Photo Friday: Another Door Closes

Today is my last day student teaching 6th grade. I have so many mixed emotions. I am going to miss my students. I am going to miss the mentor teachers and staff at the school. I am going to miss seeing those “Ah Ha!” moments from the students. What I won’t miss are the long hours in the car, grading papers, saying, “I’ll wait,” and the morning staff meetings. 6th grade is such an awesome and awkward time in a young person’s life. I am so blessed that I got to be a part of it for my students. I will never forget them. They will always be my students.

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I had such a great experience with these students and mentor teachers. They have taught me SO much! I cannot thank them enough. They have influenced my teaching philosophy and have helped me become more open-minded. Because of them I know what kind of educator I am meant to be.

So another chapter of my life is coming to a close. Next semester I will be student teaching 1st grade. Oh what an experience that will be! I am nervous excited about this new opportunity, but am confident and know that I am prepared for it.

Next thing I know that experience will be over and it will be time for me to graduate in May!! Some days I think that day can’t come soon enough, while other days I don’t want it to come. I don’t want to have to venture out into “The Real World” yet, but I know that when that day comes I will be ready. I’ll be ready to walk through that new door.

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What I Am Thankful For

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I am thankful for:
my family and friends
my home
my education
my faith
farmers and ranchers

I will use my family and friends in times of need. I will use what precious time I have with them to enjoy my relationships with them.  Life is short. Show your love ones how much you love them.

I will use my home as a shelter and a place to appreciate who I am and how I was raised. For if ever I leave I know there will always be a place to call home.

I am extremely blessed that I grew up in a home that values education. I plan to continue pursuing my degree to become an educator. I hope to teach my future students the value of being educated.

I will use my faith to believe in the man upstairs and to have faith in His plan for me. I will continue to thank him for my blessings every day.

Last and certainly not least, I will continue to support farmers and ranchers in the agriculture industry. I will be an advocate for agriculture and thank them for all they do every chance I get.

I hope that you all have a blessed Thanksgiving and that you plan to SHOW your blessings how thankful you are.

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Thank you for your support and stopping by my blog. I am thankful for you.

Experience

“Experience: that most brutal of teachers. But you learn, my God do you learn.”

— C. S. Lewis

I am in the middle of my first semester of student teaching, and boy is it an experience!! An experience that is stressful, fun, exciting, overwhelming, long, and educational. An experience that I am so greatful to have at a great school and with students that I truly enjoy. I am learning how I want to set up my own classroom, what kind of classroom management I like best, strategies for teaching and much more. I will definitely be walking into my future career with experience.

Sure I have some rough, long days. I believe everyone has those days. Experiences can be good and bad. They are never perfect. If they were then you wouldn’t be challenged, you wouldn’t learn anything. You wouldn’t gain experience to help you down the road. I’m not hoping for a perfect student teaching experience. I just hope for one that I can learn from.

Photo Friday: My First Field Trip

Yesterday I went on a field trip to Kelsay Farms in Whiteland, Indiana. Now, it really was not my first field trip, but it was the first field trip that I have ever planned and been responsible for. My first week of student teaching I asked my mentor teacher if I could take my students on a field trip to a farm. He said, “sure but you have to plan it.” So, I planned it and we went and from the photos you can see how much the students enjoyed it. Marion County Farm Bureau sponsored 87 students from my school to attend. When we returned to the school the students wrote thank you notes to Marion County Farm Bureau and included something they learned from the tour and something they liked on the farm. I’ve read all of the notes and the students learned how many times the cows are milked each day, how the cows are milked, how a heifer becomes a cow, how much a cow can eat and drink in one day. They enjoyed all the fall activities: climbing on hay bale mountain, the corn maze, petting the calves, playing in the corn crib and being outside on a beautiful fall day. I also had a good time watching the students react to the smells of the farm and on how the cows were acting. It was quite entertaining for me! It is important to me that my students know where their food comes from. As their teacher, it’s my responsibility to teach them with the help of the awesome people in the agriculture industry. Help from people like the Kelsays. I would like to thank Marion County Farm Bureau for sponsoring and making this trip possible for the students. And a huge thank you to Amy Kelsay, all the Kelsay family and Kelsay Farms staff for taking the time to teach students about ag and inviting them to the farm. All in all I think my first field trip as an educator was a success!

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Photo Friday: Word Cloud

Today’s Photo Friday is a photo of a word cloud I made of Sarah Sums It Up. What is a word cloud? A word cloud is a fun and creative way to showcase words that are used the most from a website or blog. You can also write your own random words by typing out what words you would like to be in your word cloud. I learned about word clouds in one of my college courses last year. It is a great visual to use in the classroom and I will most definitely be using it in my future classroom with my students. I was also able to get creative with word clouds in my summer internship. I created some to use in the design of a feasibility study I worked on. There are so many different ways you can use it. You can select whatever color, font and direction of the words you want. Here are the websites that you can visit to create your own: Tagxedo and Wordle.

Have a fabulous Friday and enjoy!!

What can you do?

“Do not let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do.”

— John R. Wooden

I was on Pinterest last night and came across this video…

Of course I laughed. I laughed a lot! But then I thought, “Well hey! I probably couldn’t do that at her age either!” I bet she is extremely talented at something else. Maybe drawing or playing the piano or telling stories. Just because you are not good at something right away does not mean that you aren’t an expert in another field. As a future educator I am learning how to notice and use a student’s strengths in the classroom and not to focus on their weaknesses. I need to see what the child can do and help them use that to be successful in their education.

For me, I cannot cook. Maybe I just don’t do it enough to like it, so I get creative in other ways. I know I can write, sew, teach and do all kinds of other things. I know what I am capable of and I sure do not let the fact that I can’t cook well keep me down! To sum it up, if you can’t do it right away or not at all don’t let that something keep you down and interfere with something that you can do.

