Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Test, Test, Test

That is the most frustrating thing about teaching in the public system in the US. When I was in Korea, we did some testing, focused WAY too heavily on academics and little to no services for students with any kind of special needs, but we didn't over test the children. We always had money (I know, it's easier to have cash when parents are paying ridiculous school tuition and fees) and resources coming out of our ears and the kids were exposed to some of the best stuff. We were made to work very hard as teachers in regards to creating curriculum, professional development, creating new and exciting ways to present the curriculum, and on and on... But, we were never expected to test and test and test the children. I teach Kindergarten and I am overwhelmed with all the testing (yes, paper tests) that is required for 5-6 year-olds. It is just INSANE!!! *sigh* Just need to get that off my chest. I don't know if the government really believes that stressing the children out will turn out a better education, but I don't... because it won't!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

It is the Nor'easter's fault!

Yes, that's right, there is a historical Nor'easter hitting the Hampton Roads area where I currently live. The tides are at 6+ feet high and are expected to rise to a high tide of 7.5 feet by this evening which is close to what it was like during Hurricane Isabelle. There is tidal flooding and roads, bridges and tunnels are closed. This means that schools are closing all over the place. Now, there is no flooding in Williamsburg, but a whole lot of rain and wind. Williamsburg/James City County Schools are still in session today, but I work for York County School Division and some of our schools are closer to where all the flood action is, so they have closed our district for today. What a nice surprise for first thing in the morning!!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

The Heartbreak and Reward of Teaching

Today I didn't have any students but was meeting with parents for conferences and was reminded about the heartbreak and rewards that come with this job. All of the parent's made me feel like what I do is important and that my time was valuable. I shared laughs and fun stories with all of them. We talked realistically about their child's academic and social struggles, we came up with solutions together and took a few moments to know each other as people. I know a lot of teachers struggle to enjoy the parents, but I really and truly do. I enjoy meeting them, talking with them, getting to know them and connecting with them as people. Some parents have infuriated me in the past for a variety of reasons but overall, I absolutely adore meeting them. In fact, I would say it is a reward of the job nine times out of ten.
But the heartbreak comes when you find out what some of your students have suffered in their little lives. Today, one of my parents shared with me what the child in their care has been through. It broke my heart but I felt so honoured and blessed that this parent would share with me so that I could better understand the child and their needs.
I've never done this job for the money... it has always been about the heartbreak and the rewards. I believe we are called to be broken for someone or something and I am broken for the children. I believe that my purpose in life is to love the unloved through teaching and working with kids. And it is a blessing to receive the rewards of their smiles, hugs, learning, respect etc. I love what I do and today I was reminded why.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

November 11

In Canada, November 11th is called Remembrance Day. It is the day that most Canadians don a red poppy and take a moment of silence to remember our service members and the losses our entire country has suffered over our history. Not being at home is always hard for me on days like this as I do value the service members greatly. So instead of wearing a poppy (which I can't find anywhere here), I am putting this post up in hopes that others will see it, take a moment and remember. Thank you Canadian Service Members... you are the backbone on which our freedom is carried!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

The Shack

I just finished reading this book and it rocked my socks. I know it is just a piece of fiction but it really spoke to my heart and I hope that others will take the time to read it and open themselves to what is really behind the moving story.

check it out at:


Monday, November 2, 2009


Okay, I like Halloween, but not quite as much as people here do. Have you heard of "booing" someone? Well I guess it's the thing to do and I kinda like it. Apparently, you make a basket of treats and there is a little cute poem (I am sure you could find it online with www.google.com). You also need to include a ghost sticker, picture or something for the person to post on their door after they've been booed. So once you have 2 of these baskets together, you anonymously deliver them to two people in your neighbourhood. Each recipient needs to then make two baskets of their own and give those away. Once you have been booed, you put the ghost picture in your window or door-way. Then you can't be booed again, or so the rules go. Neat, right? I love the concept... makes Halloween more about treating your neighbours and having fun. Apparently the booing begins at the beginning of October and runs until Halloween itself. Love it!