I haven’t blogged for the Slice of Life challenge in days. Doesn’t mean I haven’t been writing, just not on my blog. The transition to a new job, a new family routine, has worn me out.
But more importantly, the time I could have been “slicing” I’ve been doing my most important job…being a mom. I love being an educator. I love rich discussions about student learning and planning curriculum. And as much as I love all that, it comes nowhere near how much I love my boys and being their mom.
Each of my four boys is a unique, amazing person. They share some similar likes and traits. But they are more different most days than they are alike. Two are cross country runners. One likes running in the heat. One likes running in the cold. One is a soccer and baseball player. One is a soccer and lacrosse player. All are musicians. We have a drum set, percussion instruments, a bass guitar, acoustic guitar, electric guitar, piano, keyboard and ukelele in our house.
My husband and I have worked together to make sure that, except on the rare occasion, one of us is always at their sporting events or performances. For me, there is no greater joy than watching my boys do something they love.
I am so very appreciative that my new boss says “Yes, of course you need to leave to get to your boys’ game.” I’m not sure I could work for someone who didn’t feel that way.
So, the times I haven’t been “slicing” I’ve been “Momming” and I wouldn’t trade it for the world!
I am taking advantage a few, unexpected quiet moments this morning to write…
My new job brings one big change: a commute. I’ve never had to commute very far to my job. As a working mom, we lived in the same district I worked in and my boys went to daycare/school in when they were younger. My husband has had a commute in the past, but he now works from home. So, we’ve switched places in a sense.
This first week the commute is not bad. It’s new and novel, so I don’t mind the traffic or the length. But I know in the coming months (and hopefully, years!) there will be days when I will be less than enamored with this part of my day. I’m taking time each day to find some small moment to celebrate. I’ll revisit these moments on those days when the traffic becomes frustrating and I’m stressed about the extra time in my day for commuting. I know how easy it is to get caught up in the stress, the negative, the frustrations. And, so, moments like this morning’s sunrise hovering over the trees are moments I’ll remember, savor and be thankful for.
Is that possible? Can you be too tired to write? Is that an excuse? Would that work in our classrooms? How would we respond to a student who used this statement? Does the act of writing require energy? So many questions. I should write about th….zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
I am amazed when I encounter folks who don’t see the value in social media or an online presence. And I’m not talking people my parents’ age. My dad LOVES Facebook :-) I’m talking people my age or younger. Several interactions over the last few weeks have reminded me how powerful the connnections are that I have made via social media or been able to continue because of online connections:
-the student who contacted me after 7 years
– posting a status update about my new job and looking at the list of people who “liked” the post…former students, old friends, people I have met via Twitter and FB who I still haven’t met in person, people I have met via Twitter and FB who have now become dear friends, former colleagues, new colleagues
-getting a text that same evening from someone who has gone from online PLN member to dear,dear friend and spending an hour on the phone the next day with that same person to talk about our adventures and careers
-sharing the Go Fund Me page for our service trip this summer with high school students and having friends from all over the country contribute
-having an author whose work you love, “Like” your blog post!! (*happydance*)
-getting access to articles and research from tweets and FB I might have missed otherwise
-seeing pictures and “hearing” stories from my former student babies as they lead wonderful lives
-posting a question and crowdsourcing the amazing brilliance of colleagues across the country
-getting a text my first day at my new job from someone who started as an online colleague and has become a wonderfully dear friend
And that is just in the past few weeks! Technology can be a nuisance and too much information and input at times can be overwhelming. But I’ll take all the pitfalls if it means I can continue to have these connections. They are just too powerful to ignore and my life truly is better because of them. How lucky am I?!
It’s Sunday at 9:18pm. And I am trying to figure out where the heck the weekend went! Because the house certainly isn’t clean, the laundry is still not done and I don’t remember reading or relaxing. It must mean that someone stole my weekend! ( Or at least an hour of it.) Perhaps my weekend got lost in the baking for the fundraiser or the six hours sitting at the table selling baked goods or driving children around or checking and sending emails to organize other fundraisers or having dinner with my mentee to celebrate her 18th birthday. Maybe…
I still have 2 hours and 38 minutes of my weekend. Off to try and fit in laundry, relaxation and reading…provided I don’t fall asleep first.
Warning: Tonight’s blog piece is a rant. Feel free to pass it by.
I am one of those people who has a hard time saying “no”. As a result, I’ve become the lead parent working with a teacher to take a group of 18 high school students to Guatemala this summer. Our goal as a team was to work together to fundraise to cover costs for the whole group. We’ve been working on this for months now.
This weekend I’ve become frustrated. Just like with so many things, 80% of the people seem to be doing the work 100% of the time. And the most frustrating part? Parents are not encouraging their kids to help with the fundraisers that are helping to pay for the trip and SAVING the parents money. This weekend we have an event. I spent over 4 hours there today. No adult is signed up for the second two hour shift tomorrow. I put a call out telling the parents I really did not want to be there all day again tomorrow and asking that someone else please step up. One parent did. A parent who has already helped with every event and offered resources and additional fundraising opportunities. There are other parent chaperones. Three of them have contributed almost nothing at this point.
With two months left to fundraise, we are seriously short of our goal. Now the lead teacher and I are left to try and figure out whether we back off the team goal and send everyone a bill while trying to figure out how to divide the money already raised fairly. Or do we tell those who have participated they can sit back because those who haven’t need to step up and be responsible the rest of the way?
What frustrates me the most is what these parents are teaching these kids about being part of a team and about working for something you want. One of the parents is an educator who told me they thought the whole team concept was ridiculous and that is should be every student for themself. After all, that’s why we don’t use cooperative learning in the classroom, because team stuff just doesn’t work. (yeah, don’t even get me started on what my response to this person was!)
In the end, all I can do is make sure my boys work with the team and teach them the importance of hard work to get something you want. Because the power of what we teach our children, carries on and is part of the legacy we leave them.
Today I packed up the rest of the items in my office. After 3 years and 7 months, I ended my time as the Academic Support Specialist for the Blue Ribbon Mentor-Advocate Program. I’ve learned a lot and met some amazing people. But as I made my way out today, I realized how ready I am for the next adventure. I think we can be in a place that challenges us and let’s us grow. But I also think we can reach limits. What was once the perfect place for you to be, can become a less than perfect place when you’ve grown beyond the parameters of where you are. And when that happens, it is time to move on.
And so, I am. Next week I move on to become the Coordinating Literacy Teacher for HS. It’s a move back to the world of literacy and high school students. A world I love. And it’s a chance to grow and learn. It’s a wrap on one chapter and the beginning of a new one…