Sunsets, Speedos, and Sass, Oh My!

Oh, Fall Break.

It’s not me. It’s you.

You are hurting my feelings by wanting to end our relationship. We were just getting to know one another and getting used to having each other around, and now you are preparing to LEAVE!?

Downright rude.

However, I sure have enjoyed our time together. It’s not quite over, but I had a school dream last night.  And that… that is the beginning of the end.

I thought I’d document a few random thoughts and observations to remember the time we’ve shared.

Head’s up, I’m listening to The Pistol Annies right now, so my thoughts may be a little sassy.

(Speaking of, Miranda Lambert, could you write a song about the current education system in my lovely, landlocked state? You have a way with the snappy words).

(See? I better stop).

(Like our current focus on tests, tests, and FOR GOOD MEASURE, more tests, rather than learning in the state of the volunteers).

(I better change it to some James Taylor and remember I’ve seen fire and I’ve seen rain, and I love my kiddos.  The end).

  • Speedos are a privilege, not a right.  And it is a privilege that should only be granted to a few (VERY FEW) gentlemen. I’m talking like Olympic swimmers only, and that’s iffy.
  • Europeans, particularly Germans, have been very fond of this island I’ve been on the past week.
  • And a fan of the Speedos, short ponytail, and gold necklace.
  • You’re welcome for the mental picture.
  • I will add bikinis to the privilege category. Lawd.
  • I know being on a TROPICAL ISLAND AND ALL may influence this statement, but I truly don’t miss the change in seasons. I don’t mind it being cold for Christmas, but after that, I could get my sun on in the 80s all year long.
  • I have shown serious restraint on commenting on some things related to some stuff on the Facebook lately. Is that vague enough for you?
  • (Let’s just say I love people who voice their opinions backed with research).
  • (In the words of Forrest Gump, that’s all I have to say about that).
  • I’ve been busy shell-hunting, so haven’t done as much reading as my usual on the beach.
  • However, I did read Looking for Me by Beth Hoffman (author of one of my favorites, Saving CeeCee Honeycutt). It was good, but was the first book I read following Redeeming Love.
  • Redeeming Love will never be topped for me in the land of fiction.
  • I know… never say never. But really, it never will.
  • God always reveals to me His beauty at the beach more than anywhere else. When I think that the God who created the ocean, the gazillion grains of sand, the beautiful shells, and everything else just on this little stretch of coast… that He cares about little ole me? Well, that is some kind of powerful, my friends.
  • After visiting the Lighthouse today, I had quite the dilemma. My feet were sandy with no hose (NOT hosepipe, people. That word makes my skin crawl) in sight.  So, I was going to have to put my flip flops on with my feet caked with sand.
  • (See: Problems, FIRST WORLD)
  • Anyway, the point of this almost-pointless story, is my sweet husband stood with me by the ocean’s edge, then carried me to the sidewalk so I could slide on my flip flops with sand-less feet.
  • Seriously, it was the most romantic thing he could’ve done.
  • Clearly, it doesn’t take much to make me all googly-eyed.
  • The most I’ve done for school these past two weeks has been pinning some cute ideas on Pinterest.
  • Put the phone down. I really don’t need to be the Teacher of the Week for my dedication, but the thought is appreciated.
  • I did, however, collect some pretty scallop shells for my twenty-one first grade darlings.

I could keep going, but I’m sure my hand full if that of readers are snoozing from boredom.

So, thanks, Fall Break! You’ve recharged my batteries and have provided some gorgeous sunsets to remember you by.

Next time though, talk to your pal Summer Break and keep me around a little longer.


Please Enjoy Your Stay, Fall Break


You know what’s not overrated?

Fall Break. Two-week long Fall Breaks, that is.


Wasn’t it Patrick Henry who said, “GIVE ME TWO WEEKS OR GIVE ME DEATH!”

(Ok, maybe not to that extent. But, it’s alarmingly close to accurate).

(And – no joke – my iTunes shuffle put on “Life’s Railway to Heaven” as I typed this. WHAT DOES IT MEAN?)

(And, yes, I totally had to use the Google to find who said that quote).

(Truth be told, my guess was Mel Gibson).

I have learned fast and furiously that first grade is not for the faint of heart.  At a recent inservice, a lady I am somewhat-acquaintances with asked me which grade I teach.  I told her it was my first year of teaching first grade, after teaching second grade the previous three.  She then replies, “Oh, well that’s not much of a difference!”

And then I thought this:

nap time

(Keep in mind, she is a high school teacher, whom I’m sure works very hard, but also gets ninety minutes of planning. I digress).

Now let me say that while it’s LEAPS AND BOUNDS different (at least at the beginning of the year), I am beginning to get into the groove and certainly am already seeing a few rewards. And I seriously LOVE my kiddos. They’ve been the motivation for me to get out of bed a lot of these past few, hectic weeks. Second grade is always going to be special to me (you know what they say about first loves), and I could very well find myself teaching second again, but first is sweet in its own way.  The kiddos laugh a little louder at their silly teacher, forgive a little quicker, and find the smallest things a little more exciting.

For example, my class usually goes to my centers two times per week. I do other small group/partner activities more than twice a week, but centers are usually twice because I value my sanity.

So far, every time I say, “We are going to go into our centers now,” the reaction is like when Oprah gave away those cars.


Seriously. There is clapping, squeals, and the all familiar chorus of “YESSSSSSSSSSSSS.”

It’s intense, with all the LEARNING TO READ FLUENTLY AND WHATNOT, but rewarding.

We are all ready for a break, though. Parents, students, administrators, staff, and yes… teachers.  We are working longer hours than ever with the least amount of respect from legislators and “stakeholders” (I am so sick of that word, I could go see the Nurse for a mint about it) than ever.

So beginning Friday afternoon, I am leaving it until October 21st. It will all be there when we’re back. I’ll spend the first week catching up on some things around the house and errands around town, and then the second week will be spent laying in the sun, looking for seashells, and relaxing. And then the Sunday evening will be a night of mourning.

(I’m kidding).


I hope we all, kiddos included, take advantage of these two weeks to recharge our batteries and not think about CCSS, CRA, PARCC, TCAP, TVAAS, TDOE, SCORE, or The Acronym I’m Forgetting (TAIF for short).

So, enjoy it educator friends and sweet kiddos!

But since I am a First Grade Teacher, I’ve learned to especially say,

Keep Reading!

(But by all means, do it on a beach or past your school-day bedtime).

Happy Fall, Y’all.