Thursday, August 25, 2011
Here is a quick picture of the rest of my week... It is especially marred by the fact that my regular pool is still closed and will probably stay that way through Labor Day weekend and beyond. The brief time that I can go to the available pool (from 5 to 6) is really causing me a lot of grief. the tradeoff is that I am still getting pool time in and it has been absolutely gorgeous outside day after day.
Work has been hectic, busy in a positive way, and challenging. I am trying a new spin on my program that is allowing me to serve a lot more children. I am traveling into a couple of classrooms and I am supporting the classroom teachers with materials, planning time, ideas while seeing two groups of children in the time frame that I can only see one group normally. I have done work with their entire classes and am open to flexible work with both of them. I am enjoying a lot of children and some fun whole group instruction that is relevant to all kids. I am also enjoying the fact that I am physically up to scurrying up and down hallways in a way that I haven't been able to do for years and years. Hooray for that. We are also changing a staff activity that we have been doing to a format that I think is far better and that I have experience in managing at one of my former schools. I will be managing it again which gives me an entire new task to add to my work day, but I am so glad that we are improving on what was done, that I know it will be fine.
My fall grad classes start tomorrow. I have one class (Assessment of Bilingual and ESL Students) that meets on Thursdays from 5:30-8:10. There goes my pool time until the fitness center is open. The other class (Foundations of Language Minority) meets 4 weekends starting this weekend on Fridays from 4-8 and Saturday from 9-3. That takes the pool away from me on Friday evening as well--on Saturday, the water slide park is open until 6PM, so I'm good then. I'm glad that I have a bike, bands, stability balls, and weights at home to take up the slack for me.
Anyway, my week has whirred by. I have a doctor appointment after school on Thursday. I also had a lab work appointment with a different doctor today. Things just keep me hopping in a really figurative sort of way.
I'll talk to you soon!!
Monday, August 22, 2011
I am really overcome with thought on a topic and I wanted to share it here as well as on my teams. (This is quite different than my usual blog, but as a teacher, and a reading teacher this really hits home. I have always thought that children's books are a great avenue for teaching our children about life issues including the death of a loved one or a pet, divorce in the family, disabilities, illnesses, and other important life events. I am totally baffled by this or the need for it.)
I just finished reading an AOL news article on the "Huffington Post" entitled: "Disturbing New Children's Book 'Maggie Goes On A Diet' Encourages Young Girls To Diet." It showed the cover with a chubby "Pippi Longstocking" looking child holding a pink dress up to a mirror, imagining herself as a thinner child. The article went on to be very biased against this book. It pointed out that the target audience is girls around the junior high age although the cover clearly was for younger children. It told the story of a girl who worked to lose weight and became a soccer star because of it--and I think I remember that the girl did go on her diet using "exercise and hard work."
This article brought out pages of comments and lots of opinions from people. I read about 20 comments and stopped. I think the male author of this book has certainly pushed a few buttons and I thought I'd see if it might have pushed yours.
PS I was able to download my daughter's solo here. It took a while to do, but the directions at SP made it relatively easy. I hope you enjoy it too!!
Sunday, August 21, 2011
This is a video I took of my daughter singing at church.
Sunday, August 21, 2011
I finally finished getting my weekly menus transferred to SP from my written journal last week--and when I looked everything over, I haven't changed what I am eating much (except that I can chew more these days. My mouth is healing slowly but surely.) However, I noticed that I actually added more protein and more whole grains to my daily meals. I will thank WW for making me look at those things better. I think I have looked at the daily feedback sheets from SP so long that I am not making changes any more to improve them. The payoff came at the scale when I lost 5.8 pounds. That is typical of me the previous 3 times I joined WW. Our meeting topic was "meatless meals" and I am going to try a meatless day this week, even if I have to fix some meat for everyone else. I would like to see if I really feel satisfied with that.
Work has been trying in many ways. I cannot discuss specific children here, but I can say that I bring a lot of experience and professional knowledge to the table when we talk about a child and it frustrates me to no end to not be listened to when an issue comes up--and then to be "right" after time passes. Wasting time is not a friend to children who need academic support. **Official end of rant** I went to school yesterday and with the help of 3 of my kids, we set up 48 book baskets for 1st and 2nd graders. It is an awesome lot of work and it took us 4 hours to do it. I'd still be there if the kids didn't help me.
I am hoping to add a video to this blog of Marissa singing at church. When you hear it (if you hear it,) remember that this is the voice of a child who just turned 16 2 weeks ago. I am a proud mother, no doubt, but she is amazing. I'll leave it to you to agree or disagree with that statement.
