Monday, September 22, 2014

A Flower Does Not Think of Competing. It just blooms.

#instacollage #quotes #quotestoliveby #nocompetition #beyouonlybetter #teachersofinstagram
I absolutely LOVE this quote. I truly do. It is one we should live by in our hearts and minds as teachers. Teaching is hard, laborious, full of stress, as well as joys. The stress we do not need is from competing with one another.

I think about things for my classroom and I look for ways to improve my craft, show my love for life, instill a love of learning within my kiddos, and yet, some teachers do not feel the same way. My motto has always been, "Don't reinvent the wheel" and "Do unto others as you would want done unto yourself." I believe in giving freely my ideas and being honest in my thoughts. We spend enough time in the classroom as teachers, says the bitter lady who was at the classroom until 7, on a Sunday, with a cranky preschooler in tow.

Life isn't about being voted the best teacher by what you have or use. Life is about remembering what matters most and doing the best for your family, your sanity,  as well as your students. We can't achieve it if we compete.

So next time the ugly green monster rears it's head, saying you are not doing enough, you won't be liked enough, you are not good enough. Remember, what matters is how YOU grew without the thought of another.

Learn it. Live it. Love it.

Sunday, September 7, 2014's so BORING!

Okay, so, I am not that original. I stole that quote from my 4 year old. She is full of epiphanies that many times I stop to ponder. It must be her age, or lack of life bitterness, that allows her to come up with these gems.

It was yet another night when I was trying to explain WHY she needed to go to sleep before 10 and she spouted off with, "But Mom, it is SO BORING!" Well, I can't really argue with that, because, here I am, blogging, tweeting, instagraming when my very smart brain knows I need sleep. However, this is more fun. If only they could create a way to do both: sleep and be active. Akin to plugging our phones into the battery charger while still using them, I would be set.

So no surprise when she came up with some more shockers during our trip to the grocery store today, where, upon her 15th time of getting out of the car cart that mothers across America must LOATHE as much as I do (BAN them I say!) she spouts off with, "This isn't any fun." Big shocker there~ Little Clueless One, Mom doesn't enjoy grocery shopping anymore than you do! The bevy of shoppers walking by while I continually spouted off with, "Please do what I ask the first time. Remember our discussion. What was our deal?" or any other psychological verbiage meant to help keep me sane during a 30 minute shopping trip.

After several more attempts at getting her back into the lame yellow car, AFTER the time she attempted to climb ON TOP of said yellow car, while a shopping acquaintance said, "That could be dangerous." Really? Do you think so? I had pretty much had it. My patience of Job had waned and I was left with, "I'm calling Bryce to tell him you are not coming over to play. He will be so sad." Yes, I had resorted to emotional blackmail at such a young age.

It worked. And shopping became a dream, for at least 2 whole minutes, at which point she said,  "You've got enough food (in the cart) now. Let's go home." Ah, yes, I forgot, you truly are the one in charge. What am I dare thinking? Bringing a list and expecting to get everything on it. At which time some kind lady said, "She is SO cute!" "Yes, she is," I said, "but she is a handful." "I don't care" the woman said, "because she is so darn cute." Is that a compliment? Still not sure.

Our volleys continued, for another 15 minutes, during which she attempted to turn 1 item she can buy into 3 candy bars, an orange juice, and some lip gloss.

I love her. I truly do. Even when she screams, "but you're my awesome mom" from her timeout spot and makes me feel like crap. I still adore her. And I want to tell her: Yes, it is because I am your awesome mom that I need to put you there. Because I know my occupation is a teacher, but my most important job is as your mom. No matter that I say things so many times I think you need a hearing aid, no matter that you ignore me so much I think of your father, no matter the hoarding you do that really makes me think the state might show up at any moment. I need to do right by you as I only get one shot.

So even though it's late, and I should be sleeping, I need to blog about you because some days I amaze myself that I can corral, teach, lead, grow, and counsel 26 kinder bodies for a living, 5 days a week, yet you, my precious, only daughter, gives me a run for my money on a daily basis.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

What Else Do You Do on the Night Before the First Day Back? sister, bless her kind soul, showed up at my class at 7:30pm with an Extreme Bull in hand for me. An EB is a white Monster with flavoring added created by our very own Winegars.  Yes, something I needed to help propel my working ability, no, I didn't really need it at 7:30 at night!! So what do I do? Start a blog! Of course! I need to be at my LID day in 6 hours, but who cares how bad I look! Because I am BLOGGING!

Two days ago, room a mess, the countdown to school starting ticking in my brain, I decide to go for that Pinterest craft. You know...that one always calling your name...the one you dream about but never get to...that one. No, not the furniture made from pallets THAT ain't happening any time soon. The EASY (LOL) craft...the one the poster claims is SO easy your 93 year old, blind grandmother could do it.

I bought a sheet from Fred Meyer for $5 on sale and decided to embark on covering the old, hideously ugly and stained, blah blue office chairs. I got me a drill, the sheet, and a strong desire and plunked myself down in the middle of the classroom.

The bottom of the chair was easy to remove, just a few screws and there it was! The top, however, was a totally different story. No visible access...and there I was STUCK in the middle of the *easy* Pinterest craft.
What does a teacher do? Go to her Social Media of course! I Tweeted, Facebooked, and Instagrammed to no avail. I started searching Pinterest only to realize every chair EVER done on there was not my style of chair. What are the chances? In my life, pretty damn good. After wasting a good 15 minutes I decided it was time to SOLVE this problem. I'm good enough, strong enough, and people like me (personal pep talk from SNL).

So...I poked and prodded and realized I could lift the edge just enough to fit the sheet in. I realized I needed something to hold open the space while I shot in the hot glue. I found...what else, pencils! The closest thing to grab. I pried the chair apart with my flathead screwdriver, replaced it with the pencil, squeezed in the hot glue, then used the flat head to push the sheet into the crevice.

By the way, many tutorials talked about removing the old fabric, all the staples, nails, etc. and starting with the foam. I don't know about you, but as a teacher, no one has time for that. I just went right over the top of the old fabric with no problem.
Flathead screwdriver in action.
Here it is! The finished top!!
And Viola! A cheerful chair!!

Most of the blogs talk about using upholstery fabric on the chair. I totally get that...the sheet will only last so long...but, a sheet was a good starting point: It was cheap, it was cute, and it will last quite a while.

Supplies needed for two of these office chairs :
1 flat sheet
Flathead screwdriver
Pencils, or other objects to hold open the crevice
Hot glue
Drill gun preferably is all you need to know to upcycle the hideous chair in your room. Go out and make the world a more beautiful chair at a time :)