Saturday, April 28, 2012

Looking Forward

I have two second grade teammates. One is very supportive of me and guides me well and the other is the one who tells me that National Board is a waste of my time.

Earlier this week, my nicer colleague asked me if Mrs. Principal had said anything to me about positions for next year. I said nope, I didn't think anyone knew anything. I did tell her that I had sent an email to Mrs. Principal and said if she HAD to move me, at least put me back in 4th or 5th where I am comfortable. But truly I won't be upset to stay in 2nd either. I do miss big kids...but I also am enjoying 2nd grade the longer I teach it. If I teach it again next year, I can imagine how much better I can be in tightening up my routines and teaching to better benefit my students and myself. I had to chuckle because during this conversation, my colleague said, well you can't go back upstairs because they don't like you up there. I was offended and like "what?!" (and know that it is not in this person's character to be so mean!)...then she smiled and said "I'm totally lying but we want you in 2nd!" At least someone appreciates me!

I started to move my room around yesterday. I didn't think to take any "before" pictures until after I had already started moving things...not that it was much different from earlier in the year. I have allowed parts of my room to become cluttered and messy. And it's on my nerves! So it's time to remedy that. I had to leave to pick up Middle Child from play practice so I didn't get to finish moving everything but I'm quite happy with what I have done so far. A few more changes here and there and I should be set. I usually move my room around at the end of March, at our last PD/Records day before Spring Break. This year I didn't...and I'm doing it now. If I like it and it flows better, I may well keep it like this next year if I do end up teaching 2nd. I will take pictures once I am done with it. My room has such a weird flow that it's hard to pick a design and stick with it.

I have been slightly productive today. I registered my domain name for my publishing house (helpful that I already have one for my classroom so I just had to add one) and created a logo at VistaPrint. I'm excited about it. If all goes well, I will be ready to publish my musings by September or October. I need to get National Board finished and behind me before I can really spend any time tackling finishing this project. I'm beyond excited about it.


Photobucket

Thursday, April 26, 2012

The good, the bad and the ugly & jealousy

I have often mentioned how much one of my colleagues despises the fact that I am pursuing National Board. She went for it years ago and didn't make it. Today I had said something about scheduling my test and she went into another rant about what a waste of time it was for her, how she didn't learn anything, how "pissed off" she is that I got money toward the fee and she didn't, etc. 

Our district now pays for part of the application fee, which they didn't use to do. Plus the state had federal grant money solely for the purpose of paying for part of the NB application fee. I did not apply because it said to apply only if you had financial need, which I really didn't. Someone from the state emailed me and said money was still available and it is a "use it or lose it" situation and they wanted it to go to candidates. So I applied and got the grant. I didn't pursue that at all.

And Mrs. E is mad about that. I don't get why she is so discouraging to me. First of all, NB has changed so much since it was first begun. It has evolved to be bigger and better. Secondly she did the EC-Gen certificate, which in my mind is super difficult because it literally spans all of the areas. I am specialized in literacy. Much more to my liking and what I am passionate about. Even if it was a waste for YOU, you shouldn't discourage someone else! It makes me so sad. 

Plus she claims she got nothing out of the process and that it didn't make her a better teacher. Well, that's probably why she didn't certify (my opinion). I have no doubt I WILL certify because I reflected, agonized, tried again, agonized more and really push myself and my students to be the best. Even today I find myself saying phrases I clung to in the process of this -- it has just become part of who I am as a teacher. I think that's awesome. I know I have benefitted and my students have too. Poo on her if she can't see past her jealousy to be encouraging to me!

And now...onto my very own version of THE GOOD, THE BAD AND THE UGLY...in reverse order for your reading pleasure:

THE UGLY: our class fish died. :( I got to school this morning and had to have a funeral. *sigh*

THE BAD: My class was bonkers are day. Grrrr. I turned all the desks around before I left. We have tables with open insides (clearly not designed by a teacher!) and they play in their desks constantly. I've had it. So now they will hate me because the tables are backward. Maybe we can actually get something done now!

