Sunday, May 31, 2009

Oh Andrew...

Well, Andrew averted the bone marrow transplant (I firmly believe it was because of your prayers). But recently he has really struggled. He has been in and out of the hospital for the past two weeks. He had to have another blood transfusion. It seems that the chemo treatments (now every 3 weeks instead of weekly) are really taking a toll on him. He has just 2 more treatments to go... please pray for him. Also pray for the fact that his eyesight seems to have been affected. He can't read or see things far away, which really causes problems when he is trying to learn and keep up with his classmates.

Learning to Swim

Well, in just 12 more days of school I will have completed my first year in the USA and my 10th year of professional teaching (or is it my 11th?). I can't believe the year is almost up. I know that there were MANY times at the beginning where I really didn't think I would make it with these kids. I'd never really done a full time Kindergarten program before and I felt like I was drowning. I felt like I was drowning in the US as well. Coming from international private schools where all the teachers live, work and socialize together and where it is easy to meet and make new friends because most everyone is in the same boat that you are to the public system in the US where people have their own families and lives and not much time for the new stranger who arrived out of nowhere... it was hard to say the least. I don't know if I've learned how to swim in society here yet, but I think I've figured out how to float at least... treading water isn't my style so... :) But I do have to say that through all the struggles, through all the tears, the blood, the sweat, the money spent... I've learned, I've grown and I believe I am a better teacher now because of this experience. And I am even excited to do a better job as a Kindergarten teacher next year. Yup, that's right... you read it right, I am signed up for another year of learning to swim in the madness that is living in the US and teaching Kindergarten. :)

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

And still more on Andrew...

Keep your prayers and good thoughts coming his way. I just found out that Andrew's blood cell count is back down and his bone marrow is possibly in need of receiving a transfusion. His mother is a match, but a risk as she had cancer when she was in her 20s.
This poor kid has had a enough and is sick of being sick... you know?

Sunday, May 3, 2009

More about Andrew

I know I am posting a lot in one day, but today my boyfriend told me that he checked my blog and didn't see anything new and it kind of shocked me into how little I had been writing. The blog is so therapeutic for me (I don't even know how many people even read it). So here is another blog entry and update on Andrew, my student with cancer.
Andrew is back at school now!! Praise God!! He is still having chemo treatments but seems to be doing much better. He has had a blood transfusion to get his white cell count back up and that seems to have re-energized him. It's hard on some weeks when the chemo is particularly tough, but he seems to really be gaining strength. If you are praying for him, keep praying!! God is good... All the time!

How I Feel About Home Schooling

Well, I have often gone back and forth about how I feel about homeschooling. I remember as a new teacher, I felt indignant that some untrained parent thought they could do better than people who took YEARS to learn about and train in the craft of teaching. Then as I gained experience and age (hopefully wisdom came in there somewhere), I began to see how beneficial home school could be for some kids and for some families. One of my best friends home schools her child and is so active in it. She has always made sure that her children are exposed to the best things that life and the community have to offer. She takes them to community centre groups, to swimming lessons, to library story times and all kinds of educational events that students in public and private schools simply don't have the time to do. But she is also a trained teacher and nutritionist. She is exactly what home schooling should look like, but as I've come to find out, often doesn't. Recently a received a new student. She had been partially home schooled and partially in school. She is in Kindergarten and I don' t know what the standards were for where she was from or for home school, but mid way through April she can only write her first name, doesn't know the names of most of the letters or their sounds. She has no sight words, no math skills, no understanding in science or social studies. Basically, she came in like she had NEVER been exposed to school at all before. At first I excused it as being in Kindergarten but her grade one and grade three brothers and her grade 5 sister are in nearly the same boat. And so my pendulum of thoughts on home school is swinging back into the negative.
I know that home school is really in the hands of the parents who avail of their right to home school but it makes me nervous. I almost wish that there was some evaluation of those parents and if they couldn't meet state/province/national standards, then they would not be allowed to home school or that they would be put on probation for a time period.
Okay... I am getting off my high and mighty teacher soap box now. Thanks for reading/listening. It feels good to vent it out.


Don't panic yet folks, because I kow I did and there wasn't a real need for me to. I never knew that this area of the US was in a tornado area. But, surprise surprise, it is! About a week or so ago we were warned that there would be a lot of storming in the area. Lately it has become quite warm (up to 95 degrees Fahrenheit) and the air has been dry. Well, I guess conditions were ripe for a tornado, but I wasn't worried... yet anyway! hahaha
Later on the evening, I checked the news and they began by saying that a tornado watch was in effect (big black clouds, wind and rain had moved in). A tornado watch simply means that conditions are ripe for a tornado... I had heard that before and still wasn't worried. I was getting used to this sort of weather. And then the Emergency Weather System went off on my TV... now a tornado warning was being issued (this means that a funnel cloud was seen in the area)!! Yikes! I pretty much panicked at this point and began searching online to see what I needed to do in event of an actual tornado. hehe. It was pretty silly when I look back on it, but it was the first time I had ever heard the Emergency Weather System go off.
So yea... If I don't live in a place that is technically a war zone (Korea) or close to a war zone (Oman when the second Gulf War started), I guess it is my lot to live where hurricanes and tornados can happen. *sigh* No rest for the wicked as they say ;) hehe