Sunday, May 25, 2014

All the cool kids are doing it

In an effort to shake up my elliptical rat workout routine and shed the last bit of my England weight, I signed up for private Crossfit sessions at our local box. I wasn't an initial fan, especially when I realized there is no AC in the place. Plus they do these torture moves like burpees and push ups. And they use a lot of weights, too. All of this is sooooo outta my comfort zone.

But a month in, I'm starting to see some results. I've grown comfortable with the initial wimp weights and my CF trainer upped them this past week. After hobbling around the first couple weeks with pretty much sore everything, wobbling out to my car on legs limp as wet noodles, I'm starting to feel stronger. And less like throwing up or passing out once the workout ends.

I've still got a long way to go, but it's a start. Once school ends, I'll have to switch over to classes since I'll be gone too much this summer to keep working with a trainer one-on-one. I'll modify and do the best I can and hope to see continued improvement with the upper body strength, muscle tone and endurance. Most days my tongue practically drags the ground and my eyes sting from sweat rolling into them. Remember - no AC, just fans… which is kinda cruel for the middle aged lady crowd in the Texas heat. I never look forward to the workouts, but always feel better afterwards. The humiliation of crying uncle keeps me chugging along rather than falling onto the mats in a heap and refusing to jump up onto the box one more time.

I hope I'll be successful with this, long term, because I'm not trying to regain the body I had at 25 or even 35. For me, it's all about committing to a healthier lifestyle. Now I just need to tackle that little matter of my coconut cupcake addiction. It's all about baby steps, like pretending the yummy local bake shop that I adore has burned to the ground and no longer sells their sinfully sweet creations.

Seven more days and I'll be through

At least I'll be through until August when the whole process begins anew with professional development and teacher inservice. 

There are seven remaining days in the current school year. And really just 6.5 because the last day is early dismissal. Since those days are punctuated with fun stuff like a swim party, talent show, dance and graduation for our 6th graders, there are only about three more actual days of regular science classes for me to teach. 

Honestly, my year felt complete on Friday once I had taught our sex ed abstinence based program to the girls. I have been dreading this lesson for weeks and was so glad to get it done. The girls giggled just as I had anticipated when I was going over slides in the Powerpoint with words like erection, wet dream and penis. There were no pics or graphics to accompany these terms, praise the Lord. Thankfully, the students are still separated by gender at this age. Both boys and girls hear the same information, but in separate classrooms. Another teacher on my team volunteered to deal with the boys for their lesson. I just don't think I could have looked those young men in the face after mentioning anal sex. This is why I shouldn't be teaching 6th gr science.

Our local big box store was running a special on boxed wine, so I stocked up to make it through the final days of school. Let's be honest - it's all about crowd control, keeping them from hurting each other or tearing up my classroom once they get the bit of summer vacation in their teeth and charge full steam ahead with it. Overall, I've had a great year at this new-to-me campus and look forward to the possibility of another great adventure next year once I see how things play out with a possible shift in faculty. 

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Dear Karma- I've started this list...

It's teacher appreciation week in the US. And I usually do feel appreciated. I believe my students, parents, teaching team and administrators think I put forth my best effort for them. I don't hit every lesson outta the ballpark, but I certainly put in the before school, after school, nights and weekend time to be sure things go off without a hitch.

Be warned - I'm taking a big ol' step up onto my soapbox now, so get ready for a humdinger of a rant. Every year I have one. I'm talking about the parent who takes his/her frustration, anger, regrets and parental shortcomings out on the teacher. This parent gleefully blames the teacher for all of the child's and parent's failures. This parent wants to tell me how to do it all "right" even though said parent doesn't have a college degree, let alone any classroom experience.

Let's be clear about this. I didn't give birth to your child. I wasn't there to provide your child with developmentally appropriate activities before entering kindergarten. I don't go home with your child to make sure assignments are included in backpacks, that they put forth a solid effort, that they seek clarification as needed, that they come in for tutoring with me if they require assistance, whether they get a good night's sleep or nutritious meals, if they listen to the class directions, write the posted assignments with deadlines in their daily planners and have a positive attitude about learning. That's the part you and your child are supposed to step up and do.

I was handed a curriculum I had to supplement on my own time, with my own money. And I do it happily because I love teaching and trying to make a positive difference in the lives of my students, preparing them for the demands of middle school next year. I spend substantial time away from my own family to make sure your child gets a lovely experience in 6th grade, a year of my own child's life I'll never get back. And all you can do is be an ungrateful little s#*! to me? 

The upside - you're the only turd floating in my otherwise happy little punch bowl of learners and their families. I have the pleasure of teaching a whole lotta students who make it a joy to roll out of bed every morning and come to school with a smile on my face. I get to go home to my own children who are (mostly) well adjusted, whereas you are gonna be stuck with your helicoptered, enabled, eternal excuse making child for decades. Seems fair to me.