THE GOOD: I emailed our new superintendent to let her know how much I appreciate what she's already done in our district. Mentioned that one of my colleagues said I would make a good principal (and Mrs. Principal at Former School always told me that too) but that I wasn't sure I was cut out for it. She emailed me back, personally, not through her secretary, and invited me to contact her assistant to discuss leadership roles for me. Cue my jaw hitting the floor. Plus she said at the end "we can learn together how to make changes". Trust me when I say how amazing that is....former super was so full of himself, morale was in the basement. It does not escape me that my principal whom I have worked with for almost 2 years doesn't see my potential but someone I've never met does because of an email.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Tired Tuesday

Part of me kind of wishes I had taken today off. I was good most of the day....toward the end I was just drained! Sooo tired. Made it through my day without any pain meds which is good (just Motrin so nothing real fancy). I did take some when I got home because I was feeling kind of sore but otherwise no biggie.

I've found that mostly I am tired. I'm tired of yelling at my kids to stop talking and start working. I am tired of repeating myself. I wish I had taken today so that I could have a day of reprieve to NOT have to repeat myself another two million times. Don't get me wrong, I really do like my class but after 140+ days I'm sick of telling them to stop talking. Multiple times a day. They wonder why they don't know anything -- hard to know what to do when you never stop talking long enough to hear directions completely.

Tomorrow we have another field trip, to a play. It's for most of the morning which means I am really only teaching a half day. That will be nice! Hopefully by Friday I will feel a little more like myself again and can get past my grumpy gus feeling.



Photobucket

Monday, April 23, 2012

Monday Surgery

I got an extended weekend, by one day, to have surgery this morning. (Nothing real major, I will be at work tomorrow.) We got there early because we had to drop off The Littles at school and it was dumb to come home for 15 minutes just to leave again. Checked in at 8:30 and didn't leave until just after 3. Of course when you have a surgery where you have to be put under you aren't allowed food or water after midnight. So by the time we left the hospital, I was ready to chew my arm off. The doctor told me to eat mostly liquids today. Yeah, right. I made The Husband take me to IHOP and darn the consequences! I was STARVING.

Came home and took a nap. I am ready to go back to bed since I do have to work tomorrow. I have been participating in candidate chats for the NB Assessment Center lately and will be doing another one tonight (yeah not my brightest of ideas since I should be resting). I did not think I would be at the hospital as long as I was.

I got word last week that the student teacher assignments for fall went out. I didn't get anyone (AGAIN). I emailed Mrs. CT who coordinates all of that stuff and she said only 2 student teachers and one TA have been assigned to our school so far but she would email and find out if more are coming. It makes me mad that both of my colleagues are getting someone again for the fall. They have had help all year this year. It's a load of garbage. And Mrs. CT knows people are ticked about it so when I asked she said she would put a bug in the ear of the person who places them from the college. I  know the fall has a TON more student teachers available because all of the special education teachers have to do a "general education" placement in the fall of their last year. It's just annoying. I will be National Board certified and can't even get a TA. Lame.

Lots to do tomorrow since I only made copies for today (copy machine broke at school and was being serviced ALL DAY Friday). I did not stick around after school Friday. Grabbed my little ladies and headed to our cabin. It was nice and relaxing. So glad I went. I missed The Husband though. More than I thought I would. My medical crap of late has put up a bit of a wall between us and that's hard. He is amazing though and came through for me when I got home yesterday and was an emotional basket case about today. 

I plan to take it relatively easy and sit as much as I dare. I was told I could go back to work but I don't want to over do it and make myself light headed or anything.


