Life is sooooooooooooo busy as a working momma of THREE kids... but, life is also full of so many "little" things...you know, those simple pleasures that really bring so much joy... I'm mostly thinking of the dopey things that my kids say and do that make me laugh... but also the little adventures we have or the day trips that we do... you think you will remember them all, but those memories really do fade over time. I am hoping to sit down once a month (ideally, once a week, but being that I hardly manage one decent shower a week, we'll aim for once a month for now! LOL) to detail those quotable quotes or beautiful little actions (or those not so much) as well as our family activities. I hope you enjoy!! :)

Friday, October 5, 2012

Back to School Musings from a Former Classroom Teacher

Where has September gone??! I swear with each kid, time seems to move quicker and quicker! The fact that my sweet little Rose will be 2 in under four months is astounding... Really?? How did that happen??!

I had every intention of doing a First Day of School blog entry by, at the very least, the second week of school... But, here we are, at the end of September (the 24th as I am writing tonight, but know I will not post tonight as pics are still, I think, on my camera AND I want to get fancy and do some scanning this month). If I do meet this month's deadline, it will have EVERYTHING to do with Yankee baseball and the fact that the Yankees have blown a 10 game division lead and are now being chased for the pennant by, of all teams, the Orioles, a local sleeper team! So, now we are "double fisting" and watching not one,but TWO games...often at the same time. I think my usual love for baseball has been squashed by hubby's OCDism and the sun rising and setting on the Yankees' current rank (can I get an "Amen"? Someone? Anyone???)!

In any event, as I got ready to send The TWO boys off to school this year, I found myself thinking back to my own years as a classroom teacher. I'm not sure if it is because I sent my second kiddo off to that big Kindergarten milestone or because Patrick has a brand new baby as his teacher this year and I can't help but remember back 14 long years ago to when that was me! Or, maybe it is because one of the support teachers at Ryan's school is a parent of a former 1st grader of mine (who is now a senior-ouch!). I was super excited to happen to run into her at orientation and she took me right over to personally introduce me to Ryan's teacher (you know, so this woman can, at least for a small bit of time, think I'm a regular, well-adjusted individual...lol). In any event, I would like to dedicate this entry to ALL of my former students,but most especially those that I am still fortunate enough to be in touch with today.
Kelly and I on one of my
trips back!
Kelly, first day of
first grade...
my first class!
There is Kelly--my one tie to my past life in New York. She is currently halfway through college at SUNY Courtland studying to be, of all things, a teacher! She wrote me a nice letter several years back to let me know that's she's wanted to be a teacher ever since she's been in my class-- there truly is no compliment higher! One of my favorite memories of Kelly is being visited by her at recess time when she was in second grade so that I could braid her hair (if teaching doesn't work out, I've often thought of hair dressing!). I got lots of practice with Kelly for my future, sweet Katy!  I have enjoyed watching Kelly blossom into a young woman over the years!
THAT class (with
my cousin Bethany...
in front of me)!
And, those Martin girls! Kelsey is now a freshman at Harding University. She was part of my first class of first grade down here in Virginia. And, OH! What a year THAT was... I wound up with a class that, well, let's just say the chemistry was out of whack. They were known throughout the building and my teammates felt really badly for me...so much so that every time a new student came to 1st grade, one of them would volunteer to take him/her, even when I then wound up with less students. Finally, in January, as they each were knocking on 30's door, while I still had "only"26, we got word that a new student was coming in.  I stepped up to the plate, held my breath, and took the new student... in walked Kelsey Martin...aaaahhhhh... SUCH a breath of fresh air.. What a true gem (to this day!) of a student, to this day!

Her little sister Kaylen was DEVASTATED when she learned, at the end of that year, that she wouldn't have me for first grade. She learned, two years later, to be careful what you wish for when I moved up to third grade and she was placed in my class! :)  She got me back, though, as I was the one DEVASTATED when the Martins got word that they would be moving before the end of the year... Right before my first round of state testing! Kaylen was a certain guarantee for a high pass rate... And, let's be real, although I'd like to think that's because I am a phenomenal teacher, truth be told, those Martin girls are smart cookies!

Kelsey and Kaylen Martin, shortly before they moved
Lucky for me, the Martin girls came with an AWESOME mom who became an aide for my first grade classes for the next couple of years. She was, truly, the best aide I've had to date... Simply because she not only was great with the kids, but also because we were on the same wavelength about things and, ask anyone who's worked with young kids, it is always more fun to have another adult in the room because those who have never worked as a teacher just wouldn't believe what happens within those four walls sometimes! LOL
There is Bethany DeStefano. She was never a student of mine, but rather one of my many WAY younger cousins (my aunts and uncles were all obviously quite comfortable having kids later in life) who came to visit my first year back here and spent the day with me. She was a first grader at the time (THAT year!). She became one of the many of a long line of kids who WISHED I could be their teacher...ha, ha, ha! I always assure them that I am FAR more fun to pal around with than I am as a teacher... I can be VERY demanding and relentless as a classroom tracher! ;)  Just ask anyone who's been a student! LOL Bethany is now at the University of Richmond, as a freshman. I have been trying to convince her, since she is so close, to come here for a weekend so that I can make her the BEST meatballs in town (our Grandma Rose's recipe)!!

Then, there is Connor Arguin. I am not, personally, in touch with him, but am in touch with him through his mom who was also, at one point, a colleague of mine. They had moved out of the area after Connor's 2nd grade, but came back a few years ago and I was able to go to a baseball game of his as a middle schooler! Connor was one of my first graders during my fourth year of teaching. I will always remember him as the little blond hair, blue eyed little friend who was madly in love with me! And that was the year that I got married... Think Connor was always a little leery of John when he would come for lunch. Kinda makes me laugh now... Patrick was in love with Ms. McCullor, his first grade teacher, last year and was pretty devastated himself when she got engaged! LOL. Connor is in HIGH SCHOOL now and is, with his younger brother, an avid sports player. I have to get back for another game so that when he makes it in the big leagues he remembers his humble first grade teacher!

And, last, but not least, there is sweet Cody Pollard. Cody is forever frozen in my heart as an 8 year old as he was involved in a tragic, fatal, ATV accident the summer after his second grade year. He was also one of my first graders the year that I got married. He was a red-headed freckled-faced little sweetie. He was an exceptionally sweet little boy who had a remarkable ability to put the needs of friends above his own... Not typical first grade behavior! He was best buds with one of my wiggliest little fellows and had an incredible way of holding his attention. I had just found out that I was pregnant with Patrick when I heard of the accident...so, although a tragic accident is a tragic accident, I didn't understand the magnitude of the devastation as I can today, 8 years later, with a child right around the same age. I think of him often as I know the world has truly missed out on seeing Cody grow up!

The most rewarding part of teaching, truly, is becoming a part of the lives of young people and watching them figure out their way through life-- certainly makes up for the little paychecks (with little to know pay raises in these tough economic times) as well as the political BLAH that you deal with on a regular basis!!

I am off now to actually write that OTHER blog... It is October 5th... I missed the September deadline--not because of the Yankees (who came down to the FINAL day of the season with the Orioles, but hung on), but rather because of a book, "Gone Girl," that my bestie gave me for my birthday and I had a hard time putting down once the kids were in bed and John was plugged in!  So, I will be writing that Back to School Blog and then will be doing an entry for our annual trek to the pumpkin patch!  So much to write, so little time-- and date night tonight as John and I celebrate 10 years of married life! :) :)

Lots of Love,
Kimberly (John, two boys, and that sweet lil' Rose!) 

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