Thursday, January 31, 2008

election info...

Today I took a peek inside of an elective class at Maywood. The debate teacher is a younger guy and he saw me in the workroom moments before his class was scheduled to begin their town meeting. I couldn't resist the chance to watch students discuss who they would vote for and why. In the process, I stumbled upon a few helpful websites...check 'em out (regardless of who you plan to vote for, these are worth perusing).

Allows you to rank the issues, take a quiz and then matches you with the "right" candidate. See if you and your pick actually value the same things. There are explanations that follow the quiz as well.

This site asks you some questions and places you on a map of sorts. I don't care for Politopia as much as Glass Booth. At the same time, it provides you with some more info...can't hurt.

Any thoughts?

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

too much of a good thing...

The snow was a ton of fun at first. I loved having a day off. Things are getting a bit out of hand now. Yesterday was a 2-hour late start. Again, kind of nice. Apparently, there's still quite a bit of the white stuff out in Issaquah and up in the higher elevations (our district is huge and covers quite a bit of land and elevation levels too). This morning I woke up, showered, packed my lunch and then answered a phone call from Mike (he's the one who calls me on our Emergency Phone Tree. Turns out we didn't have to report to school on-time due to a 1-hour late start. Really? Now there's word that the higher elevations in the glorious city of Issaquah are due for some more snow this evening. Crazy! We have content to cover and curriculum to power-through! Who knows what tomorrow will bring?!?! It's like being a kid all over again!

Monday, January 28, 2008

Thursday, January 24, 2008

nothing to be proud of...

Ben and I just watched last night's episode of the Gauntlet III. Talk about entertaining television! Here are a few reasons I'm so excited for this season...
  • The hook-ups look to be high in number...always creating drama
  • Veterans are already fighting and turning on each other
  • CT is crazy!
  • Brooke is now gay?!?! What?!?!
  • If Coral's quote (directed at Ev, a female teammate) is any indication of what's to come, then I will surely enjoy it all.

Here's the quote - "I don’t care how strong you are or how much you bench press. Or this big rumor about you having a penis…"

MTV, you've done it again...and I've fallen victim.

Pray for me! :)

Friday, January 18, 2008

action shots...

I am pretty sure that my mother-in-law is one of the coolest out there...and I have the pictures to prove it! She enjoyed a few rounds of Guitar Hero III.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

sick simmons...

Guess who doesn't feel so hot these days? My husband is a bit under-the-weather. He is not one to complain when he's ill and typically he tries his best to tough it out. Not this time around. It came on yesterday morning - nice and subtle. Today he woke up feeling worse. He helped with worship, so he was up early. After church, we came home and he seems to feel worse with each passing our. For the last 3 hours or so, he's been in bed. Poor guy. I'm trying to finish a paper for my master's class. Once I'm done with that, I'll head to the store to pick up some stuff for Ben. After that, it's time to enter grades and get some of my planning squared-away before the new week begins. Exciting times at our home.

(Ah, and to think that there is a Brazilian bash taking place up in Edmonds only adds to the misery that's unfolding here - as though I'm missing out on something festive, bright, cheery, exciting, warm, whimsical and adventurous! Bridget, I hope you have the most perfect birthday celebration!)

P.S. The picture of Ben (above) was taken up at LBC the week we met. You can see why I quickly feel for this cutie! :)

Thursday, January 10, 2008

bowling in the living room...

Ben & Bobby demonstrating some skills. Of course, Bobby kicked our butts...he's good at anything sports related and he doesn't even have to try. It's not fair.

Watching my dad bowl is the best - I'm convinced he's going to run into the television. He starts at the back of the room and then ends up nearly touching the screen. It's awesome!

We should start a league. I currently hold the highest score...255. Go ahead, get jealous! If we started a league, we could each get a cool shirt (with our names) and we won't have to worry about shoes...we can play in my mom and dad's living room. Waiting for an open lane is a thing of the past. Ah, good times...