Oh, and I got a ton of compliments on my pretty nails from all of the nurses. So fun. The discharge nurse who helped me after we were done also asked me about my wrist tattoos. I told her my motivation behind them and she said I was a brave and wonderful person. Last week our custodian told me that I had a pretty face and beautiful eyes (he wasn't flirting). He said my soul was beautiful (as evidenced by my eyes). So I've been feelin' the love lately even though I have been kind of a nervous wreck about other stuff. I will take all of that positive thinking and get through the week to Friday when I can really relax and let my hair down so to speak. AND my sub from today emailed me and said my class did an awesome job today. The Husband was laughing all day as I would check the clock and say "oh the bell just rang" or "oh the kids just went to lunch!". They are my reason for everything (besides my own family of course). I'm glad that this part of my journey is behind me. Two weeks to learn results of my biopsy and a new plan of action.


Photobucket

Friday, April 20, 2012

Goodbye stress!!

Right now I am sitting at Big Boy with The Littles.

We shall eat then head to Heaven (aka the cabin). It's just the three of us.

I am not even there yet and already feel the stress of the week melting away and my nerves for my procedure Monday lessening. Life is good.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

And the beat goes on....

I am proud of myself. You should be too.

Why? Because I did NOT give in to the temptation to have a meltdown. A "major episode" if you will (I'd link to the last one I had but...my iPad ate the entry so it's just a blank one with a title). I almost popped an Ativan. Until The Husband pointed out the pills are 2 years old and probably would kill me if I took it. (Okay, he didn't say that.) But he did tell me it would not be wise. And I had to admit he was probably right. Just this one time.

So I hopped in the shower and stewed. Let off some steam (pun intended). And crisis averted. I'm not 100% okay but I won't freak out and that's good.

Too many things happening in too short of a time period. When I get vastly overwhelmed, either emotionally or physically, I eventually shut down. I'm like a robot who had some foreign code typed in that starts shooting sparks and steam and saying in its creepy robotic voice "does not compute!"


It's been a weird week. I am having surgery Monday. It's outpatient so I will be at school on Tuesday. I asked one of our former student teachers to sub for me. Then one of the interventionists quit so they asked her if she wanted that job. Which is GREAT and she deserves it. But NO ONE TOLD ME that they were going to take her out of my class for Monday. Um, thanks?? OBVIOUSLY I had her in there for a reason! I do not need to be worrying about my class being in the hands of some bozo when I am at the hospital. And since "Anxiety" might as well be my middle name, I WILL worry about it. Which is why I asked this fabulous gal to be my sub. I am just majorly slightly peeved about it. It's fine in the end but HOW RUDE and UNPROFESSIONAL.

This fabulous sub that I wanted so bad came on a field trip with us today because she is awesome. She was a helper in the intervention program for four years as part of her work study in college. Then she student taught at our school with Mrs. CT...and I was livid about that. Because Mrs. CT did not really help her or mentor her at all. So now Fab Sub and I are like peas and carrots. She even told me once that she wished *I* had been her mentor (awww, cue the hugs). She was really upset that no one told her about the switch for Monday. She knows me well enough to know I am going to worry with some random person in there and she felt bad, but shouldn't. Not her fault at all.

And I'm SO grateful she came to the nature center with us. We had a great time. The kids learned a lot and had fun. It's so much easier to have a second adult because these kids are SO sheltered that they don't know how to behave when they get excited. I hate field trips for this reason. But it went well and the guides complimented their behavior so that's good.

After school, in an effort to get things set so I don't have to stay until 8 p.m. tomorrow, I got my sub plan written and my things around to copy for Monday. After I got everything I needed for my sub copied and went to copy the stuff for tomorrow, the copy machine broke. Awesome. Just what I needed. So I have to find a way to copy/paste and manipulate the stuff at home and print it out because I NEED it for tomorrow (it's part of our benchmark testing). Plus I have to grade my stack from this week and I'm having a chat for National Board from 8 until 9. The little girls and I are going straight from school/daycare tomorrow up to the cabin so I have to have laundry and clothes packed since I'm not coming home first. 

