A few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of attending the Ron Clark Academy Educator Experience with my team. It certainly was an EXPERIENCE! It was an experience that I learned a ton from and will always treasure.

Amy from My Bright Bunch
I was the first one in the building, and it was CRAZY! I was guided through a room by a 5th grader with a line of dancing, singing kids on either side of me. It was a lot like sorority recruitment, actually! We had some kids stand around and make small talk with us (also like sorority recruitment) until everyone was inside the building. I say "small talk," but they actually had been trained to ask some pretty thought-provoking questions, such as "What is your lifelong dream?" Dang.

Some of my team with the man himself! Ignore the no-coffee bags under my eyes. 

Then Kim Bearden, the co-founder, asked the fifth grader I was speaking to if she wanted to jump on the trampoline. Except it turns out that Kim wasn't asking the fifth grader, SHE WAS ASKING ME! Say what! Who needs coffee when you get to jump on a trampoline at 8am?

Once the day officially began, it was a whirlwind of workshops and classroom observations.

We met Hope from Elementary Shenanigans! I admire her so much.

My biggest takeaways:

1. Kids can be trained, no matter where they come from. They WILL rise to meet your expectations, no matter how high they are.

2. Standing on tables is fun for students AND teachers.

3. Students will be excited about the content if you are excited about the content.

4. Motivation has to come from within. Hounding a child to do something will not make them want to do it. They'll do it when they realize they are falling behind their peers and can't keep up.

5. Dress to impress. Teachers are professionals and should dress like it.

6. Life is short; take the slide!!!

My RCA experience definitely motivated me to finish this school year strongly!

If you have the opportunity to visit RCA for an educator training, DO IT. You will not regret it.

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I finally did it...

"It" being the #IWishMyTeacherKnew writing project.

I was not expecting my kids to take it as seriously as they did. 

I cried. A lot. Big, fat, happy and sad and in-between tears.

Here are some of my favorites:

Cue tears. 

I'd been calling him "Grandpa," too, which was a nickname he gave himself. More tears. 

Totally unfair. #kidstruggles


LOL - Sorry honey. I'm not planning on having any 9-year-old bridesmaids. 

This last one made me ugly cry, Kim Kardashian style. It's from my major behavior problem child. He ruins my mood daily and is usually the reason I pour myself a little extra wine at night. He's the one the other teachers ask about at lunch everyday; "How's ___ doing today?" He's the one that causes me to breathe a sigh of relief when he is absent. He is the one that I ride all day long, having to give him a verbal or nonverbal cue every minute or so. He is the one who makes me talk to myself: "Choose your battles, he can't help it, he can't help it..." He's the one who causes me to close my eyes in prayer in the middle of a lesson: "Lord, give me the patience and strength that I need to love this child." 

I need to laminate that at keep it forever. That's what will get me through the last 20 days. 

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If you haven't done this yet, it's a must-do before the end of the year. I plan to do it early on with next year's class. What a brilliant idea!

I used a free template from Teacher Mommy Rache, but there are tons of options out there!