A Tired but Grateful Teacher

My crazy schedule of teaching Monday through Friday morning and afternoon, and teaching in Zoom Monday through Thursday evening came to an end. My evening class finished Thursday evening. It was a good but exhausting month as illustrated by my photo yesterday. lol

To celebrate, I came home and took a two hour nap. Yes, a two hour power nap. 🙂 I think I look better wearing the mask. lol

One strange thing about ending a Zoom class is saying goodbye to students I have never met in person. I wonder if I will ever meet them out in public someday.

This is the second school year during COVID. While my morning and afternoon classes are in the building, we still wear masks, still follow protocols, and still receive updates if anyone in the building has been diagnosed though not named. The general vibe is different than last year though. Last year at this time so much was unknown. there was no vaccine yet, and it felt much more urgent. This year it is more of a vibe of when will this be over.

It continues to be paramount in my mind for me to start my day by praying for my students and asking Jesus to help me be a blessing to my students, the children at the school., the teachers and staff. I am grateful for the opportunities Jesus has blessed me with.

This weekend will probably include a few more naps. Next week will only bring my morning and afternoon classes. My evenings will be freed up. I wonder what adventures I will find myself in. 🙂

From one tired teacher- God Bless and Thank you for reading.

Ahhh Coffee :)

I saw this in the staff lounge at the school where I teach in the mornings. It expresses my sentiments about coffee so well. 🙂

For me there is nothing quite like the smell of coffee brewing. That wonderous aroma awakens my senses in the morning.

I am a coffee purist meaning no sugar, no cream, no latte, no fluffy drinks for me. I like my coffee black and I prefer dark roast.

The first thing I do each morning is get my cup of coffee and then I turn on some worship music to ease into life. About halfway through my first cup, I begin to pray over my day. When I finish my first cup, it is of course time for my second cup. While drinking my second cup, I read some bible, listen to more worship music and then check emails. By the end of my second cup, it is time to get ready.

When I reach the school, there is a Keurig machine to those mornings a third cup is called for. Yes there are those fluffy fufu flavored ones to choose from, but I have my own secret stash of dark roast. I enter my classroom with my third cup, and quietly get ready for my students to arrive.

Are you a coffee drinker? How do you drink your coffee?

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Conversation Time with My Students

Each day in class we have conversation time in both my morning class and my afternoon class. We use questions that connect to real life and vocabulary they learn in class. As we talk, the room is usually filled with laughter. Some fun examples from yesterday:

Photo by ROMAN ODINTSOV on Pexels.com

While talking about what we do when we have a cold, one of the moms said, “My husband is a cry baby when he is sick.”

While talking about places they want to visit in America, one mom said, “I don’t know anywhere. I have only been in Lincoln.”

When the students begin to joke with me, it is a sign for me they have become comfortable with me as their teacher. Yesterday while talking about where we buy food, I shared with the moms. “Russ’s Market because I can order online and they bring it to me.”

One of the moms giggled as she said, “if you go to the store, you can get exercise walking around the store.”

I try to keep the class fun for them as they learn. They have enough stress already as busy moms during the COVID pandemic. Each morning, I pray for them. The school year is going fast as fall break is only three weeks away.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Ability vs Opportunity

One message I communicate with my students is that ability and opportunity are not the same thing. They may not have had the opportunity to go to school and learn before. They may not have had the opportunity to learn English before. But that does not mean they do not have the ability.

The moms in my classes come from a variety of educational backgrounds. Some were in refugee camps. Often they do not know which country they will go to until a few days before they leave the camp. Even if there was a school to learn a language, which there isn’t, they would not know which language to study until a few days before leaving the camp. Some come from places where little girls do not go to school. Some went to school but only until the 6th grade.

I share with them that they will discover abilities they did not know they have because they did not have the opportunity before.

Yesterday we checked out Chromebooks for the moms to use. One mom had never touched a computer ever in her life. I sat next to her and showed her how to log in. Then I turned it off and showed her what to do as she turned it on and logged in. We also sent her first email. Then I told her she will learn about using the Chromebook step by step.

Seeing them explore and develop new abilities is a blessing. It also makes me think about Jesus and us. Jesus does not call the qualified to do things. He qualifies those he calls to do things. He empowers those he calls and equips them.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Coming Up For Air

One more week after this week of my crazy insane schedule. I am experiencing an overlap of my summer evenings classes in Zoom and my morning/afternoon classes in the schools. My evening classes will end a week from tomorrow. So my blogging is kind of like sending up the periscope at this time.