Get home to find a huge medical bill because we have a deductible now that we never had before. And that's when I nearly flipped my lid.....too much in a short amount of time. Breathe, breathe, breathe. I wish I could say "the hell with this stuff" but I can't. Things have to be done a certain way and go home on a certain day because it's the routine and it's what I do...I just need no more surprises tonight!

I will be lucky if I get to bed before 11 with everything I need to do. And tomorrow I have recess duty. Aw, crap.
Photobucket

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Tired

I'm tired. Too tired to think or write or do much at all. I need a super long weekend!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Where does the time go??

I have come to the conclusion that I could waste my entire life in front of the computer. Wow. I have spent way more time than I am willing to admit in front of my computer this weekend. Considering that many nights during the week I don't use anything but my iPhone or iPad to check email and check in on other things, that isn't horrible. Making up for lost time I guess. But it's scary to see how fast time flies when you're just perusing things online. I sit down to do a few things and look up and realize three hours have passed. That is not cool. 

It is now 7 p.m. and I have about 20 things to do before 8 when the chat for the AC starts on Yahoo. I need to be there since I missed the first one.
I also need to do lesson plans for the week since I have only gotten through math. Oops. I need to pack up the centers I made and cut the rest of the pieces out so those are ready for the week too. Plus get the girls in the bath and you know, act like a mom. 

Time flies away from me so fast on the weekends and then its Sunday night and I feel rushed. It's annoying. 8 weeks until freedom. 



Photobucket

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Blog-Stalking

Things have been so insane for me lately with school, National Board and other things that I haven't had as much time to Blog-Stalk as I would like. I ♥ reading other blogs. I do read them daily but I don't get the time to comment and follow all the fun links to other new blogs, etc.

Today I have spent quite a bit of time blog-stalking and have found lots of awesome Daily 5 stuff to use next year. I love free printables!! =D 

And then I look at my clock and realize the reason my tummy is so rumbly (ala Winnie the Pooh!) is because it's nearly 3 p.m. and I have had zero lunch. I guess I got a little carried away with my Blog Stalking! 

Happy weekend!

Photobucket

Friday, April 13, 2012

Finally Friday!!

What a week! Usually the kids are psycho BEFORE a break but this week was a doozy. Kids were just nuts!

My kids weren't too bad but I think we had 15 suspensions this week! Insane!

I suspended one yesterday and today. Craziness.

Very glad for the weekend. Hunny and I left the ladies home and are heading out to dinner alone. It will be a nice way to end this weird week!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Oh yes I did....

Yesterday after school I picked up The Littles and we went to the nail salon. I hadn't had a fill in three weeks and my nails were driving me crazy. While we were there and they were soaking off my old color, Middle Child (my dyslexic Aspergirl) was watching something on the TV there and says to me, "No mom you have to go like this..." and demonstrates an OH NO YOU DI'NT move. I nearly fell off the chair laughing.

And today, OH YES I DID! I've been going back and forth lately about my thoughts for next year. I really miss big kids. I do. While I have said that I wanted to stay in 2nd for consistency and whatnot...if given a choice, I would totally go back up to 4th or 5th. And frankly we have some...uh...."special friends" who will be in 5th next year who need a bit of a hard ass in their lives. Just before Spring Break our secretary even said that they needed someone like me up there. I AM a hard ass and I don't tolerate disrespect, ever. BUT I am also a firm believer in a tough love kind of approach. You have to give those kids a reason to care...and help them realize that YOU care too. I personally find that easier for me with big kids. Some people like the small fries...I like the big ones.

So after talking with my lit coach after school about something else, we were talking about next year and she encouraged me to email Mrs. Principal and just let her know I'd like to be considered for anything that might be open in 4th or 5th. So after school I did just that. I also said if there were to be any split classes (not unlikely) that I'd like her to consider me for those as long as they are 3/4 or 4/5. I do not want to deal with a half MEAP and half not MEAP. Lame.

