Sunday, November 18, 2012

Keebler's Sweater

Since we had to shave poor Keebs a few weeks ago, he has been trying to get used to being cold.  It's not as though our house is freezing or any other temperature then it was before we shaved him, but he just now has to get used to not having any hair!  It's grown out a little bit, but every time we pick him up, we notice his stomach is a little cold.  We cuddle him more and encourage him to sleep under blankets with us, but what about when we're not home?  It concerned us more than it maybe should have, so we decided to....

...get him a sweater.

And the following video is the result of this:

As you can see, I think Keebler would rather freeze than be humiliated by wearing this sweater.

All right, all right...we'll just take the sweater back...

Saturday, November 3, 2012

What do teachers make?!

The elections are coming up (as we all know from the copious amounts of campaigning), and although I don't vote normally, I have made it a point to vote in general elections.  Sometimes when you're at school until 6:00 PM and you work about an hour away from your polling station, it just doesn't happen.  However, I've never been more excited to get out and cast my vote than this year.  The presidential race is exciting, sure, but seeing as I'm a teacher in the great state of Indiana, I, along with numerous other teachers, am more preoccupied with who gets the next bid of Indiana State Superintendent of Education.  And I, along with all of them, intend to vote for Glenda Ritz.

I know we're all tired of the mudslinging and the my-candidate-is-better-than-yours bologna, so I don't want to go into a long tirade about how awful Tony Bennett (the current Super) is.  He just is.  He sees our students as test scores and numbers.  And while there's something to be said about statistics and I understand we need to have a method of making sure schools are up to par, I seriously do not think his method is the answer.  As a teacher, I know of several kids who are bright and energetic and have great ideas and are Going Places, but who also cannot identify a soliloquy if it hit them in the face.  Or select the correct word that describes the tone of a text.  Or write a sonnet.  But guess what?  It doesn't make them failures.  It doesn't make them any less than those kids who can.  There should be more to our system than just the math and English numbers (and coming from an English teacher, I feel like that's saying something).

And don't even get me started on RISE. 

I urge you to please, please vote for Glenda Ritz!  For the sake of your children and grandchildren's education as well as for your teacher friends!  No kid should be treated like a number and no kid should feel like a failure.  Unfortunately, that's a little bit more of what I'm seeing every day :(

To learn more about Glenda Ritz, click here.

I also dug this treasure up.  It's an oldie, but I think it proves my point exactly.  Aside from parents and grandparents, teachers are the most influential adults in a kid's life (sometimes, even more influential than the other two!). 

I can relate to many aspects of this video--I've called home with praise before and set a parent crying because of my words.  I've shamed a group of students with a glare and a slight shake of the head to the point where they couldn't even look at me anymore.  I've rallied behind students so they could bring their grades up from Fs to Cs--they could do it all along; they just thought they were dumb.  I've stayed late and arrived early for students.  I work through lunch almost every day and hold off going to the restroom after several hours of teaching because I know I have special ed kids in study hall during my prep who need those quizzes graded and dropped off so they have the maximum amount of time to redo them.  I read the homework with my kids and do almost all of my own assignments so my students can see examples and know that nothing I assign is impossible.  I plan out which students I want to touch base with on the way to school and grade in the car on the way home when my husband drives.  When I go to a game, or a play, or a parade, or see my students in public, they wave and smile and are excited to see me.  I do my job because I care and I don't ask for personal recognition--just recognition for the profession.

I know that when I retire, I will miss my job.  Even if I could quit now and not have to work at all, I don't know if I could do it.  I don't have the type of job that someone else could do exactly like I can.  I don't work in a factory, or an office, or a building where things are the same every single day.  I work with real kids who will grow up to be real leaders and who will do real things and make real changes and I'm proud of that.  

I guarantee all of my teacher friends are proud of that, too, so please show them your support on election day!