Author Archives: Jennifer Floyd, Ed.D.

About Jennifer Floyd, Ed.D.

I am a K-5 Reading Specialist in Virginia. I received my doctorate in reading education from the University of Virginia in 2016. I am passionate about literacy!

Sitting in a parking lot #sol21

I just finished writing a paper for my Educational Leadership class, so I initially struggled a bit with writing tonight’s blog post. My brain feels slightly fried, especially since this paper is one that I’ve been immersed in for nearly a week. However, a short trip to the grocery store ended up providing me with some ideas.

I rode with Mom to the grocery store and since she was just getting a few items, I stayed in the car. Normally, I would grab my phone and either check my email or read with my Kindle app, but something stopped me from reaching for it. Instead, I sat there quietly, watching everything around me. There was a man washing windows at Harbor Freight. It was almost hypnotic watching the motions. Then, there was the older man with the antique truck (and I just realized that what is now considered an antique truck is the type of truck popular when I was a child!). He proudly showed off his truck to a man and lady who had exited the grocery store. I couldn’t decide if the older man knew this couple or if they just wanted to show their appreciation for the vehicle.

I saw one family with two precious little girls, one riding in the race car section of the grocery cart. Most of the people going in and out, though were individuals and not part of a group. Most people had only a few items in their carts, if they even had a cart at all.

Whenever I glanced in the rearview mirror, the sign for the new Italian restaurant seemed to grab my attention. Thinking of the Lemoncillo cake, I almost sprinted across the parking lot to grab a slice (and maybe a Stromboli, too). I’d already had supper, but…

When I saw Mom leaving the store, I breathed a sigh of relief. The Italian restaurant’s siren song would have to tempt me on another day. She slipped into the car and we headed home.

Thoughts on hunting season #sol21

Archery season began here in Virginia on Saturday, October 2nd. Mike, an avid outdoorsman, was so excited for the beginning of the season. While he hasn’t harvested a deer, yet, he has enjoyed the time in the woods.

With the commencement of the season comes a barrage of memes and jokes and cartoons about women being “hunting widows” and putting relationships on pause until January. While I get the attempt to make jokes, these things bother me. I want to support Mike’s hobbies just as he supports mine. For example, when I’ve joined the Time to Write groups during our relationship, he has been nothing but supportive. He doesn’t feel like a “writing widower,” but has cooked and served dinner on my writing group nights before then cleaning up the kitchen while I’m writing. I could go on and on about how he’s supported and encouraged my hobbies. So, why wouldn’t I do the same? Plus, I know that this time in the woods allows him to relax and recharge his batteries. While he loves to harvest a deer (and I love to eat the results of his hunting excursions), he appreciates the quiet, reflective time. He also still makes time for the two of us and I have never felt slighted, but know that I am still a priority. We spend time together in the evenings after the hunt and all year-round.

So, instead of trying to make Mike feel guilty about his time in the woods, I am proud to support him. I love to send him encouraging texts and leave notes in his hunting bag. I’m the first to give him a pep talk when the season’s not going well and I’m also the first to cheer when he is successful. And, when he heads out the door, bow in hand, I curl up in my favorite chair with a good book and enjoy my own relaxing time! Now, it’s time to enjoy a perfectly cooked piece of venison!

An Unintended Nap #sol21

I had my iPad out and was planning to blog after I did one more pass through of the paper due for tomorrow night’s class. I also needed to finish reading a chapter for class. But, I was really tired and leaned back in the recliner and closed my eyes. I intended to sit there with my eyes closed for just a few minutes, but somehow those few minutes ended up being about two hours. I woke up, slightly groggy, wondering how that happened. I had a crick in my neck and my contacts felt as though they were glued to my eyeballs.

It took a few minutes to fully wake up and once I did, I grabbed my iPad, ready to write. I was also ready for a snack!

It finally happened…teaching a former student’s child! #sol21

It finally happened. I’m now teaching the child of a former student. While I knew that was going to happen, especially now as many years as I’ve been teaching, it’s still a jolt to realize that this sweet little kindergartener’s mom was once in this very classroom as a student!

Where has the time gone? It really hasn’t been that many years since this child’s mom was in my class, has it? But once I started thinking about it, K’s mom was in one of my earlier groups of kids and came to me later in elementary school. She’s well into her twenties now! No way!

Other teacher friends have laughed about teaching the children (and even grandchildren!) of former students and I listened, but that seemed so far away for me. Time has caught up with me now, though, and I can tell my own stories! Welcome to the club!

