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Self Doubt, Self Talk

Sunday, August 21, 2011

At the end of June I was within 10 pounds of my goal. Since then I have gained three pounds. I have been going to the gym, doing my water aerobics and strength training. I am back at work, which added some stress but I thought I worked through that.
I am eating well.....until night. Then some body else takes over my body and mouth and I am eating everything not nailed down. This isn't me at all! I don't understand why I am doing this to myself.
I know that every time I got to a weight I wanted, I gained some back - never all of it and over the last 16 years I have lost at least 50 pounds. This time I don't have that luxury. I need to reach goal and stay there. I am so mad at myself right now.
I know I am the problem. I know what to do to solve the problem so why can't I do that simple step?
I feel like I am letting down everyone here, especially on Skinny Vibes. I feel I am being a hypocrite offering advice and encouragement when I am not able to help myself right now.
I am missing something and I don't know what it is. I need to turn this around and stop the night time eating. I thought keeping my hands busy would help, but it hasn't. This has to come from inside.
I need to lose the last ten pounds and maintain. That is my goal. I will lose a pound a week by not eating at night. I also need to figure out why I am throwing myself under the bus.
Also walked out of my strength training class today because I couldn't do her workout. It wasn't my usual instructor who always says "You know your body, make the workout yours."
Today's instructor was " Do it my way. No excuses, I need a knee replacement so if I can do this so can you." My response was to leave because she doesn't know my limitations with arthritis and no cartilage in some places in my foot. This I have no doubt that I did the right thing. But I didn't stay and use the machines instead.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

HDHAWK 8/28/2011 8:58PM

    I've been struggling with the same thing for months on end. It's so frustrating because I can't figure out why I'm doing it and I can't seem to build any momentum. I need to get back to when it seemed so easy and exercise was routine. Just keep trying. We can do this!

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CHUPAL01 8/24/2011 9:48PM

    You. Are. Human. :-) We love you and support you no matter what happens. The start of school always brings out the worst in us teachers at home. Try journaling how your feeling when you go to eat. ON PAPER! :-) Sometimes in this day and age, people forget the benefit of using real paper and real writing utensils. If your not a writer, do some cleaning, or some reading or watch a good movie. Do something else that you enjoy. Hopefully that helps!

Love ya!
Ann

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NUTTYSNOOPYFAN 8/22/2011 10:34PM

    I'm so sorry you're struggling with this right now. It is hard to know what you need to do but struggle with yourself to do it. That's the story of my life! Seriously though, it seems like part of the issue is structure. During the day you have structure with school, then dinner and exercise time. In some ways it's easier to stick to a routine with structure once you automate your eating (either eating the same types of things at meals or automating the process of eating by prepping the meals and packing them for the daytime). At night we don't have that structure, and that causes problems (I know it does for me). Can you think of what you would say to one of your Skinny Vibes team mates if she were going through the same thing? I'm sure whatever advice you would give would be said out of a place of love and support. Try to turn that around on yourself...I know, easier said than done. We all know the food doesn't fill the hole, so when you feel like grabbing everything not nailed down, see if you can keep yourself present in the moment and ask yourself, "What do I REALLY need right now? What am I lacking that I desire? What will make me feel good long-term? What special thing can I do for myself right now?" Sometimes (not always) when I'm feeling like eating everything in sight at night, I make myself go into our bedroom, spray some relaxing pillow spray, put on some soothing music, read some of my self-help books or journal, and it can get me through that need to numb myself with the food fix. Much of the time I go for the easy out of eating to numb myself, then feel bad about it. I wish you all the best during this busy and stressful time at school. emoticon emoticon

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LAURALOVESSPARK 8/22/2011 1:06PM

    emoticon for leaving that class!!!
I agree with everyone else that you should report the instructor. Who knows how many other people don't have the nerve to walk out of class and can get hurt by her!

Sounds like stress to me that's giving you the night time problem.
You were just very upset last wk. over making a mistake.
Maybe at night if you did some yoga, or pilates, or just deep breathing to calm down from the day that might help.

I think your doing great and you should be proud of all your wt. loss already. I do understand that you need to reach goal and stay there, but like the rest of us life gets in the way sometimes and we have to find a way to get through it. Keep looking for solutions!
Hugs.

