Noah's Ark...well...not really...

So, this morning I went in the bathroom to take a shower. I used the toilet and began brushing my teeth when I heard water coming from the toilet. At first I thought I was hearing wrong, and then I looked down. It was a miniature flood! Obviously not a big deal, as it was cleaned up with about 4 towels. But the dialogue that I heard from my parents was GREAT.

I called Mom in because I wasn't sure what towels she would like to use for the mess, and of course Dad came in to check out the water. I stated, "I'm sorry." To which my Dad replied with some sort of comment like: It's no big deal. I did it last week. That's just what toilets do sometimes.

It made me stop and think. I know A LOT of people who would've made a BIG production out of it. Meanwhile, Dad was right...that's just something that happens from time to time.

Life goes on.

Not a huge revelation or anything.

But, it was fun to be reminded to keep the little stuff the little stuff. Life is too short to worry about the little stuff.

Later!

Life is good!

I tell ya what, life is good in my little corner of the universe. Yesterday I got to go to Springfield for an appointment AND eat my favorite pizza on the planet. And, I would like to report that my appointment went VERY WELL, and the pizza was FANTASTIC! Not to mention I got to take the day off work to do both. Yes, it was a wonderful day in my book!

So, today I am headed to IHOP and the parental unit's house. I get to spend a couple days with the coolest dogs on the planet and spend some time with my family which will be fun. I haven't been home in months so it will be good to spend some time up there. And, of course, to sit in the Prayer Room will be good too.

Life is good.

Oh yeah, and there's another pizza from pizza house in my refrigerator to eat before I head to KC.

How much better can life get?

:-)
Later!

The Nail That Sticks Up Gets Hammered Down

The English II team had one wish going into this year. We dreamed a dream that all the students in our English II classes would have passed English I. We dared to share the dream with our Counseling Office and since no one told us it wouldn't happen, we assumed that our dream might come true.

...and you know what they say about those who assume.

I decided to speak up in the interest of our team and our students. In my three classes, I have ten students who haven't passed English I. The other two teachers have thirteen and eight. So I emailed. I was the one who spoke up in the interest of our team and my students and asked what should be done. I thought that perhaps I'd get an apology for the short-sightedness. I thought that perhaps I'd get an explanation as to why the only sections of repeater English all happen in the Spring. What I didn't think I'd get was a swift answer from the counselor.

"I've talked with Ms. Principal-in-charge-of-curriculum about this, and we've decided that we'll fix this. You will have an English I repeater class last period."

Hi. I'm the nail that sticks up. Don't suppose you have any ideas for repeater English I, huh?

Scheduling Nightmare!

I tell ya, this week has been interesting to say the least. As a Special Educator in the Elementary School setting, I am finding my character built as I attempt to set a schedule for my students. Some of them have fit right in, no problem. Others, like Mr. H's boys, I still haven't gotten into the schedule on a regular basis.

I know, you're thinking, "How hard can it be to schedule kids?" Well, it's usually easier than this because for YEARS we had Art every Wednesday, and PE/Music was shared by grade levels. Meaning, all of 5th grade went to Music and PE at the same time. This year, it's ALL changed. I got to the end of my day today and thought, "I didn't pull this kid, and this kid, and this kid..." Woops! I am going to spend a bit of time tonight on scheduling and see if it's going to workout better tomorrow.

Truth be told, this will all even out, and everything will be fine.

It's just a process getting there.

Say a prayer...I don't want to become a negative nellie in the midst of it all!

But, truth be told, there's a four day weekend in store for me this coming weekend. Life can't be all bad!

Later!

My first day without Lostboy

I have to say, today felt MUCH different. Yesterday was Lostboy's last day, and so today was COMPLETELY different for me. Not that I don't care about Lostboy, I do. However, I found today that a weight had been lifted off my shoulders. I have thought about him a lot today, wondering how it was for him to be in a Behavior Disordered Room. But, that being said, I had SO MUCH more time to focus on my other students. Granted, Lostboy had SuperSubGal with him the last week to take care of him, but I hadn't really realized how much energy I put into Lostboy and how guarded I had found myself around him. I loved him, but I couldn't take his word at face value, and ALWAYS had to lock up anything of value because there was no telling what he'd take. Today I found myself less guarded with my students, which felt good.