We usually are notified sometime toward the end of April since the internal bid process happens starting in May. Either way I will be okay...but I personally do feel like my strengths are with the bigger kids and that's where I want to be.
Photobucket

Monday, April 9, 2012

Monday Schmonday!

So I survived my first day back. It wasn't bad at all actually. Truthfully, the worst part was sleeping last night. I could not turn off my brain at all, even though I was tired. I think I finally fell asleep around midnight, had the weirdest dreams ever and then woke up before my alarm. Which is SO not like me. At all.

The day went pretty good though. All my kids were present which was kind of nice. We had a great morning with math, writing and reading. This group of children are the worst writers I've ever had. All of my tricks have fallen flat with them. It's disheartening :( So I got the grand idea that we needed to do some "backwards planning". They write a plan and then completely ignore it when they write. So using the mentor text Widget by Lyn Rossiter McFarland, which we've read before, I showed them how to backwards plan. Using our power writing model (P1=topic, P2=events, P3=details), I showed them how Lyn Rossiter McFarland *might* have planned this book. They sure seemed to get it. We shall see tomorrow when they have to do one on their own. I LOVE writing but it has always been the most frustrating thing for me to teach. Especially this year.

I did tell Mrs. Principal that I had a dream about her. She kind of chuckled and said, "a dream or a nightmare?" *wink* I had to tell her about it because of an event from the week before break. This big educational guru was visiting our school and they had a big meeting. Mrs. CT had a kiddo from her class who was very rude and disrespectful to her sub so the sub sent the kid to the office. I happened to be down there because my kiddos were at recess. Mrs. Secretary asked me what I thought should happen to this kid since I had taught 5th last year. When I found out he was disrespectful, I was honest with him and said he should be glad I wasn't his teacher because it would take him a lot of work to make that one up (one thing I can not and will not tolerate is a child disrespecting an adult because they think they can--uh, SO not happening on my watch). After that Mrs. Secretary said they REALLY needed me back on the 3rd floor (aka 4th and 5th grade) next year because of this group coming up to 5th. So I jokingly said to her "well tell Mrs. Principal that we need a b---- upstairs and that b---- is Mrs. Sunny". Mrs. Secretary got a huge giggle out of that. Well I had a dream about it last night so I had to tell Mrs. Principal because I thought it was funny that not only did I say it, but later I dreamed about it too! She laughed when I told her that and said it was the funniest thing she'd heard in awhile and thanks for the laugh. It did not escape my notice that she did not say "oh but you aren't a b----" *wink*

All in all, it was a pretty good day. Went to the nail salon after our meeting because I haven't had a fill in weeks and they were growing out so much. Changed my tips to blue and they're SUPER blue. But I like them. It's the little things that make it all worth it in the end.



Photobucket

Sunday, April 8, 2012

And the tears fall....

Do you hear that? Listen carefully.

It is the sound of many, many teachers whose Spring Break is ending tonight crying. Maybe silently on the outside, but on the inside, we're losing it!!

I'll be honest. I am not ready to go back. At all. Somehow, this year has just turned into a huge pile of drama and bullshit in my life and I'm kind of sick of it. I don't associate school with it or anything, but the stress from the job makes it harder to deal with the rest sometimes. I am also having some...uh...female health issues (sorry, there is no delicate way to say that) which just adds to the rest of it, plus it's now that time to be moving my attention toward the assessment center portion of National Board. Eeek!

I did truly enjoy my Spring Break, however. We got snow Friday, which isn't unheard of for Spring Break. It didn't snow at home but it did at our cabin (which is smack in the middle of the northern part of the state -- the best part about being a Michigander is being able to point to your hand to show people where you live or visit). It was gone by Saturday. The Husband was up from Friday-Sunday night and then had to go home so he could go to work. It was just the girls and me Sunday night-Thursday night. We slept, relaxed, watched movies, took a couple road trips, raked lots and lots of leaves (which made me lose 3 lbs!! BONUS!) and did a lot of relaxing. Man I needed it! I read 5 books while we were there! Some I had started before break but didn't have time to finish what with National Board and all. It was awesome to just have some time to sit and read. I also built my first fire...it didn't last long and I had to use a LOT of lighter fluid but that baby burned for about 30 minutes. I was quite pleased with myself. 