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MSLZZY 8/22/2011 7:54AM

    Ahh, another human! I have done this myself so I know what you mean! Take charge
and get back in control. emoticon

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SHECHAM 8/22/2011 3:35AM

    We love your motivation on Skinny Vibes and no one wants you to be perfect... that is what makes you real to us. This is a set back. The start of the school year is stressful. I find that I not only have to pack my own lunch, but a healthy snack to eat just before going home or on the way home. Yogurt or something healthy and filling... otherwise, I eat and eat while waiting for and preparing dinner. A crock pot and well planned in advance dinners can help too. If you are eating more after dinner... then I think it would help to find the food that sustains you and eat that. When I am really hungry I go for popcorn (94% fat free). Though if I already ate too many carbs and need protein I go for something like cheese on sliced apple. I am sure you will figure it out for you.... Remember Spark is based on helping people not only move forward but deal with setbacks... The start to the school year can be a set back for many.... I find, I do better in the long run though... I hope you will find that too, my friend. And do report the instructor at the gym. She should not be allowed to hurt or intimidate clients. Sending you hugs... and skinny vibes. Keep traveling this rocky road of ours and be patient with yourself... you have come so far!

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ERTSMOM 8/21/2011 10:54PM

    You ARE an inspiration and motivator with your lifestyle journey - you have lost an amazing FIFTY pounds so far. Everyone has set-backs and rough patches. You are doing an amazing job...and will continue to do so!
emoticon emoticon emoticon

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BLACKROSE_222 8/21/2011 9:43PM

    I'm so sorry to hear this. That really sucks. Hang in there, and take your night eating in baby steps - see if you can cut back a little bit at a time.

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LAURELSPARK 8/21/2011 7:27PM

    I would have walked out of class too. Maybe it was her attempt to be motivating but it sure didn't work, did it.

Sorry to hear that you are struggling with your after hours eating. I've been struggling too. My DH has been eating all of the wrong foods in the evening and I have not been able to resist (my fault, not his). I need to get back on board....luckily I have not done any poundag damage yet....but I haven't lost the whole 5 that I wanted to.

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JOYINKY 8/21/2011 6:39PM

    As far as class; WTG! I would have walked out too! I also agree that she should be reported to management; they are the ones liable if she pushes someone to the point of injury.

Night time eating:

Hungry
Angry
L
onely
Tired

Take your pick; when I was still teaching at this time of year any and all would have fit! But, I too eat at night; I enjoy relaxing and eating at night. I've tried stopping and am not happy! So, I make it part of my day, plan for it, track it and count it. Eating isn't a problem; mindless eating is! That said, there are still foods I just can't keep in the house, nailed down or not. I enjoy those when I'm other places but don't keep them at home. Once opened they are gone. I test this every once in awhile; it's still an issue. I know what I have to do.
Find a safe place to vent frustrations, call a friend, try getting to bed earlier, work out enough to insure a good nights sleep and plan for snacks you'll enjoy that fit in with your plan. We've all been there or we wouldn't be here! Don't sell yourself short!
Be well, Joy

Comment edited on: 8/21/2011 6:45:21 PM

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LVMAMAW 8/21/2011 6:29PM

    Good for you! I would have walked out as well!! And try not to beat yourself up so much. We ALL slip and slide and then get back in the groove. I have been trying to lose my last 3 lbs for a month now!! ARGHHHHH I absolutely understand.

You can do this!! We can do this together! emoticon

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KDYLOSE 8/21/2011 6:02PM

    I agree, you should say something about it at the gym. No instructor is supposed to do that.

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RAYLINSTEPHENS 8/21/2011 4:04PM

    Slap her down by reporting her reprehensible behavior the next time you go to the gym.

If you had a heart attack it would have been her fault - she needs to know not to push people.

Yes, you could have used the other machines - but I would have been embarrassed by her harassment.

Not anymore - today I would tell her, "well bully for you! Maybe that is why you need a knee replacement!!"

I can't run or jog - no matter who tells me they can - you must know your own body. Even in the pouring-down-rain I have to just walk as fast as I can to return home. I tell my walking partner to go ahead and run if she can - wouldn't you love it, she can't run either. So we walk and get wetter. We dry out again, lol.

P.S. I find when I am having the most trouble staying on track - helping others gives me the needed boost to try again. So you really are very inspiring!!

Comment edited on: 8/21/2011 4:05:27 PM

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MRDPOLING 8/21/2011 3:18PM

    Sounds like you need to invest in a hammer and a box of nails!

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NANCYLRAGS 8/21/2011 2:45PM

    First of all, I would have walked out of the class too. She can't get away with thinking everyone can do what she can. I think it is just one day at a time. Finding that thing that works for you. We all have binges - some more than others. Get rid of the guilt when you can. Just work at getting back in sync... Good luck! emoticon

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GOOZLEBEAR 8/21/2011 2:29PM

    I can sure identify with you on this blog. You were right to walk out of the class. As far as the not being in control, that is where I am now. I know we can do this but we just have to make up our mind to do it. When we are at our cabin, there isn't much structure to my day and it is really affecting my weight gain/loss.

