My World and Welcome to It!

These are my thoughts and opinions about life in general. I also get daily prompts from DSP which inspire me to write. If I throw in some scrapbook pages I've done, photos I've taken, and stories about me, you will have an idea about my loony life!

Friday, June 30, 2006

Moods Affected by Weather

My moods are easily affected by weather so that could explain my MANY moods!

Spring/Summer moods:
When it is sunny or cloudy and warm, I love to garden. That puts me in a great mood because I feel like I'm getting a lot done and that the results should be beautiful!
When it is sunny and hot, I'm in a pretty lazy but good mood and use it as an excuse to stay in the house and play on my computer.
When it is sunny or cloudy and cool, I am in the mood to hike and see the beauty of the world.
When it is rainy (it doesn't matter if it is cool or hot), I usually feel depressed and bored so I want to lay in bed and read a good book.

Fall/Winter moods:

When it is sunny or cloudy and cool, I am in the mood to hike. I love the crispness in the air which makes me feel excited about the environment.
When it is rainy and cold, I hate to go outside and it makes me feel depressed and sad.

Thursday, June 29, 2006


I love to exercise but it is finding time to do it that is the problem. Of course my favorite exercise is hiking. When we can, my hubby and I go camping and hiking on the weekends if it isn't raining. Now that it is summer, I can go hiking with my hiking club on Wednesdays (they hike on Wed., Sat., and Sun.).

Every morning I get up and walk about 2 miles on my treadmill. On Mon. Wed. (during the school year), and Fri. I add some aerobic exercises to my walking. At first I dreaded those days because they were so hard but now they actually make the time go by faster and the days I just walk are my boring days. Even if we go away on business trips, I try to find the exercise room at the hotel so I can walk on the treadmill. It gives me energy for the day and if I don't walk, I notice I'm not as alert during the day and my back aches.

I have just started to do some yoga in the evenings. I bought this book a few years ago called Yoga for Dummies and I do some of the routines. I go through these phases where I do yoga for awhile and then I don't have time and let it lapse so I'm back to try again. I feel like I'm losing flexibility and I need to relax so since I've enjoyed the yoga exercises, I'm back to trying it again.

I also exercise to try to keep my weight down. I'm really self concious about my weight but I have very little will power. I try to ask my hubby not to buy some stuff but he likes it so he buys it anyway. I just can't seem to resist so I keep exercising to help balance everything out.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Last Time I Laughed Really Hard...

The last time I laughed really hard was this spring. My 2 mentally disabled students were going to the prom thanks to the nursing home where they did volunteer work. Unfortunately no one realized how low functioning these students are so I informed my husband that we were going to dinner and the prom with them. I checked with both sets of parents who were very relieved to hear that we would be there to guide them. The nursing home bought the prom tickets ($65 per couple), bought T. a strapless gown, rented E. a tux, got a $50 gift certificate for dinner at an elegant Italian restaurant, and provided transportation to dinner and the prom. My husband and I met them at the restaurant and we had a lovely time. (The week before, the students and I practiced our fine dining skills in class!)After dinner, we went outside to look for the driver who had not arrived yet. Since T. was cold, my husband slipped his jacket off and put it around her shoulders. We finally went into the glassed in lobby to wait for their ride. When the ride arrived, E. and I ran out to wave the driver down. A few seconds later, my usually calm, unflappable husband came flying out of the lobby and frantically grabbed my arm telling me that I had to get in there right now and help T. I couldn't imagine what could have happened in about 5 seconds but I went inside. There T. was with her boobs out of the top of her strapless gown. Apparently when she gave my husband his jacket, the gown had slipped and she couldn't get it back up unless the gown was unzipped. She had asked my husband to unzip her so she could pull her dress up. He freaked out (especially since he is a judge and could imagine this in the newspaper!) and didn't know how to handle it so he ran out to get me. After I got T. fixed back up and into the car, we got in our car to follow them to the prom. I could not stop laughing all the way to the prom. I was not laughing at T. but at my husband who has never been excitable or unable to handle any situation before this one. I had never seen him this way and it was truly hilarious (to me, but not to him!) I still giggle when I think about it!

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

What Kind of Coffee am I?

You Are an Iced Coffee

At your best, you are: hyper, modern, and athletic

At your worst, you are: cheap and angsty

You drink coffee when: you're out with friends

Your caffeine addiction level: medium

Monday, June 26, 2006

The Story Behind the Name

There are not many things that I've named except my dog, a turtle, and my screen name. I didn't get to name my 2 daughters because they came to me already named!

