Bee’s Knee’s

This summer I did a lot… I went to Austin, Texas. I hiked a lot of parks. I went to the lake multiple times. I celebrate two of my favorite SLU couples this summer. I had a family reunion with my 52 cousins and 95 year old grandma. I read 10 books too. Oh, and my friends and I are going camping soon. It was an amazing summer.

Sadly, I also found out this summer I will be getting knee surgery. I played soccer in college and found out my knee cartilage is very weak and needs some touching up. I will be having the surgery and won’t be able to work out even for 3 months. I am going to go crazy! Working out keeps me sane. I always loved working out, even when I was younger. I crave it sometimes. To get me through these times…my boyfriend and I will be attending every since paved park within our area to keep me sane! I am a little nervous for this experience, but just like a half marathon I have the best partner to succeed, my boyfriend.

Here is us after we finished out first half together…and more to come. We are starting to even get into trail marathons!

half.jpg

Advertisements

Engineer

This summer I am teaching Novel Engineering for an Enrichment class within my district. We are using the books Muncha Muncha Muncha, Cat in the Hat, and Snowy Day. We are using nursery Rhymes like Jack and Jill and London Bridge. We are also using movie clips, cartoons video games, and short scenes. I know that isn’t Novel Engineering, but it is still fun to see them watch their favorite movie character and solve a problem for them. They see problems, hear problems, come up with solutions, create a design, and then solve, fail harder then solve again. I am four weeks into the program right now and it is pretty easy and fluid. Although, the first week was not so easy nor fluid.

I am teaching First Grade, Kindergarten, Second Grade, Third Grade, and Fourth Grade. They all love it, but most students have not even seen or heard of Novel Engineering. They didn’t know what an Engineer did or why they are important. They didn’t want to get creative and solve the problems nor fail and learn from our failures. They wanted it right and perfect the first time and wanted it to work. It was a lot of frustration. A lot of “I quit.” A  lot of prepping, a lot of motivating, and a lot of learning. It was a lot of I not WE. It was a lot of I don’t need help and I don’t want to.

Around the second week students were learning that it is okay to fail as long as you fix the problem that made you fail. Then try again. That was a hard concept-trying again. Eventually, they learned how to fail harder and learn from it! It was amazing! Eventually and every once in a while you would hear, “That’s okay, try again!” The environment was starting to change.

The third week rolled around and let me tell you, that was a fun week. I heard a lot of”Awesome, fail harder” from kids. I also started to see collaboration, teamwork, and fluid movements of help throughout the room. The room was shifting from I to We and it was incredible. Teachers were saying that their classroom environment has changed, their mentality has changed in all subjects, and they were learning to work hard to succeed rather than get it right the first time. This was amazing. It was teaching them to solve problems, think outside the box, and help one another succeed. It was awesome.

I am currently in the fourth week. It is very student driven. I am the guide on the side. Students see errors and failures as learning. Given, we have our moments, but overall they love it. One student even said, “Failing means to learn, as long as you fix the mistake!”It was awesome, and I loved it so much.

I love seeing kids collaborate, work together, and succeed because it benefits themselves, their peers, and the classroom as a whole. It sets them up for success and multiple learning opportunities. I love it and I think all should try it!

Moving..

I recently just moved into a house in an area called Kirkwood. We are renting the house and call it our temporary home, but we love it! We love being able to ride our bike to the market, go to the park, fish, we already went to a Thursday night concern, we are 15 minutes from our favorite garden/date spot, and so much more. We love the move!

Today, when I was thinking about writing about our move, I also thought of the different types of moves. There is moving on, moving from, moving away, moving around, moving location, and moving jobs. Moving is a big part of my life. I am constantly moving. I hate sitting still and I hate “blobbing.” I am the worst person to take to the movies because that is way to much time of just sitting. When we took a vacation to the beach it was okay for two days, we went to Cancun, then I was ready to stop reading and start moving. I am a mountain girl, not a beach girl. Moving is part of me.

Moving on…

Moving on is hard for me. I hate goodbyes so much because I cannot move on from them. I miss easily, I think a lot about the what ifs, and I think about the future. When I broke up with my high school sweetheart it was hard for me to move on. I loved the company, but couldn’t see myself with him long term. I loved being around him and with him when it was just him, but hated how he treated others. It took me awhile to move on and years to find the next guy, but I am glad I moved on rather than take him back.

Moving on with a job is hard. Jumping grades is scary. I was recently asked by my new principle where I see myself in 5 years. I listed a couple possible situations, but kept saying I don’t know if I can do it. He goes, “You’ll need to move on, but I honestly think you can do all of that.” It was nice to hear, but scary. What if I can’t move on (see there is my what ifs…).