I'm sure your teammates on the Skinny Vibes team all have their own problems with certain things. It just shows we are all human.

Hang in there, this too will pass! emoticon

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KERRY4614 8/21/2011 2:04PM

    What I really like about my exercise instructor is that she explain if we are using the joints what it would feel like it and how to use our muscles instead. She goes slowly, she is certified by the Arthritis foundation and continually supports me even letting me use a chair for part of the Tai Chi exercises. If you enjoy it keep it up and do not work about an alternate instructor's expectations.
Give yourself some slack I mean don't beat yourself up you already have stress at work because of data. Do you have a monitoring checklist for IEP's? I could send you a copy of the one we had in MPS. Most people did not use it but I did because I knew my IEP's had to be perfect and they were but the principal stated my meetings were too long and I needed to shorten them and stop the parents from going on tangents her words not mine.
I feel like I am letting down everyone here, especially on Skinny Vibes. You are not being a hypocrite you are model you have struggles and you are not afraid to share them. I certainly did not share my depression , financial woes and health concerns but your blogs and group participation encouraged me to participate more everyday.
I feel I am being a hypocrite offering advice and encouragement when I am not able to help myself right now.

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I Trusted Someone to Do Their Job and They Didn't - I take the heat!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

I do a lot of paperwork in my job. I am a special education teacher. Every one of my students have an individual educational plan (IEP). It outlines how and where we are going to teach the child as well as the educational, social, functional goals for that child. We also decide if the student will take the standardized state tests or the alternative test.
The person who was supposed to double check me and make sure everything was done correctly and legally, told me she did and she didn't. So far this year we have found 4 mistakes that should never have happened. 2 aren't bad, they can be fixed because they were just typos. The others were not so good....we had to have a meeting to fix one mistake about how much time the student would be out of my self contained room. I then got called into the principal's office right from that meeting to be told of another mistake we made about testing that takes place next week! I have to get the parent to agree for the testing to happen.
Okay,, lesson learned. I don't care who is checking what, I am going to double check everything! I don't know if I am madder at the person I trusted or myself. I am going to make a check list of every item that needs to be addressed and remember that these IEP may cover more than one grade level for that student because they cover one calendar year...so an IEP written this December for a 1st grader will go through next December when they are 2nd grade!
Thanks for letting me vent. I think I will be spending some time checking all IEPs on my case load.
My principal thinks I am irresponsible and right now I think she is right. I have been doing this for 24 years and tonight I would like to quit just because of the paperwork involved. I love the kids and the job but the paperwork is a nightmare.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JDB501 9/1/2011 10:25PM

    The paperwork involved in spec ed is ridiculous sometimes. When can we actually teach our kids if we are so busy filling out paperwork, then double and triple checking it for an....error (God forbid we make a mistake;it's not like we are human!)? How do we teach our kids the things that will most benefit them? Between pointless state/federal testing and meetings, it's a wonder mail isn't sent to you at school! Hang in there emoticon emoticon emoticon

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KAKIPOPUP 8/20/2011 7:19AM

    IEPs by Dr. Seuss

Do you like these IEPs?

I do not like these IEPs
I do not like them, Jeeze Louise
We test, we check
We plan, we meet
But nothing ever seems complete.

Would you, could you
Like the form?

I do not like the form I see
Not page 1, not 2, or 3
Another change
A brand new box
I think we all
Have lost our rocks.

Could you all meet here or there?

We could not all meet here or there.
We cannot all fit anywhere.
Not in a room
Not in the hall
There seems to be no space at all.

Would you, could you meet again?

I cannot meet again next week
No lunch, no prep
Please hear me speak.
No, not at dusk. No, not at dawn
at 5 pm I should be gone.

Could you hear while all speak out?
Would you write the words they spout?

I could not hear, I would not write
This does not need to be a fight.
Sign here, date there,
Mark this, check that
Beware the students ad-vo-cat(e).

You do not like them
So you say
Try again! Try again!
And you may.

If you will let me be,
I will try again
You will see.

Say!

I almost like these IEPs
I think I'll write 6003.
And I will practice day and night
Until they say
"You've got it right!"



found at http://medsped.soe.umd.umich.edu/be
linda/iepsbydr.htm

Not that this helps, but I hope it is a day-brightener -

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HIKETOHEIGHTS 8/19/2011 10:45PM

    I worked with this population at regional center a long time ago. what I remember, from back then, the case workers were very over worked & it is a very difficult population. I don't imagine utnhas gotten any easier. Don't be so hard on yourself because your job is no walk in the park. Hugs, Victoria

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PATTIE441 8/19/2011 7:00AM

    I'm very sorry for all that you have to go through. I know you are a wonderful teacher and the kids really need that. Praying for you that it gets better. Be kind to yourself. I think you are amazing. emoticon emoticon

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GNUATTITUDE 8/18/2011 7:23PM

    Hang in there, it will all get sorted out and you are wiser for having gone through this. As so many have already said, the fact that you were so troubled by this incident shows that you are a diligent teacher and one who truly cares. It's so unfortunate that our job gets more and more demanding every year and most people don't have any idea of how much work is involved. Golly, I have a hard enough time remembering all the different accommodations for the kids in my classes, and I just have to follow the IEP, not write it! My hat's off to all the special education teachers like you. (Remember we're often much harder on ourselves than others are. Your principal just has to cover herself to the people she answers to.)

