"We Go To The Fair To Relax" Part II

Go. And you really should vote.

Now, I voted for the pregnant smoker at the ferris wheel, but that "Crack and Funnel Cake" shot is just sad, y'all. It just totally ruins one of nature's most perfect fried foods. I've seen the funnel cake roam free in its natural habitat and it just should not be near such ugliness.

It's Monday, You Need This

If you must go to work early on a Monday morning, you should at least have a friend who sends you a link like this. I had the address all day long and didn't touch it at school for fear that I'd never work again.

So now, I offer you, MORE COWBELL!

Exhibit A: John Denver's "Annie's Song", 74% Cowbell, 100% Walken

Make your own at MoreCowbell.dj

Exhibit B: Woody Guthrie's "I Ain't Got No Home", 87% Cowbell, 28% Walken

Make your own at MoreCowbell.dj

Exhibit C: ...and lastly, as if you didn't question my music collection enough, I give you (ahem...)

The Theme From The Jeffersons, 25% Cowbell, 46% Walken

Make your own at MoreCowbell.dj

Please share your own creations. Leave a link, if you will, so we can all enjoy.

The College Basketball Experience

While enjoying some time here at the parental unit's house, we went into Kansas City today. Scienceguy has a field trip coming up this week with 100 Middle Schoolers, and he needed to go check out the place before the adventure next week. So, we headed out to "The College Basketball Experience" located in Downtown Kansas City.

My family has been following College Hoops since the Jayhawks won the champtionship back in 1988. We have cheered on the Jayhawks for the past 20 years. And, of course, we have spent a fair amount of time yelling at the players as they made mistakes. Well, after today, I have a whole new respect for what those college kids do.

The College Basketball Experience is found in the Power and Light District in Kansas City. I thought it was going to be a museum, because that's how it was explained to me this morning. Well, it's not exactly a museum. While it does have the College Basketball Hall of Fame in it, it has some hands-on activities that give you a sense of how challenging college basketball really can be.

We entered and the first station we came to was a free-throw station. You have one minute to make as many free-throws as you can. I scored 7. Not bad, but then before me a kid scored something like 18. Onto the next station... The next station was a three-shot station. Basically you took 3 balls at each station and shot them from three different parts of the court. And, it was from quite a way out. I tell ya what, I didn't make one shot! I felt like I was really bad! But, at the same time, I didn't care. It was all part of the experience. The next station was a station where you were to pass the ball to players on the wall. I did pretty well on it, but I didn't have anyone guarding me at the time. How do those kids do it with people guarding them? The next station was a slam-dunk station. Yeah, right, with the limp, I didn't slam it, I just shot it. :-) It was fun and it made me appreciate the students who can slam-dunk the ball up high in the air when I couldn't do it with the hoop significantly lowered! There was another station where you were given about 7 seconds to make a shot from an assigned place on the court. I didn't make one shot on that one. It definitely gave me the feel for what the kids are able to do with other players around. There was another free-throw station where you had (I think) 7-ish seconds, and if you made one, you could shoot another just like in real basketball. I missed that too!

Then we went downstairs. The first station we came to was basically skee-ball, but basketball style. You had 60 seconds to make as many close shots as you could. This was very similar to the basketball games you see in arcades where you shoot and the balls come right back to you. I shot 47%! Not bad. Okay, okay, it's not like I'm headed to be a ball player, but it was fun!

There were other stations there, but my favorites are the ones I already shared about. At the end, there is a 30 minute film about the history of College Basketball that is very good. I learned a great deal about the sport by watching the film. And at the very end, you get to walk through the Hall of Fame.

I realize that just by reading this I am not doing the whole experience justice. However, if you're a college basketball fan, I HIGHLY recommend The College Basketball Experience to you. I can tell you it was great to gain a perspective on what those kids do, and I'll be less quick to judge them now when they miss a shot. For $10, I had a GREAT time.


OUR kids!

This week has been eye-opening, to say the least. Once upon a time I thought that after I had taught 10 years, I would be able to know exactly what to do in the classroom, and with teachers, at any given moment. I WAS SO WRONG! It's been one of those weeks that I realized how I still have A LOT to learn.

Renaldo has been struggling this year in our fifth grade classes, and noone filled me in until Wednesday. And while that frustrated me at the time, I figured it was okay because once you know about a problem you can fix it.

