Posts Tagged With: preschool

Robynbird thoughts

The painters are here again this morning. They’re Spanish speaking and the foreman has a little radio on his belt while he paints my front door. The morning DJs are speaking Spanish but they just played Will Smith’s Men in Black. It made me giggle.
That movie came out the summer Thing 2 was born. My precious sister in law had Thing 1 with her while Thing 2 was born. They came to the hospital to visit and Thing 1 sang the Men in Black song to me. It was the first time I heard it. And though I’ve seen (and loved) the movie, I always think of that moment in the hospital when my three year old blonde pigtailed girl sang me a song to cover her sadness that she couldn’t hold her baby sister because she was in the NICU.

I had plans to go the farmer’s market this morning with my neighbor, but I can’t leave the guy kneeling in the doorway painting the front door. So we wait…and perhaps a farmer’s market trip turns into afternoon cocktails when her kids wake from their naps. They’ll paddle in the baby pools on their back deck while they’re mommy and I enjoy champagne cocktails.

The lula launch was a success! So many ladies in our basement going through and trying on clothes for about three hours. It was a fun estrogen fueled evening. When the trying on of clothes went on too long in the bedroom, there were flashes of undies and bras as they decided not to care and just began trying on clothes where they stood. Reminded me of high school.
There was a great deal of “Oh girl, YES!” and “You NEED that!” and “Your ass is perfection in that skirt.” as encouragement. We offered opinions and compliments and ideas for new and different outfits. I had a ball!
AND I had great sales, booked one online party and had one friend ask questions about becoming a consultant.
Overall I’d say it was a success!

I interviewed for a job at one of the local elementary schools yesterday, it’s a part time position as a “cafeteria hostess” this means I get to spend four hours a day with young children without the rigors and responsibilities of running a classroom. The AP and I got on beautifully, she was impressed with my passion and experience for early childhood education. I was impressed that she feels so strongly about learning through play. It felt right. I want it to be my new school family.
I was offered a position at my old, old preschool. Three days a week in the classroom I originated. I met with the director, liked her, and put a great deal of thought into the offer.
But that was telling. I put thought into the offer, but I felt nothing. I didn’t know it in my gut. I had to think about it. And that means it’s not right for me.
Of course I never considered the practical things: The ridiculous commute. The tiny salary.
I just waited for my gut to know. And because it never did, I’m going to turn down the offer. This will create sadness at the school, especially for the individuals who suggested I “come home” in the first place. But if I’m not true to me, how can I give those children and their families what they need?

I’m thinking of a line from Nick Hornby’s High Fidelity:
“I’ve been thinking with my guts since I was fourteen years old, and frankly speaking, between you and me, I have come to the conclusion that my guts have shit for brains.”
I always trust my gut.
My gut does not have “shit for brains”.
When my brain tries to logic and my heart simply feels, my gut tells them to get it together and makes clear the right choice.
I trust that.

Categories: me | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

mother’s day

I struggle with Mother’s Day.
My birthday is always the week of Mother’s Day. Sometimes even falls on that particular Sunday. I don’t remember it bothering me until I became a mom. First one precious little girl and later, two precious little girls called me their mommy. They were SO focused and excited about Mother’s Day that my birthday often fell by the wayside.
When they got old enough to understand, I explained how much I loved their beautiful appreciation of me. I explained that I was their mommy every day. That it was the most special thing EVERY DAY. But that my birthday was only one day and it was special. It took a bit for them to get it, but they knew how important I made their birthdays and they began to come around. So while Mother’s Day remained special, “birthday birthday” became the focus that second week of May.

Mother’s Day is painful for me because I don’t have my mom anymore. However complicated our relationship was, she was my mother and I loved her.
I took Thing C and Thing G to get cards for their mom. I went with YBW to get a card for his mom. I spent the day with YBW and his mom.
It was agony.
I no longer have a mom. It hurts more than I can even communicate.
Thing 1 called to tell me Happy Mother’s Day. She thanked me for being her mom. She talked about the life she’s building. She talked about going back to school. She told me she sent a little gift, but it was going to be late. She told me how much she loved me.
My heart sang with joy!
Thing 2 did nothing. (I don’t know if she was being purposefully hurtful or not…I honestly don’t think it matters. It was hurtful enough.) People that I did not actually give birth to called and texted to wish me Happy Mother’s Day. I’m just sayin’.

When my girls were little and I was teaching preschool, I was blessed to be surrounded by some of the most truly awe inspiring women I’ve ever known.
We were a family. If something happened to one of us, joy or sorrow, it happened to all of us. These women helped me realize who I could be. They let me help them see things from my unique and sometimes brash perspective. (I may or may not have publicly accused the director of being on crack at a faculty meeting…in my defense, it opened a new way of talking about a serious topic.)

When I started this blog I promised my family and friends anonymity. That’s why I never use anyone’s real name…apart from my own. My girls and Sundance have expressed their ambivalence regarding this promise. I keep it because YBW is especially protective of his identity, and the identity of his sons. I respect that. Nobody “signed up” to be part of my public words regarding my private life. I want to keep those who need to feel safe feeling safe.
That said, I’m going to use the names of the women from that perfect moment in time when we lived and loved and worked in the safest and most creative environment.

It kind of started this way:
On Sunday, Nicole posted in our private group chat:
HAPPY MOTHERS DAY!!! I would not have survived young motherhood without you all!!

I was thinking something along those lines when I was washing my hair that morning. I was thinking about some of the women that influenced my life. What I learned from each of them and how I incorporated that into my parenting style, and into my own personal development.

I learned from my mom that always having to be in control will wear you the eff out. That it breaks you and makes you miserable. My mom taught me the value of creativity and expressing opinions because she squashed those out of us as children. She taught me that love is conditional, you must be exactly what someone wants or they can’t love you.
She taught me that you just have to keep fighting for what you believe in. She taught me what true sacrifice looks like. She taught me that a color book and box of crayons eases heartache. She taught me that birthdays are the most important celebration, because the day you came into the world is sacred. She taught me to love books. She taught me Elvis is the King. She taught me that being redhaird is the most precious gift, and that only a few of us ever have the luxury to receive it.
Some of the things she taught me made me a better mom because I did the exact opposite of what she did. Love is unconditional. Creativity and expressing yourself are the most important life stills to possess.
Some of what she taught me formed my most basic ideology. Birthdays are sacred. New crayons are priceless. Books are uniquely portable magic.

Nicole taught me that organized chaos is a great way to raise children. She taught me that love is fierce. She showed me how to see things through the eyes of a child. She taught me the value of true and long lasting friendship.

Jessica taught me that I was more capable than I ever realized. She taught me to listen differently so I could truly hear. She taught me to ask the most important question: What’s best for children? She taught me the value of my own mothering. She taught me when life hands you lemons, make lemonade. She helped me believe in myself at the lowest point in my life. She showed me the fire in my belly still had embers to nurture. She loved me when I couldn’t love myself.

Becca encouraged me to trust my gut, because she never seemed to be able to do that for herself. She taught me to appreciate every contribution. She brought out even more nurturing in me, she needed and still occasionally needs to be taught self-love. She taught me how innocent kindness can change lives. She taught me that my tough as nails hide could benefit from softening up a bit.

Terri taught me to see my firstborn in a new and different light. She provided much comfort and support when I was struggling with learning how to mom a three year old and a new and extremely sick baby. She was an example of love and tenacity through her own terrible illness. She taught me how to approach the enigma that is the three year old with the perfect mix of fear and appreciation.

Nancy taught me that I must embrace and celebrate my gifts. She is the first person who said out loud that I am a writer. That moment caused a change in my life that I will be forever grateful for. She supported me with love and hope when I didn’t know who or what I really was. She taught me that life is so much more than simply putting one foot in front of the other.

Marianne taught me that letting go is so much better than holding on too tightly. She taught me the importance of repetition. She helped me realize that a classroom was one of the most loving environments in the world.

Cory taught me that I matter. She helped me understand how to be a mom and a real person too. She accepted me for who I am. She guided my learning of that most important skill. I’m not great at it, but I am working at it every single day…even all these years later.

Julia encouraged me to take risks. She helped me realize that fear is a part of life, but if I didn’t try new things I might miss out on something extraordinary. She taught me a new kind of patience.

Sara gave me the courage to breathe when I needed to take a step back. She showed me the importance of kindness when Thing 2 and I experienced serious separation anxiety.

