Thursday, April 21, 2016

I (heart) School

I don't even know where to start with this post.
Other than to say---I LOVE SCHOOL!
((With all the exclamation point!!))

I mean, do you ever drop your kids off in the morning and wish you could stay there and be a kid again?
A kid with so many adventures ahead, and so many less cares in the world? ....other than learning about math, and science, and how the Universe works, and how to write a paper, and how to get along with others....

and how to do a push up or two.
Honestly.
There are many mornings that I want to plop down (in a chair too small for my butt) and work on art projects all day with those kids.  Yes!

Of course being a kid again means I'd have to relive all the awkward years, and that time I said the wrong thing in class, and the silly crushes I had on boys, and that day the bird pooped on my jacket and I had no idea.....for 3 hours.  But those are the moments that make us stronger, right?

And I'm so thankful every day that my kids get to go to a great school, with fantastic teachers who really love what they do and love the kids they work with. 

And when I think back to my own school days, I can think of at least four teachers who were super influential with my learning and have helped me become who I am today.
And no, none of them taught me where to get the best Cherry Limeade in town (which is at Sonic Drive-in...and which is my favorite place to get drinks.....cause there are about a thousand different choices....and the local Sonic workers know me as "half Diet-Coke, half Dr. Pepper" because that's my favorite mix.... )
But Sonic Drive-in asked me to share about teachers that have impacted my life, and the teachers that impact my kids today...because they have an awesome program called Limeades for Learning, where Sonic gives money to schools each time you tag #ThanksTeach on social media during the month of May, to help teachers pay for all the out-of-pocket stuff that they do on their own, to make their classroom projects happen.

I think about that all the time. 
...about how much money and energy each teacher puts into their class, simply for the love of the kids.

I wish I had some old pics with all my favorite teachers.   But this little gem from the first day of 6th grade will give you a visual of me walking across campus with the tall hair....and bird stuff on my jacket (I'm the short one on the right, with the black Forenza sweater vest).

When I think back on my own teachers, here's what stands out:

• Mrs. Castillo, 4th grade.
Every year she organized a school musical that all the grades got to be a part of.  She held auditions for the lead parts, she and the music teacher created new music and arrangements on the synthesizer (it was the 80s), and she had costumes sewn for all the kids!  In all the classes!  And then she stored them at her house year after year, because she loved kids.  And we loved her.  I'm pretty sure her entire paycheck went toward new fabric for new costumes.

• Mr. Eddy, 8th grade Algebra
Mr. Eddy loved math, and he wanted us to love math.  He had excitement when he taught.  And he gave us a funny look on his face if he noticed we were making a silly error on a test, so we would go back and double check our work.  He even gave us his home number to call if we couldn't figure out a problem on our homework (which was before cell phones and email and all that stuff)  "And there you go! Bob's your uncle!" he would say every time you figured out a problem.  Mr. Eddy was one of the best.
And 1 month before Owen was born (which explains my puffy face. Holy cow bad picture) I got to see Mr. Eddy for the 20 year school anniversary.  He looks exactly the same, and has never had a puffy face.


• Mr. Spurgeon, 8th grade Communications
Back before every kid had a camera on their phone.....Mr. Spurgeon (who looked liked he went surfing every morning) organized a news show for our little campus.  We learned to shoot videos on big clunky cameras, we documented all the dances, and jog-a-thons.  We created background sets for our show, and he even created a cool psuedo teleprompter using another camera off-screen, and a scroll of hand-written paper, and a tv monitor in front of the news anchors.  It was genius.  And I have to believe that this class inspired my future film career path.
(Here's an old photo from the yearbook .  I'm not sure what I'm doing in the middle there...but I'm glad not much has changed with my love for pink coral clothing)...
And here I am with Mr. Spurgeon and some friends at the Anniversary get-together.
Mr. Surfer.

• Mrs.Chamberlain, 12th grade English.
To be honest, I don't remember much about Mrs. Chamberlain.  But she was pivotal in my love for writing.  She taught me how to craft a paper, with an opening thesis statement, an opening paragraph, and then well-thought out paragraphs to support the thesis.  And then she flipped that all around and taught us to think outside of the box with creative writing.  I was humbled and surprised when she nominated me for a writing award that year.  Seeing what she saw in me, gave me confidence to become the writer I am today.

Oh I could go on and on.
And I know you guys can do the same.
We all have teachers that we love.

I'm getting choked up just writing about it all.

And when I look at my kids' current school, I just want to say #ThanksTeach to all of them!
But let me highlight a few.

This is Agnes the art teacher.
She stays up till 2am piecing together art displays for the kids art shows, and glue-gunning ceramics.  And I know this because she and I created the school yearbook together (which comes out in a month!  I can't wait to see it!) and we've often texted at 1am with photo questions.

Her room is always full of glitter and things that would give me a heart attack to have around my house.

She puts on an art club twice a week, which my kids are lucky to attend.
She taught the third graders to draw self portraits.

And guys....this paper quilt???
She taught the 4th grade classes about Adinkra cloth from Africa, and they each hand-stamped a section to make this giant piece of art.
Wow.

And yes, I realize this is becoming a journal entry.
I should have titled it "Ode to teachers"
But really, how great are they?!
#ThanksTeach

Okay, one more set of pics.
One of my favorite moments from this school year was attending the Wax Museum that the fourth grade teachers organized.  Each child researched an important person from Texas history, wrote a short speech, and came up with a costume to go along.   Then they set up a museum throughout the school and all the families and students went from class to class pressing the "button", while the wax figure came to life. 

Here's Lucy as the artist Elizabet Ney.  And a sweet looking Buddy Holly:
These teachers put so much work into the event.  And to top it off, they asked the county if we could have an extra showing of the museum at the county courthouse.  It was awesome!  All these cool costumes in this cool location was magical!
I mean, look at this dress!
 Can you handle??
The moment that made me teary eyed was watching these kids huddle around their teacher with hugs, right after they all sang Deep in the Heart of Texas together.

I'm cataloguing that in my brain among "favorite Texas moments".

Seriously.
I could go on and on.  But I think I've rambled enough.
#ThanksTeach for all the amazing things you guys do inside the classroom and at home, and on the weekends, and over the summers for our kids.  And for all the teachers everywhere, making this world a better place!

If you want to learn more about the Limeades for Learning program with Sonic Drive-in, check out the official site here.  And throughout the month of May share your photos on Instagram and other social media, with the hashtag #ThanksTeach.  Sonic will donate up to $1million dollars to the fund, to help public school teachers across the country.

Cheers to that!


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