It has been raining for what seems like days around here. I finally asked someone if it is actually going to be sunny tomorrow. I don’t think I can handle another dreary day. Our spring break was last week and it actually snowed one of the days. I do like it getting lighter earlier in the morning and later in the evening. Since I go to school at such an unearthly hour, actually some would consider it the middle of the night, it makes you feel just a little bit human to have it be light out when you are driving in to work. It also reminds me that the end of the year is just around the corner. That wonderful day when we all stand outside the building and wave to the kids as the buses go by for the last time of the year.
It’s been awhile. A few weeks anyways. The world looks a little different since I last checked in here. I lost a very dear man in my life. Someone who taught me to play basketball, taught me to drive and ate breakfast with my every Tuesday morning in the summer. My uncle was a great man and this world is a little less bright without his singing and laughter. He loved dogs and dogs loved him. No matter what dog it was or where we were, they were attracted to him. I could hear him say, “Oh look at this….” as he leaned down to scratch the head of a new furry little friend. I took great comfort in knowing that when he left us, his beloved little Scoutie was waiting for him. So today’s cartoon is for the dogs and for him.
I thought it was a full moon, at least that’s the way the kids were acting today. And not just my kids but the entire building. And it wasn’t just me. Sometimes you feel like at any moment the tables could turn and they could realize there are a lot more of them than there are of you. It is a fine line we walk every day. Like a line from one of my favorite movies: “I feel like I am riding a psychotic, out of control horse, toward a burning stable.” Maybe tomorrow will be better.
I spent a wonderfully warm day with my puppies in the back yard today. I did have the day off due to a doctor’s appointment so I took the opportunity to enjoy a warm day in February and a little bit of free time with the pups. We sat on the stairs of the deck that overlooks the backyard for the first time this year. The wind blew gently through their ears and I realized there was a whole other world going on that I was having the privilege of being a part of today. It was so peaceful and I felt joy for a few seconds and the way things have been lately, that was a gift. I started daydreaming about what else might go on when we are at work and that was the inspiration for today’s cartoon.
I thought this was appropriate after I sat in a conference yesterday and waited several minutes while a parent was texting. Hmmmm have we overlooked our priorities? I realized yesterday that I treat my puppies better and have more concern for their well being than some parents do for their children. It is a rather sad realization. Parents are the key to the educational puzzle…President Obama said it quite well last night. When a kid is missing that piece, the odds against them are incredible. They are just kids and they are up against a huge obstacle if they are asked to navigate the waters of education on their own. They have to have that safe harbor to come home to at night. Often, we have to offer that safe place at school because it cannot be found at home and as educators we have to remember that when we are frustrated and angry…sometimes we also have to be their parent.
Unless you have stood before a class of middle schoolers you may not understand what this one means. You literally have to perform each day. I thought about making concert posters for my best performances and charging but since they have to be there, I don’t think that will work. I also thought about getting a set of theatrical stage lights. They have new LED ones that you can control by a computerized board. With those and the surround sound speakers I really do have…that would rock. We are pretty blessed in our district to have the amount of technology we have: new projectors, new apple computers, digital overheads, airliner slates, and ipods (the cool touch kind) for our kids. It really drives you to make interesting lessons but sometimes it’s a lot. Things seemed much easier when I was in sixth grade and the VCR was the size of a small house. But we all say that don’t we?
Well we made it through conferences. We had a full load and went an hour over time but we made it. One parent referred to it as being at the doctor’s office because of the wait. Let’s face it, fifteen minutes is not enough when talking about the current progress of your student, why they are acting like hormonal, raging, creatures, and trying to get the parent to stop crying. It is always interesting to me that Spring conferences ALWAYS have at least two or three parents who just sit and cry because they have no idea who their child has become. I always try to remember that each and every kid I teach is somebody’s baby and if they are not, then they should be and I might be the only person who says a kind word to them that day. Some days it’s a mantra I have to repeat over and over but I still have to remember. So….I am here, barely awake but doing the best I can.