This is Not...This is Not Our Home

I shared earlier this week about Laura Story's Song, "Blessings" and that it was impacting me in a deep way. As this week has progressed, it has completely helped me draw nearer to God. This week I have been deep in thought. DEEP in thought. So much has happened this school year that has challenged me in ways that I never expected. I guess to be completely honest, none of it would have been what I would have chosen in the flesh. In fact, two years ago when I was job searching, I NEVER thought I would have walked through what I have this year. It's been quite a ride.

So when God put Laura's song in my path, I knew it was to speak to me. I realize it's also for others on this planet, but it has captured me and allowed me to dialogue with Him in some deep ways. Even in those things that are so deep within my heart that there aren't words for it, I know He hears it.

I find that each day God highlights a different line of the song for me to meditate and pray over. I like that. It's been so long since I've had a song that has challenged me and touched me like that that it's shaken me and blessed me all at the same time.

In the song she sings, "This is not, this is not our home..."

That has absolutely transformed me. I have spent a lot of time in the past month sorting through emotions regarding various things, and as I've meditated on this line, it makes me realize how small these things are in comparison to the bigger picture. This is not my home...I LOVE THAT!

Changes my whole perspective, and makes me smile.


update on angry kid.

just figured i'd let you know what happened with angry kid.
i gave a copy of the note to an assistant principal, who gave it to the student's guidance counselor. i asked his guidance counselor what was going to happen with it, and she told me they called his mother...i looked at her, expecting her to finish what she was saying. she didn't say anything else. so, i asked her if that was all.
she told me the same thing his parents told me when i talked to them: "that's just angry kid." she ranted at me that he'd been picked on since third grade, and that football star must've said something to him (i was sitting on the desk next to him, and there was nothing said), and that she doesn't blame him because they're so mean and lalala.
all i will say is that i was not satisfied with this response. while i do believe picking on angry kid is wrong, i also believe that allowing angry kid to get away with this behavior is just condoning his actions. he's going to believe it's acceptable to respond this way. i suggested counseling, switching to another, quieter class, etc. but all i got was blame on the other students. i think everyone involved should have to take responsibility for themselves.
anyways....been on a field trip with the stuco kids this weekend. tell you about it later. gotta go get them up and on the train.


Last night I went with RockStarPara, Cheergal, and C.J. to see Chris Tomlin live! I was so excited! My heart was expectant, and I knew it wouldn't be a concert, I knew it would be a night of worship. I was RIGHT! From the first note to the last, we lifted the name of Jesus! It was INCREDIBLE!

An added bonus was having Christy Nockels join Chris on stage. She led worship on a couple songs that ABSOLUTELY touched my heart and made me fall even more in-love with the Lord. It was a very special night for me.

Louie Giglio also spoke, which is ALWAYS a highlight for me! His sermon gave me a new perspective of singing with the sounds of Heaven. I drew nearer to the Lord in that short little sermon. I really did. *grin*

Perhaps the most touching moment of the night for me came at the end of Louie's talk when he encouraged us to stand if we're waiting on God for something. I stood up, and C.J. stood next to me. I didn't know it, as my eyes were closed and I was talking to God. The next thing I knew Christy started to sing, and I felt C.J. put his arm around me, with his hand on my shoulder. At that moment, I thanked God. I was praying about one thing, and He reminded me that there are people beside me, linking arms, walking beside me. That blessed me. I put my other hand up to worship and looked over and C.J. was doing the same thing. *grin* Thank You God!

Yep. It was a night I'll never forget.


2 days...(this morning anyway)

And two minutes that I've been home all day...It's been a long one.

The kids are getting sillier and sillier the closer we get to Spring Break. My freshmen couldn't even sit in their desks for more than ten seconds. They were squirming and giggling like crazy. I hate trying to fight with them when they're like that, so today I tried to run with it. I gave them a hands-on review game. That gave them an outlet for their energy, but it also made them do it in a productive way.

My goal is simply to get through tomorrow....

Tomorrow morning will mean one day...I can do one more day of patience...

all i can do is joke.

i really don't even know what to say to/about this, so i'm just going to tell you what commentary from the teacher's desk...okay, minimal commentary from the teacher's desk...what you would've heard/seen had you been a fly on the wall:

me: for those of you who weren't here yesterday, we're working on an in-class writing prompt. i want to know what you think women's role in society is.

i begin taking attendance, and my students chat. one had just gotten back from a trip and was talking about it. i've learned to give them a few minutes at the beginning, and they work for the rest of the hour. angry kid didn't like that.

angry kid: shut up!! no one even batted an eyelash. shut-UP!!

me: angry kid, i don't want to hear you yell "shut-up" again. it's disrespectful. at this point students were working on their assignment, brainstorming in small groups. i really didn't want to end their discussion because it was actually really interesting, so i suggested, angry kid, why don't you go to the library to work. no one else's discussion will disturb you there.

angry kid: no, i'm going to stay here.

i continue to take attendance.

angry kid: i'm going to the hallway to work. at this point no one was even talking, but he left...and on his way out, he apparently handed football star a piece of paper.

a few minutes later, i hear laughing and whispering. when i ask what is going on, football star (who is also my student aide during another hour) hands me a sheet of paper and tells me he thinks it's a threat, but he's not sure.
angry kid has written on the sheet of paper, "go forth and apply a shaving implement to your wrists."
a. we just finished reading shakespeare, so i believe that's where the poetic language comes from.
b. yes, he actually instructed another student to go slash his wrists.
c. football star has been in too many tackles and didn't get what it said.
i wanted to laugh and was totally disturbed at the same time.
this kid is angry. we've had several run-in's in the past, and he's had issues since he was young. i don't put up with his disrespect, and that's a problem for him.
he has this game he likes to play where he does a "silent protest." he sets his head down on the desk like he's sleeping, but he isn't. he's passive-aggressively pissing me off.
and everyone says, "that's just 'angry kid'". well, that's unacceptable behavior.
any suggestions on what to do with this boy? i don't want to do anything confrontational because, quite frankly, he scares me.

Friendships, Speeches, and Music

I've been off-line for a couple days. I was invited to speak at MSSU to the Future Teachers. I have done this for several semesters, and it is always a blessing for me to get to go share my testimony of life with CP and how that has impacted my philosophy on teaching today. Every time I share, it's slightly different. I think God just highlights different things for different groups. Today was a lot of fun, and I pray that the students were blessed by what I shared.

