The Home Stretch

Oh right…I almost forgot. I have a blog.  A place where I can write stuff, and a few people read it.  Right.  Well, what can I say?  Life is slamming me right now, and I’m tired.  Bone weary, ready to give up, but keep dragging on kind of tired.  I’m pretty sure this is the norm for this time each year, but this year just seems different.  Heavier some how. 

We’re in the final weeks (days really) of the school year, and I have many thoughts and feeling about this past year.  In some ways it’s been my favorite year to teach in the 9 years I’ve been at this particular gig.  In others…oh my…I’ve been challenged and in my opinion come up short.  It’s not for lack of trying to be sure.  I feel like I gave 100% this year, but for some reason it was not enough.  By the end of the school year the gap between the kids who are struggling and the kids who just get it has narrowed.  Not this year.  The gap feels like the Grand Canyon to me.  I’m having a hard time with this.  Wondering, “What could I have done differently?”  “How could I have helped them more?”  The answer is always the same.  Nothing and I couldn’t.  I really feel like I used literally everything in my teacher’s tool box this year, and some things are still left unrepaired or unbuilt.  I keep reminding myself that this year was different than any other year.  I had more kids in my class (17.)  I was the only grade (meaning alone…a lot.)  I had some challenging students.  Sigh. 

I was hoping that by writing these words I would be able to reconcile what I know in my head to be true with what I feel in my heart. Or vice versa…or something like that.  It appears it’s not working.  I’m still tired.  I still want school to be done and over.  I still feel like I didn’t have enough time with them!  Like I didn’t do enough. 

Don’t worry about me…I know it’s not really true. It’s just the tired talking. 

We’ll return to your regularly happy SunnySide in 2 weeks!  (thanks for sticking with me)


Happy Teacher Appreciation/Mother’s Day/Anniversary…to Me

There are 3 times durning the school year  I would call myself “majorly stressed.”  The beginning of the school year (when I’m getting my room and everything set up), the Christmas program (which I usually have to write and choreograph and makes props for, etc.), and the end of the school year and the awards ceremony. There are 18 days of school left in which I have to teach 30-some kids (ages 3-5) 4 songs complete with motions, take my class to the nursing home to sing for the residents, and a field trip to the zoo.  Oh, and TRY to teach them the rest of the curricululm in there somewhere. Why would I be stressed??

I try to not let it stress me out, but this year with mine being the only grade in the school (the daycare is with us…but not…it’s very confusing) I’m flying solo a lot of the time, and it’s wearing on me.  I’ve learned to beg ask for help, and people have been kind in that.  The worst thing is I’m a stress eater, and sadly I’m thinking I may have to join Weight Watchers here soon.  Many Swedish Fish have been consumed in the name of keeping my sanity.

At the teacher’s conference I attented a few months ago I took a workshop by a singer/songwriter of children’s music, Jack Hartmann.  He was hilarious and his music is SO fun!  I ended up buying 4 of his cds and immediately incorporated them into my school days.  He’s a hit with the kids too!  Some of our favorites are the “Rock Out Tooty Ta” (awesomely silly…the kids favorite line, “bottoms up”), the “Penguin Dance Chant”, and the “Cleanup Vacuum Cleaner” song.  There are so many good ones!  Recently Jack Hartmann contacted me and asked if I would answer some questions and be part of the “teacher spotlight” on his blog.  I gladly agreed!

This being the week teacher appreciation falls on, I feel very honored to be in the spotlight.  You can read the interview here (maybe you’ll learn something about me you never knew 😉  The little kid in me always feels like this should be “MY” week.  It’s teacher appreciation, then Sunday is Mother’s Day and our 18th wedding anniversary.  People, I should be doing something fun!  I am going here Saturday night (my friend Steph is producing the  Valpo show), but I have yet to find a ‘date’.  I bought two tickets and so far can’t find any friends who can go. Other than that it’s a normally busy weekend with Alisha at a sleepover, carpet people coming to measure, church, laundry, and lesson plans.  I am however holding out hope for our 20th anniversary! I’ve told Phil I’d like to go to Hawaii. Two years should be enough time to plan that (and for the Weight Watchers to work 😉 

*Out of curiosity, do you enjoy these posts more with a picture at the top, or doesn’t it really make a difference??