Thursday, May 26, 2011

Unconventional Tactics?

As many of you know, I am not your average teacher.  I tend to go about things a little different and maybe a bit unconventional than most.  However, this is who I am and what kind of teacher I am.  I like to take risks--whether it's using a cartoon creation website to learn about the Age of Exploration or leave my students drawings and messages on the board.  I do these things I think because I put myself in my 7th graders shoes and ask, "How would I liked to have been taught this when I was 12 years old?"  Therefore I try and look at the content and figure out the best way to teach it so that my kiddos will really learn the material.  Sometimes the things I come up with don't work, other times they work fabulously well.

I try and use this strategy also when it comes to motivating my students.  Sometimes simply reminding them in person, or sending them an email, doesn't do the trick.  That's when my creativity juices get a'flowin' in my noggin and I come up with things like this:

You know what?!  My crazy dragon drawing worked like magic!  I started off with missing 8 essays, and by noon ALL of them were submitted.  An unconventional way of retrieving missing work?  Yes, totally.  But an effective and fun way too?  Most definitely.  So here's to more risks and unconventional methods in the future from Ms. Pepin...and it's all done for the kiddos.  Whatever it takes to get them to learn--like crazy drawings from their teacher--I'm game.

Holy Hail Storm!!

As many of you probably saw on my Facebook page (or lived through yourselves!), there was a huge storm that moved through St. Louis yesterday. Lots of funnel clouds, thunder, lightning, and rain...but for south St. Louis city giant pieces of hail--as big as baseballs!--fell from the sky as well.

We probably should have been in the basement riding the storm out, but instead we were outside watching these ice missiles shoot down from the sky. All I kept thinking was "please don't let one of those ice bullets hit my windshield!" Luckily none did, but the rest of my car took a pretty good beating and now has dimples all over the hood and trunk compliments of the hail air raid. As much as I hate that part, I will admit it was pretty cool seeing hail that size fall. That'll probably be something I'll never see in my life again. I think the best part of this storm was that no one was hurt or killed, and none of the funnel clouds dropped a tornado. After everything that has happened in Joplin earlier this week, it was a really blessing to not have s repeat of that in STL last night.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Wedding Season

Although I should probably be blogging about preparing for my wedding, I'm not...& haven't really started on all that stuff yet (I know, I know, I need to...I'm just a bit busy right now and waiting for the school year to wind down).

I am writing about all of the weddings we get to soirée ourselves to this summer...the first this past weekend! I think we have something like 6 or 7 weddings to go to this summer which is a whole lot. That's a bunch of gifts (or gift cards, as I tend to get instead cause I wait till the last minute to get a gift and then all that's left on their registry is some $500 item that I'm definitely not forking out that much money for (sorry! Alex is cheap!!)) to buy and a bunch of outfits to get together (although I have absolutely no problem wearing the same dress to every wedding, I was told I MUST change up my outfits and wear not just the same dress over and over.

This wedding we went to on Friday night was one of Mike's coworkers. It was a really nice (& small!!) wedding (the ceremony only lasted 15 minutes!) and reception. The reception was at Kemoll's Top of the Met in downtown STL. It was gorgeous and had an amazing view. With as many of these weddings as we're going to I'm definitely taking in some ideas and "must dos"...however, as I've said before, we're not picky at all and will be sufficiently happy with whatever we do. So here's to a great summer full of weddings and celebrations (& free drinks!)...woo hoo!!!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Sunday, May 15, 2011

36 Hours in NYC

Wow, the crazy-busy travel week is OVER. Thank the lord. And I did have a great week in the Smokies with my kiddos as well as a fun weekend in NYC for Kim's bridal shower and bachelorette party...but I am so glad it's done!

Here's a pic from the weekend...sadly it's about the only one I got!!! Seriously, we were so busy going from place to place I barely had time to breathe let alone snap some pics! I promise I'll do better my next run up to NYC.