Of course, it was also fun to spend some time with friends prior to today. I got to spend some time with friends on Saturday Night and all day yesterday and was ENORMOUSLY blessed by EACH person. I think it's amazing how I moved here almost two years ago, yet my friendships just pick up right where they left off. I LOVE THAT!

A particular highlight for me was when Cole asked me yesterday about my limp. Cole has known me his entire four years of life on this planet, and it was as if yesterday he noticed it for the first time. Of course, after I explained it, he was fine with it. I have to admit, it made me grin because of the way he asked me. Truth be told all of those kids are special to me, but when Cole did that, I was touched. Hard to explain, but priceless in my book.

It was also a highlight to get to play bongos on the worship team at BYKOTA yesterday. I haven't played since I moved here, and I have honestly missed it. Yesterday was so much fun! I was welcomed back with open arms, and we had SO MUCH FUN worshipping the Lord in Music together! I know I'm where I should be, here in KC, but it felt like going home. It was priceless.

I downloaded a song written by Laura Story last night that has just completely opened up some new dialogue with the Lord. I LOVE it when that happens. I downloaded it last night, and on the drive home and tonight I have just starting really talking to the Lord in a deep way again. Gosh, it's been INCREDIBLE. I LOVE IT! I will have more to share on that, I'm sure, in days to come. For tonight, I want to hear it one more time and crash.


Four and Three

Remember that whole "I will stick to this" thing? Oops.


Four Days:

I have four different preps this year. I've been fortunate with my two freshman classes to have another teacher guiding me through it, but my other classes I've been somewhat on my own. I'm doing decently well with them, but I can't wait until next year. I'll have three preps next year, two of which I also taught this year and one I taught my first year. I'm not teaching over the summer (I'm beginning my M.A.), so I'll have time to plan and have things really worked out for next year.
I know this happens quite frequently, but at my school, many of the veteran teachers feel the need to "break in" the newer teachers (and that means new to the district). They'll pile on the classes and not give them any guidance because "that's how it was my first year." This simply doesn't make sense to me. Because of this practice, we have a first-year teacher who has decided not to return to teaching next year. She's just too exhausted with all the work. (Disclaimer: I realize there's always work in teaching, but this young woman was given five different preps and no guidance at all.)

This practice is changing. Our new department head has been fair. He has taken everyone's strengths and weaknesses into account when creating the master schedule, and except for a few minor issues, it's been very well-received.

Three days:
Yes, today at noon, I will be half-way to ten days off. Not that I'm counting down.

I have three classes still working on term papers, including my two lowest level classes. My two freshman classes have turned them in already and are waiting for me to grade them. I keep reminding them that they had six weeks to write them...

Anyway, my two lower-level classes have never written a term paper before, and they've been very frustrated with the whole process. But I've been dragging them through it.
The English department at my school believes in teaching the notecard method of writing a research paper, and I know that for some this isn't practical and doesn't work very well. But I also know that if they ever move into a higher-tracked class, they'll need to know this.
I've been trying to explain to them that it works very well in helping to organize ideas, and most of these students know that's where there struggles in writing really are. Now that they're beginning to write their rough drafts, they're really beginning to see what I mean. One of them even said to me, "With the notecards and the outline, it's already written. I just have to put it in sentences." Yes, that's the point.

With the drafting of the essay, they're finding a new frustration...and I am, as well. Length. They've never written a four-page paper, and they're finding it really difficult. While I don't think that length equals quality, I do think it's important that they know how to write an extended essay, so I've been sticking to my guns on the length issue...and I've had a lot of frustrated students.
Some have taken my advice and found more information, and others have used their b.s.'ing skills (which they have a lot of practice in) to add pages to their essay...and still others have sat in their chairs and whined. I've got two more days of rough draft writing. The drafts are due Friday, so we'll see how it goes...wish me luck!!

the weaseley ray of sunshine in my terrible, horrible, no-good, very bad day.

as you have probably already deduced from the post title, today was not a good day. morning collaboration time was especially horrific this morning. bumbling department chair handed out official class assignments. they are called "official," but they are by no means definite. teachers can make arrangements with one another to switch classes if the switch is agreeable to each; however, because i'm not officially a permanent full-time teacher there yet, i have no spot on the board was labeled "replacement," as i will be replacing a teacher who is retiring. the english hags acknowledged in the beginning that if i want the position, "replacement" is me, so you'd think they'd take that into consideration when changing around my schedule. not so much. only one teacher asked before taking a class from me. the rest just stole and switched, not taking me into consideration. i went from having two new preps and three i'd taught already to having four new preps, one of them being a class beginning for the first time next year.
the poor teacher who is taking the place of my mentor while she is on sabbatical will be teaching for one year and will have six different preps. not only will this teacher be totally overwhelmed, as i'm going to assume it will most likely be a first-year teacher, but the students will suffer. this teacher will barely be able to keep his or her head above water, so how in the world will s/he teach the students anything?
then one of my little delinquents tells me:

d: you know, i took your class because i heard you were a cool teacher, but i don't see what all the hype is about.

me: i refuse to be insulted in my own classroom. go down to the office and let assistant principal bulldog know what you think about me.

that was a good time. then there was the usual bologna: kids messing with computers in the computer lab, kids forgetting homework and begging for an extension despite the fact that i reminded them multiple times on friday, kids calling me a "b****" under their breath because i wouldn't grant said extension, kids spilling bottles of red juice and staining my floor, kids stealing my flag out of my room...the list goes on.

but i had a good teacher moment thanks to one of my weasels (a term i use for my sneaky sixth hour kids). i have a good rapport with this kid. i give him a hard time. he gives me a hard time. but i like him, and i think he likes me. he just makes me laugh because he's so weasely...but he's a good kid. he just likes to try to charm his way out of things and knows it won't work with me. he tries anyway, much to my amusement.
i just enjoy these moments...the moments when you know that maybe they don't think you're totally uncool...

why i became a teacher.

when i was a little girl, i spent more time with my great grandmother than i did with my parents. she cared for me while they were at work. she took me to the mall on the weekends. she encouraged my bookworm-ish tendencies by spending hundreds of dollars on books for me. she's also the reason i chose teaching for my profession.
she taught for over forty-five years, and she had stories she'd tell me. sometimes they were funny, and sometimes sad...but they were always inspiring because of the smile she'd get when she thought about her teacher days. she was so happy to share those stories with me, and i could tell how happy teaching made her.
and her students. we'd be out to lunch or at the grocery store, and people would come up to her and tell her that she was their seventh grade english teacher...she hadn't taught for many years, and these former students looked old enough to be my grandfather...the fact that they still remembered her so many years later made a huge impression on me. she recieved christmas cards from students, valentine's day gifts from students...she even had one student dedicate a book to her. he sent her an autographed copy. this was a student she taught in fifth grade...remedial reading before and after school because no one else had bothered to take the time to teach him to read. i decided a long time ago that i wanted to be just like my gram. i wanted to inspire and touch my students the way she did. i wanted to make an impact on them so that years and years later they'd still remember me.
but most of all i want to make my gram proud.
last semester when i was student teaching, i'd go to her nursing home to visit her, and i'd tell her stories about my day. and she was always so excited to hear them. i could tell she was remembering her teacher days, and as i was telling her stories, i always hoped she was proud of me. i hoped she knew i was trying to be a teacher like who gave everything to her students.
she passed away last october...right in the middle of my student teaching. i think the hardest thing about it was she never saw me as a real teacher. and i know it doesn't matter. she was proud of me anyways, but that was the one thing i wanted.
my goal is to someday be as good as she was. to be patient and kind and understanding. i know i sometimes let the unimportant things get to me, and i need to stop and remember why i'm teaching.
sorry to get all emotional on you all...i must be tired or something.


Okay, so don't get me wrong. I have my priorities right. Jesus is first, others are second, and I am third. That being said, I LOVE sleep! My favorite kind of a day is a day that I don't have to set an alarm clock! Of course, having Jay around means that I have an alarm clock set! *grin* That being said, MOST of the time the furry kid waits patiently while I sleep. He just sits and waits. Of course, the moment I roll over I see Jay's face looking at me ready to pounce. I have to admit, it brings a smile to my face the moment I wake up. *grin* Today was one of those days.

I went to bed last night at a fairly decent time. I wasn't as tired as the night before, but I was still wanting to just SLEEP. I wanted to wake up feeling refreshed, and not lethargic. I can honestly say that happened.

I awoke to a furry kid staring at me as I glanced at the clock. 10:08. Ah. SLEEP HOW I LOVE YOU!!!

Of course, at that moment, the furry kid pounced on me and I started laughing. He wants to be the center of attention the second I wake up, and that's okay because he let me sleep late and he hadn't been outside for a LONG time.

Tonight I am headed to Joplin. In the morning I get to play with the worship team and be with my old church family!!! I'M SO EXCITED!!! After that I get to eat with friends from church before meeting friends from work. I can't wait! Then tomorrow night I get to hang out with one of my favorite people on the entire planet!!!

Of course, my motivation for going to Joplin tonight? So I can sleep later and still play with the worship team tomorrow!


Oh, Spring...

While Spring does mean Spring Break, for English teachers at my school, it also means term paper time ::insert evil music here::. Yes, I have been busy prepping, grading and handing back term papers lately, and I'm only halfway finished.

...on a happier note, I'm five days away from Spring Break...and in honor of this, I've decided to do a sort of Spring Break advent, that means five days of blogging. I will stick to this.

Five Days:

There are five scenes in Act III of Romeo & Juliet, which my freshmen had to not only "translate" R&J into their English, but they also had to act out each of the five scenes.

I've heard nothing but complaints about the language in R&J since we started reading it. They act as if it's foreign (which I suppose it sort of is, as they didn't take an entire class devoted to Shakespeare and reading his language while in college). They've been working very hard to get through the previous acts, so I decided to give them a break: Each student only had to understand one scene, and they had group members to help them.

At first they laughed at my idea and told me it was "stupid," and I had several students tell me they were not going to act it out. But within five minutes of putting them in groups, I heard things like, "And he's mad here, so you have to look angry," and, "Miss Anonymous, can we bring in props, to--you know--make it more real?"

If anyone has ever had to listen to freshmen--or students in general--read Shakespeare, you'll know it sometimes makes you want to bang your head on a wall until you pass out. And the students feel the same way. But this was entertaining for both them and for me.

Here's to five days until Spring Break!!


Today started out being odd, and wound up being special.

I went to bed early last night because I was so tired that I was ill to my stomach. I have really been working hard to give my BEST EFFORT in all I do, and I have found that that requires pushing myself in the evenings as well. That's fine, grade cards are done, progress reports sent home, and life is back to "normal." Tonight I have watched KU play ball and cuddled with the furry kid. It's important to work hard, but also important to relax. *grin*

That being said, I found myself frustrated today with the little people. Truthfully, they were fine. They weren't doing anything out of the ordinary. I was the one frustrated with the little quirks that don't usually bother me. Around 3:15 I stopped and took a deep breath. In that moment, I realized that I was letting the negative get in the way of the positive. I was letting the things I'm actually working on with them (Learning social skills, for example) frustrate me. Then it hit me, I wasn't seeing the BEST in them, I was focusing on what was WRONG with them. After another deep breath, I was glad that today was Awards Day in my classroom.

I had decided to do an Awards Day after our recent Assembly. Several of my students were bummed because they weren't given an Award during the assembly, so I decided that they should be noticed for what they ARE doing right in the L.C. They LOVED the Awards! In fact, several kids said "Thank You" when that is not part of their normal vocabulary. It was really touching.

It's amazing how a day can go from being ODD to SPECIAL.



i should be grading.

but instead i've been playing with my blog.
the other day we were talking about what they don't teach you in college, and from that ms. h came up with a sort of teacher forum to discuss all those things. i think this is a great idea. as i told ms. h in an email, i think people need to know what they're getting into before they start teaching. while i knew teaching would be difficult, i never realized how much it took. as i've said before in here, teaching isn't just discussing literature or grammar or composition. i have to deal with my kids' successes and failures just like i have to deal with my own. i have to deal with what's happening in their personal lives just like my own. they have things going on in their lives that i couldn't possibly comprehend, but i have to try. because they trust me, and they need guidance. and sometimes they don't know who else to turn to. i didn't know i'd be dealing with that when i first got started.
plus, the questions. i really do feel like a sideshow freak sometimes. they want to know everything. they apparently think teachers aren't real people.

good teacher day...

today was funny, to say the very least.

we were in the lab today working on persuasive essays. before the bell, students were lined up at the door, and i hear, "what's an areola?" i freeze in my tracks, trying not to laugh. the little girl keeps repeating the word over and over, and a boy is laughing. my face turns red as she turns to me. i tell her i don't think i can say what it is, as my face is already tomato-ish without saying anything. no one else seems to know, and at this time the entire class is wondering what the word means. finally another girl speaks up and says she knows. i ask her to quietly tell the class what it a not-so-inside voice with the lab door wide open, she shouts that "you know the colored part of your boob? the nipple? how it's dark? well, that's what it's called." i can see people in the hallway staring in at us, and my face turns even redder than before. all the rest of the class and i can do is laugh.
i'm beginning to wonder if i'm mature enough to handle this teaching thing...