One would think sleep would come easily but when I get in a period of time like this sleep is not so easy. But there are weekend naps 🙂

Coffee is my best friend right now. 🙂

I already have my crash and burn session planned for the weekend after this coming one. lol

Until then it is teach in the morning 8-12, teach in the afternoon 1-3:30, and teach in the evening 6:30 to 9:30. Oh and lesson plan in the afternoon.

Then after next week a glorious thing will occur.. I will have my evenings free. It will be a wonderful.

Until then please understand if I do not respond to comments right away.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Creative Moms in My Class

Each year when my morning class starts, the moms spend the first two days decorating the room. It gives them time to make it their classroom and build community with each other. The best thing I can do is stay out of their way and let them create.

They took a blank bulletin board

and made a Calendar Wall out of it.

They took another blank bulletin board

and made a message board out of it.

They took an empty window

and made this.

They had other projects as well. They helped me organize the room too. Now we are all set for a good school year. I am sure they will love all of the homework I give them. 🙂

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Barbecue and Deep Conversation with a Yazidi Family

Tuesday afternoon I visited a Yazidi family. The father is my student in my online class. He invited me to join his family for a barbecue.

It was a blessing to meet his family. I discovered his wife was in my Zoom summer school for Family Literacy. His daughter in 3rd grade was fun to talk with. She told that she likes eggs for breakfast, so I asked her a series of questions like- Do you like ice cream on your eggs.

As we were eating, I found out his oldest daughter is in high school. We talked about applications for college, scholarships and financial aid. I will be visiting the family in the future to help her with the process.

Sharing a meal is a great way to get to know my refugee/immigrant friends. It gives me the opportunity to discover how I can be of help. Being genuinely interested in helping them with their lives opens doors to share the love of Jesus.

That was the one social time in my hectic week and it was a wonderful time. The weekend is here and I have a feeling my bed will make me take a few naps. 🙂 I do have a birthday barbecue this evening and church tomorrow, but my bed is letting me know naps will be required.

What are your weekend plans?

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Where Has This Week Gone?

My apologies to bloggers I follow. I have not kept up this week. But the weekend is coming, so there are posts to catch up on.

Where has this week gone?

It has been a week of meetings, prepping my classroom, teaching online, and of course the doctor Wednesday afternoon. A guy could use a nap. lol

Photo by Dina Nasyrova on Pexels.com

It is so good to be back in the swing of things. There is a fun energy to the start of a school year. I just wish my evening online classes had finished before my morning class starts. 🙂

When my evening online class started, I did not need to have a light on. Sunlight came in my window. Last night, I turned on my light at 7pm. One sign of fall checked off.

When I went to the clinic in Omaha, the coffee shop was selling pumpkin spice lattes. Another sign of fall checked off.

Fall is coming. It is my favorite time of year with my class in full swing, cooler weather, and fall sports.

How has your week been?

What is your favorite season?

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

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Steak and Deep Conversation

Yesterday I met with a Yazidi friend who is applying to Pharmacy School to go over his essays for the applications. We spent a few hours on them and then we went for lunch at Texas Roadhouse-his choice. Texas Roadhouse is a steak restaurant.

I ordered a 15 ounce NY Strip smothered in mushrooms. It felt like heaven on earth after a long summer of watching the food budget. Summers are normally that way for me. But my friend wanted to thank me so off for steaks we went.

As we talked, I learned more about my friend such as his refugee experience, how he fled to Kurdistan, and building his new life in America. We also talked about COVID. The shocker is that his wife found out she was pregnant the same month as the shutdown started where I live. Can you imagine?

He asked about what we do in church. He has never been in a church worship service. It was a blessing to share my faith with him.

It is a honor for me to be able to help my friends from other countries with their educational and career goals. The food is just an added bonus. 🙂

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Summer Over- School Year Begins :)

Summer is over for me starting this week. Yes, it is still sizzling hot and could be for a few more weeks. But tomorrow I begin my week of being back at school every day preparing for another year of Family Literacy.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

I am looking forward to the school year even though with the surge in COVID cases in my area, we will once again be wearing masks and following protocols.

Monday will be meetings all day. Tuesday will be meeting the new childcare para and starting to set up my room. Wednesday will be morning only because I have a follow up appointment with my Rheumatologist. Thursday and Friday will be finishing touches on getting ready.

Then on Tuesday September 7th, it will happen. The moms will enter my classroom. I will only have set up the table and chairs, gotten to materials ready, gotten familiar with the new computer programs, etc. But it will be the moms who will decorate the room. They will transform the barren classroom into one decorated by them. By doing so, they make it their classroom.

My summer slumber is over. It is back to 6:30 alarm clock, coffee-lots- in the morning, and sharing my jokes with the school staff.

What are your plans for the week?

Thank you for reading. God Bless.