Thursday, March 26, 2009

Humbling Moments

One of my students told me yesterday that she over heard two adults talking about Condoleezza Rice.

She thought they were talking about a brand of rice...


One of my 8th graders turned to me in shock and said...

"Washington DC is not in Washington State???"

Even better.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Lengthing the School Year????

Spring break has officially come and gone, with me not at all ready to return to my classroom today. I love my job, but I had a great break and I know what to expect in the last 9 weeks of school. My 8th graders, who have been a delight all year long, will have gained "8th-Grade-itis" meaning they realize they are about to be high schoolers and are WAY TOO COOL to be in the middle school. They then choose to be as annoying as possible and push my every button...

Now...whenever a teacher vents about their job it's not taken too seriously by the other "professionals." Why?? Because of the months June, July, and August. Those who aren't teachers automatically assume that the sole reason we all chose this profession was because of the lovely summer months. Now I will be the first one to admit that I LOVE my summer. BUT I became a teacher because I love working with kids, and wanted a job that I would be happy to get up and go to in the mornings.

I recently read in an article that President Obama would like to extend the school year either by more days on the calender or more hours in a day. Now, Mr. President makes some very big points stating how other countries are developing kids so much faster than we are, and lengthening the time spent in school would be good for our kids' futures. But I ask Mr. President, what about our teacher's present. How many law-makers (including our President) have spent even one week inside of a classroom? Do they realize that we spend more time with these kids than their own parents, that we're responsible for teaching them math, reading, science, budgeting and economics (ha...some of our "experts" must have been absent that day), make sure they get enough exercise, eat the right foods, work on tasks individually, work together in groups, survive the hallways of a middle school, council their emotional needs, teach them manners...I could keep going, but I'm sure you get the point. Does our President realize that I spend 5 days a week for 9 months of the year with 130 middle school kids.

I love my job. But without my summers and breaks I would lose my mind. These kids are great 90% of the time...but they are not my kids. By the end of May I am exhausted. I am short tempered, less patient, and just flat out tired. And I work at a school with VERY GOOD kids...I can't imagine working in some schools with more difficult students in more difficult situations. Teachers need those summers to "re-charge the batteries," and without them, we would quickly run out of juice. Just as much as I am ready for summer by May, come August, I'm rearing and ready to go for a new and exciting school year.

So, Mr. President before you make any big educational decisions, please talk to teachers who have "been there, done that" (and not just the one's who voted for you).

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

My 180 Turn

I enjoyed high school. I don't have any horror stories about people being mean to me, I enjoyed most of my classes and teachers, and made lasting memories on a variety of sports teams. But the one thing I regret about my high school days is that I was not more outgoing.

I was a very shy elementary and middle schooler. I believe that that stemmed from one major goal; not drawing attention to myself. Throughout most of elementary and middle school I was at least a head or two taller than everyone else, I was easy to see. To add even more for people to look at, my face turns incredibly red when I get even the slightest embarrassed. So my first 10 years of school was spent trying to blend in and not give people any more reasons to look at me.

They by my Sophomore year something happened. My peers grew. I was still taller than everyone else, but it wasn't so drastic. I saw my height as a big positive rather than something to try and hide. I was still shy face would still turn red. I didn't want that to happen, so I still kept to myself for the most part. By the time my Sr. year rolled around I hadn't been to any weekend parties and I didn't have a large group of friends. I did have a couple real close friends who I would hang out with, but that was about it. The big difference between my Sr. year and my So. year...I wanted more. I wanted to be more outgoing and I wanted to have more friends, but I figured it was too late. All friendships had been established and people knew me as "nice." And we all know how hard it can be to penetrate those thick "clique" walls.

I waited for college. I couldn't have been more ready to try something new. It was a chance for me to start over, make new friends, and gain new experiences. And I did. My first two years at Hutchinson Community College I played on the volleyball team and established friendships that I still consider some of my best today. I love those girls, and miss them terribly. I just wish I was better at keeping in contact with them.

Today my face still turns red. Something I will never be able to change and will always hate. But that doesn't effect how I live my life. I have learned to laugh at myself (along with others) when I make my many mistakes. People who know me now can't believe I was this quiet, shy girl in high school. I love meeting new people and trying new things, and I am not afraid to go someplace I've never been before. I look forward to those challenges! I always tell people that if I could go back to high school with the personality and confidence I have now, I would have many more friends, but probably a few other people who didn't think I was just "nice."

Monday, March 2, 2009

Weekly Chatter

~ It's Girl Scout Cookie time! I bought four different kinds (to share with Ethan obviously).

~ It is also Lent. I always give up chocolate. This means I don't get to enjoy my Girl Scout Cookies yet.

~ This weekend was GREAT! I had a blast with Ethan and my family. I was sad to see Monday come, but there should be many more great weekends to come.

~ As we drove home Ethan and I stopped to take pictures of the Windmill farm in Beaumont. They are HUGE and actually pretty impressive up close. Beaumont has a historical hotel that allows planes to fly up and park right outside the little diner. E and I were going to stop for lunch, but since it was Friday we didn't know if they served fish, so we'll have to do that another time.

~ Last week had 3 absolutely beautiful days, perfect weather. Did any of those days land on my day off...NO! I take a personal day and it drops 30 degrees and snows that weekend. Stupid weather!

~ Spending the weekend at home has its consequences. I got on the scale this morning...not good. However I ate very well while I was home. I better make up for it this week.

~ ESU girls are conference champs!! The game wasn't a very good one but a win is a win and we still celebrated after with free pizza and beer...ahh the perks of your sister playing on the team :)

~ I am sooo behind in my grading, and since I am not willing to give up my evenings at Ethan's to stay home and grade papers (yuck), I am going to have to resort to taking some papers to his place to grade while we watch TV...maybe I will be able to talk him into helping me :)

~ The year is officially flying by. (And by year I mean school year, teachers have a totally different language at times) It is almost spring break already...and after spring break the year is pretty much over.

~ My nails are very pretty! They do a great job at Nail Envy on 21st and Maize.