Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Quick Update

Friday, October 21 was our first snowfall of the year,
leaving all the  trees covered in a thick layer of snow!
(Picture for your viewing pleasure - because I read blogs should have lots of pictures!)
Yes, I was hired, and I have been in the classroom for a total of six days!

Setting up a new classroom in a new school is hard work.  Stepping into a new classroom on day 39 of the school year is exhausting!  (Read: no time to knit!)

The previous teacher was "on a plan of improvement" and wasn't making those improvements.  She was asked to resign.  She didn't have very strong classroom management skills; the behaviors have been problematic, but each day is better!

Last week I awoke every day in the middle of the night (3 or 4 am) to complete that day's lesson plans.  I've been told to just work on creating a classroom community and work on getting their behaviors under control.

The first weekend I went to school and spent 6 hours just cleaning and organizing the teacher area and trying to get a handle on things.

Schedule cards printed from Teachers Pay Teachers
Magnets on back for my white board
The second weekend I created class schedule cards (all the ones I found in the classroom were just words - I have 1st & 2nd graders, some not yet reading).  I managed to draw up a week's worth of lesson plans AND pulled all of my teacher things out of the attic.

The trees Saturday - it was so pretty outside
I was stuck inside printing, cutting, and laminating
another break from the words, just for you!
Today is the last full day for this week as we have Parent/Teacher (P/T) conferences.  I'll be meeting with my Special Education supervisor to come up with grades, and make sure IEP progress reports are done!

Yesterday, I managed to pick up some knitting - I have only one more pattern repeat for Falling Leaves Shawl (no picture, sorry, I want to get this post up published).

Wednesday, October 12, 2016


Despite thinking I completely and utterly blew the interview for the position I wanted, I was offered it this evening!!! WOW!

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Weekend Get Away - Alyeska Resort

This past weekend, we ran away to Alyeska Resort. (a knitting update at the bottom)

Seward Highway

The drive down was BEAUTIFUL, and we had two days with not a cloud in the sky.  Alyeska is our biggest downhill ski resort located at Girdwood, Alaska.  Addition to winter sports, there are great hiking trails, disc golf course, and other activities that keep visitors busy in the summer.  My husband and I make a weekend trip between summer and winter when prices on the hotel drop.

Seward Highway
This week was also "PFD Season" - every year Alaskan residents receive a Permanent Fund Dividend (PFD) Check, so the hotel was pretty busy this time with people spending their extra $1022 (per man, woman, child).

Road towards the resort
I left my knitting at home, and I often left my cell phone (camera) in our hotel room, so I didn't get a picture of momma moose and her calf wonder near the pond after breakfast Saturday morning.

We had dinner and cocktails  in athe resort's Bar & Grill.
I loved the Raven fireplace screen!
Mountains behind the hotel.
To the left is the building that holds the tram.
We didn't take it up to the top this trip.
The hotel in the background.
Tram building front right.
The Tram going up (or coming down?)
In the winter, this is part of the ski slope.
In the summer, this is part of the disc-golf course.

That's ice -- it was below freezing both nights we were there.
The pond behind the hotel - and where momma moose and her calf were seen,
and my camera (phone) was left in our room, so no pictures!
Yesterday was my first day substitute teaching. It went well.

I didn't get either position I interviewed for, and I am so totally fine with it!

I was under the impression that (because every district I have knowledge of did it this way), because the positions were being offered after the start of the school year, they would be long-term sub positions to the end of the year.  These were contract positions that would require me to leave my district.  There are many questions that would need to be answered before I would resign my current school district this point in time.

Before I leave you, a quick knitting update:  Falling Leaves Lace Shawl is coming along nicely and I'm to the point where I had my temper tantrum with the pattern and frogged the entire lace pattern.  I am back to virgin yarn!

The updates to the pattern give periodic stitch counts, and are great after the lace pattern shifts and added YO on the wrong side.

I have two more pattern repeats (14 rows) and will be done!

I hope that's enough yarn!

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Updates - Job Search AND Knitting

After returning home from the trip to Fairbanks, I've been busy tracking down references, updating my resume, and the like to begin my return to the classroom.  One week ago I delivered all necessary documents to the local school district.  I was told it would take two weeks to hear back from them.

There hasn't been much time for knitting.

Less than 24 hours after delivering my applications documents, I was approved to substitute teach for the district.

Two business days after dropping off the application packet, I received a call for my first interview (which is today).

Four business days (yesterday), my information was sent out to all principals for review for open positions.  Two hours later, I received a phone call from another principal.  This classroom sounds like it was created for me!  I'm to "drop by" after my first interview today.  Drop by!?

If you don't hear from me for a while - I will once again be in the classroom!  One of the positions is available immediately.  The bonus of being an approved sub, I can be in my own classroom tomorrow!

Okay, and now knitting, because that is why most of you join me.

I've been drooling over knitting bowls ever since the very first one I saw.  This little one is nothing super fancy, but it works great and looks nicer than the glass bowl I borrowed from the kitchen.  It is not only made in America, it is also Alaskan made!

Update on the Falling Leaves Shawl.  The above picture is where I was before.  I wrote a rant on this shawl here.  Quick recap: there were issues with the pattern and every 10th row or so, stitches were NOT matching up correctly.  I contacted the designer and she sent me an updated version!

I frogged all the way back to the beginning of the lace pattern.  I just completed the row(s) that were causing me issue, the new pattern is GREAT!

Tuesday, October 4, 2016


It's been a whirlwind four days!
This little tiny mushroom has nothing to do with this post.
Just wanted a picture for you to look at!
Thursday, September 29: Submit online application and drop off "Substitute Packet" at district offices. I was informed it would take up to two weeks before I would receive my "welcome to the district" email which would provide necessary information to set up my various accounts.

Friday, September 30: At 6:39 am, I receive a strange phone call.  It is a computer voice offering me a job.  I hung up. (This was a call from Aesop - the program that manages absences in the district and notifies subs.)

The district welcome email arrives in my personal inbox more than two hours after my first unofficial call from Aesop . The email informs me that I will receive an email in my district email from Aesop with information I need to access my Aesop account.  I set up my district email account and waited.......

Saturday, October 1:  All district pages were down most of the day Saturday.

Sunday, October 2:  District web pages are up and running. I'm able to access my district email and the crucial Aesop letter is there.  I access and set up my Aesop account, sign up for three sub positions over the next three weeks.

Monday, October 3: Around 3 pm I receive a phone call for me to interview for a long-term substitute position to end of the school year.  I have an interview Thursday (had to cancel a sub job).

From drop off to phone call, less than 2 business days!  WOW!

Today I think I'll go get a hair cut, make sure I have an interview outfit, mail these socks to their new owner, and maybe knit!