Blogs

Appreciate A Teacher (Teacher Appreciation Week, May 6-10)

Show your support to a Teacher this week!

It always amazes me (now that I’m a Teacher) how one person can control 20-30 people in one room and not even think twice about walking out. PATIENCE, they say, is a virtue.  But I know that PATIENCE is a work of the HEART!

It takes a lot of PATIENCE and TOUGH LOVE to manage a classroom full of students.  Thinking back to my years as a student, I know that Teachers were respected by the school, parents and students.  I don’t remember if that made it easier or not. But I do know that now, it’s not like that. And it makes it very hard to teach.

Everyday Teachers are trying to teach, but 20-30 students with different personalities, behaviors, attitudes, home lives, influences are in the classroom today without support from the school, parents or students.  Many teachers give up, leave the profession they love, or continue knowing the outcome is bleak.

Every person on this planet has had a Teacher.  Someone who they hated or loved, someone who spoke to them or into them, someone who became a mom/dad or person they admired.  Someone who they grew up to be or wanted to be like, someone who encouraged them or pushed them harder. These Teachers still exist!  They are still in classrooms all over this world. Thank them! They make a difference everyday, in any way they can!

STAND UP FOR EDUCATION

We stand up for what we believe and we believe what we stand up for.

Early Morning

Before the sun comes up, I wake at 4:30am to head to the gym to workout.  I like working out because it’s healthy and it gives me natural adrenaline for the day.  I get home take a shower, put my PJ’s on and have coffee, time with Jesus and social media.

I get lunches ready, take my vitamins, grab a BIGGER coffee mug, my Teacher bag and keys.  Then I’m out the door. I sometimes drop off my grandson at his school before heading to my school.  

At School

I grab all my things: Teacher bag, lunch bag, coffee mug, water bottle, potting soil, sand and cups (science experiment-things I bought) out of the car and head to the door.  I walk in the back door and see all my beautiful kids faces. Some are lying the the floor asleep, some are frowning, one is crying, some are talking and some are smiling.

I realize by their faces I might have a rough day ahead of me.  Because before anyone will listen to my teaching, I have to deal with the emotions, listen to their problems and solve them.  This is a daily challenge.

During Class

I have the students come to the carpet from their seats.  This is a challenge for us because they want to talk to their friends, so I count down from 10 to 1 and they quickly come to the carpet. I have to grab their attention again because some are still talking on the carpet, we sing “When we all get together”.  I start talking about 3D shapes and the differences between 2D and 3D shapes. One student is bothering another student. Some students are talking, so they are sent back to their seats. Some are listening. One is lying down on the carpet. One is screaming, “LEAVE ME ALONE!” So I stop my lesson and take care of each situation before returning to the lesson and continuing on.

Lunch Time

We get lined up (they’re not good with transitions because they like to talk)  and head out the door. We walk to the cafeteria get our food, sit down at the tables and eat quietly for 10 mins.  If we have been quiet for 10 mins, then we can talk to our friends quietly. I eat with my students. I do not get duty free lunch.  I am with my students all day.

After lunch, we clean our tables, line up and head back the to classroom.

Recess

Once back at the classroom, we sit down, practice how to line up for 5 mins , then walk down to the bathrooms outside the office.  We line up and stay quiet while we wait for others to go to the bathroom. I am constantly telling them to be quiet, be still, turn around, hurry up, etc.  Finally, everyone is finished and we walk outside.

The students start to play, then someone comes to tell on someone else, or someone was mean to them, or said a bad word,  or hit them, or someone got hurt, or to tell me there are bugs on the playground.

During Class

Once back into the hallway, we get water and go back to class.  They get their book boxes, put them on the desks and sit on the carpet.  We have a reading lesson. Some are talking and I send them back to their seat.  Some are going to sleep and have to be awaken. Some are tying their shoes, some are using the bathroom and some are listening.  I stop the lesson to take care of each person and continue on with the afternoon activities.

Going home

I pass out homework folders.  The students get their bookbags, put their folders in them, any materials they need for that night and line up at the door.  I walk them to the buses and tell them “I love them and I will see them tomorrow.”

Afterschool

I stay an hour after school because I am tutoring students.  I stay later to make sure I am ready for the next day for my own students. It is 5::30pm.

