Preparing for the Fall Part Two: Rest and Relaxation

One of the most important things that teachers can do in preparation for returning to the classroom in the fall is to ensure that they are fully rested and rejuvenated.  There is a group of “uneducated” people who will claim that teachers have an easy job; they get out of work at 3pm everyday, they only work 9 months a year, and their jobs consist of playing with children on a multi-colored carpets.  Anyone who either is a teacher or knows one realizes the fallacies that are overflowing with those rationales.  True, teaches do not teach the entire twelve months, but those 180 days we spend with our students are filled to the brim with hard work, dedication, late nights grading and planning, organizing, differentiating to meet the multiple needs of our classrooms, and reflecting to make tomorrow a more productive day.  I know, I know; I’m preaching to the choir when I write this post, so let’s move on.

A clear and leveled perspective is required for returning to the world of teaching because the changing of the seasons brings on planning and foresight, decision-making, resourcefulness, and creativity.  Many teachers are required to create curriculum documents such as annual plans, unit/lesson plans, “Welcome Back” activities in order to get to know their new students, and adapting to new demands such as new administration or colleagues, implementing the Common Core State Standards, or anything else that tends to be rolled out during those vital pre-planning days.  There is no easing back into the water; it’s sink or swim from the deep end of the pool!

Considering the necessity of going back to work with the proper mindset, my husband and I decided to take a few days away to ensure that would be the case for the both of us.  We decided to had to the Hammock Beach Resort in Palm Coast, Florida for a few days.


Panoramic view of the courtyard


Panoramic view from our balcony

Hammock 1

Ready to Relax

Office Project 2014 Part I

I’m proud to say that my absence has not be due to overwhelming amounts of research/writing/editing for a masters course or hampering bodily damage due to an over-exercised ugly cry reflex during “The Fault in Our Stars” viewings, but because I have been spending the first four weeks of my summer vacation both enjoying the Florida sun with my family and revamping my home office.

Beach Collage

My sisters brought their beautiful daughters down to Florida for a vacation to the beach and Dan and I were more than happy to accommodate their every wish to spend time at the beach and our pool.  All four girls had a wonderful time, and I’m convinced that my sisters, along with all caretakers of small children, deserve both a Medal for Bravery and sainthood.  It was a mere four-day visit, but I am still reeling over the amount of energy that was expended, both mentally and physically, to keep up with my nieces.

Office Project 2014

What started off as a desire to add more shelving to the accordion-doored closet in my office turned into a complete upgrade.  I am saddened to say that I did not do a very good job of taking before pictures of the office in general, but I will do my best to demonstrate the Before and Afters.

Office Before

Closet Before

I had a vision in my mind as to what I wanted this closet to look like and its functionality capabilities.  After sketching out a few ideas, I shared them with my dad, a licensed contractor in his previous life in Michigan, and we headed off to Home Depot for our necessary supplies.  In addition to paint, rollers, and screws, we would need to buy the lumber that would be turned into shelves.



Growing up with a father who owned a pole barn that, to a five year old, dwarfed our house, filled up multiple-purposed saws, drills, and other power tools, made this project something that was familiar, but my role in it was new.  I had helped my dad in the past with various stages of projects depending upon both my abilities and the probability of me cutting off body parts if left up to my own devices.  My dad is a very patient teacher, and I am still learning, but I am proud to say that I found a niche in wood working.

After painting the inside of the closet and the Home Depot-cut shelves, it was time for installation.  This proved to be a bit tricky because I requested that they be the full length of the closet.  In addition to having to be finessed into place, the sheer length of the shelves would require a support to be added underneath.  I chose a wooden curtain rod that was cut into appropriately sized pieces and installed them once the shelves were in place.  All that was needed now were the possessions to fill the shelves.

Closet After 3

Closet Upgrade Collage

I’m extremely proud of this project and I cannot wait to share with you the second phase to the upgrade!


How I Plan to Use my Extra Time

If you’re reading this post then that means one of two things.  Either A.) I’ve decided that sleeping is overrated and I much prefer blogging what the voices in my head are telling me, or B.) I have completed all my major assignments/projects for my last two masters classes.  Because I don’t want to give off the wrong impression after working for the past three years to build up your trust in me, I’m announcing that I have exactly seven days left in my post graduate program!  No offense, Cincinnati; it’s been real, but I can’t wait to say GOODBYE!


I’ve estimated that I’ve spent an additional 5-10 hours a week, per class, maintaining a solid 4.0 average on my assignments and projects for the past 3.34 years, including moving from Alaska to Michigan, Michigan to Jacksonville House #1, House #1 to House #2, teaching English I to English III, Creative Writing, and AP Lang.  I’d say I’m due for a strong…vacation.

Amanda Carnival Dream

Oh yes!  Let’s do THAT again!!!


Oh.  Right.  A girl can dream, can’t she?!?!

Since I’m a Booker on a Budget, I immediately headed online to create a book list to kickstart my Bookation – AKA The Summer I Reunited with the Library.  I found an intriguing list of books that I have committed myself to, meaning that I’ve already checked out four books on the list.


100 Books That Will Make You More Interesting, More Attractive, and Sound Smart Even If You Aren’t (Yet)

(Some hefty promises here, but at this point I’ll try anything)

Screen Shot 2014-04-13 at 2.39.21 PM

Screen Shot 2014-04-13 at 2.39.33 PM

These are only some of the titles, but I really liked the layout, so I printed off the PDF and pasted it into my Erin Condren Life Planner.

100 Book List One

photo 3

Because I have recently read some of these books (anything within one year) I will swap the title for another written by the same author.  Case in point: I read Slaughterhouse Five with the English III classes in March, so instead I’ll be reading Welcome to the Monkey House by Kurt Vonnegut.

My goal is to read at least twenty-five to thirty of the books on the list by the end of the summer when we return to our in-service days, August 6th.  That gives me 114 days, averaging 4-5 days per book.  I’d say that’s a reasonable goal.

In Other News…

I started a second blog for the Project Genius Hour that I completed during the 1st semester of the school year.  I am going to be continuing with Genius Hour, but I do not want to split my posting time between two different blogs.  Therefore, I am going to be shutting down “Road to Genius” and asking all of those followers to transition to Forever Within the Numbered Pages.

You can also find my over at Bloglovin: