Monday, October 18, 2010

Being A Teacher

You know that this makes the 3rd year that I have been substituting at my old Junior High. I never knew how much I would love this kind of work. It just suits me. I think that sometimes the different seasons of your life dictate of where you should be. The problem with that is I never prepared to be a teacher. For that reason, I take the lower pay and only do this part time. Most of the students love me and that is important. What I cannot get over is how the faculty and administrators treat me. I feel Golden and that doesn't mean in years. I am treated with so much respect and appreciation. They do not understand that I feel privileged to stand in for those that give so much.

I blame my danged old condition preventing me from continuing my education so that I can stand amongst the heroes that are called "Teachers". I know that I am not stupid, and eventually I might make it through. But now that I am 53, by the time I would graduate, if I could find a job, I would not be able to enjoy the kids but for a few years. You don't understand, I would have to go to remedial college before I could start real classes. So I get the best next thing. I get to share. Share the fun of being in these kids lives, possibly making a difference without all the baggage. I get to have the fun without the junk. I get to leave the paper work and administrative duties to the teachers. I don't have to deal with the parents and administrators.

I hope to make a difference and shine a light into that student that might be struggling. Nothing makes me happier than seeing a child believe that I believe in him or her. You can just tell sometimes when you make a connection. You know that teachers need more money. But now I understand why they are still working without that raise. It comes from the heart. 

I also get the opportunity to work side by side with the teachers. When I am working for a Para, that means I am in class with the real Teacher. I try to take away something from each opportunity I get. Thank you for giving me so much as you do your job.

A few more weeks of working in the severely handicapped class, and then I am back out in the general population. I love all sides of this job. So it doesn't matter which class I work in. But I do like to mix it up. To see the kids in different dynamics. Most of the teachers only see them in one situation. How they behave in their classes could be different depending on the mix of children in that hour. Is it before or after lunch? Do they love math, or is it their Achilles Heel? Maybe reading is where they shine. For me I see them differently on a daily basis.

So I will continue, for as long as they let me, to come in and enjoy these wonderful kids. Hopefully they won't realize I am not "Golden" for as long as I want to be there. 

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Friends and Responsibilities

Today on FaceBook, I could tell that my Granddaughter and her friends were struggling with being Friends, and what that means. And after I read what I had written, I thought, you know..there are lessons for us grownups as well.

They are learning how hard it is to be a friend. And how friendship means being committed. How life gets in the way sometimes of good intentions and How easily it is to lose a friend.

Here is what I wrote in bold Italics. My granddaughter sometimes makes remarks when I make a comment. This time, she told me it was amazing. Did I tell you how great she is...and at 14...What a wonderful gift she is.

I am sorry cause you know I am going to say something...sorry..I can't help it. There is a reason that people that are older are called Wise. There is a reason you think your parents don't understand. It isn't because we have never lived th...rough it. It is because we have lived through it. We have already made the mistakes and we have already learned some versions of the answers. And we tend to dismiss your feelings and expect you to understand because "We said so". It isn't right, it just is. You guys have to make your own mistakes and learn your own lessons. However, if you stop and take in just a little bit of what your parents say, You will find the lessons a little less hard sometimes. 

Now this first part, I thought they should know why we know what we know. I said that we have lived it, and now we have some version of the answers. I wanted to elaborate here. Tell them that no we don't have all the answers and the answers we do have are not necessarily Right...they are just how we perceived them and what we took away. For us to imply that they will not find anything different is to say that we know it all. Of course we don't. We just know how it was for us and the lessons we learned and what we did with those lessons. Our goal is to make sure that those life lessons do not derail them. We try and protect them from having to learn those lessons as we cannot be sure how hard they will be.

Now it seems to me that you guys are talking about friendships and how they seem to fade away. And how you push them away.
I don't know any details, but I will talk in generals. S
ome times friendships and relationships cost more than we can give.
We tend to get selfish with our friends. We don't want to share them. We don't want anyone else to have that BFF feeling with "Our BFF" That is too much pressure to put on anyone. No one can fill all our needs. And when we look to our "Friend" to do that, we are being selfish
Surely age has not changed us that much and  we are guilty of the same. We want our friends to stay close by. We cannot imagine that their lives could be important anywhere else. This is especially so with our spouses and our adult children. We want our children to be independent, but we get really clingy when we find they would rather spend time with their "Best" Friend and that is just not us. Of course this is how it should be, but that hurts our hearts. And we become selfish. And how we handle that tells a great deal about who we are.
 Now a true friend will be there for us. They will drop just about anything to help us. But if we are a true friend, we should respect that sometimes that just can't happen. That life gets in the way.
And sometimes, it is the thought that counts