We ended up coming home last night. I didn't want to but was talked into it. I'm kind of glad we did because it has allowed me some down time today -- had we made the two hour trip today I would be cranky tomorrow since there is laundry and all of that usual Sunday stuff happening. 

The Husband came back to the cabin last Thursday night since he had Good Friday off. He and I took a short road trip and had dinner out and saw The Hunger Games. Today, since we were home and The Oldest was upset that she didn't get to see it too, her and I went to see it. The theater we went to up north was super old -- it smelled funny and had no frills whatsoever. And they only show one movie at a time! But the seats were only $4 so I couldn't complain too much. The Oldest and I saw it for $5 each today which is also a steal. I was Team Peeta before but whew *fans self*...if I was about 10 years younger.... *wink*

I got all of my grading done except the huge research papers that no one probably even cares if I grade. They really are terrible. This group of kids are the worst writers I've ever had. No matter what I do with them, their writing is just awful. We've tried frames and everything. It's frustrating (and why I am putting off finishing that grading). But all the stuff that I needed to have ready for Monday is done so that's fantastic. It didn't really feel like I was working since I could take my time at it. Which would be nice if I had that luxury all the time!


Now that we're back to reality, it's time to prep for the AC of National Board (you can read more about all things National Board related here). I also need to do some research so I can start my publishing company and get my book ready. First I am off to enjoy an untraditional Easter dinner with the family and cry a little as I pack up my box to return to school tomorrow. 10 days flew so fast!

Photobucket

Saturday, April 7, 2012

The end looms

It is a bittersweet day today. It is beautiful and I am sitting at my picnic table grading the pile of stuff I have avoided all week. I don't really mind. If I do it now, all I have to do Monday morning is file them all in mailboxes and I'm set. That won't take long at all. Then I just need to prep for writing and I'll be golden.

I am sad, however, because tomorrow we have to go home. :( I am not ready! I have had so much time to relax, think and recoup. It has been wonderful! I am not ready to go back to my life! Especially knowing The Husband's company may strike soon and I may be stuck teaching summer school, ugh! I will hope to avoid that but I don't know if I can. :(

I find myself not caring about the drama in my life when I am here.

I made a big decision while I was here too: I AM going to publish my musings but on my terms. I am going to establish my own publishing house and self-publish. I found a great printer already and my start up costs will be under $300 if I am slick about it. I don't think my story will be a best seller or anything but for my own closure, I need to do this. I have said multiple times that if people like me less because of the truth about me, then they aren't worth my time. Period.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Titles

In talking to my fabulously awesome husband, he said, "why don't you merge your blog with your story (ie the truth)" and I realized he is brilliant (like I would marry someone who wasn't!!).

I said I could call it The Caffeinated Teacher: The True Story of the Caffeine Queen. I like it. It's better than my current working title which is "Tainted".

Which do you like?

BTW someone asked if I was sure I wanted to share. I am beyond hiding behind what happened to me. It shaped who I am...and anyone who likes me less because of the truth is as bad as the skeletons in my closet who put me in this position in the first place. I'm not worried about that. Not anymore.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Would you read this?

I am happily enjoying my spring break even though it started with snow!! (We got snow our first day at the cabin and in true Michigan fashion, it was gone the next day!).

I have finished 4 books since I've been here. All books I started and never had time to finish. It has been nice to sleep in, relax and do whatever I want. It has been a relief to realize I didn't forget how to relax :)

I am working on my musings. Basically telling my story, the truth about every crap thing in my life: the abuse, the truth about The Oldest's parentage despite how despicable it is. Wondering if any followers would be interested in reading it?