The End is Nigh.

Just five days remain of the 2022-23 SY and let me assure you, there is no tired – aside from my mum tired – like teacher end of the year tired! And honestly, tired isn’t even the right word — that would be EXHAUSTED. When you reach this point of the year as a teacher, you know the end is nigh! Even with that subconscious knowledge, my anxiety is still popping in and out just to let me know that its still there.

The bulk of my EOY (End of Year) stuff I need to get done is 99% done – just a bit of paperwork lingers, but that will be taken care of tomorrow! The last part left is to purge and “shutter” my classroom for the deep summer clean. After my move back in March – purging will NOT be a problem!

And my kids – they’ll be helping because all that energy needs to be put to good use plus – lots of goodies they can claim as I put things into my cabinets (and take out!)! Some will help me purge whilst others work on their EOY project! I’ve worked hard to create a time consuming memory book that I’m pretty sure they’ll love!

I’ve also been working on my summer gig — a three week STEAM – STEM but with the Arts – camp called IMAGINATION Camp! I have such a phenomenal group of people who come each summer to share their incredible talents with the kids that sign up! The reality of how close we are to the start of camp makes me anxious, but an excited anxious!

We have ordered a GlowForge 3D Laser Printer, a MakerBot 3D Replicator, Lego Spike Prime Robotics, K’Nex Engineering sets, Cricuts … the list goes on and on! I’m so excited for what we’ll be adding to our camp … in addition to our Lego Mindstorm EV3 Robotics, Culinary Arts, Dance, Theatre and Sick Science! Plus, we’re taking our campers on a trip to Dave & Buster’s after their big STEAM Showcase to let them celebrate and just have a blast!

I’m excited about all of the new tech we have, but I have to be honest … I’m super excited about the GlowForge Plus 3D Laser Printer! Justin, our tech guy, for the Before/After/Summer School programs will be learning how to use it and helping us with it this summer! He might even be a little more excited than I am! We ordered the complete bundle with lots of project ideas included until we learn more about its capabilities! One of the best things is you can use recycled cardboard!!!

The puppies and I are pretty much settled in now … still loving that it takes less an hour to clean my place … I’m not missing that 250 sf at all! Bull has been doing great with going into his crate each morning — I’m actually thinking about buying the metal fencing to place outside his crate so he can have more space, but we’ll see if his mischievous antics calm down … I know the move was hardest on him. Alexa settled pretty quick and I think that is helping Bull!

As for me … my anxiety is better because the school year is almost over … tick-tock-tick-tock! And that means my mind begins to clear and so, my ideas for the site and this blog will get some much needed time to be created! Hope everyone has a great week …

Until next time – keep reaching for the stars!


When I think about my Mum, I am reminded about her strength throughout my lifetime. She’s been there through the good, the bad and certainly the ugliest moments in my life journey.

I am so fortunate to still have both of my parents and for them to still be together. I know this is not true in the modern world, but they have forged a life together and in doing so – have always been my rock.

I think about their mothers on this day as well — my Dad’s mum has been gone since 2013 and my Mom’s mum — it’ll be a year on 4 June. They were both strong women and it is mirrored in both of them.

I am grateful that God picked my Mum for me because she has always and continues to love me … no matter what crazy things I do!

Here’s to every Mum celebrating today!

Not for the faint of heart.

What. A. Long. Week.

So glad to be at weekend! And Alexa and Bull are glad that I’m just cooling my jets … I love my new place more and more. My chores are so much easier now, but no laundry today since I dragged the last bit of my move out of my car — my suitcase jam packed with clothes that will need to be washed. Uggghhh, I hate laundry.

So, why was my week so long? My students took their F.A.S.T. ELA PMA #3 test earlier this week and overall, they are at 58% proficiency. Our goal was 60% and I am good with where we ended the year. My part of the state testing is over, but my teammate still has math and science next week. So, I’m still in that mode minus the anxiety.

Teaching 5th Grade is NOT for the faint of heart. Not one little bit. This year was a bit better than last year, but … kids are so different from previous years. And no, it’s not because of the pandemic.

That might have played a role, but as we move past that moment in our history – that just won’t float as a valid reason for behaviour, lack of motivation and disrespect. If everyone were to substitute for a few days, they’d truly understand what teachers are going through on a regular basis.

