Raise your hand if you are wearing your favorite Beatles t-shirt and puppy pajama pants and it is only 8 o'clock on a Friday night!  

Raise your hand if you are physically WIPED OUT after trying to manage a classroom full of students who would rather talk with or tattletale on each other than listen to you.

Raise your hand if you feel like this.....

Raise your hand if you are about ready to throw all of your test results, progress reports, and piles of papers to grade out the window and retire with me to this grand place in Tennessee called the Old Dog Sanctuary.  We can commune with this grand pack of senior dogs and live our twilight years free of all things data-driven!


Raise your hand if you would just like me to get to my


post and stop asking you to raise you hand! Ha!

As you can probably surmise from the tone and content of the above comments, this week has been a true test of my endurance and patience.  I am truly "running on empty" as I head into my last five days of school, and need to refresh and rejuvenate myself this weekend to make them memorable ones for my students!  I have lined up the following list to help me focus on the positive 
as I head into the homestretch!

 Nothing could be more exciting than "dating my blog" on a Friday night (as I so flippantly tell folks when they ask me what my plans for the weekend are), right?  Well, let me tell you.  Scoring BIG at the Dollar Tree this evening amped up the fun and festive air even more!  

Check out the party favors, snacks, and treat buckets I found for my class Summer Birthday and End-Of-The-Year Bash!  Think Beach Blanket Bingo without Annette Funicello in a polka-dot bikini or Frankie Avalon in swim trunks!  On Wednesday, we are going to crank up the Beach Boy tunes and ride the waves of fun, fun, fun until the teacher takes the sugary snacks away!

I made these FREE gift tags to attach to the "goodie buckets" I am making for my students, classroom volunteers, and support staff!

Visit my TpT store to download this versatile set!    
You can't beat the bold, vibrant
colors of Krista Wallden's clip art!  "Surf's up!"

On Monday morning I will put my Musical Theatre Girl back on the MegaBus to NYC with crossed-fingers, a happy heart, and a hopeful outlook.  She will be auditioning for TheatreWorks, and they are looking for fresh talent to play a "spunky first grader who loves pink, polka dots, and wears purple glasses!"
If she gets the Junie B. Jones gig, I will be ONE PROUD MAMA!  I have read each and every adventure in this book series aloud multiple times (and with great dramatic flair and vocal expression)!  I even have my own hair bow and stuffed elephant props!  
If I am too old to play the role of a spunky, sassy six-year-old, then this young lady "with the laughing face" is indeed worthy of such a high honor!  Please send up a prayer and keep your fingers crossed that she gets a shot at making young children across the U.S.A. laugh, smile, and learn!

I am going to print and laminate multiple copies of this quote and put them up all around my home and my school next week.  They will serve to remind me and my colleagues that we might just be the only sunshine in the lives of our students.

I am also going to share more than a few fits of giggles with my class while reading aloud this trilogy of books I just discovered.  Kate DiCamillo's adventures of Bink & Gollie are laugh-out-loud proof that friends who are polar opposites can provide oodles of reading fun!

It dawned on me the other day, that come mid-June, my family will be six months away from our annual Christmas in Florida gathering.  It will be our first time there without my father, but we are planning a memorial 
one evening at sunset.  

We will set out his beach chair.   We will mix a martini.   We will light a cigar.  We will watch the horizon change color together in peaceful silence. We will read a list of "J.R.-isms" that will make us laugh, make us cry, and help us pay tribute to the man we all continue to miss dearly every single day.

Some of Dad's "famous quotes" include....

"Charlie P.,  you are a MESS!"

"Stacie, do your kids have any "ink?"

"I don't know why you guys are making a plan, 
because you are just going to change it!" 

"Jiminey Cricket, Jen!  WHAT are you crying about now?"

You know, George.....Snoop Dog is in trouble again!"

"Hayley, do you know what a "tramp stamp" is?

"Rick, I am glad to hear you finally graduated.  But do you have a job?"

This past Wednesday was really one for the "stressed-out" record books.  I had data to chart and analyze, a tough parent conference to prep for and mediate, a student whose homelife is deteriorating at an alarming rate, a classroom to pack up, summer courses to sign up for to renew my license.....

The layers of frosting on the cake just kept on coming, and I came home from school just wanting to step away from it all and retire.  

This conversation with a favorite former student I saw while shopping tonight reminded me why I will return to Room #2 this Monday....

Gleeful voice from behind me in the summer toy section:  

My surprised and pleased response:  
Hi!  How are you?  Are you still working in graphic design?

Former favorite student:  
No!  I work at a pre-school and daycare now, and am going to 
community college to get certified as a teacher!

Yay for you!  I always used to tell my substitutes to make you their "teacher assistant" when I was out!  I bet you are just wonderful with those little ones!  What are you shopping for tonight?

Next week we are having an ocean theme and I need some stuffed animals and sandbox toys!

No way!  I am throwing a beach-themed summer birthday bash on Wednesday!  Great minds think alike!  I hope you are planning to read Rainbow Fish!

I remember when you read us that book!  It was all about the importance of sharing!  You gave each of us all a sequin to decorate our own fish with afterwards!  I think I'll do that with my little ones!

Me (with a huge lump in my throat and "wet" eyes):
They will just love it, and they will remember the story long after you read it....

Moral of this conversation between veteran teacher and teacher-to-be:
Imitation is the highest form of flattery, and having a student remember a wonderful story I shared reminded me of the real reason for and the true worth of the work I do every day..... 

Continue to keep calm, teach on, believe in yourself, and make a difference in the lives of children....


  1. It looks to me that you have a great last week planned...your students are so lucky to have such a fun teacher! 5 more days! 5 more days! I think I can! I think I can! Summer break will be here before you know it! Hang in there girl!
    Mrs. Olson’s Lucky Little Learners

  2. Thanks for the encouragement, Angie! Thursday and Friday are my target Camp Read-A-Lot days so I will do a big, old blog post on your behalf once the end-of-school mania ends! Keep enjoying your country life, and making memories with Miss Molly! She is a cutie-pa-tootie!