Friday, May 07, 2010
The packing of our classroom is moving along slowly but surely. It was a day of gaining information with a promise of support. I found out that my new classroom in the new building is beautiful with an entire wall of cabinets and drawers and that it is bigger than the room I have right now. My friend from downtown administration seems to be advocating for me at every turn, in spite of some people who would make me a bit miserable. The gal who is helping me to pack is working very hard--she is going to my 2 classrooms opposite my schedule so that she can work without disrupting classes. She is very careful and conscientious. She told me that if I needed help to unpack and if she were authorised that she would help me unpack too.
My biggest issue is the complaint from my current boss that I have "too many" things to mover into their new building. I teach 7 grade levels for the love of mike--and the administrator friend gets that. He told me that the average teacher has 40-50 boxes, and that he told them that he expected me to have more than that because of the nature of my position. I'm lucky to have him in my corner. Anyway, I am glad to have him on my side and the help with the packing. I am still having to do some lifting and moving. We have a special coral dot that I am putting on things to let her know that they need to be packed. I have been moving out things that will go to our church this summer for the summer reading program.
My friend went to see my "new classroom" at the new school. (The ribbon cutting ceremony is May 27th, I believe.) He said that the room is larger than either of my current rooms and that there is one wall of cabinets and drawers I haven't had a room with a cabinet or a drawer in a long time--everything I own is out in public display, so this is exciting. We will be moving all of my bookcases and file cabinets too, so I expect that I will have plenty of space, in spite of what I've been told. I'm as worried about the physical act of unpacking as I am about the act of packing. It's a big job in any case. We have to be out of one of the buildings on our last day of school, June 2--so that is my goal to be completely packed by then. They will start moving things that day as well, apparently. With all of this going on, I am also still teaching my students and am preparing my end of the year progress reports and mandatory paperwork. It is going to be a hectic and crazy time.
I have managed the food fest in honor of teachers pretty well. I skipped the breakfast provided on Monday. On Wednesday, I had a slice of pizza and none of the creamy soups or cookies and desserts. There will be donuts and I don't know what tomorrow. The massages and "healthy snacks" will be on Monday. I am going to sign up for a massage--they are being done by a chiropractic service. I haven't cared much for the massages in the past because they make my body throb and ache worse, but hopefully this will be different. If it hurts excessively or requires me to get into some awful position in an odd chair, I will politely decline the opportunity.
I see my pain doctor right after work on Friday. I am hoping that he has a suggestion for my pain issues. I am nervous about the idea of any injections, but my physical therapist and a couple of other people have suggested that these are something that could help me. I just know that it was impossible to give me an epidural due to the hardware in my back, so I don't know how an injection can be done for the same reason. I guess that I'll find out soon enough.
It's time for me to get off of the computer and get going, so I'll talk to you all soon. YAY, the weekend is upon us. Keep your chin up and reach for your goals!!
Gentle hugs, one and all.
Thursday, May 06, 2010
I need to get my body to bed here pretty soon, but I thought I'd stop by and let you know that I am really struggling over the packing ofmy classrooms. Yesterday started with a rude enough email suggesting that I "discard" my books and teaching materials. One of the downtown guys is working hard to make things nice again, but what was said was said. I worked like a pack mule packing boxes and moving them and came home damaged from all of that. Today, the helper that they promised came and worked all day. I cannot give it that much time because I am still teaching full time. I am supposed to have another visit tomorrow with info on the true size of my new classroom in the new building. They have dut all of the paraprofessionals in the new building with well over 500 students except for one who is asigned to special ed. It will definitely be a thin amount of resources for the staff. I wonder if I will be appreciated or receive more criticism and difficulties.
Things are going slowly but surely here at home. I have made it to the pool each day and I now have my youngest son swimming well enough that he passed the swim test. He is so proud of that. I wish one of my older sons was doing so well. Oh well, I will keep at it.
Thanks for being such good froiends and so understanding while I am so busy these days. I know that I am only getting to some of your blogs and some of my team messages on the weekends, but I am trying to prioritize how I use my time.
Take care, one and all!!!
Monday, May 03, 2010
It's Teacher Appreciation Week and we will be rewarded with food at every turn this week. Today, somebody provided a breakfast, but at my morning school they have to use the teacher's lounge for a class--so the breakfast was in the principal's office. That pretty much kept me away from there, lol. I know there are some luncheons to come, one will be pizza. Next Monday, a chiropractor's office is providing us with massages and "healthy snacks." The problem with that is that I think I miss them by being in the other building at that time. I will try to fit that in because a massage by a chiro might actually be good for me. In any case, I stocked my mini-fridge at school with fruit, veggies, nonfat milk, and water, so I can take care of myself no matter what.
