Monday, May 30, 2011

Stand In Awe

In symphony with all created things

sing the song that we were made to sing

Stand in awe, Stand in awe

In the skies and in the oceans

everything that's living breathing

a symphony to You

There will be no greater song

in the heights above or the earth below

Jesus, all for You

(Symphony - Chris Tomlin)

Sunday, May 29, 2011

What A Weekend

Friday the sister and I were alone since the 'rents went to the Rangers game. We decided to take advantage of no "picky eaters" being along and went to Olive Garden. Which happens once every 3 years. True story.

Saturday I slept incredibly later than I intended to sleep. Not that I had a schedule for the day, I just haven't slept past noon in a very long while. We (the sister, her boyfriend, and I) made a quick trip to the shreve to buy a wedding gift for a friend. Then later that evening I went and hung out with my best friend at work. We ate a blizzard, enjoyed the nice cool weather outside while her children played, and then watched Sharpay's Fabulous Adventure. If your children haven't seen it - it's really a pretty cute, clean movie. The message was good. I thought.

Sunday rolled around, where dad was able to lead worship while our friend (the music minister) went out of town. For some odd reason I skipped my afternoon nap to prepare and finalize the worship/music schedule for Vacation Bible School. Apparently I was on a roll because, next I sat down at the computer to get some things done for school next year. It feels so good to be ahead instead of procrastinating. I don't like to proscratinate when it comes to work and truly i've done a very good job at getting things done early this year, but goodness am I way early with my preparations for next year.

Our principal asked us to pick a college for our classroom theme next year to encourage our students to take their education seriously and kind of pump them up about their future. I'm sure she said some other convincing things that made us agree and join in on the theme. Thus, here we are. I didn't really have a theme last year and was so not about to redo all my curtains and stuff just to decorate for a team. Plus, have I mentioned that i'm so not a sports girl.

Arkansas Razorbacks

There you have it. Black and Red. It totally matches with my current colors and I won't have to change my curtains!!! :) Fab!

(And I know some of you are like why in the world arkansas? I just love Ouachita and it's in Arkansas and most of my friends that I went to school with there were from Arkansas and Razorback fans. Therefore.... so am I. And hello, black and red.)

So keeping with the College Theme I decided to lean more towards the TEAM aspect of it in regards to my classroom. Here are some ideas i've found online and plan on doing in my classroom.

My door will say - Miss Kilgore's Team and each child's name will be printed on a jersey and taped to the door. The "roster", class list, will be hung on the wall beside the door. Above the door it will say - Bounce your way into first grade!

Our school motto is "We learn together. We stick together. We succeed together." So keeping with the TEAM theme and tying it in with our school motto we will combine all of that to say "Teamwork - There is no I in team. We learn together. We stick together. We succeed together."

My classroom behavior system will be in the theme of football. Each child will have their name on a football and will move up and down the scale according to their choices. If they stay on green all day they will have scored a TOUCHDOWN. If they make negative choices they will recieve a penalty and move towards the yellow flag and red flag (I know there is no such thing as a red flag in football, but i'm making one).

We will have a large baseball glove on the wall with ten tiny baseballs waiting to be caught. When we recieve a compliment in the hallway, or something similair to that, we'll add a ball to the glove. When we recieve ten we'll get some kind of class prize (extra recess, pop corn, etc.) It will have the words - Catching Compliments above the glove.

We'll have a Cheers bucket and wall where you can cheer your classmates on by giving them compliments throughout the year!

We will have a MVP of the week so that we can display their amazing work!

Our classroom library corner will be called the Reading Dugout where you can Catch a good book and Hit a homerun when you read!

On the first day of school we will discover all the many topics and skills that we will learn in First Grade. Each student will make 3 goals for themselves for the year and will write those goals on a soccer ball. We'll hang them outside on the wall with the words - Aiming for our First Grade Goals.

When we make a 100 on our spelling test we will get to wear a lanyard that says Homerun Speller. And everyone will get to collect a ring of baseballs that have all the words they have learned to spell correctly all year long.

We will have a Referee hanging on the wall for when we feel the urge to tattle because Miss Kilgore just cannot take it. I don't know why it's so fun to talk to a piece of paper taped to the wall, but it works people. Trust me.

And we will Have a Ball on Our Birthdays!

And before you go thinking i'm so very creative, let me just say that most of these ideas were taken from and others were adapted to fit my theme.

So there you have it! A very productive day! Hope you all enjoy your Memorial Day tomorrow!

Thank You, Lord, for a very productive day and for passion where You have called me! I am nothing without You.

Saturday, May 28, 2011


We got to work Monday morning thinking something was going to be shared as far as changes for next year.

-Who is moving to the low school and leaving our family at Crockett?

Never did we realize that more changes lie just around the corner.

As it turned out, we didn't get to find anything out on Monday. Before I left work that day my best friend (my favorite team-mate on first grade... I call her my bestfriend at work) and I stopped by the principal's office to vent and see if we could find out any news.

We were both given a hint that we were going to be fine and to be honest I was given a hint before from another friend who always knows the info before it's shared. My principal had told me a few weeks earlier that he said he more than likely wasn't going to take a first year teacher because it wouldn't be fair to that person. They just got comfortable and went through a very new, stressful year and then you pluck them from that and move them into a brand-new environment to have basically another first year again. Those words as well made me feel like I had nothing to worry about.

Tuesday rolls around and the principal from the low school walks into the office as i'm standing there. I think I smiled... not real sure.... and then laid my head on the counter when she walked into my principal's office and shut the door.

And the door remained shut for almost two hours.

It was killing us. Finally my best friend at work went to the assistant principal and asked her if we were going to find anything out and she said.... yes.

We continued to wait until almost 3 o' clock that afternoon when the news was finally out.

I was fine and my best friend were fine just like the hint we had recieved earlier.


not the fine that I expected.

My best friend at work pulled me into her classroom and shared more changes. She was being moved to Second Grade. And while that's still on the same campus, it's NOT the same as being on the same team. I wasn't just losing one team member to a completely different school, I was losing my favorite team member to a completely different team on the other side of campus. I immediately started crying. If things weren't crazy enough to begin with that just made me want to shut down and cry. I felt like our team was just being ripped apart.

All I could say in that moment was why? And her response was it was either me or you Megan and I couldn't do that to you after your first year. So either way we were going to be seperated. I respect and thank her for stepping up to the plate. Then she also shared with me that my principal fought for me to stay at Crockett because I was on the list to go to the low school.

Once again, I stood there completely shocked. Like when is all this going to stop? I felt like I had been hit by a bus. All along I was taking the hints and thinking that I had NOTHING to worry about when truly all of this stuff was going on behind the scenes that I had no idea about. Something about that got me. It just got me and I couldn't let it go. I felt emotionally shocked.

I pulled myself together for a little bit, but when I walked into my mom's office I lost it. I knew that ultimately I was going to be okay, it was just in that moment too much information... shocking information.

Even in this seemingly unimportant time of pruning and trials, God is
preparing me for the next step. This "getting ready period" is not a waste of
time. It is an important part of fulfilling my calling. Though I can't see much
fruit, God is getting my branches ready and healthy enough to hold all He knows
is coming.
I remembered this quote from last summer and it made me think. I thought losing my job altogether was going to be worse case scenario and pretty tough, but as it turns out, staying is going to be pretty tough as well. Change isn't easy, but change requires you to trust everything to the Lord. He is our portion. And He is constantly getting us ready and healthy enough to hold all He knows is coming.

The Megan a few years back would never be standing solid through all these changes. And I just have to say Praise The Lord. All of those trials that I went through in college were preparing me for the many changes I would face, all the unknowns of growing up. And although they are hard, I love knowing that I can always (no matter where I am) lean on the rock and firmness of Jesus Christ. He does have my best interest at mind.

And He knows what is coming
He knows what I will become....

To You be the glory. Jesus Christ.

Friday, May 20, 2011

The Constant One

Well, i'm sittin' tight and pretty right now. I think the stress and deadlines at the end of the year have kinda taken my eyes off the fact that I am losing my little family of kiddos in my classroom.

Even though I "don't have favorites" there are definitely some that are wayyyy harder to let go than others. I held in the tears when I put them in the car, squeezing and letting the hug linger a little longer than usual.

It felt good to know that I could "come over for swim days or to go to the beach".... HAHA!!! :)

I felt like I have been in a tunnel all day long.

Your first year is a hard year, but it's also a special year... one that you will never forget. You are fresh out of the gate with tons of energy and passion to keep you going. I guess there is part of me that is sad that this year is over and i'm no longer "first year" anymore. But God is good and He will continually be my passion and drive.

I stood in my classroom starring into space, reliving all the little things we've done all year. I kept envisioning repetitive things that were in our daily routine. That's when it gets emotional.

I am just drained all the way around.

We are like fruit basket turn overs right now on our campus because almost everybody is moving to a new classroom to try and have our layout "make sense". Right now half of third grade is on the other side of the campus than the rest of their team. It's going to be completely chaotic moving that many teachers and all their belongings. I am excited about the possibility of getting to decorate and re-arrange a new room. That's always fun, but for now it's a bit stressful packing things up.

Last night I posted the entry from April that let you know I was safe and had a job. Lots has happened since then. We were told that one teacher per grade level would be moving to the lowest school in town to try and strengthen that campus. While I want to think that he will not take me with my lack of years, I still don't want to get excited too soon.

It's been pretty sad around our campus because we are all so close. Most of the teachers have been there for years and have become a tight-knit family. It's not easy to think about losing a member of that team.

As it is right now we still know nothing. And who knows when we'll find out. Administration knows, but isn't letting the news out yet..... that's just hubba jubba.

So be in prayer for all the changes that are happening at our school next year. It's definitely keeping me on my toes and keeping me clinging to Jesus. He is the only constant.

All my changes come from Him, He who never changes.
I'm held firm in the grasp of the Rock of all the ages.
All is well with my soul.
He is God in control.
I know not all His plans, but I know I am in His hands.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

The Day, The Cut

***This is a post that was origionally scheduled for April 10, 2011. Sorry it's so late.

Friday was the day.

The day we found out whether or not we would still have a job next year.

Legally, teachers are required to know 45 days before the end of the school year if they are being offered a contract for the next year. The senate wasn't supposed to meet until after that time.

To make this a short story, our superintendent decided to think worse case scenario and made a hard decision before the 45th day cut off. Not only did he want to be legal, but he also wanted to allow those who would be layed off an opportunity to look for a new job instead of waiting to hear how things were going to be and then getting cut at the last minute.

As hard as it was, I think he made a wise decision. If it turns out that the senates decision means that we have cut too many people in Marshall, the superintendent can always go back and re-hire those people who were let go.

A school district near us isn't cutting anyone. Instead, they are all taking a 10 percent cut in pay. As much as it would stink to to take that big of a cut in your paycheck, atleast they still have all their positions; Reading Interventionist, Gifted and Talented Teachers, etc.. That sounds more like a "what's best for the students" kind of mindset.

Our district, on the other hand, is putting one more thing on the teachers plate. We. Will. Survive. I'm proclaming it now... although, i'm human and so not looking forward to it at the moment.

Okay.... so back to THE day.

We got an email earlier in the week letting us know that we would find out by Friday.

I was good to go until Thursday. Thursday was tough. It was like this "okay we have been waiting all this time and now here we are.... oh my gosh I can't believe this is really happening... just tell us and let it be over with" feeling. I could feel the stress in my body ready to come out. While I trusted the Lord and believed that none of this was catching Him off guard and that it had to pass through His hands before happening, I also knew Megan. And I knew that either way I would shed some tears. There would either be tears of straight joy and thankfulness. Or tears of momentary greif and then moving on in anticipation to see where He would lead me next.

Mourning? Greif? Yes.

I would be sad if I were told that I wasn't going to be coming back. And I would have seriously needed the rest of the day off. But it would have only been momentary and then I would be leaning on the hope, abundance, and joy of my Father. Knowing that this "divine intervention" was for my good because He does have my best interest in mind. So the fact that we were literally down to the last hours before we would find out drove me up the wall.

Was I really ready to hear? Was I really exercising faith? Had I told the Lord how I seriously felt? Did I lay all my concerns before Him? You know, just the typical last minute thoughts that seem to swim around in your mind. The teacher across the hall came over and was like, oh my gosh, are you seriously worrying? Coming from the chick who said to me a while back, if you trust God, you trust God. He is either God in control or He isn't. Even in this situation. You either trust Him or you don't.

Don't you just love when someone turns your own words back around. ha. I think the reality had finally set in that this wasn't a dream and it really was happening. It was emotional.

Friday morning we got the email from our Principal letting us know that our entire campus was safe. I had already heard it earlier that morning when I was standing in her office dying to know, but being the visual learner that I am, when I saw it on my computer screen I started crying. I turned to my kids and said, "Miss Kilgore is okay, but she just needs a moment." Third person? Yes. And in the middle of my classroom I just stood there realizing how unworthy I was to be chosen to come back.

Out of all the first year teachers cut, here I stood escaping that cut. I have so much to learn, so much to improve on, so much that I need and have planned to do differently next year. so. unworthy. And yet He saw fit for me to be chosen to come back. I thanked Him. And I told Him God i'm so stinkin' unworthy. Forgive me for all the many times this year that I have flat out failed. And help me to remain in this place of absolute awe and thankfulness that I was chosen to be here. so. unworthy.

It was a very emotional day. Thinking back on where I have come in the past two years.

May 2008 - Sitting on my backporch as a Junior in college completely terrified, not having a clue which direction to go, which major to choose...laying it all at His feet... trusting that He would lead me where He wanted me and give me the courage, confidence, and tools to do my job - even though I had no idea what that would be.

May 2009 - Heading into graduation as a general studies major still with not a clue where He is leading me. To get a phone call around those same days asking me to come be a long term sub with zero experience (at the school that two years later I would be on staff as a first grade teacher).

