Sunday, May 30, 2010

Sibling Love

This is one of my favorite pictures from my brother's wedding this weekend!
More to come later...

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Rambles


The last 10 days with only 7 children has been fabulous! I'm team teaching with another Kindergarten teacher; she is doing Reading in the mornings, i'm doing Math in the afternoons.

I have to admit, i'm such a one-on-one, small group gal.

These children who are my "struggling" students completely shocked me at how well they did on Friday (our first small group day). They felt special because they were the only ones there, they had no one to compare themselves too or distract them from instruction, and I could see skills being mastered that I never knew they were capable of in the first place. Refreshing!

Moving on to other areas of my life....

I have been in a complete funk for about 3 weeks now and i'm not sure why or where it came from. My poor family probably wants to send me packin' because I sure haven't been loving or kind to them.

When I get home in the evenings i'm so worn out and ready to crash; the last thing I want to do is more work. But you can bet on certain days that i'll make time to go for a 3 mile run. Twisted. That's what that is.

I finally made myself clean out my car last night just so I could say that I did something productive with my evening.

Here are the remains of my car:
15 jackets
6 shirts
5 pairs of shoes
2 scarfs
1 backpack
1 purse
1 comforter
And a tub full of teaching supplies.

All that was missing was some food and water and I could've called it my home. Good gracious, you would have thought I was living in there.

Tell me why my classroom is organized yet i'm blind to my bedroom and car? It's tragic.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Out of the Mouths of Babes

It's not everyday you hear about Jesus in public school.

video

But boy do I soak it up when they bring His name into that building! My kids were singing while they were doing a math activity today. I snuck the camera over and got their innocent voices.

video

They can try to take 'under God' out of our pledge and prayer out of schools, but He will still find a way to show up!

Many are the plans of a man's heart, but it is the Lord's purpose that prevails.

Proverbs 19:21

Friday, May 21, 2010

Encouragement


Yesterday afternoon as we were having our class party my secretary called me out of my class, "Miss Kilgore, can we speak with you for a moment?"

A mother wanted to talk to me about her child.

I stepped into the hallway and had a little "conference" with her and then went back to my party.

My secretary (whom is a very close friend) poked her head back into my room with tears in her eyes.

"You did so good. That was perfect. (grabs my face) Don't you ever for a second doubt that this is where the Lord wants you. Oh my gosh, that was great!"

My eyes filled up with tears as I admitted that i'd never had a parent conference before in my entire life.

Later on that day my secretary told me that this same mother told her that she'd seen so much progress in her child since I took over.

:)

That'll make you want to keep going for quite a while!

God is so good!

Lord, I thank You for how You carried me through this past month of teaching. You've opened my eyes to learn through my weaknesses instead of being hard on myself. I want so bad to be able to differentiate for all of the students in my future class. Keep me aware of the needs of my students and how they are each so different, but give me the wisdom and patience to do what needs to be done for each of them to succeed. You are good.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Last Days



Y'all. I never watch television, much less the intensity that is Grey's, but tonight when I walked in it was on and I found myself stuck there. for two hours. stuck there. for two whole hours.

And it could have been because my body was in shock and completely frozen in my chair... the most intense show i've watched in a while.

Today was our "last" day of school. Summer began at 3 o' clock for students who passed all of the requirements to move on to the next grade level. Those who are either retainees (that's not even a real word - ha) or would benefit from one-on-one instruction were asked to stay for the last 10 days.

I cannot believe that it's almost over.

Graduation went well. I remembered my speech. I spoke slow and well. I didn't forget any kids names and I didn't even have a list. Yes.

I did almost lose my big toe when a child decided to step into my bubble and completely stomp the mess out of it with her dress shoe. Okay, so she didn't mean to, but my toe didn't care if it was on purpose or not in that moment. It stinkin' hurt. My reflexes shot out and wanted to squeeze something, so I very loudly told her to get far away from me before I got too angry. haha. Oh my goodness... it hurt so bad.

Don't worry. After five minutes when the dent in my toe leveled out and I knew that I could speak kindly to her I resolved everything. And let her know she was loved, but to please next time wait until i'm ready. ah.... hurt.