I should stop here and state that my fourth grade teachers are wonderful! They CONSISTENTLY work with my kids, without complaint. They don't gripe and complain...they teach my kids as if they're OUR KIDS. They're not the Special Ed kids who can't learn, they're Special Ed kids who can learn AND do learn in the regular education setting.

I find myself challenged this year with my fifth grade teachers. They tend to send my students to me to deal with them instead of working with them themselves. I should state a couple have stated, "I worked with that student once..." ONCE...

So, Renaldo is struggling in his regular education classes, and the solution is "send them to Ms. Spring", or let's test him and see if he's really capable, or the meds are out of whack so let's get him in for a med change. These were all stated to me today as I tried to iron out relationships between Renaldo and the teachers, and the teachers and me.

The regular education teachers are frustrated. I get that. Renaldo can challenge anyone at any moment. But, still, he's OUR kid. Not my kid.

By the end of the day I had spoken to our school counselor three times trying to figure out something that will please everyone. We didn't solve it. I told her I'd spend the weekend pondering it.

I have an idea...the regular education teachers will work with him some, and I'll work with him some...

Doubt that will fly.

I think I'll surf the web.

I return to thinking about it tomorrow...


Stomach Flu

Unfortunately, yesterday I went home sick with the Stomach Flu. I'll spare you the details...suffice to say, today was better. I came into work praying I would make it all day, and I did. I plan on tutoring Jay here in a bit and heading to rest a bit. I'm tired and worn out and my stomach is STILL doing flip flops. I'm ready for it to relax a bit! :-)

Anyway, I hope you're having a great day, whatever you may be doing.


Perhaps The Most Obvious News I've Seen All Day

I read this article blearly eyed with coffee, thankful for first period plan time.

Many teachers don't get enough sleep.

Dear Teacher Magazine,

Those essays don't grade themselves.



I could survive for 54 seconds chained to a bunk bed with a velociraptor

Um...thanks, Chitarita

Guess It Does Hath Charms

Who would have ever thought that my fourth block would beg to listen to Mozart every time they work on something?

The Shack

I awoke today feeling blah-ish. The school week was okay, with highs and lows, and I had discipleship this week, which was fun too. So as I sat here this morning attempting to blog, I just felt down. A whole Saturday with nothing to do, noone to hang out with...I was down. I could sit here and ramble about the things in my head that I'm trying to make sense of in my life these days, (which I started to do this morning and walked away from the computer instead) but I don't see how that would be interesting for you as a reader. You don't read this to be brought down, you read it to be lifted up. Or at least, that's why I think you read this...otherwise, why are you reading this? So, I found myself with my nose in a book. I know, I know, you're shocked to hear this.

I was actually at church a couple weeks ago and one of the gals leading our Women's Retreat mentioned a book to me. She asked me if I had read it, and told me that it would be the focus of our Women's Retreat next month. I told her I would read it, and she warned me it was a bit controversial. I didn't actually hear what was controversial about it at the time, as we had to go lead worship that morning, but I have to admit, my curiousity had been aroused.

So, this week one of my teacher friends loaned me "The Shack" by William P. Young. She had told me that it was actually her Mother's copy, but her Mom started it and said she couldn't read it. Teacherfriend went on to say she wanted to read it, but not for a while because she had other stuff to read. She handed me the book with her name in it, and left my room.

I just finished it. And, I will say, it has impacted me greatly. I wound up underlining and making notes throughout the book. (I'm buying Teacherlady a new copy tomorrow, of course.) I understand what the controversy is about, and why some people can't make it through the book. I think it's like anything else, say a book or movie, some people are impacted by some things that others are not. I imagine that's a God thing, but I don't want to get into that just yet. I have had a belief for a long time that you can be impacted positively by things, even if you have to look for it.

This book really grabbed me. It spoke to my heart about LOVE (A GREAT DEAL about love), forgiveness, anger, tears, and making sense out of our broken world. I will be praying about things that have impacted me in the days to come. And while I believe that the story is real, I can see where some may not believe it. And, that's okay. At least in my mind it's okay.

People get tripped up a lot in whether or not a story is really real, or if it was just made up. That doesn't matter to me. I just know that I feel closer to God tonight than I've felt in months. God can use anything, I really believe that, and this book is what he used to speak to me.

I've been spiritually dry for quite a while now. I didn't know how to get past it. Should I pray more? Read my bible more? Hang out with my "spiritual" friends more? I knew that none of those were THE ANSWER. I knew they would help, but it wouldn't be a quick fix.

And then I was reminded today that sometimes you just have to wait on God. Since God knows what we need and when we need it, it's just important to live in the now and not worry about the past for the future. (yes, I got that from the book)

Anyway, now I'm going into the book and I want to encourage YOU to read it. Do I think EVERYONE will just LOVE this book? I doubt it. It's like anything else, what I was impacted by, you may not be. And that's okay. The book is full of DEEP Spiritual stuff, that I LOVE. I love to go deep and try to get the deeper meanings out of this little journey called life. It also has some plain, obvious, really practical applications that will help us in this journey.

So, I encourage you to read it and make your own assessment of the book. Just do me a favor, okay? If you hate it, don't tell me. It has impacted me positively, and that's all that really matters to me at the moment. If you let it, it will lift you up and bring you to a deeper sense of who you are and are created to be. And that my friend, in my opinion, is worth reading the book.

Teacher's Dillemma

I should not have to choose whether I will pee or eat lunch during my lunch break!!!

One, Two, Researchers, Four, Five

We're reading an informational text today, identifying the ways the author supports his claims.

"Ok, so we can see the author uses facts. Are there any statistics?"

and I get a look like this

"Are there any statistics? Are there any numbers used to make a point?"

and a young woman who, I swear, could be the long lost sister of Princess Grace (...and my is that a flashback to the golden era of blogging) piped in.

"Uuuh, yeah. It saw hur that researchers say."

"Ok, what do they say?"

"It don matter, issa statistic!"

"So where's the number?"


"Is that a number? Can you count to researchers?"

"Uuuuuuggggghhhh Ms Educat! Iss more than one, issa numba!"

Something tells me this group isn't going to win the knitted hat challenge.

How To Love A Knitter

I've been knitting in public quite a bit lately. It's just felt right. I can lead a class discussion or read aloud or whatever while doing a mindless 2x2 rib on a beanie. I can even hang a bag on my wrist and walk up and down the aisles of my room. I'm presently driven by the joy I'm getting from seeing a kid wear my hats at football games. I've even tried one with earflaps, and it worked! It's adorable!

The joy and zen I get from knitting, however, is wearing thin, and it's becoming awkward.

Please, my non knitting friends, when you see someone knitting, please refrain from asking if the knitter will make you something. It's only going to make things difficult. See, if I tell you yes, I have to tell everyone yes (because despite what you might think about our relationship, you're awesome but not special). If I have to knit for zillions of people, it's not fun anymore.

You can't pay me, either. Because, really, you'd feel gipped. The earflap hat took me about eight hours to knit. It's one of the quickest I've ever done. Now, how much is my time worth? Because I don't have much of it. If I even charge you $5 an hour (I made more than that for selling lotion and I'm a better knitter than I was a salesperson), you're paying $40 in labor. So really, $40 for a beanie?

Don't ask your friend who knits, please. If you stay quiet and respectful, maybe your knitting friend will appreciate your closed piehole enough to knit you something.

ps--I've dealt with this in my classes by telling my students that if 100% of them passed their State test, I'd knit each of them a cap. Let me know if you're interested in helping me make good on this promise. I'm not above help...

ADHD and Standardized Tests

I had my lesson plans set for the week and was ready to go this morning when Mr. H. and Mr. C. found me this morning and told me that Acuity Testing started today. I'll be honest, I knew it was this week, I had just forgotten that little tidbit of information over the weekend. Perhaps that's because my nose was in so many good books. :-) So, I told the guys I would get the tests done today and tomorrow.

I will be honest, I didn't really think through the details of the testing, I just knew it needed to be done. So, as the morning progessed I found myself in a bit of a pickle. First off, all the teachers were sending their kids, which was fine, but I am back in the closet of a classroom, so chairs were a problem. Secondly, I had to give it to fourth and fifth graders who have different versions of the test. I stood there for a moment, said a silent prayer, and made some quick decisions that worked pretty well.

Of course, my biggest challenge of the day came when some of the students entered with the Language Arts portion of the test. There are actually two versions, a math portion and a Language Arts portion. The Math test I can read to them, but the LA part I can't because it's testing their reading abilities.

