Thursday, September 23, 2010

Public Schools from a Teacher's Perspective

Last night, a FaceBook friend (old high school friend), posted on her page that one of her girls came home wanting pink her. Not over her mom's dead body! Well, the comments went on and there was a comment that struck me from a former classmate. In a nutshell, here are his feelings:

Public schools suck.

He commented that teachers are not qualified to be teaching what they are teaching. There is too much fundraising going on. Where do taxes and school fees go anyway? Schools try to take away a child's identity.

Well, I was very "moved" by his comment (that is putting it nicely).

Some one made the comment that when he has kids, he should homeschool (yeah, he thinks schools suck, but he doesn't have any kids. HMMMM). His reply...NO!

But wait a minute. I thought he didn't like public schools????? Now I'm confused.

As a parent, teacher, and former student, I want to put out there my opinion about public schools: They are not perfect.

Now, I don't know about other states, but I do know what it takes to be a teacher here in Kentucky.

1. Go to college and take the basic college classes and the required education courses for your desired grade level.

2. Throughout the education classes, do field work (go into real live classrooms and get involved and observe).

3. Final semester, complete student teaching (under the supervision of another teacher in your area and the supervision of a university supervisor).

4. If you pass student teaching, you can graduate with a Bachelor's in Education. If not, sorry about your luck; the last four years of your life was a total waste and now you have to figure out what to go back to school to do.

5. First year of teaching (if you are lucky enough to get a job): INTERNSHIP. That means lots of observations, criticism, paperwork, stress. If you pass your internship, maybe you get to keep your job.

6. If you don't get a job the first year, you apply as a substitute teacher and show your stuff so maybe you'll get a job when there is an opening (in the meantime, apply in every school district in a 100 mile radius).

7. Now, if you get to keep your job after you pass your internship, you HAVE to go back to college and start work on your Master's degree. If you don't get your Master's in the given time period, YOU ARE FIRED and LOSE YOUR CERTIFICATION.

8. As a teacher, you get walk throughs from principals, superintendents, and who knows who else several times throughout the year. You get observations from your principal on top of that. You also get added paperwork at lunch time that must be completed by 2:45 even though you have a full schedule and no planning that day.

9. Keep in mind, you have a bunch of kids (75 in my case) that have different learning abilities/styles. They come from poor families, rich families, drug families, incest families, abusive families, and families where they never know who they are staying with or where they are going. Some kids are hungry, some kids have rotting teeth, some kids smell like cat pee, some kids keep head lice, some kids don't have moms or dad and live with another member of the family, some kids have had a bath in days, some kids steal, some kids cuss, some kids sleep because they haven't slept in days in a bed (if they've ever had a bed. Some kids move every 3 months to different cities, states, or even go to Mexico for a while and then come back.

10. Don't forget that you get pop up assembies, fire drills, tornado drills, lockdown and lockout drills, earthquake drills, and bus drills.

11. Oh, there are also tests. Lots and lots of tests. We have to make sure every student is "proficient" on the grade level they are in. Doesn't matter if they are special ed or low level learners. All kids must perform on the same level on the mandated tests or your school is in crisis. Lawmakers don't care about the "stuff" in #9.

12. Oh, then there are the parents (guardians). Some of them actually care about education. Others will quickly point out that it is not their responsibility to read with or do homework with their kids. Some guardians you will never see. Some you will only see if you try to correct their child's inappropriate behavior. Notice I am saying guardians because a lot of the kids are living with other relatives or other people.

Now I am not complaining about my job as a teacher, I just want you to know that I have more shoes to fill. I have to be teacher, counselor, nurse, referee, parent, friend, custodian, babysitter, and law enforcement. Some days, I teach no educationa/academic content. On those days, my students are learning how to be civil, obedient, respectful, trustworthy, and hygenic. Somedays, survival is key.

I love my students. I want what is best for them. I am doing my best for them.

In my opinion, if a parent (or other person) is not happy with the public school system, that person should GET INVOLVED. That is the only way to make a difference. Volunteer. Go to school board meetings. Go to PTO meetings. Go to SBDM meetings. Attend conferences. Vote.

Our public schools can be a great place if everyone, and I mean everyone put children first. Not test scores, not technology, not beautiful campuses, but CHILDREN FIRST. Don't expect all children to be on the same level. They are not the same. They shouldn't be treated the same.

Parents, support your child's teacher. Don't bad mouth a teacher in front of a student. That student will never have any respect for that adult again (and maybe for any authority figure).

Public schools aren't perfect, but if everyone came together to support the children, they could be a great place to be.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

While I'm Waiting

While I'm waiting for Dr. Chris' office to open, I thought it might be time for a quick post. First, I'd like to say again, "I am so glad Jeffrey is home!" We have gotten to spend some family time together which is so very nice. I am blessed to have a husband who wants to spend time with his family instead of playing golf and watching sports all the time.

Friday night we burned our brush pile. We cooked hotdogs and roasted marshmallows. What fun! We haven't done this in such a long time. The kids had a blast.
It was such a clear night that Carson enjoyed looking at the stars and naming all the planets he could see. You didn't know he was an astronomer did you?
Saturday was a busy day for us. Colin had his first (and last) tournament game. Kind of hard to win when the team walks up and down the field and plays defense the entire time. Carson had a game as well. One more to go and his soccer season will be over.

Afterwards, we enjoyed breakfast at The Hot Plate and then headed to the square for the annual antique car show. Carson had the best time and wanted to see all the motors of the cars. I got tickled about how excited he was. After a while though, he was just hot and ready to go home.

The boys went to Nannie and PawPaws while Jeffrey and I went to the hospital to visit with his uncle who has cancer (again). This time, it has hit him hard. We are praying for his healing and for strength for the family.

Sunday started out as a good day. We were up and at'em and headed to church. Carson began coughing and just started feeling terrible. I sat out in the fellowship hall with him during the worship service. We tried to eat lunch afterwards, but it wasn't a much fun. Carter was fussy and Carson was feeling well. When we got home, he slept about all afternoon and evening. When he wasn't sleeping, he was taking meds and breathing treatments. So, that is why I am waiting for Doctor Chris' office to open.

I realize that I haven't mentioned Carter much. How is he? Well, just see for yourself.

This mobile baby is just too cute! He had his 6 month check up Wednesday. He weighs 19 pounds and is army crawling and sitting up on his own. One of his favorite things to do....attack the cat!

Monday, September 13, 2010

I've been tagged!

I’ve been tagged for the first time. How fun!!!

Nicole at Team Pipkin tagged me and now I have some questions to answer. Here it goes.

1. How do you start your day?
Usually cuddling the baby and waiting for my coffee to get done.

2. Nothing make me laugh like...
Listening to my kids. You know life is great when your kids talk like Forrest Gump.

3. Before you had children how many kids did you want? How many do you have?
I have always wanted 3 kids: 2 boys and a girl. Now? I have 3: 3 boys. Not sure I’d know what to do with a girl at this point!

4. What is your favorite cereal? Either now or as a kid.
As a kid....Rice Krispies...nothing like that Snap, Krackle, Pop! Now...Special K. I love adding bananas to it.

5. Hardly anybody knows I...
(Ok, Mama, stop reading here)
I thought I was going to drown in the Gulf of Mexico while on vacation once. FYI: NEVER jump off a boat to swim with dolphins without a life jacket.

6. You get a phone call from your MIL, she's coming over. Its a lazy family weekend so nothing is picked up. What do you do?
I say, “Sure, come on over.” Hey, she’s my neighbor and I’ve lived with her twice. Not like she’s never seen my dirty laundry before.

7. If you could have one super mom power, what would it be?
To make my kids do what I ask them to do the first time.

8. What is your best organizing tip?
If you don’t need it, throw it away. If that doesn’t work, let my husband organize it. Honestly, you don’t want to take organizational tips from me. I live and work in an organized mess. I once had a sub call me while at a conference looking for something I forgot to leave out for her. You know its bad when you say, “Ok, stand at my desk and look at the pile on the left. It is under the purple work book.”

Ok. Now it is my turn to tag some folks. I choose:
My Crazy Life
Simply Created by Cole

Kylah and Dayton
Yours Amy
Pattie the Chaplain's

To answer the following questions:

1. Do you have a phobia?
2. What is your dream job?
3. What is something you said you would never be able to do, but now you think you would like to?
4. Are you allergic to anything?
5. What do you need to throw away that is in your refrigerator right now?
6. What is something you forgot that you later felt terrible for?
7. What is the silliest thing you have done lately?
8. Who do you miss the most?

Ok, blog friends. Get started answering your questions and be sure to link back to here. Don’t forget to tag a few more people and go to Nicole’s page to see what questions she had to answer.

Happy tagging!

Thursday, September 09, 2010

The Post You've Been Asking For

Jeffrey is home!!!!

We left last Tuesday night and got back late Sunday night. Since then it has been busy as usual. Here are some pictures from our trip.

The banquet was fabulous. I felt honored to be a part of it. The food and company were outstanding. The room was a bit warm. I became dizzy when the speaker was talking and had to go to the lobby area. I was embarrassed to get up, but it would have been more embarrassing if I'd have passed out.

This is Chaplain Candidate Crubaugh. He was such a blessing to Jeffrey. I hope that they will stay close.

Carson, Colin, and Ryan waiting for graduation to start.
The excitement was a bit too much for Carson.

The Graduate shaking hands with the Commandant.

The EdVenture Children's Museum

The USS Yorktown in Charleston

The Angel Oak Tree on John's Island, SC

The Magnolia Plantation in Charleston
We payed good money to walk around and get eat up by mosquitoes!

The owner of the plantation was a preacher. He sat on the bench where Jeffrey is sitting to write his sermons during the Civil War era.

Currahee Mountain
Toccoa, GA
Home of the 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment
(the original Band of Brothers)

Toccoa Falls