Saturday, August 5, 2017

Championing for Students Who Fall in the Cracks

Image result for back to school image

Back to school is a busy time for me: classroom set-up, lesson planning, copying, new unhappy parents...

I am a teacher and a parent in the United States. I was going through teacher training as changes were already made and being implemented in the fields of Standardized Testing and Special Education. I held some strong beliefs back then about both and I still have them now, even as I've watched the two areas merge.

The parent I talked to held to the belief that students were put into Special Education to fill a 'quota' so the school could get their 'money' from the government. This father was right, however, the student in question wasn't attending a Title I school. I didn't talk about this fact, go into any politics, rather, my focus was on the student.

His concern was valid for his child, that his child was placed, or tracked, into the wrong 'track' for him.

This is what I was championing for back in college. This is what I would grow combative over, what made my heart both bleed and rage; students who fall through the cracks and get left behind in a system that doesn't cater to the 'in-betweens'.

In this case, the student and his dedicated family were not given the chance to learn what the skills he needs to succeed. They were told the school was doing what was best and the student was thriving and doing well. Sure, when you don't challenge a student to their full potential and he picks up on everything easily because he's not 'dumb', then he will thrive. He will look like a star.

But as he grows up, he will not be given the same opportunities once he is 'tracked' into a low achieving education system. The barriers that existed when he was small do not exist now that he is older. The excuses they used to place him are no longer valid. It's time for him to fly.

As a teacher, I have an obligation to push my students, to teach them as much as they can learn. I have an obligation to challenge myself to learn more to stay ahead of them.

I feel this is my calling, this role, to champion for the little guys who get stuck in the cracks. I'm donning my armor and getting ready for this fight. It might take 3 years to get him on 'track', but it will be worth it.

Sunday, July 30, 2017

New Doghouse and Firepit = New Backyard

I wanted to share some of the things that made me happy this week. For one, we FINALLY finished building the new doghouse.


We added a covered wing for lounging. It is a doggy resort and spa now with the pool. Sadly, I noticed two small holes in the pool. They are high enough on the sides to allow a decent amount of water to remain, but that means a new pool for next year.




Secondly, since the old doghouses needed to be burned and my fire bowl was destroyed, I needed that fire pit I've been dreaming of for years.



Here's a couple videos of the demolition.


Sorry the second one is tilted. I don't know why it didn't auto adjust during filming. I know I'm supposed to film in landscape, not portrait, so I turned it, but it didn't turn with me!

With the new firepit and new doggie resort, it feels like a new backyard. Cleaning up and creating a space for something I love, fire, is a great investment.

Monday, July 24, 2017

Get on With Living and Loving

I made this meme using a quote and an image:



I like the way the devil and the angel remind us about eternity, while also about living and loving to the fullest in one image.

Plus, it's pretty hot! I saw it years ago and saved it. If you know who made it, let me know so I can give proper credit.

My husband said, "Hey, I just said that last night!" because he did say we'd better spend whatever time we have together before we don't have it anymore. As you get older, the years tick by faster and faster!

It also reminds me not to play it safe. Sometimes we have to take risks, little leaps of faith, put our trust in people or things in order to get to accomplish our goals; step out of our comfort zones.

Be intentional today.

Identify what you want your life to communicate and contribute, then set some goals.

Again,

  1. What do you want to contribute with your life? 
  2. What is your message?
  3. How will you get there? What steps do you have to take?