FANCY OATMEAL READERS! HALLO!!!! It feels SO good to be back among the blogging! I have to tell you that even though I put the ol’ blog on hiatus to devote more time and energy to my master’s course, I feel rejuvenated to have the familiarity and comfort of a WordPress dashboard in front of my face again. I can’t promise that I won’t have to slither away, back in my academia lair, but I do swear that I will never go MIA for good. And with that
fingers crossed behind my back promise, on with the show! Let me update you on a few things going on in my life:
First and foremost the thing that keeps me sane during the muckiness of the rest of my life. I hang my head when I tell you that I missed my running goal of 110 miles in February by two. TWO! Two freakin’ miles! I look back and think to myself, “Where could I have fit one extra mile in on two different days??? Couldn’t I have run an extra half mile on four running days?? Tell me that doesn’t make me a loser! You’re not a loser! You’re wonderful! Thanks, Mom. Anyways, I won’t let that discourage me from setting a new goal for March: 125 miles.
As of this morning’s 4 mile run, I have a total of 23 miles in the bag, leaving me 102 for the remaining 25 days. According to Nike Running’s website, I’m right on target to meet my goal. And despite February, I intend to make goals that my body cannot refuse.
We are just approaching the mid point of the second semester, which means that in 10 weeks, we’ll be sending off another group of high school graduates into the “real world,” and closing another chapter in the St. Paul Island, AK book of our lives. But before we start getting ahead of ourselves, let’s talk about last weekend: Saturday School and Dr. Seuss Day.
To make up for the smoke day we had a few weeks ago, Saturday School was in session last weekend. While I don’t always like giving up a day from my weekend, Dr. Seuss Day at school was a lot of fun. Each teacher is asked to present an activity that is based upon a Dr. Seuss book, and groups of students travel from classroom to classroom. Each group has a cross-section of students, which had approximately one student from each grade level in it. I normally only work with middle/high schoolers, so seeing the Head Start and Elementary students was a real treat! Man, those kids are adorable! I try not to focus on the fact that in a handful of years they’ll think I’m the president Lame-face of This Sucksdom.
In my class, we read The Foot Book and then designed shoes. I had lots of crafty goods out, and the kids seemed to enjoy themselves. We have a lot of Lakers fans up here, so my supply of yellow and purple markers was decimated.
Another major event that is coming up (weather permitting) is the finalist for the superintendent search will be on-island to meet with the community, teachers, and have their final interview before a final candidate is chosen on Friday. It’s an awkward time for me. I won’t attempt to speak for anyone else here, but part of me is excited for what is to come and the changes that can come about with managerial changes. The other part of me is rocking back and forth in the fetal position because I don’t want to see our current superintendent leave. Yes, her husband has access to this blog; No, this is not a ploy for brownie points at work, but I wouldn’t kick em out of bed for eatin’ crackers either. Ya hear me? I have been through some sketchy administrations in the past, and the Stacks family has been a major factor in Dear Hubby and I feeling comfortable at school and on the island. I anticipate a lot of tears before May 18th comes around, but tears of appreciation are always better than tears of misery.
3. Master’s Program
Just a quick update: I have finished all of my assignments for my current class, “Forces Shaping School Curriculum.” I especially enjoyed this course because it provided a lot of information about the topics that can sometimes feel a little grey: the current status of and original intentions of No Child Left Behind, the new Common Core Standards, school boards and teacher unions, and finally the impact that teacher preparation programs and their ability to truly train a young person to be an effective teacher. The heart of the course really came down to these two questions: how do all the aforementioned elements of education impact curriculum and how do we define an effective teacher?
I try not to get too preachy on the subject of education, as this is not the focus of my blog. (Could someone remind me to figure out WTH the focus IS?? Thanks) However, I have to say that for all of you who are not teachers, don’t know a teacher, aren’t related to a teacher, it is very easy to point fingers and roll eyes at the profession. I’ve had both of those things happen to me, literally, and all I can say is that you don’t know until you know what is involved in educating a child. All the ideals that I had about having my classroom and bringing unknown worlds to my students via written word have somewhat been squashed by unrealistic regulations, misinformed opinions of politicians, and standardization.
HIGHLY CONTROVERSIAL! Especially when you consider who gets to define teacher effectiveness. The teachers who I will always remember and the content of their courses were ones who did not teach to a test; the teachers held high standards for our work, gave us projects instead of tests that allowed us to apply our knowledge, and let our voices be heard. If you can’t expect to feed 250 friends and family member one meal at a wedding reception, then how in the $&!@$ do you expect me to teach 300 – 500 students to pass one test?!?!
::stepping off soapbox::
Ahem. Pardon me, but some things just get me fired up =)
So…that’s what’s been going on with me.