First I'll start with my dog that we named Caesar. He was a chow and we wanted a regal kind of name but not common like Prince or King so, Caesar it was!

I also had a little turtle we named Bozo. I was diagnosed with fibroid tumors and after a 4 lb. tumor was removed, we told people that I gave birth to a 4 lb. tumor. Of course people wanted to know what we named it so we said Bozo. Then I wanted something to show for this so we bought a tiny turtle at the flea market and named him Bozo. My students loved to play with Bozo and watch him grow. We eventually gave Bozo to a friend who had an outdoor pond and he is doing very well.

As for my screen name, my maiden name was Loon. I hated it when I was growing up because it gave people one more reason to make fun of me. First, I was the only Chinese girl in a school full of whites, blacks, and hispanics. I was also the brainy nerd and not athletic at all. Once the school bully found out my last name was Loon, I was nicknamed Loony. I had that name for almost the last 10 years of school. Then I went on to college, and I mentioned how I didn't like my nickname to one person who decided that is what she would call me and it stuck. Once I became an adult, and got married, it brought back sentimental memories (not all bad) and I was proud of my maiden name instead of being embarrassed by it. I also started hiking which I never did growing up and loved it! So, the very first email address I had to come up with began as Loonyhiker and it has stuck with me ever since. I use it for sending out emails to people in my professional education organization and now everyone recognizes me as Loonyhiker so it has become my trademark. No one knows the information is sent by Pat but if you mention Loonyhiker, everyone smiles and knows exactly who I am. What a nice way to be remembered!

Saturday, June 24, 2006

If My House was in danger, what would I save?

If my house was on fire or about to be blown away in a hurricane, besides my husband, I hope I would take my pocketbook (has my license, checkbook, and credit card in it) and my laptop with me. I have so many sentimental items in the house that I wouldn't know where else to begin. I figure as long as I had my credit card, I could buy any essentials I might need and my laptop is like another part of my body that I just couldn't do without.

Now of course, my house has caught on fire years ago (luckily only ended up with minor burning of a closet and smoke damage), and I'm embarrassed about what I did take out of the house with me. I hope that I learned from this experience and won't repeat what I did. Of course, you never think it will happen to you. Besides making sure my husband was okay, I got my dog out and put him in the car so the firemen could get in the house AND I took my gradebook. I didn't take my computer, pocketbook, money, pictures, jewelry, tax records, or anything else of value. All I can think of is that for many years, I was always told (or brainwashed) that if you lose your gradebook, you will be fired. For 25 years, I have always been able to put my hand on my gradebook at any time. Thank goodness for computers now and my gradebook is on the network at school with many backups. Since then, I have had a plan in my head of what to take if this ever happens again. Boy, my hubby has liked to tease me about it though!

Friday, June 23, 2006

10 Best Things I've Done Since I've Turned 40

I have to say that I've enjoyed life to the fullest so it was hard to narrow this down to 10. Of course these are not listed in any kind of priority.
  1. I've been to China for the first time (30 day tour) and learned alot about my heritage.
  2. I went to Italy for 3 weeks last summer and loved it!
  3. I was named South Carolina Special Ed Teacher of the Year in 2000 and in 2005 I was a runner up for the title again.
  4. This year I was named Teacher of the Year for my school and a Top 10 finalist for my district of almost 5000 teachers. (The winner will be announced in August).
  5. I have traveling around Alaska in a motorhome for a week and then a cruise down the Inside Passage
  6. We've been taking a cruise at least once a year.
  7. I've learned how to do digital scrapbooking!
  8. I've learned more about gardening than I ever thought I would and enjoy my flower gardens.
  9. I left my old job of 11 years and came to a school closer to my home which means I am more involved in my students lives since I live in the same community and this helps me be a better teacher.
  10. Officially retired from teaching as of July 1, 2006, even though I will return for one more year!

Thursday, June 22, 2006

10 Things To Do Before I'm 50

These are 10 things I would like to do before I'm 50 which means that I have about 3 years to do this. I love to travel so you will notice most of these are places that I really want to visit. These are not in any order of priority.
  1. Go to Colorado
  2. Go to Macchu Picchu (ancient Incan ruins in Peru)
  3. Go to Greece
  4. Go to Hawaii
  5. Go to New Zealand
  6. Go to Fiji
  7. Go to Germany
  8. Go to Glacier National Park
  9. Go to Yosemite National Park
  10. Take a train ride across the Canadian Rockies

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

The 5 Senses of Summer

If I didn't have any of my senses anymore, these are what I would think of when I think of summer.

The smells of summer: Honeysuckle in my gardens and galax on the hiking trail (smells like smelly socks)
The sights of summer: flowers blooming and green grass
The sounds of summer: Kids playing baseball at the local park around the block from my house, people working in their yards, people talking as they walk past my house (lots of people take up walking in the summer!)
The touch of summer: sweat rolling off my body as I hike because the humidity is disgusting here
The tastes of summer: watermelon and cantelope (I can taste it just thinking about this!)

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

3 Ways to Compliment Me

I have a hard time with compliment because most of the time I don't really feel that I deserve them. Also, so many people give compliments that aren't sincere and use them mostly as a way for small talk. But if someone was to compliment me, it would mean alot to me if:
1) They compared me to someone that I admire or I feel does a great job! I have an assistant principal who could sell ice to an Eskimo and they would leave smiling and feeling valued. If someone says that I'm a lot like her, I am truly honored.
2) They can actually tell me why they feel they had to compliment me. Sometimes adding the word "because" helps me understand what I'm doing right and I know that this is not an empty compliment.
3) Ask me if they can imitate whatever I did. When I do a lesson in class that is really great and another teacher asks if she can do that in her classroom, I am thrilled.
My other problem is knowing how to respond to compliments. I usually say Thank You but sometimes feel embarrassed because either I don't feel like I deserve it or I feel lik saying thank you doesn't show how much their compliment means to me. Oh well, I'll keep working on that.

PS: I didn't get the pine needles and plants yesterday and I didn't call the Sears man but other than that, I got everything else done on my list!

Monday, June 19, 2006

If I Didn't Leave My House Today...

I would either get a lot of housework done or I would play on my computer all day.

Since I have been on vacation I have had to make a list of things I need to do all day or I don't feel like I accomplish much at all. Today I need to fold 3 loads of laundry, call the plumber, call Sears to get my treadmill oiled, file my bills, return library books, stop at the grocery store, buy 10 more bales of pine needles for my gardens and spread them, buy some plants for my flower pots and plant them, buy a new ink cartridge for my printer, go out to lunch with my husband, buy some new clothes that I need for a trip to Washington DC.

If I stayed home I could fold clothes, file bills, and make phone calls and play on my computer. The rest of the stuff could wait and no one would care except my husband who would eat lunch alone. He really likes to eat lunch with me during the summer.

That's what I love about summer vacation, the freedom to do what I want or not do what I don't want to do! Life is grand!

Sunday, June 18, 2006

A Dinner Party with 5 Famous People

If I had a dinner party and could invite 5 famous people, I would invite:
1. Tim Allen - because I love to watch reruns of Home Improvement and I love his silly sense of humor.
2. Bill Cosby - because he seems so down to earth and realistic and wise.
3. Amy Grant -because I knew her when she attended the same college as me for a year and she was so down to earth and real. I never knew she was famous at the time and she never advertised it. I enjoyed hearing her opinions when I was around her.
4. Kevin Costner - because he is so darn good looking!
5. Martha Stewart - because I would want to know how she has time to do all the things she says she does and I would like to know what she is really like in person.

The Perfect Party

Every year for the past few years, I've had a Chinese New Year's Party. I usually invite my whole hiking club (this invitation is printed in our newsletter and goes out to hundreds) and all of my close friends and family. The way we hold a party is to provide all the paper goods (paper plates, forks, napkins, cups). Everyone who comes brings a dish to share with others and it can be an appetizer, main dish, salad, dessert, or whatever you like best. Everyone brings their own drinks for themselves. This way, there is always enough food and drink for whatever number of people show up because it won't matter if you have 5 or 50 people show up. We have had anywhere from 30 to 150 people show up and had a ball! We start at 7pm and most of the people are gone by 10:00. When people leave, they take their dirty dishes with them and usually during the party, everyone helps take full trash bags out to the can and puts new bags in. Usually 3 or 4 close friends stay until 10:30 or 11pm and help clean up anything that needs to be done, which usually is very minimal. I love holding these parties and look forward to it every year!

