Up and Down Day

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Today was an up and down day. Mostly ups and super trivial downs.

1. Up – woke up before my alarm which was nice because I wasn’t rushing

2. Up – ordered my new iPhone, would be ready to pick up after work

3. Up – lovely walk to workshop on the west side

4. Up – great workshop facilitator and information

5. Up – relaxed lunch in the park

6. Up – learned that CitiBike was moving on up to Harlem!

7. Down – false information from the Daily News, no CitiBikes in Harlem

8. Up – got out of workshop 15 minutes early

9. Down – checked email about phone pick-up and it said they were shipping…. so cancelled order…

10. Up – checked phone availability and there were still some available in store so I walked to the Apple Store at Grand Central to get one since my cancellation hadn’t gone through yet

11. Down – got to store and no phones available

12. HUGE up – when walking home from Grand Central, the Coolhaus Ice Cream Sandwich truck was parked right outside the east walkway like it was placed there just for me (today I enjoyed the ginger cookies and strawberry ice cream)

12. Up – home early to relax and maybe do a little run

13. MOST IMPORTANT UP – tomorrow is Friday

barkingmadaboutrunning.blogspot.com

barkingmadaboutrunning.blogspot.com

14. UPDATE: Unfortunately, another down – the vegetable soup I’ve had brewing in the slow cooker all day is BLAND! Ick! Disappointed.

If You Only Knew

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If you knew all the things teachers have to do, your head would spin.

We teachers in the United States are in the midst of a massive education reform. Is it needed? Yes! Is it easy? No, not at all. Not for anyone. Not even close to easy.

Let’s examine what we are doing. If I can even think of all the bits. And this is just the new stuff, not anything to do with grading, parents, workshops, etc!

1. Newish standards. While the Common Core standards have been available for a couple of years, this year the state tests are aligned to them. We are full on Common Core. Makes sense, except we don’t have the Common Core curriculum yet…

2. New reading and math curricula. Awesome idea. I’m extremely excited about this, but it would be great of we had all the pieces so we could dig in.

3. NYC instructional shifts. These shifts are tied to the standards and the curriculum. I call the shifts new old ways to teach. good ways to teach too. Makes sense. Lots of info on the DOE website, not sure how much it gets used outside of PDs.

4. New teacher evaluation system. Again, an idea that make sense. Teaching is a profession just like medicine and law and the standards for who can teach should be high. After all, teachers are the foundation for every other profession. Tons of paper work? You bet. Do I like it? Not particularly, but it’s necessary.

5. New mayor for NYC. Monumental event for the teaching profession. A mayor who supports teacher may be elected! Imagine that!

Oh my gaud! This little snapshot makes me crazy! Why am I a teacher!

Why am I a teacher?

A lot of days I forget, but then I remember when I hear the kids talk about how someone needs to “improve their conventions”. Or I have kids staying back from gym to quiz on math literature by choice. Or the parents tell me that their child is excited to go to school.

Oh ya, that’s why. Forget all the other stuff.

Remember the Moment?

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I’m sure we all remember the exact moment when we heard the Twin Towers had been hit by commercial jets. This moment obviously changed millions of lives forever, near and far.

Although it’s been 12 years, those wounds are still fresh for those directly affected by the day that changed the world. While there are many different versions of what happened that day and who is to blame, innocent people’s lives were forever changed.¬†So on this somber day, embrace the moments that make you happy.

Those moments for me today were:

  • feeling the 92 degree Fahrenheit heat and humidity of a September day (although it was kind of hard to bear)
  • my delicious iced coffee
  • the little old black dude dressed in the peach-colored suit
  • a man taking a work break in his foldable lawn chair, listening to his boom box
  • listening to the intelligent ramblings of an 8 year old
  • the guy chair dancing on the subway
  • knowing I made my family excited because they got the treat package I sent ūüėČ
  • and this…

IMG_4604

Tell me this didn’t make you smile!

Back to Semi-Routine, for a Couple of Days Anyway

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The new school year begins.

The alarm woke me up this morning, begrudgingly. A couple of teacher days, a four-day weekend, then the new kiddies come in next Monday.

I like getting back into routine even though it means that soon I will be getting up in the dark. That’s the worst part. Once I’m up and awake I’m fine with the rest of the routine-filled day. I bet our days are not so different…

6am – Get up & get ready

6:30-6:45am – Get picked up to go to work

7:00am – Arrive at school and prep for the day

8:00 – 11:05am – Pick up the students & teach

11:10am – Lunch

11:55am – 3:00pm – Pick up the kids from lunch then teach some more

3:05pm – ? – Clean up, prep, plan for the next day, maybe attend a meeting

Late afternoon – yoga or run

Early evening – get home, change, cook/order/eat, veg out, shower

Between 10:00pm-11:00pm – Bed

Then wake up and do it all again. Makes me feel like Bill Murray on Groundhog’s Day

imbd.com

imbd.com

And by Friday, I’m ready for no routine ūüôā

Mind Mumbo-Jumbo

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Is that like gumbo? Um, no.

It’s the mish-mash of craziness going on in my mind. You know the feeling I’m sure.

This week was filled with experiences I didn’t know I would have basically until they were happening… Participating in conference calls with prominent members of the education community, writing an Op-Ed article for the Daily News, and then appearing in segment on Good Day NY.

In addition to these career-related events, I did have time for fun at the beach, yoga, The Met, the movies. Each of these events is really a post of their own, but my mind cannot decide which to focus on, and that’s ok so I’ll just leave the list of events for now while my brain settles and refocuses.¬†I’ve literally started writing three different posts and have trashed them all because my mind is not wanting to organize any of the information in a sensical fashion. So… what’s on your mind?

Second Week – Finito!

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Wow, two weeks down – 38 to go! Not that I’m counting…

So the 2nd week of school deemed to be fruitful. Although we had a few vomiters here and there throughout the school, we were able to really get some routines solidified.  It was great getting our new technology program started. This year our school received a Federal grant for technology and assessment purposes.  All students in 3rd and 4th grades are working on Reading and Math for 30 minutes each a day.  The program seemed to be quite a hit this week. The program is currently our means for assessing the kids. Hopefully it will give us some accurate baselines.

I have to say, the vote we took at the end of last school year to change our Friday schedule to end at 2:20pm has so far been amazingly wonderful! We are all smiles as Friday approaches of course.

A few teachers from my school and couple former co-workers went for a nice little Happy Hour event in my neighborhood amongst the crazy Midtown East UN Assembly days.  The streets have been full of Secret Service vehicles, men with machine guns and headsets, streets barricaded and closed for the transport of President Obama.  Strangely, the travel route for the President happens to be on my street, so it feels a little prison-like when I walk out my building at this time. No worries though, I can handle it a few days a year.

Stay tuned for the completion of Week 3!

First Week – Done!

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So… the first full week of school is over… How was it? Besides the fact that getting up at 6am every day is now going to be the norm, it was fine. That’s all. Just fine. Nothing exciting, only a couple of kids that will most likely be the cause of a few headaches, it was just ok.

We have some new things going on this year, but I’m just going to take everything in stride. All the deadlines, all the new programs, all the last minute¬†schedule changes, all the complaining. This year I will not let my workout schedule suffer or become abandoned because it is too cold or because I am too tired.

I will be get my grad work done when I have time and try not to obsess over the deducted marks I think are unfair – which right now I am stewing over! Brett tells me that it really doesn’t make a difference in the end. I try to think that way, but I obsess over these things and always strive for the perfect grade… What can I say? I’m anal about these things.

So I end the somewhat mundane week with a nice time at happy hour with a few teacher friends at an Upper East Side pub. A great way to end a 5 day work week.

Here’s to the second week. Cheers teacher friends!

First Day

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While all my teacher friends¬†went back for “Teacher Day” today, I am at home sick. Who would have thought that taking too much Vitamin C in a 24 hour period would cause my body to spiral out of control. I was trying to defeat the head cold that was coming on, and ended¬†up with a whole other problem. I won’t get into gory details, but let’s say I spent Labor Day, my last official day of summer, mostly laying down, not moving around much. You’d think spending 14 hours in bed would help, but it¬†didn’t completely kick what was going on.

So this morning at 6:45am, I had to call in sick on the first day of the 2010-2011 school year. I’m hoping this is my only sick day. I never take days off. But today, my body was too unpredictable once again, to go out in public. The shower was difficult for me; forget sitting in meetings, talking, and working in my classroom. And too bad whole problem had to be the same day my friend got us free Yankee tickets. No Yankee game¬†for me tonight…

Stay Healthy