Monday, March 4, 2019

{solsc} 4/31 #sol19 Notice and Note

Look at this. One day of subbing. Three slices. Who says I don't have anything to write about?

"I just finished reading this on Saturday. Changed all my plans on Sunday. And taught my first lesson on Monday. Do you know this book?"

Know it? I bought it as soon as it came out. Used it with several groups. 

" Well, yes. I had it and left it with all my other professional stuff."

"You did?"  

She turns around and looks at the shelf. Sure enough. There's my copy, sitting right behind her this whole time, post-it notes and all.

"I also had the student workbook."

"You did???" Turns around to look. Sure enough. There it is.

"Well. Alicia can have yours since she wanted to borrow it. But I'm keeping the workbook."

Notice. And Note.

Sunday, March 3, 2019

{solsc} 3/31 . #sol19 Homework

I finished up subbing on Friday and told Roomie (a friend whom I shared a room with for a few years) that I needed to head to the library for a new book.

"I have a few in here, you know."

I do know. One of the things Roomie and I share is a love of books. Books of all kinds and most of them ended up in our classroom library. I kept the library when she moved out and taught Spanish for a few years. She has it now that she's back teaching English and I retired.

I haven't read much YA since I retired and thought, "Why not?" She's pulling new books out and then sees one in a basket.

"Here. Try these. They're historical fiction that use primary sources throughout the story. Takes place in the 60's. Let me know if the story itself is good!"

I take them and put them in my bag.

Homework.  I like it.

Saturday, March 2, 2019

{solsc} 2/31 #sol19 What's a Retired Teacher Do?

I retired from teaching in May of 2017. I wasn't really ready to give it up. Close, but I thought I had a couple more years in me. But a healthy early retirement package gave me the incentive to go.

So what does a retired English teacher do? She subs, of course. I told our high school secretary I'd be up for a couple of days a week. No PE, but I'd give everything else a try. And, boy, have I tried them all.

  • Ag
  • Manufacturing
  • Math (AP Calc, Geometry, Algebra, Consumer Econ)
  • Science  (Chemistry, Physics, Human Anatomy)
  • English (Yeah!)
The best thing about subbing? Everyone is happy to see me.  
  • Kids cheer and ask who I'm there for. Yes. I know. Kids always are happy to see a sub. They consider it a day off. 
  • Teachers are happy when they know I'm coming to their room. I'm not so far removed from the high school classroom and can handle any surprises. 
  • Administration thanks me for coming in every time. Student behaviors are handled in the classroom, for the most part.
  • Even our smiley custodian makes sure I get a cookie on the days he bakes.
It's kind of like being a rock star.

I've taken on two long term subbing positions. Last May was an emergency situation in my old position. This year I subbed in Special Ed for a friend while she was on maternity leave. I loved it. Although, parts of it were tough, being back daily was fun. 

Part of that fun, though. was knowing I was done in December :)

Friday, March 1, 2019

{solsc} 1/31 I Am Not Writing This Year

I am not writing this year.

I haven't really written in months and it's been freeing. No worrying about filling in my notebook. No feeling guilty about not blogging or checking in with Teach Write.

And, I had decided not to write in the challenge this year, even though I've been participating since 2011. I deleted the emails. Ignored the call for Welcome Wagon. Avoided the Two Writing Teachers website.

Nope. I'm not going to do it.

We're leaving for Hawaii in 12 days.
I just won't have time.

                                                     And then I turned the calendar page.

Before I knew it, I was reading my March 1st slices. And then the March 31st slices. And then random slices. I began thinking about how I would write this post about not writing this March.

And I'm writing.

Tonight I will set up blog posts templates. I'll download the Blogger app onto my iPad. I'll make a plan.

I'm still not sure about writing in Hawaii. Maybe I won't. Maybe I'll just write until the 12th and then quit.

I just don't know.

But I'm here today. And I'm writing.

Saturday, October 20, 2018

Looking at the Heart

As always, my writing mentors speak to me just when I need to hear them.

Scrolling through Facebook, I came upon Leigh Anne's post (notice I stole her title) reflecting on Ruth's post.  There was a tweet included with Leigh Anne's and those words went straight to my heart because like Leigh Anne, I felt I had been focusing on behaviors instead of hearts.

I'm long-term subbing for a friend's maternity leave.

She's a special ed teacher. An amazing one.

She's a regular ed teacher also. An amazing one.

Kids love her.

And many of the students she works with have behavior issues. And there are regular teenagers who have their own issues. In the stress of starting in her classroom, in the hurriedness of catching up, in finding my "teaching every day" mojo, I forgot to look at the hearts.

I let behaviors get to me.

I thought back to a conversation I had with a friend one day about a certain student. I told her how I was having a difficult time with a kid. And in describing what was going on, I realized that I was the problem.

Then the new boy came. I'm really trying to connect with him and make his first days more comfortable. And another new boy started and he was so nervous he didn't make it to class. Then there's the new boy from last year who is so angry. That anger comes out in sarcasm and meanness. He's tough. He's hard. And in thinking about those boys, I knew I'd have to deal differently with all the others. I had to quit being the problem.

So, I'm going to keep the words on "my" desk so I see them every day because even experienced teachers need reminders...

What if we looked at the heart instead of the behavior?

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

#WOD . Hidden

hidden in the fog
of my early morning brain
to tumble to my fingerprints
and spill on to the page

10 Things I'd Rather Do Than Write
1. Play Facebook games
2. Take a bath
3. Read my book
4. Take the polish off my toenails
5. Eat ice cream
6. Make phone calls
7. Check my snapchat and instagram
8. Doze in my chair
9. twiddle my thumbs
10. Prepare for classes tomorrow

And now I've shared some writing today.

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

#sol18 A Fish Tale

I need help!!!!!!!!!!
I caught a fish!!!!!!!

Max is one of our youngest grandkids and he is fishing crazy. Give him a pole when he comes to the lake and he is set for the day.

Where is it? What did you do with it?

It's on the dock. My friends are watching it.

Well, let me throw some clothes on...  it's 8:30 on Saturday morning. I'm lounging and drinking coffee.

 My friends are so helpful. Tony, you should get some friends like mine. Tony is his big brother and has barely opened his eyes.

I follow him out the door and up the road to the dock. Mind you, he jumped on his bike and raced up the road. I walk as fast as I can. The neighbors are laughing as I walk down the road. They heard him yelling all the way to the cabin.

I hand him an old towel and tell him to hold the fish with the towel and take the hook out of its mouth. He's pretty proud when he puts that fish in the bucket.

I stay and watch for quite a while. 3 boys. 1 fishing pole. Surely there would be some fighting. But no. Their motto was teamwork. They handed the pole off to each other. Baited hooks and took fish off. Together.

Grandpa frying up some of the bluegills

Eventually, the other boys left, but not Max. 6 hours later we made him leave his fishing spot for a few hours. He went back that night and caught more fish. And again in the morning. He ended up catching enough bluegills that there was enough fish for all of us to have lunch!