I teach 1st grade.  I teach all subjects: Reading, Writing, Math, Science, Social Studies, Phonics, Social/Emotional Skills, Technology, Recess and Lunch.   I am expected to teach my students to grow 6 reading levels if they leave Kindergarten on grade level (on target). If they are below grade level (not on target), I am expected to grow my students 10 reading levels.  I am observed and evaluated 4 times a year. I have to prove 4 times a year that I am a good Teacher. My Principal or Assistant Principal sits in my classroom and watches me teach. They also watch the students and their behavior and engagement to see what I am doing about it.  I have to make a proficient score or I’m considered not a good Teacher.

I have 20 students in my class.  20 different personalities, 20 different home lives, 20 different behaviors, 20 different learning styles, 20 different emotions, 20 different learning disabilities and not one student the same as the other.  

I love my job.  I am purposed for Teaching.  I am a great Teacher and will continue to be a great Teacher with or without support for Education.  We all had teachers. Someone who believed in us or was hard on us or who taught us something that we finally got or who spoke positive things into us.

We pay more to sports than Teachers, we pay more to TV and Movies than to Teachers, we pay more to most Professional Professions than we do Teachers, YET we ALL had to have a Teacher to teach us in school and we couldn’t/wouldn’t be where we are today without them.

I STAND UP FOR EDUCATION in North Carolina today because I know how important my job is and that the FUTURE of this world relies on ME.  My HOPE is that YOU do, too!


The Journey

I realized this every year about this time, but never fully accept it because of high expectations of myself and my students. I struggle, sweat, push, worry, cry, lose sleep, over-work myself into some crazy person to make sure my students are ready for 2nd grade. 
I saw inside the journey today and was pleased and proud as students read to other students and had a discussion about the Main Idea! When students struggling to read all year, sounded out words and read books they’ve never read before.
What a proud moment! A Teacher, yes! But more than that, their other mother, supporter, cheerleader, pastor, doctor, dentist, psychologist, hair dresser, etc. ME!
Though I may never see their full success. I know that I walked this journey with them and I gave it my all! To my students: I love you and I love being your Teacher!

Book Trailers

You Are Wonderfully and Beautifully Made by Lola Brooks.
Book and eBook available on Amazon.com
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07KWLTD4B
Nightmares in my Eyeballs by Lola Brooks
Coming Soon!

Silent Heartbreak

Poem by Lola Brooks

Too quiet to speak,

No words can express the pain.

There’s no one to tell,

you were my one,

Now I’ve lost you.

I did the wrong thing,

I said something wrong.

I’d take it back,

but it’s too late.

I carry the silence within,

no one knows me like you.

There’s no one to share it with,

you won’t talk to me and

I can’t make it go away.

5am VS. 6am

Many successful people wake up early to start their day, including myself.  I get up early to go workout at the gym. It has become an addiction and something I look forward to.  It is also something I miss when I can’t or don’t.

This past week, I woke up at 4:30am to get to the gym at 5:00am for my workout.  I got into my daughter’s car (because she parks behind me in our driveway) and it wouldn’t start.  Bummer! I couldn’t go to the gym. I went back inside and went back to bed for another hour.

I got up and started my regular routine of coffee and devotion.  I got ready for work and went outside to jump her car with my other daughter’s car, so we could all go to work.  All day I was tired and had no energy, even though I drank the same amount of coffee, did the same school activities, and ate the same meals.  When I got home, I decided to go to bed early, like an hour early than I normally would.

The next day, I woke up at 4:30am to go to the gym.  I worked out and became so energized by the adrenaline, I felt great!  I went home and began my regular morning routine. I had my normal amount of coffee, did the same school activities and ate the same meals.  I was a bouncing, energetic, force of nature walking into the school that morning and I was the same when I walked out of the school to go home.

It was like night and day for me those two days.  I could tell a difference. I have been getting up at 4:30am for 6 months.  It is a part of me and my routine. I cannot function without having that in the morning. And that is without coffee! Yeah, I said, “without coffee”. (for those who know me well)  I felt successful, fueled up, ready to take on the world and my students.

I have learned alot from this obedience and consistency. (1)You have to know yourself and be honest, either you can do it or you can’t.   (2)You have stick with it long enough to become a habit or a have-to. (3)You have to decide what to do, if you can’t do it that day. Maybe make it up in the afternoon or not at all.  But don’t beat yourself up about it. You are allowed to be human. (4) Become your own cheerleader. Not everyone is on your side and may think your crazy or talk you out of it. But you know you and you know what is best for you.

It works for me and maybe it could for you!  I feel my best and do my best when I get up earlier to start my day.  I also go to bed earlier and get all my beauty sleep and it shows. To be your best self is to decide what’s important for you and to you. Happy Searching!  By the way, It’s my bedtime (9:00pm), so my alarm says. Goodnight!