Monthly Archives: April 2015

#whattheteacherreads The Great Testing Debate

#whattheteacherreads

 

Well, it’s “that time of year” …testing time. As a teacher and parent, I know that it can be tough and the hours are long. We are also waging a new war across the country with new test in place. In the state of Georgia, we have decided to make our own test and this is our first year of implementation. I decided that this week would only be fitting to dedicate to the great debate of testing. Feel free to leave your comments and let me know how you feel…Happy Testing!

Parent Choice– Before this year I had never heard of parents opting out of testing, but every year brings new challenges. How many parents are opting, their children out of PARCC or your state’s assessments ? What does this mean? I saw this happen at my school, did anyone opt out at yours?

RICO Laws and the Atlanta Cheating Scandal– In case you were under a rock, the Atlanta Public School teachers who were fighting their battle have now been sentenced. I had the time to actually watch the judge sentence each of the teachers and administrators  and I can tell you it was tough. It was interesting to hear different teachers thoughts about the process, verdicts, and sentencing. What are your thoughts?

PARCC & Money– We all know the tests cost PLENTY of money…so what does it mean if the kids aren’t taking it? This article talks about the profound effect the parent protests could have on the children we’re trying to “save”.

 

I have my own thoughts on testing, but I’ll save those for later. 

How do you feel? Things you liked? Didn’t like?



#whattheteacherreads – April 11

#whattheteacherreads

 

I’m back for #whattheteacherreads , but this time with a more personal twist! Ready? I have to say that some of my favorite reads have come from people I look to for guidance. Perhaps they know what I “need” subconsciously? Maybe I trust their experiences to help guide me? Either way, I happened across a woman on IG by the name of Sheri Gaskins. If you haven’t heard of her husband, Tony Gaskins, you should. I scrolled through her feed and noticed how inspirational and active she is even with a couple kiddos and a 8 year marriage. I immediately thought to myself TEACH ME YOUR WAYS and was told that she had a book I could read that was short, sweet, and encouraging. The next morning while sitting at an overly engaging track meet I read her book and it was quite what I needed. She wrote her book in a form of Q&A which prompted me to do some self reflecting. Of course because I’m always thinking in “write that down” terms, I did! Here are a couple questions she answered along with my own personal answers. You may be thinking that this has NOTHING to do with teaching, but I do believe that our personal lives flow into our daily lives in ways we can’t imagine. Here it goes…

 

wife type

How did you make him say “I Do”?

Funnily enough, right around the time I’d “decided” it was time to get married I read Steve Harvey’s book Think Like a Man Act Like a Lady. He said to let your intentions be known & that’s exactly what I did. I told my husband I wanted to be married by 27. I didn’t ask any questions ; I just said it.  He will tell you this had zero influence on his decision but, I got married a little over 4 months shy of my 27th birthday.

What I will say is after my son was born we lived together for the 3 yrs before we got married. I allowed him to continue on his”normal” life and be him. I ever asked questions when he went out and partied. I never asked him why we weren’t married. Instead, I learned how to cook, got my Masters degree, and encouraged him to be better. I supported him when he was going through legal issues, went with him to enroll in college and encouraged him to be a better man overall.

I will say I spoke my marriage into existence and set expectations. My husband will say HE decided to marry because of two things- loyalty and undying support.  Those two haven’t changed since day one.

What things do you refuse to Tolerate?

As a woman I think the things I refused to tolerate at the beginning of my relationship have changed over time. I’m not one of those people that says one strike you’re out. Instead I believe that forgiveness is key. I mean the Bible says to forgive 70 x 7, so who am I to say one strike and you’re out? Now, you may disagree and I do too with certain things.
Putting your hands on me, harming my child, or putting me risk of losing my livelihood are automatic disqualifications. Don’t put me in danger of not being able to support my family. I was the main breadwinner of my family for a long time and I still am a major part of the financial team.
As a mom, harming my children is a disqualification & maybe even a life-ender, on your part. Hurting me, that’s another story. Emotionally, I believe I can take a LOT (I carried two babies for Pete’s sake…you know how crazy my emotions were?).  I’ve grown to understand how to take care of myself and perhaps even mend a broken heart. However, physically that is not something I’m not willing to experience. Physical abuse is a disqualification, period.

I would strongly encourage you to grab Wife Type. It took me less than an hour and I really got to think about my life and marriage and even if you aren’t married, it could help you get in the mind frame of expectations. Kudos Sheri for writing such a cool easy read packed with information!!!



4 Steps to Choosing your Direction

The ocean stirsthe heart, inspiresthe

 

Isn’t it cool that we can do anything we choose? Our feet will move in the direction we choose. The hardest part is choosing your direction. It seems simple though…choose and go, but why isn’t it? I wish I knew the answer, but I will say that I have found some cool ways to help me find my path. Let’s talk about it.

My blog. This blog. My little piece of the internet has grown to be such a cool piece of me and I only want it to grow. It’s hard to think that in under a year I really embraced the idea of having a sliver of the internet pie and poured my heart out here occasionally. What’s next? Because, there has to be a “next” right? Over the past few weeks I have taken to my friends and asked them to help me in choosing my directions. Here are a few tips they’ve given me:

  1. Read. Read. Read. I have asked for book suggestions and I know that they are coming from a place of love. Over the past two months, I have put the Overdrive app on my phone to W.O.R.K. and it feels good. I’ve read (or listened to) autobiographies, biographies, inspirational books, motivational books, and some fun stuff too. All of these have really helped to ignite the fire in me and helped narrow down where I’m heading.
  2. Ask Questions. As a teacher, I’ve heard the saying “There’s never a dumb question” a zillion times and I stand by it. If you have a question, ask! Don’t hesitate. My classroom is a place of growth and I want that and more for my own life, so I ask questions. I ask people I trust  and some people I don’t know. I ask questions I’ve thought of before and I ask those crazy off-hand questions that pop up in my brain. I ask.
  3. See what others are doing. I have a few places I “see” people on a daily basis and Instagram is the one I check most often. I have started to purge and stop “seeing” people I don’t think are where I want to be. I won’t lie, I do have a more “fun” IG page and there is plenty of foolishness there but it’s not where I spend most of my IG time. I just want to SEE people doing well. I want to see the amazing classrooms and projects that people are doing. I want too see your healthy endeavors and your Etsy shops flourish. I want to see what you’re doing so that I’m encouraged to keep DOing.
  4. Listen. You can ask all the questions, read all of the books, and see what others are doing but if you don’t listen it’s all for naught. Just yesterday I tuned into the Make Things Happen Webinar with @mattieologie and @mayaelious and I actually took the time to listen and I took it to heart. Of course I’ve heard much of it before, but I think the difference is that I didn’t listen. Don’t spend your time sitting in a conference or that overly exciting staff meeting and not listen. Even if there is just one gem, you got something…and run with it!

 

Although I believe choosing your direction is a “forever task”, I do believe that there are good points along the way to grow. I am choosing my direction and I know there are steps along the way, but those steps will only make me a stronger teacher, mother, friend, and so much more.

 

What helped you as you are choosing your direction?

Tips? Advice? 



It felt good, but I’m back!

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WOW! You never really know how much you need  a break, until you take one. It’s been an ENTIRE month away from my little blog and it’s been quite the refreshing time. I don’t really know why I didn’t post, but I’m a strong believer that if you aren’t 100% into something…just don’t do it. I can’t say that I’ve been under an overwhelming amount of stress, I haven’t been sick, no new job, and no baby on the way ( I’m not even trying for that one). I have been doing a whole lot of soul searching and just really thinking about a lot of things. I’ve read a few books, I’ve talked to some people about moving forward with my blog, and I’ve just been thinking.

I won’t lie. It. Felt. Good.

It felt good to not stress myself out about writing or sharing my life in bits and pieces.

It felt good to accomplish two MAJOR goals I set out for this year.

It felt good to think of a masterplan with no limits.

It felt good to REALLY take my time and think about things.

It feels good to come back with a clear mind and fresh ideas.

I am refreshed. It’s’ a new month. I’m ready.