Saturday, March 22, 2014

Stick to the Strengths

Or the tale of the depth-perception challenged woman directing the one-eyed man!

What a mess! There are many things I do well. I can house-clean up a storm. I do laundry without effort. I can take care of grandchildren and keep them happy for hours, for days if needed. I can teach children - any age, even math (that I hate) up to about fourth grade! Ha! English, History... no problem; I'll go through high school. Give me a subject to speak on, something I know a little bit about, in five minutes I'll make a speech - in front of hundreds of people. I can do that. What I cannot do is give directions to someone trying to remove a 24-foot camping trailer from a tight, covered drive that is right next to a house. Our house. Our trailer. Somehow, even though my husband is well aware of my level of incompetence, he entrusts me with giving him directions. Oh my... I have no words to describe the past hour and a half, except to say I've been looking at RV covered storage units online. I know we won't rent one; I know this thing will come home next week and we'll somehow get it into its little spot next to our house. I just wish I could wiggle my nose and get it there - in and out - without having to say a word. Oy vey!

Friday, March 14, 2014

Conflict Resolution

We had a very uncomfortable moment in class yesterday. While discussing ideas for a skit, one student became offended and called out another by name - in a brittle, critical manner. This particular student has decided to go to a different school next year and has been heard stating that it's time to burn all the bridges. This is SO unfortunate; it's also pretty immature, something this student doesn't think fits him/her. I vacillate between sadness that it's happening and anticipation of his/her departure. People need to know how to leave well. Yes I have taught the R.A.F.T. method but this student doesn't want to hear it. So today we will deal with conflict resolution in class because the student who was called out by the departing one, stepped up, said sorry, and asked forgiveness. Yeah... a really mature great student!

Sunday, March 02, 2014

So Tired but Smiling...

How do you spend Fridays after school? It seems that every week has multiple evening activities, but when it applies to a Friday, I get a bit stressed. The week is long and full; I've taken on a lot more than I should have this year. But when I spend time with these students, I have to recognize how blessed I am.

 On Wednesday, our girls who earned the state championship in Cross Country and Track and Field (for the 8th year in a row) were honored at as outstanding women in athletics by the legislature. Not only are they fast, but they are smart - earning the highest GPA's of all the state teams. One parent made the comment that this is done with no late work and no test re-takes. Evidently such a practice is not common in schools today.

On Friday, we said good-bye to one of our International students. Diego returned to Chile today. Our international students help us recognize that the world isn't all about us! We did a version of a "roast" with Diego, but it was a blessing as we shared good memories and Bible verses to send him on his way.

After school was the Senior Class sponsored Volleyball tournament. All of the students above were my students in junior high. Three years ago, I moved to the high school and have had the opportunity to teach these wonderful teens for their junior and senior lit classes. It will really be hard to let them go, harder than any class I've had, and that's saying something. So as tired as I am, and I am, it's impossible to miss the blessings that are mine. Investments do pay off and seeing hundreds of students launched into productive futures, that's something to smile about: a big return on a personal and professional investment!