Like Nicole, I would never have gotten through young motherhood without these women. The gifts they gave me have gotten me through the last twenty two years.
It takes a village to raise children.
It takes a village to raise parents too.

I’m so blessed to know and love these women. I would not be the woman I am without experiencing their love and support.
I saw Becca this weekend, we talked about how those years were a sacred moment in time. We will never be able to recreate that, but we’re lucky enough to forever be better mothers and better women because of it.

Categories: education, love, me, on being a mom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Just you wait, Henry Higgins. Just you wait.

I haven’t written anything in a while. I just haven’t been feeling well…or feeling like writing. It’s not an excuse…it just is.
Monday starts my last two weeks in my classroom. While I’m sad to say goodbye to my babies, I’ve never been happier to leave a job in my life. And that’s saying something. I used to run the nursing department of a home health care company. Every day on the way to work I would fantasize about being in an accident. Not enough to be hurt, enough to not make it to work.
It’s not the kids, I adore them. Even the ones I don’t actually like. It’s the way the administrators (None of which have any early childhood experience.) never bother to ask the most important question.
What’s best for children?

I ask that question every single day. And I do my damnedest to answer it.

It disgusts me that they are treated like chattel with dollar signs on their chests. Is that what’s best for children?
If parents knew how decisions regarding their children’s care and education were being arbitrarily decided would that be acceptable?
But some parents don’t care. Their careers, their lives are more important to them and they’re content to believe the hype as long as someone looks after their children all day long.

No one gives a damn about emergent curriculum. Or learning through play. Or brain development.
Is that what’s best for children?

I’ve never been truly satisfied at this school. I’ve had moments of great joy. But I’ve always known it fit me ill.
It’s made me question my passion for early childhood education. It’s made me question my love for young children. I’ve been wrestling with “hanging up my spurs” for quite some time. It fascinates me that something beyond my control made the decision for me. Is the stress from this job really creating the sickness in my brain?

Perhaps I’m just a whiny crybaby? Perhaps I’m just lazy? Perhaps I simply don’t want to have to go to work everyday?
I’ve asked myself these questions. With the exception of the first one, the answer is no. (The answer to the first question is: occasionally.)

It’s occurring to me as I write this that as bad as that other job was, this one goes against my personal beliefs. That just might be why it feels so much worse. I care so passionately about young children and their beginning education that I absolutely cannot participate in the degradation of the most important time in a person’s life.
From zero to five years is when everything we need for our entire lives starts being built.

I was discussing with a couple we know, the brain situation and leaving my job under medical advice. The husband (Who is an engineer.) said something to the effect of: But all jobs are stressful. The wife (Who is a teacher at an elementary school.) replied something to the effect of: Teaching is so stressful. It’s not like other jobs. You can turn your brain off occasionally while you’re working. But we never can.
I agreed and said: I am almost constantly engaged with my kids. My brain works even harder than my body does. When a child comes to me with a question or is excited about an accomplishment, I have to be ready to go! I have to give that child my undivided attention while being completely aware of the others.

Most people have no real understanding of what early childhood educators do. It’s not quantifiable but it lays the foundation for every single moment of learning.

I’m going to step down off my soapbox.
I’m going to enjoy the last two weeks with my babies before they move into the “junior kindergarten program”.
I’m going to walk away with my head held high.

It occurs to me in this moment that I haven’t been writing because I was filled with all this poison. It was making me fell unwell. It was making me cranky.
Well, I’ve just spewed the poison it onto this page and I actually feel a great deal better.

Am I crazy?
Am I cutting off my nose to spite my face?
Are personal beliefs and principles so sacred that to go against them makes one ill?
Don’t we skew our principles a teeny bit just to make it through each day?

I don’t know the answers to those questions. Well, I’m pretty sure I’m not crazy…

I am going to take time in September and October to heal my brain. (I’m extremely stubborn so I plan to do that through the sheer force of my will.) I’ll take that time to finish wedding planning. I’ll spend a good deal of that time with my own precious Thing 2.
And when YBW and I come home from our honeymoon, I’ll find a new job. One that suits me and that I suit.

I’m reminded a little bit of Eliza Doolittle: Just you wait ‘enry ‘iggins. Just you wait.
My brain is Professor Higgins. Life is Professor Higgins. And just like Eliza Doolittle, I plan to show my brain and the world what’s up!