Take care everyone...I'm off to add the video now. Then I get some "down time." The girls are doing laundry and my husband and son are fixing dinner. The other guys are doing yard work. And I am doing this, hmm...It must be a holiday or new moon or something weird!
Tuesday, August 16, 2011
It is always a blessing to read your comments on my blogs. I sure appreciate your support. I went to work yesterday at 6;30 to get caught up on cleaning up my classroom because I left in a hurry Friday so I could go to the pool. Interestingly enough, I ended up doing the same thing yesterday. The schedule of available hours at the pool for these next two weeks really messes with my life. However, I will dow hat I have to so that I can work out. I won't get to go to the pool tonight because I have a doctor's appointment. They are open from 1-4 for open swim and from 5-6 for adult lap swim. I think it is really unfair that the after work hours are so brief, I had to lop off part of my workout and some of my laps yesterday in order to fit in the time frame. I made up for that with all of the physical work I did yesterday between walking all over our big school and the heavy lifting I was doing in reorganizing some book areas in my classroom. (They don't call them "Big Books" for nothing.)
I expected to spend yesterday teaching, but I spent more of my day testing a couple of children. This is something that I haven't been "allowed" to do in our district for the past 4 years. Even though I am a reading specialist and part of my training has included detailed work in assessment and diagnosis, our district policy changed back then and only classroom teachers were to do any reading assessment. It is no secret that I have fought this silliness and disagree greatly. I do understand that it is best if the person who does daily instruction has a great advantage in planning if they know how their students operate in detail and they teach to the child's strengths while building on their weaknesses. I also understand that the old days when I might spend weeks doing almost all of the assessments for a building limiting my time to actually teach. However, they "tossed out the baby with the bath water"by not allowing me to assess my own children or to do anything to help the staff or building using my expertise. We adopted an online assessment program last spring for all students in grades 3-12, so that means I can now assess as is needed again. It feels good to use a part of my own skills in working with children again.
I am back doing the Weight Watchers "Points Plus" program that I tried to start in January. I would have stuck with it then, but their meetings are way too crowded in January and paying to attend a meeting that I didn't get to attend because I spent the entire time in line waiting to pay for my meeting and be weighed didn't make any sense to me. The strength of any weight loss program is the combination of a healthy eating program and community--like SP and WW both do quite well. I thought having some accountability at the scale might help me to stay focused. The thing that I am getting from this is a renewed focus on reading labels and on weighing and measuring foods. I needed to tighten up my portion size--not only to manage amounts of all of my foods, but to make sure that what I was counting as a serving of fruits or veggies was actually an entire serving. I have been very good at measuring those target foods like desserts, but I needed to get back in the habit of measuring other foods as well.
I started out yesterday feeling a bit yucky again. I hadn't felt that feeling since we reduced my dose of Savella, I am wondering about nausea and a kind of off-center almost light-headedness when I haven't eaten yet in the morning or haven't eaten for a while. I do best as do many people with a small meal every few hours, but now that I am back to work, it isn't quite as easy to do that. I guess I am worried about dips in my blood sugar levels while I am more physically active than I was in the summer. I was busy beyond busy, but I could manage the "when" for eating and activity in a different way than I can when I am "on the job." Maybe I am more in-tune to my physical reactions to food and activity as well. In any case, I ended up doing an emergency run for fast food at 6:30 and given my available time and opportunities, that put me at McDonald's for an Egg McMuffin. I am not an egg person, but I analyzed their menu carefully with one of my WW books. It was the best choice for me at the time to provide something that was both not sweet and that had protein in it, even if it wasn't one of my favorite foods. I hope to do better today and avoid even a well-planned choice from such a place. I might just use my time away from the pool tonight to stock my refrigerator. Around here, that is a big job!!
Grocery shopping is a regular pain when I am feeding this many people. I have to really balance budget with who I am feeding. Besides a costly food budget, I have to make sure they know which foods are available to them and which ones they must leave alone. That is also hard because they aren't always here at the same time and I seem to forget who I told what to. Oh my, I can get back into the swing of being at work. I also have to balance when I can do my sparking and the filter at school now complains about almost every spark screen I open. I do not understand why that is--the CIPA (Children's Internet Protection Act) filter has to prevent the use of internet shopping and blogs, but there is a lot of SP that is neither. I cannot understand why my spark points page triggers the filter now. I am guessing there is some new upgrade and in a few days, I will petition our tech people to let it go. It may or may not work depending on the rules and reasons.
Anyway, I think that being flexible is my new mantra in many ways. I will figure out my details and as always, I will count on you for both suggestions and support. Have a great day!!
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