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Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Blast From My Past

I will post about my graduation soon, but for now I have something a little more juvenile on my mind. I was looking back at a picture from my first day at BYU:



And I realized how much I miss those clothes! (weird, huh?) I spent way too much money on clothes in high school, but I think I might just have to pick me up some of them again





And maybe I'll get this for Russ:



Well, good night.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Reflecting On My Internship...

This is a long post without pictures. I'm just warning you ahead of time. It's also sentimental. That is also a warning. :)

I know the school year isn't over yet, but I wanted to thank some people who deserve thanking. Afterall, if you have to do one thing as an intern it is to reflect! This year has been a ROLLERCOASTER! I was so naive and running on sheer, out-of-my-mind excitement in the beginning. I had no idea what I was doing and over half the ideas I had in the summer didn't work at all (case and point - having little trash cans for each group, which got knocked over or stepped in or kicked all around the floor), BUT I can finally say that I like the way things are running now. Of course there are 200 things I can improve on, but I even like writer's workshop now and THAT really is saying something. My students have come so far this year, and it's been incredible to be a part of.

The internship is a great opportunity because you get thrown right into it and pray you can swim, but I love that. I wanted a chance to learn and "experiement" without having anyone else in the room to see when I totally failed - I think I can see most of that for myself. :) The only downside of not student teaching is that I didn't get to see someone else to get ideas for how to fix my failures, so I had to be a little more proactive in finding out how other people do things.

LUCKILY the internship provides us with LOTS of help and opportunities to learn. I had an incredible experience. Here is why:

1. I am working with really stellar first grade teachers who are always willing to share their ideas. That has made SUCH a difference for me this year.

2. Ashley and Heather are my fellow hard-working interns who understand my pain and frustrations as well as give me some of my best resources, not to mention the numerous talks we've had this year about every aspect of our lives...

3. Even my carpool of "retired interns", Stephanie and Carlene, provide stress relief and answer questions and put up with me getting to the carpool 2 or 3 minutes late almost every day :D.

4. At school I am lucky enough to have a principal who really backs us up and cares about how we are doing.

5. I have a great facilitator, Katie, who checks in with us every morning just to see what she can do for us. On top of that, she knows all of my students personally, which helps when I need advice on how to handle certain situations or when I just need someone to appreciate a cute moment. All of that work doesn't even include the countless observations and useful feedback throughout the year. And of course there were just times when she's dropped everything what she was doing to bring me back from the brink of mental breakdown! One day in particular, I just lost it. I hated everything about how my class was running and felt discouraged. She was so incredibly helpful. She spent the entire day helping do things to make my life easier. On a separate occasion, she drove all the way to West Jordan to get supplies to help my centers run more smoothly. Like I said, I have been very lucky in this internship.

6. My family. My parents always support me in everything I do. My mom lives in Virginia, but has come to visit my class two times already and is coming again next week. She also gives me cute decorating ideas and listens to me talk about school all the time (Lissa does this too). I couldn't have taught this year without moral support from Russ. At the beginning of the year he had to limit me to 10 minutes a day because I just kept talking and rehashing and retelling stories about school, :) but he's adjusted his schedule to my hours, he's come into my class, he knows my students, he has given me countless back scratches at the end of a long day, the list goes on and on.

7. Last, but not least, I have Amber as my CFA. She is really awesome. I knew we would get along when she came to my class and we realized I had known her parents at the Jerusalem Center. But honestly, Amber invited me over to her house before school where we spent literally HOURS planning every second of my first week of school, giving me 90% of the books in my classroom library, and COUNTLESS other ideas and resources. How incredible and above-and-beyond is that? So much of what I do comes from her great ideas. She even came in and taught my class a few times, and I loved watching her. She took the normal routine things I do each day and stretched them into greater learning opportunities for the students. She also came to observe me. Every time she did, I never felt nervous because she knew just what to say to make me feel like a great teacher but want to be better at the same time. She's very supportive. I honestly feel a little jealous that new interns, cohorts, and student teachers get to work with her next year.