And I can verify that the teacher shortage is only going to get worse for many reasons, but the current climate in Florida and constant attacks by one political party against public education … it’s disgusting what they are doing and one day it will all come back to each one those involved.

We have just 15 days left of school and I’ll be glad for this year to be over … I’ll miss my kids, but it’s time for them to head off for middle school and the adventures they’ll experience there! I have so much to do so that I can walk on the last day of the school year and not have to come back the day after Memorial Day.

So, now it’s time to enjoy the rest of my Saturday, but I’m sure something will pop into my mind to scribble about tomorrow … maybe.

Alexa and Bull doing what they do best whilst I ponder this entry …

Life Lessons.

Life lessons are often really not something anyone looks forward to but they come in two ways: expected and unexpected. Since 2021, I’ve been looking for a house and the market exploded in early 2022 … with houses being INSANELY overpriced in the Tampa Bay area. Like $120,000 to $150,000 more than what they were worth. That trend continues. I wish I could say that I had found something for the puppies and me, but no such luck. :::LeSigh:::

So, I began the serious search for another place to lease in late December and into late February it was apparent that the greed of apartment communities was meant for EVERYONE to see. I’ve never seen such over-the-top and insane prices for apartments.

My anxiety went through the roof knowing I had a deadline of 22 May to find somewhere to live. The cheapest I could find — close to where I was living was $1585 for 500 sf … I was living in a 950 sf (living area not including my lanai and closet spaces) for $1310. The management team, where I was living, wanted me to stay there, but the cost would have gone up to $1830. No way my teacher salary could swing that!

Spring break came – 13 – 17 March with the 14th being the scheduled procedure to remove the bone tumour (which was successful!) — but on that same day while recovering at the parental units, I found an apartment for $1399 – 750 sf. The only problem — it was 38 miles away from where I was living. I looked back over the list of places that I had been to and knew I’d never find a place where I was at and the next day took a tour – was shocked at the size (200 sf is a lot of space to lose!), but neverthless – signed the lease.

And in nine days packed a decade+ of stuff and on 24 March — the big move took place, but not everything got packed as I was overwhelmed multiple times during that nine days. In the end, I had to travel back through 30 March to finish the purging and packing … and 47 – 42 gallon contractor bags later and multiple trips to the compactor, I turned in my keys. It was bittersweet.

The hardest part was watching Alexa and Bull see the only world they knew being “torn” apart by a move that had to happen. I think I cried more about that than the stress keeping my anxiety in overdrive for days. In the end, the purging (with a few regrets of things I trashed because I was so over it) was good for my soul and now that we’re settled (almost), I can say that 750 sf is super cozy, stupid easy to keep clean and it’s quiet.

The life lesson? On, 16 April my Mum called and I knew – immediately – something was not right. My Dad was taken from an Urgent Care to the ER. Before this move, I was 1 h 20 m (on a good day of traffic from them) and now, I am 30 m from them and just 18 m from the hospital where he was taken. He spent 12 days there … and I was able to go often to relieve my Mum since she was staying at hospital. He came home on Friday, 28 April.

There was a reason for this place to just be there and to be what I needed – even though it didn’t seem like it at the time. I told my Mum, earlier today, that I was angry that I was having to move 38 miles from everything and everyone that was familiar to me … but now, I’m content and knowing I could be closer to my parents just helped me settle a bit more.

God always has a plan and it always happens even when you fight it. You usually don’t know why until a situation happens.

Here’s to life lessons –



It’s nothing but a roller coaster … the ups, downs, straightaways, loops, twists and turns. And sometimes it’s hard to believe that there are millions going through the same things or very similar things as you are at the very same moment. I’ve gotten so much better on my journey in how I react and respond to the things thrown at me. At this stage of life – it’s all about the reset.

So, teaching is a hard job. Like seriously hard. No, I’m not soliciting pity. What I am doing is just sharing what teachers are having to deal with in the classrooms on a regular, daily and on-going basis. If everyone had to substitute in a classroom for a couple of days, they’d understand it. Really, really, really understand. No, seriously. No joke. No lie. For real. As in for real, real.

Then you have some leaders who say things like this, “Please leave your personal lives, feelings and things you’re going through at home when you come to work.” I have one of these types of leaders in my life. She thinks that things that I’m going through, experiencing or dealing with should just be neatly packed away from 7.00 am – 3.00 pm daily. Why? I cannot answer the why because I’m no robot and it does not bloody compute.

