Faster or Slower???


Dear Readers,

I’m torn on what to do with my students. For some of my students, this is my third year having them. The problem is that I’ve coddled them for most of the time that I’ve had them. As I mentioned in an earlier post, I’ve started the process of weaning them off of me to steer them towards independence. The only problem is that I feel that I’m pushing them too hard. I’m torn on whether or not I’m pushing them too fast. Should I go at the rate I’ve been going (faster) or should I go at the same pace as I went last year???

CODDLING

Part of my indecision stems from the fact that I’ve always wanted the Resource Lab to be different. I wanted it to be a safe haven- a place where they could feel safe, loved, and fully valued. What I did not intend for it to be was a place for them to give over responsibility for their education to me!

Well, sad to say that that’s where they were last year. So, I decided to change the way I ran the Lab. One of those changes was not giving them as much time to complete their work or telling them that it was okay for them not to do my work in the Resource Lab so they can do their work in their other classes. At the end of the school year I let them know that the Home Office decided that the Resource Lab was to be restructured and that it would no longer be a ‘Homework Lab’. Well, some of them didn’t take kindly to that. There was moaning & groaning, weeping & gnashing of teeth. Ok, that’s a line from the Bible. That didn’t really happen, but they didn’t groan a little. In the end, they accepted the way the new Lab is. They’ve even been getting work completed even without the extra time.

So, I guess I have my answer! I’ll keep you updated!

Limitation Setting ME!


Dear Readers,

I’m on such a self-improvement tear. Usually after school is out for the summer, I have a chance to absorb & process all of the information I didn’t have time to during the year. I relate it to The Quickening (Click here, here, here, here, & here).

Self-Improvement Project

I’ve recently started studying Anthony Robbins’ philosophy. I really vibe with the ones where he talks about limiting beliefs we place on ourselves. After listening to him, I can see that I’ve set limits on myself because I didn’t think I deserved more.

Since school ended I’ve been in such an introspective mood. I’ve been in such a positive sense of expectancy. I’m happy that this sense of expectancy has returned because I stopped having a positive sense of expectancy after experiencing hard times in life. I can remember having great expectations when I was younger. I would be in such a state because I knew that something good was going to happen. I just didn’t know what. Well, somewhere along the way I stopped being in a state of expectancy and I started being or having a sense of dread because that’s all that seemed to be happening in my life. Instead of continuing with being ME & being in a state of positive expectancy, I sidetracked myself & changed my life and my positive sense of self expectancy for the worse.

However, after listening to Anthony Robbins lately, I’m discovering how to get back to where I came from when I stayed in a state of positive expectancy.

Here are 10 empowering beliefs that will change your life:

  1. The past does not equal the future.
  2. There is always a way if I’m committed.
  3. There are no failures, only outcomes- as long as I learn something, I’m succeeding.
  4. If I can’t, I must. If I must, I can. *
  5. Everything happens for a reason and a purpose that serves me.
  6. I find great joy in little things…a smile… a flower… a sunset
  7. I give more of myself to others than anyone expects.
  8. I create my own reality and I am responsible for what I create.
  9. If I’m confused, I’m about to learn something.
  10. Everyday above ground is a great day.

I’m going to spend the next year meditating on this! Bye for now!

NOTE TO SELF…


Dear SELF,

GIBBERISH MUG...

The stuff you text to yourself @ 3:00 in the morning may very well be unreadable the next day. Apparently, “Quibble, wibble, wobble” is not a real thing!

Here’s the story behind this text. I’ve been having a hard time at work lately and hadn’t been laughing much. Well, that sure changed this afternoon at lunch when I finally settled down to read my “brilliant” texts that I texted myself at 3 a.m.

Let me just begin by saying that I use this particular tactic of sleeping on my problems and letting my subconscious work it out. It usually works for me. However this time, it did not. I was out of my mind to the point where I was texting myself complete and utter gibberish.

Here are some of my gems that I texted myself:

  • A relationship should be better than a sale!
  • Sporadic moments where the price/value of the relationship is lowered.
  • Shoe on the other foot.
  • 8 Principles
  • Ali Baba & the 40 Thieves
  • & of course Quibble, wibble, wobble!

I know that in some faraway or parallel universe, this means something!

Piggy & The Emergency Packet!


Dear Readers,

I have a student that I call Piggy because she loves to eat. Don’t worry, she’s not offended; she actually thinks it’s cute. She is the cutest thing. I’m writing this post about her because how cute she is. All of her life she’s relied on how pretty she is. I sat down and talked to her one day and asked her if she ever thought that she could do “it!” I asked her if she was going to rely on her looks forever.

“Trust me when I say that looks fade, we gain weight, etc., etc.,” I told her.

She looked absolutely horrified when I told her that I wasn’t always a size 12. I took the time to tell her that she doesn’t have to rely only on her looks; that she could do “it.”

“You think I can?,” she asked.

“Yes, Piggy! I know you can!”