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LAURALOVESSPARK 8/18/2011 9:28AM

    I'm so sorry that happened to you.
Don't be so hard on yourself, after all you are only 1 person and very human. emoticon
It's a hard job to say the least, and I don't believe Teachers get paid enough.
Think of it as a lesson learned! emoticon emoticon

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JACRBUNCH 8/18/2011 8:12AM

    I'm sorry this happened. The paperwork is soooooo overwhelming at times. Try to keep inning that this either has or probably will happening to every spec teacher at some point. It us impossible to stay on top of everything all the time. I can tell by how upset you are that you are a fabulous teacher who takes her job seriously. Keep it up!

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MSLZZY 8/18/2011 7:47AM

    My daughter works for the School for the Deaf and IEP meetings are so stressful. Her supervisor tried to stay on top of everything but someone else tried to do the scheduling-without telling her. Suddenly she had meetings and no time to prepare. She finally resorted to doing it all herself. Way less mistakes and adequate time to prepare. The sheer volume of paperwork you both deal with is crazy. Hang in there! Those kids need you. HUGS!

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LITTLEFARMMOMMA 8/18/2011 12:31AM

    I disagree with your being irresponsible, and I really don't think your principal thinks that, either! Have you made mistakes like this consistently for all these years? Of course not! Mistakes happen, and this will pass. Big hugs to you, my friend. Be kind to yourself. emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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LAURELSPARK 8/17/2011 11:52PM

    Your blog is thought provoking. You're right; paperwork has become overwhelming. I don't know when teachers have time to actually work with kids. I don't think that you can understand what is involved in education today unless you are actually working with kids. It's very easy to judge others when you don't know what they are "up against".







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MOMKAT4310 8/17/2011 10:58PM

    I know where you are. I feel your pain. I have 3 IEP to do in the next 5 days and that includes the weekend. I had an error and it is my fault and I have told all involved that it is my error. No one needs to find it and read me the riot act, I know what the problem is. One is not an error, just was done the first week of last year and is now due. 3rd is a brand new student from out of state and needs an immediate eligibility mtg. Last spring, our county SPED coord gave us all a 3 page sheet to use to check all IEPs before we send them over to office. Like a rubric and It really helps. So easy to make an unintentional error.
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Comment edited on: 8/17/2011 10:58:45 PM

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ERTSMOM 8/17/2011 9:42PM

    I'm so sorry to hear of your struggles right now. You are an amazing woman, an amazing SPED teacher, and amazing wife/mother/grandmother. Do NOT let someone else's mistakes bring you down.
emoticon

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CHUPAL01 8/17/2011 9:31PM

    Dobn't forget you are HUMAN. You make mistakes. It happens. Just make sure you check and mistakes happen. I felt the same way you do last spring, but it all worked out. I went through paperwork to double check myself today, and found a couple mistakes. But they will get worked out. As long as we talk to the parents and make sure they know that we are doing what is best for the student, that will win out in the end!

Love ya!

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CARILOUIE 8/17/2011 9:25PM

    Oh, those IEPs.
I am always double checking my work, even after someone else does. I'm just a little crazy like that, and I've had too many mistakes slip through after I neglected to double and triple check my work.

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GOOZLEBEAR 8/17/2011 8:55PM

    I am sorry that whoever is suppose to double check didn't do their job and it reflects on you. You sound like a wonderful teacher. As the grandmother of two grandsons that have delays, I would LOVE for you to be their teacher. I do hope everything works out for you. I do hope everything works out with your Principal and the other parties involved.

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RONOSOF 8/17/2011 8:37PM

    Everyone makes mistakes. The kids are the most important part and you write passionately about your work. Be kind to yourself.
Peace, Mary

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JOYINKY 8/17/2011 6:48PM

    I'm sorry, tough way to start the new school year. However, good to find out early who you can't rely on. Paperwork drove me out; no time left to prepare for my classes! I know how much you have too, my daughter teaches special ed. and I worked closely with the special ed. teachers when I was teaching. They loved me; I was one of the few classroom teachers that would read the folders, accomodations etc. and follow through.
Hang in there, you are needed! Not always appreciated but definitely needed!! Hugs.

