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Lessons from a 6 year old

Saturday, May 12, 2012

This week is Teacher Appreciation Week (TAW). I am very fortunate - at my school, we have a wonderful PTA and very supportive parents. All week they had fun games for us, treats - and it was a fantastic week. But one of my very favorite parts of the week is getting notes from my kiddos. Sometimes it's (unfortunately) easy to get bogged down in the not-so-fun parts of education - like "will I have a job next year?" "will this kid EVER behave?" The notes from my kids reaffirm why I do what I do.

I've been a crying mess all week. I want to share two of my very favorite notes with you.

"I enjoy music class, you are the best teacher I could ever dream of."

"You are my best music teacher I saw in my whole entire life. I like music so much because you plan fun things like Bluebird Bluebird. Also I like the scarves you wear sometimes."

There are a few lessons I think we can all take from this.

No compliment is too small - everyone likes to be appreciated. It doesn't hurt anything to give a compliment.

Pay attention to the little stuff. I don't think twice about wearing scarves - it's just something I do. But this kindergarten girl notices my scarves. Lucky for me, she noticed a positive thing. But it could have been something else. What do people notice about you? Is it that you wear nice earrings? That you always smile at the cashier? Or do they notice something else - that you always roll your eyes at the bank? I will be paying much more attention to how I act.

I hope this Mother's Day weekend finds you all well. Give mum a hug and thank her for everything.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TIGGER622 5/14/2012 10:10PM

    awwwww I love your little lessons!!!! you are an awesome teacher!!! so glad you had a good week, we all appreciate you and your fabulousness!!!

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RUNNERRACHEL 5/13/2012 1:00AM

    Nice ideas! Thanks for sharing. Happy Teacher Appreciation Week!!


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BE-THE-CHANGE 5/12/2012 6:14PM

    Great blog! Something we all need to remember.

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WORDGIRL830 5/12/2012 3:26PM

    This is inspiring. I'm a teacher also, and I used to keep a calendar of the positive little things that happened every day. I have fallen off the wagon. I need to get back to doing that, because it really did help me deal with the negative things that you mentioned. Thank you for this reminder. Very timely. Have a great weekend!

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SEPPIESUSAN 5/12/2012 12:16PM

    So cute! That must have made you really feel good. I didn't get any notes - my kids are too old and too cool for that stuff. Haha. All we got were lots and lots of food treats. Pros and cons there for sure.

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CASSIOEPIA 5/12/2012 11:16AM

    Yes, you never know who is paying attention, and at what! Love the message here.

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COOPSM 5/12/2012 10:14AM

    This was so sweet!!! Thanks for sharing!!!

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LULUBELLE65 5/12/2012 10:03AM

    How sweet! It is so important to be reminded of why we do what we do, isn't it?

I teach big kids, who tend not to say many nice things, but a few weeks ago I had the following conversation take place in my room:

Student A: You're having a really good hair day Ms B!
Student B: She's having a really good hair week!

Most of the comments I get about my teaching happen when they go off to college and FB me to tell me that their prof thinks that they are a good writer, or to thank me for teaching them how to read poetry.

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MUFFIY831 5/12/2012 9:47AM

    So sweet!!

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FLYSHOPGIRL 5/12/2012 9:35AM

    Friday was our day to get notes from our kids...Monday we were given flowers-I have two big vases filled at home and one at school.. Tuesday they brought us edible treats, so now I have a stash of chocolate to last me a year. Wednesday was a healthy snack, so I have LOTS of granola bars... Thursday, I'm not sure what was planned but the kids brought in all sorts of goodies... And yesterday was cards and notes...

My fourth graders have been asking me the past couple of weeks if I will loop with them to Division IV next year (5th and sixth grade).... I can't but gosh part of me REALLY wants to...

I think that knowing my kids want me to come with them to a new grade, new part of the journey means the most of all...

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    Once again, a great blog,CArrie!! Havea great weekend~

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I'm all over the place!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Holy moly. The end of school is coming, and I can't wait. I am totally on edge about stuff right now! I don't feel like working out, I almost couldn't care less about what I'm eating, and PLEASE just let me lie on the couch!

Maybe it's the rain. The last few days have been pretty crappy, weather-wise. Maybe I just need some extra sun to make me feel better. This weekend I'm going to visit my mom for Mother's Day - my bro and I are cooking for her. Maybe I'll go on Saturday and go for a bike ride around her house. She has a much nicer area for biking than I do. The roads are a lot safer for bikers.

I'm also a little overwhelmed about this triathlon thing. I am excited about it, but I'm kind of regretting signing up for it. I just don't feel like training for it.

