My Voice!

Dear Readers,

Isn’t it funny how certain events in our life seem to correlate with one another. I’m talking about my voice, literally and figuratively. For the longest time I’ve felt as if my voice hasn’t been heard; in my personal life, at work, at church, etc. Well, once my church got it’s new pastor, I decided to go to work. I joined the Praise team (choir), started going to Bible study, and teaching the little children at Bible study.

Even though the problem was there beforehand, I only noticed and began piecing things together during choir rehearsal. Since I am soprano, I naturally sing high. However, if I am forced to sing low, my voice virtually disappears. It seems really tiny. But my voice didn’t just seem like that in choir rehearsal. It was like that in almost every aspect of my life. At work, in my relationships, etc.

I actually had a disturbing dream the other day where I was running from an attacker and couldn’t call for help. I was opening my mouth but nothing would come out. I was so puzzled because I knew that I should have been able to voice my concerns, but strangely unable to. Once I woke up and calmed down, I knew perfectly well what my subconscious was trying to tell me.

I vowed to myself to get myself heard. I’ll say that it’s worked because now that I’ve been singing in the choir for a couple of months my voice is stronger. I noticed that my voice is not only stronger in choir, but at work and my everyday life.

Since I prize my voice so highly, no one is happier than I am with the new developments. I will continue to speak up for myself and let my voice be heard. Thank you for listening!

Bye for now!

I Can Talk About Her, But You Can’t!

Dear Readers,

One of my students was highly offended when one of the students from another homeroom talked about me. My student, who I’ll call Hunter, immediately started reading the other student, who I’ll call Hezekiah, while the other students laughed. I actually saw him when he got that look. It was as if he was saying, “I can talk about her but you can’t!”

You know, I’ve been wondering why I was hired. I feel like I am not making a difference. Apparently I was wrong. They really are very protective of me. I’ll write more later.

He Walked Away… (Not Today!)

Dear Readers,

I have a lot to learn about boys and their precious egos. What I thought was a good thing actually turned out to be a bad thing. It started Friday afternoon. One of my students (I’ll call him Conner) has been talking about wanting to leave the school and return to public school. I told him some of the things he needs to do in order for that to happen. One of them being the lessening of fighting. He said that he was going to do his best. Well, fast forward to the end of the day when they usually fight and he proved himself. One of my students were trying to egg him on. This is what he said, “You know what, I’m not even going to fight you!” He then walked away! One would think it was over, but no!

The problem- I informed Conner’s counselor that he walked away from a fight. While you, and others reading this, may think this was a compliment, it wasn’t in the eyes of my students. He was picked on today and as a result he ended up fighting after lunch. He sucker punched one of my other students smack in the face. He didn’t walk away today.

I am actually afraid of what could happen tomorrow. I’m going to ask the head of security to do a random backpack and pocket search just in case one of them brings a knife. While I really hope this doesn’t happen, the reality is that it could happen!

Pray for me as I navigate the turmoil, trials, & tribulations of an NPS!

Protected Me!

Dear Readers,

As promised, I’m back to tell you the story of how one of my students surprised me. I was really shocked when it happened. I actually thought he was trying to hurt me, but as it turned  out, it was actually the opposite. He was protecting me. Imagine the shock on my face!

This is what happened. My homeroom class was @ P.E. in the gym when two of them started fighting (a common occurence, btw). They  were coming dangerously close to me when one of my other students stepped in between the them and me and shielded me with his own body. You really could have knocked me over with a feather because just 3 weeks earlier this particular student threatened me. Now, only a couple weeks later, he’s my protector.

So, I’ll be back tomorrow with more tales from an NPS! Bye for now!

I Can Talk About Her, But You Can’t!

Dear Readers,

I have a funny story to tell. Like to hear it, here it goes. I’m not sure if I posted this before, but I am now teaching Middle School in a Non Public School (NPS). Am I crazy? The answer is no. I feel as if I am where I belong. I definitely would not have taken this job if I didn’t. I love the people at the job. I have so much support from the counselors, the administration, and other teachers. The only problem is the support of my assistant. When he’s there (Key word being when!), he’s fantastic. However, he misses at least 2 days/week. When he does comes, he sometimes disappears. He will say he’s going to the bathroom and return an hour later. (I’m really not exaggerating on this.)

When he’s gone, I am alone with 10-12 Emotionally  Disturbed (ED) middle school students. And let me tell that they are jerks! Now, I recall why I never bothered with middle school. But, I digress!

So, when my assistant “goes to the bathroom” I am left alone with the students. Of course, without the threat of being slammed, should they become a danger to themselves or others, they act plum loco. So, my assistant “went to the bathroom” and it started. One of the students from another class began talking about me. That’s when my student, who’s been giving me the blues lately, looked at him and went in on him. He was really protective of me. I tell you what, that other student didn’t bother me again.

I have another story about one of my students protecting me when two other students were fighting near me. Working in the environment that I work in has its ups and down. As a result, I’ve had some good days and some bad days. Yesterday was a mixture of both! I know one of the reasons is that I’ve stopped doing things that I love, including blogging. I spoke with one of the counselors at my school and he advised me to do something I really like, everyday, for at least 20 minutes. Challenge accepted!

So, I’ll be writing more. You’ll get a peek inside the life of a Non Public School Teacher!

Vacation, Finally…

Dear Readers,

I have a lot to say. It’s been a long week. Some of it has been good; some of them has been bad. Either way it goes, I’m happy the week is over and I’m off for 2 weeks. Hallelujah and Thank You Jesus. I’m still winding down and have a lot to say, but I need some time to gather my thoughts. I will write shortly.

Bye for now!

The Best Complaint Ever, Part 2

Dear Readers,

Do you remember last week when I wrote about one of my students who was upset and complained to the Director of the school because I was trying to teach them & reading to them? Well, today, as I was writing the agenda on the board, he asked about Story time.

“Miss, how come you don’t read to us any more?,” he asked.

I told him that the class is too rowdy and noisy and no one  can hear me read.

“Okay, so if we’re quiet, you’ll read to us?,” he asked.

I told him that I would, so he proceeded to shush the students. Now, let me make it clear. This “kid” is the tough guy of Middle School. For him to shush the kids so that I could read Lulu’s Hat by Susan Meddaugh was really saying something. So, although I wasn’t planning on reading it, he shushed the class and got them quiet, so I read two chapters to them. Guess what? They were actually quiet.

How’s that for progress?

We Are Family???? Part 3

Ok, Dear Readers,

I’m back. I’ve been so underwhelmed this year by my passion for teaching. It just wasn’t there. I don’t know what happened, but I just didn’t have it. It seems like I was only able to bring my “B” game this year. Not bad, but not good. It’s barely above average, and average is not an adjective I want to ascribe to myself.

So, I’ve had a little time to think about this “being a family thing” that I’ve been wrestling with. My philosophy has been to make my class a family, so they will love and respect each other, stick together; especially since Special Education students are usually outcasts. I wanted them to always feel safe in my class. That’s why I instill confidence in my students. No students come into my classroom and leave the same way. Only two times has it been bad, and both times have been this year.

