Tuesday, March 31, 2009

never a dull moment...

Let me tell you of two interesting stories…both true. Oh, and both were uncovered today. Let it be known, a teacher’s job is far from dull. Enjoy. (Warning, these are long…and maybe not be all that interesting.)

Story #1 – A young man, we’ll call him Joe, explained to me that he will not be here tomorrow. The students are expected to work on a group project and he wanted me to know that his absence tomorrow might make things a bit difficult for his group. That was nice of him to warn me. However, when I asked Joe to explain why he won’t be here, he just smiled and didn’t say much. I pulled it out of him and this is what he had to say (I’ll paraphrase, since I don’t remember the details word for word – but it’s pretty close, I can assure you)…

“My dad needs my help. Since tomorrow’s April Fool’s Day, he needs me to do some stuff around the house. We’ll be up all night because of it. Like, we’re going to dress up in our camo gear and hide out in case any of my dad’s friends decide to do something to our place for April Fool’s. We’ve got flood lights that we have to remain on guard to keep watch. We are also going to head over to a friend’s house and mess with his stuff. Our plan is to take the tires off of his car and then jack it up on cinder blocks. So, I’ll be too tired and way too busy to be here tomorrow.”

Yep, that really happened just now. Apparently, parents and teachers don’t work together…instead, they work against one another. Oh, and did I mention that this young man is far from passing his classes? Yeah, he could use the extra time in school.

Story #2 – Let me introduce you to a quiet young lady – we’ll call her Jamie. She has missed quite a bit of school this year. Supposedly, she gets sick once or twice a week. In looking at her attendance records from last year, there’s not much to compare it to….she was homeschooled for part of the day/year. So, when Jamie’s family decided to go on a vacation during the first part of this year (keep in mind we have Christmas break which is 2 weeks long, a mid-winter break with 4 days off, and spring break which is an entire week), I was a little apprehensive. I emailed Jamie’s mom to explain that her daughter had already missed about a month’s worth of school. Obviously, I couldn’t keep her from going on the trip, but I did encourage her to make sure Jamie was here EVERYDAY once they returned.

Well, the family came back from their vacation and the mom was a little upset with all of Jamie’s teachers. She felt like family vacations were the type of things kids should be encouraged to do – I agree, to a certain extent. However, when your kid has missed a month of school, it’s time to sit down and evaluate your priorities. Anyways, at that time, the mom also informed the principal (and teachers too) that the family would be going on another vacation at the end of March. The principal informed her that those days would not be excused due to the Becca Bill.

Side note: Once Jamie returned from her family vacation, she continued to miss school on a regular basis. Nothing changed.

Fast forward to last week – I get an email from Jamie’s mom. Jamie had missed a few days of school and her mom was updating the teachers to let us know that her daughter had mono. Mom told us to keep our fingers crossed that Jamie would be back sometime this week (I thought that mono was more serious than just a few days out of school?!?!). Whatever the case, that can't be fun for a seventh grader.

:) Being the super nice teacher that I am, I started to gather work for this young lady so she wouldn’t fall too far behind. I emailed home a few times to see when mom would be by to pick up her work. I also had some questions as to which books she had at home, and what was left here at school. I wanted her to have all of her materials in order to complete the assignments. I never heard back from mom.

Today, I finally went down to the attendance secretary and asked her if she had heard from the family. Nothing. I asked the secretary to try calling home…and if that didn’t work, to try the other contact numbers listed. So much of my time had been spent gather materials and trying to contact the family, that I wasn’t about to let it go. I wanted to know why mom hadn’t emailed me back or called. One of the contact people on Jamie’s list gave us her father’s work number. When our secretary called, the person on the other end indicated that Jamie’s dad was not in the office and he wouldn’t be – he was on a family vacation.

So, either the daughter really is sick and the family decided to go on vacation, or Jamie is not sick and mom just lied to get out of her explanation of the family vacation. Either way, it’s all a bit shady if you ask me.

And we wonder why kids today lack responsibility?!?!

Monday, March 23, 2009

i'm here at work...

