SOL #27 – One of those days…Saved by a Dart Gun

It was one of those days that is bound to happen once in a while.  Especially when that day is accompanied by a sinus headache and a classroom full of fifth graders.

It was one of those days where you can’t tell if the students are acting out more than usual or you are just crankier than usual.

It was one of those days that things go missing, you raise your voice too often, and you spend your plan time cleaning and reorganizing because that is all you can manage.

Luckily, today was one of those days where I spent my plan time cleaning and reorganizing.  And upon my irritated tossing and frustrated searching, I stumbled on some envelopes that my best friend and former co-teacher left me for “those days” when she changed schools.

I read through the different envelopes that remained and found one the perfect one for today.  “Open when…You’re stressed.”   I ripped open the envelope to discover a toy dart gun.  Despite my cranky attitude, I couldn’t help but smile and chuckle out loud.  The stress didn’t go away, but it did dwindle some after the thoughtful gift from a friend and a few minutes of target practice.  It got me through that last half hour of the day.  Tomorrow will be better.


When Mom is Sick, The Kids Will…

I got a text from my sister.  She is sick and has two kids, one and three.  It brought me back to a slice about nine years ago when I was sick.

I had horrible food poisoning and it hurt to move.  I was crawling to the toilet, but I still had a kid.  A young one.  An independent one.

He decided that he wanted Nesquik…no milk needed.

I watched him do it, but I had no energy to stop him.  He was so darn cute!  And like I said, it hurt to move.  I did, however, snap a picture.

This picture is really worth a thousand words!

Kids are so perceptive!

“Ms. Bless, I need to show you something,” Al told me during math, while students were practicing math facts using

“Yes?”  I asked.  Something told me that this was going to be a good one.

“Sometimes…sometimes you look like this…” and he turned his computer…

Screen Shot 2015-03-26 at 9.40.06 AM

“Well Al…sometimes I feel like that!”  I told him, laughing.  In fact, I feel like this a lot lately.  Spring Break can’t come soon enough!  One week left…

Some questions…and one piece of advice


Dear Mr. Sparks,

     Why do you always kill off one of your characters?  That isn’t exactly what I needed this morning, but I should have known better.  I have been listening to The Best of Me for the past few days.  At first I saw a lot of similarities to The Notebook: star crossed teen love, pretentious parents, letting go to come back together later in life.  Eventually I stopped thinking of the similarities, but why does death of a character need to be in every book.  But, I guess the better question is, why do I keep reading your books when I know it will end with me crying?!

                                                                                                                         A fan


Screen Shot 2014-08-30 at 9.39.16 PMDear,

     How did you know that I am short?  When JennieB was taken, you gave me “shortJennieB” as an alternative.  How did you know?




Dear Self,

Why did you not wake up to your alarm this morning?  I know that you set your alarm, but it wasn’t set this morning when you woke up, LATE.   Did you turn it off in your sleep?  Whatever happened…DON’T let it happen again!!!



Screen Shot 2014-09-04 at 8.13.39 PM

Dear New Teachers,

     I know that this job we love is difficult.  There will be days that you feel completely inadequate, ready to break down and walk out.  We all have them and I can’t say that these days stop with experience.  (They don’t.)   But, I promise, there will also be days that you will break through walls and help turn on light bulbs.  There will be days that you get emails from former students that make every day they made your head ache worth it.   Work hard, don’t forget you always have room to learn, and most importantly, please don’t give up.  These kids need us and you can do it.

                                                                                                              A Sixth Year Teacher


“If you can’t fly then run, if you can’t run then walk, if you can’t walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward.”

– Martin Luther King Junior





Five for Friday and a Glorious Three Day Weekend



As all of the kids were lining up for recess, I noticed that one boy from our class was still on the playground.  You know that twisty thing that kids can climb up or down? It kind of looks like DNA?  Well, when he just looked at me after I told him to get in line with the rest of the kids, I realized he was stuck!  It took a few minutes, but I did get him out.   I have no idea how he did it and I don’t think I will be able to walk past that thing again without smiling.


This morning, while trying to get my son ready to drop off on my way to work, he spotted a frog on the living room window.  Crazy!  Can you say major distraction?



We use Responsive Classroom, an integration of social and academic learning.  One aspect is logical consequences and positive time-outs.  We call them “breaks” and teach kids to use them to regain self control.  

While some kids are often in the break chair, others seldom if ever go there.  However, when we first introduce the concept, each child takes a turn in the chair.  (Just to experience it and practice expectations.)  And the kids with the most self control, the ones that never get in trouble and always obey the rules, are always super excited to go to the chair.  I absolutely love the huge smiles they have when they are sitting in the chair that first time!  They practically leap out of their chairs with smiles from ear to ear as soon as we say “Take a Break” to them.



I think, other than time with my son, I might miss naps the most.  Summer is over and I can’t just lay on the couch and nap whenever I feel the least bit tired.  Why is it I thought they were so horrible as a kid?



That brings me to the weekend, the three day weekend.  Time for naps, hanging with my favorite little man, and seeing Ghostbusters in the theater!  Yes, I know I can watch it on Netflix, but I am still excited to experience it in the theater.  With popcorn!  Thank goodness that my wonderful friend is also willing and eager to pay money to see it in the theater too!  With popcorn!  You can’t forget the movie theater popcorn!



One of those days…

One of those days.



English Muffin

Flying through the air

No more breakfast



Out of my control

Changes being made

I disagree

Changes not being made

I disagree



On the way home

Book Store

Flat tire!

New Tire

Money not planned on…


One of those days.


Semi-finals of Dancing


No Satellite



One of those days.


Some days it is hard to see the silver lining,

the half full cup.

Some days the gifts are not as obvious.


But I do have gifts.


Safe trip to work


Children happy

Children thriving


Flat tire

Across the street

From a Cassidy


My son at the door

Smile on his face

“Wanna watch a movie with me?”


I do have gifts.