Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Hope Springs Eternal

I love my job. I do. I honestly think that this was what I was meant to do. That said, there have been days where I have felt like I am teaching to kids I can't reach, with problems I can't solve, in time I don't have. But even when I have days like that, I am ready to try again the next day.

My favorite quote of all time is:

"Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes courage is the little voice at the end of the day that says I'll try again tomorrow." - Mary Anne Radmacher

I have said this quote to myself many times in the last year.

In my school, some of the grades are expected to do a math book that is called Mac-Ro. They do a lesson each night at home and turn it in at the end of the month. The schools give prizes to the ones who turn it in. I took over this class in mid-December, so December's Mac-Ro was already in full swing. However I told the kids at the beginning of January that I would only be giving prizes to the kids who turned it in on time. And then proceeded to give them a lecture about the importance of timeliness when you are employed, yadda, yadda, yadda. If they did turn it in late, they would still get credit for handing it in, and be able to participate in the end of the year celebration. In order to get a prize however, they had to have it in on time.

I reminded them of this yesterday, since it was due today. Today, I read off of the names of the kids who had handed it in, and announced that those kids would be getting a prize. One student muttered under his breath that he wished he was back in his old teacher's class. She gave them prizes regardless if they got them in on time or not. Another student hearing this replied with: "Mrs. D has higher expectations."

And then I am pretty sure I heard angels singing.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

A New Look

We (I) took the rug from the bedroom and then placed it in the family room. Then we (I) took the family room rug and put it under the kitchen table. I would rather vacuum than mop any day, and it will cut down on the echoing that comes with living with tile floors.

We also recently purchased new sofas and chairs. Now we will have enough places for everyone to sit. And in the interest of marital compromise, the chairs even recline.

Picnic at The Park

Our friends Mary, Leigh Avery and Amaya are moving to Oregon tomorrow. We had a cookout last weekend as sort of a last hurrah. I am sure that Charlie will miss his good friend, Shawn will miss playing basketball with them on the weekends, I will miss getting my baby girl fix, and I will also miss a dear friend. They really want to go though, so I am happy for them. And now we will have an excuse to go to Oregon again.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

R.I.P. Zac

We lost our cat Zac today. He was 18 years old and we have had him since we lived in NH. Shawn was doing an internship at a law firm and a woman there was trying to find a home for her cat because he was being terrorized by her dogs. She said he spent his life on the counters trying to stay away from the dogs.

AJ was two when we got him. He was so excited to have a pet. They became fast friends. I have many pictures of them (before I owned a digital camera even) taking naps together and just generally hanging out. Zac was the closest thing AJ had to a sibling for many years. He was so gentle with the kids, both ours and others.

His official name was Prozac, and he was aptly named. He was always very calm. Nothing ever seemed to bother him. And when he did get too irritated with things, he simply got up and walked away.

He will be missed.

Fire Drill

On Thursday and Friday, I attended a two day training at my district office for their official behavior management plan. My district has it's own conference center, complete with a cafe. It is actually rather ingenious. They even rent the space out for other non-district events on the weekends.

I attended the training with 3 other teachers from my school along with my assistant principal. The second day of training went much like the first. There were some PowerPoints, worksheets to fill out, etc. Then right after lunch the fire alarm went off. There were two doors to choose from. One door went right out to the parking lot (the logical choice), and the other door went to the courtyard. The minute the alarm went off, my assistant principal starts yelling "Get the babies!!!" I looked around the room. There were no babies. However, she was the assistant principal so I figured she knew what she was talking about, and followed her to the courtyard. Sure enough, there was a staff daycare across the courtyard from where our meeting was being held. We went to daycare and all ten of us either grabbed an infant or lead toddlers across the street to the meeting place.

It was a bit surreal to go from not being responsible for anyone to being responsible for small children who you did not even know were there. Luckily, it was only a drill. Everyone was fine, unless you count the poor kids that were woken up from their naps.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

A Visit With Shawn's Family

Shawn's sister's family came to visit Shawn's mom for this week. It was so great to see them, and it was fun to watch the boys play together. I think the 3 little ones will be the Three Musketeers in a few years, once they get organized.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

USA V Venezuela

We went to a professional soccer game last night. It was so much fun. They had the dome open, and it was pretty cool to be both inside and outside at the same time.

Charlie started off on my lap, his hands covering his ears for the first 30 minutes. Then he got really into it and started chanting USA! USA! USA!. He did not stop chanting until we got to the car, much to the amusement of the people around us.

AJ loved the game too, and watched it intently.

All in all, a great time.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Charlie Complains To The Warden

The other day I made the mistake of taking Charlie to the grocery store, yet again. He asked if he could get a donut. I said he could, if he was good the entire trip. Things were going well. We made it to the actual donut counter without incident. Then, when we were checking out, he went into a full toddler tantrum flop, right in the middle of the store floor. I was paying and AJ was left to physically carry him out of the way of other shoppers.

Of course I was in the process of paying for the donut. We leave and I tell the still screaming Charlie to come over to the trash can. I then drop the donut in the trash can outside the store. As you can imagine, this did not improve his mood any.

Today, his note from school says:" While Charlie was painting the letter "F" today, he said he wanted to draw a picture for his mommy and daddy. "

Coincidence? I think not.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Welcome to Phoenix

I was leaving work and saw this guy on horseback riding down the street. I thought that this picture was so Phoenix. I have never lived anywhere else where people ride their horses down the streets. In fact, when we first moved to our neighborhood (about 20 minutes from where this picture was taken), we went to the store one day to fine horses tied up outside the grocery store and using a parking spot.

I played with editing this picture to make it clearer and you are just going to have to trust me that this is a whole lot clearer than the original. I could have gotten a better picture as the man rode in front of the school. However, the principal was speaking to me at the time and I thought whipping out my phone, mid sentence, would not be a good idea. Instead, I stalked the guy and drove behind him, pulling over to take the picture.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

I should really call the health teacher at the high school and have his or her class come with Charlie and me to Target. Because after 3 tantrums and a spilled drink in the check out line, I could have sold abstinence t-shirts.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Charlie's Note of The Day

Charlie handed a block to a friend and said "It's not a block. Come on man, use your imagination!"