Thursday, November 27, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving Y'all!

Happy Thanksgiving Blogging friends!  I took the year away from blogging because I wasn't in a good place mentally and needed to make some life choices.  We moved to Texas after I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis, I started teaching 6th grade Reading, Writing, and Social Studies, and I started working at a school that was HUGE.  To say that I was overwhelmed was an understatement.  My husband moved here two days after two big tornados in Oklahoma and I followed at the end of the school year on July 1st.  After the second big tornado I was ready to move, I was excited to be near my in-laws, my niece and nephew, and let's be honest I always knew when I married a Texas boy this is where we would end up.  The biggest change was that in December after lots of soul searching (and most importantly under Doctor's orders) I left my job teaching.  The teachers were horrible to me, the administration treated me differently because of the color of my skin, and I was having the worst MS symptoms I've ever had.  If my doctor had not ordered me to quit I would have suffered through this job until the end of the school year, but I decided to be smart and listen to him.  I found a job teaching 15 months old at a Private School and while I was hesitant because I was worried this was going to be boring, and too much like a daycare I was pleasantly surprised.  I fell in love with teaching again.  I was able to be creative again and the hugs made my days better. I was given a wonderful teaching partner (we are all equal teaching partners) and thanks to this job I met my two best friends.  Very high school to mention besties, but that's what these two have become actually no, they are family.  At the end of the school year I "graduated" and was moved to the two year olds.  I didn't think I could love my job any more than I already did, but for Older Toddler we work with Rice University and their Literacy Program and this Reading teacher is in love.  I love being able to be creative.  I was given a new teaching partner and while it has been a difficult transition I am happy.  I spend my mornings with two year olds and my afternoons with four year olds.  I love them! I love my school!  I miss being with my middle school kids, I miss being with the at risk kids, but am thinking of starting to tutor next year instead of working all day.  Bonus points!  I can work as a classroom teacher for the morning only.  I haven't decided yet, but we shall see.  The school has a elementary school attached to it and for a while I thought maybe I would want to move to the elementary side, but I was asked to interview there and it went horribly.  I am happy that things are falling into place in my life.  I wasn't going to blog because well the name of my blog is Middle School Maven, so obviously that will have to change, but I have missed getting my feelings out.  I have missed being able to read about what everyone is doing. I hope everyone is doing well (all 77 of you!) I also hope you will continue with my on my new educational journey whatever it may be.

Happy Thanksgiving Y'all!!!

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

I'm back!

Dear friends,
I am back! I am sorry for the absence but things have been a little bit crazy!  I ended up helping with soccer this season and that took quite a bit of time (even though I wasn't a good helper.) I also became very disheartened with things going on at my job, so I had to take a step back. There were the scary tornados and that just messes with everyone.  Don't worry I am fine! I work about 10 minutes  Things are going to get better though because there are quite a few changes going on in my life.  I will be making a huge move this year and I can't wait.  I am moving to Texas with my husband (I can't wait to leave Oklahoma with these tornados!) The other change this year is that I will be teaching sixth grade Social Studies and English.  For the past four years I have taught English and Reading so this will be a fun change.  I don't have a sport to coach which will be sad, but I'm excited for this new adventure.  I promise to be better at posting.  Hope everyone is having a great summer break!

Thursday, December 27, 2012

feeling like a bratty two year old

a few weeks ago I had a conversation with someone at my school. looking back I shouldn't have had the conversation but I was looking for someone above me to "help me" make my decision and just to give a heads up on what might happen.  the conversation went something like this me:"there is a seventh grade english position open at blank school and i won't leave you in the middle of the year but if it's open in the spring i will apply for it." superior: "blah blah but let me ask you this you don't seem like you really want to be a teacher because you are absent alot and well with that happened last year at intersession." me:"pause, i've always wanted to be a teacher."

a bit of background information for my readers.  i honestly never thought i'd graduate high school, it was hard for me. (thank goodness my first high school had given me an extra math credit!) i now have two college degrees. yes i am bragging, gloating, etc. i have wanted to be a teacher since i was a little girl and i'm damn good at it.  the reason i have been absent so much this year is that i am undergoing some medical tests to see what is wrong with me, it is probably some type of autoimmune disease but i won't know for sure until january 17, and to be honest aside from two days of a jewish holiday my ONLY reasons to be absent this year are due to the medical tests and two days of being sick (as in i have doctor's notes.)  so judge away on that but i work with children full of germs, in a building that should be shut down but instead is undergoing construction with junk flying everywhere so yes i get sick.  intersession last year you say?  i was burnt out, but to be honest there were too many teachers and not enough students so i decided not to come back after one day.  it happens but do NOT hold that against me for a year that is inappropriate and unprofessional. 

