Thursday, February 12, 2009

We Heart Ms. Ashby

Today, Blaine and I, along with Samantha and Walker Wigand, surprised 2nd grade teacher Ms. Ashby with a camera crew visit to her room! We, along with several other scales parents, nominated her for the county's Teacher Feature because we love her so! And she won! Here are some photos and copies of our letters. Thank you Ms. Ashby for being such a great teacher! And Congrats!

Good teachers are appreciated by parents; great teachers are also liked by students; Exceptional teachers are loved by parents and students. Miss Sarah Ashby is one of those truly exceptional teachers.

The students and parents of Ms. Sarah Ashby’s 2nd grade classroom at Scales Elementary wholeheartedly and enthusiastically nominate her for the Teacher Feature Award. The reasons are numerous, but undoubtedly the most important reasons come from her students:

“Ms. Ashby is the best teacher ever. She teaches us how to write better. She taught us how to retell and that a reader’s most important job is to understand the story. She lets us play math games which help us learn.” –Blaine Warmbrod

“I like reading now; Ms. Ashby makes it fun!” -Walker Wigand

Ms. Ashby has an infectious passion for education that permeates her classroom and is carried by her students into their homes. From the classroom to the homework to the promptly returned email, it is immediately evident that each of Ms. Ashby’s students is important to her, not just as a student but as a young person with interesting ideas and important feelings. Students are contributors, not just sponges meant to absorb, making her classroom a vibrant, exciting place to be. For Ms. Ashby teaching is beyond a job or even a calling—it is her joy. And her 2nd grade class feels fortunate be part of that.
In closing, a few words from parents:
“She truly makes every child feel that he or she is special and has something special to offer.”
-Nancy Tirrill
“While many blessed hands have laid the foundation, the desire to read has come alive under the techniques and style of Ms. Ashby. There is an environment of comfort, support, and equalization in her classroom. When a child chooses a book over a TV that is success!”
-Beth Mangrum

“What did you do at school today?”

Since my 7 year old, Blaine, joined Ms. Ashby’s second grade class room, the response to this probing question is now routinely delivered with enthusiasm and vivid detail. This year, Blaine has learned to share his reading experiences through retelling, and this skill has carried over into our daily conversations. He is inspired by Ms. Ashby, who enthusiastically approaches her days in the classroom armed with a love of reading and learning. In turn, she inspires her students to approach learning and sharing their experiences with equal zeal.

Under Ms. Ashby’s instruction, my son has moved from simply reading the words on a page to devouring a storyline. Blaine has always enjoyed reading, but there is sheer joy in the experience now. I honestly never knew that a love for reading and learning could be cultivated at such a level with second graders and in the first nine weeks.

“Mom, I have already laughed more in Ms. Ashby’s class this year than I did during the whole year in first grade!”
During his first six weeks in Ms. Ashby’s second grade classroom, Blaine shared this thought with me. I already knew that he was responding to Ms. Ashby’s teaching style, but I was thrilled to hear from him just how much he was enjoying it along the way.

I am pleased to recommend Ms. Ashby for the outstanding teacher award, and I want her to know that she gives her students gifts will linger for a lifetime.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Before and After- the Hair Journey

Okay, so as of mid January, my full head of natural hair color is exposted. Going from bottle brown to naturale has been a long process, but it hasn't been as hard as I had expected. This process required a huge wardrobe adjustment- I am still mourning the loss of earth tones cashmere sweaters and gold jewelry. For now, though, I am just happy to not be 'in the chair' at the salon every four to six weeks. Thanks to all of those who helped me navigate the transition and endured my insecurities along the way!

Here's the before and have a little fun with it, you can vote using the polling tool on the right hand side of the screen- so humor me, would ya?

BEFORE- 2 years ago- bottle brown, compliments of Clairol #36

AFTER- embracing the gray, just a few months shy of my 35th birthday...

Wedding 1996

Now that I think about it, my wedding was the last time I was photographed with my natural hair color, so here's the video- there's a little bit of hair history in the slideshow at the end.... and isn't Tommy just the cutest ever? I love this video because it's just the two of us focused on each other- without kids to interrupt.