I'm sorry if there is anyone that I left out. I'm not a master teacher, not even close, but people took a chance on me and helped me achieve my life-long dream of teaching, even if it turns out that it is only for this year. Walking into the classroom - MY classroom, was an indescribable feeling. I remember one day in the summer I just walked around the school by myself and let it all soak in. It really was a dream come true. When I leave next month I will walk away knowing that I tried my hardest and that my students learned things they never knew before. I try to remember when I lose my patience that every child in that room is celestial. I am the only one who isn't. That is a pretty humbling thought. Right now I'm feeling lucky to be Mrs. Lee the intern - ask me tomorrow at about 11:00 and I may not feel so great about it, but that's just how it goes sometimes, huh? :D

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Scrapbooking

When I was 12 or 13, my mom started taking me down to the church once a week during the summer to scrapbook with the ladies in the ward. I think she figured it was too late to start with her own life, so she helped me with ideas, cutting, and getting supplies. A single page takes me about 1 1/2 hours to complete, and I don't do much more than cut pictures into circles and cut out a title with stencils! So for those who have never done it, know that scrapbooking really is a LOT of work!

Last year for my birthday Russ and my parents got me digital scrapbooking software. There are lots of great things about scrapbooking on the computer, especially being able to download paper and things for free. It also takes a LOT less time. Plus with that software, I made Garrett and Krystal's wedding announcement, a family memory book, lots of picture collages for my desktop, AND my scrapbook pages.

During spring break this week, I've been working hard. Sadly, I even have dreams about scrapbooking! I also discovered that I could print my pages for about 50 cents each here at BYU! I must admit that I don't think the quality is as high as if I'd got pictures developed and then scrapbooked them, but it looks so great! When I just flip through the pages, I can't tell which are "real" and which are digital.

Although life is just going to keep going and there will ALWAYS be more to scrapbook as the years go by, I am caught up to 2010! Okay, well, not quite. I have 5 pages left to finish, but compared to the 231 pages that ARE done (yes, I counted), 5 is NOTHING! And by the way, before you wonder why a 21 year old has 231 pages worth of scrapbook - remember that I grew up traveling Europe and Asia!! That is my defense :)

Here are pictures of some pages I've done:


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Friday, April 2, 2010

Spring Break!

Today is a wonderful day. Starting at 3:15pm I went on Spring Break!!!!!!!! Here is what I am excited about in the upcoming week:

1. Hanging out with my cute husband and going on walks with him!

2. Helping get Russ on a study schedule for the GMAT.

3. COOKING - starting with the lemon poppy seed bread I'm making tomorrow for Conference! (thanks to Bonnie for ALL the supplies I didn't have!)

4. General Conference! I always print the primary packet where you can color the apostle's tie and write notes from his talk. It may be juvenile, but I love it. (FYI: watch Elder Holland - his ties almost always have the brightest colors)

5. Scrapbooking.

6. A flexible schedule! Errands, if I need to follow up with the dermatologist or dentist, groceries...the world will be MINE!

7. Easter. It's a beautiful holiday, and I love easter egg hunts complete with a giant chocolate bunny.

8. What I am REALLY excited about is that last Sunday my hives were so irritating that I had Russ and my home teacher give me a blessing. Then on Monday night my legs were so swollen that it hurt to walk and my face broke out. Russ took me to the urgent care center because I would not be able to teach like that, and I got some steroid pills. I believe the blessing actually made the hives bad enough that I could get what I really needed. It's day 5 of that steroid process and I am COMPLETELY cleared up (the hives look like fading bruises, which is weird, but bearable). I've never been so grateful for my skin! Please don't take it for granted! I understand the hives may come back since we still don't know the cause, but I feel normal again! That alone makes for a great Spring Break!

So while there is snow in the weather forecast for the next few days, I am so excited for next week!


I even have time to play with photo booth....


This is my favorite failed picture. hahaha