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!

Advice Through the Decades

I have only lived four actual decades, but I’m starting on my fifth.  When thinking about what got me through each one, I thought I would share them with you.

Decade one:  Believe in who you are!  You have great abilities that you don’t even know about yet.  Just do you and trust in God’s plans for your life.

Decade two:  It’s okay to be different!  Follow your own path and heart!  You are made for greatness. Just do you and trust in God’s plans for your life.

Decade three:  Life is hard. Sometimes you already know what decision you need to make before you actually make it.  Set goals and go after them no matter who is against you. Always believe in yourself. Just do you and trust in God’s plans for your life.

Decade four:  Dream! Dream BIG!  Let God change your heart to serve others, not yourself.  Don’t be materialistic! Share your stories with others. Become a light in the darkness so that others can find their way.  Just do you and trust in God’s plans for your life.

Decade five:  Have fun! PLAY!  Believe you are created for much more than where you are and what your doing now!  Believe in people, not things. Create an environment in your life that invites others to want what God has placed inside of you.  Set goals bigger than what you could ever hope to accomplish on your own because you know that God will go BIG on you! Just do you and trust in God’s plans for your life.

As the decades grow, so does the advice.  It grows because your wisdom has grown. You know more, therefore you can accomplish more and create more.  I pray that you will have many years to know how much God loves you and wants to create in you great advice to give to others who will need it.  Just do you and trust in God’s plans for you life!

A Change of Heart

These last couple of weeks have been very challenging at my house.  First, the washer breaks and doesn’t work anymore.  So we have been taking our laundry to my mom’s or the laundry mat.  Second, (this week) the toilet got stopped up and flushes but doesn’t go down.  Yuck.  Third, Friday morning, there was a rooster walking around our yard and was scared off by the dog next door.  Lastly, (so far), my daughter called and I left school earlier than usual, because she couldn’t get her keys out of the ignition.  This was an easy fix:  the car wasn’t put into gear before turning off.

Whew!!!!    As a human being, I think I’m entitled to get mad, upset, frustrated, stressed out or worried.  But as a child of God, I know that I don’t have to do or feel any of those things.  And I didn’t.  Can anyone of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?  Matthew 6:27  

All of the credit goes to God!  Before 2012, I would have been livid.  Fussing and cussing up a storm.  Raising so much cane that they could have heard me in Australia.  But now, I take it to God. I can’t change what happened and I can’t make it go away.  So I ask God for guidance and discernment.  He either fixes it or gives me the wisdom and the resources needed to help with the problems that arise.  I can’t do it on my own.  I need Him and the strength and love and grace and mercy and comfort and peace He gives me.  It is enough for me.  It’s just what I need at the time I need it.  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.  Philippians 4:7

I had a Change of Heart.  It’s a work in progress.  I will never be complete until I reach my home in Heaven.  I’m glad God has patience with me because this has been a long ride.  I’m glad he never gives up, stops loving me, or pursuing me.  I’m glad he’s on my side and moves me forward.  I’m thankful that He died for me because He thinks I’m worth it.  I grateful for His wisdom and discernment that keeps me grounded and helps me move through this life.  

If I didn’t have God, my life and my heart would be different.  I love my life and the people who are in it.  Let God change your heart and your circumstances won’t be out of your control!

 

Even When………

Even when I can’t see it,

They are learning.

Even when I can’t feel it,

they are learning.

I know I want it now

But someday, somehow…….

Even when I think I’m failing,

They are learning.

 

I wrote this poem after testing all week and all day.  My brain was tired, my body was tired, and when I saw the growth my students had made.  I was scared!  I worked really hard everyday, every week, everyday off, every holiday to improve my teaching and find ways to reach the hardest students.  I know this, too, is YOU!  

Teacher, you are inspiring, lovable, inspirational, incredible, awesome and a hero!  You put yourself on a front line everyday!  You don’t know from day to day what your students are learning no matter how hard you try teaching it.  But there comes a day, you can actually see your hard work pay off.  You can actually see your student’s hard work pay off.  It will happen!  You are more than what parent’s see.  You are more than what society sees.  You are more than what the world sees.  You are wonderfully and beautifully made for this PURPOSE, your PURPOSE……………. To be a TEACHER!

 

I am proud to stand with you!   Congratulations!!!

You Inspire Me

You inspire me to think ahead

Of the future that could be.

You inspire me to want to see

What you already see in me.

 

You inspire me to believe

That things could change.

You inspire me to feel

Something wonderful and something strange.

 

You inspire me to write

All the words I cannot say.

You inspire me to speak

Of love and relationships that one day….

 

Will inspire me to think, want, believe, feel, write and speak of

A greater thing that will happen because

You inspire me!

Become The Change!

Wow!  It’s almost 2018!  Happy New Year!   Most of us want to set resolutions for the new year, but if you’re like me, you’ll break them before January is over.  I resolve the same things every year:  get out of debt, save money, lose weight, exercise, etc.  Blah, blah, blah!  

There are things this year I want to resolve (the firm determination to do something) and I’m sure, maybe, I will, maybe.  But it’s hard to focus on changing yourself!  You are your worst critic.  So it’s easier to give up and no one really knows anyway; unless you tell them.  

This year, let’s change our mindsets.  Let resolve to focus on others this year.  When you focus on other instead of yourself, you forget all about what you need to resolve.  Begin the change by sharing a smile, a handshake or a hug.  Choose to listen instead of talk, let someone go ahead of you in line, help someone with their groceries, pay it forward in the drive-thru line, invite someone to dinner or the movies, volunteer to babysit a busy mom/dad’s children so they can rest, take someone to church and introduce them to Jesus, make a gift basket for someone who doesn’t get out much and shower some love on a pet.

Simple, but effective.  Not for you, but for others.  It doesn’t take a lot to add to someone’s  life.  It isn’t rocket science.  You don’t have to get out of debt first or save money.  You don’t have to lose weight or exercise first.  You don’t have to be rich and successful.  You just have to be kind, good, faithful, gentle, lovable, peaceful,  joyful, patient and have self-control.  These are the Fruits of the Spirit found in Galatians 5:22.  

We want kids in school to change their mindset from “I can’t do it” to “I can try it.”  It’s called the growth mindset.  If we expect kids to change how they think, why shouldn’t we?  You can try to change yourself or you can let God change you while you are being the change for someone else who then can change another and so on.

What do you resolve to do this year?  Is it for you or someone else?  Here’s a tip:  If you let God have control of your life and lead you where He needs you to be, your resolves will be resolved.  “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11 NIV

Let God give you your future, your new year, your new you!  Your resolves will change, your life will change, you will become the change!