Friday, November 25, 2016

Veteran's Day 2016

We had a Veteran's Day assembly at my school. Students filed into bleachers and waited to bear witness to this event that got them out of class.

Our keynote speaker was a former principal, dean, and teacher. He's now on the school board. He gave a speech that had to tread carefully among the still-raw nerves of the public after having heard how the vote or new President turned out. In the audience were also our Mayor, school Superintendent, and a couple of State Representatives, as well as many decorated veterans, police, fire, and EMT first responders.

The speech encouraged the students to serve each other. It gave specific ways to be a friend, help those who need it, and to respect the school by cleaning up the halls. There is a sense of entitlement in society. The Students have it. They see it every day at home. It is evident in the way the parents park along the yellow bus lanes because they feel they are important enough to bypass the rules. It is evident in how few students say thank you when you hold the door for them. It is evident in how many blatantly wear shorts too short, have open drinks in their lockers that spill on the carpet, or gum, or snacks, and generally make a mess that they feel they do not have to pick up.

The best part about the Veteran's Day program is that soldiers, police, fire, EMTs, and other first responders are given honor. They are seen as heroes, not killers. I know that is a perspective, but in light of all the negativity, we need some positive perspective.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Excuses Aside, Count Your Blessings

Blogger has been acting up for a while, but now I can't log in on my preferred browser at all. I feel so.. unsecure. I'm using a different browser to create this post.

Excuses aside, it is high time I blogged an update. As you may know, I teach. School started August 9th around here. We'll be in session until June 2nd. I started decorating my classroom with a Alice in Wonderland theme, but I overdid the cards a bit since I had plenty of them. I've since added to this more movie stuff.

After I went back to work, I had to get back into routine. It took a good month to really begin waking up early and sleeping at night. I struggled with that over the summer when I could sleep in until my back hurt or my bladder made me get up and my sense of duty reminded me of chores to do. I wasn't sleeping well and I wasn't tired when I should have been.

Now it is at the end of a second month of work. It has been an interesting year so far, but I can say it's been more fun, less stressful, and we are making it work. Every year is different. Every mix of students is different. Their challenges are different. My team changes. I'm working with more adults on consultive basis than ever before. 

I don't want to go on and on about work, though. Life is made up of all kinds of moments. It's easy to talk about the ones that stress us out. We often forget in the mess made of broken down vehicles, money woes, kids misbehaving, drama for drama's sake, to count our blessings.

1. I am healthy. - I have to be able to lift students from the floor to their wheelchairs. I walk all around the school and help in P.E. with my students. My mental health is tested every day. My brain is asked to make a million decisions, and since I'm the Mistress of Well-Intentioned Indecision, sometimes I hesitate a little too long on them. But I'm learning. I have to be social for 7 hours a day, so I have to make quiet time for myself during the week. My social health is boosted every Monday when I go to Trivia and act like an adult. It gives perspective, too. Others there have other trials.

2. My family is healthy. - Despite life's little trials, we are all okay. We will get up and go back to school or work the next day and the day after and take for granted the daily grind.

3. We are safe in a house that provides adequate shelter. - Many people do not have a house that keeps out the cold and rain or cools them in the heat. I can garden in the spring and summer. I have pets.

4. I have a job. - It may rankle at times, or cause me stress, but it pays the bills and makes me get up every day and puts a smile on my face at least once.

5. I am loved. - I get hugs, kisses, and appreciation and even a listening ear every day. I can come home and relax, unwind, and even rant. My friends may be mostly online, but if I need them, I can send a message and they will respond. My family is nearby and I can visit when I need to. I can help them and they help me.

The list of blessings could go on and on. These are the big ones. Try to think of the good things when life gets you down. Sometimes it's hard, I know. But try.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Rejuvenation Break

I haven't blogged in a month, but I'm not sorry.

For one, I had a medical procedure done and took some time to recover from that.

But that is not why I did not write.

I wanted July to be about summer break. I didn't go anywhere, didn't do anything exciting, but I also didn't work too hard on school. I worked on writing projects for myself and for a friend. I read some of the books I have in a huge pile on my bookshelf. I hung out with family. I want to go back to school recharged.

This upcoming week is about preparing to go back to school. The first week of August is about arranging classroom furniture, decorating walls, typing up lessons, having spaces for data collection and organization for smooth operating all year.

July was not about that. I did do some research, some lesson planning, some schedule making. But mostly, I took time for myself that did not involve thinking about school.

We all need breaks like that. I had a rough year. I needed a break.

Also, a cat adopted us. Petting a cat and hearing it purr is a nice way to relax. It is staying outside for the most part. We tried the inside thing, but it wasn't working out.

He is a good cat. We named him Schröedinger. Schrodie for short. You never know if he is gonna be right outside the door or not, but he seems to know where his food comes from and comes to you when you call and you can see him. Taking time to pet him is good therapy.

The dog doesn't agree. He thinks the cat is an intruder. He'll get over it.

My mind is in a thousand places right now in preparation for things to come. I needed July. May it be more than just what I needed.