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HDHAWK 8/17/2011 6:40PM

    Amen on the paperwork! I swear I triple check myself and still make mistakes at times. There is just so much you're bound to miss something here and there. We used to get ours checked, but not anymore. Now, if there is a mistake, too bad. We're either stuck with them or we call a meeting. I agree that it isn't the kids, it's the paperwork and other assorted things that make this job tough! Tomorrow is a new day! emoticon

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THECRAZYMANGO 8/17/2011 6:37PM

    Don't be so hard on yourself. It will be okay! How long have you been with this principal? Couldn't they see that you are competent at your job from past experience? You trusted someone that you thought had good work ethnic. You learned, unfortunately, she does not. We all make mistakes. You will make it right and now you know you cannot trust to believe she did do something she did do! Hang in there! emoticon

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From a teacher in Florida - a blog on Facebook that is going viral.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

I am a teacher in Florida.

I rise before dawn each day and find myself nestled in my classroom hours before the morning commute is in full swing in downtown Orlando. I scour the web along with countless other resources to create meaningful learning experiences for my 24 students each day. I reflect on the successes of lessons taught and re-work ideas until I feel confident that they will meet the needs of my diverse learners. I have finished my third cup of coffee in my classroom before the business world has stirred. My contracted hours begin at 7:30 and end at 3:00. As the sun sets around me and people are beginning to enjoy their dinner, I lock my classroom door, having worked 4 hours unpaid.

I am a teacher in Florida.

I greet the smiling faces of my students and am reminded anew of their challenges, struggles, successes, failures, quirks, and needs. I review their 504s, their IEPs, their PMPs, their histories trying to reach them from every angle possible. They come in hungry—I feed them. They come in angry—I counsel them. They come in defeated—I encourage them. And this is all before the bell rings.

I am a teacher in Florida.

I am told that every student in my realm must score on or above grade level on the FCAT each year. Never mind their learning discrepancies, their unstable home lives, their prior learning experiences. In the spring, they are all assessed with one measure and if they don’t fit, I have failed. Students walk through my doors reading at a second grade level and by year’s end can independently read and comprehend early 4th grade texts, but this is no matter. One of my students has already missed 30 school days this year, but that is overlooked. If they don’t perform well on this ONE test in early March, their learning gains are irrelevant. They didn’t learn enough. They didn’t grow enough. I failed them. In the three months that remain in the school year after this test, I am expected to begin teaching 5th grade curriculum to my 4th grade students so that they are prepared for next year’s test.

I am a teacher in Florida.

I am expected to create a culture of students who will go on to become the leaders of our world. When they exit my classroom, they should be fully equipped to compete academically on a global scale. They must be exposed to different worldviews and diverse perspectives, and yet, most of my students have never left Sanford, Florida. Field trips are now frivolous. I must provide new learning opportunities for them without leaving the four walls of our classroom. So I plan. I generate new ways to expose them to life beyond their neighborhoods through online exploration and digital field trips. I stay up past The Tonight Show to put together a unit that will allow them to experience St. Augustine without getting on a bus. I spend weekends taking pictures and creating a virtual world for them to experience, since the State has determined it is no longer worthwhile for them to explore reality. Yes. My students must be prepared to work within diverse communities, and yet they are not afforded the right to ever experience life beyond their own town.

I am a teacher in Florida.

I accepted a lower salary with the promise of a small increase for every year taught. I watched my friends with less education than me sign on for six figure jobs while I embraced my $28k starting salary. I was assured as I signed my contract that although it was meager to start, my salary would consistently grow each year. That promise has been broken. I’m still working with a meager salary, and the steps that were contracted to me when I accepted a lower salary are now deemed “unnecessary.”

I am a teacher in Florida.

I spent $2500 in my first year alone to outfit an empty room so that it would promote creative thinking and a desire to learn and explore. I now average between $1000-2000 that I pay personally to supplement the learning experiences that take place in my classroom. I print at home on my personal printer and have burned through 12 ink cartridges this school year alone. I purchase the school supplies my students do not have. I buy authentic literature so my students can be exposed to authors and worlds beyond their textbooks. I am required to teach Social Studies and Writing without any curriculum/materials provided, so I purchase them myself. I am required to conduct Science lab without Science materials, so I buy those, too. The budgeting process has determined that copies of classroom materials are too costly, so I resort to paying for my copies at Staples, refusing to compromise my students’ education because high-ranking officials are making inappropriate cuts. It is February, and my entire class is out of glue sticks. Since I have already spent the $74 allotted to me for warehouse supplies, if I don’t buy more, we will not have glue for the remainder of the year. The projects I dream up are limited by the incomprehensible lack of financial support. I am expected to inspire my students to become lifelong learners, and yet we don’t have the resources needed to nurture their natural sense of wonder if I don’t purchase them myself. My meager earning is now pathetic after the expenses that come with teaching effectively.