I've not been getting enough sleep, either. Less than 8 hours a night, most nights in the last two weeks have been less than 7. Sigh... I need to get myself back on track.

But I can't end on a sourpuss note.
Good stuff:
- I got in some good workouts this week
- I've gotten some really special notes from students for Teacher Appreciation Week.
- My Girls on the Run girls were so happy to see me tonight.
- I am really excited for my upcoming 5K on May 20th - it's a fast course, and I'm feeling strong. I would love to really try for a sub-30:00 time. (The last time I ran this course I ran about 30:37)

Off to get some water and lie on the couch. Maybe go to sleep. I don't see how extra sleep could hurt!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CAMROLA 5/11/2012 12:18PM

    You ARE a busy girl!

Extra sleep is the best antidote to just about anything. Get some rest, and rock on--you are amazing!

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GOEGIRL 5/11/2012 10:41AM

    You are a busy girl! I vote for more rest time!!! :o) When IS your TRI anyway?

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TIGGER622 5/10/2012 8:01PM

    Dont get bogged down by the tri! Just go have fun with it! Take in the experience, learn how it all works, and JUST ENJOY!!!! No worries!!! You are awesome darling!

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Tuesday, May 08, 2012

Today's goodness:

- drank tons of water
- got some nice feedback from a colleague about an e-mail I sent out
- heard from "a little birdy" that my principal really wants to keep me. (This isn't everything, but it sure doesn't hurt!)
- had a great day with the kiddos. I'm reading a book called "When Teaching Gets Tough." Today I tried some of the little hints, and I think they worked. I'll keep reading it. Teachers, I highly recommend it.
- made some fish that didn't suck! I can't STAND cooking fish, but that's what Brad left for me to eat tonight. It was bluefish, so really simple to cook, but I get scared anyway. It turned out to be really good!

To work on tomorrow:
- better nutrition. Today was not a wonderful day for it. I snacked too much and ate when I wasn't hungry. Sigh.
- keep drinking that water!

That's about it... time for a hot bath and bed.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JILLIANPRNCSS 5/10/2012 12:36PM

    You might become a chef too :-)

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TORTUETOO 5/10/2012 9:56AM

    Why do you hate cooking fish? Because it's stinky? I loove fish. If it weren't so darn expensive I'd cook it twice a week!

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LAURELSPARK 5/9/2012 10:20AM

    I love fish but I can't stand the smell of it when it is cooking. I think it goes back to when I first got married. We did a lot of fishing and there were always whole fish in the freezer, just staring at me. Ha!

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TIGGER622 5/9/2012 9:36AM

    nice! way to cook up the fishies!!! hang in there girl, if i were that principal, I'd sit my butt in your classroom and make sure you never left the building!!

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CHEPRBYTHEDOZN 5/9/2012 9:03AM had bluefish,though.
you're doing great,Girl! just one day at a time..

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CFMOSS 5/9/2012 6:41AM

    I like the way you phrased the beginning: Today's goodness. I think I might mentally coopt that phrase:) And...I liked all the things you included in Today's goodness. Here's to today and this day's goodness.

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GOEGIRL 5/8/2012 9:46PM

    Wow, sounds like a GREAT day! Woo hoo on the fish (I often manage to make it fall apart when what I really want is that niiiiiice crust on it... sigh). Well done and I hope you have an even BETTER day tomorrow!

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CASSIOEPIA 5/8/2012 9:43PM

    Lots of time, I just cook my fish in real lemon juice. Squeeze out a lemon, put it in a pan, and simmer the fish on top of it. Simple and good! And sometimes I throw some salsa on my filet, and bake it. Also good, and pretty simple to do.

Loved hearing what your principal said - even if it came from a little birdie!!

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DRAGONCHILDE 5/8/2012 9:39PM

    Oh, have you tried parmesan tilapia? STUPIDLY easy, and OMG good:
It's based off of a Rachael Ray recipe.

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Sunday, May 06, 2012

So I sure did get back into it today! This morning I went for a little 20 minute swim, and this afternoon I went to the site of my triathlon to do some biking. The clouds were out and I didn't want to get caught in the rain, so I cut it to about 30 minutes (with lots of hills!) and then did a little 20 minute run. Holy moly.

I feel really good. I think you were all right about the post-big-event-letdown. I suppose this is why it's so important for me to have events to train for! I'm going to put lots of work into this triathlon, and then start looking forward to more events. I think this fall I'm looking at two 10Ks, and then training for a half next fall (Pittsburgh???).

Saturday's 5K went really well - I ran with two girls for Girls on the Run. I got to show them some little tricks! One of the girls could have gone faster with me, but she was being a really awesome friend - she didn't want to leave her friend behind. She was so encouraging. It reminded me that one of the best parts of running is being with friends. We stopped a few times to take pictures - I figured since we weren't going for time, we might as well have fun and remember the day! I got some cute ones of the girls holding up their fingers for each mile.

The other thing about the Tough Mudder being over is that I can kind of focus more on my fat loss goal. I want to add more cardio (which will come from the tri training) and really be good about what I eat. I'd like to read more about nutrition and try out some different eating plans.

Today's good stuff:
- the new bike is awesome and I had a great afternoon ride!
- drank lots of water today
- ate healthy food
- my hubby is wonderful and is so supportive. He thinks it's so awesome what I'm doing. I love him.
- all this fun working out and weekend stuff is really making me enjoy my weekends more. I feel so much less stressed out when I get away and I take my mind off of stressful things.

Heeeerrrrre comes Monday!!!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TIGGER622 5/7/2012 11:42AM

    YAY!!! So glad your mojo is back girl! LOVE IT!

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CFMOSS 5/7/2012 7:05AM

    Amazing stuff lady. Great to have challenges. Great to survive the let downs. Great to get up and keep going. Keep up the healthy living way.

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RUNNINGWILD 5/6/2012 10:42PM

    emoticon She's bringin' fitness back!

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    YOU are rockin' it!!! So proud of you and happy!!!

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BOBBYD31 5/6/2012 8:29PM

    your gonna be busy. you gonna be the tri-queen

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CASSIOEPIA 5/6/2012 8:18PM


Good to read the upbeat tone to your blog!

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MIAMIA7 5/6/2012 8:18PM

    Go are rocking this healthy lifestyle thing!

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SEPPIESUSAN 5/6/2012 7:49PM

    Wow, Tough Mudder, volunteer (??) 5King, and a triathlon?! You sure are keeping busy. I'm curious, who were the girls you ran with? Am I right that it was a volunteer type thing, or are they friends?

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BE-THE-CHANGE 5/6/2012 7:29PM


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Struggling to get back on track...

Friday, May 04, 2012

I'm having trouble getting back on track. I did a Tough Mudder on Sunday and I've been really slacking since then. Not really tracking food, not really working out too much (although, to be fair, I am covered in bruises)... have any of you ever felt this way after a big event?

I guess I just feel like I worked so hard and have been so careful about what I eat that I just need a little breather to not be so crazy about it. I'm not beating myself up *too* much - I did ease back into tracking my food after having taken a few days off, and yesterday I did a couple workouts at school for ACES day. Tomorrow I have a Girls on the Run 5K - I'm running with the daughter of a colleague... so I guess I'm not being a total slacker. But it just feels weird not training like crazy for something right now.

But I can't let this feeling last for too long! I have about four weeks until my first tri! My wetsuit came, and I bought a new bike today. I got a great deal on a 2011 hybrid Specialized. It was an extra 10% off because it was a 2011. Hurrah! And right now, all I need is something that's not a mountain bike so I don't die doing the hills. Apparently I signed up for a very hilly tri. Huh.

And one week of not being careful won't make me gain everything back, and it won't kill me (it won't, will it?). I went to dinner with some friends tonight, and I ate way too much. I felt really bad about it, but then I thought "you know, hubs and I NEVER go out to eat, so it really is very rare that I eat like this." And I felt better. Not like I need an excuse, but I did need a reason not to beat myself up. I think since I've been so crazy about training and eating to get ready for the Mudder, this past week of not being careful has really thrown me for a loop.

And I suppose I'm kind of justifying this for myself... it's been a stressful week. Fifteen of my second graders performed for the school board on Wednesday - I had to speak. I can speak and sing and dance in front of kids all day, but when it comes to being in front of adults? Forget it. So I was a nervous wreck all week about it (and BTW, my kiddos NAILED their performance. They are awesome.). And yesterday I had to lead (with the phys ed teacher) a workout for the school from the top of a fire truck. And we got an e-mail from the principal today about classes for next year and losing teachers and blah blah blah and basically I have no idea if I'm going to have a job next year. I'm starting to prepare my resume materials... the next school board meeting is on May 16 - a preliminary budget needs to be presented for the public. I suppose I'll know more about next year at that meeting. I'm getting scared, though. This is the first time that I've really *really* been scared about losing my job. And it sucks because I'm really good at my job. And I love my kids. And now I'm tearing up because I just don't know what I would do. Sigh... I guess all I can do is wait until the 16th to see what happens.

