Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Updates, updates

Just a quick update... STAAR week went fine and as expected. The kids worked really hard and I am proud of them no matter how they score

Finances for summer classes are trickling in. My $500 scholarship will post for summer, so that's about 10%. Still waiting for word on the rest. Keep praying and I will share when there is news to share and we can praise the Lord together.

I had a great visit with my mom last weekend. So good to see her. Some times, seeing Momma makes it all better.

That about covers it.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

On the eve of STAAR

Tomorrow begins STAAR testing week. And I am dreading it. Not because I have to actively monitor a 4 hour test. Nor because the daily schedule will be mixed up so that the kids are completely out of sorts. But because I think the test is a false measure of what my kids know. Because my third graders still have 6 weeks to make progress. Because they shouldn't have to take a test that is more fitting to a 5th or 6th grader. Because the students I have grown to love and care about are nervous about taking a standardized test for the first time and I know they won't get the rest they need.

My own third grader seems a little oblivious to the fact that he has a big test to take. He knows it will be hard and he just doesn't show much emotion about it. Maybe that will change tomorrow. Maybe not. I can only hope that these days pass in the blurr that they are.

All week I have been seeing articles about state testing and how inappropriate it is and I know it will always be here. That makes me sad. Because I know that having a high stakes test promotes poor, narrowly focused teaching in order to make a score. Because accountability in the test falls on teachers, schools, prinicipals, and districts and not the students themselves. And I know that as long as a company can make money producing tests for an entire state or nation, it will be in their best interests to listen to the people with the money, and that is not the teachers who understand how education works. It makes me sad.

So I'm going to head into this week with an attitude of love, caring, and survival. And when it is finished, I will get back to the real business of teaching students life skills that are not scored on a bubble sheet.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Day start.
On time for early tutoring.
Kids grounded from screens.
Sad kids.
Busy day.
Lots to teach.
Cranky students.
Team meeting.
Many parent contacts.
More teaching.
Stubborn student.
Job done.
See friend with flat tire.
Help friend.
Get home.
Door knob broken.
Got Screwdriver.
Removed door knob.
Texted husband.
Helped son with homework.
Reheated dinner.
Cranky Mommy.
Daddy home.
Download day.
Feeling better.
Off to get new door knob.
Find new door knob.
Tuck kids in.
Fix old door knob.
Dead tired.
Read for fun.
Day ends.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

I'm home this morning with an ear-achy kid and missing my church family. Well, if you know about us, you know we have a dog. He is old. He can be super sweet, but he can also be a royal pain. He has taken to randomly peeing on our floors. A lot! He has been the recipient of many unkind words and threats, all well deserved. And today, there was that sweet kind of vengeance that the Bible talks about. The one where it's all God and not me at all.

So, puppy decided to get up, look at me, and start peeing, then run to the opposite corner of the room peeing all the way. In his hurry to get away from the screaming banshee (that would be me in my robe with stringy wet hair not having had a cup of coffee yet.. get the image), he climbed under the chair, and got stuck. Really stuck. He put himself in puppy stocks! The husband and I went from seeing red to that little giggle, to full blown laughs. I wish I had thought of this sooner.

Before you call the SPCA, I did get him out, there was no harm done, and remember, he did this to himself.
Today's lesson: When you have a gimpy hip, don't try to climb through the chair legs.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Someone come restart my heart!

I just registered for my summer classes. 12 graduate hours. It's a lot of work and will require diligence on my part. But it's so much more when you realize it costs almost $5000! Oh yeah. No joke. I got a scholarship for the fall/spring which will cover about 75% of the bill. Yay! But I am not endowed for the summer. What's a girl to do?

You could say "Silly girl, you are Cra-Cra! That is proof you are nuts and you should just drop those classes and enjoy your well deserved break!" That is an option. But it would put off graduation for another year. Or you could suggest that I take out a student loan. They are there for the taking. However, I have made myself a promise that I would not take out any more loans to pay for this degree. Debt is too big of a burden for us right now, and I will not add to it with my education. I would sooner quit than take another loan out.

But I have a thought that maybe, just maybe, God could intervene. If He is as excited as I am about where I will serve him with my job, I know he is able to finance that endeavor. So, crazy girl that I am, I am praying for a Divine windfall of finances.  Before you call the men with the nice white jackets, I understand how crazy that sounds. The phrases "bad financial planning" ,"lazy" ,"why would HE even care" ,"NO ONE expects money to fall into their account unless they are completely off their rocker" all are running through my mind. I get it. It's a faith step.

Not to over spiritualize it, but money and waiting and faith are all very interrelated for me. God has never let me miss a meal due to finances. I have never been homeless or worn threadbare clothes (unless I wanted to). And God has always financed what He wanted me to accomplish. College bills, mission trips, camps, kids, you name it! If God was in it, the resources are there.

Will you pray with me? Will you pray that God would provide if He wills me to take this class load? Will you pray that I would not give in to the temptation of taking out a loan when it comes to the deadline and I have to drop classes if God has not provided?

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Recent Observations

I have lost my storytelling mojo. At least that's what it feels like. Amidst life and the stresses of the Spring semester, I just can't craft a story that makes sense and is the littlest bit interesting. Instead I think I will share my recent observations:

STAAR testing  is an awful way to track the abilities and performance of public school children

I will not be lured in by cute graphics on my paper towels again because Sparkle brand sucks! They don't tear right and are as absorbant as a rock.

I am really nervous about the summer classes I am about to sign up for. 2 classes in both summer sessions, assuming of course that I can pay for them. That's a lot of work (12 graduate hours) in 2 little months. But that will put me closer to the goal of finishing grad school.

I got a scholarship for next year! Yay! That'll will certainly take a chunk out of the financial burden. Praying for some other ones to come through in time to help with summer. I will find out by the end of May.

I really want to start working out, but just can't figure out the when. I guess I could get off the computer and go walk right now, but it is getting ready to rain from these pregnant clouds that have been hanging low over the city all day.

I am needing a new author to read and love. You'd think a future librarian wouldn't have this problem, but you'd be wrong. Really engaging books are hard to find in the mountains of craptastic writing out there.

If I was a superhero, my archnemesis would have something to do with sorting laundry.

I have been around a lot of cancer and death lately, and that makes me think morbidly. Like I really need to get a will made and make those "final preparations". And I've been thinking about what music I want to make people listen to at my funeral. I am fairly certain it will not include Randy Travis singing the old rugged cross or Dolly Parton crooning something about butterflies. At least the list has narrowed a bit.

Retiring teachers should not be allowed to be alone with children or parents. They say the darndest things!

The pants I am wearing really need to be retired. They are washed out, a little too short, and pinching at the waistband. Yep, time to bury them.

And to wrap up, here are some pictures from Easter: