02 December 2011

my cuties---pics of my classroom

My door:)

Here we go! As promised...some pics of my new cuties in 3rd C!

Some of the boys!

Cute girls huh?

We love READING!!

Everyday we take turns being the "custodian" to learn to clean up after ourselves.
some more of the girls:)

09 November 2011

back to class!

So did you hear? I am back in the classroom again:)!! About 2 weeks ago I volunteered to go back to the classroom for 3rd grade because the size of the 2 groups at the time was 27 and soooo many problems ranging from discipline to teacher fatigue/frustrations were just hard to see. I figured if we are really about student learning and the best for students, than I can try to do both jobs: assistant principal and teach 3rd grade.

Thankfully my proposal was greeted with open arms and on Monday October 31st i became the 3rd C--the third group of third grade. So far it has been FABULOUS! I have 18 students who i'm loving already (i did get to kinda pick who i wanted haha...but i tried hard to make the classes balanced as much as i could without overloading myself!) I realized how much i missed being out of the classroom. I love the hugs from some, the fun smiles and class togetherness feeling:) I think they are all happy and parents too.

So far it is a little of a challenge to remember everything for the classroom AND also the duties and tasks i need to do for the office. Following up on discipline i missed when teaching has been going ok, but i worry that its a burden on the people in the office. I hope they wont resent me later for this.

I love my classroom...it's so cute and feels calming.

So now i have almost 3 jobs! crazy right?
#1: Elementary Assistant Principal
#2: Third Grade Teacher
#3: English Teacher for adults

I'm busy, but my days and weeks FLY BY!

I'll be taking pictures of my cuties soon, along with the classroom to share (if i remember!! hahah) so i'll post them soon.

Other than that news, not much else is going on. Operation Get Fit is going great still and i'm only a couple pounds from my december 15th goal so i'm ahead of schedule and that makes me happy and hopeful i will make my ultimate goal later in the year.

I'm super excited for Thanksgiving break---we get a whole week off!! yep! take that USA....us "mexicans" are gonna celebrate for a week--LOL! not really, there is a mexican holiday the monday of thanksgiving and our school celebrates the holiday, but not the rest of mexico.

I hope to go to Mexico City or as we call it here the DF or just Mexico. I've been here over 2 years and havent been to the biggest city?? how weird! I've been there but only in the airport many times, so now i wanna see the city, the museums, Frida's house, the famous artist....i'm forgetting his name right now, but he has awesome paintings?? haha..anyways, i'm not positive yet, but about 80% sure that i'll go for part or all of that break. It will be so nice!

Then after that, we only have a few weeks before Christmas break and home for the holidays!

This year is flying by and MANY people have asked what my plans are for next year....it's so hard!! :P right now, i have no desire to leave here, so we'll see. I hope they give me some time to decide:)

Alrighty...not sure why i'm up so late on a school night! gotta hit the hay!


05 October 2011

Year 3--

Wow...i have no excuse for not updating other than i've just been busy doing other things:) haha. Life has been good and off to the usual start of a school year---HECTIC! but that only describes my first little bit and only at school.

We welcomed 4 new foreign staff this year and so far they are fitting in great. In my section we have 2 newbies, Courtney and Cathy. It's been fun to slowly get to know them and their personalities throughout the last 2 months or so.

My job is much easier this year as i actually have a clue of things to do...and can even try to do more:) It's becoming routine for me to have serious talks with kids and learn to lecture quickly while also helping them to reflect on their behavior. Dont get me wrong, there are some kiddos (boys if you must know) that i can honestly say drive me up a wall/make me wanna shake them/i just plain cant find a good thing about. I hate saying that---as a person, a teacher and an optimist it's hard for me, but i guess its the truth sometimes. Thankfully that is only like 1 in 500 people for me hahahaha...

anyways, i also started teaching English to adults this year 2 nights a week. The language institute started on our ATS campus this fall and they needed some teachers, so i am teaching an intermediate class every T and TH night. I was nervous to start out, but after 5 weeks now, i like it and am enjoying my 18 students immensely. They range in age from about 18 (i'm guessing to 55 or so). It's hard to speak slowly i'm realizing...i have to really concentrate or else i think i lose 1/2 of them when i talk too fast.

A few weeks ago 7 of us foreign staffers went on a little road trip to see some cool stuff....in my next post i'll talk about it and post pics too so stay tuned.