So, I read the directions to the students, and said, "okay, do your best!" and started doing some of my own paperwork that I needed to get done. I wish the people in the State who decided to make the rule about reading to the Special Education kids, or the people in our Federal Gov't who came up with No Child Left Behind, could come sit in my classroom on a day like today.

Take about 6 kids, with ADHD issues, and reading issues, and then say, "Go ahead, do your best even though you read on a significantly lower level and by the way, I can't help you." What do you get when you add all that up? Frustrated kids, frustrated teacher, and a day of instructional time down the tubes. And, I'll be honest, those 6 didn't finish today, they get to have that fun experience again tomorrow, and Wednesday, and probably Thursday.

Don't hear me get all negative here...I get it. I need to be held accountable, and we need to test in order to figure out how to help these struggling students. I understand the logic.

It just makes me wonder. We want all kids on the same reading, writing, and math levels when they all come from less than ideal homes where education isn't exactly the focus in the home. I realize I'm throwing all kids into a stereotype, and that's not good. But, it is something to ponder.

I sat there today as a student looked at me and said, "Reading is hard for me. I can't do this." And, truth be told, it was too hard for him. It made it a rough day for me because deep down inside, I want to help. I want to make it easier. I understand their pain.

However, until we live in a society that understands what we're facing as educators, I will continue to do what I'm told. I won't agree with it, but I'll do it.

The words of a mentor...

I tell ya, not a Sunday goes by that I don't thank God for my church family. Years ago I was in a church that wasn't healthy for me, and now I ABSOLUTELY LOVE where God has planted me. Which I don't take for granted AT ALL due to my previous church experience.

I awoke today not even sure if I was playing on the worship team. There hadn't been a weekly email telling us what time to be there today or anything, so I wasn't sure if I'd be playing. I got there about 8:30, figuring if I didn't play I could go to Pre-Service Prayer. Of course, I got there and SuperScott was leading, and he said I could play.

One of my favorite things about SuperScott is how happy he is. He's a very strong vocalist, I mean he is really annointed. However, that's not my favorite thing about him. My favorite thing is how funny and happy he is around us. I mean, we're in the middle of practicing a song and he would say something that would make us all laugh. I laughed A LOT this morning, and it was really cool. Of course, the best part was when we actually led worship, and it was AMAZING. I really, really enjoyed playing this morning.

After church I made my usual rounds to my friends, and wound up being invited to eat lunch with Karen and Naomi. Karen has unofficially become my spiritual mentor over the past few years, and I had THE BEST chat with her today. She is amazing. I often think to myself how I want to be like her when I grow up. :-) She has so much wisdom that I walked away with A LOT to think about. And, while Karen can be blunt, sometimes to the point it hurts, she can also encourage someone in a way I've never experienced before. Not that I was down or anything, but I have missed someone to go deep in the Lord with, and she spoke things over my life that will have me smiling all week. Sometimes words can hurt and disappoint, but today Karen's words were (I truly believe) from the Lord. And, I really needed that. :-)

One of the things Karen pointed out to me was that we have one life...one shot, to live this life to the best of our ability. This wasn't something extraordinarily new to me. I mean, how many humans do you know with more than one life? :-) However, it made me think about how I want to walk out this journey. I mean, 10 years of teaching went by like (snap) that! I'm going to turn around and be 60, and wonder where it all went. And then, if I am not happy as I go through the journey, I will regret not living life to the fullest.

Hum...deep, deep stuff. I love it!

I think I'll logoff now before I get going to where I can't stop.


My Corner of the World

As you can tell by my lack of writing this week, it was a busy week. I found it to be more challenging than I think I expected it to be. It wasn't bad, just challenging.

I have discovered that most of my day is spent keeping kids focused and on-task. I have about 4 kids with SEVERE ADHD, so most of my day is spent just keeping them focused. I will repeatedly say to two of them, FOCUS. One of the boys just frowns every time I say it. In fact, Thursday during my math lesson, one of the boys had his mechanical pencil taken apart, and after two attempts of getting him to put it back together and get back to work, I picked up the pencil and threw it away. I am expecting the parents to call and complain, but I have to admit, it was a good stress reliever for me at that moment in time. I have banned that child from having them in my classroom again. Like I said, I'm expecting a phone call but for the time being, it's saving me a bit of stress.

