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Monday, February 2, 2015

Time Waits for No One

Wow, I can't believe I haven't even made a post since prior to the beginning of the school year. Well honestly, I can believe it. This school year has been challenging, yet rewarding. Life for me has come full circle in this field of education. I graduated from one of the first turnaround schools in my network during it's first year of turnaround, I trained as a resident in my network and now I teach in a first year turnaround for that very same network. It all has increased my capacity professionally and personally. There are many places that I can start but I'll choose to explore it in depth yet brief. Let's see what I can do!

I began the year teaching reading to 4th grade. Due to an unexpected high enrollment in 3rd grade I was tasked with taking some third graders in my homeroom. This has me teaching 4th grade and 3rd all in the same room. In the afternoon I have another set of 4th graders who honestly I can say are a gift from Father God himself. To the average person you may be thinking, ok no big deal. To any teacher and administrator in education YOU KNOW WHY I HAVEN'T BEEN ABLE TO BLOG! Let's say it is more than a challenge. Here's my analogy:

You weigh 750 pounds. Your doctor advised you that you must lose 100 pounds in 20 days to live. What do you do? Of course you begin to change your lifestyle from eating to exercise. During these 20 days you have 4 snowed in days (no healthy foods in your home and you can't get out of the door), Thanksgiving happens, 10 dinner dates occur, in addition to all the family in your home (who are also overweight) eat whatever they want. You realize you are fighting for your life and decide that you must keep a clear mind and stay focused. The only way I know how to do that is PRAYING ALL DAY NON-STOP! (haha, ok so this analogy was drastic but bottom line: its hard teaching 3rd and 4th grade in the same classroom in which their reading levels start at kindergarten to 8th grade)

On the up side of life. I TOTALLY LOVE my colleagues and administration. There isn't a day that goes by I can't get a good laugh. My floor of teachers have the best personalities and they make sure we all feel some sort of happiness during the day. It makes the challenging days better. I have the best instructional coach in the network who helps me plan and push my students academically.


Last but not least my wonderful BABIES!!!! (or what regular people call students) I'm a parent who spends 98% of my day educating my children to know both common core standards and the social standards they will need to survive in the world. The other 5% I maintain the politically correct teacher who enforces all the mandates and requirements from a policy that doesn't fund or know anything about my babies. I make sure my babies know that they are in my home when they enter the building. I'm responsible for them and together we work towards the goal of making them better. In the beginning of the year there were clear distinctions between what my babies expected from last year and the force I would bring in this new school year. We have grown to love and know one another to the point it's scary that in a few months they possibly will part from me!

If there's one thing I could leave with you about the time I've spent this school year in a first year turnaround public school in the city of Chicago on the westside would be........ Even in times of desperation there is always time for education! Until next time America (or until the time I can breathe again).