Monday, August 17, 2009

Going Back to School

Wednesday is my official first day back at school. I am excited to meet my new group of kids. Kindergarten students are so precious and cute. They come in so young and inexperienced and leave reading and writing and ready for first grade. At the beginning of every school year, when I do my first assessments, I am always shocked at how little many of my kids know. It is not that they aren't smart. They are. It's just that they weren't taught anything. When I say anything, I mean the colors, how to write their name, numbers 0-5, or any letters. Although they have such a long road to go, most, if not all kids make incredible progress. It is really unbelievable. I always think of how far I could have taken them, if they had come in knowing some basic skills. This is my first year teaching full-day kindergarten. Although the kids will be with me much longer than with half-day kinder, they will be missing out on my partner teacher Laura. Now she is in a room across campus with her own full-day class. I truly believe two teachers with twenty-five kids at a time, is a much better ratio, and you can teach so much more, than one teacher with twenty-five students all day. I have a lot to do to get ready for Monday. Of course the first days back are planned full of meetings and professional development. All I want to do is work in my classroom. I am going to go in tomorrow to get a head start. Goodbye summer.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

We're Back

Dominick and I had an amazing time in Cancun. We stayed at the Sun Palace. It is a beautiful, all-inclusive resort that is so worth it. We highly recommend this resort and also the Aventura Spa Palace. Both are owned by Palace Resorts. Hopefully next spring we can plan a family vacation to one of these two resorts, or the Moon Palace if kids come too. I think everyone would enjoy it. Start thinking about joining us. I'll get more info and details...

We just spent a wonderful weekend with my mom and dad in Santa Barbara. We stayed at the Blue Dolphin Inn in Cambria on Moonstone Beach. It was beautiful and our rooms were really nice. It was freezing outside. We tried walking on the beach when we arrived but were so cold we had to cut our walk short. On Friday, we went to the Super Rica Taqueria in Santa Barbara, and after standing in line for almost forty-five minutes just to order, we were disappointed with the food. Bummer. We went to the SB Mission, and it was beautiful. On Saturday we took a walk on Moonstone beach, then we walked around Cayucos, then ate a good lunch in Morro Bay. The highlight was going to Hearst Castle. Dominick and I went on a small tour that led us to the top floors of the castle along with William Hearst's library and bedroom. Pretty spectacular. My parents were treated like VIPs. While Dominick and I were carried up the hill in a school bus, my parents were in a smaller air-conditioned vehicle with only two other people. They were transported around the grounds on a golf cart and were given a deluxe tour of the kitchen, the gardens, and the guest house. They even had their own tour guide. This was because they were on tour #6, the handicapped tour. We saw them once and they just smiled and waved as they climbed into their golf cart. We ate dinner in Cambria and went to Linn's pie shop for dessert. Delicious. Today (Sunday), we slept in and then packed up and drove home. We had a great weekend and are so glad we had the opportunity to go with my parents. They are really fun to hang out with.