I have given a lot of thought to ADHD this week. I don't remember ADHD when I was a kid. We were told to "sit" and we did it. We didn't get up out of our seats at random times or have kids with "chews" to keep them from eating things or talk outloud at random times just to stay off-task. We had parents who would kick our butts if we were a problem for the teachers, so we weren't problem kids. ADHD didn't exist...now I have a caseload with several of them. It has certainly made me ponder a lot this week.

In other news, I baby-sat Chase on Wednesday after school. Kim had a meeting, so she asked me to watch Chase. I told her it would be fine. I didn't have to tutor that day, so I considered it a good excuse to spend some time with Chase. I told her I'd take him to the local arcade. I was in my room getting a few things done and Ally was sitting in my room and I could tell she was hurt that I was taking Chase and not her. Ally is one of the other teacher's kids who comes in my room before and after school to hang out. My room has sort of become the hang out over the years for all the teachers kids. Which is fun. I get to act like I have lots of kids when in reality they get to go home with their parents. :-) So, anyway, I looked at Ally and invited her to join us. She was excited. And, I figured it would be good because I had done a few things with Chase but not with Ally.

So we headed out to the arcade. I had also selfishly wanted to hit the Dairy Queen as a treat for myself since DQ is my favorite ice cream. So on our way to the mall where both DQ and the arcade are located, Chase kissed Ally on the cheek, and also made a reference to his Penis. I have to admit, I was surprised. And, had wondered if I had made a mistake inviting Ally along. Afterall, I didn't want Ally scarred by Chase's comments and kiss. Chase is harmless but I didn't want this sweet little girl scared or upset. Of course, she handled it VERY well. They're in the same grade, and in all honesty Ally is more mature than Chase, so she did REALLY well. I was so proud of her.

We did ice cream first, and Chase only attempted to run off once. Chase has the perfect name, as he runs a lot. And we got to the arcade and I gave them each five dollars. They got their tokens, and then handed them to me. I was surprised because every other time I have taken kids to the arcade, they just pocket the tokens, but it was a good thing because I always knew where they were because they would have to come back to me for more tokens. It was a good system and everyone seemed happy. I even got five dollars in tokens so I could play with the kids.

So, about halfway through it, Ally and I decided to play a game together and get a bunch of tickets. I find it amazing how you work hard for tickets to get prizes that would be cheaper if you just went out and bought them, but it provides good entertainment for kids, so I guess it's a good thing. So, Ally and I got really involved in our game. And, Chase would come and go for more tokens and tell me where he was, so we were okay. Then on our second game, he came over and hit one of OUR buttons on our game to end our game. I was PISSED. I'll be the first to admit it takes me quite a bit to get that mad, and I was mad. He had ruined the game for Ally and I told him not to do it again. Chase was clearly mad at me, but I was okay with it because that's how kids are at times when they know they did something wrong. He still had a token so I figured he was headed to play his game again and let us do our thing. So, I glanced back and he was in the kiddie area of the aracade walking around and Ally and I started a new game. We were into it, and Chase came up behind me and hit the button AGAIN. When I realized it was him I tried to stop his hand from hitting the button, but it was too late. I WAS PISSED. I turned to him, took his tickets away, told him he had lost his tokens that were left, and made him sit on the floor away from our game. He was mad too. And of course, living up to his name, he ran away several times, and I had to bring him back and make him sit. We played the game several times with Chase's tokens since it was his fault we had finished two games early because of him. Chase had never acted like this before with me, and I was getting more and more frustrated. I never yelled at him, I just made him stay with us. After we finished the game, we walked around and did other games like skee-ball. I made Chase stand by me the entire time. And, sometimes that required me chasing after him to get him back wtih us, but I did it.

Ally continued to be great. I must admit, Ally has matured over the Summer and it was a pleasure being around her. We played the games and had a good time. Granted, it would have been easier without having to chase down Chase from time to time, but it really was fun.

