Thursday, September 25, 2008

Public School Is Not For Everyone

A lot of people ask me about my job. Specifically, they want to know if it's really worth giving up my summer vacation ("You only work 9 months a year, right?") and salary ("Teachers are overpaid!") to find something not in education. First, let me assure you that I work, contractually, 10 months a year. I also have to do classes over the summer, I spend my weekends grading papers and preparing for class, and I am still here at work most nights long after my contractual time ends. As for the salary, I guess I can't complain, but when you factor in all the extra out-of-school time I spend doing school related stuff, it's really not as much as it seems.

That being said, I will relay an incident that happened in class today so that those who still feel I'm living the good life can get a glimpse into what I deal with.

A senior (fifth year, since he couldn't do high school in four) has been a behavior issue since Day 1 this year. I will admit that I'm not a huge fan of his, but I do try to be fair, and I do try to tolerate him when he's not acting like a jackass. This student asked, in the middle of class, to go to the bathroom. Actually, asked is not the word...he held out his passport and told me to sign it. Since we were in the middle of something, I denied him. He wasn't happy with me, but I went on with my lesson. Twenty minutes later, he interrupts me while I'm talking to ask again. Again, I say no. Now he's really upset, and he's threatening to "piss on my floor". I told him that when he was finished doing that, he'd have to stay to clean it up. Then I went on with my lesson. At the end of class, the students were walking out, and what do I discover this prize specimen of a child left me? He spit...yes, SPIT...on my floor in protest.

So please, when you ask if I am really sure that I would like a career change, remember this story. Because I guarantee you, some summer vacation is a small thing to trade for a job in which I don't have to deal with the likes of these kids 180 days of the year.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Emily has a secret

Our Big Girl

Here she is...walking all by herself! Ignore the gansta one sock style she's got going on.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Late Bloomer?

Emily has always been what I like to dub a "late bloomer" when it comes to physical milestones. She didn't crawl until 11 months. Instead, she preferred to roll across the room, and she was actually pretty good at it. In fact, I am ashamed to say that at times, it seemed she could roll faster than I could walk.'s no surprise that as her little friends have all gotten brave and
begun to take their first steps, Emily has chosen to continue crawling. At
first, people would ask, "Is she walking yet?" and I'd say no, and they'd
say, "Oh, wait until after she turns a year old...she'll be walking everywhere!" Her first birthday came and went, and no walking. She tricked us a few times; in July, she took a few steps between Dan and I, and we thought, "This is it!" But, those few steps were all we got, and she was back to dusting the floors with her hands and knees. We tried everything...we encouraged her to push just about everything across our floors. She loves doing that, but will not let go of whatever she's pushing. We tried bribing her with snacks (hey, it works with the dog)...nothing. When she went back to daycare, the director said in two weeks she'd be walking. She predicted that after Emily saw all her little friends walking around, she'd want to do it as well. But that was a false hope.

Then this week came, and all of a sudden, some little girl was taking steps! At first I didn't get my hopes up; I'd seen this trick before. But she would walk almost the entire length of the living room between Dan and I with a big goofy smile on her face (pictures will come soon, I promise). I knew we'd mastered the walking. It was done! Tuesday I picked her up from daycare, and I heard a familiar voice saying, "come on Emily, you can walk!" I proudly walked into her room and announced, "She started walking yesterday!" I called Emily, who was busy climbing into other kids' cubbies, over to me. This was our big moment. And of course, she dropped to her knees and did the fastest sprint crawl I've ever seen.

Friday, September 12, 2008

A Great Place To Be???

The school where I currently work has adopted the slogan "A great place to be". Recently I've been questioning that more and more. It's only the third week of school, and already I am feeling run-down and burned out. The powers-that-be have dictated that we will be adopting part of yet another new educational strategy. Given the history of such initiatives, in a year or two, we'll be told that research doesn't support it, and we're moving onto something else. In the meantime, the teachers jump through hoops in order to give a good show to administration.

I'd like a job where I can still make the salary I make now and have decent benefits, but one where my job won't be coddling unmotivated students who love to refer to themselves as adults. If anyone knows of such a job, let me know; I'm willing to give up my summers off to find something that I would actually enjoy doing.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Trying Something New

Since Emily's webpage is getting overrun with photos, I've decided to try my hand at blogging. With some encouragement from my sister-in-law, I've realized that I can probably do this just as easily. Plus, I'll be able to share stories and happenings in all of our lives, not just Emily's (although who am I kidding, that's the only person anyone wants to read about). I'll still update her website for now as well, at least until I'm sure I like doing the blog and can get pictures and stuff up and running :)