Monday, June 22, 2015

Random Musings from the Couch: Sleep Deprivation, Allergies, Summer School & Teacher Competition

At 6 am, when squished between two of my loves, there is nowhere else to go but the couch. Rather than continue taking selfies of myself and my adorable, sleeping child, (sometimes your arm isn't quite long enough to hold the phone AND snap the picture without dropping said phone on your face) I decided to come out and clean the dust off my blog. It's been two weeks since my last post, yet it feels like an eternity--a result of participating in the #EdBlogADay challenge. My blog is now ever present and somewhere, looming, in my brain, waiting to resurface when the mood, and writing Gods, strike.

So what am I doing besides moaning the fact that I'm not still in bed, during summer mind you, at 730? For one, scratching my eyes out due to a mild winter which = increased pollen and allergies! Let's just say Benadryl is my best friend right long as I don't take it when I need to be awake...

And I'm fighting some pesky message from blogger that says this c$#%
So, like most folks learning to waste time on a Monday morning (insert Sarcasm here), I'm attempting to get said message to leave without any hope at this point....Don't you love when you follow all their said directions and still it won't leave? I finally realized I could keep X'ing out of the box and do what I wanted anyway...however, like a stalker that just won't go away, it pops up every chance it gets. What's up with that #Google? I would write to someone but real people don't seem to exist in #blogger land.

So with that in mind, where will my whining take me next? Oh Yes, to the land of summer school. After almost a week off I'm headed back for a modified summer school experience. I actually am excited to work some mojo with the kiddos, just wishing I had a few more days off to hone my skills of being in a vegetative state before doing so.

Speaking of my vegetative state, I managed to miss 5 things this week, even with them being posted to my calendar: Sierra's first day of  Jazzerkamp, 2 PD's for Google w/my district, public library summer reading program kick off, and something else I've already forgotten because, forget baby brain, end of year school brain is real and it's deadly to any activity you thought you planned to go to.

Uh-oh, Benadryl is starting to kick

Have you heard of #mindfulness? It's about being cognizant, or living in the moment. When one gets preoccupied with unhelpful thoughts it's important to think of those thoughts as a misguided puppy and direct them back to the focus at hand. And no, I don't mean my random blog musings, but those things that drive you crazy and you say, "Why didn't I X?" or "Why didn't I say X?" or "Why does X do Y, Z?!?!?" And although you attempt to stop thinking about X, X just keeps popping up over, and over, and over...and, well you get the idea.

I've been thinking about competition in teaching. My favorite quote has always been:
This year I have really tried to embrace it, but in reality, it's a two-way street, right? We can be mindful all day long, but if others are not living by the same motto, that little puppy can easily walk back into the room.

It's natural to want to receive positive reinforcement for what you do in the classroom. Although people in admin positions know this, many times they don't do it enough due to time constraints. When you teach 26, 5 & 6 year olds, ALL DAY LONG, you do want someone to realize what a flippin super hero you really are, because if you can teach and manage 26 kinder kids at once, in between multiple tattle tailing, nose picking, and attempts at attention, you ARE a super hero. Yet tooting your own horn, i.e. bragging, is annoying and shouldn't need to be done.

As summer begins I hope admins the world over get a chance to realize that every teacher in their school has strengths. And that every teacher needs to be recognized. Each means each. Each one individually: not just the braggers, not just the cool kids, or the golden circle that reminds us of high school and let's us know we are not in the popular clique. Everyone. There are not merely 5 leaders in our schools, there are (insert # of teachers in your school here) leaders, all waiting for their chance to shine in their own way. Only when admin leads this way can we quiet the voice in our head that says, "You never get noticed, you never get called on, you never get true recognition, YOU must not be that good."

Friday, June 5, 2015

The Little Things That Mean A Lot

I had a day off today. I should say a day out of the class working elsewhere. I was instead working with other K teachers at my school to run a kindergarten roundup. We had 8-10 soon to be students coming in every half hour running through basic testing in a hopeful attempt to have equality in the classrooms this fall.

I had a sub I never had before. Turned out she had just finished her student teaching and THIS was her very first attempt at subbing. I apologized to her for what she was about to experience. We all know it as, "checking out for summer." The kids, as proven from the previous days this week, had reverted back to pre-cave behavior.

Since I was in the gym I was able to check in periodically on my class and was hopeful when I saw engaged, happy learners. The joy began to seep away when I got a message that X needed to go to the office. I didn't know why, it surely wasn't out of the norm, but really? Couldn't the day continue on the high it was? X, what are you doing out there???

With kids continually filling my chair I had no time to worry so I sat back and enjoyed the ride.

A few hours passed...

All of a sudden a thunderous rumble was heard. When I looked up, the music teacher was in front of me, center of the gym, basically holding back 24 kinders who now more closely resembled a group of rioters rather than my class. Her arms outstretched, her feet staggered, she looked like she was about to be ran over. She mouthed, "it was like this the WHOLE class."

Peeved beyond belief I apologized to the soon to be constituent I left at my station and requested my class join me outside. The majority, sans the few who never do anything, got an earful about respectful behavior and how it equates to the amount of recess one receives. I sounded upset and I meant it.

Respect doesn't end because the weather is warm. It doesn't end because school is almost out. It doesn't end when your teacher is not there. Respect should be ever present.

At the end of the day I went back to the "cave" hesitantly. Was it still standing? Was the note from the sub prefaced by, "I'll never come back?"

On my desk was the note from the substitute, but more importantly, several notes from my friends. Hearts, note cards, great art abound. Two immediately caught my eye.

One was thankful for the eye operation I performed on her Winnie the Pooh on one of my breaks. And the other could be called nothing other than a sign of love for his teacher. His initials and mine were the only written words. Both kids struggled all year with coloring and drawing for various reasons and yet these two samples stood out like original Monet's in my mind.

All of a sudden the mob mentality memories slipped away and in came happiness.

It truly is the little things that matter most. They ground us on the days we ponder our sanity. They remind us what is important. Even in the most utter chaotic time: We love one another.