Friday, August 30, 2013

On Being a Teacher

August hits teachers like a ton of bricks.  Meetings upon meetings with phrases such as "technology integration," "common core," "implementing with fidelity," "Marzano design question," and "learning goals." You start feeling professionally overdeveloped.  Then there is the implementation of all the aforementioned developing. And all the annual upkeep of a classroom.  You are sure to feel tired before a kindergarten-aged foot steps through the door.  But that's not what makes me exhausted and keeps me going at the same time.

Being a teacher is about remembering 20 small faces,  40 parent faces, and some grandparent faces.  It's knowing that so-and-so is your present student's cousin and remembering to put out dinosaurs because a student told you he loved them on Back To School night.  It's tracking down the OT because you need a wiggle seat YESTERDAY and finding the ELL teacher because you have a student that doesn't even realize how special she is because she's bilingual and is embarrassed to say she speaks Spanish.

Being a teacher is your husband already knowing half your student's names because you can't quit talking about them, even after being with them all day.  Being a teacher is finding bits of lamination film all over your living room because it's NEVER all cut out at school and you need it first thing in the morning. It's opening milk and peeling bananas and tying wet shoes laces (gag!).  It's hearing a little boy say, "When I go home today I'm gonna love you" and knowing that you had the privilege of rocking him and wiping his tears when his mommy left him the first day of school.  

It's convincing third graders that they are going to teach my kindergarteners to read and seeing them light up over it.  It's sending home a stuffed animal with a child so that he can hug something on the bus because it's loud and scary.  And then emailing his mom because you have another student that needs its the next morning.

Being a teacher is convincing your students that they are the best kindergarten class in the world before they believe it.  And then it's getting to watch them be the best kindergarten class in the world because they do believe it.   It's bringing your guitar to school to have Silly Song Fridays, which mostly just means I mess up the chords a lot.  It's being the Queen of the Mixed-Up Marble Club that gets paid in hugs and crayon and marker art.

And I adore it.  

Friday, August 9, 2013

Temps, Teachers, and Trust

Oh, man.  This week has been a doozie in the Aragon Life. I'm learning that there's so much I'm not in control of and that God is trustworthy. 

Si Guy has been sick.  Like sick SICK sick. I took him to the doctor and our doctor said "It's going to get worse before it gets better.  At least two more days of getting worse before you see improvement."  About 24 hours into the 48 hours, I wasn't trusting his judgement anymore. Silas was choking,  coughing, and drooling.  He wouldn't eat a thing.  I was furious with our doctor for not giving us SOMETHING to make him feel better and frankly, sleep through the night.  I called the on-call nurse and got the same schpill.  Elevate the head of the bed.  Humidifier in the room.  AM I THE ONLY ONE THAT JUST WANTS TO SCREAM WHEN THEY START THAT CRAP?!?!?!?  Give me the dang cough medicine and no one gets hurts, am I right?!?!  So we persevered and we trusted.  It was HARD seeing him so sick.  TJ had to talk me down from the "I'm just gonna give me a 1/4 teaspoon of Triaminic" ledge a time or two.  But he woke up 48 hours later wanting to eat.  And with a small little smile on his face.  And improving.  

And God said, Amanda, you've got to trust me.  

Faith met her Pre-K teacher this week.  To say I was a nervous wreck would be an understatement.  Teacher-parents have this highly-sensitive, almost defensive side when it comes to their kids attending school, or at least I do.  I'd been hearing a lot about Pre-K teachers retiring, moving around between grades, etc, and I was just sick thinking about who her teacher would be.  Would they would love Pre-K, her class, her quirks, her personality.  Couple that with Faith's uncanny ability to be excited about something then freeze at the last minute and throw a fit out of frightened embarrassment, and I felt like we were walking into a hornet's nest.  I was also giving myself a nice dose of mom guilt because I was the driving force that chose for her to go to our home school instead of transferring her to my school.  At our school, the parents go one night then the kids come back a few nights later.  We found out the first night we got the teacher we wanted.  When I texted it out, I got a bunch of "Praise God"s so I was super thankful immediately.  Then Faith got to go meet her.  We walked in and Faith was excited. Nervous, but excited.  She looked around and started doing all the things a normal kid would do when they're looking around their room for the first time.  I felt like I could breathe for the first time in a week.  And just to put the icing on the cake, Faith is in class with some of our greatest friends from 12 Corners.  The girls barely know each other because we left when they were just babies, but it was so nice to see them playing together and swinging each other.  

And God said, Amanda, you've got to trust me. 

So this week has been an experience in trust.  And I'm learning that God doesn't do good things to us as a reward for us trusting.  If that was the case Si would still be sick and Faith wouldn't have the teacher she has.  

He does good things because He IS good in his very nature.   


And just in case this has gotten all too serious for you, here are a few outtakes from the week.  Just keepin' it real...

"Mommy, God doesn't care what our outside looks like.  He cares about our insides.  Just like your face." Please excuse me while I go exfoliate. 

"I'm sorry mommy, but you're a mommy so you're gonna have to do a whole bunch of things at once," as I'm consoling a sick baby, talking to my mom on the phone about possible meds for said sick baby, and taking Faith's unfinished fries and she shoves them at me. 

This morning Silas was playing nicely while I got his breakfast ready.  I kept checking on him and there he was, watching Sesame and playing with a toy in his lap.  Sweet, perfect baby, I thought.  BUT when I got everything ready and went in I was HORRIFIED.  He had found a bowl from last night with popcorn in it and was eating it!!!  Isn't popcorn one of the cardinal sins of parenting a baby?!?!  

So folks, get in your forms for Parent of the Year quickly.  You're gonna have to work hard to beat this week's blooper reel!


Sunday, August 4, 2013

Resolution Check

2- 2 GOALS FOR THE YEAR (but I made it 4)

1. Be thankful.  Yes. 
2. Be as healthy as I used to be and love it as much as I used to.  Since I started back in March, I'd say I've lost between 15-20 pounds, but you can't really tell yet.  That's okay with me.  I'm getting healthier and working on increasing my workout stamina.  

3. Be organized in most facets of my life. My classroom is looking great, my kitchen not so much.  Why is it that I wish after dinner I could just push a denotation button every.single.night????  I hate cleaning the kitchen.  It's a huge mess all the time, but then I get all wiggy about TJ leaving things in the window sill.  I'm a nutcase. That's all there is to it. 

4. Be more adventurous.  Be more fun.  

Um, so he did.  And then I chickened out of getting a tattoo this month so I'm pretty much a failure OR the smartest person ever.  

1. Stop spending unwisely.  Saving for Disney.  Paying off debt.  No fun, but so necessary when I look at Faith.  Her legs are a mile long which ensures expensive jeans her whole life, she's already planning her wedding, and her college education is going to be here before you know it. 


1. Beaver's Bend- Check. 


1. Learn how to REALLY study the Bible.  Ruth- check.  Now onto Peter.
2. Learn to knit or crochet.  Not now. Or ever. A more attainable goal would be go to the restroom without visitors. 
3. Learn to drive a standard. Not yet. 
4. Learn to play the guitar better. Had to go.  So weird.  I had marked this one off the list, but now I find myself playing guitar more than usual. Weird.