What I Want to be When I Grow Up #sliceoflife


Slice of Life is sponsored every Tuesday by Stacey and Ruth from Two Writing Teachers

My middle school students like to ask me questions. A LOT of questions. From “What’s for lunch today?” to “What’s your favorite book?” to my favorite question so far – “Mrs. Mosher, what’s your favorite decade?” (Obviously that one was really hard to answer. It also caused me a lot of worrying… Just how old do my students think I am? ) One of my favorite questions that I get, usually from 6th graders who don’t know me very well, is “Have you always wanted to be a teacher?” or “Why did you want to become a teacher?” My answer for some reason always surprises them.

Yes, I’ve pretty much ALWAYS wanted to be a teacher. The story of why begins when I was in second grade, which was in fact, a long time ago. So long ago, that sometimes I think that I actually may have unintentionally made it up over the years. Maybe it’s my very own urban legend. While that part of the story is debatable, what’s not is that I really, really liked going to school when I was a kid. I loved reading, music and writing loooong stories. I thought longer meant better, so I would fill up those sheets with the blue and pink lines like it was my job. I loved my second grade teacher, Mrs. Wolf, who was not so scary despite her somewhat scary-to-a- second-grader name. One day, when a few kids had returned to school after being absent, I was given the task of catching them up on reading. I have no recollection of what we read, but I do remember what happened afterwards. Once everyone was caught up and off to do whatever the rest of the class was doing, Mrs. Wolf called me over and  said, “Great job, Lesley. You know, someday you would make a great teacher.” And it was settled. I loved school and now a teacher that I adored thought I would MAKE a good teacher? I was in. So for the next decade or so I planned to become a teacher, only once wavering after a mock trial in 11th grade history class, when I thought being a lawyer would be fun. Thank goodness I got over that pretty quickly. I am one of those rare people who never changed their major and always, always knew that the classroom is where I feel most comfortable and where I am supposed to be.

Fast forward to now. I’m in my 13th year of teaching, and this school year has been both the craziest and best start to a school year that I’ve ever had. I blogged about it here a few days ago and I’m so thankful that my students have embraced our class routines and rituals quickly this year, because personally, I’ve had a rough start and have missed A LOT of school.

I’ve been dealing with an unexpected health issue this fall (I’m doing better now and will be ok) that has caused me a lot of time out of my classroom and a lot of time at home in bed. This is pretty much unheard of for me. During my first four, maybe five years of teaching I never took a sick or personal day. Writing sub plans are a chore and I just don’t like missing school. I have, however, had a lot of time to reflect and think about my teaching while I’ve been away. It’s been quite a blessing in disguise.

First, I’ve been reassured that the classroom is exactly where I’m supposed to be. Every once in awhile I wonder if there is something else out there that I’m really supposed to be doing, and for right now anyway, the answer is no. I am at home in my classroom, sharing my love of reading with my students and helping them find the one book that will change their reading lives forever. While it is not the most glamorous of professions, I honestly couldn’t ask for a better job.

Secondly, I’ve had time to reflect on what makes a great teacher and I keep coming back to – WORDS. It was just one line of positive feedback from my second grade teacher that helped make me who I am today. As teachers, our words have so much impact. Our students take to heart what we say, which can be a very,very scary thing. I am constantly talking to students about the future. “When you get to college” or “When you are an adult” are frequent conversation starters. I want all of my students to have the same passion about their future professions as I have about mine. I need to be their Mrs. Wolf. I need to be their biggest fan, their cheerleader because I can’t assume they already have one. We all know that teaching is not for the faint at heart,  but it’s also, in my opinion, the most rewarding profession out there. An opportunity to make a difference every day. I think it’s pretty cool that I can write that under my job description.