...and I need to go home. There are no more subs in our system. Turns out everyone else is sick too. Good times. Nothing like trying to teach while feeling yucky. I love my kids and obviously they love me enough to share everything...even their nasty germs. I've never had a year like this. Usually they all get sick and I find a way to avoid it. They got me this time. Ah, shucks.

P.S. For those of you who think teaching is such a sweet job because of summers off and such...take note, sick days are not really a time to rest up and get better. Instead, they're spent putting together sub plans and praying that someone will be available to cover your class. Oh, and you also pray that the little ones will behave themselves. :)

I love my job though...and I find it difficult to imagine doing anything else.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

in case you were wondering...

...the nap was wonderful! :)

tired heart...(a.k.a. boring post)

I feel tired and worn out. As a result, I'm cranky and irritable. Doesn't that sound like fun? The last few weeks have been full of fun, but the pace of it all is catching up to me now.

Are any of you "yes" people? When someone asks you to do something, you respond with an eager and enthusiastic, "Yes"? For so long, I struggled with taking on too much. Obviously, I still do. Sometimes I need to remember and realize that it's okay to spend time at home - with nothing specific on the agenda.

Ben and I were talking about the chaos that is currently surrounding life at school/work/home. In and of themselves, the events that keep us busy are nothing bad. In fact, we have gained so much...
  • Our trip to Vegas was a blast! I loved spending time with the Hamlins...they're a bunch of fun! The only downside? I missed last Monday due to that trip. Not a big deal - and worth every minute!
  • Then, I came back to work on Tuesday - only to be gone at a conference the rest of the week. Thankfully, my mom got to come with me and it was so nice to have her all to myself. :) I learned a ton of great stuff and it has made me excited and eager to tackle next year's Leadership Class. I also had the opportunity to talk to my mom about her life growing up. Poor thing, I asked a million questions. It's just so interesting - her story is incredible!
  • It's tough to be away from work. As a teacher, it's far more work to be gone than it is to just be here.
  • Did I mention that last Friday was a half-day for teachers to input report cards? Yeah, I wasn't here for that. Needless to say, I should be entering late work and submitting comment codes. Instead, I sit here typing.
  • Upon returning from the conference, our weekend was spent grading (mine), dinner with some of the folks from our church, and an early morning in the nursery.
  • From there, Hillary and I were lucky enough to see Hello Dolly at the 5th Ave. It was fun to see Kasey, Mo, Jadd do their thing up on stage. What a talented group! Another highlight to my time with Hillary was the fact that we got to eat lunch/dinner at Umi's in Belltown. They have the most amazing selection of Sushi! So good. It was also such a treat to spend some time with Hillary. I always enjoy our adventures. She's a great friend who listens well and seems to brighten my life! :)
  • Last night I was planning to stay late and get the report card thing finished up. I had forgotten about our parent meeting. You see, the 7th graders are taking a trip to the Seattle Underground Tour later this spring and we had a meeting last night for potential chaperones. Alas, I am still sitting here with papers to grade. My fault, completely!
  • That brings us to today. It's been a bit crazy with snow this morning and half of my students absent. However, we laughed a lot and took joy in the new trimester and the fact that it's St. Patrick's Day.

So, when you look at the list of items individually, it's nothing worth losing sleep over (which apparently I do...I average about 3.5 hours of sleep on work days). However, when it all starts to pile on top of each other, it gets to be a bit much.

Did I mention that I agreed to help out with the church's sleep-over this weekend? I need to be reminded that it's okay to say, "No."

What do you do when you find that your schedule becomes a bit too cluttered? How do you say no?

Those of you with kids probably look at my list and think I'm nuts...it's nothing in comparison to what you deal with on a regular/daily basis. I guess it's all about perspective. Right now I'm just feeling tired and overwhelmed. You're a trooper if you continued to read this far. :)

Maybe it has something to do with this crazy weather?

Friday, March 6, 2009


From 26 degrees to 62 degrees in less than 2 and half hours? Yes please! Anything beats this cold weather we're having. So excited!