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Posts Tagged ‘spring’

campfireA typical day at work includes putting out several fires. I work with fifth graders. If you have worked with, or been the parent of a fifth grader, you know exactly what I am talking about. Hormones are raging, tempers are flaring, emotions are soaring. We tend to relate these things to the girls, but the truth is that boys are equally “terrible” in their own way. 

This year, my classroom has consisted of 33 students. I have 14 girls and 19 boys. It’s been an adventurous year!! In addition to the classroom, I have also been attending school full time to complete my master’s degree (I’m done!), am on various “teams” and committees, and am the Administrative Assistant. Administrative Assistant is the fancy way of saying, “We don’t have enough money in our budget to hire an assistant principal although we recognize that we need one. Instead, we will pay a teacher a small stipend to take on the roll of ‘administrative assistant’.” Of course, they are always able to find someone willing. 

This week, I have taken off my teacher hat and stepped completely into the principal role due to an illness. Whenever you cover for someone else, you find yourself in a position of knowing minimal history and trying to base decisions on what you know. For example, has this student been in a fight before or is this the first time? Is this a trustworthy student/parent or should I listen with caution? 

dinosaur_asteroid_5This is not the first time that I have stepped into the role, but this is perhaps the most difficult time. It is nearing the end of the year, the weather is in the 90s and beautiful, kids are tired of each other, tired of the system, and ready to move on to the next year. This week, instead of  in addition to the normal fires that I put out, I am finding myself battling forrest fires. I am trying to tame fires without knowing exactly how or where they began, a very difficult task.

Tonight, as I was unwinding, I found myself wondering if I had committed to attend any games this weekend and realized that I was smiling. You see, whenever a student invites me to attend one of his/her games, I makes sure that I attend at least one a season. The truth is that I am lousy at watching. I usually get caught up in talking and when a shot is made or the ball is hit, I find myself scrambling to catch up to what just happened. I’m good with paying attention during action packed games, but the reality is that my students are still learning basic skills. Few of their games are action packed. 

Years down the road, when my students look back to the fifth grade, I hope that they will remember me in a positive manner. I am willing to bet that the “athletes” will not remember that I taught them math, science or writing, they will remember that on Saturday, I came and watched their game. They will remember that;

A champion team from Garner, NC.

A champion team from Garner, NC.

“My teacher saw me make my first touch down!”

“You saw me pitch for the first time!”

“Did you see that triple home runner that I hit?!?!?!”

They will remember that I sat in the bleachers and cheered them on and we talked about it for the rest of their time at the school. They will know that I care, not because I have to, but because I really do. They will know simply because, “You really came to my game!”

This simple thing is what makes all of the fires worth it. 

 

 


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I’ve been putting off my lawn mower maintenance. For some reason I got it in my head that this would be a cumbersome task. I was wrong. It was a cinch and only took a few minutes. I changed the oil, the filter, the spark plug, added fuel additive, and cleaned it up. It’s funny how we procrastinate things expecting them to be difficult and then they take mere minutes. It’s also funny how these things are chalked up to  be a “man’s job” when they are really no big deal. There’s a certain power a woman discovers by being able to do a “man’s job” by herself.

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Yippee, the carpet shopping is done!! Holy cow, this spring break was spent doing a lot of shopping. The garage door took a day, the carpet took a day, and the kitchen table took a little over a day! My, my! 

How I spent my spring break:
Saturday – Costco, Mall, grocery store, digging in yard for about 2 hours, Lowe’s for manure and other fun things
Sunday – Finish digging in yard and planting (several hours, 45 gallon container of rocks (rocks dug up!), 4 bags of manure mixed into freshly hand tilled dirt,  approximately 50 plants and bulbs planted
Monday – Garage door shopping, filled out, faxed and mailed child support papers because ex wants to lower child support (this ended up taking FOREVER thanks to a fax machine that wouldn’t work properly and Kinko’s wanting to charge nearly $25!!! to fax 14 pages!)
Tuesday – Clean house, pet errands (pet food, etc.)
Wednesday – Garage people come out to measure, carpet shopping, kitchen table shopping
Thursday –  Laundry, laundry and more laundry, decided on and purchased kitchen table, worked on clearing out bonus room. Now need to go buy more shelves so it can be finished. 
Friday – Carpet shopping all stinking day!! Put solar lights in the yard, work on bonus room a little more. 
Saturday – Return all carpet samples, maybe paint?, not quite sure. So much left to do and quickly running out of time.

It’s funny how teachers look forward to Spring Break not so we can relax, but so that we can get caught up on the things that we simply don’t have time to do during the school year. I wish I had one more week.

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It Snowed Today

It snowed today. This is March. I set out to run errands of which manure was on the list so that I can plant my new bulbs and cultivate them correctly. My yard doesn’t look like it has been taken care of in a long time and I can’t wait to get it looking nice again. It has so much potential. After purchasing groceries and stopping to buy Thin Mints from the Girl Scouts, my daughter promptly announced, “It’s snowing!” Oh how I love snow!! I am like a child when it comes to snow. I grew up in Idaho. We usually had our first ground covering around Thanksgiving and it would last until about February. Sadly, the town that I now live in gets very little snow. 

I decided to pass on the manure and drive home in the blizzard like snow. It didn’t stick, but that’s ok. It made me happy while it fell.

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It’s currently 33 degrees Fahrenheit. Of course that is not warm, but to look out the window, one would suspect otherwise. Inside, I sit on the couch, under the fluff of a down blanket, a fire in the background, a coffee at my side, and the heat running. It’s definitely still winter. I itch for spring. As I have previously posted, I bought a foreclosure home and thus a fixer upper. The inside has come along quite nicely although there are still plenty of boxes to be unpacked and pictures to be hung, it feels and looks like home. The outside, however, is a completely different story. It is a mess with endless possibilities. This is my back yard:

Unfortunately, the picture that I most want to post won’t load for some reason. Doesn’t that figure? 

This summer, without consideration for money, I want to paint the house, put in a sprinkler system, replant the yard, add flowers and plants, possibly a garden, expand the pond immensely, and redo the fence so that it is no longer a hodge podge mess. I’m sure the reality of money will alter what really happens, but those are my plans. I am ready to start working on the outside of my home, but I know if I begin too soon it will be in vain. Ah well, for today, I will enjoy the warmth of my home, finish the book that I have to read and write the two papers that I need to write. Is it any wonder that I long for summer?

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