Today was one of those AMAZING days. You know those days when so many cool things happen and you think, "GOD, YOU ARE SO GOOD TO US!" Today was one of those days!!! It was also a day that I know years from now I will look back on and say, "I remember when..."

I started out in a meeting before school and found out that a couple friends at work will get to remain with us! Well, as of now they will! I suppose a transfer is still possible, but as of right now, they are home! In the past few weeks my work family has been on quite a roller coaster due to various things beyond our control, and this was GREAT news for us! We needed some good news!

After school we had an unscheduled faculty meeting and found out that our interim leader gets to stay with us!!! It was one of those moments I will never forget because the big wig began by talking to us about what we wanted in a new leader, and then he announced who it was going to be and in that moment, we all cheered!!! I silently thanked God because on Monday I had started praying for this leader to join our family! That moment of cheer was amazing...the staff I'm on is INCREDIBLE and we're definitely headed in the right direction!!!

I'll be honest, EVERYDAY since my last leader left, I have missed her. Literally, I say a pray daily because I miss her, and I'm still walking through my feelings of losing a friend who was a part of my life. But I also know this is what was supposed to happen!

Thank You, God!


kids these days...

the primary/secondary source fight...
they don't understand when they get a magazine off a database it's considered a "secondary source." i've attempted to explain it several different ways, but they still didn't quite get how getting the article off a database is different from holding the actual magazine with the article in their hot, sweaty, little hands.
the l.r.c. is supposedly set up as a "research library," but really, that just means there's a computer lab and quite a few searchable databases. so, that really doesn't help my crusade for the primary source. that, and i kind of think the librarian doesn't even understand the difference between primary and secondary sources or why i'd want the students to have at least one actual magazine or newspaper article for their essays.

c's get degrees
my little delinquents will settle for c's. i don't understand where this mentality comes from, but i actually had one of them tell me today, "miss anonymous, why go for the a when c's get degrees?" i tried to explain the concept of taking pride in what you do and boosting the g.p.a. for college, but that made no impact at all.
i suppose it's better than the beginning of the semester when all the students felt that way. now i've got about half the class working for the a and half on the c mentality. i'm trying to go the "they don't think you can get a's route," and so far, like i said, it's working with about half the class.

the clothes...or lack thereof...
now that spring's coming, the girls are wearing these tiny skirts. when they bend over, i'm sure you can see their bums. and the boys and their pants down at their ankles...i swear, they're spreading hepatitis c. you've got the girls wearing these tiny skirts and thongs...they sit on the chairs, and you know all their "stuff" is on the chair. then you've got the boys with only a thin layer of cotton between themselves and yea...
i think i've taken this too far, but i'm a slight germ-a-phobe...and i'm disgusted with some of the clothes i've seen around school lately. i almost want it to be winter again.

selective hearing...
i know i didn't always listen to my teachers when i was in high school, but jesus pete, i have to write every tiny thing down...and even then they don't always get it. i refuse to be a mother to high school students. i'll remind them, but i'm not going to baby...i feel at some point they have to take responsibility for themselves.

i'm not that much older than my students, but the difference between me and my friends in high school and my students now is so dramatic. it makes me feel so old.
i mentioned that i'd been in the mall the other day, and i commented on the volume of the music in one of the kids all laughed at me and called me old. i don't even know what it's going to be like when i'm actually old.


yes, today is a snowday. it means i have an extra day to grade and prep for the two new units i start on friday. let me tell you, after the events of this past week, i can really use this extra day.
i feel like the kid who didn't do his homework and got his reprieve. i didn't have grades done like i promised. i accidentally left some of my papers at school, but i got lucky. despite the snow on the first full day of spring, it's going to be a good day. i'm going to finish my teacher stuff, go workout (because i swear, teaching is making me put on the pounds), then it's out on the town with the boyfriend. not too late...will have to teach tomorrow.
i'm also going to get my resume ready. i'm just not sure if i can stay at the school i'm at now. the teachers hate their jobs...they're so negative and angry. principal stopped by yesterday afternoon to let me know, "i'll see you next week. i'm going to keep you here. i don't care how annoying they are (referring to the other teachers, because he knows i'm looking for another job because of them)."
time to play teacher...

Things I Learned During Spring Break

This Spring Break I actually learned a lot. Well, I learned some new things, and was reminded of some things I already knew. I thought I would post them tonight.

1. Anything can happen during March Madness. My brackets were messed up when Pitt fell. Ah well, 'tis the season.
2. Jay has allergies, but is refusing to take his medicine. Perhaps I am understanding a little bit of what a frustrated parent feels when their child refuses to take their medication? *grin*
3. The Prayer Room is still my favorite place on the planet. When asked by my Dad the other night if I could live anywhere where would it be, I said KC because IHOP-KC is where I want to be!
4. Jay is still the coolest tan-haired dog I know!
5. It's okay to work on grades during Spring Break, and okay to leave some things for the work week. *grin*
6. Kids are still the highlight of my life. One night with Drummerboy and Singinggirls and I wanted to be back at school with my students. But, shhhhh don't tell the students that! *grin*
7. I prepared the Springer Resort for some guests this week. I'm excited to host people who are wanting to visit IHOP-KC. It will be fun. Oh, and my house is probably the cleanest it's been since I moved in here! *grin*
8. Reading is still one of my favorite things to do. I am a slow reader, but I am HOOKED on a book that I can't put down. That was one of the highlights of my week.
9. I fought loneliness a tad. Perhaps next year a road trip to Texas is in order. *grin*
10. I miss the taste of Pepsi. Seems odd, huh? Yeah, I'm on a new migraine preventative, and it's GREAT at preventing the migraines, but has changed the taste of pop. Yes, it's better for my body because I'm drinking less, but I do miss it.
11. I can hear from God again. Monday night in the Prayer Room, God gave me a word JUST FOR ME. I am used to hearing from God for other people, but it's been a WHILE since it's been for ME. I love it. *grin*
12. My parents have a stray dog that lives in their neighborhood. They have named her Daisy. The other night we fed Daisy but kept our distance. She's scared of people. Poor dog. Dad said he wanted to just hug her. I told him that wouldn't be love to her...yet. *grin*
13. I was reminded that prayer works. Last night I prayed for something, and God gave me an answer today. How cool is that? *grin*
14. The sermon this weekend was about loving one another. Gosh, after what I have processed this week about various stuff at work, I needed to hear the Word. The thing that pierced my heart was when he said, "You know, the only way you're free of risking getting hurt in love is if you wind up in Hell." Hum....that was what I needed to hear. *grin*
15. I can't wait to see Eli tomorrow. I've missed him! *grin*
16. Tomorrow morning is going to hurt. By the end of last week I was waking up at 11:30am. KU is currently playing in the big dance. I'm not going to bed early tonight. *grin*
17. I miss my Joplin friends. I am headed to Joplin this coming weekend though! *grin*
18. Time flies when you're having fun. That's definitely true, because Spring Break went by REALLY FAST. *grin*


Books, Kids, and the Prayer Room

Last night I had a WONDERFUL time with Drummerboy and the Singinggirls! We wound up having a Mario Party here at my house! We got to World 5! We laughed, yelled at the TV, and cheered each other on to victory. In fact, their Mother called in the middle of our game last night and I didn't answer the phone. (She called the home phone.) She immediately called the cell phone, which I answered. As I answered, we were all hollering and such because we had just passed a level! It was funny! I loved it!

After dropping the kiddies off at their house this evening, I went to the Prayer Room. Misty led at first, and that was my FAVORITE part of the whole night. While Matt continues to be my FAVORITE, Misty continues to be my all-time favorite. I encountered God tonight. It was GREAT.

After that set, I read my book. I checked out a book from the library at the recommendation of a fellow teacher, and I am completely into it! At times like this that I can't believe that there are people who don't like to read. I am about to log out so I can go read the book. *grin*

Spring Break has been great. I think it's going by too fast! *grin*



The highlight of my day was CORY'S set tonight. Wowowowowowowowowow! I was actually going to leave early tonight because I was feeling extremely guilty for coming home briefly this afternoon after hanging out with Papa-Son to let Jay out and then turn around and leave to go to the Prayer Room. The look Jay gave me when I left made it REALLY hard to leave! After Laura's set, and a set by Matt's Team, I considered leaving. But then Cory came out. Yeah, I didn't leave. *grin*

I can't even really put it all into words what God did and spoke into me, it was just one of those INCREDIBLE nights. It makes me wish Spring Break lasted TWO weeks and not just one. Ah well, Summer is around the corner.

As for me, I think Jay and I will head up to read and sleep!



I tell ya what, I have been praying for a breakthrough with the Lord for a WHILE now. That being said, I recognize I haven't been seeking Him like I used to, so it stands to reason that the breakthrough wasn't there because I wasn't pressing in like I wanted it. Tonight I spent 6 hours in the PRAYER ROOM and it felt like about ten minutes!!! It was amazing!!! AND THE BREAKTHROUGH CAME!!! *grin*

While I could explain every little detail of tonight, I won't. I wrote it all out in my journal, which is where it should stay. But, I can say that it felt GREAT to be hearing from Him again!!! I felt like a ball player who had been in a slump and tonight I was back in the action!

It's amazing to me how much the Prayer Room feels like home. I sat there tonight at one point just grinning, and (once again) pinched myself because I still can't believe I live here!!! I sat through three teams, the first one had a lot of Misty's team on it (Including Misty, but she wasn't leading), Matt (MY FAVORITE!!!), and then CORY!!! Ah, I loved it.




Today was a lot of fun. I drove shuttles, which was fun. And then I went to the PRAYER ROOM! Gosh, it has been a LONG time since I have just sat and relaxed in the Prayer Room for a period of time! I LOVED every moment of it! It amazes me how fast time flies in there. I sat down at about 2:15, and next thing I knew it was 5:45! I loved it!!! *grin* I plan on going again tomorrow!!!

Following that, I came home and immediately tuned in to see what the College Basketball Brackets look like for the Big Dance. I LOVED that too! I printed out a bracket and filled it in. Sure, I know you can fill it out online and have it all figured online, but what fun is that? I printed two copies, one for my picks and one for the winners! I can't wait for the tournament to start this week! It's going to be a FUN week!!! *grin*

I could get used to this Spring Break stuff! *grin*


My Wonderings....

Earlier this week I was in a classroom, and the Regular Education Teacher was teaching her students how to broaden their thinking as they become stronger writers. I am constantly amazed at how talented this teacher is when I go into her classroom. God has clearly given her a gift to write, and to encourage her students to love writing as well.

On that morning, she encouraged the students to ponder what they were wondering about. She used the example that she woke up that day wondering how her tutoring session would go that day because she was starting tutoring with a new student. The students were then asked to write about what they were wondering about. Since that morning, I have noticed that I have been wondering about a lot of things...

I went and filled up my gas tank today. Fortunately, today was the first day in TWO weeks that I have filled up the tank. One of the perks of moving here is that I live TEN minutes from work! That being said, this afternoon I paid $3.39/gal. I can't recall paying that much for gas before. Perhaps I have, but I can't recall it. As I was filling up my tank, I high will the cost of gas rise to in my lifetime? Or, more importantly, how high will it get in the NEAR future? That had me scratching my head quite a bit this afternoon. *grin*

We need to set our clocks AHEAD an hour tonight before I go to bed. (I'm obviously posting this on Saturday Night.) I read how it all started, what the idea behind it was, etc. And while I am excited about more daylight starting tomorrow, I have wondered why change it at all? Why not just leave it where it will be starting tomorrow? I dunno...I was just wondering...

This morning I woke up wondering about school. Two years ago this month I was sitting at my parents house during Spring Break with a laptop, filling out my MO-REAP application and sending in all my information to various districts and praying for a school that was what God had for me. I found it. I know that. Without a shadow of a doubt I KNOW that I'm where God wants me to be. That being said, I'm in the midst of some tough stuff at work. I woke up and just laid there, wondering. Wondering. Wondering. Wondering. God, what are you up to?