Let me explain, two of my students, who I’ll call Rachel & Lorena, have been more than a handful all year. One student, Rachel, has been my student since last year. She was the sweetest little girl. Now, this year, she’s been quite mean; so unlike herself. Last year she didn’t speak English really well and was a little self-conscious. I kept working with her and built up her confidence. She made friends with the other girls who didn’t accept her, at first, and absolutely blossomed. Her English improved and her people skills, arguably, got better also.

All of this made me upset. Here I am trying to help her and she turns around and bites my hand. So, I was talking to my friend, Danika, and she made me feel better. She said that you can only know what people show you. Apparently, it took her a while to show her true colors. When she did, she did.

I have since stopped beating myself up about this. I will meet my new students & decide what to do from there. I’ll keep you updated. Bye for now!

“No,” I Said. (or He Couldn’t Have Any!)

One of my students proposed a contest for the end of the year. The deal: If they read 3 books each the last 2 weeks of school, I would get them donuts and pizza. Well, one student, who never does anything, decided that he didn’t want to read. That’s when I told him that if he didn’t read, then he wouldn’t get any of the treats. He didn’t believe me.

Well, he had no choice but to believe me once I gave out the donuts. He must have forgotten my earlier admonishment three weeks ago because he got in line. I politely told him that he didn’t do any of the work, so he could not have a doughnut.

Later, when the pizza arrived, he again lined up.

“No,” I said. “You didn’t read any books, so you don’t get any of the treats!”

He was surprised and hurt, but it didn’t matter. There was no way I was going to reward him for doing nothing. Two of the students even volunteered to read the books he didn’t. So, it would be more than unfair to reward him for that. That’s why I said N.O.!!!

I Want This One…

Dear Readers,

Today, the cutest happened. Two of the third grade students, who were supposed to be in my class next year, wanted to borrow books. They asked me ahead of time if they could come up at lunchtime and I told them yes. I totally forgot and went to warm up my food. By the time I walked back to my classroom, they were waiting for me.

“I want this one!” said Orchid as she and Laverne pored over the books.

“Ooh, I’m going to get this one,” said Laverne.

They were super excited!

“Mrs. B., can you find me a book?” asked Orchid.

I was happy to oblige since she respects my opinion. I picked an Amber Brown book and a couple of others. She finally settled on a Magic Tree House book by Mary Pope Osbourne & a Bailey School Kids book by Marcia T. Jones & Debbie Dadey. Laverne picked more Magic Treehouse Books.

I was so happy they were happy. Well, until next time!

It Didn’t Stop!!!

Dear Readers,

I am still excited about the assembly at my school where I was able to give away the books for the grant that I wrote. My librarian is a sweetheart. I tried to share credit with her for writing the grant, since that is her territory, but she wouldn’t hear of it. She gave me time at the end of the assembly to speak to the parents and students and express to them my passion for reading and how I love to instill that same passion in my students. After that, I gave the parents information on the Molina Foundation and perseverance (It took a long time to hear back).

I got the idea to write the grant because I was so disheartened when, after speaking to some of the students, I discovered that some of them didn’t have any books at home. I knew I had to do something about that. I think it is so important for children to have books and enjoy reading.  So, from now on, no matter what school I work at, I will keep the information from the Molina Foundation handy and use it to bring the joy of reading into a child’s life.

The students were so excited to receive those books.Well, the excitement didn’t stop. After school the following Monday, two 3rd grade students came up to me and asked if they could check out books.

“SURE!!!” I exclaimed. I quickly did what I needed to do and hightailed it to my office with the 3rd graders in tow. However, once we got to my office, there weren’t two 3rd graders anymore. I also had two 3rd graders and one of my 1st graders.

I happily checked out books for all of them. I was so thrilled, you could have knocked me over with a feather. I am ecstatic that they are growing to love reading. Hopefully it will be a lifelong habit. Here’s hoping!

What is Ellumenopea?


Dear Readers,
I want Kindergarten teachers or anyone teaching the ABC song to make sure their students hear the different letters and not jam them altogether into one word. I have two stories about that. The first story is about my experience just this past week. The second story is about my niece, Mimi’s graduation twenty-one years ago. Like to hear ‘em, here they go!
“Mrs. B,” my Kindergarten student, Will, asked, as I told him to write out the alphabets, “What is ellumenopea? How do you spell it?” Continue reading

Lakeshore’s People Colored Crayons & Loving Yourself!

This is just a observation of mine I discovered regarding students who are insecure in themselves. I actually begin the school year using this as a test. It’s not foolproof though, since there are some students who aren’t aware of their skin tone, but I use it anyway. That’s one of the reasons I love, love, love Lakeshore’s people-colored-crayons and what they represent. It helps me know which students I need to work with on their self-esteem. At the beginning of the school year I make it a point to have my students pick the color closest to their skin color. The students who aren’t secure with themselves or who don’t like their color invariably pick a color nowhere near their own skin tone. It’ usually about two shades lighter than their actual skin tone. Imagine my surprise when the same thing happened with Hispanic students. I thought this was a phenomenon exclusive to black children. Has this happened in your class or with someone else you know? What say you?

A Genesis to Revelation Explanation!

That’s a funny title. You may even be curious as to what it is. Well, what is a Genesis to Revelation explanation? Glad you asked, now I can tell you. My brother-in-law, who’s a pastor, is (let’s say) very thorough. Don’t ask him a question if you don’t want to get an answer that’s at least 20 minutes long. Think I’m exaggerating? Well, you go ahead and ask him and you’ll see what I mean. If you ask him a question about the book of Revelations, he will tell you that, in order to fully understand his answer, he has to take you back to the book of Genesis. Just in case you don’t know what those books are, Genesis is the first book of the Bible, and Revelations is the last book.

I said all that to explain what a Genesis to Revelation explanation is. It’s when you ask someone a question, expecting a simple answer, and they want to give you a very long and complicated history lesson.

Too Cute to Be a Slave???

*** If you offend easily, please don’t read this post and reply with a nasty comment.***

Ok, let me explain that title. Let me begin by saying that one of my sisters is a professional hair braiders who regularly braids Phillise’s hair. Phillise’s hair is freshly done, so she thinks she is too cute. Apparently, according to her, she’s too cute to play a slave for her  Black History Month performance. She, being the little girl that she is (with freshly braided hair, I might add), thought she couldn’t possibly look like a slave.

“Mom,” she said with her cute little self, “How am I going to look like a slave when I am soooo cute?”

“Really!,” I said.

I tell ya’, kids say the darndest things!

George Said It!

When I first met George, he told me that I should teach teachers.

“Umm, it’s only my 2nd year of teaching. Just like you,”

“I said. It doesn’t matter,” he said. “You are amazing. You should be helping others.”

I politely thanked him but told him there was nothing special about me. Well, I’ve come to realize that I do see things differently than others. Thanks to my oddities & my entirely different take on things, I am receiving accolades from my current Principal & have been asked to teach the other teachers at my school (5) how to make lesson plans like mine.

As my Principal asked me, I thought back to that conversation two years ago with George. He told me that he thought I should be teaching teachers. Now, it’s actually coming to past. Who knew???

HERE’S TO 2011!

A Baby in the Oven???

