Saturday, September 29, 2012

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

Tomorrow it begins!

My favourite time of the year is finally here.  It's time for soccer!

I've been coaching soccer in Kuwait for the past five years. It takes over my life, but only because I love it so much.  I love teaching my kids all the things that all of my soccer coaches have taught me over the 15 years that I played (unfortunately, I haven't been able to join soccer in Kuwait and had to retire when I moved here six years ago).

It's an amazing feeling.  And I think I'm pretty good at it.  I've been lucky with the girls I've coached since I've been here.  They've all been amazing (even the ones I have to kick out of practice every once in a while).  I haven't been able to forget a single one.

I've had other coaches ask me why my girls work so hard for me.  Honestly, I have no idea.  I really don't.  I have high expectations and push them hard.  I make them run, I make them do push ups, I make them pass the ball until their feet fall off.  But they come back.

And I love them for it.

This is my favourite time of the year.  It's also the most stressful. It's not easy being a coach and feeling the pressure.  Each year it feels like there's a little bit more--part of it I put on myself, the rest comes from others.

But my girls are amazing. They are worth the stress and the early mornings and late nights and the weekends I give up.  So my writing might suffer for the next few weeks, my grading might not get done as fast.  But I don't care.  It's worth making sacrifices for my girls.

So that's my ramble about how excited I am for tryouts tomorrow (who knows who I'll get!)  Are any of you coaches?

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Happy Weekend!

It's the weekend!  At least it is over here, in Kuwait. (We have a Friday/Saturday weekend).

And here are some of my favourite things from the past week.  All involve my students and no students were harmed in the making of these quotes--but sometimes just barely ;)

From a student's assignment:

I ran fast like there were monkeys shooting at me.

A conversation with a student:
On a Thursday: 
Student: Miss, your story about the witch.  Is it finished yet?
Me: Yes, but I'm revising.
Student: Ok, but let me read it when it's done.

On a Sunday
Student: Miss, are you done revising yet?  Can I read your story?
Me: Nope, still working on it.
Student: What?  How long does it take?
Me: Months.
Student: But I couldn't even wait a weekend!

Brainstorming with a Student

Student: Miss, I can't come up with something to write about.
Me: Well, you could try some realistic fiction.  Like what if the school burned down or...
Student: Yes!  Furiously types away.

And talking about a kid's story

Student: Miss, I have a character named Kelly in my story.
Me: Really?
Student: Yup, and she's poor. (and then she stuck her tongue out at me).

I love my job.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Happy Birthday to Me!

Yesterday was my birthday!  I've officially entered the last year of my 20s.  It doesn't freak me out, but the idea of almost being 30 is more than a little weird.

So I'm kicking off 29 in style, thanks to my amazing husband.  You can see my new birthday present in the picture below.

My Pretty New Car!

I need to figure out a name for my car.  Yes, I'm a car namer.  All my previous cars have had color names (Silver Bullet, Silver Bullet II, and Little Red), but I'm not sure for this guy.

Current ideas involve Big Blue and Blue Bomber, but I'm shopping for more ideas.

So...any ideas?

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Still Learning

I think that there's going to be a phrase that becomes a regular part of my day job this year. 

"Show me how you did that!"

My school started a BYODevice program this year.  Which means, I now teach groups of kids whose heads are hidden behind big laptop screens.

If I could draw, I'd insert a picture here.  But I can't, so you'll have to imagine it. I'll just say it's very cool to have twenty heads buried behind laptops with their fingers tap, tap, tapping away.

But in so many ways, us teachers are now students.  These kids are so much better with technology than most of us teachers (we're old, give us a break!)  Today, I was walking around my room checking out progress and came across a student who had blacked out his entire screen so that all you could see was his word document.

No distractions. Just his writing.

So I said, "Show me how you did that!"

He said, "Ms, all I did was touch this button."

So I tried that out on my Mac.  Very distractions free.  My next thought, was too bad we couldn't do this with all word programs.

Apparently you can, which was the second thing I learned today.

I have a feeling my writing might become a lot more focused now. I can't wait to see what else they teach me that makes me a more focused writer!

Because I'm sure they know all the tricks.