50 Days of Truth.

Over 100 days ago I accepted the 100 Days of Happy Challenge that I gave to myself. I wanted to try and find happiness. It came when I needed it. Well I still need it, but it came at a time where I was trying not to get sucked into the black hole that TN has carved out of parts of my life. 100 Days of happy forced me to look and see the good in every single day and every single way. And I am glad. But I also struggle because it was/is carried out in social media which means it can come across as just seeing the beauty in my life.

I don’t like that. In fact, I find myself irritated when I am not being my authentic self in my social media world. I don’t want everyone to always see and know my pretty parts and not equally represent the not so pretty parts. I am real. I am 100% real. I make typos and grammar mistakes on every single blog entry. My pictures sometimes show my house not so neat. My husband and I fight. I don’t always aww and coo over my girlies.

So to counter balance the happiness that I just spent last 100 days relishing in I am creating my own campaign and it actually may already exist somewhere there in the internets. But for me it is new and it based on the truths in my life. My imperfections at their finest. I am not only going to embrace them, but welcome them. The need for perfection can kill.

“The most important kind of freedom is to be what you really are. You trade in your reality for a role. You trade in your sense for an act. You give up your ability to feel, and in exchange, put on a mask. There can’t be any large-scale revolution until there’s a personal revolution, on an individual level. It’s got to happen inside first.”
Jim Morrison

I am 100% okay with being imperfect. I am also 100% okay with sharing my truths so welcome.

Day # 1

truth1

Here she is. My # 3 who was very mad because no one will play with her. This is despite the fact that we have been playing with her all day long. In this moment she is shouting, “No one even listens to me.” I grabbed my camera and she started waving furiously and shouting, “No.” And even though I find these fits of independence to be an annoyance and sometimes a hassle.  I know that this is a 5 year old’s way to assert herself and to find her voice. So we let it play out and we pick our battles. Some are worth it, and some are just better to not. Her outfit today, on Sunday, is just not. Hence the shades of aqua green, florescent orange and tie dyed red shorts.

With that…. #50daysoftruth

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A New Beginning…

I will admit this is only my third year at teaching in the k12 system and in a high school environment. So by comparison my word may have a little less meaning. But I can tell you this, my school is doing amazing and innovative things. I have the distinct pleasure of working in a department with forward thinkers who not only understand their content at the top of their game, but who push themselves above and beyond Every-New-Beginningand rarely accept just average classroom techniques. What we are doing is hard to place words too. But what we are doing is supporting, teaching and driving a concept in education that I don’t believe many can compare to. 

I do work for a magnet school. I also work for an early college. And I can tell you that you will hear about the things we are doing. You won’t just hear about them, you know that they are making major impacts on our community, in our students and in our own lives. And no I would not dare put down my counterparts in traditional high schools or early colleges. That is not what I mean at all because truthfully I have no background knowledge of other schools. Every single teacher usually has some sort of impact be it good or bad. But what we have is lightening in a bottle and every year we pray and hope it stays. And every year it just gets more and more strong. Sometimes the intensity of such a thing is overwhelming, but then I tend to be an intense person.

I am two weeks into our new school year and two weeks into my dual credit course. I am beyond pleased with the strides we have already made. My juniors have done exactly what I expected from them and above and beyond. I also have had the distinct pleasure of working with these students as freshman and some as sophomores. But to watch their minds grow and change over the last two going on three years has given me more fulfillment than anything other than my own family’s strides and successes.

I have created a college environment in my classroom where the student not only thinks for themselves, but they are expected to think with reason. This has and will be their hardest maneuver yet as students. I have offered a very gray version of an English class. They have had me for the black and white version of an English classroom, so they are adjusting their sails. Or adjusting to me moving their cheese (we read “Who Moved My Cheese?” as freshman together) and trying to figure out what it means to be in a college English classroom.