For New Year’s Eve, I decided to start a new tradition. I decided to cook the same meal every New Year like some people do. I wanted to cook something I hadn’t cooked in a long time- Cornish hen. It’s actually been thirteen years since I’ve cooked it. There’s a funny story behind the reason why. Like to hear it, here it goes.

Sam & Dakota loved David so much when he was a baby, they couldn’t wait to get home and see him. When they got home from school they would shower him with kisses and hugs and hold him until dinner time. Well, this particular dinner time was not a happy one. I called them to the table just like any other day, when suddenly Sam exclaims,

“Oh my God, Mom! What is this?”

“It’s Cornish hen. Just sit down and eat it,” I said.

“Mom, I am not eating that. That looks so nasty, he said. It looks like a baby chicken. What if someone put salt and pepper on David & stuck him in the oven and cooked him?”

Ok, I’d never thought about it quite like that. I tried to explain to him that we are the top of the food chain and that it was okay to eat it, but he was not to be convinced. I, of course, didn’t make him eat. I think I made him a peanut butter & jelly sandwich instead. I’ve wanted Cornish hen over the years, but I hadn’t cooked it until last night. Sam was not here. I still don’t think he would have eaten it.

HERE’S TO 2011!

Such A Huge Family!

One thing about my life that I like & dislike at the same time is my huge extended family. That comes with a bunch of problems, but more importantly, it comes with a lot of births. I was adding up the number of babies in my family that were born since I last saw my nephew, Wesley, 3 years ago. The number I came up with was 15. Can you believe that? 15 babies born in the last 3 years.

Here they are:

Joseph (3), Michaelin (3), Michaun (2), Khai (1), Zareeah (2), Moriah (2), Dawn (9 months), Markeith (2), Markeila (4 months), Kameron (2), Stephen (1), Caesar (3), Nayla (2), Sariya (3), & Chloe (4 months).

A Pack of $5 Stickers vs. Using What You Already Have!

Yesterday after I picked Phillise & my niece, Melodee, up from school, I decided to stop by Michael’s. We hadn’t been there all summer, so I figured it was high time we did. Initially, I thought about buying some stickers, but thought about the 1,000 we already had at home. (Translation: I was being a big fat cheapskate). However, Phillise didn’t have that problems. She had $2 to spend and by golly she was gonna’ spend it. She picked up a pack of stickers that we thought were $2.99. She told me that she’d find her extra dollar in her drawer and pay me when we got home. So, I told her okay. The problem began when the stickers rang up for $4.99 instead of $2.99.

“Uh-oh, honey,” I said. “Those stickers are waaaaaay too much.

After I asked the cashier to remove them, I told her that she would just have to use what we had @ home. She really tried to get me with her big puppy dog eyes, but I stayed strong. As I was driving home, trying not to look @ the tears welling up in her eyes, I thought about how privileged she is. When I was younger, I yearned for stickers and scissors that cut wavy lines. I didn’t have the privilege of having 3 die-cutting machines, 2 binding machines, a laminating machine, and a whole host of brightly colored markers, crayons, and pretty paper. So, I thought to myself that she could make do with all of the stuff we have at home. No need for $5 stickers. She can use what we already have.

Until next time, dear readers!

Look @ Those Two!

I called Phillise to ask her for a hug, and got a wet one ’cause the sleeves on her robe was wet.

“Honey, why are you wet? What are you doing?,” I asked her.

“Oh, I was just helping David wash the dishes,” she said.

So, I look in the kitchen after she walked away from me and sure enough, I see her in the kitchen helping David wash and dry the dishes. It was the cutest thing, let me tell you. They had been fussing @ each other so much lately, I didn’t expect this. Boy, that was a precious moment spent just looking @ those two.

Mission Impossible Assignment #3: School Shopping on a Budget, Part 2

My mission (which I already accepted) was to purchase school uniforms, underwear & socks, and shoes for 2 children for under $150. This was seemingly impossible, but it’s been done before and it can be done again. One of the best ways to save money is to recycle clothing from the previous year that are still in good condition.

and1So, I rummaged through David’s bureau drawers and found 5 shirts & 2 pairs of pants from last year that he can still fit. So, I only had to purchase 1 pair of khaki pants for $12.99, & two monogrammed shirts (1 white & 1 navy) @ $12.99 each + a pair of And 1 sneakers (Rocket mid) for $29.99 + tax @ Big 5 Sporting Goods for a grand total of ~$75. So my grand total for David & Phillise’s school shopping adds up $75.00 + $55.00= $130

Mission accomplished!

This post is a continuation from an earlier post last week.

The Day I Saw My Mother-in-Law’s vagina!

worst-weekAh, the day I saw my mother-in-law’s vagina. What a catchy title? You just have to read this post now, don’t you? Trust me, this post is not going to be what you thought it was going to be about. This post is about a couple of things. Like to hear them, here they are:

  1. Why I don’t play classical music anymore.
  2. Why does, “Aha, aha…,” mean?
  3. Why I don’t share my blog address with many people.
  4. How I came up with the title, “The Day I Saw My Mother-in-Law’s Vagina”

I know, with a title like that, I have a lot of explaining to do, so here goes: When I first started at my site last year, I used to play classical music to calm the students down. However, one time the Principal came into my room and instructed me to turn it off. She said that it was too distracting. So, I had to stop. Even though it was working, I had to stop. That’s why I stopped playing classical music in my classroom.

Now, that leads me to my second point of “Aha!…Aha!…” In the movie Princess Bride, Billy Crystal’s character would make these silly little points that had absolutely no point. Once someone would question him about the meaningless “points”, he would hold up his finger and respond, “Aha!…Aha!…” The questioner would be left with a blank look wondering why in the world he thought he’d proven a point when he absolutely did not. That wraps up my second point and brings me to my third point of why I don’t share my blog address with many people at my work site.

Well, the main reason that I don’t share my blog address with many at my work site is because a couple of them are scared of Special Education. They remember how the students used to be before I came. Some of them still choose to see them like that even though they’re not like that anymore. They just have a hard time changing their way of thinking about special ed. Everything was fine until Nu. Now, this lends credence to what people were saying, “See! I told you how those Special Ed kids are!”

Well, the problem is that recently I decided to share my blog address with a couple of teachers @ school. So, right now, I’m not sure who’s reading this. But, since I don’t work at that job site anymore, it’s not all that important. Let’s move on!

Lastly, to wrap this up, I used to watch this great (recently cancelled) show, “Worst Week”? Well, what does this show, seeing my mother-in-law’s vagina, not playing classical music anymore, why I don’t share my blog address with a lot of people, and “Aha, aha…,” have to do with anything? Okay, well, just wait a little bit longer and I’ll bring it back around.

On the show, “Worst Week,” the main character, Brian, who’s a writer, is always doing stupidly destructive things. All kinds of crazy, out-of-the-ordinary kinds of things happen to him. He’s like an accident magnet- accidents are so drawn to him.

Well, Brian tells the story of how, in a quirky twist of fate, he saw his mother-in-law’s vagina. In the show, Brian and his fiancée are making an appointment to see the gynecologist because, unbeknownst to the family, his fiancée, Mel, is pregnant. What they don’t know is that his M-I-L is also going to the gynecologist. But she’s old school so she doesn’t talk about stuff like that.

When it’s Sam & Mel’s turn to go in, he’s busy doing something else, so he doesn’t go in with her. Now he doesn’t know which room she’s in. In order to find out which room she’s in, he gives the nurse the last name and the nurse tells him the room number. Or so he thinks!

Anyway, to shorten the story and keep it moving, suffice it to say that Sam ends up seeing his M-I-L’s vagina. He tells the guys about it and it somehow makes its way back to the boss who tells him to write about it. He does and as usual, some mishap occurs. His M-I-L ends up with the story. He wanted to write it to get it out, but didn’t want to publish it. That’s what predicament I find myself in.
I have this fantastic story to tell but I can’t tell it. So, learning from Brian’s mistake I won’t even publish that story. I will simply be content and settle for telling it to my husband, my sister and Traci.

It’s funny how somethings can be seemingly unrelated, yet they conspire to bring about a revelation that most people (those who aren’t odd & quirky like me) wouldn’t connect. I know. It took a long time to bring it around, but it was kinda’ funny. What I’m basically trying to say is that I have this really funny story to tell that I cannot tell for various reasons.

On a final note, I could totally have written for Seinfeld. I’m just saying!

Book Club Field Trip!

Well, I added a new element to Book Club- field trips. I also dropped it to 3 days/week instead of 5. Five days/week was way too much. It made me feel like I was still teaching. I didn’t feel like I was on vacation. Anyway, I digress.

So, we went to FREE TUESDAY @ The LaBrea Tarpits. I packed them a lunch (Water, mini carrots, Austin’s peanut butter crackers, a Jona gold apple, Smart & Final tortilla chips, toffee coated almonds, and Ritz wheat sticks). I brought along a blanket to sit on after our tour of the Pits. Everything worked out fine. One of my charges tried to get mouthy, but I nipped it in the bud. They had a great time. Of the five children I took along for the ride, only 1 had never been there.

On Thursday I’m planning for us to go to the Autry Musuem (which is free the first Thursday of the month after 4 p.m.). Join us won’t you!

Speaking Of…

This is a silly post. It’s totally random, but I just wanted to write it.

The way I speak now is like a broken record now. Why? Because when I speak English, people ask me what language I’m speaking. When I speak Spanish, I get asked to slow down because I talk so fast. When I was younger,  a lot of people could not understand me because of the rapidity of my speech.

When I was younger, a guy actually came up to me and my sister and asked us what language we were speaking.

“Well, English, of course,” we responded.

He didn’t believe us. That’s when I knew I had to slow my speech down. I know this seems totally random, but I mention this to say that I was wondering why I speak the way I do. I have a certain pattern that’s unlike the rest of my family. Once I thought about it I realized that I say a couple of words, hesitate and then resume. (It’s like poetry.) I realize I do that to allow people to catch up to me.

Well, that’s one mystery solved!

That’s why

Subject & Predicate

I have been out of ideas for clever titles, but am back now and better than ever. I love the title; I don’t love the subject. I spoke to my assistant and she told me that my class has been horrible in my absence. And the whole problem is because my student’s behavior is predicated on my presence; on me being there.  I don’t want my class’ success predicated on me. I want to teach them to be able to perform no matter who’s there. So far I haven’t been able to do that because every time I’ve been out of the classroom, for whatever reason, they have behaved horribly.

How do I do that? Does anyone have any advice?

Missing Them! Part 2

***Warning- This post is long!***

I am really beginning to miss my students. We had so much fun in my class. They knew me and I knew them. It was a good atmosphere, as long as Nu wasn’t present. When he did participate, it was great. I had nicknames for them. It was a funny little cast of characters.

Pink Socks- This little girl was so sassy. She was so talented. She could sing, draw, & dance. The funniest thing about her is that she had a seemingly endless supply of pink socks. Hence the name. She would always take her shoes off and walk around the class. I would tell her to put her shoes back on because I didn’t want to smell her little stinky twinkies.

Tag- He hated me at first. He did not want to be in special ed. He hated me because I was the special ed teacher. He refused to come in my class. If he did come in he would sit in the corner and cry. He became one of my favorite people. He would share his snacks with me. I would give him snacks. The one thing that I loved about him is that he was so eager to learn. He was aware that he didn’t know as much as he could. I had a long talk with him when he finally did come into the class. I asked him if he really wanted to read and he said yes. I told him that it wasn’t easy, but he could do it. He has been impressing me ever since.

Ann- A recent addition who fit in right from the first day. The one who I called Pink Socks for half the day. Thank goodness she forgave me. She was the sweetest little girl.

Sunny- Oh, my sweet little Sunny. I will miss her so much. She was not a talker; never had much to say, but when she talked, I listened. Everyone in the class took up for her. In fact, most of the people in the school took up for her.

Joe Shmo- One of the smallest 5th graders. He had a razor sharp mind. He challenged me and made me think many times. He was very artistic. I constantly complimented him on his artistic talent.

Joe Shmo II- This was a true mama’s boy. When he first came he was so unruly. His being a mama’s boy is actually how I got him under control. His last teacher told me to ask him if he wanted someone treating his mother like he was treating me. He said no. I told him that my sons didn’t like the way he was treating me. He got it.

Bollie- A smart little boy who I wanted out of my class in a good way. I think he could have made it in a general ed. class with support. He cried the first time he got in trouble. I felt so bad. He never got into trouble after that. He was a very good little boy.

Jon- A bit of a wise-cracking, smack talking little boy. We had a tough time in the beginning, but we were finally starting to get it together before I left. He definitely had the gift of gab. I had to find things around the classroom for him to do to try to help him control them lips. Boy could he flap ‘em.

Lex- He was a walking contradiction. He was very respectful to adults, but he loved to fight. He was pretty good at it too. He told me that he fought because he couldn’t read. Yeah, he was aware of why he was fighting. That was one of the things I loved about him. When I first met him, I told him that I knew he was bad, but that I liked him anyway; and that we were going to get along fine. And we did. Only once or twice did I have to threaten to call his mother

Sandoval- Again, another smart kid I wanted out of my class in a good way.

Murphy- Had a 100-watt smile. He was such a gentleman; always ready with a compliment.

Curly Top- He was so eager to learn. He would tell me that he was learning. He said it with such a big smile on his face.

Michael- He was mainstreamed for most of the day. I only saw him in the afternoon. He was quite a handful. One minute he could be the sweetest thing. The next minute he’d be calling me baldheaded. Amazingly enough, I still miss him.

Hallel- Oh, how this child has matured and grown in the past year. I pushed him so hard last year; sometimes a little too hard. I had to back off him and let him be him. That’s when he came out of his shell. I’m so glad he did.

And last is Nu. Believe it or not, he had some very endearing qualities. He had a fantastic smile and a funny sense of humor. The flipside- well, you know the flipside. I’m tired of talking about it. Suffice it to say that I earned this break the hard way.

The love that I have for them is so great, I am tempted to go back. However, as long as my safety is a concern, that is not even an option. I am really going to miss them!

A Lesson On People

Taken directly from Diva Zone Magazine’s Daily Dose
A Lesson On People

I recently heard a story that changed the way I look at some people that I come in contact with…..

There once was a little bird flying south for the winter. He was flying so fast that he froze in mid air and immediately fell into a field below. While lying there, a cow came by and pooped on him. The bird though highly upset, began to realize that he was starting to thaw from the warmth of the manure. However, he also began to complain about the awful odor. A cat was walking by and heard his complaints. The cat began to dig the bird out. Once the bird was free the cat ate him.

My friends there are three things that I learned from this story:
1. Everyone who poops on you is not your enemy
2. Although you may not be in the perfect situation, don’t complain because…
3. Everyone who digs you out of trouble is not your friend.

Be clear on who serves which role!

From The Mouth Of Babes…

The more I am around young children, the more they impress me. I was just talking to David, my youngest son, when he said something so profound. We were talking about taking care of Moriah for the night.

My little sister, Danielle who I call Yelli, called and asked if I could take care of Moriah for a few hours. Of course I happily agreed since I love that little brown child. Well, David wanted her to spend a night. I told him that Yelli never lets Moriah stay overnight. Well, he was upset. He asked me why and I told him that Yelli loved Moriah and missed her terribly when she wasn’t with her. We then started discussing how we love our family. David started thinking and came up with this:

“You know what mom,” he said. “Every baby in this family is greatly loved.”

I didn’t have to think about it. I responded automatically and told him that he was right. We started talking about how the babies in my family are totally lavished with hugs and kisses until they can’t stand it. That’s how it should be. I love having an extra-large extended family. Some of the members in my family may be caraazy but they sure are there for family. That’s what it’s all about.

Until next time people. I hope you have the same.

When Procrastination Paid Off For Me…

I hate to admit this, but since I’ve had my plate so full, I have become a bit of a procrastinator. Usually, this ends up biting me in the but. However, today, it paid off for me.

Before Christmas I saw the cutest little Continental Electric brand mini sewing machine that I thought would be great to teach Phillise how to sew. I told myself that I would buy it when I had more money. I didn’t know that it was a seasonal item though.

So, I put it off and put it off, until I remembered that I wanted to get it for Phillise’s birthday, which was yesterday. Anyway, long story short, I tried to get it yesterday and the store was out. So, I went back to the first store that I saw it, only to have the manager inform that it was sent back to the warehouse to make room for other stuff since it was a seasonal item.

I was upset, but decided to do like I always do and check for myself. Did I find it? Yep, I sure did. It was the last one left. So, I took it up to the cashier, ready to pay the asking price of $19.99, when it rang up for $1.99.

“Oh, my goodness,” said the cashier, “this machine is only $1.99.” She asked another cashier who wasn’t working to go and get her one as I happily smiled knowing that I’d nabbed the last one.

Thank goodness I procrastinated!

Proud Me!

I am so proud of my baby. I read her the book, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs by Judi Barrett some time last year. A couple of days ago, I read her the sequel to it, Pickles to Pittsburgh, and she noticed right away that it was the same illustrator. She didn’t know that it was the same author (same author & illustrator, btw). She later asked me if it was the same author.

I am so, so proud of her. She’s already starting to know her children’s literature. Good job Phillise!

Yay! Not today!

Yay! As it turns out, today is not my day to present. My day is on the 24th. I will stay true to my promise and do my work this week ahead of time, so I will not be so stressed out. As for the assignment that was due where I confused phonological awareness and phonemic awareness (they are basically the same by the way, just in case you’re interested), my teacher gave me an extension until Wednesday. I’m telling you, God really looks out for me. I was so stressed. I could literally feel my blood pressure rising.

I am in class. I am supposed to be watching a film, so I guess I’d better go.

i will stop stressing and keep my blood pressure at a safe and healthy level. So, until next time people!

Goodbye To Toolie!

Life is so funny. A couple of months ago I would have given anything to have this kid, Toolie, out of my class. He was loud and very disruptive. He called me names, etc.

I thought that once he was out of my class that it would be so much better off. Oh, how I wished and prayed for that day.

Well, you know how the saying goes, “Be careful what you wish for. You just may get it”. Well, I got my wish. He’s gone. It’s not because of anything that I’ve done. It’s because his parents relocated.

Actually (truth be told), if I could have him back in the class, I would. Say what? Am I crazy? Aren’t I the one who was complaining? Why would I say that?

I say that because I had stopped wishing for him to be gone a couple of weeks before break. I stopped wishing for him to be gone because I finally put it in my mind that I was going to love him no matter what because he wasn’t a bad kid. I just needed to understand him and his needs more. I was starting to. He was also starting to get it. He would sit in his seat at least 98% of the day, and do the work. Keep in mind that when I came he wouldn’t even sit in his seat for 10 minutes. Believe when I say this. I am not exaggerating.

Even through all of that, he was getting it. He wasn’t the perfect child. But hey, no one is.

I really feel bad for him because change is hard for him. It is going to be a really tough adjustment for him. I am going to keep in touch with him though.

I know how he’s going to cope with it and it isn’t pretty. He is going to react the same way that he did when I first came.

So, it is with sadness and heaviness of heart that I bid adieu to Toolie. I will never forget him.

I Got A New Student!

On Thursday I got a new student who didn’t want to come into my class. She cried at the end of the day. I asked her what was wrong and she said that she didn’t want to be in my class.

“Why?” I asked her. I want to go back to my old class. I didn’t want to leave my friends. I liked my teacher.

Okay, get up. Go splash some water on your face and calm down. If you want to cry, you can cry. Do you want to cry?

“No,” she replied. Okay, well do you want to go in the back of the classroom and have 10 minutes’ cool-off time in the library.

She weakly replied yes.

“You’ll like it here,” I told her. You have ten minutes to calm down. After that I expect you to join the group ready to work.

“Do you understand?”

“Yes,” she nodded.

After ten minutes she was fine. Before she returned to the group, I showed her around the classroom. I let her see all the centers (listening, writing, computer, library, and crafts) that were available to her. She loved the crafts center with the miniature die-cutting machine and die cuts, the Sidekick with the little embossing folders the most.

Today was the day that she was supposed to mainstream back into her old class for math.

“I don’t want to go,” she said. I wanna stay. It’s boring there. I like it here.

Wow, after only two days she likes my class. I was so flattered.

Here’s to more moments like this!

You Can NOT Come Into My Class!

I found out from someone @ U.T.L.A. that I could refuse to admit problem students to my class. In essence, I can suspend them from class. I really hate to resort to this measure because I want to help them, but nothing seems to be working with one student in particular. I have tried everything, but he refuses to do any work and is very disruptive. No matter what I do, it just doesn’t seem to be enough. This is what I have tried: Making a deal with him to give him extra stickers (so they can reach a reward) for every 15 minutes of good behavior; Giving sincere compliments; Being firm; Calling his guardian; Sending him to the office (last resort when I can’t reach his guardian).

On the day after he went home @ 8:35, he came back the next day and told me that he wanted to do it again because he had so much fun because he got to play all day long.

I am at my wits end because I can’t get too much teaching done because I have to stop and calm him down. Tomorrow I am going to talk to the school psychologist about him because I am out of ideas.

I know that this is where God wants me to be and that I was meant to help him but I just don’t know about this kid!

Yesterday Wasn’t Half Bad!

