Wednesday, July 17, 2013

They love me!!!

Ok well that is pretty dramatic... How about...They noticed me!? Either way, I am super excited to be nominated for a Liebster Award.  And from what I understand, when you are also win it!  Woohoo!!! I am a winner!

Miss Mandy from The 4th Grade Journey was so nice to have nominated me.  She is smart and funny and has a real handle on this "being a mommy and teacher and still finding time to blog" kinda life.  Everyone should stop right here, go follow her and then hurry back and finish reading my post.  That is just how great she is!

Then this morning while I was getting ready to post this, I got ANOTHER nomination.  Well I certainly did not want to leave Katie from Random Craftiness out of the fun, so I am answering both of their questions below.  I am just meeting Katie and so far she has a pretty stinking awesome blog going on.  Go check it out!

Ok, Lets do this!!!

So what is a Liebster Award?  Well, Liebster is German for "sweet, darling, beloved," and is an award given to new bloggers with less than 200 followers. These are the rules:
1. Link back to the blog that nominated you.
2. Nominate 5-11 blogs with less than 200 followers.
3. Answer the questions posted by the nominator.
4. Share 11 random facts about yourself.
5. Create 11 questions for your nominees.
6. Contact your nominees by commenting on their blog or sending them an e-mail to inform them of their nomination.

My questions from Mandy:

1. What is your favorite grade to teach?
     5th grade, hands down.  I have taught high school algebra, middle school multi-subject, kindergarten, 1st, 2nd, and 5th.  The kids in 5th are just such a great age.  old enough to reason and understand more complex and abstract ideas, but still young enough to want to learn from their teachers.  I love that you can see little adults begin to bloom in there.  That is why I am psyched to be moving to 4th.  With the team I have this year, I think I will be claiming 4th as my favorite by next summer. :)

2. Would you ever consider teaching in another country?
     Funny you should ask that.  I DO teach in another country.  I live and teach in Okinawa Japan.  I do not teach Japanese, or even English to Japanese children.  I teach American children who are on island because their parent(s) are military or work for the military and are stationed here.  Its a pretty sweet gig!  Travel the world while still doing what I love.

3. What is your favorite craft to make in your classroom?
     One of my favorites from this past year was when we celebrated the Holidays around the world.  One of my Moms came in to teach us about Christmas in the Phillipines and we created our own parols.  Here is a picture:

4. Can you imagine yourself doing anything beside teaching?
     I can, but don't want to.  I have spent enough time NOT teaching to know that there is nothing else I would rather do. :)

5. Where is your dream vacation destination?
     Anywhere in Europe.  I have been to Germany and LOVED it!  But I still want to visit Spain, France, England and Ireland, Switzerland...everywhere!

6. We all know teachers aren't supposed to have "teacher's pets," but don't we all?! Describe yours from last year.
     She was such a cutie pie.  So smart, so pretty, so sweet, yet humble and willing to help everybody.  She never felt the need to show off or brag about how easy things were, she just sat quietly and read while she waited for others to finish or if anyone needed help she would quietly teach them (not tell them, but teach them) how to do the work.  Oh, I miss her!

7. What classroom theme do you have planned for the next year?
mmmmmI am really excited about large polka dots in turquoise blue, lime green and hot pink. It seems everything over here is in these colors so its so much easier to shop for accessories.

8. What's your favorite subject to teach?
     Although I love math (I taught Algebra for goodness sakes), I actually truly love teaching History.  I love bringing it to life.  Watching the kids learn through perspective and "living"history is just amazing.

9. What is your favorite fast food restaurant?
     Coco Curry!  Most Americans probably have no idea what this is, but here in Japan it is a staple.  Japanese curry is so yummy.  Its not Indian or Thai curry; It's soooo much better.  

10. If you could "hand off' one of your responsibilities as a teacher, what would it be?
     Two words: Report Cards. Need I say more?

11. If you won the lottery, for say 150 million, would you still teach?
     Absolutely...I would just have more "toys" to teach with. :)

My questions from Katie:

1. If you could hop in the car and take a road trip anywhere right now, where would it be?
     That's tough since my entire island is a whole of 67 miles by 17 miles....not too far to go.  BUT if I were in the states, I would love to visit the Pacific Northwest.  I am from Florida and miss my family terribly, but since this is a dream vacation, I say they are coming with me!

2. What book/magazine are you currently working on reading?
     Total guilty pleasure novels.  I have done a lot of teacher books already this summer so now I am working through a series of books that my friend has given me.  I am a bit of a Mythology nut and also I like reading about vampires.  these books have both..SCORE! Its the Dark Hunter series by Sherrilyn Kenyon.

