Thursday, July 21, 2011

It Takes a Village...

Hallelujah! I have survived the first week and a half of school…each year I must remind myself how much I really don’t care for the first weeks of school and those compulsory endeavors that occur: lessons in the rules and expectations of my classroom, coaching of procedures and routines as well as the necessary assessments to formulate where to go from here for each child.

As you know, I teach children in grades 3-5 who have differentiated learning needs. Each grade is unique but third grade forever proves interesting since in our school they ‘finally’ get to ascend the stairs in our building and are at this time considered a part of ‘the big kids’.

I marvel at the change in attitude a few stairs can cause but it is quite the happening. This climb necessitates the foundation in building relationships with students who once belonged to a different resource room teacher. Although I am blessed that I along with my 4th and 5th graders can carry on- building and nurturing bonds already set in motion.

Early on we read a book titled; You are Perfect Little Bird by Shelley Joy which pointed out the uniqueness of each individual. We discussed the character and emphasized his exceptional traits which led into their assignment. The children were asked to draw a picture of them then write 3-4 sentences telling why they are special and unique.

I gave ample ‘think time’ and instructed the children to start. I played soft music in the background as ten minutes proceeded while one little boy continued to sit. I approached him to ask what he was thinking. He told me he wasn’t special. He told me he couldn’t think of a thing.

I noted I immediately saw a bright smile when he walked into the room. I pointed out his liveliness and spirit although a result of his ADHD and keened in on his helpfulness to hand out papers hoping I’d given him some ideas.

He continued to sit so I suggested he begin with the setting and perhaps an idea would pop into his head.

When class was over 20 minutes later, the bustle of dismissal with a few parting instructions I noticed this young boy had yet to begin on a picture of himself and that he quickly stuffed his paper into his folder. He lagged behind and as he walked out the door said, ‘Teacher, I really don’t have anything special about me.’

I felt melancholy as I gazed upon his slow walk back to his classroom wondering how a seven year old child could think of nothing that was special about his person, his being.

Did we as educators fail this child? Did his parents feel he was not up to snuff because of his special needs?

I vowed my goal would be for him to be able to complete the same assignment at the end of the year and staunchly tell me at least a handful of positive things about himself.  The situation also brought to mind that it really DOES take a village to raise a child.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Sometimes I don't like being a mom....

I know-it’s been a short time since I’ve posted; I’ve been on hiatus…sounds better than just being inundated with obligatory tasks related to beginning a new school year, doesn’t it?

I wasn’t even planning on posting today, however a happening will occur today for my child will most likely fracture his heart and this part of being a parent, I do not like! ...sometimes I don't like being a mom~

As a parent, how do you keep your child from being saddened by life’s experiences? I presume you can’t but however as a mother, I certainly want to wrap him in a bubble and protect him from all disappointments and hurts that will occur.

However, CONGRATULATIONS are in order for one of Nicholas’ most cherished individuals; Ms. Amy Betz. As Nicholas transitioned to middle school last year she was an intern who deeply touched the heart and life of my child. She is sweet, caring person who has that ability to touch the heart of a child (and adults) and make them feel as if the world is their stage.

Her kindness and insight gave Nicholas confidence to conquer the middle school world and navigate this unknown territory with self-belief and self-reliance; recognizing Ms. Betz would be there to catch him if he fell.

However, as all fine things eventually come to an end, so did her stint as intern. The last month of school Nicholas steered his own course and was pleased that Ms. Betz would return to his school in a different capacity, but not her area of expertise. Nicholas was thrilled and over-joyed; his buoyancy restored!

Fast forward to today—Ms. Betz was granted a position as Assistant Principal at our local high school; congratulations are in order as her dream has been granted! …in the same vein, my son will hear the heart-breaking news this day.

So my question this morning is this; as a parent, how do you keep your child sheltered from a world of disappointment? I already know the answer to this rhetoric question...I guess you don't~ but what I want to say is this...

Run my dear

From anything

That may not strengthen

...your precious budding wings

Run like hell my dear...

-Hafiz, The Gift

Thursday, July 7, 2011

A Ghastly Experience...

Let me tell you right off, I am not a shopper!

If you don't believe me, go to this post I wrote regarding shopping:  However, I won't bore you with those details again but want to inform you of a recent shopping experience of late; bathing suit shopping!

UGH!!! I'd rather walk across hot coals or sit in a hailstorm then go searching for a bathing suit OR bra shopping-which is why I wait until those contraptions are in threads before I actually say I'm in need of new ones.

Anyway, my first mistake was allowing my husband Scott to accompany me on this ghastly experience- I obviously was NOT in my right mind on that particular morning to allow him to walk through the racks with me locating the most skimpy pieces of cloth and instructing me to 'try it on!'

Really? I'd consider a nudist beach before I'd wear something of that nature...

AHHH,  I won't bore you with the details but did want to show some pictures of this excursion-YES! I have pictures...

So, tell me what you think?

Or what do you think of this selection?

This one was a contender as well~

and that's exactly what I said....

Happy Day to you...

Monday, July 4, 2011

Happy 'Free' Day...

Definition of FREEDOM

1: the quality or state of being free:
a : the absence of necessity, coercion, or constraint in choice or action
b : liberation from slavery or restraint or from the power of another

Ahhhh, Happy Independence Day!

July 4th conjures up images of lessons learned in Miss Cramer’s Social Studies class of America’s Independence from Great Britain. As Americans we are privileged to have multiple freedoms in our lives; freedom of choice, freedom of religion, freedom of speech and freedom of the press to name a few.

If you are a Citizen of the United States of America we are blessed to have our military fighting for our independence and if you are a believer, you are given freedom from your sins.

However, a recent exchange with a friend brought to mind a different type of freedom many individuals continue to lack in their daily existence- the freedom to be happy.

In fact, I have many friends who lack happiness as a result of being bogged down by chains of secrets, ‘old baggage’ that keeps them from encountering true contentment in their lives. They are in abusive relationships or harboring resentments toward individuals who has wronged them wrong in their past or embracing secrets that persist to burden, keeping them from total freedom in their lives.
Researchers say liberty equivocates to happiness so it is with this thought in mind that I ask-What chains continue to keep you from being free in your life? What freedoms are you still seeking?

"It's better to die fighting for freedom than to live life in chains."