I have to say that all-in-all, yesterday wasn’t a bad day. I am happy about that because even though I was determined to have a great day no matter what, I was still a little worried.

First of all, my oven is on the fritz. Even when I have it all the way up to broil, the temperature is still only about 350°. I had a 20-lb. bird that I didn’t get into the oven until 11 a.m. so, needless to say, it took about 5 hours to cook. Secondly, my brother-in-law (my husband’s brother), didn’t come with the Honeybaked ham until 4:30 p.m. Don’t even mention the fact that I didn’t get a chance to cook any cakes because the turkey took so long to cook.

However, those were all false starts because everything turned out great. My other brother-in-law (my sister’s husband), who’s a minister, prayed over the food at about 5 p.m., and we ate feasted until our heart’s content on the Honeybaked Ham, my delicious turkey (it turned out great), Sweet Potato bisque, my homemade mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, and turnip greens, and a couple of other things that you have on Thanksgiving. We had about 25 people, including me and my 5. That’s really small for my family, but it was wonderful!

A Reverse Psychology Motivational Speaker Using Seinfeldian Terms

For this Thanksgiving I had a plan. I was going to have a peaceful Thanksgiving if it killed me damnit! My plan was to unvite some parts of my family for Thanksgiving. Yeah, you read it right. I said unvite insteadseinfeld.jpg of invite. That’s a Seinfeldian term from the sitcom by Jerry Seinfeld. Let me explain- On the show Elaine is given an invitation to a wedding which is in India the next day. She correctly guesses that it is an unvitation. The person really doesn’t want her there but can’t really just come out and say it. She is livid, but she goes just because she knows that she’s not wanted there. While there she wreaks havoc.

For an unvitation to be effective, it has to be issued at the very last minute, and, this last part is very important, the person has to believe that you want them to come when you really don’t.

So, now that you know what an unvitation is, you can understand what I was trying to do. I love my family. I really do, but (and there’s always a but), I don’t want to be bothered by them all the time, especially during the holidays because some of them are soooo cheap. I, and one of my brother-in-laws, provide all the big ticket items like the Honeybaked Ham and the Honeybaked turkey. The only thing that I ask my family to do is bring a side dish to feed at least twenty. Yet, they balk about that. So this year, I said enough already. I want to hold it at my house, but without the hassle.

This is what I did. I mentioned it on 4th of July that I wasn’t sure that I was going to hold it at my house. Then, a couple of weeks later, I said that I would. My plan was to create uncertainty about whether or not I was going to do it. However, should that plan not work, then I would resort to the unvitations.

When a couple of people called me and asked about it in the past week, it was obvious that misdirection and confusion were not working, so I knew what I had to do. I called sister #1, Nikki, and asked her if she was going to bring the homemade Mac n’ Cheese which she is known for. At which point she started stammering and saying that she didn’t know. This is when I started going into the unvitational unvite.

“You know what?” I said. “It’s my fault. I didn’t really give you enough notice. If you can’t make it, then you just can’t. Don’t worry about it”.

To which she replied, “Oh no.” I’m not going to let you down”.

“No, no, no,” I replied.

Basically I tried to talk her out of coming, but it didn’t work.

Fast forward to sister #2, Aletha, who said that she couldn’t make it. Okay, girl. If you can’t make it, then you just can’t make it. Phillise will really miss Jaunae, but we’ll see her another time. To which she replied, “We’ll come by and say hi”.

At this point, my husband is just looking at me like how pitiful. You are not good at this. Whenever you want them to come, you can barely get them to come; whereas, whenever you don’t want them to come, they want to. Why don’t you try to be a reverse psychology motivational speaker?

“Shut up,” I said, but had to think about it. Maybe he does have a point. I’m going to open up a practice right away!

My first client will be Jerry Seinfeld. He’ll understand me. We’ll talk about other Seinfeldian terms. I’ll have him cured in one session!

A Seemingly Long-Toothed Lion Defanged!

I had a very interesting, life changing revelation yesterday when dealing with one of my students. When I was first observing the class, I wondered how, oh how was I going to deal with him. He was like a roaring lion seeking to devour ( 1 Peter 5:8).

roaringlion.jpg

I was prey to him!

He really made me think about not taking the job. On Tuesday, my first day, I was scared. I didn’t really know how to handle it and I still really don’t. However, yesterday I had an epiphanic moment. He was acting out and I was looking at him and suddenly he didn’t look like a roaring lion anymore. He looked more like a scared little kid looking for help, yet not knowing how to ask for it. That totally put things into perspective.

His roar isn’t so ferocious anymore and he knows it!

I know that this revelation will not just instantly make things better, I’ve been in the classroom for over six years, I am under no such delusion, but it does help.

Here’s to waaay more of those epiphanic moments!

Engaged & Not Distracted!

For the lesson that I taught yesterday to my potential class, I scaffolded the lesson to include the two children who didn’t talk. This is where the scaffolding part comes in. I made a P.E.C.S. (more later) board for the two who can’t talk. After writing the words on the board, I had everyone make a sentence for me. When it came time for the non-verbal students to give me their sentence, I had them go to the board and point out their words. They were smiling. They felt so good. They were more than happy to participate.

Just because they can’t talk doesn’t mean that they don’t understand. The P.E.C.S. allows them to communicate so that they don’t become frustrated.

I made the Open Court lesson, the Phonics and Fluency part, into a bingo game. I had them blend the words first. I kept emphasizing that they really needed to pay attention because they were going to need to use it later on. This kept them on their toes.

I made bingo cards with the sound that we were working on (long e). I also made a poster board that had the words and sounds that we were working on, so they could have something to reference. I put stickers on them (Elmo, Tinkerbell, and Cars). They were so excited when they saw the poster board. They kept asking me what the game was about. I told them to wait; that they would find out shortly.

Of course I hit a couple of glitches, but overall the lesson went well. The Principal and the two Assistant Principals were so impressed with how creative I was. They were happy that the students were engaged and not distracted.

Once we finished blending, I passed out the bingo cards. They were very excited. I structured the game so that almost everyone would win.

For the first round, I picked words from the board and asked them to pronounce them.

For the second round, I had them pick a word out of a bag that I decorated with stickers and had them make a sentence for me if they could. If they couldn’t, I didn’t make them. I told them that it was O.K. not to know. The problem was when you didn’t try to correct that and remained uninformed.

Yesterday was a great day!

Sleepy & Tired Me!

I just woke up from a great nap. My couch is so comfortable. Anyway, I digress. I was tired because I was up until 4 a.m. planning this scaffolded lesson (more later). This is the final stage of the interview process.

I am so proud of myself because I had another lesson planned but scratched it at the last minute because it didn’t feel right to me. I talked to my mother-in-law and she said to go with my strengths. I’m very good at visual displays and making things into games, so that’s what I did.

I thought on it, woke up and, Eureka!, I had it. It’s like God put the answer in my mind. I got busy making the necessary preparations. It didn’t take as long as it could have to get everything together because I had a direction and knew which way to go as opposed to feeling like I was running in place with the other lesson that I was planning. It would have been effective, but it wouldn’t have been as fun as it could have been.

Since these children have such a limited attention span, fun is the key. They want to know what is coming next. This way they stay engaged and not distracted.

