Saturday, March 24, 2012

Lifelong Learning

Education is a progressive discovery of our own ignorance. ~Will Durant

Every time I read this quote, I am reminded of how much I thought I knew when I first started teaching and how now I feel the more I learn, the more I realize I know nothing!

When I graduated college and first started teaching , I thought I knew it all! I dove right in and started my masters program during that first year and took advantage of every staff development session that was offered. I was so excited to be a part of all the new and exciting opportunities technology was bringing to education. By my third year of teaching, I was on top of the world! I was presenting at local and national math and technology conferences and leading workshops at my school. I knew it all! Ha!

Fast forward 10 years. I just finished a second masters in educational administration and leadership. I have 4 young boys which made it a heck of a lot harder to take classes this time around. I've moved out of the classroom and work on the district's technology team. I get to "play" with all the new technology tools and help teachers find innovative ways to use them in the classroom. I lead technology workshops and attend/present at local and national conferences. I'm even taking a go at teaching college students this semester. I really enjoy my jobs!

I still feel like I'm on top of the world, but for completely different reasons! My paycheck and professional status aren't feeling as important these days. Don't get me wrong, I love learning and am still considering a doctorate program, but my focus has shifted. I have a wonderful husband and 4 beautiful boys. I am surrounded by amazing family and friends. Most importantly, I serve an AWESOME GOD! Life is good!

I'm slowing letting go of the fact that I have to "know everything". I will never know it all, no one expects me to know it all, and "know-it-alls" aren't fun to be around anyway! ;)

For now, I will do my best to focus on the day-to-day blessings the 5Ts bring and continue the progressive discovery of my own ignorance by learning something new each day.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Things I've Been Thinking About Lately...

I always knew I wanted to be a teacher. Ever since I can remember, I would "play school" with my brother and sisters making them follow a schedule and complete math worksheets I created. My grandparents, parents, and several aunts and uncles were/are teachers, so it's really no surprise that I (along with two of my siblings) went into the family business. ;) I love everything about teaching and really feel that God called me to this profession. Having said that, I've been thinking lately...

1. Am I supposed to teach in a public school my entire career like my parents did? I don't have a problem with that whatsoever. I'm not unhappy and I really could see myself retiring from the district where I currently teach.

2. Should I get my doctorate? I love learning and feel fortunate to work for a district that supports advanced degrees so how could I pass that up?

3. I've always wanted to go on a mission trip with my family and have even thought about teaching abroad. However, whenever those thoughts enter my mind, I usually talk myself out of it by saying, "The boys are too young. Surely God wouldn't want us to sell our house and all of our possessions and go!" Or would He?

4. What would it be like to home school my boys?

So that's what I've been thinking about lately. I feel like I have 3 full-time jobs (mom, wife, teacher) and I often put 100% into the one that brings the paycheck home, but neglect putting 100% into my marriage and parenting. They deserve more! What does God have in store for me and my family? Maybe none of these thoughts I've had are in God's plan and I'm right where I need to be at this very point in time. I'm good with that. ;)

God help me to treasure the multitude of blessings in my life and cherish the here and now with the 5T's.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

What's in a Name?

I took 36 hours for my first Masters program over ten years ago and to this day, I think the only thing I remember is something so simple I learned in my middle school methods course taught by Bruce Hayden. As a side note, Bruce was a middle school teacher at the time and just so happened to be my cooperating teacher when I student taught. He is amazing!

So here's what I learned...On the first day of school, instead of calling role, let the students tell you their first and last name. Simple! Compare this with the traditional method of calling out names in each class and doing your best to pronounce the name that has 16 consonants and 2 vowels. I did my share of this traditional method over the years and didn't think much of the giggles when I totally butchered a name. But I wasn't that kid who had to sit through 8 classes where each teacher tried his/her best to sound it out. If the student gets to tell you his/her name, they will of course pronounce it correctly AND you'll know whether Timothy likes to be called Timothy, Tim, Timmy, or goes by his middle name Bob. ;)

Since we're on the topic of names, I thought this would be the perfect time to share the actual names of the "T's" I've been writing about. I have been married to Troy for 13 years. When I was pregnant with our first baby, we liked the names Tyler (boy) and Kathryn (girl). Tyler was born in 2003. When I was pregnant for the second time, we didn't discuss the whole "T" theme, we just liked the names Trevor (boy) and Kathryn (girl). Trevor was born in 2005. When I was pregnant for the third time, we thought about the whole "T" theme and wondered if we should break the pattern and go with a different letter? We decided to stick with the T's and our name choices were Kathryn (girl) and Trent (boy). Notice I put the girl's name first? We were sure this one was a girl. Well Trent was born in 2007 and kept his name for about 18 hours before we decided to go with Trea. As a side note, Trevor was about 21 months at the time Trea was born and knew all along that our boy name was Trent. A few weeks after we brought Trea home, I overheard him telling someone, "We left Trent at the hospital and brought Trea home instead." ;) Priceless! So we thought we were done with our 3 T's, but having 4 kids was God's plan for us. When I was pregnant for the fourth time, we threw out all sorts of names. Troy's top choices were Thor and Titus. Um...NO! We ended up agreeing on Toby for a boy's name and pretty much gave up on our girl name. ;) Toby was born in 2010. So there you have it... 5 T's (Troy, Tyler, Trevor, Trea, and Toby) and me...Lynn! :)

On another side note, Troy and I got a dog about a month before we got married. His name? Tippy! He was a beautiful lab/vizsla mix and was our first baby. :) He was a great dog and we miss him dearly!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Camping Adventure

Some friends of ours invited us to a Family Camping outing last year. Since Baby T was only a couple weeks old at the time, we decided to pass. Well this year, we decided to go for it! I put down the $80 deposit in June and then paid the remaining $240 at the end of August. That's $320 for 2 nights of lodging, 7 meals, and all sorts of activities (horseback riding, zip lining, rock wall climbing, canoeing, fishing, etc.) for our family of six. What a deal!

Looking at the photos now, I realize that all the T's all had a great time despite my OCD to try and control their behavior all weekend long. ;) We created some great memories at camp this year and are looking forward to doing it again next Labor Day!

Pictures below: Trea getting ready to climb the rock wall, Tyler getting ready to do the zip line, and Trev jumping off the dock into the lake.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Birthday Fairy

For the past couple years, Big T and I have "decorated" the rooms of the T's the night before their birthday. It's just a few simple balloons and streamers and oh...the most important part...a breakfast treat! I explained this to a friend the other night and she said they do the same thing at their house, only they say the "Birthday Fairy" is coming!

August is a big birthday month with Baby Boss turning 4 on the 2nd, Baby T turning 1 on the 17th, and Lil T turning 8 on the 26th. I'm taking a picture of each one after the monumental task of eating their doughnut/cake. I'm going to make poster prints and hang them in our dining room. We'll see how it turns out!

It's now the 3rd week of school and things are off to a great start. I'm sad that summer has come to an end, but excited about the fun activities fall brings. In addition to flag football and Husker football, the 5T's and I are looking forward to a family camping event over Labor Day weekend.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Baby T and Me

I've wanted to start blogging for some time now. What better time than when four of the T's are visiting g-ma and g-pa back in Imperial for the week and it's just me and baby T. I can't help but think to myself, "What did I ever do with one kid?" I must have always had the house clean, clothes put away, dinner ready on time, and time to work out. Yeah, I'm pretty sure I had it all put together when I had just one T ;)
This I do know...whether I'm with one T or all five, I say a prayer every morning asking God to help me enjoy and embrace the daily craziness! This is my life...5T's and Me!