You see, there’s a mentality in education and quite frankly, in corporate America as well that is absurd and insane . The idea, hands-down, is that they are okay with working people to the brink of a complete and utter breakdown whilst not paying you what you absolutely are owed nor treating you like a human being. The leadership of schools and corporate America is so indoctrinated that they are experts in making you feel like everything is your fault. I can tell you that in education, those not in the trenches have no clue about the clientele we deal with – students and their parents. If we set up a clue stand and sold clues, they’d still have no clue.

I say all of this to say this … I put my health on hold for the sake of my students. I am fortunate that the biopsy came back today and the bone tumour is benign. Word of the day: BENIGN (n) – A growth that is not cancer. So, add that to my plate along with my parents having COVID back in early January, losing my teaching partner – who I miss and am really having a hard time with her not being next door and then having the knowledge of a possible battle ahead – it has been “in the bed by 7.00 pm on school nights exhausting.”

A really important piece of advice from my friend John, “Bryce you are 100% replaceable at work, but you’re not to those who love you.” So, I’ll be taking some time away from my classroom – when needed – after I have this little plum-sized ball of nothing removed from the top of my tibia. And I’ve decided that journaling, blogging – whatever you wanna call this – is good for me because I get things out of my head!

So, what’s something I do to reset? It’s pretty simple … I watch Schitt$ Creek for the bajillioneth time. If you’ve never watched it … get to it! It’s on HULU now and it’s hysterical!

And I watch Katy sing one of my favourites …

Cause baby, you’re a firework …

Thanks for listening … reading — well, you know.

A Bunch of Randomness.

Sometimes, you just don’t have a single thought or plan about what you want to blog about, but eventually it all comes out and usually it’s just a big bunch of randomness. Here’s hoping you don’t fall asleep reading this entry …

So, last week was a hard week. My teaching partner’s last day was on Friday, but I wasn’t able to be there because of a standing doctors appointment. So, our hard ‘goodbye’ was on Thursday. When you teach 5th grade – you have to accept the fact that some people just opt out because of the intensity of that age group.

That was not the case with Lindsey – she was able to finally realise her dream job … and I couldn’t be happier for her + her girls! I think I’m starting to have abandonment issues, but I just cannot see myself teaching any other grade level. It’s safe to say that I’m grieving this ‘loss’ — it’s hard when you lose the people you bond with at school and it will take some time for me to get used to her not being next door.

I’ve been watching a couple of my favourite mystery shows … Miss Scarlet & The Duke on PBS and Vera on BritBox. It’s very rare that I don’t like British murder/mystery shows and these are two of the best! Miss Scarlet is in its Series 3 run — it’s mostly what I would call spot on for the time frame it depicts (1870s London), but some of the forensics they talk about weren’t really a thing until the late 1950s — so, that’s its only flaw.

And then there’s Vera. I stumbled upon this series when it was on Netflix and immediately fell in love with the Ann Cleeves character played by Brenda Blethyn. She’s frumpy, sarcastic and pushy at times! The series has moved from Netflix to AcornTV and now to BritBox (BBC and iTV). We had to wait almost a year and a half for the current series because of the pandemic, but it was worth it!

Often, as I work on my blog, I listen to music … it helps me think. Today, I’m listening to a CD from my way distant past (1998) — it’s a collection of songs from various artists …

1What’s Going On – Cindi Lauper
2Heaven’s What I Feel – Gloria Estefan
3Together Again – Janet Jackson
4Frozen – Madonna
5Kiss The Rain – Billie Myers
6Whatever You Want – Taylor Dayne
7You’re Still The One – Rochelle
8My Heart Will Go On (Love Theme From Titanic) – Deja Vu
9How Do I Live – Debra Michaels
10Carry On – Donna Summer & Giorgio Morodor
11Something To Believe In – Linda Eder
12Never Letting Go – Elsa Raven
13Here We Go Again – Aretha Franklin
14Let Your Soul Be Your Pilot – Sting
15Hopelessly Devoted To You – Ava Cherry
16Could It Be Magic – Barry Manilow

I have been packing for my impending move in April and came across it in my CD collection … it’s an awesome collection of songs and artists that we don’t hear from too often anymore. My favourite track is from Sting — it’s called LET YOUR SOUL BE YOUR PILOT

Just let your soul, be your pilot
Let your soul guide you
He’ll guide you well …

Let your pain, be my sorrow
Let your tears, be my tears too
Let your courage, be my model
That the north you’ll find
That the north you’ll find, will be true
Let your soul be your guide …

Artist: Sting Songwriter: Gordon Matthew Sumner

Often, we tend to ignore our auto-pilot system when we go through a traumatic experience, losing someone – whether it be death or them moving on and we allow it to get the better of us. I’m trying to really embrace this situation and just push forward. For now, I’m in survival mode and I’m trusting my soul pilot.