July 2009 - Stepping out in faith and applying for my teaching certificate and preparing for interviews and tests that I hadn't taken any education classes for.

September 2009 - Taking one of the hardest tests their is and passing.

June 2010 - Being hired without even putting in my application and only going for one interview.

September 2010 - Being observed by my Region 7 supervisor at the beginning of my first year of teaching and hearing the words - Honey, the Lord answered your prayers because this is exactly where you are supposed to be.

Lots of students who graduated around my time as education majors haven't been able to find jobs. And here I am.... not an education major. chosen.

God, I feel so unworthy. Even as I sit here I don't feel like I should be selected. You obviously have different plans. So I admit that I am nothing and You are everything. I still recognize that I can't do this job without You. You are my passion. You are my courage. You are my strength. You are my peace. You are my everything. And I beg for You to continue to be all of those and more as I continue on this journey. Will you keep this thankfulness in the fore-front of my mind when I start to get overloaded with stress and deadlines and everything else that comes with this job. I want to remember that YOU lead me here and that YOU desire abundance for my everyday life. Be my passion. Help me to find something that works for me so that I can still have a life and enjoy time with friends and family. I know that this job can take over my life if I let it.... but that I also don't feel prepared unless I spend hours each week in my classroom. So Lord, I believe that there has to be a way, so will You show me that way to balance everything I am supposed to get done and to still have my life. I love You and thank You.... And I want You daily. intimately. To the glory of Your name. Jesus.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Time Flies

Tomorrow is our End of the Year Party. Which is the very reason while i'm still up this late on a school night.

The tears have already started people.

It all started when I was reading my letters to my mom. We have been making Memory Books all week in class. Each student writes a letter to each friend telling them why they are special, what they like about them, how they have helped or made them feel, something they are excellent at, etc.. At the end of the book I have attached my letter to each child.

I was okay while I was writing them. The tears came when I read back through them.

I've also framed a picture of me with every child to go with their Memory Book and letters. (That sounds vain... a picture of ME, but promise you it's not intended that way.) Anyways, back to what I was saying....

My computer crashed so I'm not able to get to most of my pictures i've taken this year in order to make a slideshow or print them for my kids. Kinda stinks.

I decided to check the sisters computer just to make sure I didn't have some on there. There were a few, but most of them were from last year with Kindergarten.

Since I was with Kinder last year and then moved up to teach First Grade I was with most of these kids for two years. Which makes it extra special and extra hard to let them go. You don't realize how much someone has grown (including yourself) until you look back over pictures.

.... thus, more tears.

I can't believe my two year journey of getting my alternate teaching certificate is over.
I can't believe my first year is over.
I can't believe it's already been two years with these children.
I can't believe how much my heart completely loves each of them.
I can't believe it's time to let them go.

.... I am not ready for it to be over.

Once again, I give You the glory and praise Your name. You were the One who placed belief and courage in my heart to take on this journey and task. It's really not about the teaching at all... no matter how much I enjoy it... but more of knowing You and showing You to others. I thank You for all that You have shown me over the past two years and I beg for You to continue. Be my passion each day that I enter that building. In the precious, powerful, specific, peace-giving name of Jesus.

Sunday, May 15, 2011


Don't try to figure out my title. It is merely what came out of my mouth.

I'm entering grades for.the.last.time. this year and i'm about to screeaaaam.I cannot express to you how much I dislike grading papers. It's torture.

Kindergarten doesn't take actual grades. You get mastered or still developing. Ooooooh if each grade level was the same as Kinder.

Friday is the last day of school before the 10 flex days begin. Right now i'm overwhelmed with grades so it doesn't really make me sad, but boy howdy i'm gonna be sad when my kids leave. That's five days. five.days. Oh my goodness. I just can't believe it.

We have 5 little pets that we are observing in our class right now. They began as caterpillars. Eensy weensy caterpillars. Then they turned into chrysalis which was pretty neat to watch. And Friday we got to witness the transformation as one butterfly came out of his chrysalis. We may have a few more surprises when we get there tomorrow morning.

In each new phase we have written and draw our observations. As I was grading papers tonight one of my kids wrote "Happy Like" on her butterfly observation from Friday. Oh my...

Well, I guess I better get back to my grades so that I can be done. DONE. done. done. done.

And then i'll be all happy like.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Cinco de Mayo

My kids are just too precious!!! I was bombarded with love and gifts as soon as the bell rang this morning. My crown and other pink attire is from a crazy, fun, girly-girl in my class. I had to wear it all day. The boa was too itchy so it didn't last long. Approximately point five seconds.

I got flowers. a one dollar bill. a build a bear. plenty of hand-made cards. which might I add are the best kind... especially when they say cool as a homey. and I also got.....


Happy 24th Birthday to me! Granny.