Category Archives: Life of a student Mom

The Way I Feel Tonight, Everything Will Be Alright

I have never been good at adjusting to changes in my life. I prefer to be sitting in the driver’s seat in full control, or at least I like to think I am. The problem is that life is not like that. As much as we desire control in reality we have very little if any. That does not mean that we don’t have a responsibility to do the right things, to be cautious, and to strive to reach goals. We do have some control over our lives, just never full control. Life has too many facets for us to be able to navigate on our own.

I have been following the blog of a young girl who is attempting to be the youngest person to complete an unassisted solo circumnavigation of the world. Her name is Abby and she is 16 years old. Her journey began on January 23 of this year in California and she is now somewhere in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. She is the sole occupant of her sailboat and has not laid eyes on another human since her journey began. For almost three months she has been alone at sea. It is her intention to sail completely around the world without stepping foot on land. She is the sole person steering her craft but that does not mean that her course is the one she had planned. The wind and the waves determine much of what happens and her pace is not decided by her but by God. She has tried to prepare for every possible scenario but the possibilities are too numerous to imagine. There have already been many things that she has had to deal with in her short journey. Her autopilot has gone out and her backup autopilot had a hydraulic leak both of which she alone had to repair. She is battling the wind, waves, and temperatures. She is almost always wet and has sailed in temperatures in the lower 40’s for much of the trip so far.

She chose the course she is taking because she fears pirates. She is hoping to avoid them by staying (for the most part) at least 100 miles from land for most of the trip. I think about the strength this young woman possesses often. I am amazed at her courage and wisdom. Most people will never mature in their lifetime to the point that this young woman has in her short 16 years on this earth. She inspires me, humbles me, and fills me with awe at the strength of the human spirit. So tonight, as most nights, I am thinking of Abby somewhere in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, alone and content. Steering her ship while all the time knowing she is not in full control of her course; constantly having to adjust her plans to those of nature.

I think Abby has many lessons to teach us if we will only be open to receive them. She has taught me that I should have a plan in mind but expect for things not to go the way I would like. During these times I should not loose hope but instead plot a new course that points me toward my destination. I need to fight like everything depends on me, but keep my faith in God knowing that He is in control. His plans are far above my plans, even when His plans are hard to accept. So tonight I am turning on my auto pilot and am going to rest easy knowing that my God is in full control. ; ) Sorry DSC I had to use that title since it so perfectly fit.


Kids Say the Darndest Things

Anyone who has ever spent any time whatsoever with a small child knows that they can say the most precious things. Sometimes they use a word in the wrong context, mispronounce words, or just simply say whatever is on their mind. They have not learned that you shouldn’t always say what you think, or that every question does not require an answer. These are some of the funny things my children or children I know have said in the past.

Several years ago G’s preschool teacher asked, “What do you want to do?” She then named three things he had to choose from. G replied, “I don’t want to do nothing.” He had to sit in time out for that one.
 G’s walker was making noises and he told me, “Momma put some medicine on my walker.”

One of his favorite things to say during his game show network phase was, “I can’t tell you, ERNK.” (The ERNK was his attempt at immitating a buzzer.)

Recently G said, “Ms. C is not my teacher, Mrs. H is my teacher. Ms. C is just my parapro.”

G worked on letter identification several times trying to get faster each time. He only had to do it once each night but he kept trying. When he began to work on the lower case letters I just went over them with him without timing. He was so proud he said, “Daddy, I finished them all!” He didn’t realize that I had stopped timing him. He was so determined to beat his time.

G has recently been passively defiant with one of his teachers. He has come home daily telling me that she is just not being nice to him. “I am nice to her, I don’t know why she isn’t nice to me.” We were at the Chiropractor last Friday and he was talking to our Dr. about his school woes and he began to tell him about Ms. B and his objections to her determination to make him complete his work in a timely manner. He looked at Dr. P and said, “What is wrong with that woman, don’t she realize she is talkin to a man?”

Recently we were studying spring weather and made a lion craft to tie in March’s ability to come in like a lion and go out like a lamb. One of my precious babies said, “Look Mrs. Norton, I made my lion embarrassed. He has temples (dimples).”

Student Teaching

I started my teaching internship last week. This is what I have been working toward for the past three years and now it is finally here. The only downside to my placement is that I miss the companionship of my classmates. In the past we have been place in the same grade level and have on many occasions worked together on big grade level projects for our cooperative teachers, sat on the playground supervising students together, and eaten lunch together often. There was always the occasional chance meeting at the copy machine or the laminator. Those are high traffic areas in elementary schools and you are bound to have to wait in line on most occasions. We also had classes togther on days we weren’t in our field experience so we saw each other often.

This semester we do have a seminar class that meets on Monday nights. So we will at least see each other then. The problem with that is we are all tired from working all day and the class doesn’t seem like the kind of class with built in opportunities to work together. I am thrilled to be finished with all my courses, am in the midst of the most wonderful place in the world everyday (kindergarten), and am only about three and a half months from putting on my cap and gown and recieving my long awaited college diploma. For those things I am overflowing with joy.