Moving away…

I have moved away from my small town outside KC, MO when I was in high school. I had the best friends there, the best BBQ, and I didn’t want to leave my long horn cattle. It was hard. I had to move away and my parents weren’t letting me stay. That move away from KC gave me my college of SLU. I moved away from my parents house and went to SLU (not really moving away, but I rarely went home). It was nice because if I needed my mom or dad I drove my 45 minutes and was there. I met amazing friends there and an incredible guy there so I am glad I moved away from KC. All my high school friends moved away. They did for college and now jobs. I have a friend who is a Navy Seal, two who live together in Seattle, one who is moving to Ohio, one in Dallas, one in New York, one in Chicago, one in Springfield, one in D.C, one in Hawaii. They all moved away, they changed their life, and they love it. It makes me think I need to move away…

Moving forward…

This can be getting a new job. Moving forward to the next step in education, moving forward after a friend treats you poorly, or moving froward after my boyfriend or I mess up. It can be moving forward and not talking back to the girl who snapped you to make herself feel better. Its moving forward to be the better person. You can move forward for the better or the worse, but you always have to move forward to learn and grow.

Moving is a hard concept for me to grasp. My body is always moving, my mind is always moving, things are always moving, but I think it is how you react to moving. I love moving. It scares me, makes me think of the what if’s, and makes me uncomfortable. This all helps me grow, change, evolve, and become who I am met to be. Moving is a great stressor in a lot of peoples lives, but it always can help you learn how to live your life.

Surprise

My hands are sweating. My knee won’t stop jumping up and down. Up and down. He reaches for my hand to calm my knee, “What is wrong Maddy?” I can’t say. I won’t say. I refuse to say…

He looks at me with a nervous look. I sit silent. Hands sweating and my knee jumping. Silence…

Ding…Ding…Ding. Friend after friend asking…

“Where are you?”

“How much longer do you have to stand that?”

“Are you okay?”

“Let me know how I can help. I am always here for you!”

Gravel is crunching under my car tires. We hit pot hole after pot hole. We make our way down to my families lake house. Windows down, music off, wind in my hair, hands sweating, knee jumping, I can’t stop this…this needs to end!

We approach the house, he stops the car a house before my parents, “That looks like Jakes truck…” He continues to drive. He looks at me…”Maddy, where are your parents?”

“Just keep driving,” I respond. Hands dripping, knees going crazy, phone blowing up, this is bad. I need to calm down.

We walk down the stairs. I am now smiling, whole body jumping…we turn the corner and SURPRISE!

Fifteenth of our closes friends are on the deck, music blaring, hugs exchanged, all smiles. My knees are calm, my hands are only somewhat sweating, and we surprised Danny. Happy 25th to the greatest man I know.

 

 

 

 

Not in my plan..

My parents call me the mix child. I am a lot of my moms Type A personality, this is what we need to do to make it happen, but a lot of my dad’s Type B relaxed personality but when it happens we work hard to finish it. My parents are both extremely hard workers, won’t stop til it’s done, stubborn, and realistic individuals. Whenever I have a problem they don’t let me complain, it’s not in my blood, they always ask “What are you going to do to fix it?” They taught me early to problem solve, and if I need help they will be there for me, but complaining about it is not a healthy option.

Again, I’m the mix child. I am my mom when it comes to planning an event, action, or idea, but I’m my dad with completing the task the first time with hard work and determination.
When I get something in my head I need to get it done. Danny, my boyfriend, says I am fine line of stubborn sometimes. I don’t let things get in the way of my plan, even life. It upsets me, throws me off, and throws a major wrench in my process when life pops up, which it does often. I let it defeat me sometimes and I let it get the best of me-I’m working on that.

Why does this all matter? Well, I’m suppose to move into a new house on Thursday. Suppose to…. the bathrooms aren’t done, the washer and dryer aren’t in, and the people I’m renting for think it’s okay. Well, on Thursday I’m suppose to be out of my apt with the keys turned in. I start summer school teaching, novel engineering, and my masters starts up again Monday. Need to plan one of my best friends Bachelorette parties in Austin, order tanks, plan the events, but I can’t without the maid of honor. I’m stressed.

This is not okay. Internally I’m going nuts. I try to be level headed like Danny. “It’ll work out,” I think to myself. I’m trying to convince myself it’s fine, but it’s not. I’m lost with no where to go. It’s a terrible waiting game, and I can’t do anything about it. I must be patient.

Not how I wanted my summer to go that’s for sure.

I call Danny who’s at work to complain… he responds, “what are you going to do to fix it?” Well, I can’t fix it. It’s out of my hands, so I can’t get upset. I’ve done my part-still mad though.

So this summer is off to a bumpy start, but it’ll work out. I get to go to Austin, the lake house, and enjoy my time off. I’m still stressed, but my part is done. So I’m going to sit down, read my new book, and enjoy my coffee while I can.

