26 May 2017

First week of

is done. This is going to go fast, I can see this already. As an aside, this is my fist summer off since I started teaching. I have almost always taught summer school, and would have this year most likely because we always needed the money. The one summer I didn't teach summer school, I was freaking out over money because the crazy nun had fired me and I didn't know how we were going to survive until the new job started. Then last summer I didn't work, but I was orchestrating a trans-Pacific move and it was far more stressful than working. So this summer....no summer school because we are not broke... no big move because we live in an amazing house in a nice area....so there is nothing to do but relax. How nice. I have been working on AP Biology, it's not going as well as I would like and I'm not sure exactly why, but I am making progress. But that's not what I want to write about today...

Initially, I was going to write about budgeting and how bad I am with money, but I realized that is not completely true. I have times when I'm good with money and times when I'm bad with money. So then I realized that money is like everything else in my life, I can do good and stick to a plan for a while but eventually, it falls apart and I fall back into old, lazy habits. So this will not be so much about money as about how to stay on top of things that I need to stay on top of. So how do I do it? I know what I need to do. I make lists, charts, have a planner, etc. Yet I will go along great guns for a while and then suddenly I forget. I just forget that I need to check the bank account every day. I forget that I wanted to put some money away. I just forget. I've tried habit trackers in my planner - which sits on my desk here and I can't help but look at every single time I'm on the computer. So what do I need to do? I honestly don't know how people keep track of all the things in their lives all the time. How do they do it? What do I need to do to keep all the things in my life in order? I'm really at a bit of a loss. As I think about it though, I tend to avoid doing things like checking the bank account when I know I've been spending too much or I know the balance is getting low. So it's not so much that I am forgetting, it is more a matter of avoiding. Hmmmm.... Interesting. So how do I avoid this? I am not perfect so I can't imagine that I'll never spend more than I plan to ever again. That's just unrealistic. I really did best when I had my own spending money. Maybe I should put some money into my account and just use that for spending when I get the urge. Hmmm.... that way I won't negatively impact the family finances. That may be an option. If I just don't use the family account for my spending, that would help. So, what I've been doing is not working, therefore I have to change what I'm doing. Simple as that. Well, I haven't really solved anything but I do have some ideas. That is the best thing about this blog. I know I could talk to people, but sometimes I need to work it through myself, because if I don't understand the why or how I will never change things.

In other news, the teachers' group I belong to is releasing some stuff tomorrow to help us get through the summer. I'm really looking forward to that and will close here and rest tonight so I can work hard tomorrow :)

The next day: so I've thought about this stuff all day and I've decided that I just have to do it. I have to make certain things completely non-negotiable and I just have to do them. Kind of like brushing my teeth or showering. I just have to do these things and I don't really think about them. So I set up my planner for next week and I put in another habit tracker. I will do every thing every night before bed. That is all. I will stay on top of every thing and I will make it a habit. That's it. Now, off to bed.

21 May 2017


The last few weeks are always the strangest of the year. In April it seems like summer is so far away, but then you blink and it is summer. The last weeks go so fast and so slow at the same time. Crazy, crazy. But, it is finally over and summer break has begun. And this year I am really looking forward to summer. We are all moved and settled in the house. We have the pool and lots of time to enjoy it. I'm ready. We may take some short trips, but basically, we'll be hanging around the homestead and just enjoying our summer.

There are some things I need to do over the summer. I need to write some curriculum maps, read some books, and plan out the year for all my classes. And that is why I'm writing here. I have not taught AP Biology before. It will be a new course for me. So I need to create a curriculum map and plan out the units and lessons so that we are ready for the test. I need to do the same thing with chemistry, but that I'm more familiar with. I get paralyzed when I have to write curriculum for a new subject. I panic. I feel like I don't know what I'm doing. Actually, the truth of the matter is that I look at too much information. There are 1000 ways to teach AP Biology and I have looked at most of the websites. I have decided to follow a pacing guide/curriculum map from the College Board website. This is written by a knowledgeable, successful AP teacher and includes activities and links to websites and activities. I think this is a great way to start a new course, follow a tried and true path rather than create my own. So, I need to stop running off in a million directions. I've made a decision and I just need to stick to it. If I follow this curriculum and don't like it, I can change it as I go, but I should use it as a guide to get me going. I'm going to do the same thing with the AP Chemistry since I don't really like the NMSI curriculum. I feel like the packets are too simplistic in some ways and too complex in others. I know my students, I want to create a curriculum that will work for them. So I'm going to use the College Board stuff as a base and make adjustments as necessary. I am not going to second guess myself. I am not going to look at all other kinds of nonsense. I can look at things and they look good and then I get so many ideas and I forget them and then end up confused and lost. No more. I'm going to set out curriculum for all my classes and stick to it. I really want this year to be all laid out so I'm not scrambling trying to figure out what to do when. I want to be like Lisa was. She put zero effort into her biology class because she has a set curriculum that she follows and that makes life easier. I want that. Instead of spending my preps making copies or figuring out what to do in the next class, I can actually keep up on my grading and make learning meaningful. It is always the times when I don't plan that things fall apart. Okay, I feel better. That is the plan. Just follow the existing curriculum and take it from there. Whew!! I feel relieved.

Tomorrow I start my fitness regimen. I can't wait. I just want to feel more like myself and not so fat and lazy. I was going to start it on Friday, but Thursday I twisted my ankle. Unreal. So I gave the ankle a few days to rest and it feels fine, so tomorrow it is. I'll be up at 5ish and out the door by 5:30 or so. I want to walk for an hour. Tomorrow I also have a class at Planet Fitness to design a workout program. I plan on going to Planet Fitness at least 3 times a week to start. I would like to go more often just to get the habit in.

I really feel like this is my summer. This is the sumemr where I get back to myself and get to feeling like myself. I'm excited.

Success when I'm not looking

This is true, especially for me. I try to stay on the straight path, but life doesn't always like the straight path. Life throws thin...