Alright, so now that I'm back I'm so excited to sleep in my magical Sleep Number bed for more than one night at a time, and excited that we aren't traveling anywhere for 18 more days. Wow, now that I count that out that seems really close! Oh well, I'm just going to embrace the fact that I am home for 2.5 more weeks and that when this next trip happens it will be after school is out! I think that's the hardest part of traveling this past week--school happened before we left and will be happening again tomorrow...I'm just going to try and take some deep breaths and get through my last 12 days of school and look forward to going back to NYC for Jordan and Kim's wedding, just this time knowing I will not have to come back and teach a classroom of 7th graders immediately :)

Alright, that's about all for now...gotta wrap up my last lesson plans for this year (woo hoo!) and get some laundry and grocery shopping done. Adios amigos!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Friday, May 13, 2011

What a week!

Wowza, am I pooped!  What a week!  Our Tremont expedition with 70 of our 7th graders went amazing!

Minus a few bus brake downs and some other unforeseen hiccups, it was a great trip and I feel really good about how it went.  Below is the link to my school blog so you can check out some pictures and the video we compiled...check it out to see what our week entailed!

Okay, so tonight after school I am hopping on a plane to fly to NYC for less than 48 hours to go to my cousin Jordan's fiance Kim's bridal shower and bachelorette party.  It should be a fun--yet crazy-busy!--jam-packed weekend.  As much as I hate traveling in the middle of 2 school weeks, this should be a fun weekend to one of my favorite cities.  And the nice part is that there are only 13 school days left in the year!  Woo hoo!  Unfortunately dumbo Alex waited until these last 2 full weeks to do our final essay...ughhh and woopsies.  Oh well, at least it's a super interesting essay topic!  The kiddos will be writing about why so many colonists at Jamestown died.  A nice, positive topic to end the year with, huh?!

Alright, well sorry for the short blog...I'm sure I'll have more to report after this weekend!  I mean, come on, a bachelorette party in NYC gotta be awesome and memorable, right?!  Later gators!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

t-minus one year...

Yes, 366 days to be exact (thanks to 2012 being a leap year) until our big day.

Did I mention it's also this little guy's birthday too?!

He's quite excited for us to get hitched on his birthday (and now I just have to figure out a way to get my little man to be a PART of the wedding...ideas?!!)

Here's me and my best buddy--and maid of honor--Lauren at her adorable niece's baptism last week.

Anyways, whew, one year until the big day.  I still am kind of in shock that I'm even engaged.  It still is so surreal to me to have a ring on my left hand!  Almost 2 months later and it still hasn't set in...and I don't know if ever will (okay, it will...eventually I'm sure...right?!!). 

Alright, so here's my beef: I know most people when doing the whole wedding planning get stressed and let it take over and CONSUME their every waking moment.  Let me just put it out there: this will most DEFINITELY TOTALLY NOT be happening to me.  First off, besides with food, I'm not picky...pretty much anything will appease me.  I don't care what the flower arrangements are ugly, if it rains, or if the food is cold (although I'd prefer none of that to happen...but if it does oh well!).  All I care about is that we have a good time and that everyone who celebrates our day with us enjoys themselves.  I've had a lot of friends get married recently, and they seem to constantly be worried about something going wrong, or always needing to do one more thing for wedding prep.  This is one thing I will NOT let happen to me.  I refuse to let this wedding and the planning and preparations for it get the best of me.  I refuse to let it stress me out or cause me anything but joy.  Every aspect--from the planning to the actual wedding--is going to be fun and enjoyable, or else I won't do it.  As much as I love my job, I deal with enough stress and headaches throughout the day caused by my lovely 13-year olds I will not stand for that to take over my life and wedding prep.

Therefore, with that said, any of you married peeps out there, feel free to shoot me any tips, recommendations, "must dos," etc... that helped make your wedding and planning of it stress-free and an enjoyable time.  Like I said, if it erks any of that, I won't do it.  All joy, happy, and fun only for this gal :)

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