Friday, January 29, 2010

the best thing ever...

Guess what?
Can you guess?
What is the best thing ever?
Guess, guess...
Didn't come up with anything?
Read this...
This little, tiny part of my "visit summary" of today's doctors appointment makes me very happy.
Considering I have been morbidly obese my entire life,
told by doctor after doctor that I need to lose weight, and
working harder than any "normal" person for years on actually losing it...
my SPECIALIST doctor has told me that I am at GOAL WEIGHT!
He also said that I am probably healthier than 98% of the "skinny" people out there as proved by my numbers, diet, and exercise plan.
The best part of the best thing ever? After six weeks "maintaining" this weight, I get to go to Weight Watchers for FREE!
(although he has told me that this is a very maintainable weight, I would like to try to lose about 15 more pounds and read 170 lbs)

Tuesday, January 26, 2010


For those of you who read last night's complain fest/mini-freak out and responded with emails, texts, and phone calls--thank you.

Although I did have a mini-breakdown over the walk throughs, they went well. My wonderful principal and stellar department chair saved the day and explained the group that they COULD NOT come into my second period because it was only the second day of class. They did, in fact, come in waves throughout third (SELA) and fourth (Intro to Lit) and we did, in fact, knock their socks off with our wonderfulness (we=students and me)

Part of my mini-breakdown is that I do take the opinions of these people seriously and I know (because I've been apart of them) that the "debriefing" session that happens when they walk outside of the door can be good, bad, or ugly. I'd prefer to stay away from the ugly comments; I do have to see these people one day and they could very well be my future boss in the administrative job waiting for me.

Also, thanks to my mini-breakdown expression of frustration, my stellar department chair actually sat down with me for 15 minutes and helped me devise a plan for my "new" CAHSEE prep class of 8 students. We're going to spend awhile getting to know each other with a high interest novel (Bluford) and build up some critical thinking skills over the next two weeks. By then, she hopes to have an answer for me about the curriculum.

Whew, I can do cultural building and state standards through a high interest novel, that I think I'm pretty good at. You cannot beat a book where the main character's brother is killed in a drive-by shooting by page five and he is jumped into a gang by page eleven. I can do critical thinking... and I can do it well :) Ahhh, the feeling of peace again.

Too bad that feeling of peace didn't last as I prepare sub plans for the next two days of writing trainings... but that is a whole new complainfest for another day :)

Monday, January 25, 2010

Something is Wrong

Have you ever had the experience where no one knows what is going on, yet you're expected to perform the task anyway?

Has that experience ever been complicated by the fact that in less than 24 hours, thirty-five administrators and cabinet members will be walking in and out of your room in fifteen minute segments for three full hours?

If you have, you probably work at a school, and most likely, my school.

Today was the first day of the semester. I have a "new" class. No, not just new students, but an entirely new class. A new prep, a new ( yet non-existent) curriculum, a new set of expectations and requirements, and a whole new group of very needy students.

How long have I know about this class, you ask?

Precisely seven days--seven days of finals, stress, and not enough time. Seven days of frantic emails to all the people that should know what it going on (but don't). Follow-up frantic emails to the next person that they've referred me to and to the next person they sent me to... and to the next... you get the point. Basically, seven days and five work days of NO ANSWERS.

Today, in this new class, we colored. I made them laugh with my pictures of my pets and my family. They giggled at the matching shirts, the Chargers quick-exit from the playoffs, and my desire to be fun. Then I gave them colored pencils and a sketch to tell me about their personality and their dreams/successes/failures. This worked... for today.

Tomorrow, 35 people will be walking into my room during this new class, my SELA class, and my Language Arts class. SELA and LA, fine, we're dandy, we'll show off our stellarness to you and your clipboard. But, the new class, that isn't fair...coloring and my jokes will not cut it with the clipboard.

Sunday, January 24, 2010


Spent the morning at Disneyland with Rachel, Brenden, Tawni and Sammy. Even with the screaming, it was a enjoyable morning. Thanks girls!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Student Principal

Elementary school is extremely different than secondary school (no, duh!) and I've gotten a sneak peak at the madness the past two days as a "student principal."

