Teacher Tidbits


What it means to be a teacher–or–surviving junior high.


 

“Mom” is not my only name… | working after baby

Posted by on Oct 9, 2016 in Family Ties, Junior High | 8 comments

I’m supremely happy to be pregnant. I can embrace this whole pregnancy thing. I am growing a freaking human! I’m amazing! What did you accomplish today? Probably not GROWING A HUMAN BEING! My students reminded me this week that I currently have two brains! I’m fascinating.

Also, strangers carry stuff for me, I have an eternal excuse to sit on the couch and eat ice cream, and I don’t feel at all guilty having the grocery store bag boys take my grocery bags to the car. I can’t complain. I haven’t had many extreme symptoms, I’ve felt pretty darn good! I’ve been lucky. Most days I can sit here and really believe that I could successfully and happily produce 7 or 8 kids….and that’s all well and good when I think it. It is not ok when you think it…

because it is not 1950. I am not a “little housewife”, in fact, I’m a terrible housewife. I’m not keen on the idea that someone imagines me being barefoot in the kitchen. (Unless you’re my husband, and in that case….well…your mom reads my blog).  It is not my job to produce offspring and fold laundry. If you know someone whose job it is to fold laundry, and they have affordable prices, please send them my way.

I'm not a little housewife...in fact I'm a terrible housewife. #workingmom Click To Tweet

I thought we, as a society, had become more progressive than this. So I find myself surprised when my co-workers assume that after the baby I’m becoming a stay-at-home mom.

Now, before the internet starts hating me, I know a bunch of awesome SAHMs and I admire them because they are freaking awesome. I am not that awesome. I’m in awe of the selflessness being a SAHM takes, and I’m a little ashamed that I don’t know if I have that in me. I’m actually pretty intimidated by tiny humans, I don’t know how I would entertain both the baby and myself all day, and I am afraid of looming housework. Staying home with my kids has never been a dream of mine. (I recognize the gigantic can of worms I’m opening, I know the arguments on both sides of this issue… and that’s your thing. Not mine. I’m not about to argue how awesome it is to be the one to teach your kid things, not miss milestones, etc. I recognize the awesomeness of that).

Regardless, I have never insinuated that I planned to stay home and yet I have co-workers and even superiors at work who keep mentioning my role as mother, and how I am not coming back to work after the baby’s birth. I feel judged because I’m pregnant, it almost borders on harassment. This is especially true because it keeps getting shared publicly. It makes me angry. Isn’t this my decision? Stop making assumptions about my family.

I am not just a mil-spouse. I am not just a wife. I am not just a pregnant woman. I don’t intend to be just a mother, although that is a title I am really looking forward to having… I worked really hard to get where I am today. I worked toward a 4.0 in my master’s program, and feel proud every time I think about it. I’m certified to teach English in multiple states, and I’m a really excellent teacher–if I do say so myself. I became professionally certified in Colorado, so that I could become better at my job. I attend workshops and professional development to further my craft, and I have 50+ students who depend on me not only to get them through the 7th grade but to lead them toward paths that make them cool adults. I am passionate about teaching, I’m inspired to help other teachers become better teachers, and I think it’s genuinely my calling to help motivate teenagers toward embracing their education and becoming better people.

Being a good mom doesn’t mean I have to give up my career or have a homemade dinner on the table every night. I think valuing myself and my education is a pretty damn good example for my daughter. I think allowing her to see that I can juggle professionalism with a home life is important too. I want her to grow up watching her parents chase dreams and adventures. I want her to remember as she struggles with becoming adult that it is important to value herself, not put herself last, and not make sacrifices that jeopardize her happiness. I want her to see that sometimes its hard to do the things that we want to do, and to observe those moments when all that hard work matters. I want her to see that her parents have ambitions that are not based on her, and that even though she may be the center of our world, the world does not revolve around her.

The idea that someone I work with simply assumes that I want to walk away from so many things that are important to me is silly. They haven’t even asked. And it makes me mad.

