Saturday, July 30, 2016

I've Been Called Lots of Things, But

--never "disorganized".  Now, my organizational process and procedures have been know to drive people nuts (talking to you, Mom), but I have a system! I have a plan! (even though the plan/system may be 'leave it right here on the table/desk until I need it four months from now').  All that said because I'm thinking about my goals and plans for the upcoming school year. This year, I will once again be in two buildings, which means I need to know EXACTLY which day we're on of the rotation so I'll show up to the correct building.  And for the first time ever, my budget was cut.  By A LOT--almost in half.  I have been incredibly lucky for the past 16 years to be able to order pretty much anything I've needed/wanted, so this reduction was stunning.  Like, STUNNING, how do people have quality programs on so little? Which (of course) means I have to shift my mindset about what I'm doing this year.  No screen printing in sixth grade.  No botanical cuts for our rainforest project in second grade. No new Playcolor tempera paint sticks. It's rough, and I'm feeling a wee bit discouraged.  But have no fear, my perpetual optimism always wins, and we'll do some amazing things this school year no matter what.
There's so many things to think about and plan for:
I'm toying with a few ideas for my new outside my room poster this year.  The interactive poster from last year was a big hit, and I'd like something as positive/popular this year, so look for a post about that soon(ish).
My daughter starts kindergarten (at my school!) this year, and that's going to be totally awesome. I do have a bit of fear about the pace of the day--getting the kids ready and planning for my classes, which is ridiculous because we have only one drop off now (our youngest to the babysitter's right by school).  It really will be fine, but when we've had such a relaxing summer, the idea of planning for eight classes a day seems impossible.
And finally, guess who's the new elementary department chair in my district? That's correct, it IS yours truly! It's been a while (nearly 10 years) since I last did held this title (in my last district) but it'll be good. I'm looking forward to reading some books on effective leadership and education in the 21st century (I just started FutureWise, Educating Our Children for a Changing World) to be the best leader I can be for our elementary art department--they deserve no less.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

I Really Need This Book

Note the thrown rain boot in the background.
Never a dull moment around here.

Found at my local library (see previous post about our twice weekly visits): What Elephant? by Geneviève Côté.  I'd like to lie to you and say it just came out, but it's been around for ten years apparently.  That library! Always a place to make new book friends!
It's a sweet little tale about a boy (George) who comes home to find an elephant in his house but none of his friends believe him so he thinks he must be losing his marbles. ("Elephants don't read newspapers!")
I. Need. This. Book. For kindergarten! I don't know exactly how I'll use it yet, but I've got a few ideas.  Beautiful illustrations and wonderfully written, what's not to love??? Kindergarten lives for possibilities and secrets (like an elephant hidden in your bedroom closet).  
I'm so excited! A quick internet search and it could be mine for as low as . . . $3.99.  Worth every penny.
Oh, and it has a bit of a lesson about believing yourself and your own eyes (and all the ignoring-the-elephant-in-the-room bit that only the adult will get). So many directions I could go with this--I can't wait!

Friday, July 1, 2016

Frozen in the Summer

Aaahhhh, SUMMER! Glorious, glorious summer!  So much free time! Beautiful weather (it's been miserably hot and humid here), time for household projects, artwork and reading . . . except lately I've been frozen.  Like, unable to finish anything.  Case in point, the almost finished medicine cabinet doors hanging out in my garage, ready for a smidge more sanding and wood filling and a final coat of paint.  I just walk around them.  Or the front porch light fixture I was planning to take apart, spray paint and reassemble.  I cleaned it with TSP on the HOTTEST, HUMID-ist day of the year, and thought 'ugh, too much work!'
Or the patio chairs I got from the side of the road to refinish--they're sitting in the backyard, holding up the new sprinkler, and every time I see them I get a sinking feeling.  Do I really want to tackle this project?  How much sanding a spray painting can one person handle?
Does the downstairs bathroom really need painting? Who really goes in there anyway (and do they even notice the color of the wall?)?
With all that home improving I planned to do, I decided to (of course) make a quick rag quilt for my daughter, and she LOVES it, but don't look too closely or you'll see many mistakes.  It was my first rag quilt, so of course I have to make one for my youngest, but then my sewing machine started acting up . . . I just walked away from that, for everyone's safety (an angry mom throwing a sewing machine isn't good for ANYONE).
I've got piles and piles of Gelli prints ready for photographing and listing in my Etsy shop, but somehow I never get around to it.
I've spent a couple of days reading all day (like ALL DAY, ain't no one got time for lunch around here) and I've taken my kids places (really by places I mean the library 2x a week, but it counts). I also forced myself to buy a swimsuit and that took DAYS of preparation because swimsuit shopping at my age is BRUTAL (and WHY can't stores have better lighting in their dressing rooms?!).
These are the moments where I wonder, what WILL retirement be like for me? Will I wander aimlessly from project to project, never finishing anything?  Will I have a sense of direction, or will I feel unfulfilled? Will I be 'that crazy retired art teacher'? (Come on, you know her, we all do.) Will someone tell me if I cross over into crazy territory? And (the bigger question) will I care?
Enjoy your aimless, relaxing, fun (or reading filled) summer, friends, it goes way too fast.
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