This week in school: Comparing limericks and free verse poems. And writing thank you notes.

Since, according to Bloom, the highest level of understanding happens in creation, the kids were graded on their ability to write Thanksgiving limericks. As their teacher, I can’t ask them to do something I can’t do myself. Here’s my limerick:

I’m often dissatisfied

With the accomplishments I’ve multiplied

Because I continually wonder

If there’s something more out there

I must remember NOW should be glorified

I ought to give myself somewhere between a B+ and an A, I think. Judge for yourself. A limerick has the following characteristics:

1. 5 line stanzas

2. funny and short

3. 1st, 2nd, and 5th lines rhyme

4. 3rd and 4th lines rhyme

We also wrote thank you notes. Many kids, as I expected, wrote notes to mom, dad, and grandma. Some, however, wrote thank you notes to me. I just about died from a cuteness overload. Here are my favorites:


“Dear : Rodrigues, I love you as hour techer. You are a nice Lady. Thank you for teaching us reading and for loving us. I just say you are a wonderful lady in the world. And thank you for treats. Love, Gabriel G.”


“Dear Ms. Rodriguez, I want to thank you for teching me and the student. I love you you are the best and fun techer and you are nice to. And when you ­čÖé it makes me happy. I hope you love me because I love you. Love, Martica”

I do in fact love these kiddos and life. Happy Thanksgiving everyone!!



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I started a post about my relationship with Chevy on August 1st, and never finished it. Between that date and today a lot has changed.

I see Chevy two times a week now, if I’m lucky. By lucky I mean if I push myself to “just be done” for the day before it gets dark out. Long gone are the days of just sitting at the barn with a book, and letting him wander over to me if he felt like it, which he often did. I miss those days. I need to get them back. I might have started taking riding lessons because I wanted to “jump,” but I took Chevy on because I wanted to continue my friendship with him as I helped him regain his health. Well, Chevy is pretty healthy now. Everyone who knew him when I first met him, and has seen him recently, exclaims some version of “my goodness! Look at him! He’s a different horse!” He doesn’t “need” me anymore. But I need him. He’s literally been a shoulder for me to cry on during ridiculously stressful times. I need to spend time with him, time when he’s not expected to just “work,” to show him I appreciate him.

One reason I’ve had less time to give to my friend Chev is that I’ve been oscillating between being occupied and preoccupied with teaching 40 third graders how to read and write. What a terrifyingly high stakes job. The moments of “yes! He got it!” or “Wow! I think she’s coming along,” are so few and far between it’s easy to forget or ignore them. Are these kids learning anything from their new teacher? On my best days I think, yes, look at how many kids got an 80% or better when I retaught main idea. On my fun days I think, absolutely, today I taught them that a G.P.S. is a global positioning system and that it’s no cooler than they can be themselves if they just pulled out a map and wrote themselves a set of directions. And then, on my bad days, I find myself asking what in the world the point of the day was.

Am I making a positive impact on these kids’ lives? That’s the bigger question, and the one I’m scared to answer. I want the answer to be positive, it’s why I decided to teach. But is the answer positive? I know my kids appreciate me and feel that I try to help them, and look forward to many of the routines in our class, but is this enough? Will they ever make a positive choice they might not have made otherwise because of something they experienced in their third grade classroom? Only time will tell. And even at 26, and 3/4, I have to admit I’m not huge on the idea of delayed gratification.

To make a long story shorter, the reason I’ve had less time for Chev is that I’m a grown up. I have a job and I don’t just have to budget money, but also time. My spare time must be divided between my family, my friends, my boyfriend, my dog, my horse, and myself. Even though things aren’t perfect, I do okay with balancing time and money.

Now I need to concentrate on balancing my mind. I need to stop worrying about all the things I think I should be doing, and learn, once again, to live in the present moment, enjoying the things I’m doing now.


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