I have been in contact with the downtown administrator about my packing help. He is going to bring this person to me on Wednesday or Thursday and look over my sthings to let me know if I am going to have to find a way to store some of them. I'm guessing yes because I don't think the principal wants all of my wonderful books around. She likes things (and people) thin and new and cute. I am not sure what I am going to do about that because our house is full of people and their things. Since I won't be getting paid, I will find it hard to pay for a storage unit. I guess I'll just wait and see. Moving a classroom is almost as awful as moving your home--and for someone who has limited mobility, it's a nightmare. I began packing a few boxes today and I've been paying for that activity. I'm looking forward to my help!!
My principal was contacted by another school that is considering multi-aged classrooms like we have. She was looking for some teachers to be a part of a panel discussion on the topic and I volunteered. She sent me an email today telling me "no thanks" because she had enough people. A couple of weeks ago, she sent out a request to have someone serve on a district committee to revise the discipline code. I volunteered and she sent me an email telling me that she already had somebody. Hmm, I answered that email within a minute of when it came. I am guessing that I will not be given any leadership responsibility ever again. I need to renew my National Boards and I put it off this year because of my health issues. I guess it is lucky that I can go back and cover the time before I worked for her.
I am going to plan the summer reading program at our church again for kids getting out of kindergarten and first grade. This summer, I will have to organize volunteer help because the grant that paid for my helpers doesn't exist anymore. I can use this program as a way to show leadership for National Boards. I loved doing it last year and only one of the children I worked with during the summer needed any extra help this year. That was a pretty storng way to help children who were identified as being needy by the staff at their school. I am also signed up to take a week long training with the National Boards people on mentoring. I had the training last year, but since I wasn't allowed to use it, I thought I'd repeat it for the coming year. I work with a teacher that I'd like to lend a hand to and it will give me a way to do it without being intrusive.
My husband is baking chicken breasts for dinner--yummy. Then I have to go to the pool to get my exercise in. I have been waiting until the afternoon to take the first of my 3 daily meds for fibromyalgia and anything for pain--that keeps the drowsiness away. However, it makes my evenings a bit odd. I am still experimenting because it is my hope that I'll get adjusted to the meds and be okay at some point. Sleep was hard last night though, and I am not sure why. Oh well, it gave me a chance to catch up with a lot of my Spark Friends. I am missing keeping up with you all on a regular basis.
Have a great evening and enjoy something special. I think there should be a "Spark Friend Appreciation Week!" Maybe we could make that happen and we wouldn't reward our friends with food, but love and support!
Monday, May 03, 2010
I had quite a day. I woke up during the night with a lot of pain in my legs and back that made me a bit crazy. I took my meds and finally dozed back off until it was time to get ready for church. Our pastor did an awesome job with his message today--it was based on the thoughts that Jesus asked us to take care of others who were needy and how we all had opportunities and potential for carrying on this important work. It made me realize that it is time for me to get a hold of the outreach director and setting up the summer reading program at our church for the primary aged children. I loved doing it last year and even though there won't be any "paid" helpers this year, I know we can get volunteers to lend me a hand as I need it.
Back to my sleeplessness and pain---it really hit me hard at church and even though I took my breakthrough pain meds, I didn't have any relief. That is when I realized that my pain patch was missing. I am guessing I lost it yesterday after our trip to the store because I didn't feel badly earlier than that. Doggone it, there are 3 manufacturers of my patches and only one really works well for me. It is a bigger patch with a kind of gel-based medication. The others are smaller and kind of an adhesive type thing and they don't stick for the 3 days they are prescribed for. Our pharmacy is good about giving me the ones I prefer, but last month, they couldn't get them from the manufacturer, so I had to settle for one of the other types. This is the second time this month it fell off somewhere unknown to me and that is a worry too because it is a strong drug and can be poisonous to pets or small children. Being without my pain medication is a real problem and adds a lot to my troubles.
