It's hard to believe 4 months have come and gone so quickly. All I can say is this - I miss the 60610 terribly. I miss my cooperating teacher and her unconditional kindness and support, I miss my neighboring teachers and the laughs we often had, I miss my roommates and the nights we shared being unsociable loners [or caring, over-invested interns who consistently "took their work home with them"], I miss the city, and I miss my kids [all 34 of them]. It's good to be home, though...It truly is.

I could try to put into words the extent to which I appreciate my time in Chicago, but I'm thinking that attempt would fail miserably. I struggled, I fought, I failed, I cried, I cared, I succeeded, I marveled, I loved, and I've grown stronger. Chicago was nothing short of an incredible experience, one in which I'm certain the Lord guided.

Graduation has come and gone, leaving me back in Detroit preparing to embark on my 2nd and last student teaching experience in early childhood. Things are still a bit ambiguous at this point - I have yet to receive my start/end dates, or placement information - but I should be receiving information soon.

After the summer? Whew, this has been interesting. Simply put, I've learned to let go. It is in my nature to find a path [one which has meaning, intrigue, and a challenge] down which I can head with passion and reverence. For as long as I've wanted to be a teacher, my desired path lead me to New York City. Why New York? Culture? History? Diversity? A mild fascination? What attracted me most to this particular city were the little details under the umbrella of all these things, as well as [on a greater level] my desire to teach in an urban setting. I honestly do not have a straight answer here. What I've learned, however, is the importance of listening, rather than planning. I organize [I say this lightly, as I am fully aware of the mass of boxes in my living room that have yet to be unpacked]. I color-code. I list. I plan. With this said, it was quite difficult [quuuiitteee difficult] to relinquish that control and allow my life to head in a natural, God-guided direction. More details to come :)

So, I'm moving on to another blog. Hopefully I will be able to discipline myself enough to keep it updated!



8 More Days.

Some student teachers who are, simply put, excited to teach :)

Student teachers at the final CS dinner. They gave away Mock Awards. We didn't win any, so we all went up to the mic unannounced to introduce ourselves and present awards to our supervisors . We gave them Golden Butter. It was awkward and great :)



The student teachers in our group (14 total, 7 in our group who teach on the North Side) took a day off school (!!!) and visited Andersonville.

I'd like you to meet our fearless leader and supervisor, Carole. It was St. Patty's Day.

Welcome to Room 105!
Our folktales are now hanging on the cloud board.

The flag to which we, every morning, pledge our allegiance. We also recite the Farnsworth pledge, sing the Star Spangled Banner, and the Farnsworth Fight Song. Old school? Nah.

I love the tall windows.

I had the little ones make Suns - Science and art integration.

They turned out incredibly cute!

My solar system bulletin board.

Every young scientist needs a Space Journal!

Our Concept/Question board on Courage. It's a work in progress.

Counting down the days until it looks like this :)


Sweden, Cupcakes, and Lead Paint

SHORT Update.

Mid-Week 7 and I have yet to catch a bug!

Full-control officially begins next week. Some fear here, but by no means do I feel over-whelmed.

I was a chaperone for the first time last Friday - Adler Planetarium. I came home and slept for five hours. Great times were had!

We had the day off yesterday (Sunny with a high 0f 75) and visited a Swedish neighborhood (food, museum, walking tour, etc.). Afterwards, Leah and I decided to embrace the beauty of the day by talking a walking trip to Lincoln Park for cupcakes. The walk there was AMAZING.

Our ceiling is being stripped...finally! Put it this way - the ceiling has not been re-painted since the building was built....in 1924. They didn't cover anything so, needless to say, lead paint chips are everywhere. I've been teaching in the assembly hall, chalk board and all. The kids have loved the change. I, on the other hand, have not. Behavior hasn't really been an issue - it's just the whole idea of not having your materials and resources at your disposal when you need them most :/ It has been a great challenge, though.

