Friday, April 30, 2010


With a capital G.
I'm hormonal. I'm emotional. I'm basically a wreck. I'm stressed with work, not with the kids, but with the grown ups. I'm tired of working in an environment that feels like high school all over again. People talking about you behind your back, being petty, and making up lies.
I'm not sure when it changed from being about doing what's best for the kids to full on hating someone because they stood up for what they believed in, but it did. And because of that, I'm exhausted. I spend all day "faking it" in front of the kids. That's not to say that I'm not a genuine person, but sometimes..just sometimes.. when they tell me someone called them a name, I have to pretend like I care. I have to pretend like everything I teach is the best thing in the world. It's a lot of work being chipper all the time. And now? I'm stuck faking it in front of adults, my co-workers. The same people who are in the world of education because they want to make a difference in the lives of children. Unless, of course, what's right isn't what they want to do.
I'm just exhausted. I'm a mess. I'm taking out my problems on my kids and I feel like a horrible teacher. I feel like nothing I do is right in certain people's eyes. I know it should never be about them or their views, but I hate working on a team that is dysfunctional. Because then? Then we're letting down the kids and that's not fair.
And now? Now I'm going to go pretend like it doesn't bother me and hold my head high because I know that the minute I let them know it gets to me, they've won. And that makes me feel like I'm in 9th grade again. Not an adult.

Thursday, April 29, 2010


During our words and sounds lesson today, we sounded out the word champion. I asked for someone to give me a sentence for champion.
Kid A: "We are the champion."
Kid B: (in a singing voice, of course) "Of the WORLD!"
I totally had to give him a fist pump because that? That was sweet.
I love my job.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

The Epitome of Teacher...

You know you're a teacher when...
..... you tell an adult outside of school that you need to have a "courageous conversation".
..... you tell your dog, "On your bottom, please" instead of telling her to SIT.
..... you begin a staff development with "Boys and girls, today we are going to..."
.... you wear cardigans. Even on the weekend. Because you just never can tell if it's going to be too hot or too cold.
.... you tell a friend, "I like how you did that!"
.... you're in public and you get the urge to correct the little cherubs that are running around acting like fools.
.... you give anyone and everyone, even a date, the "teacher look" when they do something that frustrates you.
.... you have the ability to fake your way through just about anything with a smile on your face.
Any other teachers out there have things to add to the list?

Tuesday, April 27, 2010


I just got another new student.. bringing my total up to 10. I have a new assistant starting tomorrow, bringing my assistant count up to 3. Let's quickly do the math.. 10+3=13

Yes, I'm juggling (bossing??) around 13 people.

Because I have SO much going on, I'm having a hard time keeping track of which way is up. Long story short, I've got nothing. I can't even remember conversations I had 10 minutes ago, let alone the funny things the kids said all day. I know there were funny things because I remember thinking to myself, I can't wait to blog about this. But now I can't remember. Shucks.

Oh! I do remember a kid saying something about lions eating their own feces. But what he really said was, lions eat their own species. He just happens to have some speech issues and it just really sounded like feces instead of species. And I, of course, laughed out loud.

Friday, April 23, 2010

World's Best Teacher..

In addition to making my kids pick up trash in honor of Earth Day, I definitely secured my spot as the World's Best Teacher (sarcasm, duh..)
In a fit of what can only be described as desperation, I informed my kids that when they do not listen to me, I do not teach them and when I do not teach them, I can be fired. I, obviously, did not think this through, as I had one in tears and another begging me to not lose my job. Of course, the one who didn't want me to lose my job said something to the tune of, "You awe mean, but what if the udder wady is meaner? I will wisten to everyting you say so you don't get fi-you'd."
Only the World's Best Teacher would threaten her 8 year olds with being fired if they didn't listen.
But, on a positive note, I did come up with a pretty witty line for my kids. File this under the "wow, I do know what I'm talking about sometimes" category. I told my kids to use a little less this (pointing to the mouth) and a little more this (pointing to ears). I'm thinking this is going to become my new tag-line. I'll definitely add it to the, "Wouldn't you rather look at my beautiful face than your neighbor's? I mean, really." and, "There's only one drama queen in this That doesn't leave room for any drama kings. Dry it up."
You can send your nominations for World's Best Teacher at any point... I got this one.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Stress... and a marriage proposal...

Work has me I know, it's the story of all of our lives, but it isn't usually the story of my life. I'm just bogged down with lots of paperwork (welcome to the world of special education) and a whole lot of kids. I went from having 5 kids at the beginning of the year to 9 in the past two months. Normally it isn't that big of a deal, but both times I got new kids, it was multiple kids at the same time. In my classroom, any changes upset the apple cart and we go through a metamorphasis and a trial period of re-establishing the pecking order. Add to that a new assistant and the news of another student joining us. Needless to say, my class is chaotic. Again, I know most of you teachers out there are balancing life with 25+ kids, but my kids have some pretty intensive needs on top of living in extreme poverty. So when I'm not dealing with the emotions that come with teaching students who are emotionally disturbed, I'm dealing with issues like neglect, abuse, and being impoverished.

With all of the bad that comes with my job, it would be easy to have a negative attitude. And some days, I have to really remind myself that there are plenty of positives in my crazy classroom. Like the kids who are learning to read. Or the kids who ask if we can do more math. And even the kid who changes from saying f*ck you to I hate you. We are making progress. We are learning. And we are trying really hard to be decent human beings. So, even though it may be chaotic.. it's life. It's my life. It's their life. And we can have rainbows and butterflies in addition to our tarantulas and spider man. And yes, in a classroom full of boys.. we have LOTS of tarantulas and spider man. In fact, I have a kid who answers just about every question with tarantula or spider. With an eye raise, he'll give me the correct answer. And that's progress. Because at his old school, he never gave the correct answer.

And now to the marriage proposal. We were talking about marriage (it's been a theme lately and I'm not sure why...) and one kid asked me if I would ever marry a kid. I explained to him that no, adults don't marry kids because kids don't get married until they are adults. Not pleased with my response, he asked, "How about if you wait to marry that kid until he grows up to be a grown up?". I had to laugh and then asked, "What kid would want to marry his teacher? I can't imagine any teacher being that cool." He looked at me straight in the eye and said, "I want to marry you. Please wait until I'm a grown up and marry me."

Awww.. little dude, if only it were that simple.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Bodily Fluids..

I can't believe I forgot this!

I have a rule in my classroom to curb tattle tales, "If you're not bleeding, puking, or hurt, Ms. L doesn't need to know about it." It really works because all I have to do is hold up one, two, and then three fingers when a kid is reporting something to me and they walk away. This rule has held up for two years now. Until today.

A kid was calling my name over and over and over again. If you're a teacher or a mother, you know just how annoying this is. I told him I was ignoring him until he asked for my attention the right way. Knowing where I was going, another kid wisely said, "Umm... but he is bleeding!" Yes, little dude was bleeding all over my floor, himself, and then on me. I don't do blood. And I certainly don't do gushing blood.

And then? I had a kid spit on me. He hocked a full on loogie right onto my foot because he was angry I was sending him for a time-out.

Seriously, I told you I work in a circus.

Manic Monday...

What a day it has been.... I'm going to give the Reader's Digest version and use bullets.

  • During our reading groups, one group read a story that had a picture of a kid in his underoos and a t-shirt. One little guy asked me, "Ms. L, do you ever wear just underoos and a t-shirt?". He was shocked when I told him, "Never ask a lady that!" because as he said it best, "I thought you never ask a lady her age? You never told us not to ask about being naked!"
  • I walked in to school today and was asked to find someone chart paper. Um.. I'm a teacher, not a paper-searcher.
  • While running today, my pants kept falling down. And I definitely showed crack when I bent down to pick up Zoey's business. I just bought that pants and they are too big. I know it's a great problem to have, but they are brand new!
  • Zoey ate my glasses last week and when I put them on today, they cut me. Awesome.
  • I bought new nail polish that I LOVED... only to find out it's almost the exact same color I already have. No wonder I loved it so much. It was so nice I bought it twice. Lovely.
  • I have lost a total of 19 pounds since December and the newer clothes I just bought are too big. Not obnoxious, like street thug who sags her pants down to her knees, but big enough to look sloppy. While I love the thought of new clothes, my wallet does not. I have to find a way to make it wor

Sunday, April 11, 2010


I have this amazing skill of getting random songs stuck in my head for extended periods of time. It's almost as if my life has a soundtrack to it. Sometimes the songs come and go and sometimes they stay for a while, taking up residency for a day or two and probably killing off some really important knowledge I need to, you know, teach America's youth. I kid, I kid.

Sometimes, however, the lyrics actually have some meaning or relevance to what is going on in my life.

Currently, I have The Rolling Stones' "You Can't Always Get What You Want" stuck in my head (but of course, it's the Glee version, duh!) and can't seem to shake it. I think that there's meaning to it this time and I'm pretty sure it's trying to remind me that you can't take life too seriously. If you're not familiar with the lyrics, they go something like this: You can't always get what you want, no you can't always get what you want. But if you try sometimes, you just might find, you get what you need.

I think this is true of life. You can't always get what you want, but when you don't, you do get what you need. Take, for example, my marriage or rather, my divorce. It wasn't what I wanted, but clearly what I needed. Also, as I'm contemplating moving back to Michigan, I'm finding that it might be what I want, but not what I need. The same can be true for my current housing situation. I'm going to be homeless come July 1st, and while I thought I would be able to stay in my current rental, that's not what is in store for me. Apparently, there's somewhere else I need to be-- even if I don't want to be.

I don't want to get too in-depth about religion, because I truly believe it's a personal thing, but I think that's kind of how God plays into our lives. It's not about what we want, it's about what He has in store for us and filling a need we may not have even known we had. I do not believe in coincidences and I don't necessarily believe in fate, but I do think that there is something to be said for things happening for a reason. It's our job to find that reason.

And now, in writing this post... Miley Cyrus has taken up residency and now I'm stuck singing "The Climb". Oi vey. I'm singing a teenie-bopper song... what has my life come to?

Dear Dove,

Hi there. Allow me to introduce myself. I'm a twenty-something college graduate, working on a master's degree in education. On a daily basis, I teach children to read. Therefore, it's appropriate to assume that I know how to read.

However, one of your products fooled me. You see, it's not cool to advertise "hydrating lotion" on a body wash bottle. Because when you're frantic for lotion on the day of your grandmother's funeral and vacillating between wanting to vomit and shaking hysterically because you know you just might screw up the eulogy that everyone thinks you're going to rock (and I did, thankyouverymuch), bottles that have an oxymoron on them suck. Really suck. And it really sucks when you spread said lotion body wash all over your body and realize it AFTER you've done your hair and makeup, so showering is not really an option.

Let's see if we can rectify this situation, shall we? I'd hate for someone else to make the same mistake.

Thursday, April 8, 2010


I know, I've been MIA.
Allow me to explain... I went on vacation to Florida (you may remember the whining about the rain...) and had to leave early for a family emergency back in Michigan. My grandma passed away, so I've been home with family.
But.. I'm back. And better than ever. With two new students and one new assistant, meaing the circus has expanded. And I'm still as blonde as ever, so you know the future looks good for you, dear readers!