(This was supposed to post yesterday, so just pretend you’re reading it on Sunday)
Good afternoon Rewinders! I have to admit I’m in a fairly wonderful mood! While on the one hand, it seems imminent that I’m going to be forced to do things that aren’t what’s best because Some don’t see the value in my way, on the other (the one that is more important), I’m being constantly reaffirmed for my gifts. My success lately is in being able to identify that those positive affirmations of my talents are more important, and more true than the criticisms in my methods.
And that’s where today’s title comes in: Make a choice…
This past week really hasn’t been too terribly bad, although I do think that I may have overstepped in a few places.
See, my kiddos really like me, and not (contrary to popular opinion) because my class is so easy. The kids will tell you it’s easy, but they’ll also tell you they’re learning. We often lose track of time because we’re having fun, and that doesn’t mean that we’re not learning. Or that it’s too easy. There is this crazy notion that learning can’t be fun once you reach a certain age, and that’s ridiculous. So my classroom is a little more artsy fartsy, introspective, and we talk… a lot. That doesn’t mean there’s not learning going on.
I tried to share with a couple people my ideas about it, and I was basically ignored, but I’m going to stick to my guns on this one. I’m tired of not being listened to, when I’m explaining something about how students learn, or about the reason why our curriculum isn’t working this year as well as it has in the past.
I DO know what I’m talking about, which brings us to our musical theme for this week’s rewind:
The fact that several of my kids made a 20 percent jump in their test scores proves there is learning going on.
Of course, there were some whose scores went the other direction, and some of them are kiddos that try really hard, so I’m not sure what that means. I’ll have to look at the data and think on it.
I found out about the scores Friday night.
Yesterday (Saturday) was spent with groceries, although I didn’t even wake up until nearly noon. Actually, my body woke me up at 6:30 in a panic because I’d overslept… and then I realized it was Saturday, which is why my alarm didn’t go off. I went back to sleep until 11:30ish. I needed the sleep, for sure, but that meant half my day was gone.
I used the rest of my day to go to the chiropractor, and to get groceries. I know it seems like something that shouldn’t take all day, but I needed to make my list. So I sat at Panera Bread, with my rebate apps, and my coupons and figured out what deals would be best. I have a new selection of snacks for my classroom, as well as lunch stuff for me for the rest of the week. Maybe longer, since this week is only a 4 day week.
I have a system.
I write the list of what I want/need first. Then I look through the apps for 3 stores from which I buy most of my groceries. I find the best prices for the items I want, and check for coupons. If there is a coupon for an item I might need in the next week or two, or for something I really like, or that I’ve wanted to try, I add it to the list. On my list, I mark on the left side which store has the best price, on the right, I write how much I get off for the coupon.
Then I check the rebate app. My favorite is Ibotta. It’s actually the only one I use. I have some other ones for online shopping, but Ibotta is the only one I think I’ve actually gotten the money back that I’ve earned: over $125. If something I need has an Ibotta rebate, but it’s a different brand than I normally get, I check to see if the new brand is as good a deal. If it is, I get it; if it’s not, I don’t. If something is not on my list, but I think I will use it, I will add it if it has both a coupon and an Ibotta rebate. But that is rare.
I bring up the rebate app because it led to another really awesome thing for me this week. See, Ibotta was also having a hashtag contest to try to win a free gym membership. I’d like to go back to the gym, but the one I used to go to is out of my way, and the one that is on my way to and from work is more expensive than I’m willing to pay. Not to mention there’s the time factor… but if it was paid for, I’d go.
So, I posted how much I made last year from Ibotta, and said I’d like to double it because I use those refunds to buy supplies and things for my kiddos.
When a friend told me how “noble” I was for that, I let him know that I spend easily over $500 a year on stuff for my kids, because I care. And they know I care, which is part of why they work for me and not for some other teachers. That’s a side issue. Another writer friend of mine saw the post (since it was on Twitter) and told me he’d donate to the cause. He’s sending me a set of writing books for my kiddos and more!
Let me tell you, I was tearing up in Panera Bread, trying not to (as one of my Twitter friends said) “dampen my bagel.”
I kept telling him he didn’t have to do that. I hadn’t posted to get sympathy. I posted because it was true, and the rules of the contest had been to write how much you wanted to make this year, and what you would use it for. When a friend asked, I clarified. That was all. And now I’ve gotten several people telling me how noble and how special that makes me.
Side note, the friend who is sending me stuff also always tells me that he knows I must be a great writing teacher because he always learns more about himself as a writer during my #JustAddTea Twitter chats than he ever has in any writing workshop or with any professor he’s ever had. Ever.
See? The affirmation just keeps coming!
So, as we continue to rewind through the week, Thursday there was a meeting with my after school program that I do (it’s where the writing club happens), and we’ve tentatively got the go ahead to get the Slam poet guy that I ran into on social media to come and do a workshop or two with us. I wanted to do a slam poetry contest, but I wasn’t sure how to make such a thing happen… and if you’ll remember, the fundraiser was kind of a bust… so this is really great news! I just have to figure out how to get a hold of him again.
Wednesday, I wrote for the first time in a long time. As in an actual story, not just a recap here. Don’t get me wrong, I love the Rewind, but I need to get back to posting regularly again. I’m going to try to ease back into it with a creative piece every Wednesday. #WriterWednesday and all that.
And Monday and Tuesday were all about getting back to school again. It’s been a slightly rough transition as they had us doing a workshop almost all day Monday, which meant that we didn’t get much done as far as planning. Then it turned out that I was responsible for next week’s lesson…
Even though it wasn’t my week. And even though in the past, the ESL teacher hasn’t had to be part of the rotation, but whatever, I’ll do whatever needs to be done. Doesn’t mean I won’t complain a little bit about having to do it when the person who was supposed to do the lessons did a day, one, singular, and nothing was said to them about them slacking while 3 of us came together and fixed the week they were supposed to do, with the understanding that that person would do next week.
It’s just another one of those frustrating things.
As far as that goes, I really feel like we should all be making our own lessons anyway, because even though the idea is to do all the same thing, it seems fairly apparent that we’re not. I have to make massive adjustments for ESL, another teacher has almost all the SpEd kids, one teacher has all Pre-AP or AP and doesn’t even do the same lessons as the rest of us, and the rest teach it their way anyway. I think there’s only one person who actually follows the lessons to the letter. Making our own lessons makes the most sense, but that’s just my opinion.
Anyway, that was my week. Sorry it ended up being longer than I expected. I feel very strongly about all the affirmations reminding me that I do actually know what I’m doing and that I’m actually on the right path. So I’m going to keep moving forward, making the choices to do what’s best for me, best for my kiddos, and best to help me be successful this year! I choose to be the best teacher I can be, both in and out of the classroom!
I hope your week was as affirming that you are on the right path, and if not, I hope that you have people around you to help bring you up when you’re down!
See you around the Rewind!!
#DSFWeeklyRewind is a weekly linkup for Twitterites and other bloggers who want to share their week, perhaps with a dash of creativity, and some gratitude. Join us! And invite your friends! It is hosted by Tara over at Daisy Smiley Face.