Monday, January 27, 2014

A Catch Up on My Life..... has been a LOOOOOOOOOONG time since I last posted on my blog page.  I've been quite distracted!! Some good, some chaotic, some GREAT!!! :)
Let's start with the students this year are a JOY to teach! I had such a rough bunch last year, that it wore me out and drove me to exhaustion by the last day of school! This year I am teaching only literacy and social studies, so I have two classes to teach instead of 1.  I have 43 students in all.  My partner teacher is pretty much the best thing to happen to my job this year!! He has been a life saver, for MANY reasons!! :)  Our students are well-behaved (minus the couple of usual ones), and are pretty decent with academics.  One class is a little higher than the other, but they make up for it with their chatty lifestyle!! :)  Overall, my students have made my job a lot better this year!!!
On the OTHER hand.....the chaos!!! This year our state has started a new program in third grade called "Read to Achieve."  Allow me to explain.......
Our students will take the End of Grade test in May.  In years past, if they do not pass they get a second chance.  If they still don't pass, the teacher basically can argue for a student, if they are ready to move on or not.  This year, if a student does not pass by the second time, they are placed into summer school.  If the parent declines to put their child in summer school, they are retained in 3rd grade again.  If they go to summer school, they will then get another chance to take the test at the end of the summer.  If they pass, congrats....4th grade.  If they fail, they are placed into a 3/4 transition class.  Not quite 4th grade material, but not 3rd grade material either.  They then will get another chance to take the test.  If they pass....congrats 4th grade.  If they fail, 3rd grade!!!!  So.....there is a lot of pressure being placed on us as teachers, and them as students, to PASS THE TEST.  Who cares if they show growth in class,  have a learning disability, are poor test takers, had a rough life and just hate tests, or any other factor that goes into why some students just don't do well on tests!!! 
Enter round 2 of pure chaos!! There is a portfolio section that teachers get to do to help out those students who may not pass.  What do we do???? WE TEST THEM!!!! Each student is to receive 3 tests a week.  If they pass the tests, they are placed in a portfolio as "proof" that they were performing in class, but just bombed the EOG.  If they fail 3 of the tests we give, they no longer qualify for the portfolio process anymore.  Enter back into the criteria above for summer school and all that other yadda yadda yadda!!!  It is ridiculous!!  I feel like my job this year is "Allison Burgess.....Test Administrator."  I hardly have time to pull small groups because we test, progress monitor, test some more, progress monitor, and then test even more!!! I have quickly grown to feel very upset when I think about all the instructional time I have lost due to having to test my babies!!  Not to mention, it bores them half to death!! Do you blame them!????? 
Okay.....venting session over!!! Feedback is totally welcome to either try and make me feel better about all this, or to agree that PASSING A TEST DOES NOT ALWAYS EQUAL SUCCESS!!!!
So....onto the GREAT news!!! I am 23, going on 24 weeks pregnant!!! :)  My husband and I found out we were expecting on September 15th, the day after we stood in the Verizon Wireless store looking for a new cellphone for me, and I bent over in agony of feeling like I was about to blow chunks across the store!!! :)  Great visual...I know!! :)
I took a pregnancy test on September 15th at 6:30 am, and it came back POSITIVE!!! :)  We were trying since June, so it only took us about 2 months to conceive!!  We are SUPER excited about the new blessing that we will be welcoming into our lives, expected May 23rd! We are having a beautiful baby girl, and her name is going to be Alexis Grace, nickname of Lexi!! Let me tell you, this little girl already has daddy wrapped around her teeny tiny finger!!! Daddy also is ready to go out and buy a shotgun for when that first boy comes to our door and asks to see Lexi! :)  Being pregnant, so far, has been incredible!! It starts out with extreme excitement of a positive pee-stick!  Then comes to 6-7 weeks of constant nausea!! I never threw up (Thank you GOD!!!), but it sure was difficult to wake up and go to school and teach with extreme enthusiasm, when I felt like I just wanted to curl up into a ball and sleep!  After the constant nausea passed, it has been so far, so good!!  My belly is getting bigger, which is a good thing I suppose!! Right now I feel pretty good about the weight gain, even though I am seeing numbers that I have NEVER seen on a scale.  I know it is all for the good of the baby, and is proof that she is growing nice and strong!!  I cannot WAIT to meet our sweet little girl and hug her and kiss her and dress her up in cute little clothes (BOY ARE THOSE GIRL CLOTHES CUTE!!!).  I'll try and keep you updated on how things are going! Please pray for a healthy pregnancy for mommy and baby!  I am nervous, excited, anxious, and TERRIFIED all at the same time!  I know God is on my side, my husband is FANTASTIC, and we have parents who are here to love and support us every step of the way.  Now I just need to relax and give it all to God and know that he is in control of everything that happens in life!!
It's POSITIVE!!! NOW WHAT???!!!! :)

Baby Bean Burgess, as she was known as before we found out the sex.....