My Life as a Teenager

My teenage years were very sheltered even though I was a very spoiled child. My oldest sister who was 24 passed away with lupus at the beginning of my 10th grade year. My parents were devastated so I did my best to be the perfect child. Open rebellion was never an option because I wanted to make it up to them for having to bury a child. I think at the time, it was so traumatic for me that a lot of those years are very hard to remember. My mother did not drive and my father worked nights so I remember that when I got my license I drove my mother to her friend's house and picked her up a lot. I was always expected to be at home before dark if I was out with my friends. My first date was my senior prom which turned out to be a real dud. I had a middle sister who was married with 2 small children and she did her best to run interference for me and help make my life as normal as possible. I studied a lot in order to earn scholarships to go away to college. I felt that was my only way of escaping because I felt so smothered by my parents. I always knew they loved me but as a teenager, I felt they loved me too much. Now that my mother has passed away, I really regret how much I resented that love during those times. If we only knew then what we know now...

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Finding Peace

One of my favorite ways of finding peace is by hiking. Today I joined 5 of my friends (who go hiking every Wednesday) for a hike off the Blue Ridge Parkway. We hiked up to Tennent Mountain and had beautiful views of the mountains all around us. The rhododendron was still blooming as well as some lilies, bluets, mountain laurel, and flame azaleas. It started out foggy and overcast but shortly after we began, the winds blew the clouds and fog away. The sun came out and shined on us the rest of the day. As I looked around I just enjoyed the beauty of it all and I feel so alive but peaceful. I always feel in awe of what God has done and grateful that he takes such good care of me. I think of all the little problems I may have and put them aside because if God can do all this, it makes all my problems seem insignificant. Hiking in this majestic glory puts everything in perspective for me and I am filled with peace.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

My Scrapbooking History

I went on a cruise over Christmas holidays and planned on scrapbooking my pictures from the trip. I have never done any kind of scrapbooking before, paper or digital. When I got home, I printed my pictures, papers, and stencils. I started cutting and got so disgusted, within 2 days, I threw it all in the trash. Then I got online and started researching scrapbooking because I knew I was doing something wrong and ended up hitting a gold mine. I started reading about digital scrapbooking and was very interested. I lurked around a couple of sites and really liked DSP. I used the tutorial and did a layout page on PSP8 which was on my computer already. I kept having problems with it freezing up my computer but then I started reading the forums and heard a lot about PSE. So, I downloaded the trial version of PSE4 and loved it! I believe my first layout was posted on DSP at the end of January. Hubby got a little nervous and asked me to wait a month before I spent any money on my new hobby in case I got bored with it. I was hooked though and used PSE4 every day until two weeks later, I messed with the clock on my computer (I downloaded atomic clock because my clock kept losing time). All of a sudden, PSE4 wouldn't work and said my month trial expired (after only 2 weeks). I went into immediate withdrawal and I think I drove hubby crazy so he rushed me out to Sams where I bought PSE4 on sale for $74. I am totally addicted to DSP and read the forums every day. Somehow I read about NKOTB and joined the new group which was the best experience I had ever had in learning a new hobby. I love doing the challenges too which has really helped in teaching me so much. Today, my hubby just bought me a new 320 gig external hard drive for all my scrapbooking needs. I'm having so much fun!

Monday, June 12, 2006

How I Got Started on Computers

The first computer my husband bought me was a Commodore 64. I remember learning to write programs so we could play games. I thought I was a big shot because no one else I knew had a computer. In fact, people didn't trust them back then (in the dark ages! lol) I remember taking a class on Apple computers through my school district on how to write programs for doing grades on them. Since I took the class I was one of the first ones in my school to get an Apple computer. In fact, I was allowed to take it home during summers which I loved. I got lots of shareware programs for my daughters to play learning games. My first internet computer was a Hewlett Packard that came with a printer from Best Buy. I had just gotten my tubes tied and my first granddaughter was born so hubby thought it was time for me to get a special present. I know some bright students at my school who were really into computers and we had been talking about them for months. One boy, Brian, who was 16 promised to help me if I had any trouble so my hubby agreed to buy one. I set it up on a square card table for a long time! As I started to use it, I wanted new hardware added on and Brian always was able to install it for me. His mom and dad said that he just wanted to play with this but couldn't afford it so he talked me into buying things to give the computer more memory or to make it go faster. He was my computer guru for over 15 years and now he lives in Arizona with his wife but we keep in touch. It is really interesting to see how far I've come from the old Commodore!

