It is Spring time here in Panther Nation. Our gifted students at LHE are working hard to make the most of our time left together this year. I am so proud of our students at LHE for entering our class with a growth mindset. Our gifted students are always ready to learn and try new challenges. Throughout the 22-23 school year we have practiced thinking like engineers, mathematicians, biologists, lawyers, inventors, a superhero, and much much more. This year my team was awarded a grant from the education foundation to continue our efforts to prepare not just the gifted and talented population but all elementary students for the future. The reality is that there are jobs that will exist in the future that we do not even know to exist yet. As a gifted and talented teacher who seeks to challenge and push students beyond what they believe they are capable of, this grant will be a blessing to so many elementary-age students in our district. I will be able to utilize the 4 C's of the 21st century: communication, collaboration, critical thinking, and creativity. All students will be exposed to real-world problems and have an opportunity to come up with solutions.
My Gifted and Talented kids completed their second service project this holiday season. I feel like a proud momma! Their is so much work that goes on behind the scenes to make a project like this successful. We could not have done this without the help of our community. We are so thankful for the support of our principals, teachers, parents, and all of the students at both LHE and Noble. I also have to give a shout out to my partner Cheryl Russell at Burden. This year she partenered up with me. We were able to double our donations in comparision to last year! Beginning in November our students began brainstorming groups we might want to support and why. (This is always the hardest!!) If you know of an organization that we could support please send us your ideas for next year. We plan to continue this tradition of serving our community for years to come. This year the Gifted and Talented students of Liberty Hill ISD focused on serving our First Responders with care packages. Our students recognize that often times our first responders work long hours and do not get to come home over the holidays. We wanted our first responders to know how much we appreciated them. We were able to deliver 300 care packages (between Liberty Hill, Noble, and Bill Burden Elementary) to both Liberty Hill fire departments, Liberty Hill Police Department, LHISD Police Department, ER Doctors/Nurses at Seton Highland Lakes, and Williamson County EMS. Throughout this project our students had to create fliers, make videos, share pitches with classrooms in every grade level, and collect data daily. Thank you to everyone who helped to make this project a success!
FebRUARY 23, 2021
It has been 11 days since I have set foot on either of my school campuses! Today I returned to see faces, but only through a computer screen. Still it felt wonderful to see some of my students and hug some of my colleagues. The entire state of Texas was hit by a snow storm. Yes, I said it! A snow storm! Never in my life did I think I would live to see a snow storm in the hill country. We were without power and water for days! Thankfully, we had a fireplace and plenty of blankets and clothes to keep warm. Being without water was the worst. We had to use snow for boiling, to help us with our water supply for the week. We had some water on hand prior to the winter storm, but not enough. We were without water for 6 days! Who knew that half a foot of snow would cause so much disruption to the state of Texas. The leaders of Texas learned a hard lesson as well as the families. My husband and I quickly made a wish list on Amazon of supplies we needed before next winter. It was scary to be without the basics that you need for survival. The local stores were empty! There were no basic supplies to be found. We were concerned about where supplies were going to come from. I should of known that God always provides. It was amazing to see our little community come together. Neighbors quickly reached out and started to provide water and anything else that we needed. Restaurants and local business gave away supplies to members in our community who were in need. Although so many people were suffering and still are, it was a beautiful sight to see so many coming together to help others. #TexasStrong #SnowStorm2021
OCTOBER 12, 2020 (MONDAY)
School during a pandemic is never something I would have imagined here in America. I am curious what schools look like in other parts of the country. How are they managing the spread of COVID-19? I have been pleasantly surprised at how well things are going in my little district. When I make this statement, please do not get me wrong, many teachers have doubled or even tripled their work load this year. May I remind you that most teachers are already overworked as it is. I am most impressed and very thankful for the wonderful leadership in our district. They listen and know the position that teachers are in. The children make it all worth it, to see their eyes light up behind the mask when they accomplish a new task or for just the simple fact they are excited to be around friends again. I for one am so excited to see my co-workers! Our daily mantra is "You are not alone!" Together when we join forces anything is possible! The piece that really seals the deal is when your student sneaks in a HUG! Everyone is trying so incredible hard to keep their distance, to not share supplies, clean, clean and clean some more. BUT when your student sneaks in and gives you a hug and whispers, "you are the best teacher ever" the long days seem to melt away. Teachers are feeling a little anxious about the Fall, what will flu season bring? Our prayer is that we keep moving in a positive direction and that more students will continue to return to school. Please continue to pray for teachers and all of those involved in making very difficult decisions.
