Tagged with "school"
5 Jun
2017
Posted in: uncategorized
By    No Comments

To Teachers Who Stand in the Gap

siblings walking into elementary school

Saturday night my social media feed exploded with news of an armed standoff and car chase on the Interstate highway through our town. The road was closed by request of law enforcement. All on- and off-ramps were blocked by armed law enforcement with lights blazing on their vehicles — and our son was on a school bus traveling that highway attempting to make it home from a long day in another state.

It was after midnight when our teen called to say the two buses he and his classmates were traveling in were stopped in a town 45 minutes from home. That child downplays almost everything and gives only the details he feels are essential to any situation. He’s not about adding drama, even on a Saturday night when your bus has been stopped because of an armed standoff. He simply said, like it happens everyday and it was on the itinerary, “Our bus is stopped because of something about a gunman. We’ll be late.” They were never in danger, just inconvenienced, but his conversation carried all the excitement of an unscheduled bathroom stop when my social media feed was telling me a different story.

My thoughts Saturday went to the teachers on those buses. That day’s field trip began before 6 a.m. and was going to be a long day from the get-go when extremely poor choices from some individuals had ripple effects, making the day even longer. I’m grateful for the adults that spend their days for nine months with my children. I wasn’t worried about our son because of the adults on that bus.

There have been a few crazy stories in our nine years in public schools that had teachers standing in the gap where we couldn’t. There was a road rage incident involving a gun at drop-off on the last day of middle school. There was a gas leak and evacuation. A violent student who repeatedly caused havoc. Bus breakdowns on field trips. Slurry bombers flying near the school fighting a nearby, raging forest fire. Extreme weather, including a tornado and blizzard. Life seems mundane until it isn’t.

We’re one day away from the beginning of summer. Saturday’s drama is a reminder to not take the job of a teacher for granted. Their days are never the same and hold moments and people they are not specifically trained to encounter. I appreciate the hours spent with the students and those used to plan for the students. I’m grateful for the notes, texts, social media updates and email reminders. I’m thankful for patience with parents as well as students. I’m indebted for the number of bandages, snacks, Kleenex and paper clips my children have required. High-five to those teachers who sprinted through another year with my crew. You don’t go unnoticed.

 


 
By     |    May 18, 2017
Posted in: uncategorized     |    No Comments

How to Not Take a Compliment

It seems I have at least one child who hasn’t a clue on how to take a compliment. I was surrounded by 6th graders at a presentation and heard eight different children qualify compliments they were given. A simple, “You’re painting was lovely,” was met with “Thanks, but it’s trash.” Or “I didn’t work hard enough.” Or “There are better ones.” Not one of the eight children replied with a simple thank you. Even my son replied back to a... [Read More]

Read more
Big Push to Finish School Year
By     |    May 4, 2017
Posted in: parenting     |    No Comments

Big Push to Finish School Year

The month of May is one of my favorite and least favorite months. Summer is right around the corner and the weather is improving. There are 22 days of school remaining and 50 days until we enjoy another much-anticipated epic vacation. But May is also the month when everyone has everything on every day…all month long. It’s inevitable with four children that our evenings will be full of recitals, concerts, track meets and practices. It’s never one thing at a... [Read More]

Read more
For the Love of Humanities
By     |    Apr 27, 2017
Posted in: uncategorized     |    No Comments

For the Love of Humanities

It was evident early in our parenting journey that our children had an affinity toward sports. They enjoyed playing anything we exposed them to and watching sports was a family activity we rallied around. As a former sports reporter, having children who enjoyed something I loved was an easy way to connect. Early on we decided, as parents, that our children would be exposed to a wide array of experiences. We didn’t want their childhood to solely revolve around fields... [Read More]

Read more
Joy in a Staycation
By     |    Mar 27, 2017
Posted in: uncategorized     |    No Comments