Categories: education, me | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

imagination spools

Two of my little students came to me this morning: Miss Robynbird! Come see what we built! Hurry! You have to see!
(Kinda hard to say no to that!)
Two little blonde heads bouncing with excitement as we walk to the back of the classroom together. And then I see what they built!


Tell me about it. I say to them.
He says: J and I built it together!
She says: We used all the spools.
I see that. Can you tell me more about it?
She says: They’re all in a line.
He hugs me with joy: We did it!


I know nothing of their intent.
I don’t know what they think it was.
All I know is that they did it together and their pride was BIG!

You know, when it comes right down to it, I don’t really need to know any more than that.

Categories: education | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

storytelling part four (classroom fun)

Friday’s heat advisories kept us indoors so we made our own fun. I got down off my soapbox and let the kids do what they wanted. After expanding our construction zone to somehow encompass the entire back half of the classroom they cleaned up and came together ready the write a story.
I encouraged the worst possible story in the history of all stories and they did not disappoint.

(email title)
total global destruction

Well…sort of.

Miss Robynbird told us how proud she was that we were able to make a story without any bloodshed, so much so that today she challenged us to make the most horrifically terrible story possible! We’re talking fire, flood, famine. We’re talking dragons, dinosaurs, witches and sharks. We’re talking destruction of TOTAL GLOBAL PROPORTION!

During the planning process we shouted out things like:
witches potions

KR-J asked to begin the story, and it went a little something like this:
Once upon a time there was a scary dinosaur and there was a villager. And the villager found the dinosaur.
And then there was another dinosaur. A dragon came and he blow fire on the grass where the dinosaur was. A witch came from where the villager was. She said, “NO DRAGONS BREATHING FIRE!”
Another witch found a villager’s house and saw a cloak and put it on then she went to the dragon and the dragon ate her and she “spelled” out of the dragon and found her body again.
Then another dragon came and the villager…he saw crocodiles…they are by the water…he was trying to be careful by the bridge, but fell in the pond and the crocodile is gonna eat him. Then the villager got out and runned away from the crocodile.
Then what happened, there was a shark, and he was bad and ate some people and there were other people and they went on a bridge and the bridge broke and they fell in the water then what happened, was the dinosaur got the people and stomped on them and they was squished.
More people ran into the forest and into their house and the dragons blowed their house. Then they run into the bridge and they fell into the water and the shark get ’em.
The dragon and shark…the dragon saw a knight guard…he tried to fight the dragon and he fired the knight guard and eat him.
Miss Robynbird turned to TK: Bring us home.
TK grinned:
Then there was a bridge that was broken and the shark at the broken pieces and a dragon breathed fire on more people and then stepped on them and they were dead. And then he ate them.

Total global destruction was a SUCCESS!

(Teacher’s Note: YBW asked me if any of the parents found this inappropriate. I laughed. These parents absolutely LOVE this stuff. They think these stories are wonderful. I am blessed to have parents with senses of humor. They are blessed to have teachers who encourage creativity and critical thought.)

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storytelling part three (classroom fun)

Thursday was about educating parents a little bit.
Sometimes I worry that they don’t understand why I don’t seem concerned that some of these kids can’t write their own names. Some of these kids can barely recognize their own names.
Guess what. That is OK!
Know why? It’s developmentally appropriate.
I don’t rush reading and writing.
I have a child in my class who can write her name but doesn’t know any of the letters in her name. Please tell me how that is remotely acceptable?
So I stick to my philosophy. Kids learn best through play, through authentic experience. They learn when their brains are developmentally ready to learn. And three and four year old brains (for the most part) are not designed to read and write.
Some of my kids can do both. Some of them can do neither. This is me explaining to parents why either one is going to be just fine.

(email title)
Do you know what we know?

We wrote a story today and guess what!?! There was no bloodshed! Nobody got eaten! No death! No destruction! No mayhem!
And guess what else? It kind of made Miss Robynbird a little bit sad. She realized she kind of likes it when we create a great story and then destroy it. And here’s why…

She doesn’t think we know this, she’s not sure you know this, but we are learning SO much when we write our own stories. (bloodshed and all)

We’re learning parts of speech: nouns, pronouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs, prepositions, conjunctions, and interjections.
(We mostly use the first four, but we’re big fans of conjunctions too.)
We’re learning basic parts of a sentence: subject, action, and sometimes an object. (Isn’t it great when the action is bloodshed?)
We’re touching on things like adverbs and adjectives, we’re exploring the ideas of conjunctions and prepositions.
We’re doing these things because we know every story has to have “subject” and often times we choose something familiar like a princess or a witch. A pronoun is when we say ‘she’ or ‘her’ or ‘they’ instead of ‘the witch’ or ‘the princess’.
Then we will talk about what that subject is doing which is the action.
Oftentimes there is an object, like a dragon, or shark. These can be subjects too, but we don’t really use them that way.
We use the words ‘then’ and ‘and’ a LOT and those are totally conjunctions. That means they hook the parts of sentences or stories together.
Sometimes then is a preposition too.
We’re not yet super awesome at verb tense, or pronoun perfection. We sometimes don’t quite get it exactly right, but we’re working on it, and we’re having SO much fun!

We’re not being told this is what we’re learning, but when we start a story with a queen and then half way through start saying princess, Miss Robynbird and Miss J remind us that there isn’t a princess in our story. This keeps us on track with our subject.
We sometimes forget where the story is taking place, too. We start out in the woods and then try to say that a shark comes. But we remind each other there isn’t any water in the woods for a shark to be.
This is real literacy!
It doesn’t look like elementary school grammar.
It isn’t us deconstructing sentences.
But it really is us learning.
We weren’t sure if you honestly knew that. We weren’t sure if Miss J and Miss Robynbird understood that we realized that.
We just wanted you to know that we know what’s up.
Now that we explained that cool stuff to you, wanna hear our story?

Once upon a time, a princess comed and a prince comed and a witch comed and and dragon too! And they loved bread so they ateV bread together.
The prince, and princess, and witch ride on the dragon to Wegmans to get more bread, chocolate chip bread. And they got grapes, and sushi, and broccoli, and tomatoes, then they went back home and ate all that.
They went to the baseball game and played with all the kids. Then the witch was flying her broom around. And they went to Target on their way home.
The witch put the princess in jail and they played basketball and after that, some tennis.
Then the princess didn’t go to jail, but…what happened was, a big big monster came and the princess trapped the monster. And then the witch, prince, dragon and princess played some more.
They locked the monster, but he had a key. So, he got out of the trap and he made they breakfast and left. Then he went to Target and said goodbye to Target and go home.

Categories: education | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

storytelling part two (classroom fun)

Wednesday’s story looked a bit like this:

(email title)
we tried really hard…but just couldn’t do it

So we tried REALLY REALLY hard to tell a cohesive (this is a big word Miss Robynbird used that kind of means “stays connected”) story today where there is no bloodshed, and nobody gets eaten…but once it got disconnected, she gave to go-ahead to end the story the way we do it best…so here goes:

Miss Robynbird:
Once upon a time there were some children who went for a super long camping trip in the woods. BUT, they were totally safe because nothing scary EVER happened in these woods. This was because there were two VERY special protectors called Miss J and Miss Robynbird who lived in the woods.
Miss J:
When the children got to their campsite, they realized they left their gear at the pond when they stopped to get water. Oh no! So, they had to come up with a plan to build a place stay safe.
(We can’t wait to see what happens, because these kids have mad problem solving skills.)
They builded a tent. Then found lots of wood to make a house. But first they drawed a picture of what the house wanted to look like.
Then they painted their house and played at the campsite.
Then they go and find some fishing stuff.
And they went to the pond to fish and found their stuff! And that was good because with no support the wood house broke. And then what happened, he build a proper house with support so that it wouldn’t fall. But then it was leaning so they hold it so it wouldn’t fall. And then what happened was the house still leaned.
They build a new house with straws and bricks and put a window. They paint it. But the construction broke again so they had to do it again with tress and bricks. That’s how they built a new house. A blue house.
There was a polar bear, he decided to go to sleep in the house. He woke up and had dinner and a snack. The kids saw the bear and they all went in the house to sleep around him.
Two more polar bears came in the house. Now it was a baby, a Mommy and a Daddy.
(This is when Miss Robynbird and Miss J realized we’d gotten off topic and Miss Robynbird asked TK to do what he does best…he grinned.)
The brother came. The brother polar bear. And then the Love Monster came. And ate two of the other polar bears.
Miss Robynbird (who had to stop giggling before she could speak): And then protectors of the woods came and told the children to go home.
TK: Miss J is the Love Monster.

So…bears were eaten…but they shouldn’t really have wandered this far south anyway…so they pretty much had it coming.
See! We TOLD you we’re spectacularly good problem solvers!

(Teacher’s Note: The Love Monster comes from a book we read in the classroom called…well…Love Monster.
We’ve just finished a unit on construction in which we learned that architectural drawings must happen before you can build…see how they retain what they learn? It really is so rewarding!)

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storytelling part one (classroom fun)

At the beginning of the school year I started a “game” of writing our own story with the kids in my class. Kind of like playing “telephone” when I was a kid, someone would start the story with “once upon a time…” and then each person would contribute one or two sentences until we had a story.
It was when we were working on the care and keeping of books. My thought process was that if they understood how much hard work went into creating the books they loved, they would be more inclined to take good care of them. This unit of study began with me literally showing them how to handle books and ended with them writing and illustrating their own books.
Over time, we’ll randomly decide to write our own story when we need a quiet but engaging activity…this can happen when I don’t feel like reading a story, but sometimes one of them will suggest it.

When we first started doing writing our own stories, they were a hot hot mess. They were all over the place. The setting jumped around or subjects changed or story lines were completely rewritten as each child had a turn.
But with practice, we slowly began to get better.
With gentle reminders we kept the story on track.
They began to listen to what the child before them said and built from that. They began to create complex sentences. They used the hell out of the words “and” and “then”, but who cares? It’s their story?

This week, we brought storytelling back.
I’m presenting you with a miniseries of the emails I sent to parents each day this week starting on Tuesday and ending on Friday.

(Note: My classroom kids mixed ages from brand new three year olds to four and a half year olds, you will be able to tell the difference based on their language. I have written down their words exactly as they were spoken.)

(email title)
we’re just cool like that

We did something we haven’t done in a really long time…we wrote our own story!
Check it out:
Miss Robynbird started us out:
Once upon a time a queen lived in a castle at the edge of a beautiful forest.
A witch came. She blew beautiful flowers in the castle.
A knight have a horsie in the forest.
The witch locked the queen in a castle with a horrible dragon standing by it with fire in his mouth.
The dragon breathed fire on the queen then ate the queen up.
The dragon flowed away.
KR: The knight comes and saves the witch.

We are spectacularly awesome story tellers, no?
Miss Robynbird wonders why it always seems to lead to bloodshed. We don’t actually know why…we just know that’s how we like it!
Miss Robynbird said she wants us to work on writing more stories in which folks (Ha! We think it’s REALLY funny when she says folks!) don’t always end up as dragon food. We’ll try, just to see the look on her face when she sees what we come up with next!

We also started talking a little bit about summer camp and how it will be different from the regular school year. This got us talking about summer and all the cool things summer brings!
Miss Robynbird asked: What’s your favorite part about summer?
Wearing costumes.
Cause you get to be a mermaid!
Summer clothes.
Going to the park.
Big rocket ships.
Going to the pool.
Riding my big wheel and going to the pool.
Going to the beach!
Me and Mommy going to the pool with Daddy and my brudder and having pizza.
Having a picnic with Mommy, Daddy and Licity.
CC: Um…um…pool!
Playing in the sprinkler!
Go to the pool and wear my goggles!
Miss L:(substitute teacher this day)
Going to the park with my friends.
Miss Robynbird:
Cookouts with friends and family.

Then we started talking more about summer things…
VS: I like weddings!
AG: Me too!
EY: Me too!
VS: I’m going to a wedding!
CS: Me too!
Miss Robynbird: Me too!
CS: Cause you’re gonna marry YBW, right?
Miss Robynbird: Yes, I am.
TK: But Miss Robynbird, I want to marry you.
Miss Robynbird: TK, that’s the sweetest thing you’ve ever said to me, thank you.
Then everybody wanted to marry Miss Robynbird, except for CS who wants to marry YBW. And EY who wants to marry (her big brudder) J, and JH who wants to marry T (also her big brother).
We’re just cool like that…we use queens for dragon food and dig all kinds of summer stuff…and as it turns out, we like weddings.