Happy Wednesday! What’s something you can do?

Photo Friday: Why I Write

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Today’s Photo Friday goes out to the man who inspires me to be an educator and writer, my great grandfather, Foster Thomas. He passed away when I was very young but I will always remember his thick, white, curly hair and those thick rimmed glasses. I remember taking dinner over to his house and sitting with him in his leather chair as he read to me. I wish he was still around so I could hear him tell stories about teaching in a one room schoolhouse and then retiring as head of the technology department at the high school. He lived so long and saw so much. Fortunately, I do get to know about these stories. Not from his own mouth but through his writing. He saw the importance of telling a story and writing it down. His writing will now last forever and it will be here for generations to read.

Writers write because they have a story to tell. Why do I write? I write because I have a story that I believe should be shared. This semester I am learning how to be a teacher of writing, “A writer who initiates writing is someone who understands that the written word has power to do things in the world, that writing is a way to achieve many important purposes” (Anderson, 2005). I am not saying that my own writing has the power to do things in the world but I want to teach, to model that kind of writing for my students. Are my writings always good? No. Do I like all of my writings? Not really. Do I need to improve? You bet! That’s what is so great about writing. There is always room for improvement. There is always room to write more.

I do always have a vision for my writing, “I believe good writing starts with the passion of purpose, with some good reason a writer has found to want to write or to need to write” (Wood Ray, 2006). Writers write about their passion because they need to. That’s why I write. That’s why I share my writings on this blog because I have passion to tell a story. Stories need to be told. I write because I believe great stories need to be shared. By sharing them I can insure that they will last forever.

To sum it up I am going to keep writing and I encourage you to write down your own stories. Stories are meant to be shared. Stories are meant to last forever.

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I would like to thank all of the wonderful people who support me and my writing. It means the world, so thank you.

Too busy lovin’ my life

Your mission: Be so busy loving your life you have no time for hate, regret, or fear.

I have been very busy lately! So busy that I have not had very much time to myself. Surprisingly I have been alright with this (I have to have some me time). All summer I was busy working at my internship every week day and loving it.

After finishing my internship I was busy attending my county fair to watch my favorite 4-Hers show their livestock and having conversations with some of my favorite farmers.

Next thing I knew I was meeting my mentor teachers for my student teaching placement. Lucky for me my school is close to the Indiana State Fairgrounds and I was able to attend the 2012 Ham Breakfast to kick off our great Indiana State Fair. That next day I volunteered for Habitat for Humanity representing Marion County Farm Bureau. I also worked for Farm Bureau’s Ag in the Classroom later that day. It was a long and busy day but I loved volunteering and teaching!

I made it through my first week of student teaching. I absolutely love my school, I feel so welcomed and the staff is so supportive of me and the other student teacher interns. The students are awesome! Who knew I would ever love the 6th grade again!

After my first day of student teaching I headed over to the State Fairgrounds to watch the Grand Champion Drive. I love watching 4-H kids showcase their livestock! It’s a great way to show people how the ag industry cares for their animals.

This past weekend I visited Nashville, TN for a great family friend’s wedding. I loved that city and cannot wait to visit again. Of course I purchased a pair of boots. I may have an addiction to boots, but twenty years from now I’ll be so glad I got them!

To sum it all up, I’ve been one busy gal! I’m loving every moment of my busy life and have no regrets, except maybe the shoes I wore to student teach in yesterday!

Have you been as busy as me? Are you loving it or do you need a break? Either way I hope you are loving your life!

A Teacher

There’s a certain gal around these parts that might have been called that Queen of Hearts.

She’s always helpful in every way. Especially when there are bills to pay.

We are happy to know she’s on the procession and made up her mind to join a great profession. 

We know she’ll be happy and enjoy her work. As a teacher she never a duty will shirk.

The pay isn’t much. The bonus is none. But my what a feeling when each day is done.

To see each child grow from day to day is worth far more than compensation or pay. 

Remember you don’t teach math, music or art. You teach each child to better-live his part.

You may be a queen and God’s chosen Creature but it’s better by far to be called “A Teacher.” 

— Foster Thomas, a teacher

Today’s words come from my great grandfather, Foster Thomas, also known as Pap. He was a teacher for 47 years. He also liked to write poetry. This poem comes from his collection, “From Kreation to Kingdom Kome.” He wrote poems for his colleagues that retired or about teacher meetings and report cards. He was a great man and writer but most importantly he was a teacher.

Tomorrow I start my student teaching! I am “on the procession” to joining “a great profession.”  I will be teaching 6th grade at The Center for Inquiry Indianapolis Public School #84. I am nervous and excited to start this next chapter in my life.

Just as Pap wrote, I look forward to becoming a teacher so I can “teach each child to better-live his part.”

Thank Moo…

This is a picture of the best handmade “thank you” card I have ever received. It was made and given to me by a fifth grade student I worked with last year. I wrote and gave “Gus” a thank you card during our last meeting. He decided he wanted to make me one saying, “Miss Thomas I want to make you a thank you card.” So I got out paper and markers for him to do so. As he wrote “Thank you” on the card I heard him say, “shoot I didn’t mean to write that.” When I asked him what he wanted to write instead he said, “I wanted to write Thank Moo because you like cows.” So he flipped the paper over and wrote “Thank Moo”…because I like cows.

Inside the card he wrote, “You are going to be a great teacher.” I knew there was a special reason I wanted to be a teacher. I hope I was able to teach him a little about agriculture and that he will always remember that teacher that liked cows. He was a joy to work with. So to sum it up, thank moo Gus.