I am trying to teach them Education has power and that they need to learn to harness it. I truly believe they will; and as they sail off I will be so proud to have been a small little sliver of them grabbing hold of their lives and directing it. I am teaching American Literature this year in my dual credit course with Freshman Composition. And I realized that it is not without thought that 11th graders are being taught to read and write and figure out who they are. All of the literature and writing we are doing is about finding identity, cultural belonging and finding the words to articulate it. It is an existential crisis in the making and is that not what teenagers 16-18 are going through?

They are figuring out colleges, taking tests that tell them whom and what they can be. They are being smacked with the realities of working, realities of people in their way saying you can’t or can, the reality of overcoming their childhoods and truly thinking about what life could be like out there with out the safety nets provided by their parents, guardians, schools, churches and friends. They are being told to find their voice, their own way and do this before you are 18. It is a lot.

I get to help them articulate those voices and put them on paper. It is not just an honor, but a privilege and no matter what my paycheck says every two weeks it has absolutely no comparison to the magic I get to see as they find themselves, their voices and their lives.

Saturday Sharing….I am a teacher edition.

Teacher Sharing…

Since I am teacher and since I have been noticeably absent I can tell you that the two relate. I have been in the process of gearing up for all brand spanking new classes. All of my classes are dual credits except for one which means I am balancing 11 grade standards for the state and my districtearly-college-studentsv3 with the college standards I have been appointed to uphold. A task that requires big brain puzzles as I call them. Not impossible not insurmountable but definitely a task. As well, within my classes I have an added structure of another college course for some of the students that struggle with reading. So at anytime I am possibly teaching three different levels or classes. That also means that I possibly have three different students doing three different things. It is differentiation at its finest. I love the challenge. I love that I had two years to work with all of my students to get to this point. I play the nice balance between high school and college.

When I went into this field I went in guns blazing determined to protect what my peers and I call the ivory tower. I was dead set it was my job to determine who entered and who did not. And to extent it is. But being an early college instructor is not quite so simple. I am teaching college rigor and standards. But there is a HUGE BUT. I am teaching it to teenagers. And no I am no pioneer on this front, but I am sensitive to that. I am also sensitive to the fact that my students take quite possibly seven other classes that are dual credit. They do not have traditional college student schedules where they have hours in the day to study. I cannot carry that mentality I did with my college kids that they needed to make time. And yes I believe my students need to do that, but it is far more complex. I am the voice for the university, but I am also an advocate for the early college high school student.

Anyway, I have a theme this year as I do every year. This year I am coming at my writing courses seeing the writer as an architect. It is a theme I found great connection with and feel will hit home with quite a few of my students. This concept is not new. However, it is innovative and will require teaching and understanding on my part and my students. More than anything, I am passionate for my job. I have always let that passion drive me and it has never, ever steered me wrong and I suspect that this year will be no different. Nor will the years to come.

viewEnd of Summer Sharing…

May I suggest a hotel to you? The JWindy.com. My guy took me there as a last of summer Hurrah. I fell in love. It isn’t the type of place you stay all the time. Well it maybe for you. But for us with three kids and well life. We would not traditionally stay somewhere like this. This is the type of place you go if you want to be pampered and escape from the humdrum of life. The price isn’t miserable, but more than your average hotel. But you get what you pay for. The car wash of showers, the robe, the food and oh my goodness the floor to ceiling view. And might I even suggest the higher you stay the better. Since I have moved from Indy I have found myself falling in love all over again with the city I am from. When I grew up in Indy I distinctly remember you didn’t do things downtown. I remember going downtown and seeing homeless people and dirty buildings and places. Within the last 10 years downtown has been revitalized and I feel like this hotel is the diamond on that ring.

You could also tag your hotel stay with a trip across the street to an Indianapolis Indians game if that is your thing. Which for very cheap you can get access to one of the cleanest and neatest ball parks around the midwest. I get spoiled by living in Fort the food at the Tincaps games is amazing and unique. The Indians have traditional ball park food. It is good and it does the trick. But if you are into draught beer than you will love the Indians stadium. The price of seats are decent. The lawn seats seem to me to be the best, most comfortable seats in the place. We have yet to sit there.

Alrighty, I am off to do some more planning. To do some more summering. To do some more hanging out with my girls. Life is good.