My best observations of the point of view of an outsider:
  • Little kids like to move. A lot. They move all over and run into you and other people without a second thought. They move in class constantly.
  • Rainy days are not "happy" times for anyone involved at school.
  • Kindergartners are so stinkin' cute.
  • Dismissal time is incredibly stressful with 900 kids all over the place and late parents... and of course, rain complicates it!
  • Phonics are exceptionally confusing to me (which is a completely different issue), but the kids seem to get it and the "sound-spelling" cards are a great visual cue for them.
  • Six graders can be annoying just like eighth graders, but they can also be cute and funny like seventh graders.
  • Elementary school teachers should be paid more than me!

8 hours done. 52 hours left.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Week Two

Another successful week of Weight Watchers and Curves. I lost 2.4 pounds this week! I love this chart :)

Tuesday, January 19, 2010


High school is a whole new ballgame for me and this week is finals; over the next three days, my students will be proving their learning to themselves, me, the school, and the entire district.
My own high school finals seem like a blur. To be completely honest, the only one I remember taking is my Chem final and that is mainly because I was home on vicodin for a major kidney infection.
My students will be taking a two part final with 98 questions total; 60 questions for the district assessment and 38 for a lit term assessment. They've had a comprehensive study guide for the past two weeks, taken a practice final, and even had a chance to play Bingo with their lit terms.
I am hoping that they prove the knowledge that I know they have, especially my SELA kids... this is also a good indicator if I am going my job as their stellar English teacher.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Best (klutzy) Injuries

My bad mood continues from yesterday and has given way to a dark sense of humor at the moment. For today's best post I thought I'd give you my best injury stories.

I am not an athlete and have never done anything remotely "dangerous" in my entire life; that has not stopped me from really, really hurting myself over the years.

2007: Maui, Road to Hana, attempting to see a "big" waterfall (which turned out to be a trickle) by "hiking" along side a 50 foot drop. Slipped on a wet rock and landed on my right side on top of some incredibly sharp bushes. I was too worried about my SLR around my neck and the cliff to try to break my fall well. Several nasty bruises on my legs and arms and a broken nuckle (found two weeks later).

2005: Central MS, my classroom. Cords were everywhere because of the new technology and the new cord protector that wouldn't lay flat on the ground. Tripped over the cord, doing a rolling somersault across the front of the room in attempt to catch the flying protector. Saved the projector, showed my entire class my underwear, and really hurt my back. Lots of 800 mg motrin and limited movement for WEEKS.

August, 2001: Big Bear, CBU New Student Orientation. Walking down a slight dirt incline on the way to the fire pit, slid a little (like 6 inches), and ended up tearing two ligaments in my ankle. Air cast and "no walking" for the first six weeks of college.

June, 2001: Parent house, my bedroom. While getting out of bed, fell to the ground after finding that leg was asleep. Severe sprain of ankle.

2000: Parents house, kitchen. Making snickerdoodles to take to school, when the handmixer had a hard time mixing the tripled batch, I stirred it by hand and strained my rotator cuff. Sling for two weeks.

1999: Mrs. Rosenburg's Honors Chem class, El Capitan HS. Lab experiment where we had to put glass rod into rubber plug; I was given the responsibility for this part because I often exploded chemicals and this was considered "safe." Ended up pushing too hard and shattering the rod through my finger at the palm. Lots of blood, passing out at the nurses office...

I could keep going, but you get the point :)

Sunday, January 17, 2010

bad mood

I was going to blog about how great my boys did against the Jets, but that didn't turn out well. Frankly, it has put me in an incredibly bad mood.

Bad moods usually make me want to complain about things.

Then I read a blog at the PrincipalsPage (a witty, very sarcastic superintendent's take on school politics, annoying parents, and life in general) about school change. He basically said that we should stop teaching stupid, useless things like spelling, cursive, memorization of facts, etc.

I agree.

Just last Wednesday during our ninth grade team meeting, my fellow teachers began complaining that students did not know how to use a dictionary, didn't know what the abbreviation "ant" or "syn" stood for, and couldn't figure out how to spell a words, etc. Expressing my opinion is usually met with eye-rolls by a a few teachers and this time it was no exception (I wish I could keep my mouth shut in these situations, but I can't).

