I am linking up with Doodle Bugs Teaching for Five for Friday. It is the last Five For Friday for awhile because Kacey will be taking a well deserved break for a few weeks in July. I hope that most of you are finished with school and ready for YOUR well deserved break! I have been out of school since June 3 and am heavily into a more relaxed schedule; although, thoughts of school continue to find their way into my brain. I actually get some of my most creative thoughts when working in my garden or taking a long walk!
1. For those of you who follow my blog, you know that each summer, I work in our school garden. I have struggled for years trying to figure out just how to make this meaningful to our students. We are a K-8 school in Illinois. This means, of course, that our growing season is in the summer when school is not in session. I have tried to start a Garden Club, but our kids are SO busy in the summer and with unpredictable weather, it just did not work. I tried working with Girls Scouts, our local 4H club, and just a few families. All work out well for a year, but when the next year comes, the interest is not there; usually because kids have moved on to other activities. So, this Fall, my principal handed me a grant proposal for starting a way station for Monarch butterflies. I got really excited about the idea, but sadly, I missed the deadline for turning in the proposal. This did not stop me, though, from continuing to put thought into the possibility of making this little garden into a way station.
The life cycle of the Monarch butterfly has always been fascinating to me. The caterpillars ONLY eat the leaves of the milkweed plant. The milkweed plant has become endangered due to the herbicides being sprayed upon crop plants, so it is becoming increasingly difficult for female Monarchs to find a place in which to lay her eggs. Lucky for me, though, my husband and son actually ENCOURAGE the growth of milkweeds in a spot in our apple orchard. You can see here that we have some really healthy milkweed plants. (Can you see the little apples growing on the branches, too?)
3. Besides gardening, I have been enjoying spending time with my family. This is Father's Day... love these people!
5. Lastly, I hit a big milestone birthday this year. I have been repressing the thought that I have now become one of those teachers who people start to wonder when they will retire. The funny thing is, though, that retiring is not even close to my mindset yet. I feel like I am at the top of my game and continue to have so much to give. I have never been one of those teachers who pulls out my lesson plan book from the year before and just re-copies the words written there. I read professionally in the summer, re-write old units, and network with the wonderful teachers I have met on line and those that are in my "real" life. I keep my body healthy by exercising regularly and watching my diet. My age has never defined who I am, so I have got to let go of this feeling that I am becoming too old to do what I love to do.... So.... I thought that MAYBE if I share a photograph of who I am now (wrinkles and all) , it might help me rejoice in the person I am and feel joy in the fact that I am blessed to be who I am and that I share a face with my beautiful mother.... Age is just a number, right?
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