I dreadded Kim coming to pick up Chase. I had never had to give her a bad report like this before. I was thankful that I had 9 years of teaching experience of telling parents what their child had done wrong, but I had never had to tell a friend that their kid was a handful. In the end, my worrying about telling Kim was all for nothing. While Kim felt bad for the way her child had acted, she wasn't mad at me at all for how I handled it. She felt I had made good decisions on handling him which made me feel better. By the end of my time with Chase and Ally, I was selfishly glad I didn't have kids to go home to take care of that evening. I had had my fill of drama for one day. I also had a new respect for Kim. While Chase is a good kid, he can be a handful at times, and she has done a good job with him. The whole experience was really good.

I went to homegroup that night, and wound up playing with more kids. Zeb, Sausha, and Noah were there and we wound up playing Hide and Seek in the dark. I must admit, I can't remember the last time I did that, but it was really, really fun. The boys were sweet and didn't tag me a few times on purpose because they feel bad for me because of the limp, but I will also say I had my fair share of being "it" too. I had a wonderful time, and it was fun to be with a few kids without drama. After my afternoon experience, it was a really fun time with the kids.

I had a bit of a challenging experience this week with Fashiongal. I hate drama, but Fashiongal and I exchanged words Tuesday night. In the end, I think it was a good thing, and honestly it felt good to get some things off my chest so to speak. At the moment she isn't speaking to me, but that's okay. I hate drama...avoid drama at all costs, but in this case, time will be a good thing and I think it will wind up okay in the end. I even asked her to start doing dishes when she cooks now, and she didn't fight me on it. (she has never done dishes regularly, without prompting from her Mother in the time we've lived together and I was fed up with it) I came home yesterday and dishes had been done. Time will tell, but I think it was a good thing. And I noticed that my headache lifted after I shared my heart with her. I figure it will take some time to get through it, but it will be a good lesson for us all in the end.

Finally, I have found myself lost in books all week. I finally finished Obsessed by Ted Dekker, which was good. His books are pretty long so it takes me a while to read them. I also read "Nights in Rodanthe" by Nicholas Sparks. I figured the movie is coming out so I wanted to read the book first. It was REALLY good. I was up late last night finishing it, and am now looking forward to the movie. Of course, the movies are never as good as the book. And now I'm reading Schooled. I can't remember the author, but it's about a homeschooled kid who is now in public school. It's a book for kids, but looked intruiging to me because the majority of homeschoolers I get in my classroom are pretty clueless as to how things work out in the real world. After I finish it I have "RED" by Ted Dekker to read. It is the second book in a trilogy and I am eagerly anticipating that book too. Gosh, I went for a long time without some really good books to read, and now all I want to do is read! :-)

Well, I have rambled on here much longer than usual. I should sign off and begin my day. I love Saturdays. Of course, it's raining, so I foresee myself cuddled with a book!


...just to relax

So the custodian on my hall stopped me to find out if I would be going to the State Fair.

Hadn't even thought about it.

I get an itch to go every five years or so. I love a good funnel cake and the pig races are not to be missed, but only twice a decade, please.

So I told my co-worker that I probably wouldn't make it out this year since school is so busy.

"Well, I take my wife there every year. Just to relax."

Check out the relaxing lines last year at the cinnamon roll stand...

Riding a tricycle...

So, today I had a really, really good day. I started the day at church, of course, and played on the worship team and taught Sunday School. I'm now teaching "Ramp Up" which is a gift. I now only have the 4-6 graders, which is fun because we can go into scripture a bit more without the little first graders getting lost in the shuffle at times. It was good. Camp Volunteer Laura is back too, so it was just a really good day at church all the way around. I've also tentatively asked to play at Women's Retreat again this year. :-) Life is good.

The highlight of my day came at a Birthday Party I went to this afternoon. Chase, one of my adoptive kids (sort of) at work turns 8 tomorrow, and he and his family invited me out to his house for his Birthday Party. It was a typical party, gifts, cake, ice cream, etc. However, it was after we moved outside that I had the best time.

There were several kids there, and they were out riding bikes, a little motorized car, it was a hoot! And, Chase's brother Cole, who is almost 2 was out there too. I'll be honest, Cole has never really warmed up to me. But, that's mostly because I haven't been around him much. So, when I arrived he was still shy around me. By the time we were outside, we were a little closer. Not much, but a little. Of course, when you're outside with kids you're pretty much on safety patrol, making sure noone runs over each other or gets hurt. And, Cole brought out his tricycle. He can walk, but he's still too short to push the pedals on his tricycle. So, several people took turns pushing Cole, which was fun to watch. But, of course, after a little while, the kids were tired of pushing Cole and wanted to do their own thing. I just jumped right in and started pushing. Looking back, I probably looked a bit goofy with the limp pushing him, bent over, trying to balance and push. But, I didn't really care. I figured out how to push him and ride on the back of it, and still maintain balance.