That led to a day-long discussion with God. I kept asking Him, WHAT ARE YOU UP TO? God and I have this ongoing joke, I keep telling Him that I want to the Fast Forward Button to see how everything turns out so that today is easier. He is constantly reminding me that that's not that way things work. I often tell God He's not that funny! *grin*

As the day went on, I realized I really need some time in the GPR this next week. I see parts of what God is up to, and will obviously not know EVERYTHING, as He's the only one with knowledge of the end of things going on, but I need to be strengthened in Him to finish out this school year. I need to journal. I need to pray. I need to REST. I know that is HUGE as well.

I also recognized today how I'm not as close to Him as I want to be. I want to be as close as Jay is to me. I sit here typing this, and he is asleep at my feet. Literally, he is in-between my legs, head on my left foot, asleep. Well, okay, he just woke up when I looked at him. *grin* But, he lays in this same position nightly, waiting patiently for me to get done blogging so we can cuddle before we head upstairs and crash. I want to be as close to God as Jay is to me. I have not felt that in a while. I know me, and I know why I feel that way, so I'm blessed to have Spring Break upon us. The GPR will be GREAT for me this week. *grin*

Finally, my last pondering for the day occurred as I was swapping messages with a Joplin friend a little while ago. I wonder how far KU will go in the tourney this year. *grin* See, I can ponder deep stuff, or just fun stuff. *grin* I think God enjoys it when I ponder both.

I think it's time to crash. I'm driving shuttles in the morning, and with the time change I don't want to be too tired. *grin*

GREAT...with Spring Break upon us!!!


This Spring Break I plan to...

1. Read
2. Cuddle with Jay.
3. Sleep In.
4. Catch up on DVR shows.
5. Watch KU play ball.
6. Did I say read? *grin*
7. Surf the web.
8. Hang out with C.J. at some point.
9. Hang out with Drummerboy and his siblings.
10. Take Jay to the vet.
11. Hang out with parental unit.
12. Watch a movie or two or three.
13. Sleep
14. Read
15. Walk Jay
16. GPR Time---CAN'T WAIT FOR MONDAY NIGHT!!! *grin*

I will do some school work, but it's not going to make the list. After all, my goal is to REST and RELAX a bit.

GREAT...WITH A BREAK!!! *grin*

quiet saturday...

it's saturday. i came in to school to get some grading done, but for some reason i'm sitting here crying like an idiot. i don't know if it's p.m.s. or if i'm really this overwhelmed. they never tell you in school how difficult this will be. they teach you how to make unit plans and lesson plans, talk about classroom management, give you a few hours in an actual classroom, then they send you out into the world...and it's nothing like they say it will be.
students don't care. and the ones who do care have so much other shit going on they don't even know what to do with themselves. they don't teach you how to deal with the suicidal girl or the boy who has to work nights to feed his little sister and pay the rent and never has his homework done. they don't tell you that you'll spend hours on those unit plans, and the kids won't even bother to pay attention to you. they don't tell you that you'll find the end of your rope and then some. you don't learn about the long hours until you live them.
but i suppose they also don't tell you about that lightbulb that comes on over a kid's head. how you can actually see his face light up when he realizes he's found the answer. or that one student who comes in after school over and over again for help and finally gets the a. and how good it feels when one of them finally thanks you or tells you that you did a good job. or a parent calling to thank you for what you've done with his child. or when someone says, "oh, you're miss's been talking about you."
i know why i became a teacher...i just have to remind myself seems like lately the good teacher days have been few and far between.
or maybe i just have p.m.s.


it's been a difficult week. i have a student i worry will hurt me, and i have a student i worry will hurt herself. i had to call both their parents on wednesday.
one of my seniors has anger-management issues....major ones. he's threatened both teachers and students, and explodes at least once a day in my class. he hasn't threatened me verbally yet, but he's made me very nervous on several occasions. this boy is a very good student, but he's very lazy. he takes lower-tracked classes so he doesn't have to work as hard. it's his choice; however, he picks on the other students, treating them with a total lack of respect because they aren't on the same level as he is, and he is also bored in my class. we don't move at a fast enough speed for him. i've asked him several times to keep his comments to himself, and i'm to the point where he doesn't get a warning. when he is disrespectful, he has to leave the classroom until he cools off, and he can't come back in until he apologizes to the other student. wednesday things really got bad when he decided to sleep while i was giving background information to the tempest. he decided he already knew everything, so he put his head down. i asked him several times to keep his head up and at least humor me by paying attention, but from what i gathered he was passive aggressively disrespecting me. after about five times of asking him to keep his head up, i gave up, but when the rest off the class left, i said to him, "please don't sleep in class anymore. it makes me feel really disrespected." he glared at me. so i told him, "m, i know you're too bright for this class, and you feel like you don't need to pay attention to me. next time you plan to sleep through class, don't even bother coming because i don't want to be disrespected that way again." he glared at me, slammed his notebook shut, and walked out. i've never gotten such a hateful glare from a student...and i had a kid throw a desk at me he was so angry with, i wrote him a detention, and i called his parents to let them know what is going on. they seemed supportive; however, what i got from them is "that's the way he's always been, so deal with it"...we'll see.
the next phone call was a bit more difficult. i have a girl i worry about. she's having a really bad time at home and at school. and i had to call her dad to try to figure out what i can do to help. i really like this girl, and i'm genuinely concerned about her, which made the phone call that much harder. even as i sit here typing, i want to cry for this kid again...she's just sweet, a good kid, and i'm at the end of my rope. talked to her dad, and he's feeling the same way. i still don't know what to do, and she hasn't been in class since the phone call. i want to call home to find out if she's okay, but i don't want to overstep that invisible line...
and to top it all off, this whole school stress is making me real life frazzled, and i'm taking it out on people i care about. i haven't been the easiest to deal with in the past week. i've been an emotional minute crying, the next minute being angry, and the next needing a hug. this whole first-year thing is hard.
i have the weekend to re-group and catch up...and de-schoolify myself.

Spring Break Eve

I really enjoy my job. I really do. My students are amazing little people. And even when they lie to me, as one of them did today, I still love them as if they were my own kids. In addition to my own students, I have also picked up two kids that I'm tutoring that I am REALLY enjoying as well!

