SOL #28 I AM PROBLEM SOLVER

I am problem solver
I am march through the halls problem solver

I am problem solver
I am tough as nails problem solver

I am problem solver
I am knees deep in issues problem solver

I am problem solver
I am up to my eyes in defiance problem solver

I am problem solver
I am Don’t let them get you down! problem solver

I am problem solver
I am speak up, use your voice problem solver

I am problem solver
I am passion-ignited problem solver

I am problem solver
I am do not settle for less problem solver

I am problem solver
I am stand strong, sturdy soul problem solver

I am problem solver
I am queen of NO problem solver

I am problem solver
I am bend the rules, make it work, flexible problem solver

I am problem solver
I am grind your teeth, get ready for the fight problem solver

I am problem solver
I am tears don’t hold me back problem solver

I am problem solver
I am beyond the box, mind-stretching problem solver

I am problem solver
I am heart-to-heart, care about you problem solver

I am problem solver
Because

I

SOLVE

THE PROBLEMS

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SOL #8 I WILL GET BACK UP AGAIN!!

It is very seldom that I take time for me.

So last night, when I went to Walgreens, as I was walking past the Red Box Kiosk, I saw it…

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blaring it’s bright colors, calling my name.

I hadn’t seen it, but I knew ALL the songs. In fact, I’d listened to them on repeat while getting ready for work and working out and teaching down-time with my students.

IT WAS TIME.

So today, when I finally got some free time, I watched it and enjoyed it..singing all the songs to a movie I had never seen. That’s a first for me. 😛

So I went over my time and, technically, I don’t make the count because although it’s not midnight here, I’m in Illinois and it’s about 30 minutes past time.

I’m feeling guilty, but it’s okay. I’m telling myself. Amanda, YOU ARE WRITING. Even after it’s time, I’m still writing and that’s really what this challenge is about.

 

So, TROLLS all the way. “Cause if you knock knock me over knock knock me over

I WILL GET BACK UP AGAIN!”

SOL #7 Non-Sunday Sundays, Word Babble

Blah blah blah blah blah goes my brain.

This is what happens when I try to do things early. When I try to be punctual or proactive or early…MUSH.

My brain goes MUSH.

I can’t think of anything to write although it seemed as if words were a continuously flowing scroll earlier today. During moments when I conveniently didn’t have a pencil or time.

Okay, so maybe I had the time and maybe I had a phone, so I could have taken notes or recorded.
So maybe I was lazy and actually enjoying the little free-time of my Non-Sunday, Sunday day. I didn’t have school, so my normal Sunday filled with the stresses of preparing for the week didn’t exist.
But I still get the Sunday feelings of Monday is around the corner.

Today is Tuesday.

Maybe that’s what I should write about.

I don’t know. This is a jumble of words and thoughts and feelings about Non-Sunday Sundays.

And that’s all you’re going to get out of me for today.

File. Note. Save. Let’s come back later.

SOL #6 Call 8-1-1!

Time to talk to parents, the dreaded phone call. They didn’t show up to Parent-Teacher Conferences, they didn’t respond to emails…it’s time.

I’m coaching my first year co-teacher on what to say. I implore her, “You need to call!”

“I know,” she says, reluctantly picking up the phone and in a hurry, she dials quickly. Let’s get it over with, thoughts that consume both her and my mind.

Suddenly her eyes go wide and mine do too in response…it was only seconds into the call, What’s happening? I thought, worry spreading, speeding up my heart rate.

She slams down the phone.

“I JUST CALLED THE POLICE!” she yells.

“YOU WHAT?!” I scream back.

Both of us burst into laughs. So, that’s a definitely a win for calling parents for the first time ever… WHOOPS!
But you know what? Apparently she wasn’t the only one because I got this text from her today…

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So now, all first year teachers won’t be stunned into the same mistake of calling 9-1-1. They won’t have to spot police officers outside the school, even though it was “after school” hours and we didn’t get a call back. They won’t have to shamefully tell their principal. AND they won’t have to bashfully call the police department to clarify their simple mistake because people don’t call 8-1-1!
Haha! Love you, Britt! 🙂

 

My co-teacher wrote her Slice of Life about this incident too! I can’t wait to hear her perspective, but chose to write BEFORE I took a peek…I’ll edit and add link here!

https://teachingbychanceblog.wordpress.com/2017/03/06/sol-6-that-time-when-i-dialed-911/comment-page-1/#comment-35

SOL #5 World Reminders

I have two extra days off and I spend it working. Working on my final presentation, my summative. My list of artifacts that somehow prove I am the “good” teacher I always wanted to be.

I couldn’t think of anything more stressful.

This month, as a school, we are focusing on being more Mindful. I am the PBIS Co-Universal Coach (Positive Behavior Intervention System) at my school, so I’m one of the leaders of this newest focus.

At first I just shrugged it off. Thought it was a very neat idea. Really interested, but you know, for my personal life, I have things to do…summative artifacts to complete. But today, when I paused, I thought it might be nice to take a walk.