Did I miss Lostboy today? No, not really. But will I keep praying for him and keep up on how he's doing, yes. I will never know what difference (if any) I made on him. I mean, he has real potential to still wind up in jail. Or juvie.

But, I have a new favorite quote that keeps coming to me when I think of him. I read the book, The Blessed Child by Ted Dekker, and in it was a quote I now have up on my door here at school.

"Words are weak instruments of love. They can do many things but they do not carry the truth like your hands do. People need to be shown, not told."

I think that's what Lostboy got.
Love.
Unconditional Love.

I pray he'll remember that in the days and years to come.

Perhaps that's the hardest part of my job, I have them for 174 days, and then they move on. Granted, some I have for two years, and then they move on. Some come back, but not many.

I just pray that they are better people because of the role I prayed in their lives...

Later...

Because Everyone Is Good At Something

I just had a parent sheet returned (late) where the mother (in different adult like handwriting) informed me that her son could "crunk dance like nun otha".

Not.
Even.
Joking.

Semi-Productive Day

So, my goal when I woke up today was to be a bum. I didn't do a great job of it, but I did get to relax a bit. I came in to goof around on my computer this morning and saw how high my bills stack had gotten, and then it hit me...this is the first Saturday after payday, so I need to pay bills. And, I'm glad to report, I got the job done. It isn't my favorite day of the month, but I always feel better when the task is complete!

Aftewards I did kick back and relax a bit. I watched "Step Up" the movie, and was pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed it. I will see Step Up 2 tomorrow, and that will be good.

Finally, I am hooked on another good book. I am REALLY enjoying Ted Dekker's stuff. I finished "Black", and will read the sequel, "Red" when it is returned to the library. Right now I'm hooked on "A Man Called Blessed" which is a sequel to "The Blessed Child." For SO LONG I have been without a new author to read, and now I am finding my nose in a book more than my eyes glued to the TV. :-)

What can I say?

Life is good!

Later!

Lostboy's Leaving...

So, today we had our little meeting on Lostboy, and the principal of the school that has the Behavior Disordered Classroom said, "It sounds as if he's a great candidate for our program." I was relieved. Before I went into the meeting I had asked about 5 people to pray...I was nervous. I've never been in a place like this where my only option was a more contained setting.

In the end, it was fine. I didn't have to convince anyone of anything. Apparently everyone, including his Mom, knew this was coming. So, we sat there, went over what Lostboy's new classroom would include, did paperwork, and he's set to go on Tuesday. It went SO MUCH better than I imagined. God is faithful to answer prayers, and I knew it was because of those praying that the meeting went so smoothly.

There was one tidbit from the meeting that sort of spoke volumes to me. At the end of the meeting, Lostboy's Mom turned to the Principal of the his new school and his new teacher and said, "Don't get upset if I hang up on you. Sometimes when you call I will get upset and hang up on you, which is a good thing because otherwise I will yell at you." NEVER, in my ten years of teaching, have I heard someone flat-out warn someone else that they will hang up on them in the future. No wonder Lostboy struggles...his Mom can't even function in a healthy way emotionally, so how can Lostboy?

Hum....later...

Leadership

Well, if you've been reading my blog for a while, you know that the Leadership in my building changed in May. One Principal out, a retired/not so retired Principal joined us this month. I had heard great things about him, and have been excited to get into this year with him. And, I'm happy to say, I'm pumped about Mr. A. He has already done A TON for us, and we're only on day #4.

I'm into my 10th year of teaching now, and I must say, I have been disappointed in each Principal I've had up until now. We have lacked LEADERSHIP in my building, and I didn't realize how bad it was until this week. Mr. A. has been in the midst of everything, working hard to make our jobs (teachers) easier. I have to say I am IMPRESSED.

I realize we've still got 170 days left of school, but today I'm smiling. Between Mr. A. and Mrs. AP, we're going to SOAR this year!

PRAISE GOD!

:-)
Later!

Two days down...172 to go!

So, I have been CRAZY BUSY and haven't had time to post until now. Truth be told, I have a ton of work to do, but I am taking it home. It's hard to believe we're back in the swing of things. It seems as if we just let out for Summer and here we are again. I guess time flies when you're having fun.

I should give a Lostboy update...he was good all day yesterday. I mean, he had ALL SMILEY FACES on his papers. I was glad, but didn't expect it to last. I've learned not to get my hopes up with him. So, today was different...of course. He now has someone with him all the time, which helps. I was ECSTATIC when SuperSubGal showed up and said, "I'm your Para today". I literally did a happy dance in the hallway in front of all the kids. (Lostboy wasn't there, it was in front of the third graders!) So, SuperSubGal was given the rundown on Lostboy. She went on to join him, and I started FINALLY getting to work I need to get done. So you're thinking, "okay, what did he do?" Are you ready for this? (it is humorous in a weird sort of way) Apparently there is a yellow ball on the other side of the fence that he wanted to get yesterday, but the gal with him yesterday simply said, "No". Well, today Lostboy took it upon himself to get it, and crawled under the fence to get the ball. He was COVERED in worms. Needless to say, he lost his recess and didn't get the ball.

Whew...I'll be honest, we have a meeting setup for him, and I'm pushing for him to go to the Behavior Disordered Room. This is a first for me. I've never had a kid that I was at this point with...and honestly if he was my only student, I wouldn't be pushing for this. I would make it work. The only thing is that I have 20 others on my caseload that I haven't done ANYTHING with so far because Lostboy requires constant supervision. So, I don't quite know what to think. My heart breaks because I don't know what else I can do and still give my other students my best effort. And, I know I'll eventually have to talk to him and tell him that because of his behaviors he has to go somewhere else. I keep telling myself it's his actions that are sending him there, not me, but it still feels odd...like it is me or something. I still love this kid. As a friend of mine and I say, "Weird Stuff."

So, it's now 5pm, and I need to run to wal-mart before I head home.

Have a great day!

Later!

No Day Can End Badly

...when it begins with hearing this song. Thank you, XM for your yummy morning programming. You set me up for a happy morning.

And God bless you, John Prine.

The Return of the Teachers!

So, I have to admit, I am glad I'm back at school with my friends and various kids throughout the building! On Sunday, I was honestly dreadding the transition back to school. I have enjoyed my down time immensely this Summer, and a big part of me hated to see it come to an end.

So today when I went to school, most of the teachers were there. It's funny how the district gives us 2 days (one of which is almost full of meetings) to get our rooms ready. That's not enough time, obviously, so teachers have been in their rooms this week getting ready. And, honestly, it is good to be back.

My favorite part of the day was when I was walking in the building with my hands full of files, and Wyatt and Silar came up and hugged me! It felt like I had come home. It felt wonderful. Wyatt will be in kindergarten and Silar will be in first grade...they are great kids, who I just love! It's great to be back.

We have one last free day until Opening Ceremonies on Thursday. Wow. It seemed as if Summer just started! Here we go again!

Later!

Movie Reviews

So, I am currently down to three full days off before the first contract day for the next school year is here. I can hardly believe it. It felt like Summer School dragged on and on and on, and then vacation went by so fast that I wonder where it went. I guess the old phrase is true, "time flies when you're having fun." That's been true of my Summer, that's for sure!

So, with all my time off lately, I have watched A LOT of movies, and thought I'd send my thoughts along your way. Most of these movies are not new, so you probably have your own thoughts, but I figured it would be a good post anyway.

Nim's Island "B+"
In light of my recent love of books, I found this movie rather enjoyable. You can tell it was written like a book, and you REALLY have to let go of a lot of reality to enjoy it, but it was very well done. It's more of a kid's flick, but it is worth a rental of you haven't seen it. The reason it made a B+ in my review is because I felt a bit shafted by the ending. All the sudden, poof, it's over. I will admit though that they did leave it wide open for a sequel. Good movie, I Just felt that it left me hanging.

The Lord of the Rings Trilogy "C"
I will say that I have wanted to see the Trilogy for quite a while. (Duh, how long have them been out? Seriously!) But, I will also say, I found myself not enjoying it very much. I kept watching it just to see how it ended, but I'm not one for this kind of movie, so I wasn't into it all that much. Perhaps it's wrong of me to give it a "C", but honestly, my ADHD kicked in and I lost interest. I can say I watched it though!

Jeff Dunham, Arguing with myself and Erasing my Sanity DVD's "A"
I have mentioned Jeff on my blog before, as I was shown his Comedy Central specials while I was in Texas. Honestly, the DVD's are the same thing, but I wanted to post about them again. I laughed so hard I found myself in pain from smiling! I would have given him an A+ plus there were moments in his act that the cursing was a bit much for me. But, with that being said, I plan on purchasing both DVD's. Peanut is still my favorite, with Walter a close second!

21 "A"
I rented 21, with Kevin Spacey in it, and found that I really enjoyed it. I have been to Vegas a few times, and I really enjoy flicks with Vegas in it. I'll admit, I didn't expect to like this one, but I really did. It's an interesting movie with a professor helping college kids count cards in Vegas. This isn't an award winner or anything, but I really did enjoy it. It's worth a rental.

Charlie Bartlett "A-"
I rented this one and didn't expect to like it very much either. I'm not sure why, other than the box at the theatre made it look like a cheesy teeny-bobber film. And, while I could see where some would view it as such, I thought it was actually thought provoking. I teach in a world where (overall) the parents of my students don't give a flip, and I do more parenting than they do with their child. I don't say that to be prideful, I say that because it's true. I still find it mind-boggling how hard it can be to get a parent in for a parent-teacher conference. Anyway, this movie showed a kid who really listened to kids right where they were at. Now granted, I don't agree that this kid should be dispensing prescription meds to the kids in his school, but it made a good point. And, to be honest, I don't think it's too far from where some of my students are in their lives. Was it an enjoyable film? I'm not sure, but it made me REALLY think, therefore it earned an A- in my review.

Well, I guess that's about it. I only have three days of vacation left, so I'm not sure if I'll have more reviews any time soon. Stay tuned though because you might be surprised!

Later!

Really? Money??? Huh...




You Are a Dash



Your life is fast paced and varied. You are realistic, down to earth, and very honest.

You're often busy doing something interesting, and what you do changes quickly.



You have many facets to your personality, and you connect them together well.

You have a ton of interests. While some of them are a bit offbeat, they all tie together well.



You friends rely on you to bring novelty and excitement to their lives.

(And while you're the most interesting person they know, they can't help feeling like they don't know you well.)



You excel in: Anything to do with money



You get along best with: the Exclamation Point

Mourning Turning Lightly To Excitement

So the custodians dismantled my room and left not one stone atop another. This means that rather than lying abed and watching "Bridget Jones' Diary" for the babillionth time, I'm getting up on a Saturday and getting myself to schoo.

...and I'm sort of excited about it.

Random Ramblings!

So, I am FINALLY able to blog from home again. One night during a storm a few weeks back my modem was fried. So today I FINALLY got my computer back from the Computer Geeks so I can blog and email from home again. So, once again, I apologize for my lack of blogging, but I should be more consistent now that I can do it from home. Yea!

Let's see...this week I have served as an assistant at my church's Vacation Bible School Program. I'll be honest, it's the first time in my life that I've ever helped with VBS anywhere, and I REALLY enjoyed it. I enjoyed laughing with the kids and seeing them grow in the knowledge of God. The leaders, Adam and Nikki did an AWESOME job. It was really good.

I also got my room ready for school. Granted, it's a small room, and I only really did one full day's worth of work, but I'm in good shape. I'll need go in next week before our first contract day on the 14th, but I feel good about where I'm at now. I'm SLOWLY entering back into the Land of Teaching. :-)

Finally, I wanted to share that I have had my love of reading books rekindled this Summer. I have already shared about "Thr3e" by Ted Dekker, and if you haven't already seen the movie or read the book, I HIGHLY recommend it. I will admit, "Thr3e" isn't my all-time favorite like TeacherLady. My new favorite is "Blessed Child" by Bill Bright and Ted Dekker. I tell ya, it grabbed me, hooked me, and kept me up late reading one night. It was a definate page-turner. My friend, Mr. H. and I have discussed that the mark of a good book is whether or not you can put it down, and Blessed Child definately did that for me. I am now reading "Black" by Ted Dekker, and am sucked into that one too. I tell ya, it's fun for me to a have a new author to read. I feel as if it's been so long since I've had a good author to read that I forgot how much fun reading can be. I like it.

Well, I could go on and on but I think I will logout for now. Afterall, I have a book to get back to. hehehe

Later!
God Bless You!

The Very Sort Of Conversation One Has On The Last Night Of Summer Vacation

The Crib Chick is speaking of treating some sort of malaise with vodka and cranberry juice.

