A fathers love…

Several weeks back I wrote a piece about prayer, and the effect it has on our legacy, including people who we may, or may not know, or even talk to on a regular basis… Prayer is a powerful tool, often over looked. It is a secret weapon, the ace in the hole. Prayer is intimate, and public. Prayer brings comfort, and answers questions. The answers might not be immediate, or the one you were hoping for. Prayer also brings Him closer to us… Matthew 18:20 “For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them.

But what about prayer of thanks giving?

I have tried to be more intentional in prayer and even have a journal to write my thoughts. However I’ll admit I am not constant with it. Why is it our human nature to turn to prayer when things aren’t going according to plan and not when we have all of our needs met? It makes me wonder, why do we go though trials. Perhaps it’s his plan and way to draw us closer to Him?

I listend to a sermon recently that talked about gratitude. I took it and ran with it. Although I have my trials and prayers for guidance through them I have incorporated prayers of gratitude. Before submitting my needs I take time to thank Him for all the blessings I have. This idea has also spilled into prayer time with our son. We always begin our prayers with “Thank you Jesus” and we list things we are thankful for. Things as simple as our bed and a place to live. They seem simple but in fact when you think about the world as a whole, not everyone is as privileged as we are (Americans). This time of prayer has humbled me so much and I find myself thanking Him for things like clean water, AC, and everyday things that I would normally overlook. Do you know what has happened by incorporating this into my prayer time? An attitude of gratitude. When I am having a “horrible” day and things just don’t seem right I try my best to put myself in that mindset, stop and thank Him for all the “little things” that actually aren’t that little.

I encourage you to take time daily to thank Him for even just one “little” thing. I promise you, you won’t regret it <3.

1 Thessalonians 5:18 "In everything give thanks, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you."

Psalm 136:26 "Give thanks to the God of heaven, for his love and kindness endures forever.

Advertisements

Five signs that summer is close teachers…

This time of year is CHAOTIC for a teacher. EOY (end of the year) testing is in progress, STAAR is around the corner (again) and classroom behavior is well, interesting. You know it’s almost break time and so do the kids! Here are some signs that might let you know summer is closer then you think

  1. The Snooze Button: As the year draws towards an end the energy we had at the BOY (beginning of the year) is well, just not there! You’ve been going a mile-a-minute since day one! Meetings, lesson planning, grading, prep-work, tutoring, conferences, math night, science night, reading night, professional development, you name it you were there! In sight of that why not hit that snooze button one more time, you deserve the extra five! So what if you have two-day old hair, I’m sure it’s nothing a little dry-shampoo can’t fix!
  2. Jeans: What is it about a jeans pass that make teachers go NUTS!? We will do anything for a jeans pass, literally anything! Not to mention when you’ve hit that snooze button maybe more than you should have a jeans pass really saves the day!
  3. Caffein: So you like your coffee in the morning on the regular, but this time of year you find your self coming around for seconds (more than once). You’re hanging on by a thread with all the madness that comes with the closing of another school year. It’s our friend coffee for the win with it’s pal caffein!
  4. Classroom Incentives: It’s been a long year and these last few weeks can be even longer. It hard for students to stay on task and have positive classroom behavior…It’s time to crank up some new behavior incentives, pull out your tool box and try everything. EVERYTHING! What ever it takes to keep them on task, behaved and engaged!
  5. Special Activities: It’s no wonder that classroom behavior is a little bit more tricky this time of year, there are so many exciting things going on! You have field trips, open house, activity nights, plays and not to mention FEILD DAY (elementary) or PROM (high school)! These activities are a sure sign that summer is drawing closer my friends.

It’s been a great year teacher! You’ve done amazing things this year and I am SO proud of you. Hang in there and finish strong. There are only a few weeks that stand between you and a summer full of fun in the sun, vacations, down time, a good book and  of course sleeping in…

❤ Brittani

Because, they need me too…

Being a teacher and a mother can sometimes be very conflicting on the inside. I spend a lot of time with my students. During the week day I spend more time when them than my own son. Over the years I’ve come to the conclusion that teaching isn’t a job, but rather a calling. One day when Greyson is old enough I hope he understands that I am always his mother first, but they need me too…

*   *   *

Their faces are excited when I greet them at the door. Their minds are racing with all the stories they want to share from the weekend spent at home. I’m greeted with hugs, high-fives, and fist-bumps too.

We finally settle in and have our share time. A few might accidently call me mom… They smile, and giggle a little embarrassed, but it doesn’t bother me in the least. These are my mornings, Monday – Friday.