What if…

This morning as I was walking into the gym, struggling to find motivation to workout and write, I thought “what if I just go to school now and get so much done…” I almost turned around right then and there, but I couldn’t. I then thought about the “what if” I don’t workout, man will I be cranky. I am terrible at thinking about the what ifs, I can barely pick out a pillow without thinking, “What if I got the other pillow?”

Life is full of little what if moments, I tend to think about them a lot. Last night, I went to my old school to talk to my old coworkers and see one of my students that has been causing chaos at school. My first thought, was what if I didn’t go and see them, would they care? Would it help him if I didn’t go? Turns out it was just what he needed, and my old coworkers were the pick up I needed to complete the year!

What if I applied to a new districts this year… well, I wouldn’t see my coworker and one of my good friends work his magic as our new assistant principle next year. What if I do it next year..

What if I didn’t break up with my first boyfriend, I’d probably be engaged and miserable. Oh god, what if I was getting married right now?! That’d be fun, but I’m saving the little money I have for Europe. Maybe in a year or five…

What if I didn’t write my struggling student that note of encouragement, every morning?! I’m not sure I want to think of that what if.

What if I didn’t meet Danny that night on the window sill… my life wouldn’t be as full of laughter and love, that’s for sure.

My life is full of what ifs, I’m not sure what would happen if I did some things differently, but I know I would have some amazing people in my life I did, or would I? What if..?

Busy May Days

May is a big month for me, my family, and friends! I’m doing a twist on currently and making it a mix of currently excited for, thinking, looking forward to, and doing that all will happen in May!

Currently excited for…

  • SUMMER! Also extremely sad about school ending, I’ll miss these kids.
  • Moving into my new house in 24 days!!
  • Going to the lake in two weeks for one of Danny and Is best friend, Abby!
  • Looking forward to Danny’s birthday! Lots of surprise for the big 25!

Currently thinking…

  • how is are my students going to transition into middle school. Will they love it? Will they miss me? Will one of my students make it?
  • how am I going to tell all my relatives that I am only keeping some of the furniture they gave me.
  • what will my first 5k experience look like this weekend with Girls on the Run! I heard its craziness.
  • why Danny always has to ask permission to do things like hang out with friends, but then I remind myself of his past.
  • How amazing my sister is, yesterday was her birthday!

Currently doing…

  • riding the bike at the gym doing an old Slu workout, regret doing it!
  • making my shopping list for my summer job of teaching Novel Engineering!
  • pinning couch ideas for the new living room.
  • texting my sister pictures from her Birthday party so she can Instagram them!

That could of been bad…

Currently, within the city I live in, there is massive flooding taking place. Schools, bridges, businesses, roads, and so much more are under water. All the houses at my boyfriends hunting property were swept away. Then on top of that, road closures are causing everyone to take alternate routes or wait in traffic for countless hours.  It is very devastating and stressful for those communities being affected. Flooding like this has happened before, but they said this year it’ll be worse. We are just sitting ducks and have to let Mother Nature take her toll. Like my friend always says, “Respect the river because it does what it wants and doesn’t care who you are.”

This morning, I wake up to the sound of opera and the smell of breakfast. Mind you, not coming from my apartment. It was 5:17 and my neighbor was blaring her music prepping for the day. Dazed and confused, I lay there hoping the noise would go away and that the breakfast would magically appear on my night stand. Shockingly, neither happened.

It’s 5:34. I have yet to fall back asleep and my boyfriend text me, “Good morning!” I debate texting back what was on my mind, “Yeah right, she’s blaring her music again, traffics going to be terrible, and I’m still sleepy!” Knowing my boyfriend who is always positive and can find the light in any moment I decide to wait to hit send.

I then decided I can wait for my 6:07 alarm to go off or I can wake up and be productive. My coworkers were all discussing last night how bad traffic was going to be and how they’d have to leave early. So I decide to get dressed in some workout clothes, pack my lunch, and head to the local gym right by my school. As I’m driving listening to music, I subconsciously forgot about the flooding taking place within my city. There is only a couple cars on the road with me so I don’t even think about traffic.

While at the gym, my phone dings, it’s my coworker. She’s already asking me to cover her class this am because her town is basically and island with only one road out! Another ding, same thing. Another ding, this time it’s Facebook, two coworkers called in. Turns out, majority of my coworkers live in areas that are being greatly affected. Two coworkers aren’t even staying at theirs houses. Talk about stressful.

Another ding, this time it is my boyfriend. He tells me how a local road is experiencing terrible traffic- the road I usually hop on for work. Thank goodness, I’m at the gym and can take alternate routes.

I think back to how everything happens for a reason. My previous annoying and frustrating neighbor making a delicious breakfast that wasn’t for me is now a blessing and a hidden alarm clock. The random thought to go to the gym before school, which I use to do then fell out of habit with, is now mentally prepping me for another exhausting May school day. I can get to school early, enjoy my coffee, help my coworkers prep for their days, and ignore the stresses of traffic that make everything more frustrating and annoying. So yes, this morning started off on a bad foot and could of been a sign for how my day would go, but it didn’t. Now all I can say is, “that could of been bad…”

Oh My…

‘Twas the day before state testing… and let me tell you I was nothing like I thought it would be.

