New Kids on the Block

I know. It’s been a long time since I’ve written.

Y’all…I’m tired. It’s been one of those years. The dreaded ones. The ones where you feel like you’re running in quicksand. You’re making all the moves but not going anywhere.

Exhausted doesn’t even begin to describe my mental state by 3:00 PM. Decisions, decisions, and more decisions. All. Day. Long. Who has accommodations? Is the speech-to-text going to work on the computer today? Remember to make sure your kids have their graphic organizers, fidget box, commonly misspelled word list, grammar and spelling rules, and oh, a sharpened pencil WITH AN ERASER. *Intercom* Mrs. Shook, Kid A is going to be a car rider today. And Kid B is going home right after specials so please send said kid with his backpack.

Seriously. And it’s like a hundred million things every day. And I’m tired.

Yeah. That’s been me this year. It’s a tough one. For lots of reasons…but to keep this from turning into a giant snooze fest, I won’t list them. You’re welcome. 😉

In the meantime, our son broke his arm right where his forearm connects to the elbow. Luckily, he only had to wear a splint for two weeks, and now it’s just in a sling. But sheesh! One more thing to worry about…a 6 year old 100% boy with a broken arm in a sling. Yep.

Stress: 1     Me:0

And we’ve had to start new inhalers and breathing treatments and allergy meds. Keeping up with all of that is definitely not my gift.

Stress: 2     Me:0

We have also been settling into our new home. The process just seems to drag out. But I guess that *might* be because I’ve been watching too much Netflix and ignoring the boxes that are piled in the garage. Oops.

Netflix:25    Me:0


I’m still here. And things are starting to get easier. Hopefully I can do more than sit around and eat Halloween candy (or whatever the nearest holiday is…) and binge watch shows on Netflix…anything that doesn’t take thinking.

I’ve been working on some new things. This group has required me to think on my feet and go with what they need. I’ve been playing with using mentor sentences and paragraphs (rather than full texts like I’ve been using) to introduce grammar content while marrying it with strategies I love from Gretchen.

And I’m really liking it. I’ll be writing a blog post soon about how we are changing our writing instruction to meet the needs of the kids. Because…you know…they won’t get better if you don’t meet them where they are, right?

So that’s coming soon.

I promise to not wait so long before blogging again. Several of you have messaged me or reached out on social media. If you aren’t following on Fb, you should hop over and join the fun. I post there much more frequently, and you are welcome to send me a message there if you have a question. Sometimes that’s easier than email!

Thanks for following along. I hope your year has been awesome.

In the spirit of thinking on your feet…who else is in the same boat? Have you tried something new that you think is working really well? Please share!! We would all love some fresh ideas!

Until next time…





  1. stacy sauerwein says:

    I am sorry to hear about all this, BUT I am also relieved to know that there is someone else experiencing the same thing I am. I thought I was all alone. Thank you, SOOO much for sharing your ups and downs and for being a REAL teacher.
    Best wishing to you and please know, we ARE IN THIS TOGETHER!
    I admire you and value all that you share.

  2. Evangeline Martinez says:

    Hey Mrs. Shook sorry about your sons arm and about the kids it will get better I remember my class being difficult too. But we got better I know they will too.I miss you lots.-Evangeline Martinez
    (your all-time favorite😉)

  3. Super random and totally not what this post is about…BUT I noticed you said you have a speech-to-text program. I’m in the middle of writing a grant, and this is something I’m wanting to include. Do you have a recommendation for a specific program?

    Thank you! :)

    • Kayla Shook says:

      Hi, Randa! We just use the built-in system on our Mac computers. They just have to have headphones/earphones with a microphone built into them, and then turn on the speech-to-text feature in Microsoft word. That’s all we do! :)

      • Good to know! I’m seeing all these super expensive programs and was wondering if just the plain old microphone would do the trick!

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