Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Lesson Learned #5

I feel like a year has passed in just a few weeks!  It's been crazy and hectic and chaotic (they all mean the same thing, right?) and I have to make sure to catch my breath every now and then.

I've learned organization is wonderful!  I am definitely not a fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants type of person.  I want things planned out.  I want to know my schedule ahead of time.  I don't want any surprises or unexpected distractions.  But during all the scheduling with everyone's activities, I make sure there is time for myself as well.

I've learned communication is key in EVERYTHING!!!  I can't stand it when people ask me about something I'm supposed to know, but in fact, don't have a clue what they are talking about.  That is so frustrating!!!  One reason my marriage has been so great is that we've always communicated with each other...the good, the bad, and the ugly.  We don't make any decisions without talking about it first.  That needs to be the same way in every relationship. Talk to people and don't leave them in the dark. If someone should know something that is factual or involves them, tell them.

I've learned nobody really wants to hear your opinions.  As much as it's important to communicate, your opinion is not always one of them, unless you're asked.  Too often has an opinion been stated to only cause anger in others.  So, I'm learning to just not give my opinion.  Better to keep it to myself than cause hurt feelings.

I've learned being a person of your word holds so much value.  It's not fair to those around you if you tell them one thing but then never stick to your word.  Making excuses all the time will lower people's trust in you.  They will no longer rely on you or even believe what you say.  Let your yes be yes and your no be no.

I've learned being unique is the greatest characteristic one can have.  I tell my kids all the time to be their own person, have their own thoughts, and don't always follow the crowd.  I don't ever want them to do things simply because other people are doing them.  I want them to do things because that is something they want to do.  The way they dress, act, things they listen to or watch (age appropriate)...I want them to make their own choices about these things.  And as much as I tell them these things, I need to apply it to myself as well.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

My Music Classroom

My classroom got a makeover! I always have the hardest time decorating because of so many cute options. After scouring Pinterest and several sites for ideas, borrowing them, and using some of my own, I finally figured out what I wanted to do.

This is my monthly theme board. I will change it again next month. The sheep and cow are my hand puppets.

Musical notations and a custom made crayon wreath from a former student.

My giant dry erase board with monthly concepts. Can you tell yellow is our first color? The rolling cart is full of instruments and visuals that I take to all of the younger classes.

This is my monthly concept board for the Kindergarten class. Each month they learn about 2 different composers, 2 dynamic words, a character trait, and cultures from different parts of the world. The fun part for me is finding music to go along with all these concepts. The kids love it. Who knew they would enjoy Offenbach so much?

I have always loved using Zoo Pal plates as fun decor.  This year, the Kindergartners will get to use the crate seats that Craig made for me. It's hard to see in the pic but the fabric is covered in music notes.  Plus, the crates can be used to store the dry erase boards the students will use for their compositions.

My favorite part of the room is Imagination Station. This is where students can be creative through dramatic play. They can use different instruments, puppets, felt stories, large magnetic pieces, and lots of props. I am always on the lookout for different ideas to help fuel a child's creativity. 

I am so eager for the new school year to start. I cannot wait to see some old friends and make some new ones.

Monday, September 1, 2014

First Week of School 2014-We Survived!!!

We knew this school year would be different for us.  Preston is starting 3rd grade, Kaitlyn is starting 5th grade at an intermediate school, and I am heading back to college after a 14 yr hiatus.  However, we didn't anticipate how crazy and hectic this first week would be!!!

New backpacks, lunchboxes, and agendas for everyone.

Kaitlyn and Preston's new gear

I got different colored pens for my different classes.  It's easier to stay organized that way. :)

I got up early and made chocolate chip muffies for everyone.

Traditional first day pics.

It was different dropping them off this year.  They seem so much older and couldn't wait for us to leave.  :(

Afterwards, I grabbed some coffee and headed to my first day of class.

Actually, I'm taking 3 classes online through Texas Woman's University.  My degree will be in Music Therapy.  However, I'm not in a hurry to finish.  I have a lot of classes to take but still have to consider my other responsibilities.  I have a great job teaching music to kiddos that I'm just not ready to give up.  Plus, I have my family and always put them first.  I am the Room Mom for Preston's class again and I want to make sure I'm available for Kaitlyn with all of the transitions she will be experiencing this year.

So, while I spent the day trying to navigate my way through my online classes (English II, History, and Government), Craig took the day off to take over my usual first day of school duties.  He made a special after school treat for all of us and bought us each a little gift.  I LOVE him!!!

Juggling pick up procedures at both schools (with new policies that don't seem to be working out well), we were all drained by the time our school day was over.  However, we had a great dinner of grilled steaks and ribs.

And the craziness continued the rest of the week.  We had a lot on our schedule for this back to school week and we had to work hard to get organized.  We were all so glad for Friday to come and were exhausted.  Our bedtimes came earlier as morning did too.  But, I think we're finally get used to our new schedules and this new season in our lives.  Just praying it gets easier the rest of the year.