Weekend Coffee Share, Back to School for Teachers

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Welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share, hosted by Allison at eclecticali.wordpress.com!  Teachers are back at work, so that has been my life this week.  I crashed early every night, sometimes on the couch.  I even skipped yoga Weds. night, but at least I got in 20 minutes on the Gazelle last night.

In addition to teaching English Language Arts this school year, I will teach one elective class of 7th and 8th grade Journalism.  It will be an introductory class.  I have a few ideas, such as showing clips of newscasts and having students detect any bias in the reporter, as well as, overtime, having them produce a newsletter.  Most students did not get this class by choice, so it will be my challenge to keep them interested, I suppose.  I will be teaching more Gifted students in my Language Arts classes as well, and I think that will be interesting.  In fact, I will likely take another course on teaching Gifted students this fall.

Along with what I am teaching, there are the extra things they want us to do.  A blogger wrote about this phenomenon at jaxkidsmatter.blogspot.com.  He urges teachers to not work beyond contract time (4:25 each day).  Others responded to him that our CAST (teacher performance rubric) actually consists of all the extra things that one has to work beyond contract time to fulfill.  Being a member of a professional learning community, committees, etc. are some of the ways a teacher works beyond their “teaching” day.  Staying within contract time for some means bringing more work home.  It also means not participating in some of these committees or extracurricular activities.  I have volunteered for one or two things so far and am being asked to do more.  I’ve said “I don’t think I can,” or simply “No.”  I have to really think before taking on anymore.  Taking on nothing can mean a lower teacher eval score, which means, when that test score (VAM) number for the last 3 years comes from the state, it could even lower my teacher evaluation more.    This VAM number consists of a mysterious high level formula that I don’t think many of our brightest Math teachers even understand.

I love inspiring young people, but I hate the politics of this job.  This is why I stay in the Union.  Case in point: this one week of teacher planning is sooooo overwhelming, I have not even written a thing this week.  This is the first writing I have done.  I imagine it will be like this for a few weeks, though I’ll try to participate in a flash fiction challenge.  So, in some way, a teacher’s right to say no to taking on one more club, committee, or responsibility needs to be protected by SOMEONE!  I constantly seek balance. I’ve already said yes to a few things, and I’m making it a point to reach out to new teachers and make their transition smoother.

I have received some devotions books from fellow blogger, Rick Christensen at https://discoveringandsharinggrace.com/, and they are delightful!  They are all about Gentle Witnessing, which is something I am trying to do more.  Not just keeping to myself, I want to share my strengths with those it may help.  Right now, my strength is that I have taught for 18 years under 6 different principals with 5 different schedule cofigurations.  I can be of help to a brand new teacher.  Two years ago, an emotional storm in my life and family made me what I feel to be the weakest link in my school for a period of months.  I still did my job, but I was a shell of what I actually could be.  I plan to do much better this year, but again, I need to balance it and rest while at home, write when I am moved, give time to my family and faith community, and have fun with friends and the boyfriend.  Sunday I plan to go to church and afterward, see a movie with my son, since he is off.  Balance.  I will try!

Please visit https://discoveringandsharinggrace.com/ and read a little of it.  If the message resonates with you, follow his blog and/or check out his devotionals!

Bloggers, feel free to join and share in the Weekend Coffee Share conversation at Weekend Coffee Share 8/10/18

 

 

 

 

 

#WeekendCoffeeShare. Of Yoga, Food, and Family.

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Welcome to the Weekend Coffee Share, hosted by Diana at parttimemonsterblog.com.  Of course, we’ll make mine iced, as pictured above, unless you can stand my a/c being set at 72 degrees.  Woo, it’s scorching outside.  If we were having coffee today, on 7/15, I’d tell you:

*It has felt like a busy week, what with Monday and Tuesday being taken up by teacher training on dealing with tough or troubled kids.  It was a serious topic, but the fun was in role-playing that they gave us, the fact that I took this training with two good friends, and the opportunity to go somewhere for an hour lunch with my teacher friends.  (Teachers get 30 minutes for lunch during the school day, but when walking your kids to lunch, something always delays it).  So, I turned to comfort food to make the heavy topics in training more bearable.  We ate at Stan’s one day, and at Olive Tree Mediterranean the next.  I love their gyros!  Since I promised last week that I’d talk about food, here you go.  🙂

gyro-1194724__340  I’m pretty sure I promised last week to throw in some talk about food, so this is the perfect week for it!  I had fries with lunch both days.  Most likely, I’ve gained a few pounds, though I don’t weigh myself.  I noticed gain in the way my clothes fit.  Oh well, summer is a time to relax, so I’m relaxing my diet.  🙂  Then, Weds. night, Mom brought home ribs for dinner!  What could I do but appreciate her offering of dinner.  🙂  Ah, summer is great, but my stomach is delicate, and she is traveling by plane next week, another cause for unhealthy eating, so she and I have a little pact.

*Wow, we’re on the family topic already!  Mom’s been complaining about her back lately, and she broke her arm in late May so she’s not working and not as active.  Anyway, our pact is to eat salad as much as we can until she leaves on her flight to MN next week.  We’ll start with the Loop tomorrow; they have a Gorgonzola Walnut salad that is to-die-for!  I could use more salad, myself.  French-fry-girl is not an identity that I want to keep.  I have to be proud of my mom, though, as she still goes to exercise class at the senior center 2-3 times weekly.  On the subject of family, my son started a new job Weds., and hooray!  It is close enough that I don’t have to drive him.  He seems to like it, too.  It may or may not be long-term, but he is enjoying it right now.

*Family and yoga sometimes go together!  I went to chair yoga with my mom Thursday morning at her senior center.  It was enjoyable and gentle.  I’d just gone to yoga at my usual studio Weds. night which was relaxing and focused on hip-openers.  Chair yoga is just as it sounds, but I could feel the stretch in my legs.  You also don’t have the issue of balance that some of us suffer.  It wasn’t painful at all, and I’m sure you can modify according to your abilities.  I do that in regular yoga all the time.  The class is given by a lovely woman named Jeannie who has a blog at yogafromanatural.com, and she said she reads my blog, so I’m giving a shout out to a fellow blogger and yoga lover!  That’s the only yoga I did this week, so far, but it fits in with my twice or more a week goal.  I suppose I’ll take the dog on a long walk today and get a little cardio, perhaps.

Of course, the book marketing is still going on.   This week I wrote a post about my main characters in Detours in Time.  See it at    https://pamelascanepa.wordpress.com/2017/07/13/detours-in-time-main-character-intro/  I am now listed at circleofbooks.com, and they are tweeting about my book.  Sales have tapered down, but it is vacation time, so who knows?  I do have 5 reviews now!  They altogether average four stars. 🙂  I’m learning book marketing.  In a webinar, one author says to find out which books are selling and write that type of book.  That’s not my creative process.   This is art, and I write what comes out of my mind.  My book is lightweight sci-fi that is not graphic, with a little humor, moral questions, what-ifs, and future curiosities.  Love it or leave it.  I love what I do.  ❤  There is a link to my book on this book graphic and also in the closing signature to this post, if you are interested.

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This graphic is also on the postcards that I ordered, which I take with me to various places like Starbucks and the bank; they make it easy for me to mention my book and my “authorhood.”  🙂  Sometimes it’s fun, and it makes me talk to people!

So, how was your week?  Feel free to share with me, and visit Diana’s coffee share at https://parttimemonsterblog.com/2017/07/08/weekendcoffeeshare-in-which-i-am-back-again/  You can add your own blog coffee share to her Inlinkz button (the blue froggy).  Have a great weekend!

 

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