Kill your pity party and just do work.

Source: Kill your pity party and just do work.

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Broken Hearts and Teaching

There’s something to be said about teachers being the best actors and actresses in the world.  We deserve Oscars, honestly.

Because even when our lives are falling apart at home, we must come to work and be the most entertaining person in the world.

We must educate.  We must keep going.

A fake smile plastered on.

Book in hand, even though we want to cry behind it.  There’s too much to feel.

But we are not humans during the day.  We are teachers.

It.  Hurts.

How can we be expected to keep going when everything else is just a mess?

But we do.  We can’t handle everything, but good grief, we try.

And we keep trying.  No matter what.

Life will move forward.  Always.

A Little Bit of Encouragement

Truth be told, my heart has been aching lately.  It’s been filled with such frustration about the state of education.

I feel bogged down by paperwork and grading and policies and politics.

But then.  It happens.  That one little piece of assurance.

Today, a student that I poured hours of time and effort into; who I prayed for, graduated high school.

And breathe.

She is starting college next month.  She is turning her life into a success story.

And she FaceTimed me and told me that she couldn’t have done it without me and to thank me.  In her cap and gown.  No big deal.

It meant more to me than any gift I could have received.  Those words are something I will treasure for the rest of my life.

I did something worthwhile.  If that is all my life amounts to, it is enough.  One student was helped and gave me credit for that.

I am beyond humbled by that thought.

And it is reassurance that I am doing the right thing.  I am making a difference.  I am not a terrible teacher that I seem to think I am.  I have made a difference.

My heart, full.  My soul, encouraged.  My eyes, full of tears.

Merry Christmas to me.

13 Teachers Reveal Their Most Ridiculous Parent-Teacher Conference Experiences

“Do you really expect Cam to finish all that homework? He has football practice every night! I don’t think you teachers understand that students have lives outside of school.”

Source: 13 Teachers Reveal Their Most Ridiculous Parent-Teacher Conference Experiences

The Harsh Truth

I’ve been missing in action lately.  I swear I have a good reason.  It’s what this whole blog is about.

I’m a teacher.

This week is the last week until a blissful thing called winter break.

Can I tell you how excited I am???

Almost one full semester in a public school system and I have learned more than I even thought possible.  I’ve switched positions twice and now have been hired full time as a Reading teacher in a middle school.

My babies are low.  I mean low.  Phonics low.

It literally breaks my heart every time I watch them struggle with a word they should have learned years ago.  They’ve been given very little hope in their short lives.

I’ve also had some harsh reality when it comes to the politics of education.  I thought I knew before, but now I realize just how bad it actually is.  Teachers and staff that could care less about students, while others pour their hearts into their students.

The students themselves are entitled and pretty awful, but that seems to be the norm of this generation.

Let me rant about the students for a minute.  If I had ever tried some of the things they do and say, my momma would have beat my butt.  Some of these students are just plain mean and nasty.  I would love for one of my future children to try it.  They’ll learn fast that you don’t pull that kind of crap with me.

I also understand a whole new level of tired.  Maybe it’s because I’ve been teaching consistently (summers and all) since February 2014.  Or maybe it’s because I just tire easily.  I go home after work and I look around at the laundry I need to do and the dinner I need to make and just want to cry.  My apartment looks like a tornado attacked it and I just haven’t cleaned up the debris yet.  It makes me question the ability to do this as a mother.  I can barely keep up with my relationship.  How about when I have a home and children to add to that?  It is a terrifying thought.

I’m also inspired daily by my coworkers.  They are constantly coming up with new ideas to manage their classroom, teach students, and make learning fun and engaging.  This year will either make or break me.  At least I’ll have amazing people to work alongside.

MERRY CHRISTMAS YOU CRAZY TEACHERS!!!!!

Teaching at a Public School

My life has taken some serious turns in the past couple months.  I have finally gotten the opportunity to teach at public school.  I have fallen in love with a pretty spectacular fella’ (insert heart eyed emoji here).  And I have learned so much about myself and God.  It’s been quite the page turner of a life.

I’m definitely changing and growing in so many ways.  But there are some truths that I have learned about all these changes.

  1. Change is not always bad, but it is difficult.  I miss my smaller classes sometimes and I do miss the staff at my old school.  It was incredibly tough to do what I did, but I had an amazing support system in place where I was.  There is a support system where I am now, but it is a lot bigger.  It’s hard to find that niche at a new place for sure.
  2. Sometimes you need to be humbled in order to succeed.  I think that just in general life has humbled me lately in a few different ways.  But I consider it growth and change that I needed to experience.  It’s a learning experience for sure!
  3. Dreams do come true.  Let me just say that love is exactly what I expected and nothing like I expected.  I am ridiculously happy.  And for the critics who say that I haven’t gotten out of that stage with my boyfriend, trust me when I say, we have endured a lot together already.  But overall, we are building a life together and growing in our relationships with Christ together.  It’s a beautiful thing.
  4. God always has my back.  When I put my faith in God and fully let myself trust in God, my life is a lot more enjoyable and wonderful.  It’s less stressful and far more fulfilling.  If God is for me, who can stand against me?

Being Strong and Courageous

My lack of writing lately is due to lots of life changes but I feel like today I need to share the changes that are coming to my life.

First though, let me explain something.  I am the queen of being afraid.  I am afraid of the dark, the unknown, bugs, lightening, storms, thunder, failure, and the list goes on…and on…and on.  I can’t handle scary things.