You know exactly how much you can sacrifice for a friend. You think you do. Sometimes they ask so much from us, we think we can not give anything else. Or else we feel like we cannot give enough. And sometimes we have nothing to give at all. We want to make everything good for them, but there is nothing there.We feel guilty for not being able to give back what has been given. That is when the thought counts. Maybe it is just a phone call, or a note. Maybe a card in the mail. You can not judge tit for tat. I think that is what I am trying to say. There are friends that can pull out the check book. There are friends that have more time. But really, it isn't about what can you do for me now. Love is not measured about how much money or time you have. I know that I have friends that are constantly giving me gifts. I cannot do that as I don't have the money.  It is about the thought.
As we grow up, our world gets bigger and bigger. And friends will come and they will move on. This is where it gets tricky. We grow and since we are individuals, our directions may not be parallel. We can't expect our friends to love everything we do. We will meet people that our friends are not going to like. Your friend may not understand how you can be in the same room with that person. 

There is  a written verse about your friends or Sisters that come into your life. How you need them all. Some stay until you die, some are only here for a brief time. They are all important. Our world gets so big and then people pass through. We will have new friends, old friends, friends of friends. We will share hugs, prayers, laughter, prayers, tears, good and bad. We will lose friends through our own selfishness and stupidity. We will find out that everyone who claims to be our friend is not. We learn that we don't have to be friends with everyone we know. We will find that we have respect for some people we really don't like at all. And all of this will not come without a price.

OH now...We have the whole Boyfriend Girlfriend thing. This is where it gets really sticky. As we start dating, our friends start to feel a little excluded. And when they don't have a significant other at the same time, your friends start to get real jealous. And it isn't that they are mean. It is just normal stuff. It is how you handle the jealousy and your feelings and your friends feelings that makes you the person you are. 

Now here is definitely where things begin to change. Girlfriends and Boyfriends become Wives and Husbands. You find the person you want to share your life with. All of a sudden, you have a new best friend.  And as much as your BFF's have seen you through everything, this new love is different than anything else on earth. In it's infancy, you have trouble seeing anything else but that person. Of course that is the way it is suppose to be. And with that new person, comes another family. More brothers, and sisters, and parents. You have so many people in your life now. This time in your life is when you notice that you are not staying in touch with your friends as much. There never seems to be enough time. Of course their is nothing wrong with any of this, Life happens. Now you start having your own family. I am not saying you will lose your friend. Your friend just has another role in your life. They use to be the most important person. Now they are just as important, but they share it with others. 
If you have a long life with the same spouse and your children grow up healthy and happy, you will still need your friends. Because life is not perfect and there are going to be days when friends are what will keep you sane.

You guys will figure it out. Try to give each other the space you need. Try and learn that being friends doesn't mean that you have to be tied to each other 24/7. Learn that sometimes being right doesn't mean the other person is wrong.

And there was a saying that was made popular back in the 70's...
"Love means never having to say your Sorry" Well that is bull....even when you love someone with all your heart, If you feel you need to say " I am sorry" Then yes...the other person needs to hear it.

One more thing... Careful what you say in anger, Because that thing about sticks and stones is also not real true... Words between friends and loved ones will make scars that do not easily heal. A broken heart will take much longer to heal than a broken leg. In fact, sometimes those scars never heal.

All of these things I believe are true.  Saying your sorry is important. Never be afraid to make amends. You will not always see eye to eye, but never forget to treat each other with respect. This does sound like a lot of work. Well you know the good things in life usually do take work.  Sometimes it is a great deal of responsibility to take care of a friendship. When life gets busy, it is easier to let your friends go. Not returning calls, missing lunch dates, not remembering birthday cards...This is when your true friend doesn't worry about it. They might call and ask, "Is something wrong? What can I do to help?"  And you know that when the day is over, they will be waiting on the other end of the phone when you do have time to make that call.  Friends are like that you know.