I have a knot. no lie.

So there you have it. My brain is tired and this is the most ridiculous post i've ever written so i'm going to bed. I have a very cool story to tell you guys... later.

Here's to a better post tomorrow, and a wonderful free-from-lesson-planning evening!!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

I'm A Drama Queen


My brother is getting married in 13 days.


Today we went to Crockett, where my brother and his fiance live, for a wedding shower. It kind of made the reality of the whole event become more, well, real.
They got lots of great things for their kitchen and we played some fun games. Here is Stacy in her toilet paper wedding dress. Casie and I won the contest - just sayin'.
We like to cram into one chair at home too.
I miss my brother. I love my brother. I just cried.

... soon to be Mr. and Mrs. Brandon Kilgore.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Going Green


In the elementary school system we have something called a behavior chart. Most of the classrooms that you walk into will have some kind of color system - green, yellow, and red. The obvious color to avoid being red.

There are also teachers who have a "Bad List" on the board. I'm sure you can recall a teacher who added students names to the board when they did something unacceptable.

Children who act out do so for a reason. They want (and possibly need) attention. When we call them out in front of the class, ask them to go move their stick to red, or plaster their name to the white-board for all of their peers to see, we've given them that attention. You might as well pull back the curtain and let them have center stage.

Then you have the almost perfect student who never gets in trouble and makes straight A's, but you never seem to pay him/her any attention. Do you notice how backwards we do things? It makes more sense to point out a students positive behavior and display their name on the board so that their choices can be brought into focus.

Think about it.

When a child makes a scene in class all of the other students' heads turn and they place their attention on him/her; the negative behavior. But if we were to instead continually be enthusiastic about those who are making the right choice, heads would then turn and the focus would be on the positive behavior that we are seeking.

Sure, it makes it very challenging on a teacher. It's so easy to ignore the good kid who makes straight A's and is never a disruption in your class while giving all of your time to the one kid whose actions do not deserve your attention. But challenges are fun! They bring an opportunity for growth.

A teacher who reverses her behavior system and makes students earn their way to green is going to have to learn how to begin looking for the positive. That is going to take time, but I think it's worth it in the big scheme of things.

Could their quite possibly be a biblical parallel here?


Monday, May 10, 2010

How low can YOU go?


If you haven't noticed, I changed my playlist. Don't worry... i'll be annoyed in a few days and want to mute my whole computer.

But for what it's worth, my sister, whom has no rhythm and refuses to dance when asked, just broke it down as she walked through my bedroom.

Score!

And on other music news, we are finishing our All About Me books for my Kindergarten class and today was all about favorites. In a few years these children can look back and laugh at their favorite toy, game, food, song, and place to go.

But back to the music... one child told me her favorite song was 'How Low Can You Go'. Hello what? No, hooooww looooowww.

And I digress.


Sunday, May 9, 2010

Happy Mother's Day

Over the years I've watched my parents fall more and more in love. This picture brings tears to my eyes because it captures them (and that love) so well. My dad's sense of humor is one of the things that made my mother fall for him. True love is best expressed with no words at all. I believe you just know it, and can even sense it.

Goofball behind the camera made us laugh! :)
Happy Mother's Day to the mom that the Lord chose for me!
Charm is deceptive and beauty is fleeting, but a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised!
Proverbs 31:30

Friday, May 7, 2010

Not Merely Surviving

The past two days have been wonderful! I love this!

The Lord has proven faithful, yet again, when He promised to lead me and be my confidence. It's so not like me to stand up and ask for a position (especially a challenging position), but I knew if it's where He wanted me the door would be opened and He would carry me through. Knowing that He is God over any circumstance that I find myself in, takes off every load that I carry. I can rest in Him no matter what.

This has been an awesome learning experience and will better prepare me for next year (if) when I get my own class.

In the past two weeks I have been on a Field Trip, survived Field Day, and turned in a checklist for the students for the end of the school year. Tasks that I never thought I would have the courage to do, but yet I did successfully because of the One who is with me and holds me. He is good!

We still have the Family Fiesta, another Field Trip, Graduation, End of the Year party and our All About Me books to finish. Busy, Busy, Busy!