The truth is, it is my intention to take a maternity leave to be with my wee one, and then go back to work. I am responsible for those little faces in my classroom, I am responsible for contributing financially to my family, and I am responsible for creating my own happiness. The truth is, that its nobody’s business but my own. The truth is, I have no idea how I’m going to feel going back to work when our little girl is here, my friends with kids have told me it’s brutal. I’m sure it will be. Maybe I will eventually decide that it’s better for us if I stay home for a while, I cannot predict that. I do know that I can’t wait to hold her in my arms and tell her how much we love her and how long we’ve been praying for her. We’ve just started looking into childcare and it’s terrifying. I don’t know how you make the decision to leave your child with a virtual stranger, but we will do what is best for our family. The truth is, that’s my decision to make when the time comes, I don’t have to decide now and you certainly do not have the right to decide for me. I take offense to people telling me what to do.

I think I get that from my grandmother.

Coping with Life Change

Posted by on Mar 31, 2016 in Teacher Stuff | 12 comments

Six years ago I was laid off. It doesn’t seem like that long ago when I think about it because the emotions are still pretty raw associated with this time period in my life.  Looking back on it now, I am able to see that God had a plan for me and thus doors needed to close. That chapter of my life is behind me, and I am thankful that I have moved on to other things. God gave me the strength to move forward to find the next chapter of the story.

I’m interested though in how others deal with tough life changes. For me, clearly, I have to write about them. I have to vent and get things out of my head. I have to pray too of course, but writing is truly how I get things out of my heart, how I clear my head, how I stumble through angst. But, being laid off impacted my heart. I couldn’t handle the mixture of hurt and grief, so I had to write things down…

Pink Slips and other things that suck…

I work hard. I do not have a cushy job like so many of you believe. I do not have weekends and summers “off”, I do not get to work only 9-5. I am good at what I do. I work hard for every penny that I make, and of those pennies I pay back my loans for my bachelors degree, I pay back my loans for my masters degree, I buy pens and paper and books for those that cannot afford it, I buy colored pencils and notebooks so that they can express themselves, I buy lunches for those that forgot, I spend money to further educate myself, I hand pennies over in support of extra curricular activities… I stay up late working and I get up earlier than I have to so that I can be to work early for them. I create, I engage, I write, I plan, I learn…I teach.

 

 

I honestly thought it would be pink. It’s not, in fact, a pink slip at all. It’s a plain, white, piece of paper with the same letterhead that only a few months ago boasted a huge, bold faced “Congratulations!” at the top. The same letterhead that told me at the end of the last marking period that more of my students were passing than the marking period before and that I was indeed doing a great job. I don’t even get the original. Just a photocopy, signed by the guy in charge, but delivered by my principal. I realize that he is probably having just as bad a day as I am, but that doesn’t make me any less bitter. At least I have been laid-off and not fired; it’s like an honorable discharge and not a “hey- you-suck-at-what-you-do-get-the-hell-out” notice. But it bites just the same.

 

 

I’m trying not to be a pessimist. I’m trying not to hate everything about my life. I’m not seriously considering launching myself out my second story window. (besides that would only hurt a whole hell of a lot and not end the whole game) I’m trying to remember the reasons why I do this in the first place, but it’s hard to do in a society that seems to be falling down around me. I have expectations in my classroom that my students treat each other with respect. I insist that they make choices and stick to the consequences that come from those choices. I instill upon them the value that they act like people that care about the well being of others. I’m sad that I am teaching them the rules and guidelines for life in a society that clearly does not exist. There was such a lack of respect in that little office as they told me that my position was being cut, it left me wondering how I can hope to teach my students respect when there are no clear examples from their superiors.

 

 

When it gets to a point like this it’s easy to fall back, to fall down, to just fall… and to question everything. Mostly though I find myself asking “why bother?” over and over. Why do I keep trying? Why don’t I use all my sick time, and pop in a video for my students? It’s then I remember the 110 faces awaiting me tomorrow, and I know that apathy won’t cut it. If I don’t care then they don’t care, and we’ve worked all year to boost their responsibility for their own education.

 

 

There is something that many people don’t think about. There is a face behind these layoffs. That face is me. I am not a number, I am not a price tag, and I am not a budget cut. I am a teacher and I make a difference in the life of a child.

