Monday, May 25, 2020

Where has the time gone?

I've been MIA from blogging for 4 YEARS!  I can't believe it's been 4 years since I last posted.  So much has happened to me both professionally and personally during this time it’s hard to know where to start.  I think I’ll work backwards starting with where I am now and what I’ve been up to.

2019-2020 School Year:
Currently I am closing out the school year as an Administrative TOA (Teacher on Assignment) at the High School Level!  YES!  You read that correctly.  I’m at the HIGH SCHOOL!
This is basically an Assistant Principal Internship.  My High School is quite large too!  Over 2,600 students in 9th -12th grades!  I’ve spent the year learning and growing in the roles of Dean of Discipline, Testing Coordinator, Safety and Security Lead, Assistant Athletic Director, Science Department PLC Administrator, and any other duty as assigned by my principal.  It’s been quite the year!  I’ve loved every minute of it! 

September 15, 2019:  I became GRANDMA for the second time to a beautiful little girl, Phoebe!  

2018-2019 School Year:
I stepped out of my comfort zone and moved up to Middle School!  I taught 7th & 8th Grade English Language Arts to students with disabilities.  I served students as a Co-Teacher and as a Resource Teacher.  I wanted experience teaching Exceptional Students as well as teaching at the secondary level.  It was a wonderful experience!  As I was looking to move into an Administrative Role, I didn’t want my only classroom experience to be at the elementary level.  I had to work hard to develop a positive growth mindset among my students.  They were so defeated with school and learning.  I relied heavily on John Hattie’s Visible Learning research of teaching strategies and practices with high effect sizes.  I also used much of what I learned at The Ron Clark Academy to motivate students and to bring a passion for learning into the classroom!  I’m sorry to say that I don’t have a single classroom photo!  I never got the chance to slow down long enough to snap a photo!  It was life in the fast lane for sure!

Summer of 2018: Trip to Hawaii!  After a grueling year of intense research and study my husband and I flew out to Oahu Hawaii to visit with our son who is stationed there.  I was a bucket list trip for sure! 

March 3rd, 2018: I became GRANDMA for the first time to a handsome little boy, Jaxon!

2017-2018 School Year:
My husband and I spent this year completing our second master’s degrees in Educational Leadership. Yep, we did this TOGETHER!  We spent every Saturday from 8:00-5:00 in a classroom at Stetson University in Deland Florida for an entire year!  When we weren’t teaching, planning lessons, or grading papers we were spending hours and hours reading and writing about educational leadership!  There wasn’t much time for sleep let alone writing posts for my blog! 

2016-2017 School Year: This year was spent bringing life and excitement to my lessons and classroom.  Students were given a voice, were encouraged to STAND UP AND BE HEARD, and my classroom was transformed into different ESCAPE Rooms from Pirates to Superheroes! 

Well, that’s the last 4 years in a nutshell.  Hopefully I won’t take so long to post next time.  My goal is to use this blog as a self-reflection of what I am learning and how I’m growing as a leader in education. 

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Passion in Portable Land Joins the Ron Clark Revolution!

In my opinion, there is nothing more exciting to a passionate educator than being invited to visit The Ron Clark Academy!  I had been dreaming of going to RCA ever since Ron Clark started inviting educators to tour his Amazing School.  I also love reading blogs about the life changing experiences that other teachers had after their visits, and how they were impacted by what they saw at RCA. Since I simply didn't have the $$$ to sign up for a visit myself, I tried to participate in several book studies featuring Ron Clark Books.    

Naturally, I jumped at the opportunity to participate in a book study of The End of Molasses Classes by Ron Clark facilitated by my principal, Mrs. Young last spring.   I love Ron Clark books because they are full of fun and exciting ideas, strategies, and solutions for teachers, so I quickly jumped at the chance to participate.

I loved this book and the "extraordinary solutions" that Ron gave to help kids enjoy learning and achieve greatness in your classroom.  Here is one of my favorite parts of the book...

Then after our first group discussion about the book, my principal announced that she was going to take a group of 10 from the book study to visit The Ron Clark Academy in Atlanta, GA!!  SHUT UP!!  My heart stopped beating and I had to catch my breath as all of these crazy thoughts ran through my mind.  "How is she going to decide?"  "What do I need to do to become part of this group?" And then fear struck... "What will I do if I'm not chosen?" 

As I looked around the room many of my friends, and coworkers had similar looks on their faces.  I began to imagined all of us fighting over the tickets like crazy Black Friday Shoppers you see on TV! Oh my!

Mrs. Young then announced that she would have a random drawing of names from a hat in front of all of the book study participants.  My heart stopped again as disappointment filled my heart.  I'm just not that lucky and I never win anything.  A few moments later all the names had been drawn and my name was not.  I wanted to cry.

That's right, I wasn't going.  My heart sank so low that I thought I was going to throw up! It was devastating realizing that I wasn't going to get to go.  I was so jealous, but I tried to smile for my coworkers as I fought back the tears of disappointment and told myself that I would just have to save my pennies and go myself eventually.  

Then the unthinkable happened.  One of the lucky winners became ill and wasn't able to go on the trip. The good news is that she is all better now, but last May she was not able to travel.  Mrs. Young was was going to hold another drawing!  This time I didn't get excited and wasn't even remotely hopeful. I couldn't bring myself to attend the second drawing.  I had made peace with the reality that I wasn't going at this time and I was alright with it.  

Guess what?? My name was drawn! Thank goodness you didn't have to be present to win!  After hearing this news I was a little shocked, and felt like it was all too good to be true.  I tried to keep my excitement contained, just in case something went wrong.  It wasn't until we were all standing in front of The Ron Clark Academy Gates that I let the excitement take hold!! 

