Week 3 of Awesome

You ever had one of “those Mondays“? You know, the kind where you end the day and you think, “Wait! Did that really happen?” The only people who would believe you are other adults in education. Some days it feels like one crazy story, experience, or student after another. And on those days it can be hard to find the awesome. Then you get an e-mail from Old Navy saying your recent order is on your doorstep. Yes! Finally a moment of awesome. You tear open the package, eager to try on these fresh new threads only to to find your AWESOME sweatshirt is really only AWE OME. Ouch. But hey! No worries, tomorrow is a new day! And… old navy will totally ship you a new shirt too
Have you had your cup of coffee…. Yet? It may be one of the most important questions in education. I get the privilege of staring at this reminder countless times throughout every given day. It is not just a motivational tool, it is a constant conversation piece. I nip all that fixed mindset thinking in the matter of seconds with one, simple poster. “I don’t like science, Ms. G” With my pointer finger and a jazzy little spinning action I simply direct their eyes to this visual reminder. It probably happens 162 times per day and I’m cool with that. Because already on week 3 the “yet” trend is catching on. Kids stop themselves before something negative comes out of their mouth. Some are just annoyed because they don’t want my super animated point to the window, but others are truly “gritting” it. See what I did there? 
I love games so much. I’m like a level 10 competitor. If it can be turned into tournament I make it happen! During my enrichment today we played my favorite vocabulary building game, the classic… Catch Phrase. On the surface this simply seems like a rowdy activity to play at family reunions or large gatherings, but not in my classroom. Oh no. This is a word game where students have to use descriptive language to get their peers to say the word on the screen. No “rhymes with” no actions, no pointing, only verbal details that lead to the phrase. I just about died today when a student confidently came up for her turn and boldly said, “Ms. Genta is my_______.” She eagerly waited for the correct answer she knew would come soon. Obvious answers were shouted back just as confidently. “Teacher!” “Scientist!” “Friend.” “Leader.” She got super mad when these were the answers. She rolled her eyes and stomped a little. So she tried a bit more description on the 2nd try, “Yo! Ms. Genta is my ________.” Still no response. I tried to stand with a little more swag. That didn’t work. I then gave an awkward sideways peace sign. That did it! “Homey!” They all shouted in unison. Best part, multiple students then reacted, “Oh! Duh! That was so obvious!” I stood their very confused but interestingly proud. Add it to the list of teacher roles. 
Um. Yes! That is all I have to say about these folders. I am so in love with folders. I would probably say they are my favorite school supply of all time. I couldn’t even wait as a child to find the newest, loudest print that my friend Lisa used to come up with every year. You probably know Lisa too if you were born in the 90‘s. She always had the brightest colors and fun designs. I usually bought the ones with oversized hamburgers and pizza. I was that awkward overweight child who would have eaten these right off the cover had it been real. I was reminded of this experience while at the Target recently. This time it wasn’t Lisa who got my attention. It was Mead. Congrats, Mead! (Lots of clapping and head nodding) You have managed to create food folders with puns. That is a genius hybrid and I appreciate your work so much! I will now attend all my committee meetings with a whole lot more confidence and flair.
Nothing says happy end of the week quite like getting 852 kids through a bus safety tutorial in under an hour. Those 3 big yellow automobiles pull up to the side of the school and the kids are so eager to safely jump out the back. They learn important things like why the top of it is white and how far to bring the window down, indicated by the large sharpie mark on each side. In all seriousness, I love bus drivers and give total kudos for safely transporting hundreds of students a day, in my district alone. Without mass transport, school would not be the same and… those poor bike racks would be very full!