Halloween Horror Nights?  Did it once and still have nightmares.

Scary movies?  Last one I saw was when I was 17, so 8 years ago.

My mom loves to scare the crap out of me when I’m at home.  Like she hides behind things to purposely scare me.  I’m pretty sure I’ve jumped five feet in the air.

However, lately, I feel that fear is holding me back far too much.  I’m afraid of leaving a job because I’m afraid of taking a risk.  I’m afraid to be completely honest with someone for fear of them being mad.

Today, God reminded me that He has called me to live in truth and life, and not in fear.  I am limiting my God when I am too scared to take risks.

So here I am, taking big risks.  I won’t go into specific details but my life has been turned upside down because for once, I am taking risks.

Let’s be real.

I am terrified.  Petrified.  Shakin’ in my boots, hands tremblin’.

But I have God on my side.

“Be strong and courageous.”

Mother’s Day

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I used to say that my mom knew everything but dinosaurs.

I get that I was wrong, but in some ways, I was also right.

My mom is one of the most courageous woman I have ever met.  Or probably ever will meet.

A lot of people would say beautiful, and my mom is beautiful, but she’s also beautiful because of her courage.

What I’m learning as a teacher and as a human being, a lot of great parents are that much greater because they didn’t exactly have a fluffy upbringing.  My mom is no exception, but it’s not my place to discuss any of that.

Anyways…

But all that she has been through and all the choices that she has made, makes her incredible.  There really are no words for that.

She was a teen bride and mom (yes in that order), and because it was what you did back then, she didn’t finish school.  By the time she was the age that I am now, she had two kids and had gotten divorced.  That’s a lot to handle at 25, and I struggle with balancing my work and home life WITHOUT the kids factor.

She married my dad and they built their lives up together.  I, of course, am grateful when they had me.  Five and a half years later, they had the baby, and ensured that she would be the last.  There were sixteen years between the oldest of us and the youngest.

Five kids.  Three teenagers with a 5 year old and a newborn.

Just picture that for a minute.  I mean we are all pretty cute but you can only be so cute when you’re a teenager and an older toddler and a newborn.

It was around that time that my dad started traveling more with work.  They made it work and he was an incredible dad.  But my mom was home a lot with us.

Despite the fact that she had a baby at home, my mom never missed an awards ceremony.  She was my taxi when I started doing activities outside of school.

When my brother and I would get home (different times since we’re 7.5 years apart), we would sit and have conversations about our days.  She taught me to be in the practice of doing my homework immediately when I got home.  I would sit and talk to her while I did my homework and she cooked dinner.

Those moments are still some of the most important ones of my life.

When I started playing soccer and came home in the dark after practice, my dinner plate was always made and in the microwave or in the oven, waiting for me.  She never missed a game, even though there were days that it felt like 100 degrees.

At the end of summer when my siblings and I would screw up our sleep schedule, she would force us into bed the last week at a reasonable time just to make sure that we would be able to get up in time by the first day.

Every night before a big test, first day of the school year, or any recital, she and my dad would tuck me in.

In middle school, when my friends lived in “BF Egypt” as she called it, she still went and picked them up for the movies and such.

When I started high school and I never was home because of extracurriculars and my part time job (which felt like full time then), it never failed that dinner was waiting for me.  She would come talk to me as I got my dinner and homework out, and then leave me to work for the next few hours.

When my dad traveled, there would be nights (almost always a Thursday) where she would take my sister and I to Barnes and Noble.  We would be allowed to pick two books to read and we would eat dinner at Starbucks.

I remember this particular summer, my mom picked up the supposed reading list for an average ninth grader.  My mom made me read Animal Farm and The Lord of the Flies and discuss it with her.

School was incredibly important to her and the day that I graduated high school, I don’t think I ever saw her happier.  I could tell that her heart was swelling with pride.

The morning I left for college was rainy because a tropical storm was hitting my hometown.  She couldn’t come with my dad and I, so I had the pleasure of saying goodbye to her at home.  I say pleasure sarcastically, because if you’ve ever moved away from your mom, you know it’s one of the hardest moments of your life.  She knew I was doing the right thing going to my dream school even though it was 5 hours away, but it hurt her more than it could ever hurt me.  I cried for two hours straight after saying goodbye.

When I would come home and just not want to leave, she would gently remind me of my dreams.

The day I graduated college, she rejoiced with me as I walked across that stage.

Every major moment I’ve ever had, I’ve shared with my mom.  I share it all with her because so much of who I am comes from her.  I’m a spitting image of my dad and I have a LOT of his personality traits, but every thing that makes me a woman comes from her.

My mom is something that I can only wish to be later on.  She is self-educated, honest to a fault, fiercely loyal of her children, and resilient.  She is a warrior and you only have to spend a few minutes with her to know that.  She not so silently guides her children in the right direction, no matter how much we fight her.

Most of you don’t know my mom, and that’s okay.  I just wanted to put my memories of her here.  Honoring her with words.

This year she becomes a first time grandmother to a baby girl.  Actually in a few weeks.  My niece is the luckiest little girl in the world and she doesn’t know it yet.  But she will.  She will see and with any luck, that warrior spirit will be in her too.  The world needs more warrior women like my mom.

Mama, I love you.

Happy Mother’s Day to all the mothers out there, but especially my mama!