Tomorrow I will give you the particulars of the lesson that I taught and the visuals that I made.

I Can Totally Afford All This Cheese!

Does anyone remember that line from the California lottery commercials when the lottery first came here? The commercial was shot from the vantage point of someone shopping in a grocery store looking at all the salami and cheese and thinking that it wasn’t out of their reach anymore.

He is so happy that he has won the lottery. What he is most happy about, though, is the fact that he can afford all of the stuff that he couldn’t before. It is no longer out of his reach; it is something that is real now.

That’s how I feel right now. I didn’t win the lottery, but I did discover that I can totally afford all this cheese. In other words, I can do this teaching thing. I was having my doubts because it’s taking longer than I thought to get a job.

However, things are on the upswing. My life changed for the better today when I observed my potential classroom in action.

I went for the interview two days ago and so impressed the Assistant Principals, that I was asked to come in for the day, observe the class to see where they’re at, then make a lesson plan to teach them in direct instruction.

In this class, like many classes, the students are at so many different levels. They range from non-verbal to 3rd grade level of reading. This shouldn’t be too much of a problem because in my last job, I used to do that all the time.

What I’m excited about is that I feel like I can really do this. I can totally be a teacher! This is such a big relief because this is what I have wanted since 1996 when I first discovered that I wanted to be a teacher when I was a tutor for the World Literacy Crusade. This is what I have been working for. It seems like everything is finally starting to pay off.

I just want to put it out there that I really want this job. It seems like it was made for me. I am really excited. Today I felt so alive when I was employing the many strategies that I have learned over the years. I felt like this is what I was born to do. Of course everything isn’t going to be easy, but I’m ready to step up to the plate.

What I am especially excited about is this child who is a major discipline problem. Excited, you say? About a discipline problem?

Yes, I am excited. It’s because I feel like this could be a major victory for me and for this child. He is just crying out for help and I want to help him. I don’t want him to be throw-a-way kid who is just bounced from school to school because he is so much of a problem. I think that if I tackle this problem now, it won’t be such a big problem when I encounter it again. I really want to help this kid so much. If I don’t, then who will?

I usually have problems with kids like this, but I have to face up to. He kinda’ on his way out. This would make my job so much easier if he were out, but I didn’t go into special ed for an easy life. I went into it to make a difference in lives of kids just like this. He is just crying out for help and I want to help him. The principal and Assistant Principals there are very supportive. I know that with their support and the help of my teachers at B.N.U. that I can handle it.

Even if I don’t get this job (although I really hope I do) I know that I can do this.

Famous last words? I hope not!

I Just Sold Myself!

“Call me a prostitute because I just sold myself,” I told my husband when I came home from my job interview yesterday.

“Okay, that didn’t come out right,” I said.

What I meant to say is that I potentially talked myself into a job. I sold my skills and qualifications to the Assistant Principals like a pro. I was so proud of myself because I didn’t have to lie. I just answered the questions the best way that I knew how. There was no need to lie because if I did, I would be selling someone else, not myself. I can only be me and answer the way that I would answer. Can you imagine how duped the person who hired me would feel if I answered like someone else instead of myself? Who would they be hiring? Me or the person I’m impersonating?

First of all, I have way too much pride to try to act like someone else. I’m not in junior high school anymore. I tell myself that I’m a full grown woman. I even act like one sometimes. So why in the world would I want to sell someone else when I’m the best ME that I can be, and the right one for the job.

All that to say, just be you. No one else can do it better!

I’m Not Signing That!

“Nice try, but no dice,” I said to my 16 year old son Dakota as he tried to shove a paper in my face to sign as I was walking out the door.

My children know the rules. I don’t sign anything in the morning.Why?
Because I was a teen-ager before and I tried the same thing: trying to get my mother to sign something that I did not want to explain.

He had all weekend to give me said paper, yet he chose not to. Well, I’m thinking, there has to be a reason for this attempted deception.
What is it the reason, you ask?

He was trying to get said paper signed because he got a “D” in his history class.
This is unacceptable on so many levels.
First, because this boys’ scores on standardized tests are all Proficient to Advanced. Secondly, he did so well on his PSAT that an organization contacted me so that he could join them and see the world.
I could go on and on but I’m not. You get the picture!
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He already doesn’t get to watch t.v. or play video games during the week. Now, that privilege is going to be taken away on the weekends. Plus we are upping his daily study time.
So anytime any of my children ask me in the morning, “Can you sign this mom?”
My answer is always a resounding NOOOOOO! I’m not signing that!

Either You Do Or You Don’t!

question-marks.jpgI was talking to my husband Phillip the other day when he asked me a question that I hadn’t stopped to consider for a long time.

“Why do you want to teach special ed?,” he asked.

He asked me this in response to the story that I was telling him regarding the bad day that I’d had in the classroom that I was subbing in last week.

It all started years ago when I worked at a Special Education Center with severely disabled students. It was not a good experience for me and I did not want to do it again. To do that type of work takes a special person- I am not that person.

I don’t think that Phillip really understood what I was saying. He thought that I was being mean. I wasn’t. What I was saying…well, the best way that I can say this is to compare it to the desire to have children. Either you want them or you don’t. There are no if, ands, or buts about it. In the same vein, either you want to be a special ed teacher to the severely disabled or you don’t.

It’s that simple. Either you do or you don’t!

I don’t!

I want to deal with mild or moderate students with learning disability or autism. I’ve worked with many children with mild autism and learning disabilities and really enjoy it.

My “problem” with the severely disabled is that there is almost no interaction. Working there for the two months that I did, I missed the interaction. I like interaction. I like to have a response to my question. Saying that I want anything less would be lying to myself as well as others.

So, to sum up everything, one of the reason that I want to teach special education could be because I like helping those who are underdogs and outsiders, since I am one myself I know their pain personally.

I want to improve their quality of life. I think part of it could also be that I feel that people need to continually improve themselves, and I want to be there to help them do that.

I want to help them to not only grow academically, but socially as well.

I want to be there or hear about it when they get something for the first time- that “Aha” moment!

Until next time people. Hasta la bye-bye!

That “Aha” Moment!

Yesterday I talked about that magical “Aha” moment. So many people say it, but what does it mean?

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If you will just think about it for a minute, you will know what I am talking about. It’s the equivalent of what Archimedes said when he discovered the theory of displacement. Aha, he might have said, instead of Eureka. (Eureka is equivalent to “I found it.”)

That “Aha” moment is when a child discovers that,”Eureka!” They’ve found it; the encryption key; the one thing that has been keeping them from getting “it”.

That is what an “Aha” moment is. It’s that moment when a child finally gets “it”; when they realize that they can indeed do it.

“I can do it” are some of the best words that a child can say in the world, besides I love you.

Aha moments! Here’s to more of them!

Harping on that TFA thing!

In one of my older posts, I wrote about thinking that I’m not good enough sometimes. It was in regard to being rejected by Teach for America (TFA). At the time I tried to tell myself that things happen for a reason.

Not fully believing it, I told myself, “Maybe I wasn’t meant to be in TFA for whatever reason. I don’t know what it is, but I’m sure that I’ll find out later”.