"Why do they need to know how to use the dictionary? They have the internet and they all know that will provide an answer in 3 seconds."

"Yes, Jennifer, but how are they going to know the synonyms if they can't find it in the dictionary?"

"Um, have you ever looked up a word online? It usually says the word, multiple definitions, synonyms, and antonym. There is usually a lot more space to spell out the words, add sound bites, sentences with the word used correctly..."

"Yes, but how will they know if the word is spelled right?"

At this point, I stopped and laughed, "That is the reason they don't use the dictionary; there are no spelling suggestions when they're wrong."

The roll-eyeing increases at this point to a head shake and the standard blow-off statement, "You young teachers, you just don't understand."

After five years of getting this type of reaction, I have (thankfully) learned to be quiet at this point and simply say, "maybe."

BUT what I am thinking is...

"NO, you don't understand. You wonder why you have students who hate you and that you spend 90% of your time trying to get the students to do things "your way" instead of learning. You wonder why your test scores suck and no matter how closely you follow the textbook, they don't increase (then you say the test doesn't matter and can't judge you). You wonder why students fall asleep in your classroom with your overhead projector and old grainy photocopies. You are the one that doesn't get it."

Until they "get it" they will continue to complain, I will continue to attempt to "enlighten" them, and I'm sure I will continue to get the eye-roll.

That is until I rule the school as an administator--then they will nod their head at me and smile and go back to their classroom and make the same mistakes...

Disclaimer: does not pay me; I am a real user. However, if they wish to, they can contact me at

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Mt. Rubidoux

In 1906, Frank Miller and Henry Huntington decided turn Mt. Rubidoux into a significant part of Riverside culture. Before the 1930's hit, they had insituted it as a Riverside landmark, make sure that it had a paved road, a cross, and a multitude of people admiring it.
In 2001 at CBU's new student orientation, I was introduced to the mountain. As part of the orientation week, students and student leaders walked the mountain to sing praise songs together at the top. I dreaded the climb, but went. Several overweight people and myself walked slowly stopping A LOT in order to make it. By the time we reached the top, the worship team was done playing and were packing up the small sound equipment they had brought with them. It took me almost two hours to get to the top.
After that awful day, I refused to go each year as a student leader during orientation. It was humilating, even though no one said anything negative to me. Last year after I had successfully lost 70 pounds, Des and I decided that we'd walk up it and we made it. As I reached this top this time, I had an incredibly different feeling of accomplishment.
I want to make the walk a habit. Last weekend, Tawni and I hiked up. Today, Reese and I went up by ourselves. I made it to the top in 40 minutes. Even better, I passed A LOT of people on my way up. It was the best feeling ever.
As I reached the top, my Zen was playing "what an amazing God you are, I stand in awe of you." I stopped and thanks God that He gave me the strength and the determination to change my life for the better and that he made a mountain like Mt. Rubidoux to show me that I can accomplish new things with Him.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Best organizational tools

At school, I am an organization princess. At least that is what people tell me. Also get called "the most organized person they know" and told that "if Jennifer is confused, [whatever they're talking about] was wrong, not us."