At the same time I find myself mourning the loss of the college experience. The times we spent sitting in the student center laughing at the antics of our class clown, our experiences with some very diverse and sometimes excentric professors, and encouraging and supporting each other through difficult days are some of the things I find myself missing. Life has taught me that eventually I will miss every season of my life. It may not always seem like it at the time but someday I will look back and remember with fondness the things that once caused me stress. Although it may not seem like it to most people who know me, I have mellowed with age. I have learned to stop and enjoy the time and place that God has placed me in. That is not to say that I am perfect by any means but I do find myself seeing the glass half full more than I see it half empty.

Life moves pretty fast. You don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it. ~FerrisBueller~


Today my Kindergarten class created a portrait of Martin Luther King, Jr. as part of our week long study on his life. We used construction paper and told the students what shapes to cut out of each sheet of different colored construction paper. Several students whined and complained that they couldn’t cut an oval or that they didn’t know how to cut eyes. They wanted a pattern to use to cut out because they were afraid of their ability to do the task well. After much praise and encouragement they made it through the project. The results were wonderful. Each portrait was different, just as the students who created them are. There was one whose ears were place high on Rev. Kings head which made the creation resemble a puppy dog. On has a long thin face with tiny ears that looks a lot like the works of Picaso.

These creations remind me of the individuality of my students. They each have their strengths and weaknesses that are unique to them individually. They are all beautiful in different ways, none more so than the others, just differnet. I pray that my students will embrace their individuality and will feel the love that I have for them and will gain confidence and pride in their uniqueness. I pray that God will use me to make a difference in their lives and that something I say or do will empact them and that they will carry that memory with them throughout life.

Always Improving

This semester I was given two big assignments. One was a math case study and the other was a reading case study. The math assignment required me to pre-test a student, find an error pattern in their work, develop strategies and teach them to the student. For the reading assignment I used several different assessment tools to find the student’s reading level and any areas they may be having difficulty with. The assessments took up most of the time I had to spend with the students that I was assigned to work with so I have been apprehensive about how much improvement they have made.

I completed the math case study last week. The results were amazing. The student went from getting 2 out of 16 problems correct to getting 16 out of 16 problems correct. This was the easier assignment. It only required me to pinpoint one concept or procedural error the student had and help them improve in that area.

The reading assignment was the more difficult of the two. It took longer to assess the student for reading. Several different tests had to be administered and each test took a significant amount of time to complete. This only left me with about 2.5 hours (total) to “teach” the student and tutor him/her in reading. I was not sure how much improvement I would see, if any. I am almost completely finished with the assessments and I am shocked. The student has definitely made significant improvements. I, by no means take full credit for this improvement but do like to believe that I did contribute to this growth. The student is also recieving reading intervention daily from a reading teacher.

My amazement is from the great change such little effort and time on the part of me and the other teacher has provided to this child. It is a huge reminder that our actions do matter. We affect people good, or bad, whether we want to or not. No man is an island. It is my wish to do good in my lifetime and to leave the world better than I found it. Thank you God for placing me where you have at this time and in this place. Use me to touch those around me and make me ever mindful of the impact You are able to make in someone’s life through me. Remind me constantly that You are always improving me and those around me by Your Grace.

The Moon Made Me Do It??

Why is it when you determine to live closer to Christ that you always get on a slippery slope? This weekend I found myself spinning out of control. I am either loosing my mind, going through menopause, or possessed. Since I am a Christian I know that I am not possessed, although I think I’ve been carrying around a fallen angel for the past few days. I know that my family has expected to see my head spin around at any moment. In fact it acrually may have while no one was watching.

I would blame my behavior on the moon, but there hasn’t been a full moon and there isn’t going to be a full moon for a couple of weeks (December 2 to be exact). Oh, well I guess I have to take full responsibiltiy for my unacceptable behavior. I have been short tempered (even shorter tempered than usual). I appologize to my three precious men. I love each of you with all of my heart. Just hang in there and maybe the more civilized version of me will return by the end of the month and the semester.

Acceptable Behavior


Pronunciation: \ˈhi-pə-ˌkrit\Function: noun Etymology: Middle English ypocrite, from Anglo-French, from Late Latin hypocrita, from Greek hypokritēs actor, hypocrite, from hypokrinesthai Date: 13th century

1 : a person who puts on a false appearance of virtue or religion
2 : a person who acts in contradiction to his or her stated beliefs or feelings

Today has been a tough day for me and tonight I feel like such a hypocrite.  My attitude and actions
have not aligned with the convictions or goals I have set for myself. A series of unimportant and insignificant events sent me into a tailspin this morning. I behaved foolishly. I cried over lost keys and glasses that I carelessly left behind when I headed out to face my day. I unloaded all my frustrations on the closest and safest person in my life when I should have turned to Jesus.

Why is it that we so soon forget the goodness that our lives are filled with when things don’t go our way? Lord, help me to turn to You when I feel lost, defeated, and overwhelmed.

Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer. ~Psalm 19:14 (King James Version)~