Archive | January, 2010

Big Sunday for me

15 Jan

Few words, but pretty excited about this news:

I get to play my guitar in main service this Sunday!  

Lots to think about.  Chords, transitions, speaking, offering, prayer, lyrics, pitch, rhythm.

A little nervous, mostly just excited.

My Teacher Soapbox (is that 2 words or 1?)

11 Jan

Teachers, unite.  Get a public education teacher talking about this and you will get them fired up. 

Last post I mentioned that my school is under something called “Program Improvement.”  For all you non-education peeps, I feel I must explain, especially since many of your kids are in the system.

Its pretty complex (more so than you want to read here) so I will make it as simple as possible:  Years ago President Bush passed something called “No Child Left Behind” (NCLB).  A noble gesture, yes.  Who wants to vote against this and say “yes, I would like to leave some children behind”?  This states that by the year 2010, ALL students will be proficient in reading and math.  If schools do not meet these requirements, there are consequences.  How do they measure this?  Test scores.

ALL students. Really?  Anyway, although our student proficiency is continually growing, 4 years ago we were labeled a “Program Improvement” school for not meeting all our test score requirements.  We made it in every subgroup of kids except two:  our special education kids and our English Learners.  Go figure.  This meant that letters were sent home to all the parents saying that we are basically bad because we do not meet the reqirements set by government. 

Its like if your kid brings home a report card with all A’s and B’s but one D in a subject they particularly struggle with (but are working really hard in) and you tell your kid, the teacher, and all their friends, that your kid is a bad student. 

Being labeled Program Improvement (PI) means a whole mess of things come with it, almost none of which will actually practically help make things better. 

Oh, there is so much more and I could type for days.

The system sucks right now.  It looks good on paper but bad in reality.  Especially in the midst of California’s budget crisis and we are losing hundreds of teachers anyway (which also means more kids in one classroom). 

Things are tense right now.  Staying focused is key.  Despite everything that is going on, I will still have 175 adolescent teens come to my room in need of direction on Monday morning. 

I have to keep reminding myself that I didn’t become a teacher for the politics, I became a teacher for the kids. 

THEY are my job.

I dressed up on Friday

10 Jan

Usually at school, Friday is the day when I dress casual.  I look forward to wearing jeans and not feeling bad about it. 

But this Friday I dressed up.  Jack O’Connell, the superintendent of California, came to my classroom.  Yes.  California.

He actually came to visit because one of the amazing teachers at my school was recognized as the State Teacher of the Year for California.  Not only has it been a great opportunity for her, but our school is also getting some notoriety because of it.  (Which, looks good, especially because schools who have been in Program Improvement for 4 years tend to get a bad rap).

Anyway, since the State Superintendent was visiting our school, my principal said he wanted to bring him into my class.  I gladly said yes.  God really has given me favor at my job and I am so thankful.  The simple fact that when my boss wanted to show off our school, he thought to bring the Superintendent to my classroom (and a few others) was pretty cool. 

I usually don’t get nervous when people come into my classroom, but I was shaking inside a bit for this one.  There were cameras!  I could tell my students got a little nervous too but were excited. 

When they left, one of my students said “those guys were scary.”  In a way, I think I agreed with him a little bit. 

Good scary.

The worst chore

9 Jan

I have 2 top worst chores:  vacuuming the stairs, and filing.

In between our fridge and pantry, there is a little counter space about a square foot in diameter that becomes our “I’ll do something with that paper later” spot.

Years ago, it was the paper work that made me realize I was becoming an adult and I didn’t like it. 

So these papers usually pile up. Bank statements, paycheck stubs…you know what I am talking about. 

So this is my job for my free Saturday.  To empty our “To File” pile. 

What are your worst chores?

“I currently struggle with that”

7 Jan

That is my new motto.  Instead of saying “I can’t do that,” I am training myself to say that “I currently struggle with…” whatever.

Andrew got me P90X for Christmas.  The funny thing is that he got a ‘great deal’ on line and then realized (when it came from China) that it may not the be real deal.  Well the DVDs are, we just didn’t get any of the manuals that come with it so we are just doing the workouts on our own schedule.

I have been working out and lifing weights for years and this is hard!  I no longer get to say that I can’t do a pull-up.  I have to tell myself that I currently struggle with it so that I can get myself in the mind-set that even though it is hard, I can accomplish it if I keep working at it.

First workout?  Over 100 push-ups and about 30 pull-ups.  I was pretty proud of myself when it was all over.

Tickets to the gun show will appear at a later date.

Holy Tumbleweed!

6 Jan

On New Years Day we picked the Christophers up from the airport.

Upon arriving at their house, we saw that this nice addition to their home was there on the driveway to greet us.

Have you ever seen a tumbleweek this big before?

It was a first for me.

Kind of Proud

5 Jan

So yesterday was the first time Andrew has ever preached in front of this many people.  It was his first time speaking in the main service at Sandals. 

Neither one of us slept good on Saturday night.

And none of the other pastor’s wifes (wives, wifes?) told me that I would be a nervous wreck on Sunday.  I was just fine until Andrew started preaching. 

He was calm and collected, but my heart was pounding in my chest and I was incredibly fidgety (I get like that when I am tense) during both services I heard him preach. 

But he did awesome.  I was so proud of him.  This from a man who, when I first met him, was deathly afraid of speaking in front of anyone, let alone a few thousand.  It is amazing to see how God has grown him over the years.

Plus, do you see how cute?  The second picture makes me smile expecially big. 

I am thankful for the husband God gave me.