I've borrowed and adapted many things from fellow super-star organizers over the past few years to earn this title. Here are my top 10 best organizational tools for an overworked (and way over papered) teacher in no particular order:
  1. Create a folder system on you computer that is logical. How many times have we seen someone's desktop that has 50 files all over it? Just look at Dave's. Instead, I create a folder that says the subject, within that are subfolders that say the main categories (Discipline, Admin Materials, Seating Charts, Sub Plans, House on Mango Street, Persuasive, etc), within the categories, name files so they are extremely clear. I also use one letter in front of the curriculum folders to indicate it if is reading (R), writing (W), or testing (T). You don't want to have to open the file to realize that it isn't what you're looking for. For example, to find the bingo card I used today in class, here are the steps you'd click--My Computer, Jennifer's Hard Drive, Arlington High School, Intro to Lit, T-Finals Review, "Bingo Card for Lit Term Review"
  2. Look at every email once, file accordingly. Delete it if it requires no action and you don't need it for reference. After you've created seperate folders in your inbox, if you need the email for reference later, drag it into the correct folder. If the email requires a response, respond immediately or it will be gone forever from your mind.
  3. Spend the extra hour at the beginning of the year typing all of your parent emails into your Outlook Contacts, under the students name. Make them into a distrubution list by period and you can send out mass emails by clicking just a few buttons. Also, by organizing it by the students name you don't have to try to remember which paper goes with which kids now that we have SO many different last names.
  4. Look at every paper once and put it in its place immediately. Decide immediately if it is trash (98% of papers), it it requires immediate attention (1%), or if it required "keeping" for the future (the last 1%). Obviously, trash goes in the recycling bin without further ado, immediate attention gets "done" whatever it may be, and "keeping" gets put in the storage area based on what the paper is about. This works especially well if they've placed a recycling bin by the teacher's mailboxes :)
  5. Create a file system that is easy and clearly labeled. So the 1% of papers that need to be kept are usually something that you'll use in the upcoming months. If you leave them on your desk (like is our natural tendiency), they are gone when we need them and or take way too much time to find. I staple file folders to the wall with the common areas I get papers (English Dept, Staff Development, School Site Council, Student Info, Classroom walkthroughs/Evaluations, Unfinished tests) and when I get a paper that I need to keep, it slides into the folder and is held there until I need it. No fancy filing, nothing annoying, no three hole punch needed.
  6. Collect no student papers. Every single paper, no matter what, gets turned into the period boxes (plastic three-drawer things from Walmart). Don't remove them from the period boxes until you're ready to grade them. After grading, put them in the second set of period boxes marked "Corrected Paper." Never lost a paper/assignment yet.
  7. Keep everything electronic, electronic. If you make a "master" to photocopy, but it is still on your computer, there is NO reason to keep the master, use it as a handout. Don't print agendas, minutes, email, etc. Binders of papers don't make us organized because we rarely look at them. Store it electronically, it is a whole lot easier to find.
  8. Invest in bins to organize supplies. $1 each at Big Lots--get 20 shoe box size ones at least (I have 20 shoe box size and 10 paper box size). Label the containers, put the supplies in the bins and always put it back when you're done. They stack, they are easy to unstack, and there is no confusion when you send someone to your cabinet to get something or a kiddo is suppose to "help" put something away.
  9. For staff and department meetings, bring a folder with supplies. I'm talking a pencil pouch with pencils, pens, color pencils, highligher, ruler, scizzors, and glue stick, along with pacing guides, testing schedules, common assessments. Why? Because at every meeting we waste 80% of the time looking for something that we can't find that we need to make a good decision. We want to create a "great" idea but we don't have the stuff to do it. At the beginning of the year I make several identical folders up with this stuff--this year I only had two: English Department and SELA folder--and I'm ready to go for the whole year. I get to be the hero for this one often, but really, my goal is to waste less time. It also helps when you're bored out of your mind and you're trying not to get in trouble for taking over the meeting or talking to everyone around you, you can just "draw."
  10. Use an electronic calendar (Outlook) and put all the information on it--then LOOK AT IT. Parent conferences with the crazy parent? Note it. Sub day for conference? Note it and add the job number, the date you called in the sub, and the location of the conference. That way when you forget at 7:52 and you're suppose to be there at 8:00, you can look it up in a central location. Dentist appointment, yep, that should be there too, because heaven forbid a kid wants to stay after school that day, you say yes, and realize later that you can't be there, but it is too late to get transportation home. Most importantly--look at it. Look at the whole week at a time.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

I don't know about you...

but I'm bored with this best thing.

So I'm moving on for the second half of the month. I don't want to talk about myself and my best anymore. Too self-centered, way too hard for me to think of anything else to say.

Funny school story for you today--Sports Boy is a good kid. He's smart and gets good grades with little effort. Everyone likes him and he's pretty nice to everyone, even the weird kids. Over the past few weeks, he's gotten a bit too comfrontable in my class. I've had to remind sports boy to turn around and stop talking multiple times; last Friday, I was done and calmly told him that he was to have a 10 minute detention. Immediately, he turned into the Sports Boy I knew from the beginning of the year--he raised his hand, thought deeply, and provided several great insights about our story.