 

 

What really gets my goat is that my school district is running an initiative that puts priority on literacy. On what planet does fewer teachers (especially English) and more kids in a classroom equal a positive learning opportunity?

 

 

So tomorrow Mr. Bossman, when you’re busy looking in the mirror for 122 minutes and 32 seconds, I’ll be reorganizing my lessons for the day, considering closing activities for my students, stressing about the student who told me she was experimenting with drugs, and thinking of ways to help the kid who just bombed my exam. When you stand there adjusting your tie and looking in the mirror, I’ll be busy adjusting my resume, making copies, and talking to the teenager who just broke up with her boyfriend… And please make sure you can look yourself in the eye and reflect, because I know when I see you in the hall you won’t be making eye contact with me.

 

 

Besides, I don’t do this for you anyway. I don’t do it for the pay check, or the experience, or because I needed something on my resume. I do it for them, and I’ll continue to do it until June. Even if you think you don’t need me, and the school doesn’t need me, and the community doesn’t need me…. They need me and that’s why I do what I do.

 

 


When life throws you a curve ball, how you react speaks volumes about your character. #change… Click To Tweet

 

 

How do you cope with drastic life change? What advice do you have for people dealing with events that are truly out of their control? How do you come to peace?

Day 7: Spread Love Like Jelly Challenge (Random Acts of Kindness Week)

Posted by on Feb 18, 2016 in Counting Blessings, Faith, Hope and Hugs, Junior High, Teacher Stuff | 0 comments

Day 7: Spread Love Like Jelly Challenge (Random Acts of Kindness Week)

I don’t know if you are aware but it is #RAK week, (Random Acts of Kindness) where Americans are encouraged to “use these 7 days to step up your acts of kindness, be loud with your generosity, and commit to being a better person throughout the year.”

The Random Acts of Kindness Foundation has a huge movement to encourage kindness in the classroom, so I was inspired to use their resources in my classroom today to have kids become engaged in the movement. We signed the Kindness Pledge, pledging to strive to be a positive impact on the world around us. Additionally, the students brainstormed easy ways they could share kindness with others throughout the remaining days of this week. It was cute. It was easy. It was inspirational to watch.

#spreadlovelikejelly

Pay it Forward bookmarks that students are leaving in books for others to find.

The idea of random acts of kindness is to incorporate kindness into your daily life by helping to “pay if forward”. I love the idea of one act of kindness spreading like ripples on a pond. We talked in my classroom today about what would happen in the world if we only relied on others to make it a better place. The kids decided that the time has come for each individual to step up in order to make a difference. The idea of personal responsibility versus social obligations and societal norms totally blew their minds.  We’ve been reading Steinbeck’s The Pearl in class and discussing the unfair social system which kept Mexican natives from climbing the social ladder. Their concept of corruption and evil had been so sheltered, and spawned deep discussions about how cruelty affects the world as a whole. ( I KNOW! Deep stuff for twelve-year olds!)

Kindness pledge #RAK #spreadlovelikejelly

Kindness Pledge from the Random Acts of Kindness Foundation. #spreadlovelikejelly

Which brings me neatly full circle to the theme of today’s challenge. Cruelty is not cool. Being kind to others is. End of story. More interestingly, kindness is contagious. Students caught themselves trying to one-up each other in the kindness department all day. I feel like this is a win-win situation. There were doors being held and books being carried, extra helping hands appeared to clean up the lunch room and students were volunteering to clean classroom desks, just because. It was beautiful.

So where do you start? I’d head over to the Kind Spring website, where they have a bazillion ideas to help you find ways to easily spread kindness. Things as simple as saying hello to someone you’d normally pass by in your day, or buying the coffee of the person behind you in the Starbucks line only take a moment and don’t cost very much but definitely inspire kindness to spread.

I believe that every individual can be catalyst for a positive change in the world. One idea on the Kind Spring site suggests that you just take a moment to share some good news on social media, to be a light in a dark world. I love that idea.  Just one small act of kindness can spark a landslide of subsequent good nature because kindness leads to kindness. So, today, find a way to randomly share kindness with someone and #spreadlovelikejelly.

