Wow, another month gone by…where did January even go?!?  I have gotten myself very involved in school since the holiday break, and I am going to take this time to tell you all about my adventures. 
I am a member of the Recruitment and Retention Team for our school district, which basically means that I have to sit through monthly meetings where we discuss ways to keep teachers here.  Well, I also humbly volunteered myself to create a 2 minute presentation (via DVD) of my school and another one of the town.  So I’ve got until Wednesday to get said DVD presentations completed…yes, I burned myself on that one.  So anyway, I am trying to get started on the school presentation, but it seems as though no one on staff has any “good” photos (or any photos, or they just do not care about my ‘job’ of making North look good) for me to use, so tomorrow-in the snow, I am going to have to go out and take some lovely looking pictures to use for the project.  Wish me luck on that one. 
I am also a new member of the Wellness Committee for our school district, which makes me double as a “Coach” and head team leader for North.  I was not chosen for this assignment, but Sarah was, so after she put in her resignation, I told her that to save any frustration and/or stress, I’d take over for her.  Anyway, we had our first meeting last week.  As a team, we’ve decided to do a fitness challenge across the district.  It’s similar to Highway to Health, and I am personally, really excited about it.  However, I think I might get some slack from my co-workers about it.  I mean, I am the coach, but I also weigh 108 pounds and am pretty small, so I’m afraid that some of our heavier employees are going to be resistant about that.  My goal is that I get at least 15 of our 29 teachers and teacher assistants to participate! 
This week at school, we had “snow” days on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.  Wow.  Seriously, that is the only thing I think about that.  In North Carolina (at least where I’m at), snow days for me translate to ‘Do not come to school if you feel it isn't safe for you, but if you do not, you will have to make up 8 hours a day for every day that you do not work.’  So, of course, I went in on Monday (3 hours late), went in on Tuesday, and made up 3 hours that I owed on Wednesday.  Today, we had school – on a two hour delay.  Tonight, it is supposed to snow/rain, which will likely freeze.  This means that we probably will not have school again tomorrow.  And again, wow.  This makes me very stressed out, because there is always so much to get done when you don’t have students, and it is always important to do as much as possible, because the days without students are usually few and far between.  Also, planning time is never really an option for me to actually accomplish anything, because we get 45 minutes in the morning (four days per week) and then 30 minutes in the afternoon (five days per week).  The morning planning time is usually taken over with meetings and/or computer questions and issues – that I am the only one who is able to help with.  The afternoon planning is just too short.  I’m not sure whether you have ever tried to get anything even semi-important completed in 30 minutes, but it is near impossible.  ;) 
On a rosier note, today in school for Morning Work, I had my students write.  I put a prompt on the board, and was amazed with what they wrote!  The prompt was “In the snow, I…” so then during writing time, we talked about editing and what it meant and that we can self-edit or peer-edit or teacher-edit.  Then I paired the students by ability level and had them switch their papers (in first grade)!  They did such an amazing job with fixing spelling errors and missing punctuation and capitals!  I was and am so so so proud of them.  So after their friends had edited, I edited, and they re-wrote their pieces on another sheet of paper with all of the corrections and brought it back to me for a final check, they re-wrote again on the final copy paper (to be displayed in the hall)!  They started to draw pictures to go with their story (because we are getting really, really great at making sure our picture matches our words), but didn’t finish.  My hope is that we will finish tomorrow, I will mount them all on 9x12 construction paper and hang them up in the hall for ALL to see!  I am once again, a very proud Mama.  After all, I do get called “Mom” at least three times per day!  :)  I’ll end this post with the one thing that absolutely made my heart turn to mush this morning…one of my students, a little girl who has some cognitive delays, said to me this morning “Oh Miss Smith, I just missed you so much!  My mom wouldn’t let me play in the snow because she didn’t want me to get sick, and I just missed you so much!  I was sad that we had no school because I didn’t see you for so long!”  Oh.  My.  Lord.  I am in love.  Seriously, is that not the sweetest thing EVER?!?  I love love love my sweets.  They are so precious.  And if I can’t smile about anything else in a day, I am glad to say that I can smile about those kids.  They make me happier than words can ever express, and they are the reason I go to work every day.  
Night all, sweet dreams.

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