Wednesday, May 19, 2010

OKLAHOMA!


If you see my hometown on the National news yet again it is because we have been ravaged by tornadoes for the second time in a week!!


I have spent the whole evening in our basement checking radar on my laptop and listening to the sirens going off in town. I spent the morning with my students crammed into the school bathrooms listening to our school siren going off!


I just ran up to my bed and there was a spider in it.......why do I live here again???


Saturday, May 15, 2010

May Musings...........

.............so many thoughts, so many times I think I will blog about them, so many times I never do...I promise to be better this summer.

I was reading a dear friend's blog a few minutes ago (shout out Lara~Casey~Weaver), and she was dwelling on the surprise of living in her hometown post-college into her married life. Though still livin'up the single life I resonated with her.

I live in Oklahoma. Sapulpa. I could not be more surprised.

Seriously, never would I have thought this is what I would have been doing at this point in my life. I don't mean that negatively at all, I just find it interesting. If you would have told me after college in small town Arkansas, summer travels to Ireland, Mexico, and everywhere in between, that after all that I would move home...I would have definitely rolled my eyes at you. Then if you would have really gone out on a limb and told me that I would be working at the school that I attended K-8 at, the school where my very own father is the superintendent, I would have stormed off! Ok well maybe not because I am not rude, but I would have laughed in your face, politely.

I love my life.

Do I feel completely utterly satisfied with where I am, no not necessarily. Am I happy? Definitely. Am I stuck? Heck no. Will I stay here for awhile? I have decided to committ to things a year at a time, so next year I will be in OK.

I love teaching.

I am hugged all day long. I am made little adorable notes and cards telling me I am the best teacher ever. I observe how much my little students have grown this year. I get to read stories outloud and get really into them. (*the best day ever--I got so into this awesome book I was reading my students about not getting stressed out about testing--a book Dr. Suess started but didn't finish before he died and Jack Prelutsky finished it for him--they broke out into cheers at the ending and I had to majorly catch my breath*)
I am rewarded all the time by their enthusiasm.

I also can't wait for summer break.

I get exhausted teaching, walking, and talking all day. I get so bogged down with disciplinary issues. I hate having to be firm and writing detention slips--but it is highly necessary to maintain control and help students learn even the really hard life lessons. I hate calling parents with bad news about their child's behavior. I hate seeing abuse written all over a child's face and sometimes their body. I hate drama!!

But...I thrive off of the relationships. I am so emotionally invested. I wouldn't have it any other way. If I didn't feel passionately about it, I wouldn't work half as hard. If I didn't live in Sapulpa, OK and teach at my father's school, I wouldn't know the 20 little (and some not so little) individuals I have come to know. They deserve my time and all my effort.

My life's unplanned plan is so beautifully redeemed daily.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Excuses.

Today one of my students told me they were sick and needed to go to the nurse.

When asked why she felt upset to her stomach she responded:

"Because I'm afraid of heights."

She was sitting at her desk, reading quietly, and felt sick because of a fear of heights???

May--time for you to come our way!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Honesty is a Virtue

Ok so one of my dearest friends, Lara (Casey) Weaver, tagged me to do this.

10 Honest things about me:

1. I get my eyebrows waxed. I have since I was about 17. It is the one self-idulgent girly things I pay for. For example, I've only have ever gotten a manicure twice and it was for weddings and paid for by brides. I only get my hair cut or trimmed once a year at the most, honestly it is probably more like every 2 years. So the once a month eyebrow waxing is always a hilarious experience to go to at my small hometown salon and hear all the news of Sapulpa. I always enjoy it and always leave with a funny story to tell my mother.

2. I am going to admit it. I am a huge Twilight fan. So huge that I went with twenty other teachers from my school to the opening night premier last night. We pre-bought our tickets two weeks ago and then had reservations at Texas Roadhouse afterwards. It was the most fun I've had in awhile. It was fantastic. I am a huge fan in that I realize the ridiculous-girly-silliness that the books are but I also respect writing enough to see the impressiveness of how the author can completely pull you in. I was sarcastic and jaded at first, probably the first 4 chapters of the first book I was not that impressed and wasn't sure if I would keep reading--after the 5th chapter I couldn't come up for air for anything or anyone. All I have to say is: Team Jacob.

3. I don't take pride in my taste in music, but I am personally very happy with it. My Holly St. housemates in college had great taste and were all about it. I always just pretended (very badly I am sure) to know what they were talking about and listened to my country music to my heart's content. Country is my first choice when listening to the radio. A lot of that has to do with where I live, we don't have good radio stations. We have pop, rap (sort of), oldies and lots and lots of country, eventually you just have to give in because that is where your most options are.
My taste is also very random and has no continuity. This is the mix of songs I am listening to as I write this: Jack Johnson, John Mayer, Brad Paisley, Amy Whinehouse, Coldplay, Carrie Underwood, Damien Rice, Michael Buble, The Wreckers, The Fray, Tim McGraw, The Posies, Sara Bareilles, and Rascal Flatts. PS. I love love love Broadways and about 75% of the time am listening to Wicked or Aida on my itunes, on repeat.

4. I was hardcore into competitive drama, Lincoln Douglas debate, and public speaking all four years of high school. I spent most of my weekends at a a high school or college somewhere in Oklahoma competing. Our teacher and coach was and is one of the most influential people/women in my life. Ms. DeVilliers otherwise lovingly referred to by everyone as D. D taught me more tough love and genuine affection mixed with politics, case briefs, comedy routines, tearful talks, confidence, acting, speaking, blocking, boy advice, life advice, intense scolding, and millions of hugs. D deeply influenced who I am and how I represent myself. We were once working on a standard oratory and a piece of poetry I was going to do and I was young and just had not come into my own at all yet, after telling me everything I needed to work on and scolding me for not working harder at it D grabbed my face between her two hands and said, "Emily, your face is a gift from God and I am going to teach you how to use it". My senior year I qualified with 3 other teammates to compete at Harvard University in an international tournament in debate. I tromped around Boston competing in different buildings and we were rewarded with 4 days in NYC afterward. D is a brilliant woman and I hope to influence my little students half as much as she influenced hundreds and hundreds of students.

5. I was in FFA in high school and I took about 5 Ag classes. No I didn't have to work with cows or pigs. I gave speeches. I was recruited from drama/debate to be a part of their competitve speech programs. It didn't hurt that there were 3 new Ag teachers all under the age of 25 and all very cute to convince me. My first competition was for the Farmer's Credit Union and I spoke on the importance of the family farm. I won state. I have 500 dollars of savings bonds from the Farmer's Credit Union to prove it. My senior year I was on the Ag Issues team and we won state with our drama concerning the pollution of Oklahoma watersheds by Arkansas's chicken pollution runoff into those watersheds. Yea, we won state and competed at Nationals in Kentucky. I love the FFA, respect it, and will defend the quality of the program to anybody.

6. I want to be Paula Deen. I love to cook and have learned more about good southern cooking from that woman. I watch her show, read her books, and look at her website a lot. I am constantly trying some new Paula Deen concoction. So far my families' favorites are the Sweet Potato Biscuits, Homemade Mac and Cheese, Cheesy Biscuits, and her Gumbo.

7. For those of you who don't know I am a Junior High cheerleading coach as well as a 4th grade teacher. I went into the cheerleading incredibly skeptical and incredibly blackmailed by my good friend who is the other coach. But you know what? I like it. The girls are young and sweet and I feel like I can mold them not to be dumb and shallow. I can actually teach character and confidence through cheerleading. I also love doing the girly things and going to the games. Actually because of lack of help, the boys basketball coach told me that I needed to learn how to keep the books for the boys' games. So last week for four games in a row I kept the books. I did pretty dang good if I do say so myself. I have never paid so much attention to referees and calls in my life, but I am feeling more and more confident in my basketball knowlege and book keeping skills, not to mention cheerleading coaching.