Kindness is contagious! #RAK #spreadlovelikejelly #randomactsofkindness Click To Tweet

 

Did you miss the beginning of this series? Not sure what I’m talking about or why? Pop back over to the instructions page to see the brain child behind #spreadlovelikejelly

Day 1: Love yourself

Day 2: Compliment Someone

Day 3: Send a handwritten note

Day 4: Writing Challenge

Day 5: Have Patience

Day 6: It’s the Little Things


 

“Nothing can make our lives, or the lives of other people, more beautiful than perpetual kindness.” –Tolstoy

Day 5: Spread Love Like Jelly (Have Patience)

Posted by on Feb 16, 2016 in Anxiety, Counting Blessings, Faith, Hope and Hugs, Junior High, Mental Health, Uncategorized | 0 comments

Day 5: Spread Love Like Jelly Challenge (have patience)

I find myself so often losing patience in my day to day life. I use the excuse that I teach middle school so it’s only natural that I expend most of my patience very quickly, leaving not much left over for after work hours. But the truth is, I’m pretty quick to lose patience with them too, and pretty early in the day. When a student asks a question I have already answered, or doesn’t give me a chance to explain directions before they start saying they don’t “get it”…sometimes I want to scream.

As I head back to work after a long four-day weekend I’m challenging myself to have more patience, especially with my students. I plan to work on taking a deep breath before I am sarcastic or angry with the twelve year-olds and I’m not going to be irritated by the old woman in front of me at the grocery store or the bad drivers. Ok, I can’t promise that, let’s be honest: I’m no good at being unsnarky but I’m going to make a huge effort.

#spreadlovelikejelly | www.lovetheeveryday.com

#spreadlovelikejelly

I plan to take time today to remind myself that impatience rarely gets others to move faster, think more carefully or reassess their behavior, in fact–it can interfere with other people’s ability to this critically.

Every time I respond without listening, or jump to hush people all I am doing is creating more stress.  So, before I respond to my students, or better still, my husband, in an unkind or impatient way I am going to really try to take a deep breath first, practice actually listening to them and be careful how the things I say in impatience impact those around me.

Our patience will achieve more than our force. -Edmund Burke #havepatience #spreadlovelikejelly Click To Tweet

What about you? What tips do you have to help others to have patience?

 

Did you miss the beginning of this series? Not sure what I’m talking about or why? Pop back over to the instructions page to see the brain child behind #spreadlovelikejelly

Day 1: Love yourself

Day 2: Compliment Someone

Day 3: Send a handwritten note

Day 4: Writing Challenge

When Teachers Make a Difference: Thank You Note Edition

Posted by on May 21, 2015 in Junior High, Teacher Stuff, Uncategorized | 2 comments

I am working on a template for a Thank You Note to Students From Their Teacher…. and it’s a bit more difficult than I imagined.

I’m linking up today at a few places, but the best one is over at The Day Book because as I think about wrapping up the end of the school year their link party is titled Awkward and Awesome… I can’t think of a better way to describe my 7th grade students. As the year winds down, I want to be able to tell them just exactly how awesome they are. In doing so, I have the bright idea of writing each one of them a personal note letting them know how much they shine, and how much they’ve meant to me. I didn’t think about how much of an undertaking this was going to be before I started! Its starting to be a time consuming project,  but I want to make each of them personal to the student and I want to make them feel special. So here’s what I’ve got as a basic template.

 

It is important to let kids know that they matter. Click To Tweet

 

Dear ______________,

It’s that time of year again, and I am faced with the sad ending of our time together. It’s a little bit bittersweet to be saying goodbye. This is especially true since I’ve been able to be with most of you for two full years. I am sad to see you move on to 8th grade, but it’s so sweet to see all the personal and academic growth you have made in the 7th grade. I am especially proud of you for your growth in _____________.

I want to take a moment to thank you for being the awesome kids you are. First, thank you for being patient and honest with me. This was my first year teaching 7th grade at _______School and there were times when I was learning too. I appreciate how willing you all were to just go with the flow and give feedback when you thought something wasn’t running as smoothly as it could. We had a lot of laughs this year, I will always remember ______________________________________.

I hope you always remember that you are capable of much more than you think you are. We read incredibly complex books this year and I am so proud of the thinking skills you were able to develop!

Most importantly, thank you for your positive attitude and your willingness to learn something awesome every single day. I love this job, I love hanging out with you guys and I love watching you learn.

I will always consider myself your teacher, and you will always be “my kids”.  Don’t hesitate to come see me as you progress through your academic career, I like to know you’re making good choices and being kind.

When you look back on 7th grade a year from now, ten years from now, fifty years from now, I don’t know if you’ll remember much of what you learned, but I hope you remember you were very, very loved and you are incredibly special.

Go. Do great things. (I know you will). I’ll be cheering you on from here.

So much love,

 

 

 

When Teachers make a Difference: Teacher Appreciation Week

Posted by on May 5, 2015 in Junior High, Teacher Stuff | 4 comments

In honor of Teacher Appreciation Week, let’s flashback to 1996…

He was a roly-poly little guy with glasses and freckles. His blonde hair fell over his forehead and he would turn tomato-red if he was embarrassed. He had the most adorable dimples and he was my best friend…

When we were in 5th grade we were not the coolest kids in the class. We were ahead of our peers academically and far more mature, we played in the school band, we read a lot of books… we were the definition of nerd. I can’t remember if we both had braces yet by that point, he did, and if I didn’t I needed them. I had a mouthful of too many teeth, bangs that were always in my eyes and hair that could have been exposed to shampoo a little more regularly. I still wore outfits that my mom picked out for me, I had ever-increasing acne, and I was extremely, painfully quiet. The other kids picked on me about my sneakers, my lack of a boyfriend, and my Wal-Mart wardrobe…Tommy just sat next to me and did his homework, it was nice, it was comfortable, it was the beginning of a lasting relationship at the top of our class. We may not have been cool, and we may not have had many other buddies, but our developing sense of perfect sarcasm and enlarged vocabulary made us fast and forever friends.Teacher Appreciation Week

It was in this classroom that we discovered the meaning of friendship and also the idea that we were worthwhile. Not because our peers supported us or because we became instantly popular, but because in that classroom we had a teacher that made us feel like we were important.

It was in this classroom that we discovered the meaning of friendship Click To Tweet

Mrs. Cleveland talked to us like we were people, not like we were kids. She valued our opinions and listened to our stories. She was able to make the extra work and harder assignments in the upper level reading group seem like a privilege instead of a burden. She recommended us for the gifted and talented program and she championed our successes. She was able to allow us to come out of our shells and feel like we were special. She told the best stories. Mrs. Cleveland took the time to get to know us, to allow us to develop our sense of humor, and to chastise those who made fun of us.

Mrs. Cleveland asked me one day why there was such a correlation between smart kids being made fun of. “Why are smart kids so unpopular?” she asked. “You guys are smart enough to beat the system.” And so, we did.

Our station on the popularity spectrum gradually rose throughout high school. Tommy started running and was quite good on the track team, I held starring roles in the school plays and was mediocre at volleyball. The numbers of our classmates dwindled and we found ourselves in better places as we got older.

I haven’t become a millionaire, or cured cancer, or made Hollywood fame and I may never do anything supremely noteworthy. Mrs. Cleveland’s class didn’t lead me to become a doctor or a lawyer or a famous author…. But her kindness taught me about life far more than any text book could. Her attitude toward us in that room every day led me to be able to hold my head up high, dirty hair and all, and to be proud of my accomplishments, no matter how small. It takes someone pretty special to take a couple of quiet, awkward pre-teens and give them the confidence they need to become pretty cool, successful adults. It is because I once had a teacher who believed in me, that I am who I am today, and that has made all the difference.It takes someone pretty special to take a couple of quiet, awkward pre-teens and give them the… Click To Tweet

Tommy went on to travel the world, teach in Japan and graduate from Harvard. He’s still a wonderful friend, who loves God and married a beautiful girl who embodies kindness.When teachers make a difference: Junior Prom

The long and windy path of life has led me to a Master’s degree in Education and dual high school teaching certification in several states. I’ve traveled a bunch, served with AmeriCorps, and finally feel comfortable in my own skin. I now sit in my own classroom sometimes looking at the awkward 7th graders in the seats and wonder who they will become and what piece of me they will take with them.

I hope someday, when they are in their 30’s they can look back and know that in this moment they are loved, they are liked and they maybe even are a little bit cooler than they think they are.

You are Beautiful! | beauty

Posted by on Apr 21, 2015 in Junior High, Teacher Stuff | 2 comments

Teen girls are hurting themselves in the name of beauty, and it is the most ridiculous thing I have heard in a very long time. It was all over social media this morning and its pretty heartbreaking! Why does beauty have so many constrictions and expectations?

Take a look at the Kylie Jenner Challenge .

The overall premise is this:

  • Grab a shot glass.
  • Place over mouth.
  • Suck really hard.
  • Leave for ridiculous amount of time.
  • Remove to reveal voluptuous, plump lips…..

  Or serious bruising and scar tissue.

The idea is that by creating an air lock on their mouth they will be left with the perfect, full, pouty lips they see on TV stars…. They are 12 and 13 years old. They want to be beautiful and fit in. They are not very smart.

For some reason this idea took off over the weekend. When I walked into my classroom this morning I had two 7th graders with bruises and scars. What????!!!

Apparently teenagers everywhere are trying to replicate the look of reality TV start Kylie Jenner. Although she is lovely, the students in my classroom this morning with bruised and swollen lips are not. I cannot fathom why they think this is a good idea, and it makes me very sad. Beauty is not on the outside, beauty reflects the whole person!

I want to tell them they are beautiful. They are perfect. They are loved.I want to tell them they are beautiful. They are perfect. They are loved. Click To Tweet

And so, here is my open letter to teenage girls everywhere:

Dear Teenage Girl:

I know that being a teenager is confusing and awful and hard. There is absolutely nothing wrong with wanting to feel sexy, wanting to feel important, or wishing people would notice you. I hope you feel empowered to do whatever you want to do to stand out, be noticed, change the world… but I hope you do so in healthy ways, in ways that you can feel proud of. I hope you develop the confidence it takes to be able to distinguish the inner beauty you possess, and to notice the beauty of strangers. I hope you grow up to be kind, and to appreciate the world around you. Mostly, today, I hope you know that:

  • You are beautiful and talented and full of potential.
  • You do not need to emulate ridiculous reality TV stars.
  • Suctioning a glass bottle to your lips is a very, very bad idea.
  • None of the Kardashians are role models.

Love,

Me

 

Open Letter to Teenage Girls | www.lovetheeveryday.com | Kylie Jenner Challenge

Twittering Away

Posted by on Mar 18, 2015 in Junior High, Teacher Stuff | 0 comments

I am learning how to use Twitter. I feel like it came into being just after it was cool for my generation to be using it, so I never did. And now… I feel left out. I’m slowly discovering how useful it is and I have clearly missed the bandwagon.

The first time I ever tried Twitter was several years ago, and I hated it. Really hated it. I’m pretty sure one of the first tweets I ever read was something like: “I ate a sandwich”. Thus began my long-standing belief that this was the dumbest social media platform. I still do not need to know when strangers eat sandwiches.

And then I started following Brad Paisley. He is hilarious. And Twitter slowly started to redeem itself. I found cool news articles and interesting people to follow.

I’m pretty sure there is a cool way that I can implement Twitter into my classroom as a way to communicate with parents and students… I just have to learn all the ins and outs first.

I’m positive that there are some benefits tucked away in there for my photography business too…. I’m just not sure how to grow my following on Twitter in order for this to be an asset. But, I’m learning. And I am a fast learner.

Also, I’ve started to figure out how to connect with a wide range of awesome, inspiring women via Twitter. This is the best part. The connectivity that is possible, the unity, the bonds. I’m excited to see where this will lead. You know I love communities. Especially ones where I can participate whilst never leaving my pajamas.

My first steps as a Twitter Newbie:

1. Follow tons of awesome people. I’m pretty sure that just like other social media venues that the more people you follow, the more who will follow you in return. I’m finding really great women on there like Jillian who uses her account sort of like a micro-blog. Full of positivity and fun. I also am following some of my favorite celebrities and military bloggers as well as communities of military spouses.

2. Figure out how to add “Tweet This” items directly into my blog posts. This is cool. I love tweetable links in other blogs I read. I have to figure out how this is done because I am jealous. I downloaded a plugin, I’m just not positive that I love it yet. (See it below and tell me what you think). I want something efficient that does not take away from the content of my blog.

3. Learn how to write in 140 characters and how to use a hashtag. I thought I hated hashtags. My students have started using hashtags in their regular conversations. “Hashtag thisisdumb.” “Hashtag Hatinghomework”.

So if I can figure out how to wield the power of
 the hashtag I can rule the junior high. Click To Tweet
#teachersarestillcool

 

4. Automate all these new systems I’m starting. I know there are lots of programs to do this, I just need to choose the right one. With all the things I’m starting this year, and revamping my photo business, working more full-time-ish on blogging, and trying to be a productive person too, I needs to find a system that auto-posts some things and lets me schedule my life more easily.

5. Convince people I am worth following. There’s an article here on how to grow your Twitter following. I’m just not there yet. It reminds me that I have to make Tweeting habitual. I’m not very good at following a set blogging schedule so I’m most likely going to be bad at Tweeting in a timely manner as well.

6. Learn proper Twitter jargon. Twitter is confusing. I think it’s because everything has to be neatly shortened that they have a million different abbreviations for things. There’s a full Twitter glossary if you’re new like me and have no idea what is going on.

7. Integrate my stuff. I want to make sure that all my different social platforms are interconnected and work together. That involves taking the time to click around through settings of various things and adding the codes. This isn’t hard, just time-consuming. So I need motivation to get that done.

 

Unfortunately, aside from writing with brevity, there is no secret Twitter guidebook to get me from point A to point B. Any advice? Twitter for Beginners | www.lovetheeveryday.com

 

 

 

One Nation, Under God…

Posted by on Mar 2, 2015 in Faith, Hope and Hugs, Teacher Stuff | 0 comments

How do I exemplify Jesus in a world that prohibits me

from talking about my faith in the workplace?


Religious Neutrality:

In America our schools are designed to be religiously neutral. I genuinely feel that this is one of the strengths of the American public school system. It allows complete freedom from discrimination by teachers and administration, as it is, I cannot alter a child’s beliefs while he or she is in my classroom. I am allowed to focus on creating a safe place for students to learn and grow without fear of retribution, criticism or discrimination based on their religious values. This is a positive thing, really, it is. This allows students of all faiths to come together and learn, to better themselves, to experience an education, and to be loved. This is a blessing in so many ways, because it gives me an opportunity to interact and to love on students who might otherwise not go to school, or whose parents wouldn’t place them in private, religious based school settings.

And, just because I do not mention God does not mean that he is not at work in this story. We have a mantra in my room that gets repeated whenever there is an occasion of teasing each other: “In this classroom we are kind. “ We also discuss positive character, integrity and brotherly love. We have tutoring programs, and after school support for kiddos who do not have that at home. The box of granola bars in my desk is depleted weekly by the little girl who “forgets” her lunch. My church partners with several area elementary schools by providing backpacks in the fall, Christmas presents and coats in the winter and lunch programs in the summer. We are motivated by love and faith to do these things, and although I don’t necessarily get to discuss my faith with my students and coworkers, it is evidenced through my actions that there is something different in my life. This classroom is full of love.


 

Classroom Examples of Christ:

We had a writing prompt in our classroom this fall asking students to write a descriptive paragraph about their favorite holiday and family traditions. When I later went around the room asking students what their favorite holidays were and why, I was blown away by one little girl who said: “Easter, because that is when Jesus Christ rose from the grave.” My politically correct response was, “Excellent! And you Joe?” as I moved on to the next child. But, later, privately I was able to tell that child that I was proud of the courage it takes her to be open with her faith.

Many of America’s public school teachers and administrators are heroes and crusaders for Christianity.  Many of these people do what they do every day because of their faith, myself included.  We don’t need mandatory prayers read over the loudspeaker to “put God back in schools.”  We don’t need to argue over the words in the Pledge of Allegiance, God has not left the schools.  God is still at work through me , within committed parents, and passionate educators and administrators who seek to help give our children an education laced with love.

People, especially Christians, seem to get very riled up about this topic. I think it’s important to remember that Jesus lives within his believers, that I can show Christ’s love through my actions, and tolerance and kindness speak much, much louder than words.

For instance, Jesus taught us to love and serve one another. I can teach this in my classroom. I can show my students how Jesus lived his life in the way that I live mine. They will learn about helping people in need and visiting and assisting the elderly or the sick. In this way, we can teach our children to develop empathy for others, and use kindness in the way in which they treat each other. We can also teach them to honor their parents and respect and serve other people. I can live like Christ in that I can be loving toward my students, in the same way that Jesus showed compassion to children in the Bible.

I can demonstrate to my students what a healthy relationship looks like, and why marriage is something to be cherished and waited for. Many of my kids come to me from broken homes, their examples of strong women and kind men are limited. I love to tell my students stories about my marriage and my husband so that they will know that healthy and loving relationships are possible and aspire to that in their own lives. I talk with girls about relationships and what it means to have pride in yourself, why boyfriends are unnecessary at this age (12) and how waiting for the right guy to come into your life is worthwhile. We discuss what love looks like, and why friendship is an important element to a loving relationship.

I can share with my students how I honor my father and my mother, even though there were times in my life when my father hasn’t been that supportive of me. I talk to them about volunteering and I can mention how I get up early on the weekends to go to church.

I can show them Christ’s love. And I do.Why Jesus is Still in My Classroom and How to Show Kids Christ's Love  | www.lovetheeveryday.com

Long drives and bubble baths

Posted by on Feb 26, 2015 in Family Ties, Junior High, Teacher Stuff | 0 comments

Audio Book Ap, Audible | www.lovetheeveryday.comThis is not a sponsored post, but it does contain affiliate links. If you click on the links and decide to order something or sign up, I do get credit for it…… but that is not the point of this post. The point is, I cannot believe that my book obsessed self is just learning about this Audible Ap.

I am a total book addict. I have boxes of unpacked books in my garage. I have some stored in my mother’s home still. I have two large bookshelves full of books in my home, and several in my classroom. I even have unpacked boxes of books in my class, waiting to be properly recorded and labeled and stuck with a library card….I’m obsessed. I suppose I could be addicted to worse things.

I have a kindle, which I rarely use, because I am much happier with a real book in my hand with pages to turn.

There is one exception. I really, really, really love books on tape. I drove across the country this summer, just me and my dog, listening to several novels as I drove. For me, it was blissful. I didn’t even realize I was spending hours and hours in the car because I got to check so many things off my reading list as I went.

One of my favorite books of the summer was John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars

Buy The Fault in Our Stars by John Green on Amazon

(The movie is not that awesome.) I loved the sassy, cynicism of the narrator. I would not recommend this novel while you are driving however, as it will most definitely make you cry!

I also like to listen to a good book while soaking in a deep, bubble bath. This is true relaxation to me. Seriously, pour me some wine and let me sink to my ears in happy sudsy literary wonderful-ness.

So, I just discovered the Audible Ap. WHY HAS NO ONE EVER TOLD ME ABOUT THIS?  You can immediately download audio books to your phone or your tablet or kindle or whatever, to listen at your leisure. You start with some FREE books, and then can either pay a monthly fee or buy just what you want to listen to. This is amazing. There are even regular opportunities to earn more free books. FREE. I’m super excited about this. I also like that you can cancel anytime and your books are yours to keep, even if you cancel. I’m going to sign up for the free monthly trial now, and see what its like. I’m pretty sure I’m going to love it.

Sign up to try Audible with Me!

 

Aside from all of that, I love to be able to use audio books for my struggling readers in my classroom. There is something about having someone read to you that is so relaxing and inspiring. Even my most reluctant readers will get excited when I say I’m going to read aloud. This ap allows me the opportunity to download the books I want them to listen to, and then then can catch up on readings that they may have missed while they were absent. I love that. Especially because I can get some of the books for free. What teacher doesn’t love free?!

Show Buttons
Share On Facebook
Share On Twitter
Share On Google Plus
Share On Pinterest
Share On Stumbleupon
Hide Buttons
This website is using the http://www.seowizard.org/ wordpress plugin.
%d bloggers like this: