Sunday, May 16, 2010

Respect and Responsibility

I apologize that it has been a while since I last blogged. I really feel the need to tonight but I'm trying to be careful about what I say. If you know me you know I have plenty of opinions and I feel pretty strongly about them. I hope to not point the finger at anyone but some things have happened lately that really piss me off.
As a school teacher, I must say my job is not at all what I expected. Now don't get me wrong we have those teachable, AH HA moments when the light bulb finally comes on, that I love. I do enjoy teaching and spending time with my students. However, when I was in elementary school if you didn't do your work, your teacher set up a parent conference and you got your tail whooped when you got home. ( I luckily never had to go through that because I was a decent student.) But, now days the trend seems to be to have a child and let them raise themselves. As a parent I'll give you clothes, food, take you to the doctor, when it's convenient for me, and then your on your own. I'll act concerned at the parent teacher conference but nothing will really change. And does it really matter because with No Child Left Behind you will get passed anyway. We are raising a generation of spoiled lazy children. We reward them for showing up, not for thinking or trying. We over praise them for being mediocre.
Just in my ten years of teaching I've noticed there is a definite lack of respect and it's getting worse. Some of the children I have taught act as if they are on an equal plane with adults and do not have to answer to anyone. We need to wake up and start teaching respect. Americans first went wrong when they took prayer out of school and now people have a problem with the Pledge of Allegiance!
Also, all children need to learn responsibility. I don't care at what age, or what gender. On T.V. I've watched many programs where there are problems with the marriage because the men won't do house work. And too many times it gets played off as the woman having too high expectations. That's why so many men have issues with house work. Over the years it's been seen as O.K. for a man not to pitch in with housework or that it is women's work. If you are an adult, act like one. Everyone in the household should be accountable for certain chores, even the children.
Start teaching respect and responsibility at a young age. You don't just acquire it when you hit 18. Or some other magic age. Respect and responsibility need to be taught: at home, at school, and in church. And everyone needs to be held accountable. We need to toughen up. Stop babying people, that's from criminals or to the average person on the street. If we continue on the path we are currently on we will be sorry.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

The Last Days of a School Year

The last days of a school year, to me, are the most difficult. The children have spring fever. Hey, sometimes even the teacher does. For some reason I have had spring fever this year. I just want to be outside in the sun. I guess I need to enjoy it before the heat and humidity of summer comes. I strongly dislike the heat of a southern summer.
However, there are many skills left to teach to ready my students for 5th grade. They seem so immature. Also, they are beginning to get on each others nerves. In a classroom, you are limited by the size and furniture layout of your room. I have some students that no matter where I move them they will either be near someone they don't get along with or by someone they will talk to. Go figure. So we will try to all get along, learn something and not go bonkers before school lets out.
I find myself mentally preparing for next year when this year is not even over yet. I guess we are forever learning. You must learn from this years mistakes, while you still remember them. Summer allows a teacher to forget the frustrations of one school year to have the courage and determination to try it again.
I really do love teaching. Not the paper work and all the other stuff that just has to be done. But, the actual light bulb moment.
I feel I have really grown this year as a teacher. I know I have as a person.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

UN 6

The other day we were all in the car headed to Fudruckers. Jon and I were talking and I heard Erin say 4+4 is 8. I bumped Jon and motioned for him to listen. Erin had up 4 fingers on one hand and 4 fingers up on the other hand and she counts to eight. She now realizes we are watching and listening. She says again, 4 + 4 is 8 see and counts all eight fingers again, very proud of herself. We congratulate her. Then she says, when Jenny is unsix, I'll be six. I believe this comment came from a game Jenny often plays. Since, the kids are 2 years apart Jenny has this game where she asks when I'm 12 or 10 how old will Erin be? How old will Cooper be? She continues this game with different ages.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

What Do You Want To Be When You Grow Up?

Jenny asked Jon the other day,"What do you want to be when you grow up?" Then she asked me. Being 5 she obviously doesn't understand when you are considered grown up. (or maybe she does?) I told her that the most important job a woman will ever have is being a mom.
But, her comment also made me think about how our career choices change as we grow. (Jenny wants to be a pediatrician, a cheerleader, and a rock star!!! This is changing daily.)
My journey to my current career.
When I was in 7th grade I wanted to be a lawyer. Since I love to talk and argue my point, this career choice made since. Also, I loved watching shows such as Law and Order and Judging Amy. This career choice was actually a plan to later become a judge!
Then in 8th grade I had an awesome creative writing teacher . So then I wanted to be a writer. Thanks to this teacher and discovering this important outlet, I have now written thousands of poems. I have one poem published in a book. I also, won some poetry contests in high school. So far I have written two children books and hopefully will have them published someday.
Between my junior and senior year s of high school I took some college classes at JDCC (Brewton's communty college). One of the classes was Psychology. I loved it. So then my plan was to be a child clinical psychologist. This is why I often over analyze things. I enjoy trying to figure people out.
Well, I went to JDCC for a year on a scholarship and then went to Auburn.
I received a minor in Family/ Child Development and a Bachelor's in Arts (Psychology). Then I planned to attend graduate school. I was told that if I didn't have at least a 3.5 GPA to not bother applying to a doctoral program. I graduated with honors and a 3.47 GPA. So it was time to regroup.
Now up until this point I had commented many times that I would never ever want to be a teacher. Then I decided to try a graduate program in special education working with EC (emotionally conflicted) children. I figured this would be close to being a child clinical psychologist. Well I was in the program for two quarters. It was an alternative masters program that was designed to only take five quarters to complete. Well I was at the end of my second quarter and I hadn't worked with any students!!! This alarmed me. Also, I kept hearing about the high burn out rate.
I said to myself, Why spend all this time and money for a job that I might be able to do for 5 years? NO.
I then transferred to AUM and completed a masters program in Elementary Education. I love the actually act of teaching. You know the light bulb moment?
P.S. For the people who said I would not be successful in a doctoral program because my GPA was to low, I graduated with a MEd with a 4.0 GPA!!

2008 Jenny

As I remember things the children have done I will try to preserve them.
Before we lived in or current rental house we lived in an apartment in Columbus. Well, to get to our apartment you walked through a breezeway. This particular morning it was raining. Jon, Jenny, Erin and I left the apartment and headed to the car to run an errand. Jon was walking in front then Jenny and Erin. I was bringing up the rear. Jenny noticed that Jon was leaving shoe prints on the concrete. She was very interested in this and the girls had fun with this new discovery. We finally got to the car and loaded up. As usual we forgot something and Jon headed back to the apartment. When Jon reentered the car Jenny asked," Hey, Dad did you go back to get your footprints?" Jon laughed and said, "Yes, Jenny I did!!!"

Funny Memory

Just last week, I had Cooper (17 months) and Erin (3 years old) in the car. We were on our way to pick up Jenny (5years old). From the moment Jenny got in the car she was busy talking about her day. Jenny likes to talk. She is a very expressive child.
After some time Cooper starting calling, "Jenny. Jenny, Jenny, Jenny". Finally I interrupted Jenny and ask, "Are you going to answer your brother?" Jenny turns to Cooper and says, "Yes, Cooper." Cooper pointed out the window. Jenny quietly looked out the window. All was quiet, until Jenny lost interest and started talking again. Then Cooper started once again calling her name, "Jenny, Jenny, Jenny..." I said, "Jenny, answer your brother." Again Jenny addresses Cooper and he pointed out the window. All was quiet until Jenny started talking again. Well, this continued to happen for about four rounds. Then I said,"Jenny, maybe Cooper wants you to look out the window and be quiet." Jenny looked at Cooper and said," Do you want Sissy to stop talking and look out the window?" Cooper nodded yes.
So, at 17 months my youngest first asked my oldest to be quiet.

Why South Alabama Girl?

My originally choice for a name was small town girl but it was already taken. I prefer small towns to larger cities. I prefer my hometown of Brewton, AL (15,000 people) to Columbus, GA. I know to most of you Columbus is not that big. Yes, there are bigger cities. But for a residence Columbus is too large for me.
Now as an educated person I can understand and can way the pros and cons of living in a larger city to a smaller town. Larger towns have more museums, shops, and things to do for the kids. But I feel safer in a smaller town. Brewton is definitely in my comfort zone.
When I went home for Easter I really missed Brewton. Jon and I drove around just to see what had changed.
Also, I'm proud of being a GRIT (Girls Raised in the South). Some people don't understand this because they have a negative few of the south or at least of Alabama. As with anything in life I try to focus on the positive.