that perfect hand…

In Ocean's 11, Danny said that "the house always wins. If you play long enough, never change the stakes, then the house takes you. Unless, when that perfect hand comes along, you bet big… and then, you take the house." Here's the hand I've been dealt, sometimes it's risky and sometimes it's safe, but all the time… it's perfect. It's mine.

catching up


Hellllo, anyone out there? With November came an honest effort to get some balance back in my life, including doing some of the things I’ve been neglecting – such as blogging. Now it is November 12th and I’m actually getting it together. I think I will make this a regular thing. ๐Ÿ™‚
Actually, I am ย just looking for more excuses to play on my new MacBook. Fun!
I am settling in. That’s probably the best way to describe the monotony of newness in my life right now. “They” say that it takes about 6 weeks before the routines and expectations of being a teacher “click” and everyday doesn’t seem so difficult or tiring. Well, just like when I learned how to drive a standard, it took me closer to 8 weeks but I am finally feeling like I am not run off my feet EVERY single day. Honestly, I have the best class imaginable for my first year – but with report cards (what I am supposed to be doing now), parents, trip planning, assessment, and simply preparing for every class, it is exactly what I mentioned above: monotony of newness.
Some notable moments (I wish I could blog in detail but running the risk of defying confidentiality is much too great):
– I tried to make the kids caramel apples for hallowe’en. Mom used to do this for all of us kids and a few of our friends every year and since I am teaching at my old school, I thought I would continue the tradition. Unfortunately, in my quest to make the caramel soft and delicious, the caramel sagged right off the apples. The kids didn’t care but, as Jack’s caught, aesthetics to me is everything and I was devastated by how gross they looked.
– My class lead the school in the Remembrance Day celebrations and, after looking at the agenda from years past, I decided to do away with the seemingly-obligatory-but-not singing of “In Flanders Fields” and made a video of my class talking about what freedom and remembrance mean. The video was followed by a somber reading, some sharing of words that represent freedom, and my darling girls singing Sarah McLachlan’s “I Will Remember You”. I might be biased, but it was POWERFUL. It was an incredibly silent and respectful event as I tried to work with my kids about getting away from thinking of Remembrance Day as remembering war and more of remembering the price that has been paid. ANYWAY, I want to provide you with the video of the service but you’ll have to ask; I can’t post it online. I am so proud of those kids.
– Letting go. I know it sounds silly but just as I’ve made a turn in my comfort in teaching, I’ve also been able to relax a little bit on being stern. That is not my first nature as a teacher so now that routines are set, I am easing into being a little less strict and a little more Kate.
Either way… I am blessed. Incredibly blessed. Come see for yourself, eh? ๐Ÿ™‚


welcome to my home.

Yes. That is what I’ve been waking up to! Can you believe it? I am grateful that I am now driving that white SUV there (a RAV4 for inquiring minds) instead of my old dear Bella – who I sold, fortunately. The cabin living is growing on me. I am having a relatively easy time maintaining the fire and not waking up to every gunshot or growl or engine revving that goes on out in these parts. There is also a resident bear. I think things would be different if I lived out here on my own but my friends whose property the cabin sits on and their two kids have been such a blessing; I am enjoying the laid back life of living in the woods.

Except the horrible cell service and Internet connection. Oh well, not the end of the world.

What else?

I am 45% done my Christmas shopping! I am so excited about this endeavour this year; having two nephews makes it double the fun. And more than that, I am anxious for Christmas in all ways. I can’t wait to skate on Lake Kathlyn and see Luke and Joce and sweet Annabelle again and – ahem – have my kids be the starring class in the Christmas pageant…all before going home for 10 days to my family and being cozy in Penticton. I can’t believe it’s almost upon us; I am grateful for what 2011 has brought me… the list is so long.


That’s the catch up for today – more to come.




blank canvas

Here is my classroom! Ahhhhhhhhhhh! So much work to do…any ideas how to fill these walls? ๐Ÿ™‚ Pretend you’re 12 or 13, what would you want to see there? How fun will this be?!







The disclaimer for this post is that if you are a male, are married to a male, have male children, are friends with males or have taught males…you are, by obligation, expected to post a comment. Or 4.

‘Cause I need help.

I have a very full and anticipatory heart when I think ofย  my job starting in September. My full heart, however, is an anxious one as I am contemplating teaching my boys. I have 21 girls and 6 boys in my class. Overwhelming ratio? Absolutely. I have ideas about teaching and nurturing and remembering them as I go, but I could use more insights.

What kind of books do your boys like to read?
How do they learn best?
What are some of their passions?
Any world issues they gravitate towards?
What subjects in school do they have the strongest aversions to?
What do they dream about?
How do they spend their spare time?
What has their favourite part about past teachers been?
What discipline tactics do they respond to the best?
Introverted or extroverted?
At 12 or 13, how much responsibility did they have for themselves? What did you expect of them?

The list goes on and on and on…

I think my biggest concerns are engaging the boys in a meaningful way…and the discipline. I want the boys in my class to be valued for being boys and I don’t want them mentally and emotionally outnumbered and suffocated by the absolute physical outnumbering of the ladies in the room.

YES this is a generalization and NO do I not expect any of what you tell or share to be 100% applicable to my boys, I am just curious about this — I’ve been reading a lot of literature on the nature of learning styles and engagement for young men but having never been one myself, your experience…even if your boys are just little guys, and observations are important to me. I crave some input as I get more and more focused on creating an awe-some learning environment for September (which is coming very fast)!

Cheers!! (And thanks…in advance…for your thoughts, please share them)