Back to the Classroom!

It’s been more than 7 years since I have been in a classroom teaching, but here I go again! Starting this Fall, actually starting way back in May, I will be the new 3 year old teacher at Annunciation Strong Start Early Learning Academy! Many of you know this all ready, but I’m posting more-so because of all the work I forgot there was to teaching!

I have a feeling non-teachers think that we just show up in a classroom and have everything at our fingertips. Or it’s all inside secret manuals that tell us what needs to be done each day in order to have a successful year. While there are manuals out there, that is not always the best way to prepare for your students to ensure their success in your class. It goes way beyond that to make an interesting, inspiring, engaging classroom environment and most of the time – you don’t even know who is in your class yet!!

For the past two months I have been thrust back into reading through State Standards, thinking up activities, going on Pinterest (A LOT!!! Thank GOD for Pinterest!!), selecting themes for the ENTIRE year, writing lesson plans, planning an organizational structure, planning classroom management, shopping for things I think I’ll need, and going through all our girls’ toys in our basement (and garage sales) to see what we can use in our room.

The classroom I’m going into is brand new and had to be built from scratch. There was no walking into a ready-made room and only have to follow what someone else had done. I’ve had to construct my own curriculum for teaching this class and it has been so much fun! This is what I went to school for and I am so extremely thankful that these people have faith in my ability to succeed. I honestly have felt like I was back in college with all the construction I’ve been doing for this class.

At the same time, I am really nervous! When you walk into a room that has all ready been successful, you may find things you want to change but have the opportunity to keep the things that are all ready in place that work. Here, it will be trial and error until we get it right. I have a wonderful aide who will be working with me and I am sure that together we will have many successes, I just hope it’s a short road to get there! Plus, it’s somehow already August!! There’s only a month and a few days until it is really here and I will be teaching again!

I know I’ve been doing a lot of work so far to prepare for the upcoming school year, but I hope I’ve done enough to truly be ready. This is the very first school experience many of these little ones will have had and I want it to be a positive one. Only time will tell, however and I can’t wait to see how it all turns out!

New year, new role at the East Aurora Co-op

As was recently announced to our membership, I have taken on the EACM logorole of President of the Board of Directors of the East Aurora Cooperative Market.  While it’s certainly not what I expected to have happen when joining the Board last year, I’m looking forward to guiding the group through the next few critical months as we move from finalizing our financing, through construction, to finally having an open store we can all be proud of and enjoy shopping in.  Outgoing President, Mary Aiken, has done a tremendous job in leading the co-op through the capital campaign process and we are all grateful for the countless hours she invested in making sure this project is successful.

If you happen to be considering running for one of three Board seats up for election this year, there are two Meet the Board events coming up that are opportunities to come and ask questions and find out what being a Board member entails:

  • Aurora Brew Works 191 Main Street, East Aurora Tuesday, January 27 from 6:00-8:00 pm
  • Taste 634 Main Street, East Aurora Wednesday, February 4 from 6:00-8:00 pm

Kindly RSVP to We hope to see you there!

For further questions or more information, including a Board Member Candidate Packet and Application, contact us at  Completed applications are due by February 27, 2015.

It’s an exciting time to be part of the East Aurora Co-op.  I’m excited about the challenges it will bring and the rewards we all will reap when the doors open later this year!

The 2014 Christmas Card

Happy holidays to everyone!  2014 was a family and fun-filled year.  Amanda’s parents took the whole family on a trip to the Outer Banks (counterclockwise from top left – photos 1, 5, & 6).  We made a quick stop in Lancaster, PA and Hershey on the way home (photo 8).  My sister (photo 2) and my brother (photo 3) both got married, and the latter got us to Las Vegas for the first time.  There was the annual Watkins Glen camping trip (photos 4 & 7) and my parents like to drive down and hike the gorge with us.  We also squeezed in a fall trip to Letchworth (center) between all the school activities, dancing, Girl Scouts, and other stuff that keeps us busy.

Christmas Card 2014

Happy holidays from us, and have a great 2015!

Derek and Amanda got married. Moved to the country. Had a couple of kids.