I'll be honest I enjoyed EVERY second of it. Cole had fun, and I did too. He would occasionally get off to push it himself, but he would eventually get back on and want a ride. I guess since I don't have kids of my own, I dig that sort of stuff more than most people do. I don't know. But as I drove home for the party, I was just thankful to be able to get to have that experience with Cole. Very cool stuff in my book.

See, told ya, LIFE IS GOOD!



I have spent quite a bit of time pondering my last post. A couple of the teachers at school encouraged me to delete it, just in case wandering eyes saw my writing. I have debated a lot, wondering if that really is the right thing to do. I'll be honest, it probably is the right thing to do. I mean, I basically slammed one of my fellow teachers. However, in the end, I have opted not to do so.

I will change a few names, to protect the innocent, but I have come to the conclusion that the joy of blogging for me to is to share both the ups and downs of this little journey we call "life". And, in the end, my goal for this blog was to make sure I put a positive outlook on even the challenges we face in this life. While I did not do that on my last post, I want to do that now.

I got home that night after I had blogged, and wondered...why did that bother me so much? I mean, in the end, it had ZERO to do with me. It was an exchange between two teachers in my building. Granted, one of them has become a good friend of mine, so I imagine part of it was that I'm tired of seeing my friend challenged by this same teacher repeatedly. My friend is a good guy, who does his absolute best in his professional career, and it's hard for me to see someone not be able to see that.

So yesterday as I was pondering it all, and had had two teachers say to delete it, I found myself pondering my statements more than I think I've ever pondered a post in my short career as a "blogger".

In the end, God reminded me that there are times when I need to just pray for the people involved. (Which is what I did yesterday after pondering the faculty meeting) And, He also reminded me that this exchange was NOTHING in the big grand scheme of things...

I found myself in one of our severely disabled rooms yesterday, and was humbled as God reminded me that a faculty meeting scrap is nothing. There was a kid who took my hand yesterday, who was sitting in a wheelchair, telling me that he is supposed to use his walker everyday but he doesn't want to because it hurts a lot. I just kneeled down and took time out to talk to him. (I was late for recess duty becuase of it, but I really didn't care.) I had said, "hi" to him before in the halls but he had never talked to me before. He was so open and honest about his walking issue, and I felt like crap because I had actually wasted energy on something that wasn't even any of my business. This kid can't walk and is bound to a wheelchair, and meanwhile I'm being petty about two teachers who are just in two separate ballparks in my opinion when it comes to teaching. I need to repect my friend's abilities to teach, and not waste time on the other.

In the end, I don't regret my post. I do regret not keeping things completely in perspective at that time. However, I am also reminded how human I can be, and that I'm not made to be perfect. I'm made to realize where I may fall short and work toward being a better version of myself.

And in trying to become that "better version", whatever that may look like, I am going to remain transparent on here. I believe that everyone can learn from the mistakes of others, if they try.

Being frustrated, mad, angry, hurt, etc, is all part of this journey. So, you will continue to see a transparent short gal writing blogs with nothing but true feelings behind it...



Thanks, Edna Lee, for calling me Brilliante! I'm pretty sure I had a student by that name once. So very many more worthy blogs have already been declared Brilliante that I can hardly pass it on. Besides, you knew how I was about tagging before you made your decision, right?
Thank you.

The Sort Of Thing I Never Thought I'd Say

Dear Spirit Club Children,

Last night, some of your friends stayed home. They didn't wear school colors and go to anyone's football game. They sat in the cafeteria during the pep assembly and they bragged in their classes how "they were gonna laugh when y'all lose".

They don't see themselves as part of the group who lost last night so they're not. As a result, they weren't hurt. They didn't have to face the wealthy school from up the road with the great big band and the great big boys playing football. They weren't embarassed at all. They lost nothing.

You know what else they didn't get? They didn't laugh at the picnic tables in front of the drive in. They didn't laugh at the prank with the other team's mascot that they almost pulled on me. They didn't fall down laughing after running the flags, they didn't paint up their faces and the college kids who came back to watch the game didn't thank them for starting so many traditions.