It's hard to believe that this is the half-way point!


My roommates are gone.

Kazimierz Pulaski: Polish soldier, member of the Polish-Lithuanian szlachta and politician who has been called "the father of American cavalry". A member of the Polish landed nobility, he was a military commander for the Bar Confederation and fought against Russian domination of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. When this uprising failed, he emigrated to North America, where he became a General in the Continental Army during the American Revolutionary War. [AKA: No school tomorrow! Thank you, Mr. Pulaski]
Here are some photos of our apartment. Enjoy!

View #1

View #2 [my bus!]

View #3

Hello, table.

Our desk [and Scrabble].

View from the door.

The little girls' room.

This is where we, um, cook.

Mmm, rest :)

This would be me...in our living room...obviously hard at work :) [You can tell that this was taken early on!]

Perhaps we will get some updated photos soon - things around here are looking a bit more lived in nowadays :)
By the way, Leah and I have been attending the LaSalle Street Church on Sunday mornings. The information provided on the website is fairly comprehensive so check it out if you'd like. We're excited and thankful to have found a place - we appreciate the atmosphere and teachings, and are especially fond of the 2 minute walk :)


End of Week 4 = hmph.

The week went fairly well. Here are the highlights (Compound Word! Ha.)

- I picked up reading (in addition to Math and Science).
- I had a 45 minute conversation with Jim the custodian while he swept our floor. 7 Mile, the German language, and smoking sausage on rooftops were among the topics discussed.
- The kids have NAILED congruence.
- I decided on a unit theme - Exploration and Discovery. The solar system will be our primary focus so I will have to work that into multiple subjects. My Very Elegant Mother Just Served Us Nine Piz...aww no. My Very Elegant Mother Just Served Us Noodles. I like it.
- My relationships with my Cooperating Teacher, principle, and other core teachers are strengthening. They make me laugh...often :)
- Three words: School House Rock.
- One precious little boy - known for his comprehension and focus issues - completely grasped the weekly story! A huge success that had my CT and I floored, yet so incredibly proud.

I'm excited to see what next week brings - teaching all subjects for 3 out of 4 days!


I slept in today :)

A big shout out to Mr. Lincoln and all our former (and current!) presidents for the two glorious days of rest that have been given to us all!

And so the updates begin...

Cooperating Teacher: I went into the experience knowing close to nothing about her. With this in mind, I tried to have as few expectations as possible. Thankfully, she is phenomenal. Teaching is her second career so she did her own student teaching just three years ago. She's kind, sweet-natured, incredibly caring, and insightful. She treats me like a person, not just a professional (a novice one at that), which I appreciate.

Farnsworth: The school is...interesting. The principle, although a bit elderly, is incredibly structured and firm. She refuses to turn down any student, regardless of ability level; therefore, the school has some solid services for students with special needs. As is expected, the building in a bit run-down, the technology is limited, and teacher morale is a not as high as I've seen in other schools; however, the kids are cared for, visitors are made to feel immensely welcome, and the core group of teachers that I work with are great.

Students: Aaah, the students :) 34 of the little ones in all: 12 English Language Learners (6 Hispanic, 1 Polish, 1 Philippian, 2 Middle Eastern, and 2 Asian). 6 of the students are Caucasian, 1 is African American, and the rest are Hispanic (English-speaking) or Multi-Racial. We also have a little one who is Visually Impaired. Reading levels range from 200 words per minute to 10. They're wonderful :) A wonderful challenge, but wonderful nonetheless.

In General: I'm feeling pretty good. My energy is up (so far!). I actually enjoy my commute (so long as I'm able to catch my first bus). The roommates are great. The students are great. My cooperating teacher is flexible and supportive. My ideas are a'flowin and I'm excited to go to school every day. I'm still nervous, perhaps a bit frightened, terrified maybe...but it's all coming out of my desire to do all I can for those kids.

I miss everyone very, very, very, very, very much. Very much. :)