3. How did you choose to start a blog?
     I stumbled on some blogs on Facebook and them started to realize there was this whole world of amazing teachers connecting and sharing incredibly useful tips and information.  I instantly became a blog stalker!  Before long I realized I wanted in on the sharing of info, and here I am!

4. If you could get paid to do anything, what would it be?
     If I got paid to be my kids' chauffeur, laundromat, maid and daily planner/calendar, I would be the richest woman in the world.  Instead however I do it for something so much better...hugs and kisses from my boys!

5. Favorite classroom theme?
     My favorite I have seen is an entire ladybug theme, but I can never pull it off.  Ladybugs are not too popular here.

6. Best teaching moment?
     I was teaching Kindergarten and reading Swimmy by Leo Lionni.  Afterward we did a project where the students colored a picture of the story they heard in crayon and then we used water color wash over the top so the pictures popped.
I had a student who was autistic and often seemed to not be paying attention.  When it came time to draw the pictures, each kid had drawn a typical underwater scene adding octopuses, and other fish unrelated to the story.  Not Aidan.  He drew a big red fish with a black eye. and when you looked closer, you could see how he tried to make a bunch of different fish inside the red fish.  It was PERFECT!  The only one who really did it "right." It was amazing!

7. If you had one wish, what would you wish for? (and none of that wishing for more wishes nonsense!)
     Right now? Round trip tickets for each of my family members to come visit us here in Japan.

8. What is the strangest food you've ever eaten?
     I am not super adventurous at eating, but here in Japan we get to try lots of things.  We took some chocolate chip cookies to our neighbors at christmas and they brought us some Japanese treats.  We of course had to try it, but it was not anything we 1. liked, and 2. could recognize. It was a chewy black ball of goo.  I think it was mochi, a rice starch gel.

9. Who was your favorite teacher growing up and why?
     Mr. Boggs was not only in the business of teaching calculus, but in teaching us.  He took the time to get to know each student and got involved.  he came to our games, he chaperoned prom and danced with us.  He joked with us and never made us feel bad about not getting the answer right.  We felt safe in that classroom and I strive to make my room feel the same way.

10. What is your favorite trait about yourself?
     I love to laugh.  I just love to play and laugh and joke and have fun.  I think this quality also makes teaching more fun.

11. If you could have any animal as a pet, what would it be?
     I am pretty content with my dogs. I have a Great Dane and a Dachshund.  Both swear they are human and I love them!!!

Random facts about me:

1. I played trombone and marched in high school and college.
2. I graduated from the University of Florida and grew up in Oviedo, Florida.
3. I met my husband in our church choir.
4. I am mom to 3 amazing sons.
5. I am mommy to a 6 year-old mild/moderate autistic son.  He is pretty stinkin' cool!
6. I had my two older sons on the same day, 2 years apart and the day after my birthday.
7. Growing up, I hated reading, but just can't get enough of it now.
8. I have been honored with Teacher of the Year twice.
9. I am a proud wife to my US Marine, Jeremy (thats why we are in Okinawa).
10. I love to put pretzels in my ice cream.
11. I love I mean L-O-V-E candy!!! It is a terrible addiction. :)

My nominees:

1. Mary from Fit to be Fourth
2. Jennifer from Mrs. Laffin's Laughings
4. Heaher from Room 4 Imagination
6. Daisy from One Click Classroom

My questions for my nominees:

1. What is your favorite thing to do unrelated to school?
2. How did you come up with the name of your blog?
3. where did you go to college? Why did you choose that school?
4. What is the wildest thing that has happened to you while teaching?
5. What are you the most scared of?
6. If you were not a teacher, what would you be?
7. Have you ever lived in or visited another country?
8. Do you have a nickname? How did you get it? (OR, how did your parents choos eyour name?)
9. What is your favorite thing to teach and why?
10. What is your least favorite thing to teach and why?
11. What is your favorite story to read a loud to your class?

I hope everyone checks out all my nominees.  I think they are pretty fabulous!



  1. I think my dogs are human too! :)

    Thanks for the nomination!

    Mrs. Laffin's Laughings

  2. Ohh you are too kind, lady! Reading what you wrote about me made me laugh! I find it so cool that you get to teach in Japan--my husband is in the Army so I've always wished he'd get stationed in Europe, but I don't see that happening now. I like it here in Florida, though. I definitely feel you on the report card thing--who needs those things anyway?!

    The 4th Grade Journey

  3. I can't even imagine teaching abroad. I bet it is the most amazing experience ever! I went to England to study the difference between the British and American school systems for 5 weeks. That was an unbelievable time. I learned a great deal. The students were so respectful. The cutest thing was one of the kids said, "You speak American, we speak English." I loved it!
    Rockin' and Lovin' Learnin'