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Well, later came a couple of weeks ago when I found out how hectic their schedule is. In the summer, they had a six week training that they call Institute. After that, they went right into teaching summer school, with no break. They have been going non-stop since the beginning of summer. They even have all day meetings on some Saturdays.

One of the girls in my program who is in TFA, even told me that she wish that she wouldn’t have signed up for it.

“It’s so much work,” she said.

“Is that right?,” I thought to myself.

Now I know why I was rejected. It would have been too much for me. After finishing at Azusa, I decided that I would steer clear of anything that was accelerated or too demanding. God really does take care of me. I wanted it so badly that I wasn’t thinking clearly. I probably would have been so overwhelmed that I wouldn’t have been able to handle it.

I know that I am harping on this TFA thing, but I was devastated when I didn’t get in. Now I’m happy that I didn’t get in.

Sometimes we don’t see that there is a reason and a purpose for everything, but when stuff like this happens, you know that there is. I was just talking to Traci last week about wanting stuff (or people) that may or may not be good for you, and afterwards, realizing that not getting it was the best thing that ever happened to you. We were talking about how, when we were younger, we thought that we just had to have certain things. We thought that these things were the end-all be-all; that if we didn’t have them, we would die. In the same vein, I thought that not getting into TFA totally derailed my plans. But it didn’t.

It’s funny how things come full circle, because just last month, I also talked about this in another post about being right where I’m supposed to be, even though I didn’t think that I was taking the right path at the time.

The path that I am on is the path that I am meant to be on. That TFA path is not the path that I was meant to take. I am on the right one for me.

Are you on the right one for you?

Frazzled Me!

I know that this was a long time ago, but does anyone remember Sinbad’s stand-up routine where he talks about how he was so bad. He said that his mother got even with him by having a little sister. He said that she told on everything that he did.

Well, it’s the same way with my little girl!

This story goes back, waaaay back. A long time ago, when my older sons were little, whenever I would question them about what was going on, they would never ‘fess up. I could never find out what really happened. Well, I fixed them. I got even with them, but good. I had a little girl too.

They don’t get away with anything now. Whatever I want to know, or even if I don’t want to know, she tells me. ALL the time! It helps me because I know what’s going on now, but that’s also why I’m so frazzled! She is such a tattle tale. She tells on EVERYTHING! ALL THE TIME!

I don’t want to stop her from telling for obvious reasons, but it’s wearing me down.

Help! Does anyone out there have any advice on how to stop a tattletale, without stopping them from telling everything?

Happy 200th post! Yesterday was my 4 month anniversary! Yay me! Do you think I write too much? So what! Yeah, I’m talkative. Here’s to 200+ more!

Keep Your Shoes On Please!

I decided to return to being an assistant while waiting for the teaching job to come through and boy am I glad that I did. Being at work today renewed my strength. It made me remember my commitment to be the best that I can.

The only thing that I don’t like about the assignment is that it’s a 1-on-1 assignment, which basically means that I am mainly responsible for that child. Usually, the children who have a 1-on-1 has the extra help because the child either needs extra help toileting, he/she interrupts the class environment with inappropriate behavior and/or is a danger to themselves or others.

The child that I’m with, Danny, who’s adorable by the way, isn’t a danger to himself or others, he just disrupts the class. He likes to throw his shoes and other objects and he won’t stay put.

I can remember dealing with this situation before with a child who liked to take his shoes off. I would try to put them back on, only to be met with kicks, slaps, etc. After I tired of that, I assessed the situation. I thought about how I would handle it if one of my own children were exhibiting this behavior. So the next day when I went to work, I had a plan for him. When he took his shoes off, I kept them. About five minutes later, he wanted them back. I didn’t give to him. Why? I didn’t give them to him to make him want them. Whenever he would try to take them back, I would tell him that he could have them back when he kept them on.

“Are you going to keep them on,” I asked.

Once he tired of being without his shoes, he said yes. Did he take them off again? Yes, he did. I would have loved for it to have worked right away, but it didn’t. It took a couple of days, but he finally did keep them on.

I’ll have to wait until Monday to find out if it worked with my Danny. I did manage to keep him in his seat. He didn’t interrupt the classroom as much either. Too bad the other students did. The teacher was so frazzled. She asked for my input. I told her that I would work on it and get back to her on Monday. It’s a good thing that I just finished my Behavior Management Plan (B.M.P.) off of the I.R.I.S. website. I will give more information about I.R.I.S. tomorrow; what it stands for, how it can be used, etc. It is one of the resources that I received in my bootcamp @ B.N.U.

So, until tomorrow, keep your shoes on!

A Peek Into The Mind Of A Crazed Post-A-Holic!

I was reading this author’s website with interviews from authors who have had books published this year and they were discussing their writing process. I was inspired by that to write about my writing muse and my writing process. I read the article because I wanted a peek inside their heads. How would you like a peek inside the head of a crazed post-a-holic?

ink-pen-in-head.jpg This is me. It could very well be my self portrait if it weren’t a man. I feel like writing is in me. It is what I do. It is who I am.

Let me just start by saying that everything inspires me. Everything is a potential post. Since I don’t have to limit myself, every thing’s fair game.

If I had my way, I would write all day long about whatever popped into my mind. I literally have to stop myself and redirect my mind to something else so that I won’t write. I like to post more than once a day. Nay, I say..I have to post more than once a day. Posting less seems like I’m slacking. When I do something I go all the way. No half-stepping here. That’s why I have somewhere in the neighborhood of 160 posts in only 3 months time. I am the only contributor here, so I’d say that that’s a lot. I’d say I was definitely a post-a-holic. Continue reading

Mommy, I’m Writing A Post!

I was writing a post when Phillise went to get her Barbie laptop and informed me that she was going to write a post also. Of course she can’t type, especially not a post. The laptop isn’t real, but it’s so cute that she thinks that she can and she is going to try whether she knows how or not. Isn’t that the cutest thing? I must be doing something right. My baby wants to be like her mommy. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.

barbielaptop2.jpg

How’s That For A Nice Dose Of Irony?

I entered this poetry contest @ poetry.com. I decided that nothing but the best would do, so I submitted what I considered my best poem. I put so much work into it. It was about words. I built it up from a phoneme to telling how they cut like knives. Well, what do you think happened? Yep, they rejected it. They then told me that I had a limited amount of time to submit another one if I wanted to be considered for the grand prize. Well, I made up one on the spot. It took me all of five minutes.

Guess what happened with that?

It got submitted for the semi-finals. How’s that for a nice dose of irony? Here’s the poem in question:

Miss me, kiss me, love me

Hey, I’m just me.

Just lil’ ole’ me.

I’d like to be you,

sitting down as if right on cue.

Being rude to folk. It’s a joke;

a private one,

won off the backs of others,

that’s only understood by some,

But that I can’t do.

It’s ridiculous to think,

red, green, blue or pink,

would fit me.

That’s not she, this one known as me.

Just to get things straight, I don’t hate

the one known as you, the one who,

would sell her soul

for just a lump of coal.

Just like a naughty child,

let wild.

Stop yourself. Dismiss yourself.

Miss me,

kiss me,

love me.

Just don’t try to change this one.

‘Cause if you do, you miss half the fun.

© clb

It’s not my best work, yet the publishers chose this for the finals. Go figure!

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