Kelli is so cute as she bowls. Look at the form...and the smile!

Here's my favorite bowler. She's got on her Christmas best - skirt and apron - and yet she still came in and put up a fight. As I recall, she was ranked up near the top. Way to go mom!

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

can i vent?

I know that it might not be politically correct to vent about one's job - especially on a blog - but this is also a journal of sorts. You've been warned...

I love working with middle school students. They are entertaining, outgoing, sweet, crazy, fun, silly, loving, unpredictable, passionate, anxious, friendly, eager, out-of-control, refreshing, and pleasant.

The staff I work alongside is also one to be admired. I can count on my team for absolutely anything. They push me to challenge myself. And dang, they're super smart! With great foundations like this, it is often easy to over look the downside(s) to teaching.

At this point though, I feel the politics are simply too high in number. As a result, I feel it is a bit difficult to put on a smile and continue to look at the bright side. Let me give you some insight as to what life is like right now for me and perhaps that will help to shed some light on the whole subject.

As a teacher, I am called to continue my education. I can understand that and I see this as a good thing. Education is always changing and there is so much out there that is being uncovered and discovered. This piece should remain. However, it needs some work. At this time in my career, I am shelling out money - left and right - for classes that I have to take in order to get my Professional Certification. In today's world, a teacher cannot simply have a teaching certificate. Now we must make it a point to take a Professional Certification course (2 classes) with 9 credits in between. Thankfully, I have had some help ($) with the master's classes I am taking (that's where I'm getting the 9 credits).

The money isn't the only issue. My time is also worth something, isn't it? I spent most of this afternoon on the phone with secretaries at Western Washington University. Hello, I left that place more than 5 years ago. But, I need to make sure that I met certain requirements, while going to school up in Bellingham, in order to continue teaching in the state of Washington. In my mind, I think these things should have been ironed out before I was even hired...or given my teaching certificate. Seriously, I am simultaneously trying to have a master's class waived, search old records, write a paper, post a discussion, seek approval of classes taken, and continue my daily job as a teacher.

I just feel as though my current role as a leader in the classroom is not at all valued. Instead, it's about giving up two weeknights each month, setting aside Sunday afternoons in order to pursue a master's degree, double-checking requirements, writing papers, researching, and tying up lose ends. When do you suppose I am going to TEACH? I wish someone would have told me about all of these hoops ahead of time. I feel mislead. Teaching is the smallest part of my job - by far! Honestly, it's also my favorite.

All of these factors have push me to believe a few things...
There are a plethora of people in this world who could potentially revolutionize the world of education (I daydream that I too am included in that bunch). Unfortunately, the endless hoops, constant fees and unending interruptions keep these teachers from pursuing a career in education.

I have cried about this a lot lately - and I've also done more praying than I thought possible. I keep asking God to show me what my role is in all of this. Right now, I am simply doing what is asked of me. I am meeting the requirements, taking the classes, writing the checks, and trying to love on kids in the meantime. It's tiring and I don't know that I'm doing it well.

Pray for teachers everywhere...

(Please do not let my words lead you astray. I am emotional about this and I'm having a difficult time examining it from all sides. Consider this an informal "spew-age" of mine. I also think it is important to note that I am blessed beyond measure. I have a great job, a loving family, a super-duper husband, and more than I could possibly ask for. I think I'm simply trying to figure out my place in this world of politics and education.)

check this out...

My mom and dad have always (as long as I can remember) helped with the Mary Bridge Children's Hospital Festival of Trees. It's an event that everyone should have the opportunity to attend. The trees are put together and then auctioned off...then it's open for the public to take a look. This year, my dad bid - and won - a small decorated Christmas tree (they have different sizes up for auction). He purchased this tree in honor of Mike Perez. He's currently stationed in Japan and he wasn't able to come home for Christmas. I thought it was extremely considerate and sweet of my dad.