It was nice at the pool today--the water finally has been comfortably warm for the past 3 days. There were only about a half a dozen people there today and 3 of them were my own children. I got to work out for 90 minutes without any problems or interruptions. It was awesome--and then I got 15 minutes in the sauna before my shower, ahhhhh
Tonight, after dinner, I finally took it on my own to do some of the long overdue household tasks around here. It worked to get a lot of attention and I made a big mess that others will have to clean up tomorrow. We have a big old entertainment center that has become a place where people drop off their "stuff' and has become an eyesore to me. I have asked virtually everyone around here to tackle the job, and that has went on deaf ears--so I started the job and wasn't at all charitable or neat in my attack on the mess. Now there are a bunch of things all over and each of my little darlings has an assignment in order to clear it out before it is time for dinner tomorrow because I put things all over the table, lol. I guess messing with their stomachs will help get their things taken care of.
I almost forgot to mention to anyone who didn't already notice...I lost 6 pounds this week! That breaks my plateau from staying the same last week and losing .5 the week before. WooHoo. I got in 800 fitness minutes last week and I am sure that there is a relationship to these things. I am at over a total of 92 pounds lost now. This proves to me--and hopefully anyone else who needs to hear this, that no matter what the scale is showing, you must stick with your plan and keep up the good work. Those plateaus can really do harm and make people give up, but it is just a part of the way things work and we need to be patient and ride it out. On the other hand, it is sure nice when the scale is kind to us like mine was today. We need that once in a while!!
Have a wonderful week everyone...I see my pain doctor on Friday and I hope that will get me over the big hurdle as I start doing work towards my end of the year reports and my big packing job.
Gentle hugs to one and all!!
Saturday, May 01, 2010
I am surprised that I woke up as early as I did today. I got home from the pool shortly after ten last night. I had a couple of clementines and a half of a sandwich and settled down to spend time with SP--and that lasted maybe an hour before I was asleep. It has been like that most of the week since I returned to work full days. I know that I will get a rhythm going soon--schedule changes often take time to get adjusted to.
I have found that I have a great deal of work to do now that I am back at work. The sub who was there with my afternoon students ran a fairly loose ship, which is very different than what I do. I know that my students have to make accelerated progress in order to catch up to their peers. I have them for a half an hour to 45 minutes a day if I am lucky and there are no interruptions in the daily schedule. That is a lot on their backs and mine. I plan intense lessons that focus on what they need the most to make progress and increase their reading levels. The sub that was there for me allowed them to color pictures to "keep them from talking" while they were reading as well as having snack time. Those things might be okay in a regular classroom where the students are available all day, but just cannot fit into the kind of schedule I have. I had the opportunity to work with him on Wednesday and was pretty amazed at things I witnessed. He had his reasons for what was taking place, but I cannot understand coloring as opposed to focusing on the reading material. I guess it could go unsaid that some of these children are sorry to see me return. I did a poetry day on Thursday (April is national poetry month and April 29 is "Keep a Poem in Your Pocket Day." I helped them all to find a poem, copy it and keep it in their pocket to read to others. On Friday, I found a way to assess them over the material they were currently reading to prove tot hem that they weren't "getting" what they needed to out of the passages. On Monday, I will be starting over with some of them and re-reading with others. I have a lot to do with these children and although I cannot make up for the time they have lost, I can push for quality work in this last month of school.
I have my assignment for next year and it is with the same staff I have been working with in the new building. I heard a rumor that I will have a full-sized classroom rather than a food pantry, bathroom, or office to teach in--if that is so, it will be nice, especially if I get real furniture. I have a lot of work to do to get things packed for the move, which is work that my body will not handle well, so I have contacted the administration downtown. At meetings held earlier in this year, they promised me help and I definitely need it. The current rule is that we cannot put any boxes in the hallways though--and given how small my rooms are, I am wondering how we will manage this.
Things at home are the same and a bit different. I need to focus on a couple of my kids over this weekend and get them moving in a more positive direction. I have gotten some positive advice from my doctor on ways to help my 20 year old to get back on track--it seems that I must be the one at bat to get the game started. I am worried that he is going to just veg out rather than take any action, and that cannot be.
I get to go out to lunch with my best friend today--it's the first Saturday of the month. I always enjoy this peaceful time we have together. I will take my youngest son to the fitness center afterwards and then be home for the majority of the day. I have lots to do here as well. It's time to put my little plants into the garden--they seem to be pretty healthy and ready to go. I am so glad that things are green and blooming now. It's such a big difference from the cold, greyness of winter.
I leave you all with a wish for sunshine and joy in the weekend and coming days. Take care of yourselves, my friends!!
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