Look at me now!!! :) 23 weeks pregnant!!!!
So there is my life, in a nutshell, for the last couple of months! My mind has been so preoccupied with being pregnant, that nothing else has really mattered!! It has helped me not get too stressed out about all this testing crap, and has helped me to just relax and enjoy every moment!!  Hope everything has been going well in your lives!!!  Thanks for catching up on mine!!

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Melting my Heart...

Let me tell you why my job is awesome.......

Our art teacher does an award called The Frog Award. She gives it to the class she thinks does a fantastic job in art. There is a trophy with a frog on it, and a green card with frogs punched into it.

So last year, I got it once at the end of the school year.....which was a stretch, but they got it!!! My students, the second week of school, got the Frog Award today!! On their way back from specials, they stopped by our class and said, "WE GOT THE FROG AWARD!!!" I stepped into the hallway and they proceeded to tell me that they got the award for me, because they love me and wanted to make me happy!! This was followed by hug after hug after job in the world?? I think so!!!!! It's things like that, that make up for any frustrating child or event that has taken place in the past!! No we don't get paid a lot, nor do we get appreciated a lot in our state, but the children help make waking up early and planning all worth it!!! 

 I hope I continue to feel this throughout the school year!!! I am so pleased with both groups of students I have this year!! One student yelled out the door at dismissal, "I love you, Mrs. Burgess!!" Now, he is one that can be a little sarcastic at times.....but I'll take it! :) Another student wrote me a letter to tell me she thought I was the best teacher!! I'm not trying to boast or brag.....but it just makes me feel so good about what I am doing every day!!!

Here are a couple of pictures from today. We made the recycling symbols with our bodies!! One way to get the kids up and moving and not fall asleep!! You do what you can to make social studies interesting!!!

I hope everyone is having a great start to your school year! Good luck!!

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

My school year so far...

Someone upstairs was looking over me this year because the children I have this year, so far, are fabulous!! I have two groups this year because we are departmentalizing. 22 and 44 lovelies in all! We have a couple ones that may push our buttons this year, but nothing that is too much of a challenge....yet!! :)

So the best part of this group are their names.....

Lets begin, shall we??




I've already started with nicknames to help me out!! One student....Amir.....his nickname is Trouble....and rightfully earned! He even signs his name as Trouble (spelled Truble)!! He is a ham....but I love him!!!

So we are starting the year off the best way possible.....test after test after test!! Pre-assess, pre-assess, pre-assess!! I feel bad for the little darlings! Other than that, it's been a GREAT start to the year! I've finally figured out my A, B, C, D, E, F day schedules, and we are on our way to a great year!!

I need to take pictures.....but until then, I'll leave you with me and my twin from today!! This little one is teeny tiny, but has the personality of an 18 year old!! Her story is one that would make you cry, but love her that much more!!! Without further to do......

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Let the school year begin....

Classroom is set up.....

Children have been met.....

Staff seem to be positive....

Expectations have been set.....


Today we had our open house. It seriously was one of the best ones I've ever had! The kids were super sweet, the parents seemed to be involved and nice, and I got to see some of my "old" students!! That is one of the best parts of starting a new year! When you see a child running down the hallway to come give you a hug is one of th best feelings!!! ESPECIALLY when it's one that was a difficult and they still want to say hi! I don't know if it was because its my fourth year, or if I just prepared more, but I felt confident and so comfortable!! God truly places you in places where you are meant to be! 

I am ready! It is my prayer that I can maintain this enthusiasm and excitement all year!! As said befor, last year was a learning experience for many reasons! I'm ready for this new year!! 

I hope everyone else had a great open house! Ill let you know how my first day goes! Can't wait to see those smiling sweet faces on Monday morning! I know I don't get paid a lot and it can be a challenge, but I have the BEST job EVER!!!! 

A keynote speaker at our School system pep rally today said one of the best statements.....