But those kids who sat at home didn't lose a thing, either.

Let's do this again next week.

Ms Educat

Trying to be funny...but not...

I was in a meeting this afternoon and I found myself frustrated with one of my fellow teachers. We were told to analyze data from our state testing and report it to the group. SuperTeach found something interesting, and I found it enlightening as well. He went over to show some other teachers, who didn't think he had read it correctly. Which was fine, I figured it wasn't a big deal. Then everyone was asked to share the things they found interesting. SuperTeach shared his findings with the group when a teacher took it as a slam to her, and spoke up. I think at that point she realized she had stepped out a bit too far because she back-pedaled stating, "I was just kidding." And she said it two or three times. I am not exactly sure why it rubbed me the wrong way, but it did.

How is it that some people are so self focused that they think the world is all about them? I am finding myself noticing that a lot lately. I was once told that if you see something in others that it's a reflection of what God is teaching you about you. Perhaps there's an element of truth to that, but I don't think that's entirely true. I find that the older I get the more frustrated I get with people who are lazy, or just plain make the world all about them.

In the end, I know it comes back to perspective and outlook and all that. I know that.

But today, the "just kidding" comment showed me how self focused a person can be. By the way, she didn't understand that data, it was obvious, and she did look like an idiot in front of the staff. However, the comment Mr. C. made had nothing to do with her teaching abilities, it was comparing fourth grade teaching to fourth grade teaching.

Perhaps she's a candidate for idiotsville...I don't know.

I do know her attempt at "just kidding" wasn't funny. AT ALL.


Tales From The Bureaucracy

This is a tale of something that should I thought was a fight. It shouldn't have been a fight, but it somehow was. So I started to treat it like a fight only to find that my opponent wasn't going to fight.

So now that you're good and confused...

Last week's epic battle that nearly got me a class of Freshmen is over. For now, at least. It looks like I won't be teaching repeaters at all. I'd like to pretend that they were surprised when the Sophomore teachers called their administrative bluff but it was really far less heroic. Counselors and Administrators quickly scrambled to prove that the problem wasn't a problem ("Look! This kid is in credit recovery now! And this one only needs one quarter!!") and we ended up with the same sort of look you use when you didn't quite catch a kid doing something wrong but you were pretty sure he did something. You know? Like "Aaaalll right, you'll get by THIS TIME, but next time I catch you..." and one eyebrow is raised and one finger extended? Head all tilted? Till they look away??? "There." you think, "I fixed them."

And so everyone leaves the hubbub thinking that we've taught the other a lesson and in reality we're no better off than before.

I love my job and I love my school more. I've been there ten years and have seen parents finagle to get their kids in my classes. I teach alongside my former students now and probably bleed my school colors. If I start to hate it here, though, it will be over something like this. If I leave teaching, it will be over something like this.

Vocabulary Lesson

While I wasn't actually involved in this conversation, I thought it was worth posting.

A friend of mine filled in today for a regular education teacher while some assessment was taking place with students. So, while filling in for the teacher, she was responsible for helping the students copy down their spelling words and write a definition for each word. In attempting to help a student with the word stride, the student looked at her and said, "That's easy, it's a gum!"

Enough said.


Aimsweb Frustrations!

So, today I have found myself in the Prayer Room trying to get work done. Granted, I have done my fair share of goofing off, but I wanted to get my Aimsweb Database setup and my data entered. In the district I teach in, this is a requirement for our teachers who have Learning Disabled students. Truth be told, I agree with the system itself. It is a great way to get a glimpse of a student's progress in a fast way. HOWEVER, after spending the past 90 minutes attempting to get it all setup, I have stopped. (And I'm pretty good with computers. Not great, but pretty good.) I realize it isn't that hard, but I have hit a wall. According to Randy Pausch, in his book The Last Lecture walls are there to help us work through things so that getting past it is worth the effort. (paraphrase of course) So, while I realize there's a wall, I'm going to stop at the moment. Perhaps the wall won't seem quite so frustrating tomorrow. Right now, I'm ready to toss my computer out the window...which isn't good. I am walking away. Who knows? Maybe I'll wake up tomorrow and the wall will be easy to get over. But for now, I see myself turning the computer off and walking away...