doing well at it.

It was an eventful trip home with rain, sleet, rain, freezing rain, heavy traffic, construction, and accidents, but the Lord protected me and my car, for which I praise Him.  I got home after about 5.5 hours.

Friday afternoon, my future mother-in-law came in for the weekend.  Saturday afternoon was my bridal shower at my church here.  The ladies were extremely generous.  It was a very special time.  To introduce themselves, they said how they knew me, as well as one piece of advice.  I received wonderful insight from these dear ladies that I will forever treasure.

Sunday was church and a time to catch up from break.  For small groups, we celebrated Easter with an egg hunt.

Monday, though having had a wonderful break, I was eager to go back to school and see all of my kiddos.  This week, I give Bible and Reading back to my host teacher.  Please be in specific prayer for me this weekend as I take my PRAXIS test on Saturday.  My first part is at 7am, and the other 10:45am.  I am extremely nervous, to say the least.