there was more to the conversation that left me more angry than anything else but the thing that hurt the most was questioning whether or not i wanted to teach.  i worked in the corporate world, and i worked retail so i can deal with petty people, but the minute you start questioning my passion for teaching is the minute i start to lose it.  i am a great example of perseverance.  like i said above i wasn't supposed to graduate high school thanks to one math class and let me tell you i worked my butt off in that class.  i had a tutor, i went before school to meet with the teacher, but nothing worked and let me tell you in all of my schooling (yes i'm southern and that's a real word ha ha) my parents never had problems with the teachers, but my mama sure did call on my math teacher.  i went to two DIFFERENT high schools, one in georgia one of the best in the state, and one in south carolina that wasn't close to being the best but i refused to go to private school so that was my fate.  i digress sorry!  i also took six years of college!  my original major was five years (elementary education) but i had an issue with a professor who never believed me when i talked of my three different schools, in three different states, and then there was that whole issue with going to see my kindergarten teacher speak because she worked for the state department of education.  my professor didn't like my kindergarten teacher and told my class she didn't believe half of what she had told us, me not being shy rose my hand and told the truth "she was the reason i wanted to be a teacher" she was/is.  i had two fantastic teacher role models and she was one of them, the other being my 4th grade teacher but we'll talk about those fine ladies another day.  so i went to see the head of her department because she wrote in my portfolio (which she lost in a move but found) that "she wasn't sure i would make a good teacher." well as i informed her department head, i had spent the previous summer as a teacher's aide and they were ready for me to transfer to a south carolina school so i could continue working for their school,(and the superintendent) had loved what i had done, and i had just come from working at a summer camp, running the arts and crafts center while being a counselor but no my letters of recommendation meant nothing compared to one professor who didn't know me.  who tells someone their A work wasn't great, and that from one night class that was i put in late due to a scheduling error knew i wasn't a good teacher.  so i switched majors figuring i'd become a teacher another way, which i did. 

i am not ashamed of my journey to become a teacher because it proves what i've known all along, i'm good at it, and i want it.  i love my job!  i have hit my family up for money for my classroom, sports, yearbook, etc but no i don't want to be a teacher.  why am i sharing this?  i can't get over it! i can't look one of my bosses in the eye knowing that is how they feel.  i want to say to them you aren't a good principal are you sure it's what you want to do? i wouldn't do it, but boy do i think it, when they ask me questions about "if i'm reading to my class like the other teachers." if you knew what ramp up to reading was then yes you'd know i read to my classes.  was i wrong in sharing about leaving? probably, but last year i had a vp that i could bounce the these things off of and i needed that person that day.  do i want to go work at the other school? no!  why am i writing this?  i needed to share and i can't sleep. 


Saturday, December 22, 2012

Happy Holidays!

I have been out of school for a week now!  I spent the first 5 days of vacation at my grandparents in Florida.  It was fun but now I am home with my husband waiting for the snow.  I wanted to wish everyone a Merry Christmas, or Happy Chanukah!  I hope everyone has a great holiday break and doesn't spend it working like I am.  ha ha!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Remember me?