After class, I asked him to stay and gave him the detention slip. Tuesday we met. This was his first detention of his life and he was pretty upset; at the beginning of the detention he handed me a two page apology letter where he professed his life changing new attitude.

Too stinkin' cute. We shouldn't have any issues from here on...

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Successful Week

My first week of Biggest Loser and actually being on plan for Weight Watchers was a giant success!

I lost 2.2 pounds :)

Interested in what a "on plan" WW weeks looks like? Check it out here.

Wordless Wednesday

Last picture of 2009

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

best at

best: (noun) a person's highest degree of competence, inspiration, etc.

After spending a few minutes (more than 4), I've come to the conclusion that I am not the best at anything in particular. Instead, I'm pretty good at a few things and really bad at a lot of things. A jack of all trades, a humanities-woman, etc.

I was never great at a particular subject or "gifted" in one area over another in school; picking a favorite subject was hard, I liked them all. In college, I didn't really do anything hard instead I did a lot of different things (Student Governement, Campus Activities, Yearbook, Newspaper, several clubs, etc).

English is not particularly something that I love (although I do teach it with passion), although I love getting into stories and characters.

Three days later from when I started this post: I guess I do have one thing that I am the best at... I am (in my limited world knowledge) best at middle school yearbook advising? I'd like to say that I'm good at it at all levels, but the CBU experiment doesn't really count and I've never advised at high school level. That also brings me to a point of saddness this year--I greatly miss my yearbook class and the creative outlet that yearbook gave me.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Eleven days later...

This best thing is getting harder... I have no idea how to use this word to inspire a post.

best: (noun) a person's most agreeable or desireable emotional state

Any ideas?

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Sunday's Best

Best: (noun) ones' finest clothing

Church has changed in the 2000's. It is now okay to wear holey jeans and sweatshirts to church. Kids think that dressing up means that they are clean. I completely understand that churches want the atmostsphere to feel less imtimidating and more welcoming, but it makes me a bit sad to see people clearly not in the Sunday's best when I walk into church.

Now dressing up for church isn't about showing off or making myself better than someone else, but instead to show that I care and that I am preparing myself to worship God with fellow believers.

When I was little, dressing up for church was about my mom. Lace, frilly dresses, tights, matching shoes, purses, and the few hats were pretty much torture for me. I didn't understand why then...

Saturday, January 9, 2010


Best: (noun) someone or something that is the best.

Ecouraging friends are the best.

Not only have my friends been supportive of my weight loss, they've joined in. Nicole, from Oregon, is onboard with Biggest Loser and we're going to be email support for each other. Nicole and I met when we were Brownies at Rios Elementry School, spent time together at sixth grade camp when I transfered to Blossom Valley, but really became friends during seventh grade. In first period, Miss Halpin's Honors English class, we shared the scary moments as first time junior highers. That year we battled mean eighth graders and stood up to stupid boys :) She has been my best friend for over fifteen years! Tomorrow is her birthday!

Tawni has also decided to compete in her own Biggest Loser competition at church and at her school. Yesterday, we walked ourselves up Mount Rubidoux. It is a pretty good hike up and down, but it is on a paved road, so there is no danger of me tripping :) Tawni and I met our freshman year of college in the dorms. She lived down the hall on the "naked wing" and I knew from our first conversation that she is easily one of the nicest people I've ever met. We got really close when we lived in Lancer Arms together, planned her wedding, and grew into adults together. I am so glad that the Websters live in Riverside because I get to see them! It has been nine years!

Friday, January 8, 2010

Eating Best

best: (adverb) most excellently or suitably; with most success

In order to use this word correctly, I must explain that best is the superlative for the word well. ex: Computers work well vs. Computer work best if kicked.