That being said, I think everyone needs a break from each other. I know that I am in need of some time away. While I am not going away like my brother (Who is leaving the country...please be careful & have FUN Scienceguy and Moviegal!) I am simply in need of some time away from the building. We all do.

Today we officially welcomed someone to our staff and that helped my mood significantly regarding last week's stuff. It really did. And for that I am grateful. Deeply grateful. Our entire staff needed that. *grin*

I think some time away to rest and relax will be good for everyone.

We have the BIG DANCE coming up, I see good times in the GPR next week on my own schedule, and we get to start break with KU playing ball tomorrow night! *grin*

I can't wait.

SPIFFY...with break in less than 24 hours!!!


I think it's neat how God can bless you with something that just makes you grin ear-to-ear. This morning I had TWO of those moments!!!

Every morning I have a student come in to read his flash cards to me. He was on my caseload last year, but is on someone else's this year. He really wanted to keep seeing me though, so we decided he could drop by before school each morning and we could read his ten words. I enjoy my five minutes each morning with this student, as he tries SO HARD to get the words right. I love it.

This morning ReadingKid came in with AutisticBoy. AutisticBoy was in my class last year, and I don't see him very much at all this year. I was SO excited to see him! He came in and we chatted briefly. His words were, "I wanted to come see you since I don't see you any more." I was just GRINNING ear-to-ear. I LOVED IT! He didn't stay long, but I was really happy. *grin*

ReadingKid read his words really well this morning, which was nice too. He always does a good job though. I think once he builds his self confidence he'll get more fluent. *grin*

The other real highlight this morning was Eli. He had the library basket from his class, so I would guess he was either headed to the library or headed back to class from the library, and he stopped by my room. He came in and said, "Ms. Springer, I'm here to give you your morning hug!" I just grinned! I love that kid! He also came by after school to give me another hug before his tutoring too! Gosh, that kid is amazing! *grin*

Yeah, I'm looking forward to Spring Break next week like you wouldn't believe, but today was a pretty spiffy day!



I have been pondering something, and perhaps you can help me out. I have been pondering how to teach my students common sense. Let me give you a few examples:

Today I was in a regular education class for math. After the instruction was over, my students headed for the door to go to my classroom with me. I turned to one of them and said, "Do you have your notes so you know what steps to do to solve the problems?" To which the student replied, "No." Hum....

On FRIDAYS I eat lunch with my students. ON FRIDAYS. EVERY FRIDAY. IT NEVER CHANGES. A student who is in that group asked me today "Can we eat with you on Friday?" Hum...

A different math group was in my class today working on their assignment. My para wrote steps up on the board and told the students to write down the steps on the board so they can refer back to them. Only one of them did it. When asked why they didn't do it, one of the students said, "I can do it in my head." Hum...that's not what your paper shows...

I am often stunned as my students know that they struggle in school, but they don't always put forth the effort needed to make sure they have the information to complete their work. Sometimes, they don't care if the work is done. So, I am left to wonder how do I teach them to CARE about having the work done and done CORRECTLY? I'm just wondering...

I think that perhaps Spring Break is just what we all need. Throughout the building today I kept hearing, "You're not listening" from various classrooms. Between tough students and last week's stuff, we all need some time away, I think. I know I do...


Sorting Out Emotions

Have you ever walked through something and not really understood all the feelings you had at the time? That's sort of what I'm feeling tonight. I find it amazing how God made us. We can experience intense feelings of JOY and HAPPINESS and we can also experience intense feelings of sadness.

Today I have felt the full range of emotions. Someone in my life has moved onto other things last week. While I know this is best for that person, as well as all others involved in my life, I am still sad. I feel relief on a level that I don't want to begin to explain to you. But, on the flip side to that, I feel as if the person that left my life has died. The person hasn't literally died, but with a sudden change, the person was gone. No good-bye. No farewell. No closure. Every time I walked by the person's area today, I just felt overwhelming sadness. I know that in the long run, this is the best thing that could have happened. I know this with all that is within me, I know this is the healthiest thing for everyone. I'm still sad though.

My blog is about perspectives. Within my life, I am constantly looking for different perspectives on every situation, trying to make sense of everything. Most of the time, this works great for me. I often think, "Oh, so that's why so and so did such and such." And then I am okay with it. The problem with this thinking is that I often (to my own fault) don't allow myself to process what I'M thinking and feeling.

So, let me be really real with you tonight. I am sad that the person that I wasn't deeply close to or anything, but considered a friend, walked out of my life (And my other friends here in L.S.) last week. I will accept the reasons the person gave at face value and I REFUSE to gossip about the whys and such, but I will admit I feel hurt that the person just walked away. I have realized tonight how special that person was to me, even though we weren't close or hung out as friends.

So I have spent a lot of time in prayer tonight. I'm not done praying over all of this either. I think this is a process. God clearly has a lot to help me understand. I'm so glad that God is patient with me as I sort out these emotions to figure it out. I honestly don't know how people walk out life this side of Heaven without Him. I honestly don't.

Well, thanks for reading tonight. One week from tonight we will be on Spring Break. I have a feeling that's just what me and my friends need. Time away from work for a week.

As for me, I think I'll go get lost in my book.

Good...even when I'm sorting things out.


I hate change.
Let me explain this to you...I REALLY HATE CHANGE.
I'm not crazy or anything.
I think I'm an average person.
For some people change is easy.
For me, it just takes time.
Initially yesterday I cried about a change that I wouldn't have chosen.
Today I am smiling.
God knew what He was doing.
I just didn't know what He was doing.
I'm learning, slowly but surely, that change is a healthy thing.
Not that I didn't already know that, I did.
However, sometimes the unexpected changes initially shake us.
It's what we do after that, that matters.
After a couple phone calls from some Joplin people,
and some prayer time with Him,
I'm at peace and EXCITED about what is in the future for me and some of my friends here in L.S.!!!


A High School Dance...

Mr. Fiancee helped to chaperone a high school dance tonight. He was able to meet several of my little monsters. They were more than excited to meet them.

At one point during the night, he says to me, "This makes me grateful for my office job."

I think he finally got a glimpse of what I do...Good.

It's 3 a.m., and I want to go to bed...**

I'm tired. It's 3:23 in the morning. I visited Dennis's blog and got in on the non-teacher criticism of teachers debate. I'm not sure if my response to his post was coherent, but I'm okay with it if it isn't. Even English teachers can have bad days.

