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11/01 Direct Link
The only people that can relate to a teacher are other teachers. We can talk about the events of the day and gripe about all of ridiculousness we deal with, but if you haven't walked in a teacher's shoes, you can't understand. Could a nonteacher really understand our frustrations with the lack of resource room support and noncompliant kids? Could someone other than a teacher get our frustration with the never ending list of demands? SOmetimes I wonder why I chose this for myself, then I see the kids and I remember. We do all of this for the kids.
11/02 Direct Link
Are we really protected? We have to make spur of the moment decisions everyday day for the good and the bad. More often than we'd like to admit, things in a classroom can be ugly. Kids aren't all well-behaved angels. When the ugly side of education is inevitable, why are we the bad guys? When did teachers become these vicious monsters that only want to make life tough for parents? Why are we seen that way? Can't they see that most of us are doing our best? Can't they see that we have pure intentions because we honestly do...
11/03 Direct Link
I have never successfully kept a journal and I'm not much of a writer... I would rather be reading then reliving the events of the day. My evaluation of the day is that it's Saturday! I don't have to be a teacher today. Today I get to be a mom--my favorite job. My youngest is struggling with sprouting teeth. I feel so bad for him. My oldest is eating chips for dinner. Nutritious, I know. If those are the biggest woes of the day, I'd say that today was a success, especially since grading and lesson plans were't involved.
11/04 Direct Link
I'm tired, but I know once I fall asleep I have to wake up and deal with the madness I left behind on Friday. I wish could brush things off quickly and not care what anyone else thinks. Unfortunately, I am constantly second guessing decisions I've made regardless of whether I was right or wrong. I know I wasn't wrong... I know that everything I said and did was absolutely correct and necessary. So what if I threw someone under that big yellow bus! If it's necessary, it's ok. But if I am right, why do I feel so bad?
11/05 Direct Link
It's difficult to stay professional in a "professional" setting. Sometimes words just come out and you can't take them back. Sometimes you can't bring yourself to press unsend. We are all allowed to have small tantrums...as long as they aren't frequent. In the end, my lesson has been learned. I won't lash out when I get really angry, no matter how appropriate and IF I DO, I will make sure not do it via email. We're human. Mistakes are in our nature. I'll take my warning and do better next time.My slap on the wrist has been noted!
11/06 Direct Link
Well, I did it. I swallowed my pride and did what I knew was right...apologized. Why is that difficult for us to do? Saying the words are easy. It should not be feared. It's rejuvenating and humbling. I have learned an important lesson. It never matters if I'm right or wrong. Things will happen that cause both of those truths. What matters is how I handle each situation. I'm going to take a line from ol' Dr. Seuss...I need to remember that people are people no matter how (right or wrong). I'll try to remember that next time.
11/07 Direct Link
What is it about chicken noode soup that makes you feel so good? I know that there is some scientific explanation for it making you feel better, but there is something else about it that makes you feel instant relief. I want nothing to do with chicken noodle soup on normal days. I don't even crave chilken noodle soup on stormy days. It doesn't taste particularly good, but it is a warm comfort when you feel like junk. The other interesting attribute of chicken noodle soup is that everyone has a similiar recipe, but your grandma's is always the best.
11/08 Direct Link
I want to take a sick day! I have the time to take a sick day, but I can't bring myself to do it. Planning for a sub is painful. It takes me forever to write up a detailed plan. It is often easier just to work. While I am truly not feeling well, I mostly would just like a day to myself to relax and maybe get my nails done and watch something other than Disney Jr. Is it selfish to hope I feel like crap in the morning? I'm not sure I care if it's selfish. It's necessary.
11/09 Direct Link
WHOO HOO! THREE DAY WEEKEND! Every day there is something to do. The weekend comes and goes so dang fast that you are barely able to relax. Every once in a while we are graced with a three day weekend. Ahh...three mornings to sleep in, an extra night to stay up late, and an extra day to get through the piles of crap that I have neglected because there isn't enough time in a week to get things done. I left all of my ungraded work in my classroom and am falling into family mode. Mt students can wait!
11/10 Direct Link
I have never worked at a restaurant before. I have no idea how seating goes. My husband and I went on a nice little kids free date and we went to a restaurant that we have gone to several times, all of those times were without reservations. Tonight we did the same old thing, but we were told that we'd have to eat at the bar or wait until 7:30. We decided to eat at the bar, not wanting to wait 2 hours. There were about 10 open tables the whole time we were there. Am I missing something?
11/11 Direct Link
Two year olds and shopping, need I say more? We do our best to get out with our kids. We don't want to avoid public just because our little ones don't always listen. We take our chances and hope that the public tantrums are minimal. Today they were in full swing. My oldest was that kid that you roll your eyes at in the store. He was laying on the floor screaming with his back arched. I'm a spanker, but hesitate in public. Would I be a terrible parent if I started slipping him M&Ms to avoid the scream?
11/12 Direct Link
I don't remember the agony of getting teeth. I was obviously a grouchy little monster, but I can image how painful it is. My little boy does nothing but screech at night. Those stupid little suckers peak out then get sucked back in. If it is frustrating for me, it must be infuriating for my tolerant eight month old. I don't want to keep pumping him full of pain medicine, but when he is flopping around like a fish out of water screaming and pulling my hair, what other choice do I have? Oh well, 3 down, 25 to go!
11/13 Direct Link
I'm still trying to figure out how to tackle the low achievement at my school. I am baffled that I came from teaching in a "more difficult" area and those kids were out performing the kids I have now. I look at the stupid data every day and the anxiety strikes. If I do my job then I have nothing to worry about. Now the data is displayed in the hallway so I'm teaching to the stupid test so my data improves and I can prove myself at this school, but fifty percent of my class is below grade-level!
11/14 Direct Link
I understand that we (society) need to stay competitive with the rest of the world and I understand that my school district is in academic turmoil, but teachers are being forced to reach and surpass unrealistic expectations. I suppose they aren't exactly unrealistic, but the conditions that we are being placed in are ridiculous. Our classrooms are packed, our paper supply is scarce and we get "new" everything, every year. I know it often feels like I'm ranting and if I hate my job so much, why not shut up and quit. Truth, I love my job, I'm just tired!
11/15 Direct Link
I did a little experiment with my fourth graders for the past few weeks. I have noticed that they are very bright kids, but they are just the worst test takers. They know the content, but due to laziness and lack of motivation (probably due to constant failure) they bomb everything. Well, I decided to do what many teachers cringe to do...I taught them how to take a test! I made them take their end of the week, weekly test on Monday without having read the story and using the book as a tool. You won't believe what happened.
11/16 Direct Link
Well, the first time my students took the test as a cold read, they were angry and hesitant. I told them I knew it was uncomfortable but I wanted them to trust me. As you can imagine, they bombed again. After I graded it, I passed it back and we talked about The scores. We discussed what they could have done differently and what strategies could have helped. I sat back and monitored the discussion, but the kids did all the talking. For the first time they actually cared about it and wanted to learn how to do it right.
11/17 Direct Link
A few weeks have passed with my Monday morning testing experiment and I'm feeling relieved. They have finally become conscious of what they're doing when they are taking a test. They are making small changes and are hunting for answers. I don't know if what I have turned the stories and tests into is ok. I honestly don't care...they are high fiving each other and see their own growth. I still teach they skills and give them GOOD literature to read. We shall see if I get called on the carpet for this. The data will speak for itself.
11/18 Direct Link
Everyone has had a bad haircut. Usually, we have our mothers to thank for that. My boys had their first bad hair cuts today by me and my husband. They have a lot of hair and we decided to do a number four all the way around. Well, they both ended up with bowl cuts, due to the thickness of their locks. We tried to fade it and went from a four to a one. Needless to say, there was laughing, crying, and bald spots. Being 2 and 7 months beats being a 10 year old girl with a mullet!
11/19 Direct Link
Normal day, not too bad... The kids were chatty and sluggish. They weren't bad, they were just on cruise control. I tik that we are all just ready to be on. Little break. I know that teachers are working rampantly and for the most part, the kids are too. It weird to have to go on as usually when everyone is anticipating the long weekend. I made sure to make the work load less intrusive than usual, not only for my sanity, but for theirs as well. We did some story telling and a lot of discussion.. It was great.
11/20 Direct Link
Yay, It's my Friday. I'm having lunch and waiting a few more hours before I have to board a plan with two baby boys and take off to LAX before jumping on another flight to Indiana. I've never been that far East and I've never been on a plane with my children. I'm not to hopeful that it will be easy. I've heard horror stories so I'm not blind to what is to come and my expectations aren't very high. We will be flying on a red eye with they hope that they will sleep. Only time will tell.
11/21 Direct Link
Well, we made it to Indiana. I was sure that my husband was going to fling himself off of the airplane wing. Traveling on a plane with two babies is more than just a bad idea. It is idiotic. Did they sleep? No. Did they scream? No. Screaming would be an understatement. I have seen movies where kids are crying on airplanes and people are annoyed... I thought, "it shouldn't be that bad." I was so wrong. If anyone that was on my flit is reading this. I'm sorry and I know... what else could we have done! It's life.
11/22 Direct Link
No turkey catastrophes yet. No broken dishes or family drama. No awkwardness. I'm with the in-laws this holiday. I guess that gives me a free pass to sit back and watch the mayhem unfold. It's bound to happen. It wouldn't be a holiday without little tiffs and spats. It's what makes things memorable! Indiana is beautiful. It isn't home, but its nice. Funny fact: my husband was at the airport and tried to order a drink while waiting for our next fight without leaving my and the boys. In Vegas it's normal... Welcome to the rest of the US.
11/23 Direct Link
Black Friday. It amazing that the retail stores don't have the patience to wait for Friday anymore. I went out last night at eight and was done in an hour and a half! It's interesting. I'm from a big city that has to be number one in customer service. Apparently Rochester, Indiana didn't get the "be nice to your customers" memo. The shoppers were in wonderful moods, the employees--not so much. Oh well, I left the store with stuff for my kids. Now I just have to figure out how to get all of this stuff into my suitcase...
11/24 Direct Link
We left Rochester earlier today and are staying in Indianapolis tonight. Man, it's cold. We decided to take our kids to the zoo to pass the time. What a great idea. We had such a great time. We didn't look at everything, but my two year old has never been happier. He even listened and held my hand. We were shocked. It was late, but they had Christmas lights up and were taking holiday photos for families. There was even a Santa. My kid was more interseted in the dolphins. That short zoo trip made our holiday trip extra special.
11/25 Direct Link
We made it home. We are tired, frustrated, and worst of all, sick. I don't know what happened. I guess the Indiana weather got the best of us. We aren't used to being cold. My kids were much better on the plane this time. We may have induced a nap with a little bit of children's allergy medicine. The last hour was slightly rough, but it was nowhere near as bad as the trip there. I'm just glad to be home. Take my word for it, we won't be traveling anywhere by plane for a while, unless it's an emergency.
11/26 Direct Link
The flu... Yuk. I just took my little one to the doctor. My poor baby has been a miserable mess. We couldn't get his fever down and tried everything. The doctor swabbed him and what do you know, he has the flu. That means that my two year old, husband and I all have to stupid flu too. We decided not to give our kids the flu shot this year. I hate pumping them full of unnecessary medications. Well, it turns out that giving them that stupid little shot would have prevented all of this ridiculous, heartbreaking mayhem. Lesson learned.
11/27 Direct Link
I called in for a sub yesterday for my kids and today I called in a sub for me. I feel awful. I hate that "feels like I've been hit by a truck" statement, but boy is it true. I went to school to get things ready and it turned out, I didn't get a sub. You'd think I'd get "don't worry about it" response. Nope. I got the "you should have..." response instead. Where has the compassion gone? Is there no such thing as common courtesy anymore? My wise dad said "don't have expectations and you won't be disappointed."
11/28 Direct Link
No sub = many teachers in and out all day. When we don't get subs, teachers sell their preps to cover other classes. It's wonderful that they were willing, but teachers need their preps. It's how we survive. Between morning meetings and after school lives, that prep is all we have. So substitutes, where are you? Why don't you pick up jobs? We need good subs. You get $100 a day to hang out in a room full of kids. My principal ended up having to come in. I don't know if that's good or bad... So capable adults, please sub.
11/29 Direct Link
Uhh...report cards. There's nothing worse than report card time. I spend so much time writing long and detailed comments every trimester. After I finish the comments I try to make sure that I get all of my unfinished grading done so I can get the grades as accurate as possible. After the grades are in, I look at them and always say, "I don't have any straight A's." Then I look at all the percentages and have to figure out if I should bump some grades or not. It's those 88.5ish grades that get me every single time.
11/30 Direct Link
I wish that people had a good understanding of what us teachers actually do. We are genuinely good at heart. We have the best intentions for kids. We go through so much every year. Between having to buy supplies and dealing with constant changes, we are losing our passion and are screaming for help. Just know, we hate complaining. We are gripping on, waiting for things to get better and hopefully they will soon. I'm not mad about pay, I'm frustrated with ridiculous demands and irrational expectations. So, the next time you hear something about a teacher, try to understand.