Sunday, August 12, 2012

High Five

Good afternoon friends! Just like that, another week has flown by. It was another frenetic week as I scrambled around San Diego to officially get cleared to teach. Here are my five favorite things from this past week.

#1 Backing up the title of this blog. This week I signed my contract to teach kindergarten for one year. Now I'm really a first year teacher! :) Since my contract is temporary I am hoping to take this next year to really push myself and prove that I can be a great asset to the school's staff. I already have tons of ideas that I want to try with my new kindergartners. My first day is this Wednesday. I can't wait to meet all my new friends!

#2 Building my classroom library. I love reading to my students. During my student teaching I would always jump right in to conduct Read Alouds whenever I had the chance. It's another dream of mine to volunteer over the weekend and be a children's book reader at the local library (after I've acquired a few years of teaching under my belt of course). This week I started building my library with lots of fantastic picture books - both classic and new. I will admit, I'm quite picky when it comes to selecting books for my Read Aloud library for reasons unbeknownst to me. Here's a list of the books I added to my collection this week:

My Friend Is Sad by Mo Willems
The Girl Who Never Made Mistakes by Mark Pett and Gary Rubinstein
Giraffes Can't Dance by Giles Andreae
If I Never Forever Endeavor by Holly Meade
The End by David LaRochelle
Book! Book! Book! by Deborah Bruss
Old Black Fly by Jim Aylesworth
Officer Buckle & Gloria by Peggy Rathmann
Noisy Nora by Rosemary Wells
Click, Clack, Moo: Cows That Type by Doreen Cronin
Martha Blah Blah by Susan Meddaugh
Chrysanthemum by Kevin Henkes
Miss Nelson Is Missing! by Harry G. Allard Jr.
Mouse Paint by Ellen Stoll Walsh

#3 My parents came to visit me on Saturday and treated me to a celebratory lunch for getting a job. Now, complementary bread with olive oil and balsamic is arguably one of the best parts of any meal, but my fancy was completely tickled by a cruet that the Italian restaurant we dined at had. It had miniature corks to keep the oil and vinegar in and I thought it was the raddest cruet ever! I love objects with a little whimsy. I must get my hands on one!

#4 Six in the morning runs. With the recent heat wave it has been so difficult getting into any solid exercise routine. I used to run every day but stopped once I got swamped with grad school and student teaching. In trying to get back into shape, I decided to run in the morning so as not to fight the excessive afternoon heat. Waking up at six to go for a run has been incredible thus far. The days are so much longer and I've noticed a stark difference in my mood (for the better) on days that I run. During the school week, I might have to wake up at five to keep my routine going or opt for a brisk walk in the mornings and switch over to evening runs. Boo!

#5 Last day of the Olympics. There weren't too many nights in the last two weeks that I didn't stay up to watch the Olympics. This year I was surprised to discover that on top of my usual summer faves like gymnastics, springboard diving, sprinting, and basketball, there were quite a few other events that I unexpectedly enjoyed watching. The most surprising of which was volleyball, a sport that I have never been able to get into prior to this summer's Olympics.

I love that the Olympics were held in London this year. For the last two weeks I've been reminiscing about the wonderful week I spent in London last summer. In fact, I remember seeing the Olympic Stadium when it was still under construction. I'm very proud of both the United States and South Korea for their performance in this year's Olympics.

Finally, the Olympics shed light on how poor my sense of geography really was. I remember watching the opening ceremony and being clueless as to the existence of many of the countries (although it helped that I worked with a refugee student population in my last student teaching placement). As the Olympics come to a close tonight I can say I recognize a lot more foreign countries' flags and names. It's inspired me to introduce my kindergartners to some basic geography. As a student of the California public education system K-12 and having attended UCSD for both my undergrad and graduate work, I'm surprised at how poor my sense of geography and global awareness really is. It's definitely an area where I would like to expand my knowledge.

Here's to a memorable first week as a first year teacher! :)

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