Monday, 28 July 2014

Getting ready for school?

This duck has absolutely nothing to do with the post.
I just like the photo - it's soothing. 

In September I move from Year 4 (grade 3) to Year 6 (grade 5) and will be teaching Project work and Language only. I love the new project work curriculum - the International Primary Curriculum - and have started looking at our first unit.

It's fabulous - very student driven, lots of research and exploration and open to many different recording and assessment types. And turning my classroom into a Space Academy for a Mission to Mars will be tremendous fun! Making Mars rovers, designing habitats, growing "crops" for Mars - all of these things will be wonderful...

... but right now, trying to make the time to do the preparation is slightly challenging.

I did finally put everything on a flash drive and locate a place that could print all the papers - I plan a lot better with paper copies spread around me :) (Having to scroll up and down a pdf is not so good.)

But I kind of miss my home, my desk, my own surroundings - and I miss being able to pop in and out of school during the summer. And I miss having a dog at my feet.

But on the other hand the positives are: computers go anywhere and I have the summer to spend with my husband! And I may even find the Lego kits I need over here - more chance of that than at home for sure :) And Boston is a lovely place :)

Ready for school? Not quite - but that's okay :)

Sunday, 20 July 2014

For the birds :)

I am currently in the middle of a wildlife photographic competition with my sister and aunt - all spawning from my sister's recent trip to Puerto Rico and my current stay in Boston. My aunt in Scotland has joined in :) Have to love the technology that allows this type of fun on face book!!

It's been a little hard to compete with the tarpons and iguanas of Puerto Rico, not to mention the pretty awesome jelly fish that washed up on the western shore of Scotland so my last entry was literally for the birds :)

Ducks and starlings - could it get more exotic? :) I need to find more urban wildlife out here!!

Here are some of our "entries" - just for fun!

Starlings in the bath

I love the reflections on this :)

Cute rodent

Nesting swans - sadly infertile so no cygnets :(

Fabulous Scottish jellyfish

Would love to see one of these one day in the flesh!!

Thursday, 3 July 2014

It's been a long time...

... since I've blogged. In fact I'm not sure I even remember how :)

Life changed quite considerably for our family in May this year when my husband was, out of the blue and with no symptoms other than a few weird bruises, diagnosed with acute lymphoid leukemia. We got air ambulanced to Boston and he became an inmate of Brigham and Women's hospital for three and a half weeks where he lived in a "pod" with a whole crew of amazingly fabulous nurses and doctors looking after him.
He has been considerably blessed in that he has responded well to treatment and does not, at this time, need a stem cell transplant. Instead we have embarked on a 2-year long treatment plan that involves multiple rounds of chemo and some radiation therapy as an outpatient at Dana Farber. He'll be in Boston probably until the end of September before being allowed home for a few weeks and then will return for another 6 weeks of treatment before starting an 18-month long maintenance program.
I had 6 weeks off school to be with him through all the changes - and the roller coaster ride that is leukemia - and now, am spending the summer holidays in Boston as we enter phase 2. It is such a blessing having school holidays!!
My class were tremendous while I was away and we used our class blog to stay in touch. The girls wrote me the nicest letters (sadly many were totally unpunctuated!) and kept me up to date on all the projects. I also wrote my reports in Boston, surrounded by all their assessment papers, which my sister brought up when she came to visit. Thankfully I had done most of their "big test" review before I left and they all did me proud!! Great exam marks this year, which was a relief :) I love that blog!!! It was such a great way to talk to my kiddies!!
I trotted home for the last week of school when my son arrived to look after his dad - met my new class, said goodbye to the current class and cleaned my classroom from top to bottom for the new teacher who will take over my grade 3 class in September. I'm moving to Grade 5. This seemed like a really good idea in January but...  I'm sure it will be fine - I'm going to spend the summer preparing stuff while my hubby naps :)
So... it's a whole new world now. Priorities change when this sort of thing happens - and the old adage "one day at a time" is very, very true!! We've already made it through a massive E. coli infection with the attendant 30 pounds of fluid gain and loss, 20 pounds of muscle loss, hair loss and a truly spectacular allergic reaction to a chemo drug - I'm sure there are many more such adventures coming our way. It won't be an easy ride all the way but we are very secure in our faith, know that God has this - and us - and it will work out according to His will.
We've had tremendous support from family and friends and church and our jobs and we've had a lot of very grateful, tearful moments as a result. I've written a zillion emails - and have discovered that writing is extremely therapeutic :) So this blog may wander off topic sometimes - be warned :)
Actually, I may just use it as a personal journal because I'm not at all sure that many people read what I write :) It's kind of fun to have an empty space in front of me... and kind of nice to be back in the blogosphere :)
I can't seem to find any decent photos of us but here's a quick glimpse of our family - the men are in Boston and the girls are at home :) Gotta love technology - and the silly hats the men are wearing!!!