The day goes on, redirection is constant, reminders never ending, and the questions too! Snack time rolls around and there are always a few who are left out…Not in my class though, I’ve always got extras on hand.

The day rolls on and inevitably feelings get hurt, but I’m always there to interject and set things right.

Skinned knees, bruises and bumps are all a part of elementary recess, but I’m there to  help and make sure they’re taken care of. You see, each child of mine though patience is always required is a part of me and my heart. There are days when they are sad, and I’m there to cheer them up. There are days where they are happy, and I’m always there to share it. There are days when they just need someone one to listen, and I’m happy to lend an ear.

I’ll always be there. Why? Because, they need me too…

Season Change, But True Friends Remain The Same…

Who is your person, do you have one, two or more? If not, it’s never too late to find your tribe…

I was blessed with the opportunity to begin building my tribe at the ripe young age of fifteen. I had just moved from Illinois to Texas the summer before my freshman year of high school. Little did I know the girls I bonded with in my high school years would be the friendships that would carry me into adulthood… Through high-school and college I grew many friendships, they are to this day are near and dear to my heart. They are “my people” the ones who know me from the inside out, the ones who help me make decisions, the ones who talk sense into me, the ones who cheer me on, support me, and are just there in general.

Today I met two of my friends for a “last brunch,” Emily, a friend I’ve had since high school is moving to the coast, a dream she has brought to reality. She is so excited for this move, I am excited for her, and also extremely proud of her. However, I will miss her immensely…

This evening Lauren posted a picture from our brunch

14445134_10100679487878196_1219901358318126273_o

The caption Lauren gave this photo was the following, “A million things have changed in the past five years, but we haven’t.” Her words were simple but, also deep and profoundly true. In the past several years so much has changed; stages of life, jobs, boyfriends, husbands, buying homes, having kids, and adulting in general… Through all the stages of life we have encountered so far and all the changes that have occurred, one thing has managed to stay the same…our friendship. We are completely different in every way possible, but I guess that’s what makes our friendship so special. I love the ability we have to pick up right where we left off, regardless of how long it’s been since we talked or hung out…

I am going to miss my friend so much when she leaves , but at least I’ll have somewhere to stay on the coast! 😉

Love you Emily, here is to the next fourteen years, and yes it’s really been that long for us!

“If a friendship lasts longer than seven years psychologists say it will last a lifetime”

-unkown

So basically you’re stuck with me now!

Love,

Me

You got this girl!

You’re pregnant! Yay! After a year, or more, or maybe even less of trying you’re finally going to welcome your first boy, or girl into the world, congrats friend! You immediately start pinning pins on Pinterest, on a secret board of course! It’s way too early to let the cat out of the bag.

A few weeks pass and maybe panic sits in? Do you know what you’re doing? You couldn’t even keep a plant alive, how on earth will you keep another human being alive?!?! Now, I am not saying I am the baby guru, or baby whisper by any means…But, over this past year I have figured out quite a bit, and guess what… You will too!

I currently have four friends who are expecting for the first time…  and have had others who have given birth since I have. I’ve been asked by each of them questions, and even told things like “I’m calling you, I have NO clue what I am doing.”

I shared with them, so I’m going share with you too, the BIG secret (to raising children & being a mommy) to all of you who are expecting…

Wait for it…

There is NO secret! Sure, you can read all the books, Google anything, and everything on the topic (I would advise you to stay away from Google though), but the thing is… You know what you’re doing, you just don’t know that you know, yet.

Things will be hard at first, you might even cry there will be tears, and sleepless nights… But one day you’ll wake up and the things that used to be hard will become second nature, the  new norm. You’ll find strength within yourself that you never knew was there, you will literally amaze yourself. You’ll be a pro in no time, I promise. Your mommy intuition, and natural instincts will kick in. You will do what you thought you couldn’t, and you’ll make it look effortless. You got this girl!

Love,

Brittani, just a wife, mom & teacher

 

Morning struggles of a working mom…

So, you’re a parent, the joys, and struggles of your morning routine are, well, interesting to say the least. I myself am a working mom and my mornings are nuts, chaotic, hilarious, and sometimes down right UGLY!