Joy in a Staycation

My preference is to leave town whenever possible. I like to explore and discover new places. We’re on a staycation this spring break, and I was dreading it. I longed to spend our five school-free weekdays somewhere other than here. We’re stockpiling vacation days for an upcoming summer road trip, so home is where we are for the week. Technically we have small getaways planned for the weekends buffering spring break week and a small excursion mid-week. We’re only partially on... [Read More]

Read more
The Thing About Grief
By     |    Mar 24, 2017
Posted in: parenting     |    1 Comment

The Thing About Grief

I picked up our 8th grader from school on Wednesday expecting our normal post-school conversation. The script goes something like this: I ask him to tell me something about his day. He tells me about some meme someone showed him at lunch. I either laugh, or don’t get it and he laughs. He’ll run through his homework list and pick a few small things to discuss. Thus concludes the recap with further items thrown in at random times throughout the... [Read More]

Read more
Genius Hour and Growing Lifelong Learners
By     |    Mar 6, 2017
Posted in: uncategorized     |    No Comments

Genius Hour and Growing Lifelong Learners

I want my kids to love learning for the sake of learning and to hunger for knowledge. School projects that actively enforce those principles  are my favorite. Genius Hour is a prime example. The idea behind Genius Hour has been utilized in corporations to increase productivity. Employees are given a set amount of time each week to work on pet projects in their field. Google has seen success with this route. Gmail anyone? I’m more motivated to apply myself to... [Read More]

Read more
Sometimes Life is That Cliché
By     |    Feb 3, 2017
Posted in: parenting     |    No Comments

Sometimes Life is That Cliché

If there’s one thing I know about parenting, it’s that children grow up too fast. I know. I know. It’s the epitome of cliché, but also heartrendingly true. Our oldest will be a freshman next year and will register for high school classes this month. I’m sentimental, sometimes to a fault. The email confirming his placement in high school seemed surreal. It surely belonged in someone’s else inbox. I can’t possibly have a teenager in high school. I’m too young,... [Read More]

Read more
Keeping Children Out of Politics
By     |    Oct 5, 2016
Posted in: parenting     |    No Comments

Keeping Children Out of Politics

I’m not overtly political in nature. I have my opinions, but I don’t enjoy debating politics. The last few weeks I’ve had conversations with my elementary-age children regarding issues they’re hearing at school from children that have me questioning what, exactly, adults are thinking. It started with comments about Benghazi and deleted emails. Then there were walls and taco trucks. My daughter has been told by a fellow 1st grader that she’s “what’s wrong with the country” because of who... [Read More]

Read more
Dear Teachers: It’s Not You, It’s Me
By     |    Sep 12, 2016
Posted in: parenting     |    No Comments

Dear Teachers: It’s Not You, It’s Me

Teachers, I’m asking for some grace. We’re in our first full week of the new school year. We’ve done the back-to-school nights and signed all the papers. We’re almost in the groove, heavy emphasis on almost. Give me time to acclimate to the four varying schedules and demands of our children. Half our kids don’t have homework. The other half will, one far more than the other. There are reading logs to keep and behavior ladders to memorize. When I... [Read More]

Read more
Free Pass to Adventure
By     |    Sep 7, 2016
Posted in: travel     |    No Comments

Free Pass to Adventure

Some of the best money we spend each year is the $80 used to purchase an America the Beautiful National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Pass. The pass gives us free access to over 2,000 federally managed recreation sites across the United States. This year we have a 4th grader who qualifies for a free pass through the Every Kid in a Park program. I’m always looking for ways to save money. This saves us $80 and allows for access... [Read More]

Read more
Tailoring Parenting to My Audience
By     |    Aug 28, 2016
Posted in: parenting     |    No Comments

Tailoring Parenting to My Audience

Our second oldest son and I were driving to his 6th grade orientation last week. His brothers and sister weren’t with us. This was the perfect time to talk one-on-one about heading to middle school. I over-think and prepare for situations. I was going to begin with talking about responsibility before moving into the importance of kindness and bravery before wrapping up with a shortened version of previous talks on drugs, alcohol and sex. I’d given this talk to his... [Read More]

Read more