Tomorrow is my last Saturday workshop for my alternative certification through Region7. Can you believe it's been a whole year?

Jesus - thank You for taking broken, sinful me and changing my life.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

I'll Never Forget

My Principal and I were in mid-conversation when I was caught off guard by these ladies singing Happy Birthday to me. No warning - a random interuption. It was not your ordinary Happy Birthday rendention, it was their own unique style. The only way I know how to describe it would be - awkwardly hilarious!

They each had a sheet of paper with a word (from Happy Bday) written on it. They would hold up the word at just the right time in the song while also humming only on their word. What made it even better was that there were about 4 keys going.

This isn't the real deal.... only a re-enactment. Sorry you missed it! (And my camera decided to cut off halfway through the song.)

video

Monday, May 3, 2010

Nice Of You To Join Us

The other day for one of our writing centers I gave the kids this prompt : If you could tell Miss Kilgore anything, what would it be?

Before I sent them away to write out their thoughts, I modeled a few examples just to get their brains going.

Miss Kilgore, my favorite thing we do in class is... Miss Kilgore, I really don't like this activity.... I wish we could do this more often... My favorite color is pink! And you get it.

Last night as I was laying out all of our materials for today, I stopped for a second to read through their innocently, blunt words. This was by far my favorite; simply because it made me burst into laughter.

Miss Kilgore, I will behave. I will do what you say. I will do my work.

Awesome. So glad we're on the same page.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Simple Woman


For today - Sunday, May 2, 2010


Outside my window... there are cars traveling down the road at an hour that one should be at home sleeping. But who am I to talk?


I am remembering... where I was a year ago today. My phone rang on the friday before graduation offering me a long term sub position for the same school that I would eventually be on staff at a few short months later. A year before that I hit what I thought was rock bottom and placed my future in the hands of the Lord - I trust You. Whatever You have in store is where I want to be. Have Your way... please. Funny how things turn out when we place our faith in Him. He is good - I continue to choose to believe it.


I am thankful for... Jesus. He has changed my life over the past year and i'm begging Him to let those precious moments take root. I never want to forget all that I learned and experienced.


I am creating... lessons and activities for my Kindergarten class.


I am going... to get in the bed here pretty soon... after I pick out my clothes of course.


I am reading... lesson plans, emails, and a bible study that we're going through in Sunday School.


I am hoping... to gain more wisdom when it comes to teaching. Differentiating is hard to do. So many kids on so many different levels with so many different needs. I'm also hoping to experience Him in a clear way on something that's been on my heart.


On my mind... how much I need Him. And long to know Him more.


(oh and the hundreds of things that need to be done this week. somehow i'm sure i'll make it.)


Noticing that... I said you probably wouldn't hear from me much, yet i've typed more than one blog this entire week. I'm pretty sure it's an outlet at the moment. I need to do something other than talk to 5 year olds or plan for 5 year olds.


Pondering these words... Be still and know that He is God.


From the kitchen... yeah, right. I don't even have time to think about the kitchen. Not that I was much help anyways. Shame on me.


Around the house... my belongings are thrown everywhere. It's ridiculous. Really. My classroom is completely organized and neat. I won't leave that room until everything is back in it's place for the next day. Why is my home different?


One of my favorite things... laughter. This year has been filled with more joy and laughter than i've had in a very long time. Yep - that's my favorite! :)


And a picture thought... my childhood friend (pretty much considered sister), Erin, is getting married in August. Oh my stinkin' gosh! Monday night her mother and I made a flying trip up to OBU for a surprise shower thrown by her roommates. I love that girl. I love that place. I love the new friends i've made through her.

Enjoy your week! Jesus loves you - just in case you need a sweet reminder! :)

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Survivin'

***And for those of you who, i'm sure, are dying to know.... I did not hold the gator on the field trip at Gators and Friends. I don't care if the dude's mouth is taped shut - no thank you. I did, however, touch him with the end of my pointer finger. There was also no feeding animals out of my palm. Yuck. Have you seen how large their tongues are? Gross. I left that up to the lovely children!! :)

Well, the first week is over and i'm still alive. It's truly a miracle. ha. I think I cried 2 or 3 nights this week. Most of it were tears from stress. You don't realize how much you pack inside, then you sit down to take a little break and tears just come pouring. ah. I'm going to make it.