(May be a little paraphrased)
Every challenge has a little gift wrapped up inside of it!!

That's my job!! It's a challenge with all the logistics and government pulled into it (and sometimes the parents)......but the gift of teaching a child is well worth it to me!!! :)

Happy New Year to all teachers!!

Thursday, August 15, 2013

A New Beginning...'s that time of year again! Summer is wrapping up, students are buying new book bags, new clothes, new folders, and anxiously awaiting the arrival of their new teachers name!!

In the mean time, teachers are fixing up rooms, buying new clothes with our most recent pay raise............ .....what? One can dream, can't she???

Well, my room is coming together! Right now, we are looking at about 21 students to start the year off. That number will probably change, but that's not a bad start! I'm only teaching reading this year, so itis nice to not have to worry about math manipulatives and anchor charts!! I'm still trying to get the logistics down for how departmentalizing works, but ill figure it out! 

I am really looking forward to this year. There are going to be many new things, as well as new faces for our staff! Departmentalizing, possibly co-teaching, staff wellness (which we have several fun things we are working on for our staff), grade chair again, Box Tops coordinator (did it last year, but didn't do much with it), and NEW KIDS!! I will have two groups this of them HAS to be wonderful!! :) like I said kids last year taught me a lot!! :)

So next week starts the unending planning of classrooms, lesson plans, staff wellness, and more! We are even having a "Pep Rally" for all teachers in our district to try and get excited about this school year!! It's not a pay raise....but what can ya do?? Smile and keep on trucking!

Tomorrow is my last day of summer vacation. What am I doing on this day?? I will be spending it hiking up a mountain with a friend of mine!! I told her she may regret it later!! :) Then we will be ending the day with a dinner at TGIFridays with our teammates, and a couple of honorary teammates!! :) Should be a good time!

Good luck to everyone who has already started, or starting next week!! Another year coming.....hold on and enjoy the ride!!

By the was great at work because I got this visit from a very special and handsome husband!!! He surprised me by coming to see my room!! Made my day!! Don't be jealous! :)

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Opinions Welcome!!!

This year, my friend and I will be taking on a new committee at school. It is one that is pretty important to staff morale and staff dues....we will taking on the Staff Wellness committee! I am excited and nervous because we will be in charge of staff parties, staff dues, staff snacks and luncheons, and other important jobs. 

The overall morale at our school the past 2 years has quickly dropped. We have had a few changes that just seemed to put a hole in the family feel and excitement of our school. I would like to say, "Have no fear.....Allison and Julie are here" and all will be well, but I'm still trying to think of ideas or ways to help bring that excitement to a broken school and difficult school system!!

Any ideas are welcome. You don't even have to work at a school! Just think about these questions and let me know any feedback you can give!!! K???? Thanks!!!!

1. What does your job do to help keep things exciting and enjoyable?
2. Are there any staff incentives or treats that are given for specific things done?
3. How do your staff parties typically play at a restaurant, meet at the school, meet at a staff members house, other? Cater, cover dish, no food?
4. In a school setting, what kind of things do you do to make things fun for you and the kids?
5. Any other input welcome!!!! Please and thank you!!!!!

Friday, June 7, 2013

And then God said....

"Let there be summer..."

And it was.....

And it was good!!!!!!

Y' is summer vacation time!!! 2 teacher workdays, and summer is official!! Like I said on my last post, my class taught me a lot this waving goodbye was a slight sigh of relief!! Lot different from last year when I was bawling my eyes out as I watched my sweet kiddos walk to their bus!!! No, no, tears here!!! My lovelies argued with each other all the way to the end of the day when we lined up to dismiss. 

We all waved from underneath umbrellas and covers as the heavens opened up and rain poured down on us. Didn't bother me a's summer vacation!!!!

Now it's time to start thinking about next year....several big changes.....we are going to departmentalize in 3rd grade (ill be teaching reading), I will be grade chair with my coworker and friend, I will be taking over our staff wellness committee....with the same coworker and friend, and a whole new group of kiddos!! :) bring it on!!! After this year, I feel like I can tackle anything!! Lets hope so!!

I'm hoping to get some blogging done this summer since I went nonexistent for quite some time, and make some new products to post on TpT. Other than that, I will be tutoring 12 little lovelies this summer and spending time with my pups!! Have I mentioned sleeping in, because that will be happening, too!!! 

And let all the teachers in the NC say......AMEN!!!!