Jen eats well when she plans ahead.
Jen eats best if she plans and prepares ahead of time and forces herself to follow the plan.
This week, I've been re-concentrating on eating better than well, eating best. My planning ahead usually takes the form of going to the grocery store, buying lunch supplies and haphazardly getting stuff for dinners. I've prepared much better for my Weight Watchers friendly dinners. Not only do I have food for lunch but I have all the fixings for the following meals;
  1. Tri Tip Steak (Jan. 4)
  2. Salsa Porkchops
  3. Stir-fry Chicken
  4. Turkey Zitti
  5. Sloppy Joes
  6. Baked Breaded Chicken Alfredo (Jan. 6)
  7. Chicken Noodle Soup
  8. Tri-tip Veggie Soup
  9. Broccoli-Chedder Soup (Jan. 7)
  10. Several versions of pizza (Jan. 3 and Jan. 5)

I have also concentrated on getting enough water into my system. At CMS, I never had an issue, but I've used my bathroom (or lack thereof) issues as an excuse since starting this school year. Another excuse I've uses is "no place to put my 5 gallon jug" and I can't use that many water bottles per day.

Here's my new plan... take this baby to school every day with water from home. Drink most of it during fourth period, go to the bathroom, drink during lunch, teach fifth period, go to the bathroom again and again and again :)

I took the picture next to a regular water bottle so you could see the true size--that is a 44 oz water bottle!!

I have been successful so far!

Thursday, January 7, 2010


best: (adjective) largest, most
The best part of my day is when I get home and put my PJs on (because heaven forbid, I wear them to teach in... that would not qualify for the best teacher award). Anyone close to me knows that I don't like to wear clothes; instead I love to pull on the fleece/flannel/cotton pants, fuzzy slippers, and a big sweatshirt. Once I've changed into this "evening" outfit, it will be hard to get me out of it.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

Best Dad
Best Sister
Best Football Team

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Biggest Loser: The Best

I rarely journal on paper; I like to process things outloud and through blogging; however, as I was cleaning out a drawer I found a journal with one entry. This is the first few sentences...

February 15, 2007

When I got on the scale today I saw 283 pounds and I didn't believe it. I got off, started crying, and got back on. Jennifer how did you let yourself gain it back and gain more? Do you not care that you'll have diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholosteral by the time you're 30! Even though I willed it to be a lower number the second time, 283 blinked up at my in those disgusting green digital lines. After I weighed myself I cried and haven't stopped.

Thank heavens this isn't the same Jennifer I am right now. Shortly after I wrote that, I put the journal in my drawer and promptly forgot I poured my pain into the pages. I don't think I ever told anyone about that day; however, I do know that I started "watching" and "thinking" about what was going in my mouth. A few weeks later, Anne emailed the whole school that we were going to have a biggest loser competition at CMS. On April 27th, we started the competition and I weighed in at 264.4. I was, by far, the heaviest woman. Thank God for Anne and that competition.

Kicking starting my weight loss and bringing back my confidence, I lost a pretty good chuck of weight. Because of BL, I decided that I needed to continue even after the competition was over. I convinced Tawni to go with me and we joined Weight Watchers on July 3, 2007.

Starting WW at 245.4 felt like an accomplishment. The first year of WW was successful as well and at my one year anniversary of WW I weighed 185.4.

One and a half years later, I am joining another Biggest Loser competition because I am still at 185 (actually 188 as of last Wednesday). This time I'll be doing it from January 5-May 15 through Curves; I'll have the benefit of a lot of food knowledge, WW support, and Curves support. My goal is to be at 170 by May, 18 pounds.

Ashley, my curves trainer, has promised to be a Jillian and yell at me when I am not pushing myself hard enough every day. We'll also have "last chance workouts" on Monday between 5-7 pm each week. Weigh-in days are Tuesdays!

Gone is that sad, morbidly obese girl.

She's been replaced with a strong, slightly-overweight girl :)

