Sunday, May 12, 2013

Hey Moms...

I heard something today that I don't think I've ever thought about before, "you don't have to have children to be a mother." Today being Mother's Day, I've thought about all the women in my life that have made an impact on me or been a motherly figure at some point and there are a lot of women outside of my own mother who fill this description.  This is interesting to me, mostly because I myself am not technically a mother. As a teacher I feel like a mom a lot! I'm tying shoes, helping kids learn to read, teaching about sharing, helping to resolve disagreements, etc... From what I can tell, these are things that mothers do too. Some of these kids see me more than their own mothers. That is kind of heartbreaking but one of the reasons I wanted to be a teacher was because I wanted to have a fulfilling career, one where I felt like I was making a difference. Without a doubt, in my job I feel like I'm making a difference everyday, and a lot of that has to do with being a positive mother like figure to these wild little homies.

So if you yourself are not a mother, think about the people in your life who look up to you or come to you for help: nieces, nephews, coworkers, siblings, friends, etc...  In some way you are a mother to someone. Today is your day to celebrate, with or without your own children!
Now I don't feel so guilty and pathetic for buying myself a Hobo wallet for mother's day a couple years ago! Thanks Mom for telling me I'm a mother too, and insisting that I get the fudge passed out in church today, it was delicious!

Tuesday, May 7, 2013


Oh kids...

I've been teaching school for 6 years now! Go me! A real career woman for six full years, and this coming from a girl who after student teaching thought, "I can't do this, this is such hard work for meager pay, count me out!" Here I am a real life success story, my professors would be so proud!

I have learned a TON in my six years of teaching including a billion things about parenting without actually being a parent. I feel like I'm going to be a real kick-a parent because of all this time I've put in with these rat finks. Here is a run down of what I've learned:

1. Prioritize what's most important. Your kids wearing the latest trends is adorable and I appreciate a cute outfit trust me, but if you're not helping your kid with any homework and instead spend what should be homework time picking out clothes for the next day your priorities suck.

2. Routine is important. I'm a girl who likes a schedule so this has always been true for me, but as a teacher I really notice when kids stay up late.  I've had many a student fall asleep at their desk because they had a late night. Bedtime I know is a hassle, but it sure pays off the next day if they get decent sleep.

3. Watch your mouth!  You wouldn't believe the stuff I hear from 7 and 8 year olds these days. The other day I heard one say the F-word, the full f bomb right to my face...WHAT!!!? I also hear some weird stories about all sorts of random family drama that I'm sure parents would die if they knew their child was repeating it to me. Kids believe anything and then they repeat it, so look around to see who is listening before you say something you might regret!

4. Supporting the teacher can make all the difference in your child's education. It takes some serious two way communication to ensure success in students every year. If the teacher asks you to fill out a reading calendar every month, do it! If you complain to your kid about reading and doing homework everyday, it will rub off on them and they won't want to do it. Be an example and show your child how important education is for their future.

5. Don't whine about trivial things. You wouldn't believe the phone calls and e-mails I've gotten over the years about dumb irrelevant things. "My child saw something another child did in another class and we're wondering why your class didn't get to do it." "My child wants to sit next to a girl instead of a boy." "My child came home crying because so and so stepped on her foot." Blah blah the list goes on and on. Your kids have to learn that life isn't always fair and sometimes you sit by people you don't like and sometimes people step on your toes, move on!

6. Gifts and positive feedback can do wonders for a teacher's slowly dwindling patience level. The past two years I've had the world's best room mom. Seriously, she was the room mom of all room moms! Teacher appreciation week was the best week of the year, because I was showered with gifts and praise. I have never felt more appreciated in my whole life! It really boosted my spirits and helped me make it through the school year with a great attitude and some serious patience all the way into June. Teachers don't get recognized very often. I love getting notes from my students about what a great teacher I am, but from the parents it means so much! One year I had a parent cry at parent teacher conferences because she had seen such a change in her son from 1st grade, it made my year!

7. Be involved in what is going on in the classroom. I mean, don't go overboard with this, nothing is worse than a helicopter parent who is constantly coming in to talk to me, but offering to volunteer once a week helps a lot! My weekly parent volunteers are irreplaceable, they cut my prep time down and offer one on one help that my students don't always get from me.  I have them correct papers, work with kids who are struggling with certain concepts, read one on one with students, etc... The kids love seeing their parent come in and so do I!

8. Get kids to school everyday!  I have had attendance problems with one or two students every year. Kids are honest and they will tell me, "I wasn't sick Miss C., my mom just didn't want to bring me to school." When kids miss school they miss important things, some of which can't be made up. It is a big hassle to keep track of all the missing work these attendance problem kids accumulate, and they will have a much deeper knowledge of the concept if they are in school to learn it. If your kid is sick definitely keep them home, but a healthy kid should be at school.

9. Don't slack off in the Summer. Kids drop between 2-5 reading levels in the summer because they don't read. Keep reading and working on math concepts throughout the summer, it will make such a big difference in the Fall when they start school again.

There you have it! I'm sure I'm missing something but I'm done typing for the night, so that will have to do. One day I will read this list when I actually have school age children and maybe I will think, "I really had no clue what I was talking about."  For now these nine things seem like good things to know and remember.

Here's to 23 more days of the school year! Mazel Tov!

Monday, May 6, 2013

Man's Best Friend

Kate and I are pet people. Growing up we almost always had a pet, I feel like it's in our blood. Currently I have a bunny and Kate has two parakeets. These pets have been fun to have for two single girls, but they just haven't been what we have wanted them to be. You want pets that add something to your life besides extra work. My bunny, Bernadette Rose (Bernie), has moments when she's adorable and cuddly but on the whole she spends lots of time eating carpet and scratching people. The birds... don't even get me started on the birds, we'll just say that they are loud and messy among other things.

This week I have been dog sitting for my parents while they are out of town. It has actually been super enjoyable and relaxing. The house is so quiet and peaceful and Rrrosa is THRILLED when I get home from work everyday and take her up the mountain for her daily hike. This week has been unexpectedly therapeutic for me, and I think it is because Rrrosa adds so much to the people around her. Who doesn't want someone to greet them ecstatically upon return? Who doesn't want company on a hike? She makes me want to leave work early so I can rush home and see her deliriously happy face. The return on the investment into her is incalculable, she adds so much and requires very little. I guess my point in this is, dogs are the best. People that don't like dogs are missing out on something really great...those idiots. Sometimes I think about how it's unfair that most animals have such shorts lives; is it worth it to invest so much care and love into something that is inevitably going to break your heart in 12 short years? The conclusion I've come to is YES, without a doubt they are. This little gray bearded pup has brought so much joy to this family, the wonderful times will far outweigh the bowls of tears filled at her passing.

The bunny and the birds can go, but the dog stays!

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Blogging...I'm not sure about you.

Here's the thing, blogging is weird right? Why would you want to publish random thoughts and experiences for all to see in the ginormous world of cyberspace? It's kind of like get a journal, right? This journal thought is recurring for me. Every time someone posts something on any social media outlet about potty training, kid fights, blowouts, you know all of those gross kid things that you should just write down in a private space to get it off your chest instead of embarrass yourself by publishing it publicly I think, 'this person needs a journal.' I have 10 completely finished journals starting at the ripe age of 7 so if you need tips on journaling I am your gal. I'm here to help people! Most of our family and friends blogs have expired, so why keep this up? This is the conclusion I've come to: I love to feel inspired and when I hit my regular blogs I come back feeling contented and inspired. What a gift it is to be able to inspire people, right? These two ladies are headed down an interesting road with some big changes ahead. I mean we're getting eerily close to the age of 30 it's time for some things to change, right?

So, cheers to a bright and inspired future. Bottoms up! Clink!