Monday, February 8, 2016

A Very, Very Special Birthday

I recently put out an all-call announcement at school, 
asking for help with a goal I have,
of helping me make this sweetheart of a man's 96th birthday (Valentines Day) 
special by sending him a birthday greeting.

Ed is the charmer I wrote about here and here. He's a distant cousin, a very special man. I adore him.

I've since received a good number of card promises (about 67, I think). Students have made some great cards, but the card I received this morning blew my mind. See if you don't agree.

Each of these balloons on the front of this card are hand-cut, individually. The letters that spell out Happy Birthday were separately and carefully placed.

 Inside, I found this:
(again, each detail individually cut and placed)

And the melted my heart.

Here is the creative student who made the card. She's in 8th grade!

Sri is an outstanding student, creative, and human being.
I do not know many middle school students who would go to such lengths for a stranger.
When I commented on how incredible it was, she replied,
"I like to work on things on the weekends." 

Ed is going to be so honored to receive Sri's gift. 
You may remember that Ed's career (back in the day) 
was an interior decorator; he knows art when he sees it!
I can't wait to hear how he liked it!

Want to help make Ed's birthday?
I promise, you don't have to go to the lengths that Sri did!
Text me a t 920 445 8989 and I will share his address!

Thursday, January 7, 2016

The Song in Our Hearts

Every once in a while, a very special educator casts a spell over a group of children who are forever changed.  Mr. P is one of those educators. Having completed a full career as a teacher, as well as as a principal, this snow-topped, 6-feet-tall beanpole charmer just can't get enough of kid-company, apparently, as he continues to substitute teach on a regular basis in our district.  I can always tell when Jerry's in the hallway, because children exclaim, "Mr. P!!!!" and run to throw their arms around him in greeting. Everyone smiles when Jerry's around; he's just very charismatic.

Mr. P also just happens to be nearly 80 years old, which only becomes evident when you observe classrooms in which he subs. Mr. P has a unique way of starting class; no class begins without him leading students in a good old round of the 1940's Found a Peanut song. What? Middle schoolers singing Found a Peanut?! Isn't that song too old and corny for 12-14 year-olds? Normally, yes, but not when Jerry's in the room. I've seen it myself; having known Mr. P since grade school, they know the drill. He leads, and they become greasy haired, pimply faced little songbirds with sheepish grins, heads swaying back and forth with enthusiasm.

Unfortunately, though, we haven't seen Mr. P at school in more than a month; in December, he had a spill, breaking a rib. He then got shingles. As if that wasn't bad enough, he developed a staph infection! The poor guy couldn't catch a break and was feeling kind of low. He apologized for not feeling well enough to sub. We responded by sending get-well cards that made Mr. P's day when he received them.  He sent a thank you note that read, in part:

Tiffany wrote, "Roses are red, violets are blue, we all get sick, even you."
My response is, "Roses are red, violets are blue, I'm getting better, because of you!"

What a sweetheart. Mr. P wrote that he'd read every single card multiple times. He also sent a separate note to a student with whom he'd had had a not-so-good interaction one of his last subbing days, telling him that he forgave the boy and to have a nice Christmas; what a class act.

Because Mr. P was so appreciative, we were inspired to do more. Right before Christmas, we decided to do something really special for him.  Guess how he felt about it.

As you can imagine, Mr. P's spirits absolutely soared when he received the video (once he figured out how to play it, which took about a  Once he got it going, though, he could hardly stop watching it, according to his wife, who stopped at school and (with tears in her eyes) thanked us. She did add, though, that she was losing her mind over hearing that song played over and over! Jerry, though, can't get enough of it, and for that we are gratified. After all, to be able to do something so simple that makes a difference so big for someone who's blessed so many of us, it's a wonderful feeling. 

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Heard in the 6th Grade Classroom

In case you're wondering, very little at school has changed since I last posted. Sixth grade is still sixth grade and as entertaining as ever. Today, for example, this conversation between me (a little cranky) and a glazed-eyed student this morning:

"Dude! We can see your hands."

"What?" replied the boy, up to his wrist in each sweatpant pocket.

"Everyone can SEE what you're doing with your hands inside your pants!"

"Huh?" (His hands still busy.)

"The POCKET POOL! Knock it OFF!"

So, yeah; never a dull moment.

On the personal front, we have some big family news, but I don't want to associate it with this I'll catch up with you over the holidays :) In case I miss you, Happy Every Holiday! :)

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Never Say Never

In the past few years (and recently), I've changed my life in some significant ways (significant for me, anyway). Five years ago, I would have bet you $100 that I would NEVER be doing the following today:

*Working out every day (and loving it!)
*Getting up at 5am to work out (This is seriously shocking to me.)
*Drinking coffee without creamer (and liking it!)
*NOT drinking Diet Coke (and drinking a lot of plain water daily)
*Enjoying cleaning windows (Thanks, Norwex!)
*Leaving my fingernails alone I have no idea how/why I accomplished this. I'm still getting used to taking contacts out with fingers with nails! I'm not painting them with anything other than clear polish; pretty sure I won't graduate to that step -- too impractical for me.
*Loving two dogs (I was once pronounced "not a dog person," and she had a point, though I was not about to admit it.)

Never say never!

How about you? Have you surprised yourself? Is your life different in a way you never expected?

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Heard in the Classroom: Survey Says

Recently at school, we asked our 6th grade students to complete an online survey called Getting to Know You. For one of the questions, we asked,

"Everybody struggles with something; what do you hope to get better at this year?" 

Here are my favorite responses:



"To get good grades and stuff like I just don't want to fail because I'm 50% cool and 50% loser"

"Talking to girls"

Another question we asked that resulted in a gem of an answer was this:

Is there anything else you would like your teachers to know?

And the response...

i like haveing every thining perfect

It's great to be back!