I need to pick out my outfit for tomorrow! I think I'll do a running skirt and something pink. Wish me luck!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MUFFIY831 5/6/2012 10:53AM

    I agree that you need some rest after a huge event like that. Let those bruises heal, let your brain recover from the awesomeness that was the Tough Mudder, then get back into it. I really hope the job works out for you. It makes my heart hurt that schools are cutting budgets like crazy, and I hope your school makes smart decisions to keep its amazing teachers like you.

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CASSIOEPIA 5/6/2012 9:52AM

    Totally normal to feel out of sorts after a big event like that, and your body certainly needed some R&R - I saw your bruise picture!

What kind of bike did you get? My new one is a Specialized Ariel, and I am loving how much easier the hills are. I can't wait to see how much more improvement over the season.

I watched part of an episode of Little House on the Prairie Friday night. In it, Mr Edwards tells Laura not to go inviting trouble when she was worried about what might happen in the future. They were all so smart and supportive on that show, and it reminds me of your situation at the school. Just keep doing your best, and don't worry about things til you need to. Life already has enough stress without adding in the things that may not even happen. Hugs to you on this one though!

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COOPSM 5/5/2012 8:59PM

    Carrie---keeping you in my happy thoughts that all works out with the job!!!
Love that you got the new bike...there is your drive get pedaling!! You know we all have those lets downs after an event passes that we worked so hard to train have another GREAT EVENT coming had your get going!!!!

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TIGGER622 5/5/2012 2:52PM

    ps what kind of wetsuit did you get? full body? shorts? sleeves? and hows your bike? did you get cage pedals or clip??? eeek! you are awesome!

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TIGGER622 5/5/2012 2:51PM

    girl! no worries about letting things slack a bit after your race! it's totally normal and ive been through it and heard a million times from folks just finishing a half or full... or most recently a friend of mine completed her first 5k and felt a bit off since! No worries!!! As for the job, one day at a time, no need to worry just yet if there's nothing to worry about right? So, have yourself prepared - and enjoy your kids! I LOVE the passion you have for that! I admire that so much!!! HUGS!!!! You rock girl!

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    Hang in there,Carrie! I'm guessing that b/c it's an elementary school they'll keep you on for music. Most places won't cut that at that age-hopefully, they'll offer early retirement for other teachers who are nearer to that time.
Secondly-do not beat yo urself up! You're right about the let down after a big event. You've been focused and energized working toward the Mudder and now it's done. So, loosen up,keep doing 'something' for exercise and work on getting back to tracking food gradually. Or maybe set a time limit-6 more days of no tracking(but NOT going hogwild either) and then I HAVE to restart.
SOOO excited about your tri! Just getting the new bike and wetsuit would have me thrilled,too.

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RUNNERRACHEL 5/5/2012 11:08AM

    I think it's normal after a big event to give yourself a breather. You may have needed some "days off" from rigorous tracking and working hard. You are staying active and you aren't going to go off track completely. So you're right not to beat yourself up.

That's so exciting that you are training for a tri! Wow! What an amazing event.

Budget cuts are stressful. I am going through that as well. I hope you get to keep your job. You sound like you love your students and your job and they love you as well.

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CFMOSS 5/5/2012 7:00AM

    First, a big hug....I have my own version of tooo much. Second, not looking for excuses, but what's the hormonal cycle for you right now....if it were me I'd blame the hormones. Third, you ARE doing great, perhaps not perfect as you would define perfect, but you ARE doing great. You have challenged yourself and continue to challenge yourself. (Don't forget that breaks and recovery are an important part too.) Finally, another hug and encouragement onward.

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BE-THE-CHANGE 5/5/2012 5:38AM

    I'll keep good thoughts about your job. My son and his wife are teachers in FL and I know it's tough all around. They would love to come back to PA but the job market doesn't look promising.

Have fun today! I bet it's the beginning of you getting back to your training.

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GIANNA345 5/4/2012 10:10PM

    Sounds like you have a lot on your mind. A few years ago, I did the Avon 3 day walk and felt like that afterwards. Don't beat yourself up: it happens. Give your body some rest and some time to heal the bruises. I don't think there is any danger of you getting stuck in a rut: you're awesome, you have too much energy, and you already have your next event planned. You'll get there. About the job, the best I can is Good Luck (and I do say it wholeheartedly!). I wish teaching jobs were more secure, but I also have to think that you will be okay, because you are strong and energetic, and you are good at what you do! Go, Carrie!

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