My class had been in panic mode lately. They have all had some traumatic things happening within their neighborhoods, going through a lot at home, and the state test wasn’t helping with their stress levels. It had gotten pretty bad-two best friends had turned on each other at recess and that ended in a fistfight. It was chaos across the board.

The class felt like it was falling apart all because of a test that doesn’t even effect them personally at the moment. I wanted them to know that no matter what I still believed in them, so I started doing what I do for my friends- I started writing them notes of encouragement, inside jokes, and helpful pointers. The whole purpose was to make my students smile, calm down, and know that we’re still a team and nothing can stop that. I skipped my lunch and started writing away. Personally, it started making me calmer and happier too!

At the end of the day I passed out the envelopes one by one.

“What is it Miss Bush?”

“Is it for my mom?”

“Do we need to get it signed?”

I stayed quiet and kept stating, “Just open it!”

Slowly smiles were showing up on faces, high fives were being exchanged, singing was taking place, and laughter filled the room. We ended with our class meeting. The best friends were sitting by each other. I smiled and told them the basics of state testing: eat your breakfast, go to bed early, bring a healthy snack, and that I will always believe in them. That they were still making me proud… no matter what. You could feel the tension leaving the room and joy creeping back in. I sent them home knowing that no matter what happened they would always make me smile, nothing could change that.

I have seen them problem solve with novel engineering, work in collaborative groups with STEM, build each other up, teach one another, stand up to the bully, get themselves help within school and at home, be brave, strong, and courageous kids who now know how to fail forward. They teach me often.

State test don’t always show that. They can’t measure a students growth mindset. It doesn’t measure the growth of the most challenging student finally learning to use kind words. It doesn’t show their lifestyle problem solving skills, or their community benefiting skill projects, or their insightful genius hour skills. It doesn’t show the growth of the student who finally gain confidence to speak up, and now the whole room stops and listen. It doesn’t show all of their It was hard to see my most insightful student not be able to put his full knowledge into of a topic.

My job won’t be done when the testings over. It will continue on…growing and changing with my students needs-and that’s why I’m a teacher. Learning a curriculum is only part of it, fostering a life long learner is all of it.

Oh things, thank you!

Thank you is something most of us say often. We say thank you to our coworkers, our students, our principals, our parents, our family, our friends, our doctors, our dogs, etc.

But… when do we say thank you to the things that don’t understand us? Yes, this is a bit odd, weird, strange, and even creepy, but my man, Jimmy Fallon, inspired me to do this. He has the best skits and one is the thank you cards. I know that I cannot come close to Jimmy, but he inspired me to be creative and think outside the box, so enjoy.

Thank you to coffee for making me and those who encounter me in the morning happier, you do more than you’ll ever know.

Thank you to the coffee pot in my classroom. You smell up our room, but everyone who walks in it enjoys it. You gives us a much need energy boost.

Thank you food-I cannot thank you enough. You cure my hangry personality that happens daily, yes daily. My friends know me for my famous quote, “Let’s all acknowledge and understand my hangriness.” I’m not me when I’m hungry… I’m more of a Tasmanian devil. My coworkers know if I ever get negative at work to feed me, my boyfriend knows the tricks of the trade, and my family is always eating. Hangriness runs in our family is all I will say…

Thank you crockpot, you make my cooking taste 12 times better, and I never give you enough credit!

Thank you Danny’s iPad. You’ve provided me with useless hours of Netflix and Pinterest. I never understood why you are so small, but you fit perfectly in my abnormally small hands.

Thank you books, for letting me get lost in you for countless hours. You take away my pain, bring me happiness, add to my creatively, spark ideas, find characters that relate to me, and open my eyes to so many lessons. Thanks for providing me with a vacation I can hold in my hands.

Thank you target dollar spot, you’re a toxic relationship, but you provide me with all the necessities to make most of my Pinterest dreams come true. I’m also slightly mad at you for the amount I spend on you on a regular occurrence, it’s rather annoying. Love-hate relationship we have going here.

Thank you to my curly hair…even though most days I hate you, you always make it easy to get ready. Yes, you are hard to control and make people think I am seventeen, but you are always loyal and always curly. Danny calls you “Maddy Hairs” because you end up everywhere, but I always support you and tell him that he should be thankful because it is just us saying hi and that we love him.

Thank you winking emoji for allowing me to do a facial expression I am unable to perform without someone thinking I am having a bad reaction to something.

This was just a fun reflection that mirrored my hyper mood. Hope you enjoyed, I sure did, even though it was rather silly.