One of my first photographs of Moffat. Notice Garden of the Gods and Pikes Peak in the background. HOME!!
My photography has come a long way!
You can read about my long-eared companion on my webpage under the About page, but I thought I would begin by sharing a bit more. This is important information as Moffat is just a part of me these days. Ask my family, friends and teaching colleagues and they will agree. I was even referred to recently as "that rabbit lady."
SO, with that being said, I think it is best I share as the pictures will undoubtedly come in!
My idea for using Moffat came into perspective 9 years ago. I can date it by the dates in my photographs on my computer. At the time, we enjoyed traveling as a family (something I will forever be grateful for), however, our kids were growing up and becoming less tolerable of mom taking their photos around every corner. At the same time, I also discovered the power of the museum bookstore, still one of the first places I make a bee line to on my travels. Additionally, I had come across a copy of the book with Felix the Rabbit and his world-wide adventures.
BAM!! Here comes Moffat! I labored over his name for quite a long time. I wanted the name to have historical significance, yet be kid friendly at the same time. As a native of Colorado, I looked to local historical names that might fit the bill for both. I played around with Elliot (Charles Elliott Perkins gave Garden of the Gods to Colorado Springs) and Jackson (General William Jackson Palmer was the founder of Colorado Springs). Neither worked. I then discovered David Moffat, a railroad man in Colorado (originally from Washingtonville, NY). The name worked for me and Moffat the Rabbit was born.
To date, I have over 10,000 pictures across the country with Moffat. Many of them I have taken myself, but many have been taken by dear friends and family. I use these photographs in my classroom almost daily to teach geography and history to my kindergarten and first grade students and I can't imagine teaching without my long-eared friend!
That one little word can be such a HUGE challenge. As an educator,
I know that I am not telling you anything you don't already know.
Last night, at the end of a delightful three day weekend, I felt balance as I headed off to bed. Our weekend had been spent with some family time, some work time and some basic fun. The world needs to have three day weekends once a month. It is healthy!
Sadly, the world does not have three day weekends monthly and we instead are challenged to find balance with five hectic days to juggle the lovable insanity that teaching brings. For many of us (a few of you know that I am speaking about you), the motor rarely shuts off. When we are not at work, we are reading, writing or otherwise working for the good of the order. We say we are doing it for ourselves.
Last fall, I hit bottom when it came to shutting my brain off. The motor never stopped and at times, I broke down in tears because I couldn't get it to stop. I had to work through it. For the time, I think I am in a good spot. Again, I am often my own worst enemy. Some of my own most important work needs to be to walk away from that project that I label as "fun" even though it really is work. I need to find more time to bead, go for walks and bike rides with my husband. My daughter and I need to go shopping and I need to take the time to read my son's articles.
I have many goals and I work hard to reach them. I want to write more for my TPT store, I want to research museum schools more as I think it would be a viable option for our elementary school, I want to get one of my children's book manuscripts published, I want to bead and I want to read more. I REALLY want to read.
Balance. It is a process. We need to be held accountable for it.
I'll keep you posted.
I am a visual person and am by no means a perfectionist. However, when it come to my Moffat blog, I am very fussy (I guess the same goes for my room). By blogs take me quite a long while as I am always formatting pictures to include along with websites and other videos.
This blog is different. Today, as I am blogging about blogging, this somehow seems easier. Don't get me wrong, I am putting a lot of thought into it, but this somehow just seems to flow much more smoothly.
As I am writing this, I am listening to our son in the sunroom doing a phone interview. He is a senior at Northwestern majoring in journalism and history. Last year for Christmas, he gave our entire family journals for our thoughts. I journals daily, both about his day and details from all the books he reads. I haven't told him I have started this, because I want to get fairly far in so as to keep up my stamina. I think he would be proud.
I do need to start a journal for all the other inspiring posts that I am reading from #Blog365. I am finding many kindred spirits from a HS band nerd a to Kindergarten teacher to a museum and history fanatic. I love it and am finding inspiration all over the place. I am thrilled to be in with such talented and insightful company.
Here's to stamina!