I've been busy busting my but exercising and eating well to loose all the weight i can before i turn 29 and be totally rockin fit by 30. The 2nd part of that i just added right now haha. My 1st mini goal is Christmas, the 2nd mini goal is by my bday Feb., and my ultimate goal for now is beginning of May (total 9 month process) so I'm anxious to see if i will make it! I'm so happy and it's been pretty easy actually. Since I'm a routine person it's just part of life and will stay that way forever. I've even got a few people joining the bandwagon with me lately to change their habits:) I've not had a pop since August 1st so if you know me that is crazy right? haha. I never was addicted to it, the caffeine or anything, but i liked the taste and still do, but i figure if i am going to give my all to being healthy I'm going all out and no artificial sugars helps that i'm sure.

I'm sure i'll randomly post about my progress but part of me just wants to keep it a secret to surprise people more when they see me hehehehe...so no pics or numbers right now, but i will give you a hint of my 2 month progress: pants/shorts/skirts i wore when i first came to mexico 2 years ago are falling off me. I'm running out of clothing very fast! haha

In addition to all of this newness, it's be wonderful to be back in my house (no moving this year!! yaya!), talk to friends i've now know for 2 years so you have that deeper friendship and also just be back here in Mexico. I love it. I love hearing spanish, their easy friendly ways and just the life here. Sometimes it's hard but 99% of the time, i love that this place is my home.

So a quick update for a long absence. I hope to be more actively updating....back to at least the once a month! :)

thanks for all that tune in....all you 4 or 5 ;) haha.



30 June 2011

estoy en Merida! I am in Merida!

Well...I'm here! In Merida, Mexico where i will study spanish for 3 weeks at a language school. I arrived last Sunday evening and was picked up at the airport by my new host family---my new mexican grandparents Neyda and Enrique. They are so sweet---and cute! They have been hosting students like me for over 15 years and are highly recommended to the school by students so i feel so lucky to be placed with them for these weeks.

Everyday I take 6 hours of instruction in Spanish grammar, vocab, conversation etc.
I figure to give you a good look at what the last few days have been like, i'd do it day by day because its a little easier to explain.

My first day Enrique drove me to school. He showed me how i would walk and where to stand to wait for the bus each day. How to get on and off the bus and where to catch it again in the afternoon. Made it really easy for me to remember. I am so thankful he did that because i've not ridden a public bus EVER in my life, let alone in another country where its hard to tell what the bus route is! haha.

Then i met with my first teacher Willie. He is from Mexico but is bilingual. I had class with him from 8-11 AM. Very intense grammar instruction mixed with conversation. That day i felt so overwhelmed with new things, new people, the enormity of what i need to learn and so i was fighting back tears a few times just out of frustration and overwhelming unidentified emotions. But this was NOT because i didnt like everything that was happening...its just a lot of change to happen in one 24 hour period! haha.

After Willie, we had a short break and then i had class with another teacher Bessy. In her class we also do some grammar, but she focuses more on new vocabulary, reading and conversation.

After classes on Monday, Enrique was there to take me home where i am treated to an AMAZING almuerzo (lunch) at 3:00 made by Neyda. Her cooking is great and so far i've been so happy with the food---a great balanced diet and meals sitting on the table waiting for me every day at 7, 3 and 8...how can i complain?? she wont even let me wash the dishes!!

So my first day was good, although overwhelming and lonely.

I feel really lucky because this week there are only 2 other students at the school, and they are at a lower level than me so i have individual one-on-one classes all day with my maestros (teachers). Its so nice to work on what i need to practice and repeat and repeat and repeat.

My brain is exhausted most day from all the new things and trying to remember so much, but today i don't feel like that because i feel like it's stuck in there, but i'm sure tomorrow i'll learn TONS of new things to make me feel differently haha.

Merida is such a nice city. I have visited one time before but only for an evening so i didn't get to see much. Its a beautiful place. Unfortunately we had a great deal of rain this week (especially when i was waiting for the bus hahaha) and so i haven't seen as much of the city as i would like,but i'm hopeful that this weekend will be nice and i can go spend the day at the Centro or something.

My host home is FABULOUS. Aside from the amazing food. They are just so sweet in wanting to help me practice and they are great at giving me my space too. I usually talk to them in the evenings when i eat dinner. Sidenote: I eat all my meals alone hahah...i'm getting used to it, but its a little awkward sometimes. Neyda will talk to me and ask about things in my life or day. Its great practice! They don't know ANY english so its really helpful because i have to figure out how to say everything i want in spanish. I can tell my confidence and knowledge is improving because i can talk so much easier to them today than i could even on Monday!! YAY!

Its been a good week----sooooo fast! I will be here for 2 more weeks and cant imagine how much i will learn. I'm not sure if my classes will continue to be individual all day or not...may new students will come? no idea at this point.

