Archive for September, 2011

September 18, 2011

Becoming a Tulsan and Some Wise Owl Love

I probably should not be updating this since I have several hours of lesson planning left for tonight, but I’m trying to make more time for myself to balance out the 60 hour work week I am currently putting in regularly (ah, if only my paychecks would reflect this).

Life in Oklahoma continues to be interesting.  The fair is coming up which to Tulsans is a HUGE deal.  This never happened in Florida because fairs can not compete with 7 theme parks…except on price.  I’ll have to check this madness out in the next weeks and report back if it’s worth all the hype.  Disney on Ice is part of it and they have a fair mascot, so I’m guessing it might just live up to these crazy expectations.

I’m starting to get the hang of this living on my own thing.  I have my routines down and even have started recognizing all the employees at Food Pyramid when I go grocery shopping every week.  Unlike the magical Publix, a maximum of 2 lanes are open at a time at this store.  And there are never long lines.  It makes shopping quick and easy, but it also makes me wonder how they make money.  But yes, routines are down.  I keep my apartment pretty clean, I don’t get too lonely, I am still in love with my TV (especially now that shows are back!), and Amberjack has finally started obedience classes to knock out some of these minor behavior issues (eating my shirt, occasional accidents, nervousness over being anywhere near water, etc.).  She’s in a class with a bunch of large dogs, so I’m wondering how that will play out on Wednesday (she’s going to look so tiny!).

Overall, teaching is going well.  I’m getting a little down because I do hear stories of challenging situations that a lot of my other corps members are facing.  Comparatively, my problems are small.  I got a lot of talkers, a small classroom area, and some challenging students (and by challenging, I mean they are far behind and need a lot of remediation with content before forging ahead).  I expected these things, so I’m not shocked or frustrated at where I’m at.  I’ll learn, grow, and keep working on that achievement gap.  My issue is whenever I get together with my TFA friends, they seem so down on some of the rough situations they are dealing with.  I feel like I can’t contribute anything to these conversations because I have mostly positive things to say about my own teaching experience, or my problems seem like nothing compared to what they are facing (one student set a desk on fire in somebody’s high school classroom…not the same as excessive talking in 2nd grade).

Luckily, I have made many new friends at the school I’m at who are completely unrelated to TFA.  We chat about our own classrooms and school, but we also talk about TV shows, movies, boys, families, hobbies, favorite places to eat, etc.  It balances out any school drama and reminds me how great a support system I have in Tulsa despite having all my family and close friends over 1,000 miles away.  My kids are a big part of my life, but I don’t want to completely lose myself during my teaching adventures.  I still have a way to go to achieve this balance, but I have hope : )

Last major news is I got my free iPad that Apple donated to TFA.  Um, win.  I already bought a case and a bunch of apps for my kids to use.  I thought I would be selfish and keep it all to myself (7 year olds can not be trusted with something that expensive!), but seeing the apps just inspired me on how I could use it with those in my class who are behind in reading.  I can picture working with them one on one and them lighting up at the interactive features of the books I got for it that secretly are teaching them sight words and how to follow along with a text ; )  I can not wait to bring this to class this week.  I really do love my wise owls ❤

To everyone who has sent me letters, one of my goals is to send out some from my end this week.  I love each and every one, and they honestly can raise my mood a lot when I check my mail after a long day.  Jessica, Mike, Mom, Katie, and Gramps- I’m talking to you.

Alright. Back to lesson planning.

PS- I watched 50 First Dates randomly again this weekend and LOVED it.  I only thought it was okay before, but for some reason it was the perfect movie for my mood this weekend.  It is now part of my DVD collection for future viewings.