Friday, October 1, 2010

I Love My School KIds

It seems that I have lots to say about lots of stuff. I know this is not very good grammer, engilsh, or composition, it is what it is. . I feel I like I am getting ready to RAMBLE...Fair Waring here..OK here goes...
If you know me, or if you don't know ME, but have read my blog...And I am sure not many people have, but if are know anything, you know that I have only worked in the school since the fall of 2008. I began substituting in October of that year.  At first I was a little scared, and I was only doing it because you know, I needed a little extra money. But then I settled down at one school

A school I attended the first time in 1969 as a 7th grader. Wow that was a long time ago. And I made this school my home. My grand daughter was in the 7th grade there when I started. She was loved by friends, acquaintances and teachers. And as I started becoming a regular in school and the children knew me and liked me, it became more than a job. I absolutely love it. I came home this week everyday, dead dog tired, and I walked in to the house today after work...I said..Mike I love love love my job.

I don't think I've ever regretted not going to college to get a degree until now. I know it is never too late, but to go back to school, I would waste years that I could be enjoying doing what I am doing right now. I think I grew up too late. Of course when my kids were young, and living at home, it was all about making a living and trying to get them through school. I didn't do a very good job at either.

Today was the Moore High School Homecoming Parade. And as we stood outside at the street and watched the students coming, I was trying to see the students that had touched my life and then moved on to high school. The pride in my chest was so big as I saw them and they waved. And my heart grew ? how many sizes today. And I just want them to succeed and be the best that they can be. I want them to enjoy being kids and I want them to reach the stars. I want the hard lessons to touch them in only positive ways.

I know I have grown since my children were this age. And the advice I gave them, probably wasn't the best. I know just by the way they have grown up, I got some of the important things right. They are kind and compassionate humans that care for other people. They love each other and their families. They respect Mike and I.

But I feel guilty that I wasn't always the person they needed me to be. I have to say I am not as open minded as I should be, but I am getting better. I do believe there is such a thing as being too open minded, but enough said about that. As far as my kids, I could write for days on how badly I messed up as a parent. I hope they know I love them, and when I was psycho mom, it was more about me than it was about them. And it is a price children pay when you have them too young literally and emotionally. Of course all parents make just love your children and do the best you can.

Back to my school kids. I have this thing called "can't keep my mouth shut when I have an opinion". Well not exactly my mouth, but more my fingers. So over the past 2 years, most of my kids want to be my friend on Facebook. Of course I will be your friend. But when you post something on line, you risk me telling you how I feel about it. And if I think there might be a lesson to learn, or if I can think of some thing that I think would be good advice, I am going to tell you. If you are being a diva, I might tell you. I am going to tell you how beautiful you are whether you want to hear it or not.

Now all of this being said, I just have to say I love all my students. And unlike the teachers.. I see these kids in may different scenarios. It is hard to be a brand new teenager. All those hormones...mixing you up. All the peer pressure to fit in. The social stuff at school is so important. But we still have to fit school in there somewhere. At the age when we have decided that our parents and teachers are just plain stupid. And we feel that nothing we do is good enough. And the pull between doing what is right and what we really want to try. And why are the consequences so hard....And then zits and braces and hair that won't look like every one else.

So here I am on Facebook and these kids respect me enough to want to be my friend. I am sure parents are saying who is this crazy lady. But even though I don't like being this old woman, these kids act like they have a respect for me...."ME???" Goodness Gracious...why??? But they do. And when I see that they are having a hard time, I can't keep my mouth shut. I do try to come across to them that their Parents, Teachers, and Clergy Person are the most important and what they say is the rule. I think sometimes they need to hear from someone who is not a parent, or relative that they are special and beautiful. You is like, your parents have to love us, but Mrs. Mathes said that about me.???Maybe it's true. I had a teacher like that. I observed the way that she made the kids that maybe didn't fit in anywhere feel special. Those kids that had to have a little more pushing to get their work in...maybe a trouble maker in another class. She made them feel good about themselves. I hope I can do this for my kids. They are so worth it.

I hope that they can see I really, really mean it.  I also try to make them understand that the teacher that pushes them, really loves them.. Mrs. Yaffe is a great woman who has been teaching a very long time. She pushes them because she knows that if she doesn't...they will have a very difficult time in school and life. I hope I can make them see to grasp all that these special teachers can and will give them.

I warned you this was going to be long. All this to say...I love love love my the kids, wish I had been a teacher when I grew up, hope the kids respect me and learn how very special and important they are.

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