Sacrifices Teachers Make

Sacrifice means to give up (something important or valued) for the sake of other considerations. (Google) Teachers sacrifice every July by buying school supplies for their classrooms.  Not the pretty/handsome/colorful things (letters, borders, paper, wall hangings), they are buying paper, glue sticks, pencils, crayons, markers, kleenex, hand sanitizer, cleaning supplies, paperclips, tape, staples, post-its, notebooks, pens, etc.……school supplies for 30+kids.

Teachers don’t make a lot of money and they never will.  Some people laugh when they find out I’m a Teacher because they know I make very little for doing a very intense, highly criticized job.   But I wouldn’t change it for anything. It is my purpose and I love changing the world, one kid at a time.

Anyway, with this little money, teachers all over the country are buying school supplies because it isn’t mandatory for parents to supply these for their children.  It is only suggested. We do give out supply lists in hopes that parents will supply their classroom or children with these much needed supplies. But we know that some parents cannot afford these supplies.  So we take it upon ourselves to buy them.

I have some people in my family who donate year-round school supplies to my classroom. I am very grateful for their sacrifice. This year, I ran out of glue sticks, erasers, Kleenex, hand sanitizer, paper, bandaids, sandwich bags and crayons by the last month of school.  So I had to buy these. I also buy snacks and candy to reward my students, cardstock to make certificates and bookmarks, lamination to cover them and make them last, cupcakes and juices to celebrate their birthdays and things needed to celebrate different holidays because my students matter.

Since July has begun and school supply sales are hot, please consider buying school supplies for your children and/or donating them to a school, classroom, church or a Teacher who can use them during the school year.  I know that they will be greatly appreciated. Thank you for your support of our children and our future! We work better together!

Faithful

Happy Father’s Day!

Last night someone reminded me that there was a time when I didn’t know what I wanted to do with my life.  I couldn’t even imagine. I told them that was before I allowed God to” take over” my life and He turned it upside down.  When I “allowed” God to take over, He showed me my purpose which is to lead others to him through ways He created just for me.

God has given me a wonderful teaching career, serving at my church (Revolution Church) and two published children’s books (paperback and eBook) which serves many countries. They are on Amazon.

When you give your heart to Jesus, He will use you (in an awesome way) to lead others to Him through ways only He created just for you.

Don’t lead others to the enemy because you decide not to give your life to Jesus.  Be the example like my Dad did with his life. He went to be with Jesus June 15, 2019 at 9:50pm.  He introduced our family to Jesus, took us to church, taught us to sing for God’s glory and made sure we knew that God is our provider, comforter, healer and savior.  He gives us unconditional love, mercy and grace. He welcomes us back home, no matter where we’ve been or how long. He taught us that people are important. And no matter what, family is always family.

I am thankful for my Dad, even if I wasn’t always the best daughter.  He gave me the best gift that I have ever received: Jesus! I will forever be grateful for his gift and will re-gift it many times to everyone who will receive it.  

 Be faithful to the God who is faithful to you!

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!

Love Sucks

There is no way around it.  It just does. Not all the time, but just today in my Teacher life!

I love my kids each year with all my heart.  I give and give and give and give so much of myself to them each day.  I have high expectations for them such as following the rules, being respectful, getting along with others.  Most days they get it. But today, they didn’t. And I felt defeated and unloved and done.

When school was over, I went to find my best friend and get a hug. We talked and prayed and thought of strategies to change their bad behaviors.  I went home drank a chai latte, strong coffee and ate chocolate chips. I began to write my bible lesson for Friday’s Bible Club at school. It’s on the Love Chapter:  1 Corinthians 13:4-7. And I decided to be honest in my blog. Usually for Valentine’s Day, I will write something encouraging and lovely. But this year, this just seemed fitting.  

Worldly Love isn’t always lovely.  It isn’t always joyous. It isn’t always kind.  It is mean and rude. It is sad and relentless. It is disappointing and cruel.  It is of the world, not of God.

God’s Love is very patient and kind, never jealous or envious, never boastful or proud, 5 never haughty or selfish or rude. Love does not demand its own way. It is not irritable or touchy. It does not hold grudges and will hardly even notice when others do it wrong. 6 It is never glad about injustice, but rejoices whenever truth wins out. 7 If you love someone, you will be loyal to him no matter what the cost. You will always believe in him, always expect the best of him, and always stand your ground in defending him. (The Living Bible)

I strive to be like Him, but I always fall short as we all do.  We are not perfect like God, so there is no way we could ever love like God.  We should always strive to do so, though. We shouldn’t give up just because one day sucks or we feel we failed.

I realize that I just gave myself a pep talk and advice.  Which happens a lot, by the way. Sometimes I’m my only cheerleader. I know that I will go back to school tomorrow and love on my kids and many days after that.  I know tomorrow will be different as are all the other days to come. Days will turn into months and months into years and a different crowd of kids will be raised and loved by an awesome Teacher.

But today,.today………….. Love Sucks!

Ending Freedom

Only a Teacher would know these words.  Summer has finally come to a close for us and we will head back in the classroom.  

The freedom of summer gives us a replenishment of self-control.  During the school year, we are pulled in different directions from different  sources trying to complete all tasks, serve the students and show growth. We need a break by summer!

Having summers off allows us the spend quality time with ourselves, our families, our friends and some of us even work.  During the school year, we work 24/7. We work at school, at home, on weekends, and during breaks. We are thinking about our students when we go to bed, when we wake up and during the day.  Because we care!

I am excited about going back tomorrow and getting my room ready for new students.  I love teaching and being a Teacher. I cannot see myself doing a different profession.  I know I will be pulled in every direction this coming year, but knowing that I am making a difference in them and they are making a difference in me is worth it.  I want them to notice how successful they are and that trying is succeeding.

Parents, know that it’s not the decorated room or the trainings that we must endure that makes us love our purpose.  It’s your children who come to us like sponges; soaking up everything they can learn and use to further their education.  It’s your support of your child and our purpose that makes the year so successful. And we thank you!

As the summer comes to a close for Teachers, we know that it will come again and we will be ready!!