 

As soon as we stepped outside, my dog and I, we felt the warm breeze with a few dancing rays of sunlight left. We sped up excitedly at the thought of nature in our lungs and light on our skins. And we just kept walking.

We got to the reservoir and the clouds were moving ever so slightly. The trees were swaying in the strengthening wind and the sky was lit up in get-ready-for-nighttime colors of reds and blues and deep purples.

Content.

I was reminded that I need mindfulness too.

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Then, later, I went to the store searching for air freshener sprays. I don’t really know what else I was searching the isles for, but I looked anyway.

I strolled up and down the rows of goods, yet nothing beckoned my way. And then at the self check-out line, just when it was my turn I saw it.

Mindfulness.

I think the world is whispering something to me and it’s about time I’d listen.

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SOL #3 A Note, A Change

This note found it’s way into my hands from a student in the other Third Grade.

There have been struggles.
There have been mean girl fights.
There has been, “I don’t want to do that.”
There has been sassing back.
There has been lack of support at home.
There has been, “But she said this…!”
There has been sticking out tongues and evil glares.
There has been lying and manipulating.
There has been, “You’re not my friend.”

Now it’s, “Tell her how you feel.”
Now it’s, “I’m glad you’re here today!”
Now it’s sharing hugs in the hallway.
Now it’s, “Hello there! How was your day?!”
Now it’s following teacher directions.
Now it’s apologizing when wrong.
Now it’s kind, genuine words.
Now it’s, “I forgive you, Miss Kriegl.”
Now it’s playing games with others.
Now it’s letting someone else have another turn.

 

And now it’s this note.
These feelings.
Her happiness.

 

Student writing is power too.

SOL #2 A Little Writing Goes a Long Way

So in anticipation of my co-teacher’s absence tomorrow, I began preparing the classroom. I thought it might be a nice idea to include a note on a few students desks to remind them to have a great day tomorrow and to ask them how they were going to do exactly that…

and then… it got away from me.

I was suddenly scurrying from desk to desk filling out sticky notes of tasks that needed to be done in the classroom, scribbling down reminders to have positive days, and encouraging positive interactions with classmates. You can say I “ran” with the moment.

They say a little writing goes a long way, I sure hope they’re write. 😉screen-shot-2017-03-02-at-11-21-14-pm

My Vision Board 2016

 

My Very Vision Board 2016

There are many visions I have for my future, some goals are for this upcoming year, while others are life-long goals.

To begin with, one short-term goal I have is to have my room to be a poop free zone. I’ve been training my french bulldog puppy to go potty outside. He has been mostly successful, except for during the night when he ventures out of bed. He does his deed on the pee pads we have, but the ultimate goal is for him to hold his business until we wake up and can take him out. The sad, heart-wrenching thing about this is that our baby is our cuddle buddy during the night, but if he continues to go without permission, we will have to crate train him for a bit. -siiigh- Hopefully he learns before the crate comes in; if not, he’ll have to get use to the crate for a while.

Another thing I’d LOVE is to ride in a hot air balloon. They’ve always captivated me. It would be lovely to see the world from another view. Just something I’ve always wanted. The balloon also represents a tattoo I’d like to get. I would like to get many tattoos, small and delicate, but meaningful. Those will come in time and mostly after my wedding, I hope.

This year I would like to make healthier choices, starting with working out and yoga. I’ve always loved yoga/meditation because it brings me inner peace and comfort. I also enjoy working out and the benefits, although I prefer sports to help get me fit. My goal is to participate in yoga/meditation more often and to workout (hopefully with sports) regularly. I want to create a routine and stick to it!

As I have mentioned previously, this year I will be co-teaching. My dream is that we will not only get along, but grow together, learn together, and teach and inspire children together as well, hence the two figures putting puzzle pieces together. Key word: together.

I will be my school’s PBIS Universal Coach this year along with one of my colleagues. My hope is to succeed in helping my classroom and my school reflect more positivity, mostly via behavior. It is my favorite to go out of my way to point out a student in the hallway and reward them for their good behavior, especially when they least expect it. I teach all my students the meaning of integrity; every student that demonstrates this should be rewarded at some point in their lives. I hope I can help all students lead a better path of positive behavior.

Wow! I’m beginning to notice I have a lot of goals. I guess, in the very least, this vision board has helped me come to this realization. Yet another goal of mine, in hopefull the very near future, is to get a place of our own. Just me, my fiance, my dog, and cats. Ahhhh, the life. What I’d really adore is a 1 bedroom apartment with either lots of windows and/or a balcony. I love the sun and would be thrilled to have a place of our own with sunshine included.

