Friday, 27 September 2013
As an education major in college, I was required to write a “Philosophy of Education” paper. All I remember about the assignment is that we had to write it. I have no idea what I wrote about. I feel like it was early in my program courses, but it seems to make sense to have it near the end after we’d finished student teaching and all that jazz, so maybe that’s when I wrote it.
I remember more about writing my philosophy of classroom management and coming up with a plan for my first year of teaching. I quickly adopted the Responsive Classroom approach partly because it’s what we read about for class, but also because I valued community in the classroom. A place where students knew one another deeply and connected daily was high on my list of priorities. I’d filled pages of a notebook in high school with “what I’ll do as a teacher” and almost every activity or approach to learning came back to community (most of them from Senora Bolyard my Spanish teacher for 3 years).
I graduated with my degree in elementary education and took to teaching in the university classroom shortly after. Every year community was high on my list. My beliefs in what education and the classroom should look like remained the same until I started looking into schools for Mariah. And now that she’s been in school and I’ve seen more of the ins and outs of how the district works, my ideals are shifting and I’m trying to sort through all the opinions and ideas and research to find where I land. Read More
I keep it real on here. I mean sometimes I like to process things privately before writing, but once I decide to share I don’t hold back. I also like to talk about things that make life easier whenever I can and this little contraption has done just that. I’m surprised at how few people have heard about it, so of course I need to educate as many as I can!
Now, there will be discussion about lady parts in this post, so if you don’t want to know or hear about “Aunt Flow”, “that time of the month”, or let’s be grown ups and use the proper term: the menstrual cycle, then this is your chance to back out and close the window. I promise to continue to be a grown up and use only the proper terms, but if you don’t want to know any more, kindly walk away. I will not be offended. Read More
I would like a t-shirt. One that says “I survived my first week of summer break!” Not because it’s been this horrible terrible week, but because MAN it’s been a major roller coaster ride!
Monday, I started off on a high. I was thrilled to be staying home, to spend one on one time with my littlest one and walk my oldest to and from school each day. I wondered if I’d enjoy this break so much it would be tough to go back to work in August. There was no morning rush so we ate a leisurely breakfast and had morning play time. My girls had braids in their hair. BRAIDS! Nobody has time for braids when your kids start getting ready 30 minutes before you need to be in the car. We’re lucky if hair is even brushed most days. Lana entertained herself and I READ A BOOK! Nap went well (I took one too of course) and the afternoon pick up and drive to gymnastics was smooth. I didn’t feel hurried and stressed coming home from the gymnastics like I usually do, and we even got to push bedtime a little later since wake up doesn’t need to be at 6:30 anymore.
Oh, but how I needed a reminder that this life is not about perfection.
Lana’s sleep went out the window, she was still crabby from this lingering illness, she wouldn’t let me out of her sight. Mariah needed alone time to wind down from the day right when her sister wanted to play with her most. The sister fights. Everyone had on their crabby pants. I screamed. They screamed. Nick calmed us with ice cream. Read More
One of the things I’ve been dealing with privately is the discovery that Mariah is indeed a “gifted” child.
It’s been an interesting label to come to grips with. Of course we’ve always known she was smart and ahead of the curve with her verbal and reading skills. It’s why we sent her to French school – we didn’t want her to be bored since she’d mastered kindergarten state standards just a few months after she was four. But we didn’t want to be one of THOSE parents who thinks their kid is just the best thing in the whole world. “OF COURSE my kid is gifted! Look how AMAZING they are!” Yuck.
Right before the gifted assessment was administered at her school, I started looking into what gifted is. Did she show other signs besides just being “really smart” in language and math? That little look around opened a whole new world I’d never known about. There is a lot more to this gifted business than just being really smart. Read More
I vowed I wouldn’t stop blogging just because I went back to work. I wanted so badly to be a work outside of home mom who blogged – because that didn’t seem as common. And I don’t like to do “common”. But it happened. I’ve already written the I’ll be back post, and then didn’t really come back.
And you know what? I’m ok with that.
I’ve been keeping my therapeutic writing in my moleskin journal. Asking God and myself lots of questions. Wrestling with choices and decisions privately. I’ve wondered if choices I’ve made are the right ones. I wasn’t so sure about some things I’ve believed about my faith and the church all my life and had to explore those a bit. And that time spent alone was good. Really good. There wasn’t a need to word everything just right or to make sure everyone understood what I was trying to say. Just me talking to God. Which always seems strange because he knows how I feel and what I’m thinking, but laying it all out there honestly for him is really freeing. And since we’re his children I’m sure he loves it when we bring our concerns and needs to him.
I also questioned why I started blogging in the first place and why on earth someone would want to read what I write.
But then I remembered how much I love to read blogs. How much comfort I find in knowing I’m not alone in my feelings or happenings. And I thought maybe someone out there feels that way when they read my blog. I know some of my friends have told me they have, and other friends have encouraged me to write on here again.
So, maybe I’m back.
Probably will be since I get three months off of work starting in a week and a half!
Last year was the first time I chose a word/theme for the year. It wasn’t something I looked at every day, but I did look back at it a few times throughout the year to remind myself of my goals and focus. The word I chose was “Rooted”. I wanted to stay planted and strong before and during our change in routine. Looking back it’s funny to me that I chose a word that meant I needed to stay in place and grow deeper because I wanted to run. I wanted to change. A LOT! But I stuck it out. I made it. And I think I’m stronger for it. (But I still want to run)
This year I chose a new word. It’s only been recently that I’m ready to actually start putting it into action. This year’s word:
There are lots of things I’d like to make happen this year. Most of them revolve around community, investing in relationships, and being creative with my family. But those things can’t happen if I don’t put in the effort to make them happen. The last 6 months back to work have been a little bit of survival mode as we adjusted. I don’t want to just survive, I want to thrive. And in order to do that, I need to live life with purpose and plans. (Buuuut at the same time I have to be careful not to plan too much and be flexible if things don’t go exactly as I’d laid them out.)
So here I go – ready to live with purpose and intention. Not survival. I feel like this word’s going to be hard. But so worth it in the end. Kind of sounds like last year. And all of life. hmmmmm…..