Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Class Theme!

Soooo, I've decided that I'm going to get on the "cutesy classroom theme" train. I spent way too much money but I'm very excited about putting everything together in my new digs. After going back and forth at least 500 times, I left the teacher store with everything OWL! I am stealing a friend's idea and using the acronym O.W.L. as in Obsessed With Learning! Almost everything is turquoise...not sure how gender neutral that is, but oh well. In a perfect world, my kids will buy-in and become OBSESSED with everything I guess the remainder of my posts will be from the owl's goes!

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Tests...not the paper/pencil kind!

Soooo….my new position has been literally hanging by a thread!!! For the past couple of days, I thought I’d have to bite the bullet and head back to my old school. It wouldn’t be the most awful thing, but it wouldn’t be that awesome either, especially given my initial self aggrandizing ranting on this blog.
What happened? I’m so glad that you asked. It boiled down to my certificate not reflecting my ESL designation—the new district doesn’t hire anyone without it! For all these years, my teaching credential with the Texas Education Agency was listed incorrectly. To top it off, it took me two days on hold with countless clueless people only to end up resolving the issue in a matter of minutes. Oh, let me not neglect to tell you that I also had to fork over some cash.
It was a real lesson in patience…dealing with so-called customer service professionals almost brought me to tears, TWICE! I don’t know if that’s an indictment of the public education system or what, but I’m not going to explore that at the moment.
Nonetheless, I was able to order The Book Whisperer on Amazon during my two days of miserable despair, and even though it hasn’t arrived, I have absolutely no desire to read it or anything else. I just want to shop for my cute classroom, eat ice cream, and lounge at the pool for the next 47 or so days…sigh

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Happy Independence Day…still in teacher mode!

So, today is July 4th, I have plans to go to a BBQ/Swim Party, I’ve made tons of Jell-O shots, I’m going to pretend like I’m not supposed to be eating clean, and, best of all, I still have over a month of summer vacay to revel in…yet I’m still fixated on my new classroom. It really doesn’t help that the mascot (at the new school) is an Eagle and the colors are…wait for it…RED, WHITE, and BLUE! I’ve really been pondering décor and a classroom theme. Last year, my entire school had to do a “Lights, Camera, Action…Get Ready to Shine” theme and I went waaaay overboard, which is typical for me. And yes, the principal brought people to my room all the time to see how pretty it was. Never mind that I was an amazing teacher…I digress.
My point in posting today is to revisit my summer bucket list…and it goes a lil something like this (Hit It!):
1.       Eat clean…create an exercise routine (meh)
2.       Organize my closets
3.       Take a weekend trip by myself to a random place on the map (San Fran is looking really good for this!)
4.       Read books that have absolutely nothing to do with education
5.       Read “The Book Whisperer”
6.       Create a teacher blog and try to have at least 5 entries before quitting J
7.       Perfect the art of saying “NO!”
8.       Eliminate obsessing over being a perfect teacher
Happy 4th y’all!

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

New Beginnings...FINALLY!

So I finally got a teaching job in another district! I’m ecstatic to say goodbye and overjoyed about my new opportunity. For several years I've been fortunate to have an illustrious teaching career in one of the most interesting neighborhoods in Fort Worth :-)
Interesting like...students coming to school with active scabies (ewww)...parents who sport blue hair (on purpose)...colleagues who utter things like BRUNG and AGREEANCE...precious children named Righteousness, Disney, and King Solomon...well, you get the picture. It was not a cake walk by far, but there was never, ever, EVER a dull moment.
It was somewhat simple to teach in a such a poor environment too. Before I continue, let me explain that I mean far more than financially poor. I mean poor in regard to overall quality...quality of life, education, standards, expectations, and schools. My colleagues will probably argue that most of us had our students' best interest at heart 100% of the time, but that's 100% false. And no, I can't speak for everyone, but I can speak for the environment I was immersed in.
Let me explain why I said it was was because expectations are low, I'm talking bottom of the ocean low! "Girl these kids can't learn that...they don't want to be here!" I often felt pity for young vibrant teachers (sometimes I was in that number) because their ideas were stifled and mocked by the veterans and even by the students themselves at times. Another thing was that when I or another teacher had innovative teaching methods, we became fodder for the entire learning community and people in suits start visiting our classrooms...the result being that you do less teaching and more "Dog and Pony Show" preparation. It was like energetic and engaging instruction was a novel idea.
I always tried to rise above the environment, but there were days when all I could do was survive. It's very uncomfortable when you’re trying to be productive in a black hole that has an insatiable appetite for your energy and creativity. Simply put, it has been way past the time for me to move on.
I'm not moving to Utopia ISD and I would never want to, but the pastures are greener and I'm already feeling refreshed. I feel my like my brain is no longer paused and my feet are no longer stuck in the mud.
To be completely fair, I have some colleagues who are great educators and who genuinely love learning and imparting that desire to children. Teaching is painstakingly important and tiring work, but it is so worth it when you see the light bulb turn on in just one of your students!