So, are you still awake? Like I said at the start … a bunch of randomness. But sometimes being random isn’t such a bad thing, right? Hoping everyone has a great week!


… and sometimes.

I’ve been busy on the site, at work and sleeping. So many things have been going on at school and the hardest is losing my teaching partner, Lindsey. She is realising her dream job at weeks end and I am truly happy over the moon, but it is bittersweet.

The solution to her leaving is adding half her students to my class and the other half to our other teaching partner who has been self-contained all year (nightmare and to top that – she’s a first year teacher!).

My anxiety had been relatively under control this school year; however, it’s upped itself with this coming change and I’m hoping I survive it.I tend to have a myriad of responses to “life-changing” events at work — I tend to get very quiet and put my head down to move forward.

I’d say my overwhelming response this time has been to go into survival mode. I’ve counted the days left (yep, it’s way too early for that, but …) of the school year and I’ve made it perfect clear that I’m going to do my best — going from 19 students to 28 — with this major change.

What, exactly, does that mean? It means: I cannot do more than I’ve been doing (which is actually above and beyond) and I will not compromise my peace of mind because of these changes.

I’m sure that sounds selfish; however, if you are or have ever been a classroom teacher to 10 and 11-year-olds … you definitely get it. And whether people like it or not – it is what it is and sometimes, you have to take care of yourself.

How have I been doing that? Working on my site, contemplating how to journal more everyday, sleeping a little more than usual, playing with my puppies above what I normally do, trying new recipes and watching shows that make me laugh … Schitt$ Creek, The Golden Girls, Will & Grace and New Girl.

And … breathing.

Cough. Cough.

Uggghhh. No work this past week on the site. Pollen has been a beast in Tampa Bay – it’s been 20+ years since it has been this high they say. On a scale of 10 – its been averaging 8.5 and that means — if you’re unfaithful with your allergy meds (it’s me, yeah – it’s me) you’re screwed. But here we are, a week later, and I’m sorta kinda feeling better. Maybe? Yes, you’re bored with this … let’s move on to what I did – when I wasn’t guiding 10-11 year-olds all week in search of knowledge in reading and writing …

So, I finally finished S2 of The White Lotus. And :::gulp::: OMG. I never expected the ending and no, I’m not going to ruin it if you’re still watching it, but be prepared. I was happy to for Jennifer Coolidge to win the Golden Globe Best Supporting Actress for her role as Tanya McQuoid – who was the only character that transitioned from S1. At times, I had flashbacks to Legally Blonde – because she seemed to be Paulette, at times … but in this series and especially in the last episode – she went from being this dippy blonde to figuring it all out … Arrivederci.

So, I started – a while back – watching My Life is Murder – a murder mystery comedy drama — that hails from New Zealand with characters from NZ and Australia. I picked it back up during my recoup. I don’t binge series anymore because it ended up making me not wanting to watch anything in the future, but there are exceptions to that rule with Schitt$ Creek being one of them (and if you’ve not watched it — get to Hulu and watch!). Lucy Lawless plays Alexa Crowe – a retired, but not really retired detective who helps Detective Harry Henare review cases that are often ruled one way, but there are lingering doubts. I think what appeals to me is how they’ve woven the personal lives of the characters, with their every day problems and the good moments, into the show with a touch of comedic relief. Most murder mysteries don’t have that element. It’s a good watch if you’re into murder mysteries!

What makes a good leader? I think Simon Sinek says it better than I could ever say it, “Leadership is a choice, it is not a rank. I know many people at the senior most levels of organizations who are absolutely not leaders. They are authorities and we do what they say because they have authority over us, but we would not follow them. And I know many people who are at the bottom of organizations, who have no authority and they are absolutely leaders. And this is because they have chosen to look after the person to the left of them and they have chosen to look after the person to the right of them. This is what a leader is.”

And, that’s about all I have to scribble about today … hope your Saturday is everything you want or need it to be –