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A Letter to Chicky On Her First Official Day of Teaching – You Were Meant to Be…

Dear Chicky,

Today is your first “official” day of teaching.

It is the day that you will finally meet the class that was created for you.

Although you didn’t sound too nervous on the phone yesterday afternoon, I’m sure you’re probably feeling butterflies even as I type this.

I think it’s really neat that, because I am only into my fourth year of teaching, I can easily relate to what you’re going through today…the anticipation…the hopes…the overwhelmingly long to-do list.

You have been prepared for this day by an incredible education.

You know so much more about the “how-to’s” of teaching than I did my first day.  Your students are fortunate, because I know that you won’t waste a second with bad lesson plans because all of your plans are going to be well thought out and based on research-based strategies.

If I can be real honest with you, though, teaching is about so much more than the “how-to’s.”

It’s about building relationships with your children…learning about them as individuals…understanding how their unique traits create a classroom personality that will be different each year you teach.

Cover your children in prayer daily, for you don’t know the homes they come from and the challenges they struggle with after they exit your room.

Build them up with positive words.  Those words will leave permanent impressions upon their hearts.

Remember that you will never be able to love them too much.

There’s simply no such thing.

I am so proud of you!

I am so thankful that those children were handpicked by the Lord to be in your classroom.

Those children will be changed.

Your life will be changed.

Get ready for the biggest roller coaster ride you’ve ever been on.

Hang on tight, don’t take their hurtful words (for they will come) too personally, and enjoy the ride, my precious Daughter.

Welcome to the world of teaching, where you receive far more than you give.


Mama ♥

Got An Hour to Spare for the Hodgepodge?

I don’t know about you, but this extra hour thing, backwards or forwards, is not an easy adjustment!!!  At least we can count on some things being easy…Joyce’s Hodgepodge, for one!  I love these questions because I get to share details about my life that only my Twitter and Facebook followers get to hear.  heehee

Shall we proceed?

1.  My sister is celebrating a birthday today. Happy Birthday little sis! What’s one way you’re like your siblings?  If you don’t have siblings how are you like your lifelong best friend or cousin?

Super Sis and I didn’t think we were too much alike when we were growing up.  She was so pretty…had the boyfriends…was a cheerleader.  I was more nerdy and socially awkward.

As we’ve grown older and have had many conversations, we’ve often said, “You felt that way too?” Or, “Me too.”

One fun thing we discovered a number of years ago was a mutual love for Peanut Butter Cups.  We were on our way to the movies, and of course, we had to pick up treats to pack in our purses (don’t say you don’t do the same thing).  I remember buying a bag of the cups and discovering that she, too, loved them!  We ate the entire bag during that movie.

It was a little thing but still a neat “aha” moment.

2.  What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you think of yourself at age eighteen?


My life wasn’t perfect, and I had some very big issues from my childhood to deal with, but none of those things were at the forefront of my mind at that age.  I’d spent half of my life in a small town and had never experienced real life beyond it.  Going to college, even if I did commute, seeing how “the other half” lived, and then marrying a year later was an eye opener.

In many ways, I am still naive, but I find it a blessing.

3.  Sculptor-actor-painter-dancer…if you could excel in one of these arts, which would you choose and why?

I’d want to be a dancer.

A ballroom dancer.

So I could be on Dancing With the Stars.

And dance with Derek Hough.

You have my permission to call me a cougar.


4.  What’s a scent that takes you back in time, and where does it take you?

Jean Nate takes me back to my teenage years.  I specifically remember putting in on during cold winter months in the tiny bathroom that I got ready in (old, drafty house…not allowed to turn on the heat upstairs).

Strange how our memories run together, eh?

5.  November is for Peanut Butter Lovers (National Peanut Butter Lovers Month).  Are you a lover or a hater?  What’s your favorite dish/recipe that calls for peanut butter?

Well, I think I sort-of answered this question, in part, in #1.

As far as favorite dishes, I think I”d have to say that the vegan Chocolate Peanut Butter Tartlets I made this summer have to be my new favorite dish.  EVERYONE who tried them loved them.


6.  What do people thank you personally for most often?

I get asked most often for help with technology and, thus, I get thanked for providing the requested assistance.  In fact, a fellow reading teacher asked for help with the grade book yesterday.  🙂

7.  What event this year are you most thankful for?

Only one, Joyce?  Seriously?

It’s got to be a toss-up between my Chicky’s final outing on the soccer field for Senior Night (one of the most emotional days I’ve ever spent as a parent) and the fact that she starts her very first day of teaching (with her kiddos) TODAY!!!!!!!!!!

8.  My Random Thought

I got my nails done the afternoon of Halloween.  It was quiet in the salon…everyone had already headed out to take their children trick or treating.  There was a YouTube playlist running overhead, and as I watched the screen to read the names of the various artists, one kept playing over and over again with her various songs.  I’d never heard of her before…probably because I listen to Christian music most of the time…but I found her music soothing to my soul.

Her name is Ingrid Michaelson.

How would I describe her?  Well, she reminds me of Norah Jones…a bit folksy.  I love the instrumentals.  It’s the kind of music you hear in the background of television dramas.

I went right home and created a playlist to run when my students are in stations because it is calming.

Have you heard of her before?

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