I am sitting down to write and hope that I don't fall asleep (yes, it's 4:00 in the afternoon)! Seriously, my husband and I do not know the meaning of the word relax. If it's not a project at home, it's one at another property we tend to.
For me, today's project centers around helping our daughter relocate her room to the basement. I have to admit, this is slightly self serving as I will then be taking over her room as my office/library/travel souvenir room.
With this being said, she is cleaning out her clothes and we are moving our off season closet. As I participate in this process, I can't help but to think of new strategies and routines we set in place in our classrooms after trainings and in-services. We are equipped with the next best thing, much like the latest trend in the fashion industry.
This purging causes me to reflect upon what I have changed and implemented in my own closet-like classroom. I have many changes that I can clearly relate to specific trainings, books read or the influence of a colleague. When something new comes in, typically something must go.
These changes are exciting. We all look forward to that new outfit we get to try on and wear out, just like we can't wait to get back and get going with our new knowledge (I can't wait to get going on my new Colonial Williamsburg projects from class this summer, but that will be another blog).
I am looking forward to further reflections within my classroom regarding what "new outfit" has worked well and what needs to be redone. Sometimes that dress didn't fit like you were hoping to!
I feel like I have spent way too much of my summer planning the space in my classroom. You all know what I am talking about. With a school change, this became a very daunting task.
Two weeks in, I am happy with some of it, but can already tell that there will need to be improvements. It's amazing how things change when you have 24 busy 6 year olds buzzing about!
Despite the changes, my room makes me happy! Just about everything in it is of my own creation including the handmade borders. My mom said she wants to go back to school just to be in my room! Being a visual person, space is extremely important to me. My classroom is an extension of our house.
In the coming weeks, I am anxious for our school facilities department to get in to do some bulletin board/white board placements. Centers are working in some areas, but not so much in others.
I also want to hear from other teachers what their spaces look like. For as much as I love my space, I believe in finding inspiration from others!
I am thrilled to be part of a diverse group of educators from across the country challenging themselves to reflect and write daily. I know for my self, this will be a challenge. I already missed the mark with day one and am ok with that. I have enjoyed reading posts from the #365 bloggers and have felt inspiration for reflection.
With this being said, my path to teaching was established when I was in elementary school. For as long as I can remember, I have always wanted to be an educator. No other profession has ever crossed my mind. At one point, I thought I might like to go into administration, but have come to realize that this is not where my talents lie.
I am proud to say that I am still very close to my second grade teacher, Robin Boggs and was thrilled when she was able to attend the district awards banquet this past spring where I was honored. She has been a constant cheerleader over my entire career and having her hand written (she still doesn't own a computer) letter of recommendation will always be a treasure.
This last spring posed a new challenge in my teaching career. Almost simultaneously as I was honored with a district teaching award, a position and the neighboring elementary school became open and I had several friends text me that this change would be perfect for me. At the time, it was nothing but a huge, emotional dilemma. The school I was teaching at was my neighborhood school, the school where my children attended, the school where my husband was PTA president and the school that had just honored me with an award. To walk away at this point was inconceivable! Through many conversations with dear friends, I did go ahead and apply and ultimately was offered the job one hour after my interview. Even writing about it now brings tears. For a long time I couldn't talk about it without crying. It was hard to face the many families that had supported me and were looking forward to having future siblings in my class. This school was my home!
Four months later, I know it is the right decision. It has been hard to leave behind close friends that have walked many years of ups and downs, not only professionally, but personally as well. Friendships are hard to maintain with distance and this saddens me.
My new school has been so welcoming. The culture of the school is going to allow me to be me in my teaching. Sadly, so many schools have gone to such scripted curriculum. This is an atmosphere that I know I would suffocate and die in. Not so at my new school. I feel challenged to learn the Daily 5 and Readers Workshop as reading models, yet at the same time, have the freedoms to integrate my passions of history and museum studies. The community has already shown excitement about my background and passions and I am excited to have the opportunity to continue to craft my teachings.
In the end, change was hard. In the end, change can be good, even if at the time we fight it. I am excited about a new adventure in a new school. I am hopeful that I can rise to the challenge of the #365 blog. FIngers crossed!!!
wife, mom, teacher, author, history nerd and the lady that carries around a rabbit