Wednesday, August 31, 2011


One does not always think of the beginning of September as a month of beginning things. I start my 11th year of teaching for the Waupaca School District. I am ready for this year. I have a new schedule which includes teaching 27 classes each week for either 30 or 40 minutes. I have updated my website with new activities that I begin teaching tomorrow. I have a positive attitude and am hopeful that this will be a fabulous school year. The beginning of the school year is a whirlwind of new faces and new routines. It is a wondrous time for teachers and students alike.
I hope that other things will soon be forthcoming in my life. I am ready for a new challenge outside of the classroom. I am someone who rather than letting things happen, I try and look for new opportunities and work for what I desire. Time will tell whether my efforts pay off. Until then I will be working towards the goal of empowering those around me to become life long lovers of learning.

Thursday, August 4, 2011


I have been feeling a gamut of emotions these past weeks. I like many teachers am thinking and planning for the beginning of the school year. In many ways it is a time of excitement, hope and a chance to begin anew. Each year I am asked to write out my goals and how I plan to achieve them. At the end of the school year I am asked to reflect on whether I reached my goal. I take seriously this task and revisit it throughout the year. Last year's goal was for me to assist my students to try their best at whatever their learning objectives were. It was something that was easy yet hard to attain. It was easy to encourage them and call them out when it was obvious that they could do better. It was hard to measure and also difficult to sustain. The thing is that only each person knows whether they have tried their hardest or not.
I have thought about what makes my day a good one or not. The interesting thing about this is that the answer is really pretty simple. A good day for me is one in which I show and am shown kindness. It sounds simple but it is not something that happens as often as it should. I live my life day to day like most people do. Waking up, going about my routine, doing a good job at what I do (teaching) and generally interacting with the world in a positive manner. I'm going to make a goal for myself this year (not necessarily related to the educational goals for my students) to show kindness to others every single day. It certainly cannot hurt and who knows? Maybe the kindness that is shown to others will come back to me.

Monday, August 1, 2011

An Amazing Trip

Our trip to Costa Rica was truly a fabulous experience. It was both educational, active, fun, relaxing and filled my head and heart with joy. The group that we met meshed very well together. We were from all over the United States. We were families, couples, professionals, retirees, older and younger people. Truly there was nothing that I would have changed about the whole trip.

There is much to learn about when visiting any country and we were given a great education in 10 days. There was something for everyone on this vacation. We had chances to relax and sit by the ocean, listen to the sounds of the forest from a hammock, do hikes of all different levels through the forests, shop for souvenirs, dance, take pictures, learn many things about the culture and visit and soak in 23 hot springs. Something that I will never forget is my daughter and I ziplined on the 2nd to last day. There were 11 platforms of very long and very high lengths. I don't think that there will be many other ziplines in the world that can compare!!

We visited and learned so much about the many food exports including coffee, bananas, pineapples and beef. We hiked many places and were guided on boat tours and saw 2 active volcanoes, hot springs, rain forests, the Pacific and Atlantic oceans, wild rivers, suspension bridges, a butterfly garden, sea turtles, monkeys, sloths, birds of so many kinds, red eyed tree frogs, poison dart frogs, caiman, crocodiles, rhinoceros beetles and too many other things to mention.

The weather was cloudy and in the 80's most days. It rained for less than an hour each day but we expected this as we went during the rainy season. The rain never spoiled any activity or day for us. The tour director Christopher, did a terrific job with our group. We learned so much from him and his sense of humor made the bus travel easy. The places we stayed were beautiful and treated us royally. I must admit that being pampered at a hotel is something I find very appealing. The food was delicious! We had such a variety every day that all of us felt that we ate like kings and queens.

I have a desire to do more travelling and hope to begin planning a trip for our 25th wedding anniversary. We were married February 14th, 1987! The time has flown by :D