Sunday, June 11, 2006

My Other Online Activities

I spend most of my time at DSP but here are other things I do online:

  • I love to read the blogs of my fellow digiscrappers who do these prompts.
  • I spend a lot of time emailing friends and family.
  • I go to the Council for Exceptional Children website a lot because I'm on the national Board of Directors.
  • I do a weekly listserve to people in my state on local, state, and national news and legislation about special education because I'm the state Children and Adolescent Network Coordinator.
  • I am constantly doing research on teaching strategies, lessons, and topics for my class because I want to make learning exciting for them.
  • I like to cruise eBay a lot to see what is being sold and the price they are getting plus the weird and bizarre items being sold.
  • I go to my local newspaper site because I stopped buying the paper.
  • I used to go to the site which is a forum for Appalachian Trail enthusiast but I don't have a lot of time to go there as much as I like.
  • I also like to go the rec.gardens newsgroup to get support for my gardening hobby.
  • For relaxation, I play yahoo games.

Friday, June 09, 2006

Have I Accomplished My Dreams?

I guess I've led a simple focused life because I believe I've accomplished what I've always wanted to do and now I'm at the end of that process. All of my life I've wanted to be a teacher so I was so focused on becoming a teacher, that I think I missed out on some things. I kind of feel guilty when I hear others say what they are doing now is so different than what they started to be because that never was a problem for me. But when I look back on my life, I didn't realize that some of my friends went through hard times and I never knew it at the time. I hear now that they did and I am ashamed that I wasn't there for them when they needed someone. I wanted to become a teacher and my parents couldn't afford it so I had to work on my own to graduate from the most expensive private run university in my state. I sometimes worked 3 jobs at a time and studied in between that I had no time for anybody or anything else in my life. I had set a goal and I was determined to accomplish it no matter what because I felt like so many people were waiting for me to fail. I am now reaching the end of my career and truly feel fulfilled. By being chosen Teacher of the Year, I feel I have accomplished what I had set out to do all of my life. I'm proud of all that I've done and feel that I've made a difference in many student's lives but I truly regret the lack of sensitivity that I must have shown to reach this point. (Now I'm having trouble choosing a new career and answering the questions: "What do you want to be when you grow up?")

Thursday, June 08, 2006

My Favorite Teacher

My favorite teacher was Miss Simms, who was my 3rd grade teacher. I had always wanted to be a teacher and play acted it while I was growing up but she was my idea of the perfect teacher. She really loved us and we knew it. I was always ahead of everyone else in spelling and reading so I remember she gave me lots of enrichment activities to challenge me. I was never bored in her class but the extra work she gave me was fun and not busy work. At every chance she got, she encouraged me to read and broaden my horizons with new vocabulary and reading skills. She was so full of praise for us and made each of us feel like we were the most important thing in the world to her. That is when I just knew I really wanted to be a teacher and would work towards this dream no matter what it took.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

My Favorite Childhood Book

My favorite childhood book was The 500 Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins by Dr. Seuss. I loved that book when I was little because I was amazed that someone could have so many hats. My mother made all of my clothes and we never bought many so I didn't have a lot of choices. The only hat I ever got to wear was usually on Easter Sunday. To me, it symbolized choices. As a young child I felt the world was so fascinating and I wanted to be so many different things. I have shared this book with my own children just for the sake of enjoyment but they didn't seem as enchanted with it as I was. I have shared it with my class and my theory about choices so they responded much better to the book. I have found out that my students love Dr. Seuss books even though they are in high school if I can make it into a learning experience. So, next year, we will be reading Dr. Seuss books for social skills lessons!

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Things I'm Thankful For

Usually every morning I get out my "Blessings" book and write down at least 5 things that I'm thankful for. This is my way of starting the day out in the right frame of mind and it really helps me. There are some main things that I'm thankful for every day and I don't write them down anymore because they are the same each day. I'm thankful for my husband and the love we share. I'm thankful for all my family and friends who are there for me whenever I need them. I'm thankful for my health which enables me to do whatever I want to do. I'm thankful for my ability to teach because I truly love doing it. All of these people and things are what makes me the person I am today.