My view upon arrival!  The front gates of RCA!  I felt like a crazed Elvis Fan in front of Graceland.  RCA is to teachers what Graceland is to Elvis fans! WOW!

Here we all are waiting to enter!  I'm in the front holding coffee!  Mrs. Young is on the right and Rosey is on the left holding the book!

I was so overwhelmed by the whole experience that I didn't get any really good pictures! Everything was so fast paced and full of energy that I simply tried to take it all in like a sponge! The only regret that I have is that I didn't get a picture of me with Ron...but I did get "Slide Certified" and I jumped on the trampoline! Thank goodness one of my coworkers recorded me on the trampoline.  Its a hoot!  This was the first 30 minutes of entering RCA!! 

I encourage every educator to read Ron Clark's books, visit his website, watch his school's YouTube Videos, and try to save your pennies to visit his school.  The Revolution is growing and you are going to want to become a part of it!  

Stay tuned to Passion in Portable Land throughout the 2016-2017 school year as I document my part in the Ron Clark Revolution!    

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Currently April 2016

April already??? I missed February and March! So much for my New Year's Resolutions to blog at least once a month! Ha!  Time flies when you're having fun!  I'm linking up with Oh Boy It's Farley for her monthly Currently Linky Party!

Here's what I'm during currently...

I'm listening to a large flock of Sandhill Cranes flying overhead searching for a large field or yard to begin their morning feeding.  It's early on this Saturday morning and my husband is still in bed and I'm enjoying a bit of fresh air before the rain arrives.   It's a comfortable 70 degrees with thunderstorms looming in the distance.  You know what they say, "April showers bring May flowers."  

I'm loving the fact that spring is here and soon my pool will be warm enough to swim in.  It won't take long now that we are having temperatures in the high 80's and low 90's on a consistant basis.  I can't complain really. I live in paridise! I do wish my pool was heated so I could enjoy it more during the winter months...maybe someday.  

I'm thinking about which book I should start reading first this morning.  The only thing I love better than reading/napping by the pool is reading/napping on the chase lounge when it's storming! Here are my options...

Nicholas helps me to relax and unwind, and 
Ron motivates me to lesson plan & create!

I've already started the Ron Clark book, but love to reread his wonderful words of encouragement and ways to bring excitement into the classroom.  Lord knows we all need it right now with all this crazy mandated FSA (State Testing) here in Florida! 

I'm desperately wanting to know when my son will return from his first deployment overseas.  My daughter knows, but she's not telling!  They are trying to surprise me, but the suspense is actually killing me inside!  This is a picture from the last time I hugged my boy...sniff.

I'm needing to finish lesson plans for next week and to clean my house!  All this state testing has me down in the dumps! Its zero fun!  I hate it and so do my poor students! YUCK!  Oops, there goes my blood pressure right through the roof!  This is why I NEED to plan fun lessons for my kiddos!  Then there's the whole house cleaning problem...ugh.  I don't want to talk about it...

Whatever!  Who cares about needing to clean the house because my pool screened in area is going to receive a face lift this week!  Whoop! Whoop! We've got some serious screen rips and holes going on out there, and with the amount of insects, snake, and other critters here in Florida you don't want that!  It will be perfect for when we throw my boy a huge pool party when he returns!  I can feel my blood pressure starting to come back down to normal.  

What are you currently doing this April 2016?  

Saturday, January 2, 2016

Currently January 2016!

Today I'm joining Farley over at Oh' Boy 4th Grade for her Currently Linky Party!

Currently I'm enjoying having the time to read, blog, and create without feeling guilty about not spending time with my hubby.  He is content with watching an English Premier League Soccer Game across the house.  I can hear the announcer in the background, but the rest of the house is quiet...

I love having appointments, no demands, just time to do what ever I want or nothing at all...

I'm thinking that I should really begin to lesson plan, I'm wasting this time, and that I won't have anymore time once the alarm clock sounds Monday morning. But, I just can't bring myself to start yet...

I'm hungry.  I've had a cup of coffee, but I'm wanting something sweet. There is a piece of coconut cream pie calling my name, but I've had so much junk over the last 10 days...I also want to fit into my pants on Monday...

The Holidays are over so I guess I need to take down all the decorations.  If I don't do it today, then it won't get done until...Lord only knows!

My one little word is balance because that is the word that I need to try to capture in my life.  I try and try, but balance never seems to stay within my grasp...

Friday, January 1, 2016

Five for Friday Link up 1-1-16!

Happy New Year!  I'm starting 2016 off with Kacey @ Doodle Bugs Teaching!   for her Five for Friday Linky Party...

I'm having my own New Year Linky Party and I want you to join me as we remember & reflect on the best and worst of 2015 and set new goals (resolutions) for 2016!  

I managed to cross two home improvement projects off my list over break.  First, I finally finished painting the Pantry in the kitchen.  It was a bright blue and didn't match the rest of my kitchen and needed to be cleaned out and organized! What do you think?

Second, My husband and I finally purchased a new bed!  We went from a queen to a king sized bed and with a Hybrid Mattress!  My husband has serious back problems and I believe our old mattress was causing 80% of them!  We are finding it very difficult to get out of bed in the morning it is soooooo comfortable!  Ahhh, Heaven!

My son was recently meritoriously promoted to Cpl while on deployment in the Middle East.

I'm having a sale!  Everything in my TpT store is 20% off until Monday!  

I'm going to end with fun pictures of my New Year's Eve!  

First, a picture of my mom & me. Mom recently came to live with us and I'm so glad she is here!  

Mom has the cutest little dog, Sammy!

I can't leave out my hubby, Al and our 4-legged child, Charm!

Both dogs were afraid of all the loud fireworks exploding in our neighborhood last night. 

Hope your New Year is Bright!