I've been attending our district Leadership Academy these past few days, and was asked in one session to list an adjective that describes you at this moment...mine was PENSIVE. I love the definition: dreamily or wistfully thoughtful. I can't remember when I first heard the word pensive, but relish the way it feels in my mouth when I say it and the way it sounds. It describes my mood at the moment: dreamily or wistfully thoughtful. I'm pensive as I think about the summer we've enjoyed as a family, and the family that I will work to build in my classroom. As I was reading other family blogs this evening, I decided to make a list of my summer accomplishments. So here goes...
1. I learned how to BRAID. My daughter has been wanting to have her hair braided for the longest time, so I made a deal with her that I would learn, but she would need to let me practice on her and be patient. We got books from the library, and she practiced on her Barbies while I practiced on her. So, now her hair can be braided in one or two braids. French braiding is on the agenda for next summer!
2. I learned how to "Fabulatize" and "Fancify" our blogs. Other blogs I visited had these adorable backgrounds, so I practiced and played to Fabulatize ours. Sometimes I run into glitches, but I've learned how to problem-solve them. I also have had fun matching fonts, colors, and gadgets. I also learned how to embed youtube videos into blogs.
3. I took an online sign language class and learned about the history and pioneers of the deaf community. I have figured out ways that I'm going to use some signs in the classroom to enhance my curriculum.
4. I created a family blog to celebrate the big and small moments of our family. It's been a great tool for family members in other states and cities to catch up on our lives. It's been useful for my parents who only have learned to get on the internet, not use email or other networking tools available. At least they've learned how to bookmark the site and read it!!
5. Facebook: I created an account in January, but didn't do a lot with it because the site was too busy for me. I wasn't able to navigate it properly. This summer, I changed my profile picture, uploaded our beach photos from the photographer, and uploaded a video. I'm working on it, but still feel like I'm lurking in one everyone's lives.
6. I used OneTrueMedia to create a photo montage, and upload it to facebook and blogs. It"s what I call "Shellyproof" and simple. I can see huge possibilities for me to use.
7. I read and have thought a lot of how I want to structure the first six weeks of school. Our guidance counselor is going to a week of training by the Responsive Classroom to share with our staff. I'm hopeful of good things to come.
8. I was able to disconnect from technology for 7 days and survived, so I know anything is possible!!! I've also cut way back on my caffeine...only 1 cup a day, not even Diet Coke. I'm not certain the "new" me is as fun!!!
9. I learned some new tools to use with the Smartboard software. I want to up my game and use it well in the upcoming year.
10. I learned to create a sense of gratitude within myself. I'm surrounded by a healthy, wonderful family. My children are thriving, happy, and embrace life daily. I am thankful for the past two months, where I could sit by the pool and watch my children celebrate new tricks they have worked on. My husband makes me laugh and is always willing to listen to my "ideas"!!! He processes and is honest about his thoughts. He takes my children on their back to school campout weekend by himself, so I can have a weekend of pampering!! My parents and I are very close and I can call them on a moments notice to vent, celebrate, and cry if need be. I am blessed with two dear friends who knew I needed the summer to renew and refresh, and gave me space to do just that. They knew I would get back to where I needed to be, but needed to do it on my own terms. Thank you! I've seen random acts of kindness happen to my children this summer, and celebrated them. I am choosing to live a life of gratitude, hopefulness, and love.
So I'm pensive...wistfully filled with an air of gratitude, celebration, and anticipation.