I am a teacher in Florida.

The government has scolded me for failing to prepare my students to compete in this
technologically driven world. Students in Japan are much more equipped to think progressively with regards to technology. Each day, I turn on the two computers afforded me and pray for a miracle. I apply for grants to gain new access to technology and compete with thousands of other teachers who are hoping for the same opportunity. I battle for the right to use the computer lab and feel fortunate if my students get to see it once a week. Why don’t they know how to use technology? The system’s budget refuses to include adequate technology in classrooms; instead, we are continually told that dry erase boards and overhead projectors are more than enough.

I am a teacher in Florida.

I am expected to differentiate my instruction to meet the needs of my 24 learners. Their IQs span 65 points, and I must account for every shade of gray. I must challenge those above grade level, and I must remediate those below. I am but one person within the classroom, but I must meet the needs of every learner. I generate alternate assessments to accommodate for these differences. My higher math students receive challenge work, and my lower math students receive one-on-one instruction. I create most of these resources myself, after-hours and on weekends. I print these resources so that every child in my room has access to the same knowledge, delivered at their specific level. Yesterday, the school printer that I share with another teacher ran out of ink. Now I must either purchase a new ink cartridge for $120, or I cannot print anything from my computer for the remainder of the year. What choice am I left with?

I am a teacher in Florida.

I went to school at one of the best universities in the country and completed undergraduate and graduate programs in Education. I am a master of my craft. I know what effective teaching entails, and I know how to manage the curriculum and needs of the diverse learners in my full inclusion classroom. I graduated at the top of my class and entered my first year of teaching confident and equipped to teach effectively. Sadly, I am now being micro-managed, with my instruction dictated to me. I am expected to mold “out-of-the-box” thinkers while I am forced to stay within the lines of the instructional plans mandated by policy-makers. I am told what I am to teach and when, regardless of the makeup of my students, by decision-makers far away from my classroom or even my school. The message comes in loud and clear that a group of people in business suits can more effectively determine how to provide exemplary instruction than I can. My expertise is waved away, disregarded, and overlooked. I am treated like a day-laborer, required to follow the steps mapped out for me, rather than blaze a trail that I deem more appropriate and effective for my students—students these decision-makers have never met.

I am a teacher in Florida.

I am overworked, underpaid, and unappreciated by most. I spend my weekends, my vacations, and my summers preparing for school, and I constantly work to improve my teaching to meet the needs of my students. I am being required to do more and more, and I’m being compensated less and less.

I am a teacher in Florida, not for the pay or the hardships, the disregard or the disrespect; I am a teacher in Florida because I am given the chance to change lives for the good, to educate and elevate the minds and hearts of my students, and to show them that success comes in all shapes and sizes, both in the classroom and in the community.

I am a teacher in Florida today, but as I watch many of my incredible, devoted coworkers being forced out of the profession as a matter of survival, I wonder: How long will I be able to remain a teacher in Florida?

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LAURELSPARK 8/17/2011 6:30PM

    How depressing.......

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JENBELLE 8/16/2011 8:59PM

    This is a powerful statement. I'm a 7th grade public school teacher myself and can relate to every point in this well-written statement. In my opinion it's the best profession in the world because of the KIDS but the higher-up mandates are causing all of us to wither, stress, and struggle. Thank you for posting this.

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THINLADY2011 8/16/2011 7:16PM

    Painfully familiar... except I never even got to teach, officially. A semester of subbing and one year of being a TA, and I'm running back to school for a master's, in hopes of helping our students with disabilities in a non-classroom-teacher capacity. It's so much to handle.

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HDHAWK 8/16/2011 6:42PM

    Thanks so much for sharing this. I hope many non-teachers read it!

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KERRY4614 8/16/2011 6:12PM

    PURPLESPEDCOW I resigned then changed that to early retirement in January. If I would not have resigned my principal could have requested that I be fired.I worked 2 hours every morning and stayed till at least 6 every night. My principal did not like the way I was teaching but in the back of my mind I will always feel because of budget cuts she did not want my salary on her budget when she could get someone with a provisional license. Two masters that we are still paying the student loans equals salary bumps which will be eliminated now that our governor does not allow collective bargaining for state unions . emoticon

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MILLISMA 8/16/2011 6:03PM

    It makes you want to cry. Thanks for posting this. Hopefully the people that need to read it will!