I'm not sure what I'm doing awake at 3 a.m. I know the dog kicked me, but usually I send him back to his bed and fall back asleep. But I can't tonight. My mind is racing, and I think it's going to make me nuts.

I figured rough quarter grades this afternoon. Most of my students are doing leaps and bounds better than they were at the beginning of the year. I even have several of my lower-tracked students I'd feel comfortable bumping up to the average track next year. They've worked so hard and made so much progress. But I have a couple students I'm really worried about.

One hasn't passed an English class since 5th grade. At the middle school, students can fail a class and still be passed on to the next grade. This particular student dislikes English, and thus chose to fail it. So, the result is a young man with above-average intelligence, but no basic English skills. Because of his ability-level, he's in an average class; however, he doesn't have the same skill-sets or the same drive as my other students. He squeaked by last semester with a D-, but I'm afraid that won't happen this semester. If he'd do the work of the class, I could work with him. But he doesn't. He finds creative ways to hide the fact that he's sleeping in class instead of paying attention. I call on him constantly and make him sit as close to me as he can; however, he still finds a way to ignore everything going on in the room. I want to see him pass, but I don't know how to help him.

I have several who miss several days per week. They have doctor's notes but miss so much school they can't keep up. I give extended schedules so they have deadlines of major assignments; however, the students miss class and don't get necessary information...then don't understand the homework assignments. Again, I'm at a loss.

Then there's that class. I think most teachers have that one class that simply annoys the snot out of them...I have mine. Because of tracking, these students come out of lower-level math and science classes, and many times at my school, lower-level means behavior problems. So, they all filter out into my English class. Individually I love them all, but as a class, they make me nuts. I have one student who's the ring-leader of them all. I've found that if I can keep him busy, I'm fine, but he's very apathetic when it comes to, it's difficult to keep him busy.

The one who really is keeping me awake, however, isn't failing. Actually, he is one of my lower-tracked monsters who's finally realized the importance of education...a little late, but better late than never. He wants to go to a Christian college and become a minister; however, because he's in the lower-tracked English class, he's going to have a difficult time getting into college and also succeeding in a college English class. So, I've told him I'll work with him before school twice a week. We'll really work on his writing skills...teach him those skills that he needs to do well. He's also going to have extra outside reading...more difficult than what he's getting right now. He's agreed to this, and I'm drafting up a contract for him to sign saying that if I'm putting in the extra hours, then he'll put in the extra work.
If I didn't think he'd put in the extra effort, I wouldn't have agreed to help him. What I'm more nervous about is that I'll fail him. He is banking on this. He wants to succeed, and I want to see him succeed. But what if he doesn't? I know that's not the attitude to have going into this, but I just don't want to send him up to a higher-tracked class next year and have him fail miserably. That would be such a blow to his self-esteem...not to mention all the work he's putting in.
So, that's the real reason I'm up at 3 a.m. I'm researching ways to teach basic writing skills. In the classroom, I use the "Revise, revise, revise" strategy...and that works, but I'm trying to see if there's something more. I suppose I'm looking for that magic know the one that won't fail?

So, back to Googling "magic solution+writing."

**title taken from Of a Revolution (O.A.R.) "Night Shift"** Song title as blog title idea from Leesepea. I didn't mean to steal her idea; however, that song is stuck in my head...although it's nearly 4 a.m. now.

and tomorrow is friday.

today was a good day. i let one of my little delinquents teach today. he rarely shows up to my class because he can't get up in the morning, so yesterday when he asked if he could teach, i was hesitant to say yes. but he promised to show up, and he did. he did an excellent job. not only did he take the time to read and understand the text, but he figured out a way to put it into terms his classmates would understand. they enjoyed his lesson, and i enjoyed having first hour off. i got to sit back and enjoy the show. and a good show it was.
seniors are funny. showing what dreams may come in connection with the inferno was a great idea. the kids are so caught up in the movie. they groan when i turn it off. i love it when kids get disappointed over the end of class.
i punished a couple immature boys by rewarding my kids who worked hard. let half the class go to lunch early, and i held a couple boys after class into their lunch. when the students asked why they couldn't go to lunch early, i told them, "i can trust those kids to be in the halls and not get me in trouble...not so much with you guys." they were more than a little angry. hopefully they think next time before they act like idiots in my class.
seventh hour prep is great. i get to spend the end of my day unwinding.


Today proved to be a HILARIOUS day in my little corner of the world! I had four separate situations today that led to GREAT quotes that I want to share tonight!

The first one came while I was walking down the hallway first thing this morning. A little first grader stopped me to give me a hug. I'll nickname him Eli for the sake of this post. Eli came into my room last year and helped out from time to time. We got to be pretty good buddies. So, after Eli hugged me, he started to walk on to his classroom. Next thing I heard was his little feet and "Ms. Springer, Ms. Springer!" To which I replied, "Yes, Eli." He looked at me, pointed to my leg, and said, "What's wrong with your leg?" I just started laughing! He's known me over a year and just now noticed? Wow! *grin* I LOVE that little guy!

The next one came a little while later after I gave a sixth grader his reading test. After earning 85% on his test, I told T.J. that we would play a round of Ratuki. (It's a FAST game that takes about 5 minutes to play one round, so it's a great reinforcer.) We played a round, and I won! So I said something like "Ha! I won!" To which he replied, "Ms. Springer you're crushing my spirit!" with a HUGE GRIN on his face! After I stopped laughing, I told him that was going in the quote book! *grin*

A little while later in the day I was walking out of the office to head back to my classroom, and I saw SWEETGAL in the hallway with her para. She saw me, stopped, put her books down, said, "Wait, I give you a hug." I stopped and gave her a hug. Isn't that GREAT?

Finally, the last one of the day came at the very end. Today is Principal's Day so my students were instructed to write a nice letter to our principal. They were told to write a Rough Draft and show it to me before getting the card to write on. The students had started writing, and had been writing for SEVERAL minutes when SLOWWRITER turns to my para and says, "So, what are we supposed to write about?" After we all stopped laughing, I put my head down on my desk and quietly prayed. Some days I wonder about my little people...


busy month

February was a busy month for me...term paper season, too much cold weather, illness, getting my tonsils out.

Hopefully I won't be ill as often once they're gone.

I don't have a whole lot to say...just wanted to post something.

Dr. Seuss Quote

"Don't cry because it's over. Smile because it happened."
Dr. Seuss