Lesley ♥

Summer Projects and a Bookish Wedding! #sliceoflife


Slice of Life is sponsored every Tuesday by Stacey and Ruth from Two Writing Teachers

With two weeks to go until school starts, I’ve started to reflect on everything I’ve accomplished this summer. It was definitely the busiest summer I have ever had, but also the most rewarding personally and professionally. Here’s a glimpse:

I took two 6 week grad classes to finish the coursework portion of my gifted endorsement. Needless to say this online program has been a whirlwind of information and work, but I’ve learned a lot about differentiation, gifted and talented learners, and have found that a lot of the theory and practice can easily transfer into my reading intervention classes that I currently teach.

I was fortunate enough to take a few trips this summer – my husband and I went to Vegas over the fourth of July weekend to celebrate his 30th birthday and to go to the UFC Fan Fest and big fight. While I am not a huge fan of MMA or the UFC, I have come to appreciate my husband’s excitement and passion for this sport. We had a blast in the 120 degree heat and even got to go to In and Out Burger – which I haven’t had in over 20 years. Well worth the wait! A few days later I drove up to Michigan for nErDcamp and had the most amazing time. I met so many passionate teachers and librarians and have expanded my PLN twofold. It was truly an experience I will never forget. We also went to Oklahoma to see my brother in law graduate from pilot training in the Air Force. It was a whirlwind trip and I found myself fascinated with the military base, ceremonies and everything that came with it.

This summer was all about projects – I did a bunch of cleaning around the house and started getting really organized. My husband and I put all of our things in storage last fall and have been living with my father as full time caregivers. It’s been a blessing that we can be here for him, but it has also made me an organizational freak at times because of the tight space we have in his home. Another highlight this summer is that my mother in law was very gracious and let me have full rein of her garden this summer, and while it was my first gardening experience, we’ve had some successes – jalapeños, cilantro and cherry tomatoes all summer, 6 cucumbers on the way, and this week we will have more onions then we know what to do with. My Roma tomatoes have been very finicky as of late, so I am trying to be patient and just wait for 30+ of them to ripen.

I also (obviously) finally started a blog. I’ve been wanting to do this for about two years, but had no clue where to start or what to do. While I consider myself pretty comfortable with technology, starting a blog was a HUGE undertaking. I have spent countless hours looking at other blogs out there and tinkering with my own. After almost three months I can say this – blogging is fun and I love connecting with others this way. I’ve been able to fuse two of my favorite loves – technology and reading and am excited to see where this blog goes. It’s always a work in progress and I like that. Kind of a good metaphor for life, don’t you think?

The last project of the summer was to tackle our wedding pictures. In June we were given almost 1,000 pictures by our photographer to keep and do whatever we wanted with. Yep, this was the project I was dreading through June and July. When I finally ran out of projects to do, I sucked it up and started our photo album. I knew that I didn’t want to use a traditional photo site for our book, and ended up using Artifact Uprising who use recycled materials and whose projects just have a really cool vibe to them. It took me a total of 10 hours to complete 150 pages of our photos, and it was so fun to go through them again.

I met my husband in the spring of 2009 through a coworker. We then saw each other sporadically, and started dating in the fall of 2010. We are true examples of how opposites attract, but have found a lot of common ground since we started dating. You know you’ve found the one for you when your partner doesn’t mind your book buying, book piles and, “Just one more chapter!”. We got married in March, 3-23-13, to be exact, and I knew from the start, that I really wanted to incorporate my love of books into our wedding decor. Anyone that has ever met me knows that I am an avid reader. It is a part of who I am just as being a daughter and teacher are a part of me, too. So I bought a box of interesting looking books online and hoped everything would come together. We had a very small ceremony at church and a large reception at a warehouse venue. I loved finding these pictures of “my bookish” wedding on the DVDs and I am so glad I decided to go for it and use them at my wedding.

The warehouse and a few of our “bookish” centerpieces.




Two of my favorite pictures of us. Love this handsome guy!


I can’t wait to get our wedding album in the mail. Getting married to your soul mate while surrounded by your loved ones is a very powerful thing. This year my students will only know me as Mrs. Mosher, and truth be told, I still kind of grin anytime someone says it. I’ve been looking forward to sharing my love of books with my classes and helping them tell their stories since school got out in June. It’s going to be a great school year!

Lesley ♥