And what a week it was! | Mentoring in the Middle

And what a week it was!

It's Friday and time to reflect back on a week that included state testing....what is it about testing that feels more exhausting than teaching?  But it's finished, and I think my students gave it their best shot.  And there's nothing else that needs to be said.

It really does my heart good that, given a break in testing and a chance to relax (before we went outside and ran around.  Thank you weather for cooperating!) these kids just wanted to play with the tub of Legos that I'd brought in.  

When I first looked at these books, I got a little frustrated.  How could they get so abused?  And then I had one of those "hit-yourself-in-the-forehead" DUH moments.  They're not abused; they're well loved!  These are some of the books that my students read the most.  Like a well-worn blanket or teddy bear these books have been special in a number of 6th graders' lives.

Okay, true confessions.  It feels a little like Christmas every time a box of books arrives from Scholastic.  I just love buying books for my classroom library that will jump off the shelves.  I make a big deal out of new books, and by the end of my three Reading classes (they have to wait until all classes have seen the books) most of the books are usually gone.  Nothing makes a Reading teacher happier than seeing her kids excited about reading!
I have this thing about trying to grow things.  Not the normal, everyday stuff, but more unusual things.  So I have a huge grapefruit tree that I started from seed and a fig tree that I ate my first figs from last year (Yum!) This might not be a big deal to some of you in warmer climates, but up here in Pennsylvania, I think it's pretty darn wonderful.  So, what are these?  

Well, when kids and I get talking over the course of the year about growing things, they want to know if they can bring in seeds to plant.  They just don't quite believe that you can grow ALMOST anything from seed.  On the left is the beginnings of a date palm tree and on the right is a cotton plant.  The kids think it's pretty cool.  And truth be told, so do I!
Yeah.  Just picked the first two asparagus spears for this year from our garden.  Nothing says springtime like asparagus.  YUM!  Most of the time they never make it to the kitchen - I just pick and eat!

What's your week been like?  I hope it was a good one, and that the stresses of testing-behind or ahead- don't cover up all the good you're doing with your students!


  1. I found your blog through the 5 For Friday Linky. I am a new follower.
    Confessions of a Teaching Junkie

    1. Welcome, Teresa! Just checked out your blog and was happy to see that someone else's desk sometimes looks like mine! Following you now, too!

  2. Hi Marion! My paperback collection looks like yours. But thanks to you, I will not think of them as abused any longer! They are "well-loved!" I love that!
    Thanks for sharing your inspirations!

  3. I have to admit I was a little peeved at first. But then it hit me (all right, it took a good night's sleep and a hot shower for it to hit me). Isn't that the point? Don't I want kids to read bboks? Yeah, there was a little head slap in there, too. :)

  4. I feel the same about testing...exhausting! Just found your blog and became a follower!

    ✿ Shari
    Keeping It Fresh in 6th Grade