Monday, June 05, 2006

My Earliest Memory

I remember being about 4 years old and I was playing at my next door neighbor's house. All of a sudden my mother and her mother were in front of the TV crying and wailing which scared us. I remember they were saying things like, "I can't believe he was shot!" They were talking about President John F. Kennedy, which I don't think I found out until years later. But I do remember being there and the crying. I guess I remember that because it scared me since I had never seen my mother upset or crying before. I knew something terrible had happened but I didn't understand what or why.

Saturday, June 03, 2006

My Biggest Fear

My biggest fear is being alone in the dark. When I was little, my teenage cousin would scare me with horror stories in the dark and I think that had a big impact on me. When we are camping, I hate the dark so my husband always starts a campfire for me before it gets dark. At the campground I'm usually up early and wait impatiently for the sun to come up. At home, when a storm is expected, he always reminds me to get my flashlight near the bed and we put out candles in case we need them. Usually we never light the candles but I feel better just knowing they are there if I need them. My parents even bought me this neat flashlight that doesn't need batteries. You kind of pump the handle and it provides the power for the light. We usually go to sleep with the TV on and I set the sleep timer so it cuts off when we are asleep.

Friday, June 02, 2006

If I went back to school...

I want to learn so many new things that I don't know where to start. I would love to take a class on either Dreamweaver or FrontPage to make better web pages. Years ago, I learned html and I use Word to make my pages. I want to learn how to do frames and make interesting web pages. I would also like to take a flower arranging class because I'm in the garden club and some of these ladies really know how to make some dynamite arrangements. I would also like to take classes on Spanish conversation. I had 8 years of French in high school and college but never Spanish. I've taken some short courses in Spanish but I never learn enough to go on to another class and always have to take beginner classes. I want to take a class that will help me take more advanced classes and really use it. I would also like to take courses in tourism or being a travel agent (not to make money, just to help me plan my vacations better!) So much to do and so little time! I feel like the white rabbit in Alice in Wonderland.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Meme of 5

Thanks to Tink, I just got tagged for a meme of 5. (5 questions about myself to put on my blog). I had to think long about these because it is scary sharing these innermost secrets but here they are:

5 things in my fridge:
2 quart size bags of peeled cloves of garlic
diet pepsi
unsweetened ice tea (Hubby is sweet enough!)
milk (eww yuck! Chinese people have trouble digesting milk products)
(The garlic was on sale and hubby can't resist a bargain! We obviously drink lots more than we eat!)

5 items in my closet:
dresses (I teach so what did you expect!?)
extra pillows (you never know when a stranger will come to your door
and need a pillow!)
stuffed pig (don't ask)
power box for alarm system

5 items in my purse:
credit card (I know the number by heart!)
crab leg eating tool (I'm a serious crab leg eater so hubby bought me my own tool! It is stainless steel and has a tiny scoop on one end and a tiny fork on the other)
kleenex (my allergies are always causing my nose to run)
razor blade hidden in plastic key case (never know when one is needed)
memo pad (I think of things I want to research on the internet and jot them down)

5 items in my car:
pink fuzzy dice under front seat that someone gave me as a gag gift
bungee cords for tying things down
loose change (I think they multiply!)
ice scraper (never need it much in SC but if I did, I want to have one)
cassette tapes (my truck is so old it doesn't have a CD player)

5 people to tag:

Thanks for looking! I hope the 5 people I tagged don't kill me!!!

A First for Me!

I had a big First this year as being chosen a candidate for my District Teacher of the Year. It all started in November when I was chosen by my faculty to represent my school as Teacher of the Year for this next school year. Never in my wildest dreams did I ever think I would get this honor. I have been a Special Ed teacher for 25 years in 4 different schools and never even considered the possibility of being chosen. Usually a Special Ed teacher is not chosen because the number of students in our program are small compared to the rest of the school so many may not know the special ed teachers. I was so shocked when I found out that I was one of the top 6 nominees and totally shocked when I had won my school's top honor! As my school's Teacher of the Year, I was expected to fill out the application to be considered the District Teacher of the Year. In April I found out that I am one of the top 10 Teachers of the Year for the district which has almost 5000 teachers and now I'm in the running for the top title. In order for them to choose the winner, I had to be interviewed by the judges, observed teaching, have a lesson videotaped, and have a videotaped interview. The District Teacher of the Year won't be announced until August when we start back to school so I'm really excited! Please keep me in your prayers!