Sunday, February 5, 2017

She is

I'm not a blogger, but she is.
I'm not techie, but she is.
I'm not a master teacher, but she is.
I am not prepared for her to leave, but she is.

For four years, I have had the privilege to learn from one of the greatest teachers in our district. I have watched, learned from, and modeled her reader's workshop. I have followed nerdy book blogs that have encouraged me to both read more books and eventually apply for grad school. I have stalked professionals like Donalyn Miller and attended the Teacher's College in New York, all because she is the best teacher I know. And along the way, she has also become an amazing friend who I am going to miss more than I can even fathom.

My life has changed because of her. I am still not a great wordsmith, but I will blog every March during Slice of Life. I am still not techie, but I am not scared to try out new technology tools until I get them right. I am still not a master teacher, but I have a solid foundation upon which I can continue to build. It is only because of her influence that I can say this. She has given me these things.

I readily admit that I was scared of her at first. Who can survive under the shadow of such greatness. Little did I know of her self sacrifice to make those around her better. She pours her heart and soul into everyone, not just the students in her classroom but every person in the school.

So, what do I do now? I keep going. I keep hearing the lines from Top Gun when Carole tells Maverick, "He loved flying with you. But he would've done it anyway, without you. H'd have hated it, but he would've done it." So, I am prepared to hate it, but I'm prepared to do it. And there will be days when I say, "Talk to me, Goose," and try to figure out exactly what you would do.

You are going to be amazing at this new job, just like you are now. That won't make me miss you less, and I am only beginning to realize just how fortunate I am to have spent so much time with you as my teacher, mentor, and friend. This week will be hard. Next week will be harder. But we are all better for your influence, passion, drive, and love. Thank you for everything, Tenille!
Image result for book quotes about missing someone

Thursday, March 3, 2016

I'm still here!!!

I'm not really participating in SOL this year. It's just too much with all of my graduate work, teaching my class, and a student teacher. In the mean time, if you want to read some excellent book reviews (I got an "A") head over to my other blog.

This semester, I am taking two classes: School Library Media Center and Storytelling. So, I might pop in from time to time, but for now, I will lurk in the shadows.

Here's my latest project if you want to review it and give me some feedback.  :)

Tuesday, March 31, 2015


What a day! Writing STAAR is over and now we can spend some time reading.  I love to hear my students asking, begging even, for reading time. I feel like I have accomplished something when my "non-readers" want quiet time in a book. I love to celebrate with those who finish a novel for the first time ever. I love finding more "books like that one." My biggest hope is that my students will leave my classroom loving to read and write as much as, or more than, I do.

That being said, when I started this challenge, I didn't know if I loved writing enough to sit and blog daily (well, almost). I can now say that I do. What a fun challenge this has been for me. I am so thankful that my teammate asked me to join in on Slice of Life. I managed to make it 20 out of 31 days which is a far greater number than what I thought I would write when I took on the challenge. So, is this goodbye? I don't think so. I may not write daily, but I think this is a habit that I should keep. And while I don't plan to go back to page one, maybe April 1 is a good place to start all over again.

Monday, March 30, 2015

Fine Line

Today (and tomorrow) I am forced to walk a fine line between Mrs. Ware and Mommy. Having a 4th grader while teaching the 4th grade has its own set of challenges, but throw in the STAAR test and we are in a whole new realm. As an educator, I am required to swear under oath that I will not view or discuss confidential testing materials or I can face serious consequences including revocation of my teaching license or even criminal prosecution. My daughter, however, is not bound by those rules, and she wants to tell her Mommy all about the test, what she wrote, and all the strategies she used. This is one of the few times that I have to keep a very distinct yet incredibly fine line between the two hats I wear.

If I haven't mentioned it, I truly hate everything about this test, from its ridiculous rules to the way the questions are written and even the amount of money the state pays to Pearson. Now, I can include the problems it causes in families. I am encouraged by some of the legislation coming out of Austin, so hopefully, parent's voices are finally being heard, and change is coming.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Busy Hands are Happy Hands

Procrastination and avoidance have been my friends this weekend. I have found ways to be busy, busy, busy, but there is no way to avoid it. It is here...the dreaded TEST! I guess I've held it together this year better than I have in the past. My husband didn't even realize that tomorrow was writing test Day 1. My daughter seemed to think she'd get out of housework because she will have to work so hard tomorrow and Tuesday. Ha! I can only hope that the wheels are finally in motion to get us off of this crazy ride. The undue stress placed on teachers and students has to go. There are a multitude of different ways to test student performance and progress, but this test isn't it.

Tomorrow and Tuesday I will spend the day "actively monitoring" all students in my classroom. They will each get a STAAR baggie with all the necessary supplies including a magic pencil. I will stand behind each student and silently pray over them to feel confident and to do their best. They are only 9 and 10 years old. While testing is a way of life, this test only serves to create anxiety and feelings of not being good enough. My dear, dear students, you ARE good enough and Mrs. Ware believes in you!

Friday, March 27, 2015

Just relax

I spent the day covering my classroom walls to ensure that my students wouldn't get any extra help on STAAR. My room looks absolutely ridiculous, and I am ready for the tests to be over! I think my students feel that way, too.

So, to de-stress a little, my mom and I hung out at a local "artsy" place tonight making a spring wreath. I am the most un-crafty person I know, but this turned out pretty good for me. The quality time with my mom was priceless as well.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Young Life

It's always tricky to be friends with the parents of your students. However, when you live in the neighborhood and interact with those parents regularly, those times will happen more often than not.

This year, I have a parent and her daughter who have both been such a blessing to me and our class. I have come to learn that this mom has a heart and passion for working with teen mothers, and her daughter has a heart and passion for helping children who are hospitalized with serious illnesses. They both spend countless hours volunteering and raising money to help others.  It is heartwarming to see this kind of spirit alive and well and thriving in children.

Tonight, I went with this mom to a small private concert with Dove award winner Ellie Holcomb. The evening was uplifting and inspiring to say the least, and served to remind me of some things that I tend to forget in the madness of the day. I now have a lot to ponder regarding Young Life and how I can play a role in this group.  I was unaware that this group even existed until tonight, so if you would like to read up on them, too, please check out the links below and enjoy some of Ellie Holcomb's music.

Young Life Denton