8. I think about Lake City, CO more than is probably healthy. I am constantly wondering what is going on there, what the weather is like, and what my friends are up to. I also often think about dropping everything and moving up there and what that would be like. I was on the city's website the other day looking for a photo of the American Basin for my school desktop and the was a photo looking down Silver Street and I felt a sharp pain of oh that's home, that's where I should be at home. Hmmm.

9. I really want to go to Vancouver or Guatemala for spring break. I realize those are both random and very different places to want to go. But I want to splurge and take some type of international trip. In Guatemala I could see a lot of close JBU friends that I have been telling I would come visit for two years now. My college roommate and another close friend would possibly come from Costa Rica and El Salvador to visit me while I am there which also makes it more appealing. My friend Jake is working on his Masters in Vancouver and I would love to go visit him. My cousin is also working on a doctorate up there and I would love to have quality time with her. I have also heard Vancouver is incredibly beautiful and I would love to go to Canada.

10. I am reading the Chronicles of Narnia series to my class. We are on the Voyage of the Dawn Treader right now and it is fabulous. It is one of the most magical experiences. My parents read me these books as a child and I have loved them as an adult. Most of my students have had absolutely no exposure to them and only a few have seen the first movie. They are so into it. We live and breathe Narnia in Miss Pritz's class! We have a whole wall dedicated to our Narnia drawings. I end certain exciting chapters and the kids will say "NO! What happens?? You can't stop, keep reading!" At the end of Prince Caspian they cheered! I am loving it. You will hear and see more about that as we work through the series.

I don't really want to tag anyone but I would like to see Linda Wyman, Amanda Hartman, and Christina Carnes do this.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

I have a class of inspired performers. There doesn't seem to be enough time in the day to do what we need to curriculum-wise and still let them perform!

This video is a little long but I think gives a good peak into Miss Pritz's classroom. I like how I am confused about when the song is ending. I keep thinking he is done and he keeps on going!

video

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Another post about my students--get used to it--I live and breath school and sometimes for weeks at a time, nothing else.

Today I had noon recess duty.
A little girl who is in the 4th grade, not in my class, but I still know her well--she is a well known character, came up behind me and started rubbing my shoulders.
The kids this week have started offering me shoulder rubs and who am I to deny it? My back and neck hurt all the time, all I do is walk around, stand, sit on a wobbly stool, and apparently sleep in positions that really hurt my neck in the morning.

Amazing quote number 1 from shoulder rub experience:
Miss Pritz: "thanks, Lily"
Lily: "how did you know it was me?"
Miss Pritz: "I have eyes in the back of my head"
Lily: "that's right. All women do. I'll get mine one day when I am older."

Amazing quote number 2 from shoulder rub:
---Lily moves from rubbing my shoulders to my neck and then to my cheekbones for some reason............
Lily: "Does that feel good?"
Miss Pritz: Sure.
Lily: "I am not really sure what I am rubbing anymore."

Then my little friend begins to scamper off and as she runs away into the field I hear the beginnings of the tale she is beginning to tell to her brave companion....
Lily: "One time when I was in another country, and it was a chinese new year..........."

Oh to have a limitless imagination with no fear of what others think.

Monday, September 21, 2009

I teach 4th grade.
A very important part of my relationships with my students is affection. A lot of my students may not have anyone hug them all day. It is important to me that I can give them plenty of affection throughout the day in my classroom. I also want them to feel safe and comfortable with me and much more willing to embrace and share affection.
One way I ensure that we have some type of contact during the day is as they leave the classroom at the end of the day I stand in the doorway and say, "high five, hug, or handshake?" and the kids know to pick one. Some kids just immediately hug me and some prefer the high five, then there are some of my charmers who consistently do all three.

Now, I have been cautious to give my 4th grade boys side hugs, because let's face it, I am a young teacher and they know it. Some are so tall side hugs are only appropriate. Some are still so small I have to bend over to hug them and or they hug me around the waist.

Today one of my most entertaining, sweet, talkative, loving, and quite small male students was hugging me in the doorway. He was full on around my waist and said "I just love hugging you!", I said, "why?" and he said, "you're soooo soft". Hmmmmm. I need to get back to side hugs.