Sunday, June 8, 2014

End of First Year

My first year of teaching has quickly come to an end. I still cannot quite believe that it is over. There were many moments throughout the year where I just couldn’t wait any longer for summer break, but there were also lots more moments where I just wanted to cherish every minute. My students crept their way into my heart and now they will always be there. We had our challenges, we had our hardships, but more than that we had our joys, our laughters, our ahah moments, our learning times, our prayers, and our times of practicing the fruit of the spirits.  These little second graders turned into big ready to be third graders in a blink of an eye. As a teacher I can say that I am truly thankful for each and every one of my eight students. Each one blessed me in a different way! Myah with her joy, Leenah with her hard work ethic, Esther with her hugs, Melissa with her helpfulness, Tahiri with her love for reading, Eileen with her stories, Naomi with her sweet spirit and Denny with his growth of self-control. These students were gracious to me, encouraging, supportive and always wanting to have a fun time while learning which helped this first-year teacher of me to have confidence in teaching them well. I am so sad. I mean I am really sad- buckets of tears sad to see my little second graders move onto third grade, but I know that their future is bright and that they are ready. I know that I need to prepare my heart for my new set of students and be ready to invest into their lives just the same.
My students (minus one) I wish I could put our cute class picture up, but one of my students cannot be online for security reasons! :(
One thing that I have discovered about teaching that I don’t like is the saying good-byes part! I mean I hate good-byes in life anyways so why would God call me to a profession where I have to say good-bye at least once a year. I don’t know, but I am thankful that He gives me the strength to make it through! I read this poem to my second graders on the last day of school and every single phrase is true:

Another thing that I have discovered about teaching that I didn’t like before was packing! Although I didn’t totally love it this time when I had to pack up my first classroom I am thankful that I didn’t get stress out about it! For once in my life I didn’t have a melt-down when packing my classroom, my apartment and my suitcases for the states. Yes, you read that correctly this past week I have been packing for three different things and yes, I never even had a melt-down. All of this shows what God has been doing in my heart over the past year. He has constantly reminded me that He is my strength and that with Him all things are possible. I have clung to this truth as I have said good-bye to my students and my dear roommate and also my first best friend in Korea. I have clung to this truth as I packed up my classroom, my first apartment and my suitcase. God has given me the strength to be calm, collective, productive, and organized.  He has reminded me that I am not alone in all of this, but that He is with me and He will provide others around me to support me!

All my packing this week!!!

This has been a crazy beautiful messy school year with many transitions, joys, and bumps, but all the glory goes to God who was/is the only one who strengthen(s) me to make it through it all.

This summer I am heading back to the states to be a maid of honor in my best friend from high school’s wedding, hanging out in Montana with my family for a little bit, spending some time with my grandparents in Washington, being a bridesmaid  in my good friend from college’s wedding, a TU reunion with my housemates  in Indiana + seeing other there that are dear to me from TU, and then back to Washington for a few days before I fly back to Korea to help with new staff orientation, set up my new apartment and get ready for round 2 of teaching! What an exciting and fun summer planned. I am looking forward to relaxing, seeing family and friends, eating yummy American BBQ, shopping at Target, and just changing the pace of life for a little while! This one of many things that I love about being a teacher-you get a nice long summer break! J What are you most looking forward to this summer?
Love, Daniella
Saying good-bye to my roommate-she is off to get married this summer and move to an island!

Saying "see you later" to my first best friend in Korea. She is moving off to Washington state with her husband!


Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Summer Reading List

Since I have become a teacher I have realized even more how important it is to read. Reading takes you places. It stretches your brain. It gives you more knowledge. It allows you to travel and experience new things. Dr. Seuss has the perfect quote

“The more you read, the more that you’ll know. The more you learn, the more places you’ll go.”

I just love this quote and I have placed it on the wall in my classroom to constantly remind my students and I the reason for reading. In second grade we learn how to read more fluently, with expression and how to conqueror the big words as well as understand what we read. We spend at least 6o minutes a day reading. One of the greatest joys of teaching reading is when you hear one of your students laugh out loud while reading or rush eagerly to you with an excited voice and a big story to tell you about what is happening in their book. I just love it!! In college one of my favorite classes was my children’s lit class where we read at least 50 picture and chapter books. We had to write little summaries on them as well. I loved being exposed to the different genres.  Now that I am teaching I love sharing good books with my students and finding books that they would be interested in.

This summer I have created a reading list for myself. I will be doing lots of flying this summer (home to the states, a wedding in GA, and a college reunion in IN)! So here what I will be curling up to late at night, outside lying on the grass and sitting on the airplane with:
·         7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess  by Jen Hatmaker

·         Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom (This is a book I read every year- it is just that good)

·         Bittersweet: Thoughts on Change,Grace, and Learning the Hard Way by Shauna Neiquist (I have already read this book this year, but I really want to read it again because I loved it!)

·         Kisses from Katie: A Story ofRelentless Love and Redemption by Katie Davis (I read this book three years ago, but I want to read it again so badly especially since my family will be in Uganda and my dear friends are adopting from there) 

·         The Book Thief (recommended by the High School English Teacher at my school)

·         Not My Will: How Much Will SurrenderCost? By Francena H. Arnold

·         Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?(And Other Concerns) by Mindy Kaling (Just a fun book to read and recommended by friend who said I will laugh a lot J )
A book that I am finishing up with right now is Having a Mary Heart in Maratha by Janna Weaver. This book has challenged my life in an amazing way. It talks all about taking the time to rest at Jesus’ feet instead of getting caught up in the business of the world. It challenges to think about what you are missing out on when you fill your life with constant. It helps you put life back into perspective and challenges you to change your ways.  I have been reading it with a dear friend. Our joke is that we started a bible study (study this book) about taking a break, but we have gotten too busy to finish! L  My desire is to live out the truth that is written so clearly in this book about taking the time to sit at Jesus’ feet. My prayer is that I will be able to live it out over this next year.
Well, I have lots of reading to do this summer, but I seriously can’t wait to snuggle up with a good book and relax. Summer is only 2 days away! I can’t believe I only have two more days of teaching life. Good-bye first year teaching!!! J  I am sad to see my little second graders go, but I am excited for what the Lord has for their futures!
Let me know if you read any good books this summer that I should put on my fall reading list
Love, Daniella