So things are pretty good....I could even probably write most of this blog in spanish so that makes me really happy to know that i could if i wanted to. :)

I'll try to update more often--wish i could add pictures but again, i lost my computer cord. Thankfully my wonderful mom just ordered one online so i'll get it when i go back the states in a couple weeks.

Saludos a todos!


18 June 2011


Can you believe i've lived in Tampico for 2 years now? I am amazed at how fast it all has gone, but yet i feel like i've lived so long here! haha.

So here's my quick update...sorry no pictures due to the small fact that yet AGAIN i cannot find my camera cord! lol.

School: Kids have been gone since the 10th, teachers since the 15th and i have 3DAYS left and then i will be out for the summer!!:) I am soooooo ready.

It's been sad to say goodbye to a few good friends this year. I dont think it's even hit me how much i will miss them, especially Nicki and Carrie. Seriously some of the best people i've known and i am so sad to see them go, but sooo thankful for getting to know them this past year or two.

Now sadly i dont get to just relax and sleep in all summer long, but it is my own fault. Next sunday i leave for Merida, Mexico where i will live with a mexican family and then attend 6 hours a day of intensive spanish lessons M-F for 3 weeks! It's how i am trying to push myself and my confidence to speak. I am seriously shocked with how much i know and understand in Spanish after such a short time and not really needing to know it very much here in my daily life. I never thought it would come so naturally. Now i just get nervous to talk because i hate sounding dumb or making mistakes with verbs, but i know the only way to learn from now on is to practice so i decided to invest in that this summer.

I am excited but also very nervous to live in a strangers house, but i have heard great things about the couple i will be with. I'll be sure to update you all after i've been there for a while.
It should be quite an adventure for sure!!

After that i will go home to Morton for 2 weeks and then i have to be back here for work the first week of August. Again it's exciting to think of the new staff that is coming this fall...we will have 4 new ones just in elementary so it should be great!:) We are all excited to meet everyone and hope to make them feel welcome:)

So for a while my days have been nice...it's hot here so a lot of sweaty walks and jumping in the pool has been going on:) Nothing to exciting, but a good end of the year. I have survived a rough year here in Mexico and at school with so much change and new jobs, and it has been gooood.....i like that challenge. hehe

so that's it...not much else to say other than life is good and i am surely blessed.

love you all. i'll write more soon as i begin my Merida Spanish Adventure!!!!

03 May 2011

Marzo y Abril!

So much has happened but i've again lost my camera cord so that makes it difficult to put fun posts of life here:)

It's beach season again and i've had a lot of fun with friends at the beach this year. It's so nice to be able to spend the day just relaxing, drinking, eating and laughing with friends.

Both sets of my grandparents have come to visit me here the last 2 months...first the Heins and then the Mittelbergs. It was a great time of bonding:)

The Heins on the Beach in Tampico:)

The Mittelbergs in the market in Centro de Tampico

My grandparents and I at the falls of Tamasopo.

Then came Spring Break with the Girls in Miami and then a week of home fun and relaxing!

Sweet Clara and I:) I love her little lip!

Camryn and I....how can you be mad waking up to this face?? you just cant!

Ricardo and I spent a day at the beach and decided to get fun henna tatoos! I got a butterfly and he got some symbol on his hand.

Another night we hit up the Tampico carnival---rides and food and fun:)

This was funny to see on the map of the carnival's events!! hahahaha

Sweaty waiting in line for a ride called CHAOS! and let me tell you...it was quite jolting, but in a fun kind of way:P

Then we went to eat some tacos and have great margaritas--mango and tamarindo!! yummmmmmmmmmmmmm

Only 5 1/2 weeks left with students at school, about 7 1/2 weeks of work for me and then it's summer and more adventures!

10 February 2011

bday days and weeks of fun!

So the best month of the year has started...February!:) jajaja...My birthday this year was a fun time! See pics below for some details:

It started with a fun night out for dinner and movie with friends. Here we are at Dolce Vita.

Check out the awesome desserts they made for me and Emily (her bday is 2 days before mine so we did some celebrating together.

Just the girls out for a quick drink.

Here are the girls celebrating Em's bday---her husband Jon arranged a surprise bday dinner for her...she was surprised and the food and laughter was great!:)

and here is what i did the weekend of my bday---a lifelong dream to have a pool party like my sis could in august. my bday wish came true this year!
Looks like a Corona commercial huh?? well i guess in this case i should call it a Dos XX commercial. What a life huh?:)