Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Just Who are They????

OK, so "THEY" were suppose to come into our classrooms and check out if we are all following the "calendar", are we all on same page, doing the same thing!!!! "They" were across the hall so I was not surprised when a young man came into my class observed for a whole period... I thought my lesson sucked, my desk was cluttered with papers and he was looking at my sub folder not my plan book. I was a wreck. I showed the "MAN" my AYP info and he said I don't know what an AYP is ???? I thought it was a trick. Then it clicked, he was not one of "them" he was a student teacher doing an observation that I forgot was coming in to my classroom. I can't take this.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Good to the Last Drop Depends on the Day

Coffee is a mystery to me. How do you get so many different tastes from the same regular pound can… oops I mean 13 ounce can? Different days mean different tastes. You have the Monday – Friday early morning wake up coffee. It is the kick you need to get you moving, without it you are dragging and just cannot seem to get started. I often wake up to the coffee pot gurgle telling me the coffee is ready before the alarm goes off. There have been times I sleep through the alarm but never the coffee ding even though the pot is down stairs.

Fred lovingly sets up our pot the night before to go off at 5:30 am. Of course there are times, I come down stairs and find he forgot to put water in or push setting button. But all is forgiven after first taste because he makes a great cup.

Saturday coffee is the worst. I come down stairs some time a little later, so it has that post lunch restaurant taste. You know the kind that sits on the burner too long. If I get coffee in a restaurant any time after a lunch I wait for a new pot to be brewed. When I do get down stairs early enough for a fresh cup, I get side tracked with chores and it quickly becomes lukewarm. Saturday coffee always tastes lukewarm or the flip side, scalding. I just cannot find the happy reheat on our microwave. It is the coffee I lose in linen closets, refrigerators, top of file boxes and pantry shelves. Eventually when I find it a few days later, I say to myself… “That is where that cup went”.

Sunday, ahh… Sunday coffee is the perfect cup and taste. I think it has something to do with the fact we have a bigger breakfast with the sweet taste of a croissant, donut, pancake or whatever lingering in our mouth so when we take a sip it is like a happy marriage. The real reason Sunday coffee is probably the best is the leisure and luxury of watching the weekend news, or reading a paper or surfing on the computer with the person you love across from the table.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Not Just a Grill Man Anymore

Six years ago my husband Fred was in nursing school pursuing a new career. I was the “bread winner” and held down the fort. I would often come home late from work dragging.

We made changes in our lives and especially in our budget. Fred took over shopping and learned how to cook. Prior to this time he only was a grill man.

A few years later, after he graduated and we started our new life and I thought why take back the shopping? I never liked it. Fred has come a long way. The first time he shopped he came home with a dozen boxes of pudding and he forgot to buy meat.

Now he clips coupons, watches sales and plans menus. The man cannot pass up a buy one get one free no matter what the product is.

He also is much more than a “grill man”. Last week I came home and he had cooked a turkey with stuffing, mashed potatoes, vegetables and homemade cole slaw. I was very impressed. However, Fred was mad because the store did not have pumpkin. He was going to attempt to make pies. That is something I know I will remember at Thanksgiving.

It is so nice to have more than a “grill man”. Fred mastered my Italian sauce and makes a tasty pot roast but my favorite will always be his omelets. They are to die for.

Friday, September 18, 2009

The Way We Were

Each year teaching gets harder. We are inundated with mandates, paperwork, meetings and conferences. When you have been around as long as some of us you cannot help but remember the way we were.

My first year of teaching, I remember the excitement when they gave me my KEY to the school, not the classroom the school.

Each day there would be a student waiting to come inside and help me ready up the room. That doesn’t happen at today’s school because there are training meetings every morning and also, having children in a room alone with you is discouraged.

We decided to be teachers for the relationship time with the children. Those early morning sessions went a long way. The most treasured job in my class was “Mr. Coffee” this student set up my coffee pot for me. I always picked the most active child for this responsibility. The A.M. chats were so revealing and nurturing for my at risk students. (Think Maslow)

Coffee pots, microwaves, little refrigerators are all fire hazards and definitely not allowed. In my many years of teaching, my room has been sited by fire department no less than a dozen times. My infractions…. posters on walls, mobiles hanging closer than 18 inches from ceiling, boxes on top of my cabinets, paints opened, extention cords, my favorite was I had a small wooden crate to hold library books and was told it might bring termites.

If a child had a birthday mom would send in cupcakes. This is a big NO NO now because everything must be store bought. So sadly, there are no more cultural cover dish experiences either.

We used to have spontaneous reward picnic lunches at the outside tables. New rule, the children cannot take their lunch tray out of the cafeteria and if you want to take your children out for a picnic, fill out project activity forms two weeks prior.

The student's classes start at 9:30 and their day ends at 4:00. By the time they arrive home it is dinner. Then they have baseball, karate, and a religion class, dance and the list goes on and on.

Parents response: "How dare we give required homework reading? They have no time to be children." Well, long ago there were 57 minutes per period (currently 45 minutes), we could teach at the pace best for the children and we did not lose 5 weeks of learning for pre testing and testing and still have to finish an entire text book.

On a positive note, I like whiteboards instead of chalk dust, copy machines instead of the ditto machine with the smell and purple ink. (It destroyed many a wardrobe). Gone are the 8mm film loops, tangled reels, and filmstrips. They gave way to television, CD’s, DVD’s and computers… all wonderful. Most of all, Google is now my very best friend.

Lastly, there are some guidelines I refuse to follow. I will hug my kids when they need a hug, or for that matter, wipe a tear (even without a plastic glove).

Thursday, September 17, 2009

What's in a name?

Well, finally I am a real blogger. It took me months to go through my list of sayings and quips to come up with a name. Then I had to remember the original google account password to set up this page. That was monumental. I kept thinking my eight year old grand-daughter has a blog how hard can it be? But alas, it was hard just because I kept changing my mind about the message I wanted to have in my blog's title.
I tried, " When Life Gives you Lemons", " Killing Two Birds", "Methods to Madness" all denied. Tonight it just came to me. "Love Endures All things" It is the final sentences to a biblical passage dear to many people. ( Corinthians 13 )

At this time of my life and career it fits. It is sweeter than saying "Been there done that" which is exactly how most of the people my age feel when reflecting on things the younger generation find a challenge.
Each year in September, memories come floating back about college dating days, our fall wedding and the beginning of my marriage. Fred and I have been together 39 years this week and married 38 years in October. Trust me with my family, our love has endured it all.