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PAWSINAZ 8/16/2011 5:41PM

    Sounds like Arizona.

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JMCADE 8/16/2011 5:28PM

    My daughter teaches in Texas 5th grade reading and writing and I know how much money she has put into her room and her library as I help her set it up each year and level her books. I know it can be so frustrating for teachers.

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JOYINKY 8/16/2011 5:21PM

    I think it's like this all over the country. Got so I didn't like the teacher I was becoming. No room for creativity, micro managed and working 60+ hours a week as well as being held accountable for the failures of families and society. Sad. I opted for early retirement while I still had my health and have never regreted the decision. God Bless You!

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MAGGIEROSEBOWL 8/16/2011 4:56PM

    I know how frustrating it is to work so hard and not be rewarded in kind. However, I'd have given everything I had to get one of those low-paying, unappreciated teaching jobs back in 1974 when I graduated with a teaching degree. There were no teaching jobs to be had back then, so I have spent the last 34 years in an underpaid (even MORE underpaid than a teacher), unappreciated job (not a career) as a secretary.
I guess there's two sides to every story!

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ETHANCULLENSMOM 8/16/2011 4:49PM

    I WAS a teaching in SC and battled the same problems. Unfortunately, we moved and I had to leave, but I would still be keeping on as well.

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Funny Teacher Story

Friday, August 12, 2011

I found this on the internet and thought I would share a laugh on a Friday.

About a quarter of my first period students were late coming to class and one young lady (who had more body piercing than I have fingers) was particularly disruptive as she entered. When I asked her to please take her seat and work quietly, she gave me the look — you know the look: “I don’t have to do what you say because you’re just a sub.” About 20 minutes before the end of class, she asked for a restroom pass, which I refused her because it was near the end of the period and because the school’s policy (written policy anyway) is for subs to *not* give hall passes. She proceeded to argue (loudly) with me about the restroom pass in front of the class for several minutes before returning to her desk. After a few minutes, I noticed she wasn’t doing her class work, so I asked her if she had finished. When she said she had, I asked if I could see it. “I don’t have to show you ****!” (obscenity omitted) she screamed. I had taken enough of her disrespect and defiance, so I wrote her up a referral and sent her out to the support room (on- campus suspension). She ripped the referral from my hand, threw her backpack against the wall on her way out of the room, and slammed the door behind her. A little while later during nutrition break (a 15-minute break between 2nd and 3rd periods at this high school), I had the good fortune to run across this student again. On seeing me, she began screaming obscenities at me in the halls. I related this behavior to the assistant principal, whose only response (despite the school’s “no hall passes from subs” policy) was “Next time, give the student a restroom pass to avoid this sort of situation.” *sigh* I got an encore performance in 3rd period — Not just one student, but two, got referrals and got sent out. One was for repeatedly shouting obscenities in class and the other was for *gulp* threatening the substitute teacher with violence. As the latter was on the way out of the room, he called me all sorts of pleasant names and swore he would get me back. I sure love high school students. So the day continued until 6th period — the period when I was to fill- in for the English teacher. I went to this teacher’s classroom and found his lesson plans, with the following notation: “During 6th period, I am in charge of the support room around the corner in room E16.” I nearly fainted — the support room is where discipline cases are sent as an alternative to off-campus suspension. As it turns out, though, the support room wasn’t too bad — most of the students there were sufficiently cowed by being sent out of their regular classes. As I was trying to quiet down one rowdy student near the end of the day, though, another student made a comment that pretty much summed up my day: “Man, if I were a substitute teacher, I’d be an alcoholic!”

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MOMKAT4310 8/16/2011 7:57PM

    I've subbed in every grade level from Birth to 3 through high school, and worked at a college graduate program. Most of my sub days, I really loved. Some were the pits, like the sub in the story. I've worked with incarcerated youth, in domestic violence shelter and in a homeless program with primarily federal felons. Without a doubt, the worst days were in junior high/middle school programs. That;s why I work with Severe and Profound students. I used to believe that we teachers cut our teeth on subbing, learning from good professionals. I don't believe that any more. We get great subs occasionally, but more often we get retired teachers who sub to supplement retirement income, don't really want to be there, and let everyone know they don't want to be there, and they have no technology skills. So the day those subs are there, our kids who are scheduled for computer lab don't get their turn, because the sub refused to take them - rather than let their ignorance show. Those teachers can;t use the Intelli-boards, Smart boards, or text to screen projectors, don't give the students with special accommodations the appropriate help ( love the ones who say, "in my day........blah) because they deny the value of multiple entry points in learning. You really have to learn how to be an effective sub, but that will go a long way to helping you impress enough people to become a full time teacher. Except along the way, you may decide you really don't want to be a full time teacher, and you change career paths.