To go along with my last goal, I’d like to spend more time with my fiancé, dog, and cats. I am embarking on a journey with the 40 Hour Teacher Workweek Club in hopes that leaving at 4:30 at the latest will become a reality. A note to my fiancé: Zack, thanks for sticking by me and supporting me these past two crazy beginning years of teaching. I couldn’t have done it without you; you are my foundation. I love you! Let’s look forward to more time together in the future! ❤

My wedding was originally planned for 2017 (not in detail, don’t fret!), but we are moving it back to 2018. Simply put, we just don’t have the funds! Unlike many folks out there, my parents and my fiance’s parents are not capable of supporting us, so, as it has always been for me, we must support ourselves. My dear, dear friends, weddings are expensive! I could cut things here and there, but it still wouldn’t be enough; therefore, I have decided that we will push back the date and save. For the only wedding of my life (since I love Zack more than anything in the world), I’d like to make it rememberable for both of us and give us both the wedding we deserve. At the same time, I am keeping in mind that I must be level-headed and I remind myself that it’s only one day, it is OUR day and I’d like it to be everything we want and more (within price range). So my goal is to save up to 10,000 dollars… CHA CHING! Here goes nothing! 🙂

In the distant future, hopefully it will fall in succession with my marriage, I want to be pregnant and have kids more than anything in the world. I have always dreamed of being a mom; this is my one ultimate goal and dream in life. I live for kids and would do anything to raise some of my own, with my Zachary, of course.

Assertion: this one is overwhelmingly important to me and very near to my heart. Many times I have admitted to being non-confrontational and emotional, but I have also found, very recently in fact, that people abuse this knowledge. These people I have trusted with my weaknesses, displayed them on my sleeve, have used them against me, whether intentionally or unintentionally is another matter. Anyway, I’m tired of the sh*t, pardon my french. I still believe there is value in my non-confrontational ways because unlike others that are quick to act or quick to burn flesh with their tongue, I think through my thoughts, pick my battles, and then fight the good fight; this being said, I am going to be just as fierce and assertive as I tell my students to be. We teach C.A.R.E.S. in my school, which includes cooperation, assertion, responsibility, empathy, and self-control. Assertion is my weakness. I tell my students, “Well, if Student A doesn’t know she is hurting your feelings, you should say something!” or “Stand up for yourself and tell them you don’t like it when they laugh at you.” Now it is my turn to learn. The adult world is a much crueler and less forgiving place, but so be it. Slowly, but surely, I have become more assertive and my goal is to continue on this journey without forgetting to think through my thoughts, pick my battles, and fight the good fight.

And now I apologize for that bit of a ramble. 😛

Finally, my last vision on my board is to write more. When I was younger and more naive I use to write more, and now I am still getting back into the writing groove (see previous post on “My Writing Journey” for more details). I want this writing journey to continue and expand exponentially. It’s a beautiful outlet, a wonderful source of information, and a lovely foundation for friendship. I hope this writing life continues until the last of my days in whatever form it may be.

I hope I haven’t shared too much of my vision with you. 🙂

My Writing Journey

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My story of writing begins sweetly at a young age, where I was encouraged to develop my ABC’s. But if we’re being honest, it really took off when I was an angry, lonely, hopeful pre-teen. Ah, yes, you remember the term well, those horrid middle-school years. Those are the years that my writing began to flourish, and not in quality, mind you, in quantity. But hey, as most writers claim, the first step advancement is to write and write often; and that, I did. I wrote about my anger. I wrote about my desperation and longing for something more. And then I wrote of love, of a certain fellow that I’m still writing about.

High school years were a little kinder, but the true “POET” in me, as I claimed, continued writing. My anguish and loneliness wavered, but my love for the boy did not. Both allowed me to write without end. Academically, I was often known as an over-achiever, particularly in my English classes. One teacher even told the class, “Don’t write an Amanda Kriegl length essay this time. I only want 3 pages.” See? There’s that quantity again. 😛

In college, my writing was stifled by judgmental poetry club members that determined I did not have a sense or structure to my emotional, poetic scribbles. My writing was further smashed upon realizing my once praised, detailed essays were picked apart and left for the “writing tutors” to help me mend them. Needless to say, my writing came to a screeching halt. All that fervor was extinguished like a flame put out for night. I believed I had no such talent and I left my poetry books in the dust.

Toward the end of college, flickers in the night appeared and began to remind me WHY I wrote in the first place. I wrote to inspire, to share, to express, to remember, to forget. My writing was strengthened by those tutors, and my poetic capacity was increased by experience alone. However, this wasn’t enough to rekindle the flame for writing. Not until I met Jennie and Michelle.

These past two years have been my saving grace, in terms of writing. By example and passion, both Jennie and Michelle have reminded me of the persuasion, the power, the emotion, the inspiration, the knowledge that words bring. In their personal lives and in their professional teaching careers, they have demonstrated the value of writing and the beauty of words. Following in their footsteps, I have become Writing Core Facilitator, lead Family Writing Project, followed and fell in love with Lucy Calkins Writing Units of Study, participated in SOL by myself and as a class, created this blog, and continue to write my own poetry.

Words are the vessel into one another’s mind. They are the white flag on a sinking ship when someone needs guidance. They are the bandage on a wounded heart. Words are the love that a friend carries. Words are my life.

So, whether I am blogging, scribbling on a sticky note, or writing in my journal, I am always writing with the heart of a teenager and the knowledge of an adult.

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