Remember when I said I'd be back after fall break?  OOPS!  School started, yearbook started, personal stuff happened and well I'm back.  I have been absent the past few days and oh it is horrible!  I haven't been at school since Monday and it is weird.  I hate missing work!  We have a horrible time getting subs, and apparently (I was there this morning for two classes) my "sub" the man who covered my class (our alternative education teacher) didn't do much of the work I left for my kids.  I have two of my classes for 90 minutes so of course I left TONS of worksheets.  We are focusing on reading comprehension right now so what better way to get that going then reading comprehension worksheets.  (what easier way to get grades while you are gone?) so this morning I had my first/second hour making up some of those worksheets because they need grades.  I wasn't at work on Wednesday either and let me tell yall this, on my desk (which for once you could see) there is a bright green folder that says Emergency Sub Plans.  I had one teacher text me about them (but I was sleeping so I didn't see the text) and no one else bothered to look.  I have two teachers on my hall who know where I keep things, everyone knows that one of the teachers and I work together quite a bit so they could have asked him.  EPIC fail!  I did have another teacher find a worksheet on my desk and have them do that, which while it was a "quiz" on following directions it was something.  I felt bad because normally my kids can just read but I removed the classroom library before Fall Break and haven't returned it.  They weren't using it, and I need to go through the books to find new ones, get rid of the beat up ones, replace, etc.  I was there this morning for my first/second hour so they spent some time this morning working on those reading comprehension worksheets.  I gave them to the students so that they could actually use those skills we worked on.  I also gave my other classes TONS of work (oh wait would it be the worksheets I had already assigned) to be finished.  I handed them to the teachers, and then told them who they could trust. I am praying that some of it got done because I hate having to "waste" time and have the kids finish these assignments but at the same time I need them to understand when I am gone the work will be graded.  Anyone else feel that way?  Morale at school still sucks and it's funny because we just had a survey returned from the beginning of the year that explains about the Occupational Health of our building and some of the admin team think it's great.  If they only knew (or listened  to people) they would know that at least three teachers are thinking of resigning, quite a few are looking to "jump" ship, I can't even begin to tell you how many teachers are so burnt out and it's not even Winter Break yet.  It doesn't help that some of the stuff we are doing is paperwork, paperwork, and more paperwork.  I miss teaching.  I miss working really hard on a lesson and watching it either succeed or crash and burn but I know that I worked hard on that.  Now, it's impossible to get myself motivated to write my daily lesson plan.  Yes, daily lesson plan and if I don't have a week's worth of lessons I will be reprimanded.  Really?  I understand wanting to know what I am doing but seriously people I barely have time to see my husband, get grades done, tutor (mandatory), try and cover, etc.   At the heart of it I still love my job, but when is enough enough? When are people going to start listening to the teachers again?

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Fall Break

I am on Fall Break and will return October 28.  Happy Fall Y'all!!!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Thank You?

When was the last time you were thanked for staying late because a student of yours was the last kid to be picked up?  When was the last time you arrived early because another student needed help in Math and you teach Science?  When was the last time someone you work with said Thank You?  We spend so much time teaching our students how to be contributing members of our society that sometimes we forget to thank the other people working WITH us not against us.  I am not one of those people who believes in rainbows and puppies only, but think about this.  At one point or another most teachers became teachers because they "wanted to be the change in the world" thanks ghandi.  You have to want to be a part of something to deal with our LONG hours, growing piles of paperwork (not grading related), cranky parents, cranky staff members, students (big and small), overcrowded classrooms, and germs just to name a few.  I started thinking about this post because morale at my school stinks.  We are in the middle of renovations (which will ultimately turn our school into an elementary school), have almost an entirely new staff, some of the old staff are those old scary teachers you read about in horror stories, the administration keeps piling more and more and more for us to do, and of course people are cranky.  I am cranky!  I am on the verge of burn out but do you know what keeps me going back each day?  My kids!  I have two small classes due to the reading program I teach and today more than half of the kids were taking another test so I had 7 kids, so I decided to try something new and it worked.  It was wonderful!  I gave each student a piece of notebook paper and then I wrote one sentence on top that they had to finish, I gave each student about a minute to read and write on each story and then we read them aloud as a group.  They were hilarious!  My kids kept wanting to this silly assignment but the best part?  No fighting, no arguing, and they were writing (willingly.)  While this assignment was going on I had a student come up to me to tell me he really enjoyed my class because he knew I cared.  Those two reasons right there are why I go back each and every day.  So, I challenge you to two things followers!  1 - Thank something that you work with for doing a great job!  Don't mock them and say hey great job at making copies, but be sincere.  We all need a thank you now and then.  2- Tell me why you go to work everyday.  I'm honestly curious as to why each and everyone of you (ok all 66 of you) do what you do everyday.  Are you a stay at home mom?  Why did you chose to stay home? 

Here is my Thank You to my 66 readers.  I started this blog to keep in touch with friends and am starting to understand there are other frustrated but truly wonderful teachers out there, so thank you for putting up with the silly things in order to touch the hearts.  Thank you! 

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