Me: "That's medicinal, you know. Cranberry juice is...well...cranberry juice, and vodka is made from potatoes!"

CC: "So it's like a vegetable!"

Me:"Yes, the worst possible vegetable, though. Sort of like alcohol made of HoHo's--OHMYGOSH WOULDN'T THAT BE AWESOME!"

Goodbye, summer. What with the moving and bazillions of renovations and such, I hardly knew you this time. I should have loved you more, now you're gone.

An Open Letter To The New Counselor Who Told Me That I Might Just Have Thirty-Eight Students In My English Class And I Should Deal With It

Hello.

Welcome to the profession and welcome to our school.

You've been charged with the task of checking schedules for our students and I'd like to thank you for that work. Long, long, ago in May, someone went to our big fancy scheduling program and pushed a big red button. That button was to have put every child in academically appropriate and challenging courses taught by loving teachers who would mentor these children to success.

As with everything, it didn't always work. Schedules are all higgeldy-piggeldy and someone must go through to make sure that children don't have four Gym classes or no History. I'm very sorry, but that unfortunate duty falls on you.

Again, welcome.

It's fine that you gleefully announced that you were all the way through the I's in the alphabet and it's fine that we found legions and legions of errors before we even reached the letter D. It wouldn't even matter at all (ok, it would matter, but it would be a problem we'd work through together) if you hadn't said what you did. Another teacher noticed to you that I had 38 students in one class and your response was,

"Ms. Educat might just have do deal with 38 students in one class".


And so, new counselor, a choice presents itself to you. Choose carefully, for the road you take at this juncture will define your first year if not your entire time with us here.

You must choose to be either mean or incompetent. You cannot be both.

I'd advise you mull over your options here. If you choose to be mean, it will mean you must be smart. If your job is done to its utmost, I can handle your bitchiness. I would even respect it, because your work will be done and I won't have to speak to you.

Should you choose to be stupid, I can respect that choice as well. Many others have made this choice and if you'll watch the most successful among them, you'll notice that they're kind souls. We smirk sympathetically when we speak of them and shake our heads with a "bless her heart". We help those dumb people. We even love them.

Dumb bitches do not make friends at work. They don't get much respect either. Please be aware that if you choose this option, you will become an object of contempt to many of your co-workers.

The choice, then, is yours. Thank you in advance for allowing this unsolicited advice: Be mean, be dumb. Just be aware that you cannot be both.

Love, kisses, and best wishes for the best school year ever,

Ms Educat

A nudge

Today I returned to school, and one of the first things Mr. H. said to me was, "You haven't blogged in forever." So, for my reading audience, I apologize for my lack of blogging. I found myself physically drained after camp, and have spent the past 4 days on the couch watching movies and reading books. I have found that it is the healthiest thing I can do for myself right now because we have students return 2 weeks from TODAY. Am I ready? Nope. But, I will be by then...I HOPE.

I would say I've had a lot going on, but I really haven't. And, it has felt great.

I find myself missing camp IMMENSELY. I find comfort in the fact that there is a place so full of God's love and kindness as there is out there. I also find myself wishing that the real world was so kind. I have been really challenged in a few ways by people in the "real world" since I've been back that has made me really pause and think about KINDNESS.

If you've read my blog for any length of time, you know that KINDNESS is one of my big things. I mean, I'm typically a kind person, I think, but out at camp I felt my level of Kindness deepen, and my heart has grown in the area of compassion in a way I didn't think was possible. I find myself talking differently toward people and caring for others in a different way. I know that this is something God is walking me through. I told God before I went to camp that I didn't want to be the same person that drove out of camp that I was when I went into camp. And, God has faithfully answered that prayer. To be honest, it has made MOMENTS here in the real world hard, but they are only MOMENTS. In the big grand scheme of things, I am surrounded by good people who love very well. And for that I feel very blessed. :-)

Also, I do want to share some good news. I had a doctor's appointment today and my blood count is UP and my vitamin levels are all within normal limits, so I get to shake some medication! YIPPEE SKIPPEE! PRAISE GOD! It was SO GOOD to have some good news for a change. I now consider it worthy of a happy dance when I get good news, and yes, I did a little jig when I left the doctor's office. :-) God is good.

Well, I am headed to be a bum before VBS. Have a great day, whatever you may be doing!

God Bless You!