10 Things

I am driving home from Florida today and I am doing a 10 thing Thursday to pass the time:

1. I saw Dolphins ever morning!
2. I got to drink as much coffee as I wanted!!
3. read three books while I was in Florida.
4. My mom, sister, and I got fresh seafood every night for dinner!
5. I listened and made some pretty amazing playlist on Spotify!
6. I didn’t get on social media once, 8 days strong!
7. I destroyed some cheese and crackers (some of my favorite food)
8. My sister and I only got into one fight over music!
9. I did NO work for school or my masters!
10. I missed my students!

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Relax

Relaxing to me isn’t sitting, napping, or watching TV. Relaxing to me is walking, hiking, talking with friends, and laughing. Although, this week I am in Florida with my sister and mom and I am finally enjoying the concept of “relaxing.”

I have read three books, and need some more recommendation. I have slept off and on. Listened to my favorite songs. Deleted social media (8 days strong so far), and haven’t done any work for school. It’s incredibly hard, but I’m getting better at relaxing.

The concept is foreign to me. Neither of my parents enjoy sitting still. My dad always needs to do something with his hands, and my mom is always wanting to walk. We are an exploring family who finds joy in moving.

Although I like moving most of the time, this week I have enjoyed the stillness and the concept of having no where to go and no where to be.

Mornings

I love mornings.

Mornings at the lake are the best. Here is a poem describing my ideal morning:

Still water. 

Quiet air. 

Warm coffee and a rocking chair. 

Sister fishing while laying down. 

Brothers out walking around. 

My coffee in hand, not a care in the air. 

I can go all day in this rocking chair. 

 

Books con’t

I have quotes framed all over my room, and my favorite one is in my library: “Everyone’s a reader, some just haven’t found their right book yet.”

**Names of students have been changed for protection of privacy.**

I remember it like it was yesterday. Danny came up to my desk, all four feet of him, and exclaims in his television game show voice, “Miss Bush, why in the world do I even need to read this?! I find no use. It’s pointless! Pointless I tell you!” (Now, Danny is one of those kids that everyone loves, he takes charge of the room, wins debates, makes everyone feel welcome, very low, but very much loved by all). He was reading, I Survived the Chicago Fire.

Now, remember he loves trivia and debates. I simply reply, “Well Danny, you want to win debates right? You want to be the King of Trivia right? Well reading any books and all books will make you one of the best trivia players to ever walk this Earth!”

His reply was simply brilliant, “Miss Bush, stop pulling my leg.”

“Danny, I am not pulling your leg. Reading gives you the world in your hands. You are in control. You get to read and learn all the facts that the book has to offer. You’re in charge of your knowledge. I know you’ll take charge and do great.”

Danny simply looks at me, gives me a head nod, and walks to his reading spot.

This was in the beginning of the year. He was on a beginning fourth grade level and has now grown a full year, has read all the I survived series, and has moved onto more non-fiction and graphic novels. He is caught reading during math and bathroom breaks. He even tells teachers that come in my room, “I love reading you can learn anything you want in a book.” He found his book(s). 

Now, my second example, Jessica is a girl who is high in all areas. She gets 3’s on her report card for every subject, but has stated over and over again to me, ” I hate reading. I am slow at it and I do not like it.”

She is what I would call a spitfire. My principals love using her for her opinions on curriculum, events, and so much more. She gives her opinion in the most respectable way. Her old teacher and I often tell others, “She is a role model to students and adults.”

On Thursday, my reading specialist (who’s room and position I happened to take) came into my room to observe. She wanted ideas, as she walked around she saw students on Padlet, Reading Counts, hosting book talks in small groups by choice, and a room full of kids reading and writing. I happened to be conferring with Jessica. She was telling me why she liked her book. My specialist simply asked, “Do you like reading?”

Jessica hesitated and looks at me I state, “Go on tell her the truth, no worries!”

Jessica turned to her, “I use to hate it. I thought it was so boring and pointless. It was never fun.”

“Why is that?”

Without even referencing the quote hung in my library she replies, ” I never found a book I liked until this year. I love reading now, I even do it on the Bus.”

*INSTANT TEARS* 

I tell her to go look at the quote in the library, she goes, looks back at me and goes, “I believe it, Miss Bush.”

My goal as a teacher this year, was to help kids fall in love with reading. A book in their hands. I wanted them to be in love. I wanted them to fall in love. I wanted them to escape just like I do when I read. I wanted them to find their place. These proves to me that I am slowly doing that. Reading is incredible, some just haven’t found the right book yet. 

 

 

 

Books

I am an avid reader, and that shocks everyone who knew me as a kid. I use to hate reading. I would fake read. Sleep during reading time. I was the kid that asked to help the teacher to get out of reading, play sick, bathroom breaks, and so much more. I was that kid.

As I got older my perspective changed. I started to fall in love with reading. It was my escape from the world around me. It allowed for me to travel. It gave me the power to be whatever I wanted to be-an investigator, doctor, circus member, player, and so forth. I loved it.

It inspires me to grow as a person. Reading lets me learn about who I am by how I act towards a character and their situation. It teaches me life lessons and opens my eyes without even experiencing that situation. I crave it.