Morning struggles of a working parent are sometimes enough to spin you off the deep end, and might even make you want to crawl in a dark place and hide…But, that would mean losing your job, paycheck, house, and let’s just not go down that road…Ok…

I have compiled a list based on personal experiences to try to convey some of the struggles a working parent faces most morning…

  1. THE SNOOZE BUTTON: So, I  set my alarm about 45 minutes before my sweet boy normally wakes up… My logic is that I can be dressed and ready to meet his needs when he wakes up… But, there is this horrible invention called “the snooze button.” This little sucker is the devil himself! I swear, I push it once or twice and those 45 minutes are up, gone, BYE FELICIA! When this happens I usually have to wear day old, or two day old hair & apply my make-up in the parking lot at work…The struggle y’all!!!
  2. BLOWOUTS: Okay so, I didn’t hit the snooze button. I am dressed, bags are packed, and I’m ready to go with my kid in tow…Then, I smell it! The POO! If your one year old is anything like mine, he is all but still for this diaper change. Most of the time I end up with poo on me, or him which requires a wardrobe change of course.
  3. SNUGGLES: So on those mornings when I bypass the snooze button, and little man sleeps until I’m fully dressed, and ready to go; my favorite thing to do is to scoop up my son and steal some snuggles before he is awake. In these moments I completely lose track of time. I’m in the moment, savoring every single second. I’m saying prayers for our day. I’m thanking God for such a beautiful, and perfect little man to love. I’m not sure that I would count this as a struggle, the struggle in this though is that I don’t have to ability to just stay and soak it up longer.
  4. DROP-OFF: Drop-off at daycare can be brutal, especially on days where my sweet boy is extra clingy. The hardest thing I have to do each day when I drop him off is to walk away, add crying out for me, and reaching out for me… Heart… Broken… This doesn’t happen every day, but when it does it literally hurts my soul. His sweet teachers always tell me he calms down in all of about two seconds, but none-the-less it’s a horrible experience.

So, these are my top four morning struggles as a working parent. What are yours? Working parent or stay at home parent, I would love to hear from you!

Love,

Brittani, just a wife, mom & teacher 🙂

Why celebrate ALL women on Mother’s Day?

 

It’s that time of the year again. Flowers, cards, handmade items, Facebook status updates about how much we love our mom, and the cute little #Instagram pics of all the Mother’s Day goodies we received. It’s a wonderful day full of love, and appreciation, and its more than deserved.

You’re a woman arguably one of the hardest things to be on the planet, since we use both sides of our brains, it’s obviously harder than being a man. But, what if your not a mom in the traditional sense? Do we still celebrate you? Why, YES! Of course we do! All women are natural nurtures, we give of ourselves freely, we put others needs above our own, we protect, and defend those we love. If that’s not the definition of a mom to a tee, then I don’t know what you’re smoking!? I am a mom in the traditional sense, I carried my son for 38 weeks, gave birth to him, breast fed him, care for him on a daily basis, love him, play with him, laugh with him, go on walks with him, and the list goes on, and on. I’ve done, and do all these things so now the world recognizes me as a mom…But wait a minute, what about the teachers, nurses, coaches, day-care workers, aunts, friends and all the other titles childless women wear? Are they not also in positions that nurture, and protect children? I have several friends who are teachers and some are also coaches, they are young, beautiful, single, and also childless in the way the world would put it. But, I am here to tell you that they are moms, maybe not in the tradition sense… They love, laugh, play, care for, celebrate, protect, and worry for their students, patients, athletes, and or niece/nephew. They are role models to young people just the same as moms are. They too deserve to be celebrated this mothers day.

To all my friends who love Greyson like their own, to all my friends who are in the trenches of teaching with me, to all my friends who care for children in hospitals, to all my friends who are extraordinary aunts and especially to my sister who is an amazing auntie too! I celebrate you this Mothers Day! Others may ask why, and my answer is simple, you’re a mommy too!

Happy Mother’s Day to all women who love, laugh, play, care for, celebrate, protect, and worry for the little ones in their lives.

Love,

Brittani, just a wife, mom & teacher 🙂

It’s Not A Job, It’s A Blessing…

Have you ever had those moments where you word vomit, and even as the words are spewing out of your mouth you immediately regret them? You literally would rather eat your own foot than anyone else hear the words that you dared to utter…

Before I go on I want to make it clear that I am guilty of referring to my life as a mother as a “job,” don’t get me wrong it is work, there’s absolutely no doubt about that! However, I do regret ever referring to it as a “job” or a “second shift” as a I work outside of the home as a third grade teacher.