I've been teaching once every week for the past few months, but I was only in charge from 7:30 to about 10 at the latest. I'm not sure that I would have had the same amount of confidence to take on this job if the Lord hadn't given me those 2 little hours every so often.

When I filled in on those mornings that she had check-ups I had things down pretty well. The kids were under control, they were engaged, attentive, and I was having a great time. Mom walked in one day during the middle of my reading lesson and was so excited to find them sitting still on the carpet completely into what I was telling them :) yay!

There is something about being IN CHARGE that kicks it up a notch. Nerves. Stress. Fear. Etc..

I didn't have to take credit for their failer when I was just the aide who filled in every now and then. All those short 2 hour moments that I was "in charge" were just trial runs to test out everything i've been learning.

Not anymore.

2 hours are much different than 7.

I'm constantly reminding myself who my God is. I wouldn't be able to make it without Him. Everything is giong to be okay.

I have messed up more than once this week. Failed on certain things. Handled things incorrectly. Let words come out that shouldn't. Showed my frustration at times. But He is still God and everything is okay.

Like I said - i'm only one woman, i'm human, i'm not perfect.

This is a learning experience and i'm thankful for the opportunity to learn just how much I haven't learned. haha. I just wanted to see how many times I could say a form of the word learn in that sentence.

There is so much that I don't know. But praise the Lord for a chance to grow and take note.

I wrote about my favorite part of the day on my entry on Thursday. And now I want to share that with you.... because it's just about the only part of my day that everything seems to flow just right. ha.

Each morning around 8:30 we come to the carpet for reading. I always start off that time with the calender.

"If yesterday was Monday, then today is what, Bobby?"
"Tuesday"
"Can you say that in a complete sentence?"
"Today is Tuesday!"
"Great! Now Sally, if today is Tuesday, in a complete sentence tell me about tomorrow."
"Tomorrow will be Wednesday."
"Wednesday - what sound do you hear at the beginning of Wednesday, George?"
"/W/"
"And what letter makes the /w/ sound, Jill?"
"w."
"Very good! Now Tuesday is the day, let's find out the date. Yesterday was Monday and it was the 26th. (holds up the number card 26) what is the date for today, Jim?"
"The 27th."
"And Brea, how do you make a 27?"
"A 2 and a 7"
"Good! Have we changed months yet?"
"No."
"So what month are we in, Frank?"
"2010"
"That is the year.... what month are we in (sing months of the year song)"
oooooo, oooooo
"April"
"There you go! And now everyone, what is the year?"
"2010"
"Yall are doing awesome!"

I try to make a point of moving very quickly around the carpet and constantly calling on different kids to answer every question that I can think of; with the hopes that i'll keep them engaged. How many seasons are in one year? What are those seasons? What season is hot, cold, leaves falling off the trees, flowers blooming? How many days do we have in one week? How many months in one year? And so on.

This is the only time all day that I have complete silence and everyone's attention. I take it in! :)

Once we figure everything out about the calender, I look for my "helper". When they see me reach for the dry erase marker they know what's coming next. I turn around and say, let's see who wants to come help me write this sentence. Everyday, as a class, we write 'Today is (day) (Month) (date), 2010."

When I first started this I wrote the big words, but I let them write the beginning letter of those words - if they could identify it. Now they write the entire sentence with few hints from me. Progress. Yum!

Here lately i've been moving things forward and building on what they have already mastered to bring a bit more of a challenge to this activity. If they spell April like ApRiL, then I ask them what makes a word capital? "The beginning of the sentence or a name." So look at your word. What needs to be fixed? And they fix it - only the A is capital. They even know what a comma is and where it goes! Yay!

This is my favorite part of the entire day. Everyone is involved. And I get to see their growth.

Now if I could only fix other parts of my day to keep them as smooth as this. I'm learning.

Thank You, Lord, for this little part of my day that seems to go correctly and smoothly. Help me learn and change other parts of my day as well. Direct my steps. And continue to open my eyes to see You in my day. I love You... help me love You more with every day.