Friday, January 29, 2010


It's been cold here the past week, much too cold for my taste. These are pictures of the inside of my front screen door. It stays like this all day long with temps like this. It's beautiful to look at in it's own way, but personally I'd much rather see the pots of flowers I normally have on the front porch.
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Thursday, January 21, 2010

My Part

I would here-to-fore like it to be known that I have done my part. I have talked to the proper people, I have notated what needs to be notated, I have discussed with the person the changes I think need to be made and I have emailed for the information that needed to be shared. I put the matter into the hands of those who need to know and I waited.

Guess what got done. Nada! Zip! Zero! Why? Because apparently this particular "important board that runs the thing" does not have the authority to bring up the discussion of personnel issues. Sigh.

Back story being this: I/We have an issue with someone who is in charge of teaching/coaching/improving Miss 11 in a certain regard. It is not being done properly, and has not been done properly in over 8 months. 8 months behind is very, very far behind.

I stepped up and talked to those who needed to know. I did a bit of research and gave information that needed to be given. I am sorely disappointed with the action that is being taken. What action? Well, a talking to along with, "yes, well, get back on track now." And that's it. Meanwhile there is an entire group of kids who are going to be way behind their peers.

Because Miss 11's situation will change in 5 months I am not going to push any farther. I fear things would get worse for her individually if I decided to open my big mouth even more. But, I fear that the children who will not be out of this situation in 5 months will fall farther and farther behind, and in another few years, that's a long way to try and catch up.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Timed Test

A few weeks ago I got caught by a meme that wanted me to post my daily schedule and what I did typically hour by hour during a day. Since it was the holiday season I thought I'd better wait until more of a regular type day came around. The days that surround the holidays are crazy strange schedules around here. Instead I chose yesterday and what a typical day for me is like when I sub.

6:00a.m.- I'm up and getting ready for work, by this time I'm dressed and probably toweling off my wet hair. I finish my face up, make sure the girls are up, blow dry my hair and pick all my things up from the bathroom, grab my purse and work bag from the bedroom and head to the kitchen where I start eating breakfast.

7:00a.m.- Miss 11 gets up and wanders to the kitchen to eat her breakfast that Hubby has lovingly prepared. We sit at the table together, but mostly I know better than to speak to her. I finish up my coffee, pack my lunch bag, fill my water bottle and set all my things by the front door to head out. I do Miss 11's hair for the day. I hug Miss 16 and wave goodbye to her at the window. I encourage Miss 11 to get her coat on and get moving, I've got to get to work. We leave the house by 7:30 and arrive at the school. I check in at the office, and head to my classroom, unpack my things and find the folder with today's schedule on it. I begin recording grades in the grade book.

8:00a.m.-A school board member stops in for a scheduled meeting with me regarding things to be discussed at an upcoming board meeting. I take off my teacher hat and put on my parent hat to discuss certain subjects. The bell rings at 8:15 and I head to my classroom to take attendance, do prayers, pledge and discuss today's schedule. I send the class off to music for 30 minutes while I finish recording grades and correcting homework that has come in. Oh no, better make a run for the bathroom before they get back. Oh look, there is water all over the floor in the hall, stop at janitors office for rags and clean up floor, drop rags back off at janitors office and finally get to the bathroom. (the last time I get a chance to go until the day is done...)

9:00 a.m.- Give spelling test, teach English lesson, give spelling worksheets, correct English and spelling tests and worksheets, send part of class to band, work on computers with the rest of the class, record grades, begin teaching reading lesson, hand out reading papers, English papers, yesterday's spelling papers, etc.

10:00 a.m.-Discuss yesterday's math papers and why they are getting them back: Half credit if mistakes are corrected; give lesson on checking your work for silly mistakes and following directions. Teach math lesson, give math assignment. Class gets asked to help unload a truck of World's Finest Chocolate that we will be selling as a fund raiser. Help organize boxes, make students all wash hands as the boxes were filthy! Deliver treats given out for helping with the truck.

11:00 a.m.- Study Hall: help with all previous assignments given today, correct papers that have been turned in already. Record and hand back papers. Help students in computer lab on assignments given by regular classroom teacher. Have class wash for lunch, say prayer, bring class to lunchroom. Wash my hands and return to classroom where I eat lunch while correcting more papers and recording.

12:00 p.m.- When students return begin Social Studies lesson on Zimbabwe, the gold trade and walled cities. Discuss today's math lesson AGAIN, hand papers that were turned in back. Explain that I am going to pretend I never saw these papers, they can correct mistakes for full credit. Teach Science lesson: acceleration, speed, velocity, etc. Hand out worksheets; help with worksheets.

1:00 p.m.-Study hall, help with all remaining work to avoid homework for the night. Begin Religion lesson, help
in computer lab.

2:00 p.m.- Finish Religion lesson, clean up room and prepare for going home. Take kids to gym for PE class. Stop in office and pick up things from mailbox; deliver envelopes to correct classrooms. Finish correcting and recording grades, hand out papers to be taken home. Write notes to teacher regarding what I have finished, where/how I graded and recorded. Students return to classroom, load up backpacks, check hallway to be sure it is left neat, make sure classroom is picked up, prayers and dismissal.

3:00 p.m.- Load up my things, meet Miss 11 and friend in the parking lot. Wait for Miss 11's second cousin who we will drive to the pool for swim practice. Miss 11 gets to skip today. Wait at pool for someone to arrive and unlock door. Bring Miss 11 and friend home, feed them snacks, check emails, throw in a load of laundry, clean up kitchen. Have a snack and soda.

4:00 p.m.- Hang a load of laundry, begin making supper, set the table, wash fruit, wander house and pick up random objects and return them to where they belong. Fold a load of laundry. Load Miss 11 and friend in car after having them pick up. Drop off Miss 11's friend, stop at library and help Miss 11 find books she's been wanting.

5:00 p.m.- Finish preparing supper and put in the oven. Stir together coleslaw, clean fruit. Fold more laundry, throw another load in washing machine. Pack Miss 11's swim bag for tomorrow, pick up wet swim towels and deliver to laundry room.

6:00 p.m.-More laundry folding. Hubby and Miss 16 arrive home, final supper prep and set food out. Dish up plates for girls and call them to wash for supper. Eat together as a family. Discuss various daily activities. Get eye rolls from both girls for one comment or another. Begin cleaning supper dishes. Help Miss 11 with spelling words. Convince Miss 11 to get in the shower.

7:00 p.m.- Finish cleaning up kitchen, send Miss 16 out the door for CCD. Sit down with Miss 11 to play Wii game. Giggle and laugh together while we realize we aren't very good at this Wii game.

8:00 p.m. Hubby brings Miss 11 snack, remind her to eat, eat, eat. Convince Miss 11 to come upstairs, have her yogurt, brush her teeth, pick her clothes, get into bed. Write bills, put away folded laundry, pick clothes for tomorrow, empty dishwasher. Take phone call regarding swim-a-thon next week.

9:00 p.m. Tuck Miss 11, make sure backpack is ready for tomorrow. Say goodnight to Miss 16, take a shower, check emails, email contacts needing responses. Read paper in bed.

10:00 p.m. Read beginning of new book from the library, decide I won't be finishing it. Discuss day with Hubby, turn off light, fall asleep instantly, Hubby decides to ask a question and wakes me up. Fall back to sleep...

The meme went on until 1 a.m., but my day ended here. So I'm not going to bother writing sleep for every hour after 10 p.m., or writing what time I got up to the bathroom, or was awoken by some random noise.

Monday, January 4, 2010

and Then There Was None

It took nearly all of yesterday, but I was finally able to get all the Christmas decorations (save for the ones I've decided to donate) down and put away in the basement. Hubby followed behind me with a vacuum to pick up all the plastic pine needles, strings, broken remnants and strange food pieces that followed in my wake.

Normally it feels great to take all that stuff down, and it did feel good, but the girls Christmas break felt so incredibly short this year that it's a bit disappointing. I felt like we missed out on our usual time to just hang out and do nothing.

We had a busy and very fun Christmas eve and Christmas Day with all my family able to join us at different points along the way. The niece and nephew in the 2 year old crowd made every moment interesting. My kids tried their hardest to keep them from fighting but they still managed to have mini battles anyway. I mostly just giggled, even though I shouldn't have. It was funny to see them gnashing their teeth at each other.

Miss 16 had a friend staying with us for several days around New Year's and Mr 20 was off with a group of friends skiing in Big Sky, MT. Miss 11 and I did manage some epic battling on the Wii though. Lego Star Wars provided us with lots of laughter, mostly at me as I'm not the most adept at those sort of games. I'm much better with the physical games then the ones that require little finger movements and strange combinations of button pushing.

Hubby stayed home for 2 four day weekends, and was a huge help when we had guests here for meals. He's great to help clean up my dishes as I cook or sweep up messes that I spill. He was also excellent with the 2 year olds taking them to play while the rest of us cleaned up after meals. They both loved his attention.

Even with all the good times we had, I feel like we missed out on those times where we sat around, watched a movie of just hung out and played a game. I imagine as the kids age even more they will become fewer and farther between.