Reading opens my eyes to a world I have yet to experience. It allows for me to escape my problems, my fears, and be brave. 

Adventure

“You know you are up for an adventure when Maddy calls and ask, What are you doing right now?”- my best friend Naka talking to my parents.

I am a wandering person. I love to see new places. Go on new hikes. Go to a new vacation spot. Go on trips. Go to the zoo. I love seeing and trying new things. I am an adventure junkie, and it is all because of my parents. I just like to see the most I can see.

Background information: My parents got married at 20 and 21. My dads 21st birthday was on my parents honeymoon. Prior to this, they got engaged on the top of the Eiffel Tower with a 3 dollar plastic ring my Dad bought on the bottom of the tower. They were in the middle of a trip visiting my Dad’s parents who lived in Germany at the time. Not only did they get engaged during this trip, but trained and rain the fields of Austria, explored Germany, Czech, and loved traveling. 

My family growing up has only been on two beach vacations, and they were okay. We did an okay job, but only when we were moving. I think we I have only seen my Dad sit down and not move for maximum three hours…and that was when we is watching NASCAR.

All my family trips have been to parks or mountains. We have been to Crested Butte countless times, because my mom’s sister lives there. We have been to Yellowstone, Smoky Mountains, Michigan, taken an RV my parents bought to Canada, and so much more. They always encouraged us to travel and see the world.

My brother took their advice. He has been on so many backpacking trips worldwide. He is my “hippy” brother who is too in love with Mountains. He also is one of the only 9-5 jobs that is held in Vail, Colorado. He constantly sends “lunch break” pictures from a Ski lift or a mountain bike trail.

Me, I traveled the most for Soccer. I have seen every state on the East Coast for soccer. Now, I am seeing it to see it. It is not a job anymore. I love it. I am itching for travel.

I recently went through a tough time in my life. I did what I never thought I could do, scary and sad at time yes, but I am so proud. How did my mom and I handle it? She let me vent, cry, yell, laugh, cry, and laugh some more. Then goes, “Let’s plan a trip.” Thirty minutes later,  we are going on a trip.

Adventure is where my family feels free. It is where we feel the most connected. Where we strive and learn. We push ourselves to be better people on adventure. It is where we become our most selves.

 

I Wonder

I wonder what the weather is going to be like in Destin next week.

I wonder if the news is ever right about the weather.

I wonder if my little sister is as excited as I am.

I wonder if my fifth graders will miss them as much as I will miss them.

I wonder if he ever thinks about me.

I wonder if I will ever want him back.

I wonder what next years teaching situation is going to look like.

I wonder what April will look like.

I wonder if my happiness will stay.

I wonder if I’ll ever be able to run a full marathon again.

I wonder a lot.

I wonder it took me this long to choose happiness.

 

21

 

On May 8th, my little sister was born. She is hilarious. She is loud. She loves swinging. She is my idol. She is caring. She’s a fighter. She is forgiving. She is my best friend.

It is National Down Syndrome Day. The 21st for the 21 chromosome. I remember the day my sister was born, I didn’t even see her as someone with downs. My parents acknowledge that she has downs, but it is not a crutch. My Mother always said, “She has downs, but she is my sister. She is still capable of doing great things, doing all things she wants, just at a different rate.” To this day she still states this, even when people discriminate or give her things without her working for them. She makes my sister independent, capable, and confident.

I tell everyone that my sister is the athlete of my family. She really is. Although, my little brother is on Varsity hockey as a Freshman. My older brother went to state multiple times for both soccer and track. Myself, a Division 1 athlete. She is the athlete. She plays soccer, basketball, softball, bowling, track, dance, and volleyball. She is always a team player, yet always the first one picked.

Her sports team is also her core friend group. Over the years, they have become a second family. If another one of Jessica’s friends has a surgery or graduates we all are there to help and support. If a family member is in need, we all lend a hand. We understand things about one another families that others just can’t get, because they haven’t experienced it. It isn’t a bad thing, it’s just a fact.

So, today I celebrate my sister, my family, and all the families who are lucky enough to have a child, sibling, or friend with Downs, because my sister truly is a family blessing.

 

My Classroom

Lately, I have been going through a lot. I have been struggling with a lot, but with these problems I have rediscovered my joys and my safe place. My classroom. 

I turn off my phone, turn on a smile, and welcome my kids every day with a smile (sometimes an exaggerated wave all the way down the hall), and if I have more and one cup of coffee a loud “Good Morning, Blank!!!!”.

I forget about my problems, we share stories, laughs, and jokes. We smile, hug, do our high fives, and share our successes…and our failures. We learn. We are a family.

They make my heart so happy. Yes, they frustrate me, just like I frustrate them. We all have a love hate relationship with fractions, but we do it together. We never quit, and end each day with a hug or handshake. From 8-4 my classroom is my place. It is my safe place. My escape. My drive.

This (hard, long, but amazing) experience has been so bitter sweet, but with it I am rediscovering myself. Reigniting my love/passion for my career, and with that I am so thankful.