Thankful For Classical Music #sol21

I’m taking my first Educational Leadership class, which is also the first class that I’ve taken since the spring of 2015. I’m writing my first papers for the class and sweating over every line. I’ve questioned everything about the words that I committed to the pages. I’ve agonized over ideas, many of which are new to me. I’ve researched, taken notes, and researched again. Through it all, I’ve whined a little (okay, probably more than a little). My family has patiently listened to me and encouraged me. They reminded me that I could and would complete these tasks. Mike stopped my drift into an attack of imposter syndrom

The papers are due by class time tomorrow night. I am determined to finish tonight (and before midnight at that). When I feel stressed, classical music is my go-to. As I read what seemed to be the millionth draft, I grabbed my headphones, cranked on Amazon Music, and allowed myself to be swept away by the music. Before long, I could feel myself relax. I felt a burst of energy and now, as of 9:15, I’m only a matter of a closing paragraph away from being finished (I did take a short break to draft this slice). The finish line is in sight and I am so thankful for the music that relaxed me!

The kids keep me on my toes! #sol21

I picked up my group of three first grade boys this afternoon. They’re an energetic little group with fun personalities. I worked with all three in kindergarten and often had to muffle a chuckle or hide a grin behind my hand at some of our conversations. Today was no different.

K, who is an incredibly observant child, stopped what he was doing to ask me, “Why do you wear the same thing every day?” He’s right—my wardrobe really doesn’t deviate because it’s a lot easier when getting dressed in the morning if there are not so many options. I didn’t realize that my kids, especially a first grader, noticed my wardrobe!

Then, a second grader reminded me yet again about how much sanitizer was just enough. I apparently have a habit of squirting too much sanitizer and she wanted to demonstrate the appropriate amount. She was very sweet with her reminder and I do tend to go overboard with the sanitizer:)

Random Thoughts About The Day #sol21

The best part of my day…chatting about deer with my new student, B. B loves everything outdoors and it’s given me a way to connect with him thanks to my significant other, who’s an avid outdoorsman.

Something that has surprised me…I’ve been watching NBA Summer League games and NFL Preseason games to see some of my favorite UVa players. I don’t typically watch or follow either, but Mamadi Diakite, Kyle Guy, and Bryce Perkins were playing and it was awesome to see them again!

Something that didn’t surprise me…It is incredibly hot outside. We did a fire drill this afternoon and the temperature is in the 90s. The weatherman was really depressing this morning!

Something that made me laugh…The neighbor’s cat who thinks my house is his second home. He tries to sneak in whenever the door is cracked open even the least little bit.

Something that I’m looking forward to…I can’t wait to go home and rest. I woke up at 3:30 this morning with an earache and couldn’t go back to sleep.

Something that I’m nervous about…I’m starting a program that will (hopefully) lead to a certificate in Educational Leadership. I haven’t taken a class in a long time (Maybe spring of 2015?)

Something that surprised me…I didn’t finish all of my McDonald’s iced tea this morning! That never happens.

Something that warmed my heart…I watched our amazing SLP comfort a student who was scared during today’s fire drill. She has such an amazing way with our kids!

Amazon’s Recommendations Can Be Interesting! #sol21

Right before Mike, my significant other, had a birthday, he mentioned wanting to read one of Steven Rinella’s books. He enjoys watching MeatEater, one of Steven Rinella’s outdoor shows, and decided he wanted to check out his book, The MeatEater Guide to Wilderness Skills and Survival. He didn’t know it, but as he talked about this book, I was in the process of searching for and ordering it on Amazon. He was excited to dive in to the book and has shared several passages from it with me.

Ever since I ordered the book, though, Amazon has decided that they need to recommend outdoor books for me. Now, I enjoy listening to Mike’s stories about hunting and the outdoors and I love watching the animals that show up on his trail cameras, but when it comes to reading, I love my historical fiction and nonfiction books.

My recommendations now include The Trapper’s Bible, the U.S. Air Force Survival Handbook, American Buffalo: The Search For An American Icon (also by Steven Rinella), and The Scavenger’s Guide to Haute Cuisine (I kid you not-that’s the actual title). While I am not going to give up books like Seabiscuit: An American Legend or Word By Word: The Secret Life of Dictionaries, at least I’ll have some other ideas of books that Mike might enjoy. I do hope, though, that The Scavenger’s Guide to Haute Cuisine is maybe one that we can skip over!

Before that…#sol21

I am sitting in a cool, air conditioned room, relaxing and thinking about the pie in the refrigerator. I need to stop thinking about the pie in the refrigerator.

Before that, I worked on a presentation about family literacy.

Before that, I ate supper. Mike and I had both had long, busy days, so we stopped for fast food on the way to his house.

Before that, I spent some time with my Mom and my grandmother after I got home from school.

Before that, I attended a zoom meeting to work on plans for the 2022 VSLA conference.

Before that, I attended meetings to review IEP information for students in each grade.

Before that, I ate a quick lunch. I really need to stock up my snack drawer because there’s not much in there!

Before that, I worked on some paperwork and made some progress!

Before that, I worked on unloading the last couple of totes. My classroom is starting to take shape!

Before that, I reviewed my to-do list and was excited to see a bunch of checks!

Before that, I arrived at school. It’s a beautiful, sunny day!

Before that I ate breakfast and headed to school, ready to start Day 2!