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of no party or clique

I’m sad, angry, hurt, and frustrated.

I never pay attention to the rumor mill at my school because I am a grown-up and not a seventh grader with a bank account. But there is a “new and exciting” rumor about me and it was brought to my attention by the one person I really trust. She shared it with me out of love.

I’m the kind of girl who doesn’t really talk about other people. (Well, I guess I sometimes do, but never where I work. I’m not a gossip.) I’m a listener. I have a knack for listening to everyone and never repeating what I hear.
I’m that person who’s not really in any “party” or “clique” but everyone likes to talk to. I hear the most awful things. I also hear some wonderful things.
I don’t know if people talk about me or not. I honestly don’t care. I’m me and that’s quite enough.

The rumor that was brought to my attention is that I “laid hands on” a child and another teacher in the building didn’t want her kid in my class.
I cannot express how much this sickened and upset me. I’m stern and no-nonsense but I am also loving and playful and for someone to accuse me of hurting a child honestly makes me sick.

I went to the curriculum director this morning (our director got hitched this weekend and is out for her honeymoon) with a whole lot of WTF?
She was appalled! She had no idea about this. She has not been told by a parent or another teacher. She says she knows me and knows what I’m like with kids and while “I’m very stern I’m the most loving” teacher. She was apologetic that this happened and she’s going to investigate.
I thanked her and shared the news that I’m considering leaving this summer. I assured her it had nothing to do with this situation, that it was simply time for me to hang up my spurs.

I have spent the better part of the last twenty years working with young children. I absolutely can’t believe anyone would think I didn’t always try to do what’s best for children.

I’m disappointed that my name finally got dragged into the rumor mill. But I’m absolutely heartbroken that this is what the subject matter is.
I know the people that “matter” know there is not truth to it. Parents and children and my co-teacher and the administration know the truth. Most importantly, I know the truth.
Doesn’t make it any less hurtful.

One more reason in my list of why I should be finished here, I guess.

Categories: me | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

do what you love

I’m in existential crisis. It sounds ridiculous to say, but it’s true. I’m struggling with the difference between a job and a calling.
From the time I was a little girl, I’ve always felt I as meant to spend my time with little children. As a mom, as a teacher. But I’m beginning to wonder if that’s my actual calling. I’m experiencing feelings that the time has come to “hang up my spurs”. The part that gives me pause is the fact that I can’t clearly identify from where those feelings come. I keep thinking if I could understand the why I could apply logic to it and be able to make a more informed decision.
I don’t know where these feelings started, it’s not that I’m tired or whatever, it goes beyond that. It’s deep in my gut. And if I’ve learned anything in forty three years of life, it’s that my gut is NEVER wrong. My brain can argue both sides until I’m completely lost. My heart knows what it wants and will stop at nothing to have it’s way. But my gut just ‘knows’. I’ve learned to trust that instinct, because when I haven’t I’ve paid the price.

So I’m hearing the gut feeling, but don’t know what it means exactly, neither do I know how to articulate what I’m feeling. Hence the crisis of existence.
I’m sad. I’m confused. I’m frustrated that I can’t figure it out. (Have I mentioned patience isn’t at the top of my skills list?)
I feel so strongly about early childhood education. About what’s best for children.
I’m not so sure I’m what’s best for children.

I am so sad about this situation. It’s absolutely consuming me.
I was in the car with YBW last night and he said: Are you OK.
I shrugged and said: Yeah.
He asked: Are you sure.
I asked: What do you want me to say?
He said: You just look so sad.
I replied: I am sad.

I’m sad because I don’t know what to do with the feelings I know I have to trust.
What do I want to do?
Ideally I’d like to be able to write or take photos to earn my living.
What inspires me?
Do what you love.
I love to write.
I love to take photos.
I love children.

YBW expressed his concern about me leaving this job I’m spectacularly good at for some random job. He has a valid point. I oughtn’t “jump out of the frying pan into the fire”.
There really is no solution at the moment. I need to understand the ‘why’ so I can figure out how to proceed.

Le sigh. Le really big sigh.
See how I get nowhere?
I’m walking away from the vehemence of my gut’s opinion. I’m just going to be in the moment.

Categories: education, me | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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