Sunday, November 4, 2012

Time flies....

Well, it's 5:30'ish on a Sunday night, I've done my plans for tomorrow and I've done some research toward my next course.  I'm finished cleaning up from a supper of partridge, pork, mashed potatoes and gravy (homemade), and ployes.  Soul food.  I'm caught up on laundry and there's nothing really to clean.  I actually have free time to spare, but what gives?  I can't help but feel that there's something I should be doing.

As a kid, I had no problem lounging around doing nothing.  As an adult I could still sit around and relax.  It seems like it's been years since I've been able to just sit down and relax.  Since I went back to college in 1998, at the age of 28, I've been constantly improving my education. I've either taken courses to go towards my endorsement in English as a Second Language (ESL), other professional development workshops, or working towards my masters for the past 2 1/2 years.  

For the past several years, I've not only juggled the course work I was working on, or balancing the classes I was teaching, too, but I've also helped with the raising of the chickens and turkeys (as my long-time readers know), and lending Hubby a hand with the other animals we were raising for food.  And I wonder why it seems like time is flying by quickly....
I know look at the little boys that have been in my life for the past 10 years, the oldest now 15 with a driver's permit and a job, and the youngest now 11 and in love with playing football.  My has time flown by.  Before we know it the oldest will be in college and the youngest in high school.  Incredible.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

So frustrating....

I learned yesterday that I got an "A" on my latest class, which was such a good feeling!  I only have 1 more course to go before I'm finished my Masters degree.  However, what's so frustrating is that my job tends to cause frustration for me here at home.  I'm trying to get my dumb, school issued PC to work (I would much prefer a Mac, thank you very much!) so I can get this week's newsletter done for tomorrow, and my husband wants to head out somewhere.  I'm trying to get him to understand that I can't give him a time frame as to how long it will take....if I had that power, we wouldn't have to work because we would have won the lottery a long time ago.

What doesn't help is when you take two people who are both stubborn and frustrated at the same time, that doesn't turn out well.  Let's just say that I'm home alone, now finished my newsletter, at least as finished as I can get after restarting that dumb PC about 5 times, and I'm updating this blog while he's out to where he wanted to go.  Oh well...story of my life.  At least I can get into my fluffy, fleece pj's and relax.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

New Beginnings

New  beginnings are great.  Who doesn't enjoy a fresh start?  As a society, we welcome a new year with resolutions to make positive changes in our lives.  New relationships bring us new opportunities and perhaps even new love.  New high school graduates look forward to not only their freedom from parental restrictions, but also for a new start at a new place.

I had a classmate, and a good friend at the time, who you could easily forget was in the room because she was so quiet and shy.  After her first semester at a college just a little over an hour away, she was a totally new person.  Gone was the quiet teenager with little self confidence and now she was full of exciting stories to tell of her experiences.

As a kid, I always looked forward to a new quarter or semester in school, basically because I had a chance to do better.  I wasn't the best student, not because I couldn't do the work, but because I just couldn't bother myself to do it, as far as my memory goes.  When I began going back to school to become a teacher in 1998, that was my fresh start.  I surprised myself on how great a student I could be.  I made the Dean's list every semester, and received the Presidential Award, graduating suma cum laud.  This was one fresh start that showed me what I could really do.  Gone was the girl who didn't finish what she started.  Gone was the girl who couldn't stay focused.  Gone was the girl who didn't have an ambition or goal to look forward to.  Now I was the woman who had a dream to be a teacher, who gained the confidence that she could do anything she attempted.

Now my latest fresh start is my new teaching position.  I won't lie to you all, it was, and still is at some point, a huge change for me.  I went from teaching 7th and 8th grade students to now teaching 3rd graders.  I also have to adjust from teaching different groups of students for 80 minutes at a time to teaching the same students for the entire day.  Also, I taught language arts, now I also have to teach social studies, science, and math.  There are also different components that I have to focus on that was never a concern for me in middle school.  If a middle school student struggled with reading, then at that point they were probably in special ed for language arts.  However, 3rd graders are still working on their reading, so I have to continuously measure their progress with fluency checks. I had to learn how to do that.

Now that we're 7 weeks in to the new school year, I'm now thinking like a 3rd grade teacher.  This fresh start has come with challenges, but I've proven to myself that I'm more than capable of meeting any challenge that comes my way.  I know that I'll never feel like I know it all, but I don't believe that I'll ever know it all.  No matter how long I teach I'll always view myself as a learner and a work in progress.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Update on life

Wow!  Finally sat down long enough to check out my blog and realized that I have left life hanging.  The latest news is that my teaching position as a middle school teacher is gone.  That was already certain in my last post.  However, since then I've been hired as a 3rd grade teacher.  I've got from teaching 13 and 14-year-olds to now 8 and 9-year-olds.  Since I learned of my new teaching position, in another neighboring district, I have been so busy.  Tonight is actually the first time that I've even thought about any blog in a long time.  I was actually working on a classroom blog through my school's email account, and decided to check this one out too.  I also have another one that I've been working on since this fall that's more specific to my experiences teaching 3rd grade and my adjustment to that position, called Classroom Teacher Tales.  You're welcome to follow that blog if it interests you.

My family has done a lot of growing up.  My oldest stepson now has his learner's permit and a shiny red pickup sitting in the garage that he bought himself. He's still playing high school soccer (yes I said high school), and their team is ranking second in the state for their division. My youngest stepson is now 11 and has just discovered how much fun playing football can be.  Their season is now over, so he's disappointed that they're finished until June when they begin practicing again.  He'll be officially in the middle school then. Hubby is working in the woods for a big logging company in our area, and we're thankful for his position and pay seeing how I received nearly a $10,000 a year pay cut switching districts.  I'm still working on my Master's Degree, which I should be graduating this coming May, and I'm so looking forward to being finished!  I'm thinking that since 1998, when I starting classes for teaching, I probably took a year off from taking any classes.  I'm thinking a little break is well deserved.  What am I thinking?  Knowing me, I'll be signed up for something within the next school year.

Our cat Charlie has successfully converted me from being a dog person to a cat person.  My boys now call me the cat lady.  I don't get why, we only have one cat.  Who knows what their logic is?  Anyhow, Charlie is quite the mischievous cat and has definitely solidified a place not only in our home but in our hearts.  He is quite spoiled and very good at training me.  Apparently I was an easy student to train.  Like one of my former students (who is now in college!) said this summer, "Dogs have masters, cats have staff."  So true!

Friday, June 8, 2012

Life Throws a Curve Ball

I haven't posted in a long time, and I really don't have a sufficient excuse to give.  Life gets busy, priorities change, and we move on.  Aside from staying active, sports, classes, and work, we all suffered a bout of pneumonia this fall, and that's thrown me for a loop ever since.

The recent happenings is that since the end of March, I've been dealing with the pending loss of my teaching position.  Because of our rural community and the economy, our area has been hit hard.  Families are moving away, which means that our student numbers have gone down.  Because of this, my district had to do cuts, and because I'm the last one hired in my content area, I'm gone.

Since the beginning of April, I have filled out applications, organized my teaching portfolio, gone to a few interviews, and called districts to follow up on their status.  So far no bites.  It's been a real emotional roller coaster.  The inability to land a job so far has lowered any self-esteem I may have had.  It's been a real test of my faith, too. 

Today was the last day of school with my kiddos.  It was tough saying goodbye to some terrific 7th and 8th graders, and some former students, too.  It's amazing how exhausting dealing with an emotional roller coaster can be!

One of the positives is that this past February we adopted Charlie.  He's a part Maine Coon kitty.  He's adorable and so loving!  I've never really thought I'd love cats, but Charlie has stolen my heart.  He's a sweetie and gives affection back when I hug him.  Just hearing him purr warms my heart.  Well, time to sign off.  I still have to go to work tomorrow.  It's a half-day workshop, then I'm getting together with a few coworkers for a "last day of school" meal.