Best teacher ever

best: (adjective) most advantageous, suitable, or desireable
It has always been my goal to be the best teacher possible. I want to serve my students and create a learning atmostshere that is fun and engaging.
In my honors and AP classes I had amazing teachers, by far the best teachers at El Capitan High School. Not only did they give me a great advantage in college, but their teaching was suitable for the brillance that was surrounding me (in all my brillant friends, not me) and challanged us to grow and learning. Our classes held a high level of desireability when it came to college applications and even helped out most of us for college units from AP tests. Now I say this because, my best teachers were teaching AP classes. How often can students in "normal" classes say that their teachers were the most advategous, suitable, or desireable for them? I hear stories from friends who were not in AP/honors classes and I am appalled at the lack of good teaching.
While I do enjoy teaching the honors (GATE) classes, I teach all "normal" classes this year. Does that mean that I should not challange my students? Does that mean that I should not expect them to do the same thing that I'd expect GATE students to do? Does that mean I give worksheets and show movies instead of reading the book? NO.
My goal is to be the best teacher for every single student reguardless of which class they are in and which "track" they've been placed in after years in the NCLB world.
I want to be the most advantageous for them--they should be leaving my class wholey prepared to enter tenth grade and score proficient on the CST. They should have everything they need, if they choose to use it, to advance into a honors class.

I want to be the most suitable for them--I must continue to search out ways to teach the material that is interesting and applies to each learning modality. Teaching with visual, auditory, and kinesthetic learners in mind is critical to all of my students success. Not only should I be aware of their brain, but I need to teach them how to make their brain more effective.
I want to be the most desireable for them--I know, every student will not like me; however, I want to make sure that I am pushing them enough that they don't wish they were in another teacher's class. I would like the reputation of "the teacher that pushed me to learn for myself."
In order to do all of these things, I continue to be a student myself. Trainings and books should not be considered a waste of time, but instead a chance for me to improve in my skills to better serve my students!

Monday, January 4, 2010

Best Books

best: (adjective) of the highest quality, excellence, or standing

Best Books:
Good in Bed
Jane Eyre
Little Women
Memories of a Giesha
Once and Future King
Pride and Predjuice
Roll of Thunder Hear my Cry
The Other Queen (really any book by Philippa Gregory)
Twilight series
Wuthering Heights

Sunday, January 3, 2010

January NaBloPoMo

This is one new years' resolution that I am willing to make and should not have a problem keeping. Following my success of November's NaBloPoMo, I will take part in January's National Blog Posting Month with the focus on "best."

In order to make the word apply (and actually make it possible to write for 31 days), I'm going to use one of my favorite places. has twenty different definitions of the best. We'll start with best used as an adjective and then work our way through the adverbs, nouns, verbs, and idioms.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Christmas Day with the Bennetts

Christmas morning, we woke up to our stockings and mom's cinnamon rolls!
The classic stocking picture :)
Our new, matching PJs Mom's snowman puff
Dad's Mickey keychain
haha, Dave's new "work" shirtOur little family with a sleepy puppy
As soon as she got her blanket from Aunt Melissa she feel asleep

Friday, January 1, 2010

Looking forward to 2010

Exciting things I'm looking forward to, by the month, during 2010
  • 1-Class only on Saturdays with my favorite professior
  • 2-Reaching 50 workouts at Curves and earning my ladybug
  • 3-Dave graduating with his BA in Network Security (God, please make a job for him)
  • 4-Hearing the results of the 2009 CSPA yearbook crown competition
  • 5-Rachel's baby boy is coming for a visit
  • 6-Graduating in June with my MA in Educational Leadership (God, please remind me that I don't want to get a Ph.D during this process)
  • 7-Both Dave and I being done with school and home together in the evening for the first time in our marriage, vacation?!?
  • 8-Four years of marriage and Robyn's baby is coming (God, please make it a girl)
  • 9-Starting back to school with a new assignment (God, please make Yearbook happen)
  • 10-Officially being "old" at 27
  • 11-Melissa's birthday and...
  • 12-Dave turns 29, CHRISTmas, vacations, 2011

Of course, there are some things that don't "fit" into the months because I have no idea when they'll happen;

  • Dave getting a good job in his computer field which makes him happy (Selfishly: perferably one making a good salary)
  • Dad going to a church that will uplift him and allow his serve God (Selfishly: perferably in SD or closer to me)
  • Melissa finding the perfect RN job for her in a place that she'll learn and meet the perfect cute doctor
  • Mom getting to keep her El Cap job for as long as they need it and if they do have to move that she'll adjust in her powerful fashion
  • Spending time with my friends and being a part of their ever growing families as they celebrate love, pregnancy, babies, etc.
  • The house moving towards completion (notice I didn't say "complete," I am not that unrealistic) as the money and time is provided through our hard work