SEPTEMBER 7, 2020 (THURSDAY)
A day in a mask with a teacher. All day, every day, we are constantly trying to catch our breath. Teachers are constantly trying to cool off from the lack of cool air flowing through the masks. Our little ones have no idea if teachers are smiling or telling a joke behind the mask. Trying to connect and build relationships behind a mask is an imaginable challenge. Teachers, students and their families build trust through these relationships that we work so hard to foster. Teachers are constantly sharing the latest brand in the hunt for the coolest, most breathable masks. Our schools have spent so much time preparing and trying to prevent the spread COVID-19. Even with the extra time we were given to plan teachers are being forced to think and adapt as new situations arise daily. Never in my life did I see our Fall playing out like this in schools across America. Teachers being forced to make decision affecting their careers. Some teachers being forced to walk away because the risk is just far to great. I am thankful to be in a school district that is working with the teachers, their community, and surrounding districts to do everything that they can to keep everyone safe. I can honestly say it is a joy to see my students and hear their laughs. BUT gosh I miss receiving the hugs from them. Although this brings me to more wandering thoughts, how long can we sustain, how long can teachers keep up the stamina like this? We will overcome, we are in this together! I will leave you with a picture of my two beauties on their first day of remote learning for 7th & 8th grade.
August 17, 2020 (Monday)
Summer has officially come to an end! I loved being able to spend quality time with my family and not have to run from one place to another. My oldest turned 14, the youngest is already making plans for her 13th birthday. I know it sounds so cliche, but I wish I could slow down time. My children are becoming young, beautiful adults. I am so proud of both girls. I am thankful for our time during this pandemic to just focus on what is the most important, FAMILY.
For months, I have been wondering and predicting what school will look like this fall. This school year will be like nothing we have ever faced before. I would being lying if I said I was not scared. Will students and teacher be safe? Have the schools done enough to keep teachers and students safe? Has TEA done enough to keep us safe while they continue to work from home? Has the governor done enough to keep us safe in a classroom full of 20+ students? There are so many questions that run through my mind each evening as I try to sleep. What I do know is that teachers will continue to do what they have always done, they will give it there very best! We continuously take classes to stay up to date on the latest research in education. Teachers always adapt and evolve with the world that surrounds us. Will it be enough for this fall? I don't know. I am not sure that anyone truly has the answer to any of these questions. What I do know is that we are all in this together! I believe it is more important than ever before for our communities to come together and support teachers. Let's lift teachers up and remember to say "Thank You." A simple THANK YOU goes a long ways.
This evening I leave you with a picture of my girls celebrating one last road trip as summer has come to an end.
August 3, 2019 (Saturday)
It is the weekend before I return to school. I cannot believe summer is coming to a close. I will miss summer dearly, however I cannot wait to meet my new little ones. Each year I trust in God's plan. I know he has purposely placed each of these beautiful souls in my classroom. I have been hard at work for weeks now in my room. I cannot wait to show you some of the pictures. Today I am going to focus on my family. My oldest daughter turns 13 on Monday! How can that be? Am I really that old? Time really does fly by fast. With each coming year, as my girls grow, my parents growing older, memories are all that I have. Today that is what we are doing! We are going to make more memories! We are celebrating by eating crepes at CREPE CRAZY on S. Lamar followed by a little paddle boarding. If you are local to the Austin area you have to try CREPE CRAZY, http://www.crepecrazy.com/#about . Amazing, authentic European recipes with the freshest ingredients. The serve both savory and sweet crepes. By the way if you have not tried paddle boarding, you have got to try it at least once. I advice you not to try it on the ocean if you have not had experience paddle boarding before, the ocean is much harder than the lake. Although, if you like a good challenge the ocean was fun! After filling up our bellies, we will put on our bathing suits and head out to the lake for the afternoon! Sounds like a perfect way to end summer.
As the last few days wind down leading up to the first day, please pray for the children and the teachers. Our hearts and minds are growing very anxious as the first day approaches. As a teacher, I want everything to be just perfect for each child when they first enter my classroom. I hope they feel a sense of love and excitement from the moment they enter my room.
For now I will leave you a picture of my almost 13 year old daughter (two more days). She is an amazing soul! Lily is so wise beyond her years! I am so proud of the young woman she is.
July 17, 2019 (Wednesday)
Get Your Teach On (GYTO) was out of this world! If you are an educator and have not attended a GYTO on conference you need to ask your principal, write a grant, write a donor's choose, ask a business to sponsor you, don't be afraid to ask for help. This conference will inspire you and leave you feeling so pumped for the upcoming school year. Three years ago I was able to attend GYTO in Houston. I have been following my favorite presenters for the last three years in hopes they would come back to Texas. This year, thanks to a very generous business owner I was able to attend the National conference in Dallas. I was able to hear and speak to teachers from all over the country. I spent four days taking classes just for my grade level! As an attendee you can even have the option to register for break out sessions. My friends and family have asked what was you biggest take away? Honestly, I cannot really just pick one but if I had to pick ONE class it would be glow games! I believe glow games is going to take learning to whole new level in my class this year. I have an entire wish list on Amazon for black lights, glow sticks, and UV blacklight tape. Have you ever tried glow games in your classroom? I am so pumped and excited to begin my 9th year in public education. Good luck to all my fellow educators this year. Go out and MAKE MAGIC!