Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving . . .

. . . from our expressive little eater:

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Snow Day

We had our first big snow storm of the year and I couldn't wait to get out and play with Aven, Grace, and Ian. We went over to Liberty Park to romp around. Aven wasn't too thrilled with the snow at first, even though she had spent a better part of the morning with her face pressed up against the living room window staring longingly at the white stuff. She got pretty upset the first few times snow got on her boots, but she recovered pretty quick. Her biggest frustration was walking in it. It was hard enough for her to walk in stiff boots and puffy snow pants on the sidewalk, but adding the challenge of 5 or 6 inches of snow just made her mad. Things did improve, however:

Once we got her sitting in the snow she had a pretty good time. She even helped me push the big snowman ball around a little bit.

Silly smile.

Aven's first snowman. She was pretty upset that we had to leave him at the park, but eventually we got her to say "buh, buh" so we could go home.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Job Description

At a recent faculty meeting my principal mentioned that if people knew our actual job descriptions nobody would enter the teaching field. Since then I've been thinking a lot about what my real job description is. I've tried to think of things that I do daily or at least multiple times a week.

First, I'll start with the parts of my job that I expected when I decided to become a teacher:
  • Developing curriculum and planning lessons
  • Delivering instruction
  • Managing behavior
  • Grading assignments
  • Attending faculty meetings
  • Being assigned to a variety of committees
Next, I'll list things that are an integral part of my job but really don't have anything to do with the previous list:
  • Triage nurse. You can often find me cleaning and bandaging cuts, looking at swollen eyes, rashy skin, and even occasionally extracting a finger from someplace it shouldn't have been stuck in the first place.
  • Counselor. I deal with my fair share of tearful girls who have just been dumped by their boyfriends, or shunned by their former BFF's. I also watch for and report and suspected abuse that might be happening to a child outside of school.
  • Nark. If you come to school high as a kite and reeking of marijuana I have to report it to the vice principal. I also have to report any rumors I hear about who smokes cigarettes or chugs Nyquil.
  • HVAC technician. I work in a 52 year old building with no air conditioning and only 1 boiler. I also work on the 2nd floor where the heat tends to congregate all year long. I am constantly trying to keep the temperature of my classroom comfortable, even if it means opening my windows during a blizzard.
  • Mediator. Between feuding kids and sometimes between a parent and child.
  • Shameless self-promoter. I teach art. If kids don't sign up for art I don't have a job, so every year during registration I send letters home, hang posters in the halls and, beg, and plead for students to take my classes.
  • Psychologist. Somewhat related to "counselor" but this one is more about observing behavior and figuring out why a kids acts the way he does and figuring out how I might be able to get through to him effectively.
  • Decorator. Creating decorations for various school assemblies and functions. If my esteemed art professors from Westminster knew that I use glitter on regular basis they would take away my art degree.
  • Special ed. teacher. This is one of my favorites. Sometimes in a sea of regular kids I get to work with some of the sweetest kids who are in a special ed. classroom all day with the exception of the hour they get to spend with me. I always look forward to seeing these kids because they can really brighten your day and change your perspective on life.
While I could go on I feel that this list should give anyone who is not in the teaching profession an idea of how much teachers do beyond their scope of employment.

On particularly challenging days I stand in the hall during class change with my next door neighbor and we chant "we love our job, we love our job" over and over. Sometimes you need a reminder.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

18 Months

Aven will be 18 months old tomorrow. Every parent I know has told me over and over how fast time flies once you have a baby and I have found that to be absolutely true.

Seeing her reach new milestones has been particularly fun. Her language development seems to be on the fast track with her new favorite word being "ammals" (animals). She is also really into doing stuff by herself like feeding Grace pup corn treats in the morning and pushing the button that unlocks the main door at daycare.

While Ian and I suffer from our fair share of toddler drama we mostly have a great time playing with our silly little girl.

A couple of recent pictures for your enjoyment: