Archive for the ‘Life in Sunny Florida’ Category

Who will love me for me?

March 28, 2011

JJ Heller’s song, “What Love Really Means” has been on my mind a lot lately.   I’m going to ramble for a little here so you might just want to skip to the video 🙂

There are times where I feel “forgotten about”.  I know it’s not true but it doesn’t help make that feeling go away.  Sometimes the world seems to swallow me and I’m not sure what in the heck I am doing here.  You know the feeling?  It’s such an awful feeling.  But then I remember there is someone who hasn’t forgotten about me.  Someone who has been there every step of the way.  They haven’t left when I made mistakes or sinned.  It’s that same person who loves us when we gain those extra pounds and we don’t feel as beautiful as we are.  It’s that same person who loves us for who we are without question.  For me, it makes me smile when I know that there is someone who “… will love you for you, Not for what you have done or what you will become, I will love you for you, I will give you the love, the love that you never knew.”   I don’t have to change who I am or lose those extra pounds or be perfect.  Christ loves me the way he made me.

I hope you will take a few minutes and watch the video and feel the love from our Savior!  I’m done rambling 🙂






Lessons learned

March 24, 2011

I learned a few things today.  I learned that you can give 110% of yourself to help someone but if they don’t want it, nothing will change.  I learned that sometimes being the “tough” teacher is the best thing to do for a student.  I learned that kids still WANT to be kids.

I learned or was reminded that I am a good teacher.  My only fault is that I care too much.  I guess that’s a good fault to have.

For Lori :)

March 17, 2011

How many of you remember a teacher from elementary school that made learning fun?  Or maybe they made you feel welcome into their room.  You might remember a teacher who allowed you to be yourself or listened when you had a problem.  I remember a few teachers from elementary through high school who inspired me to be a good student and work hard.   Some were patient and allowed me to have extra time to learn something new.  Of course, one helped me see that music was my “thing” and that I should pursue a music career.  I remember that 10th grade is when I decided I wanted to be a teacher.  It wasn’t a career I chose later in life or decided to do because it would be easy.  I want to be that “teacher someone remembers”….in a good way of course 😉

Most of you know that this year has been challenging.  Not just for the “new” music teacher, but for many of the veteran teachers.  My dear friend Lori teaches 4th grade at my school.  She was one of the first people to welcome me and include me in things.  She is an amazing teacher – she will be the “teacher someone remembers” by many!  Twice I week I pull out a few of her students for RtI.  She values her students time and mine which is why she gives me materials for the month.  It takes time to plan for RtI and to ensure that the grouping of students is appropriate.  The students speak so highly of her and that is due to her respect for them and her LOVE for teaching.

When I hear of teachers, like Lori, feeling so discouraged and depleted, it breaks my heart.  I would hate for teachers to become so robotic that we are not allowed to give children the space they need to learn.  The requirements that are being placed on teachers and students is making it difficult to teach.  It is a shame that our future leaders are not given the same opportunities we had.  It is a shame that our future leaders are forced to learn how to TEST instead of learning.  It is a shame that amazing teachers are struggling to find the desire and LOVE to come to work everyday.

So to Lori and all the teachers like her – Thank you for your compassion and love for our future leaders!  Thank you for taking time away from your families to plan lessons, grade papers, call parents, attend evening events.  Most of all, thank you for being the wonderful person God created you 🙂  (especially LORI!)

It was a good day.

February 6, 2011

I haven’t had a good day at work in a long time.   Some of that is probably my fault, but I’d like to blame everyone else 😉  Part of my job this year is to do RTI (Response to Intervention) with all grade levels.  I pull a few students out of the classroom to work on specific areas where they are struggling.  I have been working with 3 Kindergarten students on letter recognition, letter sounds, writing CVC words, etc… 2 of the 3 students are doing ok, 1 is absolutely lost.  She doesn’t know her alphabet, she doesn’t know sounds, basically she’s really behind.  We’ve been working for a few weeks now and it’s been kinda frustrating.  She knows how to spell CAT but doesn’t know sounds or can’t form the word “BAT”.  Friday I was working her and another student and I noticed that she was able to spell “at” words and sound them out correctly.  We moved to the “it” family and she was spelling 8 out of 10 correctly.  I was excited, giving her high-fives.  You could tell she was proud of herself and that made my day!  Her classroom teacher is awesome and has done such a great job with her.  I’d like to think I helped a little!  But it’s the moments like this that remind me why I love being a teacher.

The Life of a Teacher

October 12, 2010

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve encountered someone who has commented on how “easy” teaching is.  They wish they had their summers off.  You know that saying, “Those who can, do.  Those who can’t, teach”.  I hate that stupid phrase.  I would like to see how a non-educator would have survived my last few days.

Yesterday, I had back to back classes(which is common for most teachers) with little time to use the bathroom or eat lunch.  I walked into one of the ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder) classrooms to teach music.  This class is composed of 1st and 2nd grade BOYS!  This is the 2nd time I’ve been in the classroom to teach and there were 2 new boys.  The classroom teacher was there along with a substitute.  2 of the boys were hitting each other, 1 would not come to his seat, and 1 was talking non-stop!  The classroom teacher removed one of the boys that was fighting and I started teaching.  I thought it would be a good idea to get the one boy to participate so I removed the crayons he was using to color.  BIG MISTAKE!  He took his chair, which was adult size, and threw it across the room.  Luckily, it was not directed at the other boys, but by my computer and a glass mirror!  Just as he knocked my water bottle off and went for my laptop, I directed him back to his seat and gave him his crayons back.  It could have been worse than it was but definitely threw things for a loop for a few minutes! 

Today, I was “loaned” to another school so the staff could attend a funeral of a 2nd grade student.  Very sad situation and I would ask you to keep the school, staff, and students of Fishweir Elementary in your prayers.  I was glad to be able to help but I would have appreciated being asked before I was told to cancel my classes for the day and go to another school.  I arrived at the school with our PE teacher.  He was on the list, I was NOT.  Ugh.  I was put in a 1st grade class with another teacher.  This was a good move!  There were a few disruptive kids in this class.  To make a long story short – after recess one boy decided to shove (again) another student because he wanted to be first.  The other teacher asked if I’d take him.  I tried to get him to the back of the line.  He wasn’t going.  Instead this little angel decided to run away from me, hit me, throw dirt on me, kick over a garbage can and piss me off. 

I would love to see a corporate person teach my classes for 1 day and then tell me teaching is easy.  I have no doubt that their job is equally as difficult.  I would just like the respect that we educators deserve.

My new favorite

September 15, 2010

Dale is a kindergarten student at my school in Florida.  I first met Dale at my lovely morning car duty during the first week of school.  I stand outside every morning with a few patrols and open car doors and greet the kids and parents.  Some of the cars drive up way too fast, play really loud music, and ignore me as I say “good morning”.  Then you have the cutie pies who wave to you in the car, jump out say good morning and give you a hug.  Dale is one of those precious ones!   His mom is really polite and greets me each morning by name.  Last week Dale gave me an envelope with a picture inside (below). 

This is me and Dale!  As my sister so kindly pointed out – he made me skinny 🙂 

This morning Dale’s mom told me that he thinks of me at night and draws me pictures!  Here is today’s artwork!

I asked him to tell me about the picture because sometimes I have a hard time deciphering what everything is.  He said “you, me, flowers, heart, and the sun”.  Then he gave me 2 huge hugs.  He is quickly becoming my new favorite!  Now if the rest of the kids would be this sweet, I’d really like it here!  Maybe tomorrow…..

Baby steps

September 8, 2010

Today was test day.  I sat in a 3rd grade classroom for 2 hours watching these kids take 2 math benchmark tests given by the county.  I watched as a girl answered almost every question wrong and I just wanted to guide her through each question but I would have been fired!  I understand these tests help show the teachers where the students are but it doesn’t help that the test doesn’t have the correct numbers and the answer letters are missing and some of the questions were cut off. I feel bad for the students who were struggling because of the mistakes on the test.  Did I mention this test came from the COUNTY that way?!  Isn’t that crazy?  Then you have the few kids who couldn’t have possibly read the questions because they were done way too fast. 

The highlight of my day was when I was leaving a sweet girl said “bye Miss D” and I turned and said “bye sweetie” (b/c I don’t have all their names down yet, especially when I see them so infrequently) and just as I turned back to go out the door a boy said “I hate her”.  Really kid?  Geez.  I walked back to his table and said “That’s fine if you hate me b/c I hate you too”  Ok, I didn’t say the last part but I may have thought it!  I said “you can’t say things like that aloud b/c that hurts my feelings”.  I don’t think he really cared which is the saddest part of all.   I left school feeling discouraged.  It’s hard starting at square one with students and staff.  I gained 9 years of respect at my old school and I guess I thought it would automatically carryover!  I know it’ll happen…baby steps.