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KITTYKITTEMMING 8/16/2011 8:31AM

    As a special education teacher, I can definitely relate. There are days I come home saying that if I were a drinking woman... Those are usually the days of drama and acting out incidents by a majority of my students instead of the normal one or two.

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ERTSMOM 8/13/2011 7:44AM

    ...exactly the reason i'm in education but NOT a teacher.

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MRDPOLING 8/13/2011 7:10AM

    And thus the reason what I chose not to go into teaching!

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LITTLEFARMMOMMA 8/12/2011 10:26PM

    Wow. This is more of a sad story than funny, I think. My sweet daughter, Heather graduated at the top of her class with honors, and was a science teacher. Since there was an overage of teachers when she graduated, she took a job at an alternative high school. She was threatened, verbally abused, and disrespected. Then, they moved near Chicago and she taught in the rough schools of Joliet. Needless to say, this brilliant, wonderful science teacher is now a vet tech.

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DJ4HEALTH 8/12/2011 9:28PM

    I am glad that I am not a teacher and I do know that this stuff goes on in school and the parents always try to make their child into angles. What a joke.

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SISTERDEAR 8/12/2011 9:00PM

    emoticon

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VICKY31MOM 8/12/2011 8:30PM

    And this... is why Im glad I chose early childhood education!!!! LOL!!!!

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JMCADE 8/12/2011 8:13PM

    Wow, I am going to forward this to my daughter the school teacher. She'll get a kick out of it.

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JUDY1676 8/12/2011 8:08PM

    That's exacty whyi didn't sub after I retired! emoticon

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GOOZLEBEAR 8/12/2011 6:50PM

    I can appreciate this story as I use to do substitute teaching in the high school. NEVER again!!!!!

Thanks for sharing!

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SHERYL_B 8/12/2011 6:27PM

    emoticon - um yeah, that's me drinking water - uh - sure!!!

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MSLZZY 8/12/2011 5:32PM

    I would think twice about being an alcoholic but after that kind of day, a drink might taste pretty good. LOL! I guess I am glad we live in a small town where
most of the students are have better behavior.

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LAWMOMSPLACE 8/12/2011 5:15PM

  As a retired counselor who often subs in the local school district, the story is a reminder of how subbing has been, is, and can be!

Thanks for sharing,



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Daughter's Family Has Moved to MA!

Saturday, August 06, 2011

Just a quick blog to let my friends here know that my DD2 and her family had a good move to MA.
Of course they had a good driver for the truck:


They say they are half way un packed already so went to see some sights:


Seems some things that were in Baltimore are also found in their new home! Which is a good thing.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LAURALOVESSPARK 8/15/2011 12:53PM

    Very cute blog, and very cute DGD! emoticon

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ITSTHENEWLAUREN 8/9/2011 10:42AM

  emoticon I'm glad to hear the move went smoothly!

You grand daughter is such a CUTIE! emoticon

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SHAKENMA 8/9/2011 7:52AM

    So cute! emoticon

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NUTTYSNOOPYFAN 8/8/2011 8:43PM

    Glad they got to their new home and are already well on the road to being settled in...I'm jealous! As always, adorable pics of the little one!

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JOYINKY 8/7/2011 8:56AM

    Wonderful pictures of your cute granddaughter! My daughter is in MD, visiting here right now in KY; the internet keeps us in touch daily and we send lots of pictures back and forth. Distance today isn't what it used to be I even video chat with my MD grandchildren. So glad their move went well, sounds like they are enjoying their new home already.

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ERTSMOM 8/7/2011 8:37AM

    I'm glad to hear the move went well...and to see your granddaughter having so much fun :)

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MSLZZY 8/7/2011 7:49AM

    What a cutie! So glad all went well! HUGS!

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KAKIPOPUP 8/7/2011 6:53AM

    Amherst is a great college town - maybe we can get together when you come up for a visit (it's about 35 miles away from where I am)...



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PURPLESPEDCOW 8/7/2011 12:37AM

    They moved from Baltimore to Amherst so while we could drive to Baltimore in 12 hours, we will have to fly now because it is about 8 hours further by driving. But that will not stop me from visiting them whenever I can.

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LITTLEFARMMOMMA 8/6/2011 11:53PM

    I sure hope that it's not farther for you to visit them, and visa versa! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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GOOZLEBEAR 8/6/2011 11:16PM

    Adorable pictures of your sweet DGD! Glad your DD2 had a safe trip moving and found things that they like in their new town! You will have fun visiting them there too!!!

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MOMKAT4310 8/6/2011 11:10PM

    Well, that gives you a new place to go visit. Have also been thinking of your son's new job. Exciting stuff happening.

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