Over this past year I have followed some of my friends and family members journeys, and battles they have faced being a mother, and, or trying to become one. I have prayed for miracles in the form of my friends being able to conceive, and others for miricals of healing from illnesses for their sweet babies. I have felt true heartache for them, I have shed tears on their behalf,  I have begged the Lord for mercy on their behalf, I have prayed for their blessings (their children). I have also felt guilt, yes guilt for ever referring to my precious blessing as a “job.” A job, first of all is something that you clock into and clock out of. Being a mother is not a job, it is a blessing, it is life, it is a privilege denied to many. Sure, days are hard. There are battles, and days where you are completely and utterly defeated. There are days where you feel like you just can’t…

After being witness to so many of my friends and family members over this past year I feel such shame and guilt for ever referring to my son as a “job”.  Instead of bearing a bad attitude when my son wakes me up in the middle of the night I need to relish in the sweet moments of holding him while he is so small. The moments we as mothers share with our wee ones will pass all too quickly. I need to be grateful for the “messes” I get to, not have to clean up, the sleepless nights, the long hours, the dirty clothes, the smelly diapers, and all that’s in-between.  I need look at my son for what he truly is, a blessing, not a “job.”

To all the moms, it is hard, it is draining, but it isn’t a “job” it is a blessing often denied to many… When you feel discouraged, lonely, guilty, angry, annoyed and even a little crazy, look at your blessing, hug them, and be thankful for them.

From one mother to another.

With love,

Brittani

An open letter to my sons first teacher…

Hey there,

So, I know that you begin your year way before students arrive. I know how much time, and effort you put into the meticulous planning and arranging of your room. I know that you’ve spent countless hours debating boarders, and themes. I know that you’ve spent several of your own dollars making sure that your room is just right. I know you won’t sleep a wink the night before school. I’m sure my son won’t either. You’ll both lose sleep but, for different reasons. You’ll be too nervous, and he’ll be too excited…

I know the year can be long, hard, and rough. I know there will be days where you repeat yourself hundreds, literally, hundreds of times. I know there will be times where you lose your patience. I know that you will spend hours upon hours planning for authentic, and meaningful lessons. I know that you will spend grueling hours analyzing data, organizing stations, and planning for small groups.

I know these things because I am a teacher too, but I am also a mother.

As a mother please know I am sending you my best. I have spent so much time preparing him for this day. I have put carful planning, and effort into the person he has become. I have spent several hours raising him to be a gentleman, kind, and polite… We are still working on it though. I know there will be times where he is the one you have to repeat instructions for. Once again, please know that I am sending you my best.

You see this is something I have learned in my years as a teacher. Students come to us from all walks of life. Some have experienced more than others, and not always the good stuff either. Some might not know what you think they should before they enter your room… Regardless, you must know every mother sends their best, they aren’t keeping the “good ones” at home, I promise you.

So, on those days where you feel like you’re not getting through, you’ve repeated yourself for the millionth time, and lessons don’t go as planned. Please know, I’m sending you my best. I am thankful for you, and the investment you’re making in my son.

Sincerely,

Greyson’s’ mom & your fellow teacher

PS: You’re doing a great job!

IMG_4076

Confessions Of A Third Grade Teacher…

Please, don’t judge me, or do… Whatever.

1. We don’t grade everything.

Yep, that’s right we don’t grade every assignment that students complete. Why? Because who has that much time!? So if your student comes home with smiley face on an assignment, it’s not because they rocked it…. It’s probably because:

a) I was too tired to grade it.

b) It was an assignment given by a substitute.

c) I already had enough grades in the grade-book for that reporting period.

2. Recess isn’t for the students, its for us!

When most people think of recess they think of gross motor development, and social emotional skills. Yes, recess is great for developing the above, but lets be honest… It’s not for them, it’s for us! If you stay at home with kids then you get it… A break is necessary! Be it in the form of a nap, a 3o minute episode of their favorite show, or a 20 minute recess.

3. Pinterest guides our lessons.

It’s true, those awesome lesson plans are often stollen  revamped and tweaked from some rock star teacher who posted her info on Pinterest. She really should open up a teachers-pay-teachers account.

4. We don’t teach for the money.

Of course we don’t teach for the pay but, summers and holidays at home off  lesson-planning isn’t too bad especially since most conferences are taken up with ARD’s, PLC’s, conferences, and other meetings.

5. Coffee is our lifeline.

Surviving a day with 38 students requires caffein, a lot of caffein. Before my classroom Keurig bit the dust all of my students knew how to brew Mrs. C a nice cup of joe. Luckily the following semester the teachers lounge was gifted a Keurig and Mrs. Davis down the hall always has a hot pot brewing!

So there you have it, not a complete list of confessions by any means, I can’t give away too many of our secrets… My fellow teachers might hunt me down if I do. Happy Monday folks! Have a good one!

For my fellow teachers I leave you with this, there are only 17 more Mondays in this school year, spring break is only a month away and I’m pretty sure we have a a few Monday holidays in the mix too!

#iswearilovekidsandteaching #keepcalmandteachon

IMG_4091-2