BulgingButtons

Not bad for a fat girl


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Confessions of a Cooped Up Teacher

Day One: March 16, 2020

I don’t want to stay home, and yet I want nothing more than to stay home.

I’ve been home for a week. It was spring break, and five glorious days off school were mine! No big plans for me, just some work and some r & r and some time with Mom, doing the mother daughter things: lunch, shopping, movies. The week started off just fine. Yes, there was some rain, but that only made staying in doing nothing that much better. Then it cleared up some, and Mom & I got together and did our thing. It was great. That was last Saturday. On Tuesday we got together again, this time we went to the movies. We had a terrific time and planned to get together again on Thursday. Then all hell broke loose.

1200px-Pandemiclogo.svgWatching the news and reading articles left me with a sense of dread and doom. I did not want to be a part of that, so I switched off my social media and got off my behind. My sweetheart and I did some grocery shopping, made sure we had tp, and planned to lay low. I called Mom to see how she was doing and if she needed anything. She was fine, and said she did not need a thing. Then I told her our plans Thursday were going to have to be delayed. I was not willing to take my eighty-something year old mother into a crowded place just so we could have a nice lunch. She was disappointed, but claimed to understand my reasoning. I think she was just trying to be agreeable.

Since then schools have been shut down in several states, my own included. It was a weight off my chest when the announcement was made last Thursday that our district would close. The entire state is now closed at least until March 27, but between you and me I don’t think schools will be ready to reopen that soon. I keep getting snippets of information, like everyone else. One friend in New York has told me what her district is doing, another friend, who has a daughter in Seattle, has shared some of her experiences. Getting these first and secondhand accounts is powerful. These are REAL people, not alarmists.

Each day I recommit to staying away from people, but it’s so difficult. When my 21 year old called me and asked if we could go to the grocery store together (clearly he was low on funds) I, of course, said yes. And when my brother, mother, and niece asked me to join them for a family St. Patrick’s meal, well, I said yes to that too. But that’s it. I’m not going anywhere after that. Unless I have to.

As of right now, I don’t really know what I have to do. I’ve been gathering some resources for teachers and parents, but honestly, there’s simply too much to sort through. I’m so grateful to all the children’s presses, publishers, authors, bookstores, and curriculum websites. You’ve been so generous with your time and resources. The only issue is that there’s SO much that it’s overwhelming, even for someone like me, who is familiar with much of it (unlike parents). How are we going to pare this down to its most impactful elements and share it equally? How are we going to reach and engage our students when we’re all living in a shared state of disbelief?

I’m sure some guidance will be forthcoming, at least in regard to work. For now I’m grateful that my loved ones are all healthy, and we have what we need. I hope you can say the same.

 


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Well This is Embarrassing

I’m so sorry, September. I missed you completely. August, I didn’t do much better with you, and October, you’re nearly over. It’s certainly been a blogging dry spell, but I’m back. Back and better than ever? Maybe not, but at least I’m here. Showing up counts for something, right?

Halloween is in a few days, and our decorations are still in the “attic” space above the garage. They’ve been there for a while, since I’m pretty sure we didn’t get them out last year either. We were still reeling from my sweetheart’s hospitalization (or as he likes to call it, his visit to camp). This year we’re just busy, I guess, and less motivated than it takes to climb a ladder and hand down a big plastic tote or two.

I think we’re both waiting for the dust to settle, literally and figuratively. Literally because our master bathroom has been a work in progress since the end of September. Realistically, it’s not that long, but it feels longer since we haven’t been able to use our shower since months before that.

In order to accommodate the new bathtub, vanity, countertop, and sink we moved the bed out. I also had to completely empty my walk-in closet. It was a good excuse to weed out some things I don’t need. My son’s room was conveniently empty since he moved into his own apartment in August, so it became the temporary bedroom.

The tub has since been installed, as has the vanity, but the shower isn’t quite done, the medicine cabinets aren’t yet up, and the closet doors still need to be installed. Finally the towel bars go up, and voila, it’s done! I love my new tub. I love the new tile. I love the new vanity. I’m concerned that the paint I chose might be a little bright. A more grey hue would have been better. Live and learn. At least paint is easier to change than practically anything else (new towels would be easier), but it’s not impossible down the line if I really don’t like living with the current color. I love the color, but it might not be quite right for the space.

Then there’s work. Busy, busy, busy. Which is why I’m pursuing an advanced teaching credential, because if you want something done, give it to a busy person. It’s a lot of work, and I’ve barely begun, but I can do it, especially since I have wonderful teammates alongside me.

So that’s a quick update. I’m sure I’m missing tons, but hopefully you’ll hear more from me soon. For now, though, I have to get back to work.


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What a Week, or Welcome to Fourth Grade

We did it! We got through the first week of fourth grade without any major glitches. Nobody cried, nobody got lost, nobody threw up, nobody lost their lunch-box. Okay, so they did manage to lose the three new laundry baskets that hold the lunch-boxes, but I’m sure those will turn up. Good thing I labeled them!

My kids are terrific, and I’m learning so many new things in terms of using technology with them. They know so much! My brain is swimming, and I bet theirs are too, but for different reasons.

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So far we’ve gotten five chapters into a novel, created and shared personal timelines, learned a bit about historical Meso-American cultures, played two truths and a lie, written the rough draft of a poem, worked on our penmanship, calculated place-value to the millions, gotten to know our new Chromebooks a bit, learned each others’ names, played four corners, and squeezed all the toothpaste out of a tube and tried to put it back in. And that’s just part of what we’ve accomplished.

I love my summer breaks, but the start of the school year is a really exciting time, and I’m glad we’re back in session. Happy school year, everyone.