During my weekly grade check I told her that I wanted her to actually try in Biology & Math class. She agreed that she would. I told her that I was going to stay on her to make sure she did. She smiled and thanked me.

Well, I had to tell you the story of Piggy to finally get around to the Emergency Packets I made for my students.

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Obviously that’s not my hand in the picture, but I digress. This is what was in the packets I made them. It took me a couple of days to assemble the packets, so I didn’t want the students to waste them. I told them to take out the chocolate Kiss if they didn’t want it and return the bag of items to me because others wanted them.

When I got to Piggy, I asked her if she wanted the packet. To my surprise she said that she did. After she ate the Kiss, she read the note and thanked me. This shocked me because at the beginning of the year she would have simply thrown the bag away without a second thought. It said a lot that she actually cared and is starting to believe in herself.

This warmed my heart so much. I really enjoy making a difference in their lives!

Almost Totally Paperless!


Dear Readers,

I have a problem. Not a big problem but a problem nonetheless. It’s a small problem, actually a good one. You see, I’m almost totally paperless in my classroom. So, when the 9th grade chapter chair requested work to put on the board, I didn’t have any.

When I first decided to become paperless I didn’t think about this ‘problem’. I was just thinking about how inconvenient making copies was. I didn’t think about not having anything on hand to put on the board.

I printed out one of their power point presentation in color and put them on the board. Problem solved!

Go Ahead, Call My Boss!


Dear Readers,

Bad teacher:parentThe title was too long to finish writing how I feel, so I’ll write it here. “Go ahead, call my boss. I have nothing to hide,” is what I thought as I gave this mom my number to call the head of the SpEd department. She’s one of those “shoot first and ask questions later” kind of people.

There’s such a big backstory on her and the situation I’m currently experiencing. My first meeting with her started off friendly enough. However, my thoughts about her changed once I saw how she attacked the 9th grade English teacher over her son’s grades which he earned. Little did I know that I would be the next one.

During our meeting, she was cordial enough. She then took me totally by surprise when, out of the blue, she began launching accusatory questions at me about a “C” grade. Even when I showed her his grades, she was still not satisfied. It was at this point that she stomped out of the room and apparently went straight to the Assistant Principal’s office. She told the AP that I attacked her, was unfriendly, and that she didn’t want to deal with me. I could tell by the AP’s voice and intonation that she believed the parent. I was insulted for a hot second until I realized that I didn’t care. I went to speak to the AP in charge of SpEd and let him know her M.O. He let me know that he had my back and that he would defuse the situation if it came down to it. I thanked him and went on my merry little way.

Did it end there? Of course it didn’t. That would have been too easy. The REAL problem began when the 311 report was run and the SpEd Director noticed that two students were assigned behavior intervention services. Wouldn’t you know that he was one of them? I sent home notices that she would not return. I called her and she would not answer. I even tried to schedule meetings with her that she would agree to and not show up. She began insisting that he receive the services even though she didn’t even know what they were. She began to try to bombard me with e-mails. That’s when I promptly told her that she could speak with my boss or one of the SpEd coaches if she would feel more at ease. I gave her both their numbers and wished her well. You know what, she never even gave them a call. In fact, she hasn’t even shown up for any parent conferences since then. It was not a surprise to me. I knew that she was one of the those people who try to bulldoze their way through to get their way when they know that simply asking will work. Those types of people puzzle me. I just don’t understand it. Has she never heard, “You can catch more flies with honey than vinegar.”

I have not had to deal with her since then but his IEP is coming up in May. I’ll keep you updated on that. Bye for now!

The Little Engine That Could!


Dear Readers,

little-engine 2I am pleasantly surprised with my students! I’m seeing leaders emerge with strengths they, or I, in some cases, didn’t even know they had. What am I talking about? I’m talking about my students coming alive and developing their life skills.

One of the activities I introduced to them when we came back from break was jigsawing. In one of my last post I stated how I put the onus on my students for asking for extra time and getting their missed work from when they were absent. I know they are only in the 9th & 10th grade but within the next 3-4 years they will be young adults in charge of their own lives. So, they need to have certain skills. Two skills they really need and that are very important to have are self-advocacy & self-reliance. They are beginning to do well with self-advocacy skills, so now I’m training them in self-reliance. Many times during the last semester, the work would be right in front of them but they would not take to time to try to uncover it. I thought and thought about how to help the overcome their learned helplessness but it was tough. Let me tell you that learned helplessness runs deep. They were so used to believing they couldn’t do it that they stopped trying.

Well, by lecturing them, supporting them, and helping them realize that they can do it, they have begun to advocate for themselves and to rely on themselves. It’s one of the best feeling in the world to see that light bulb go on and have someone realize they can do it. I always think of The Little Engine That Could when this happens. I should read it to them. They’re so young they probably haven’t heard of it. I’ll see. Back to the lecture at hand. I’m happy to see them blossoming. I’ll keep you updated.