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Mask/Bra Color is Everything…

Beautiful Bra/Beautiful Mask | Old bras, Beautiful mask, Bra

Yesterday I hit a wall. The Corona wall without one in hand. I felt lost. A little thirsty and out of my comfort zone with no where to turn other than social media laughter and a few news conferences which only brought gloom and doom with more concerns than comfort. During this season at home I have been doing everything to keep busy especially working out via online classes and walking with my partner in crime, the hubs of almost thirty-two years. I took a day off from my physical efforts, this was a mistake, I think. Could it be that all of those happy skinny people had something right all these years? Are endorphins really a legal happy pill. Now, I know you are thinking that at fifty-six years of age I should know this answer but my exercise regimen always consisted, with places to go people to see. Now, I have none. No one does. We sit alone and wait.

Today, not wanting that feeling to come over me again, I went to Walmart, usually a place that brings that feeling, and about a million reasons never to go again. Today, however, was different. I went with a pep in my step, ignored the bad parking and only shook my head at one women’s fluffy slippers and long head scarf coordinated with her hot pink shorts that skimmed her knees. That was a little shake and chuckle. But then, if I had such slippers and other accessories, would I not wear them. Frankly, who was I to judge, in my leggings and sweatshirt, my current standard uniform. I did shower and put on some make-up. So feeling like a true queen. It was great to be out. Then I went inside.

Surrounding me were masks and gloves galore. Last time I marched into the public eye I did not see the world as I did today. A war zone, people either panicked, ill or both I assume. No way of knowing, so I glanced fervently through the store and tried to lock eyes with others that did not have the new uniform in place to see if their eyes had the same panic starting to set in. Throughout my journey, up and down every aisle, to kill time and of course to check out the Easter loot, I found more in the medical garb than less. My gait started to quicken as my basket was already full of plastic eggs, bubbles, dye, and of course the needed Easter apron, that is if you are Betty Crocker or slightly insane, and I qualify for the latter. Starting to fill the basket for the real needs of frozen tater tots, and the last bag of strawberries for my smoothies. This family has a definite division in eating habits and needs during this time, and that’s OK. Anything to get us through the day, I have wine, he has tater tots. We also have plenty of Carmex if anyone is in need. Once done and standing in line I watched the cashier, she looked concerned and eyed me up and down looking for signs or something and I stood wondering whether she would check me out or call for back-up. She ushered me through and we began to do the dance back and forth with the scanning, bagging, and placing in the cart all to stay six feet away. I wished her a great day and thanked her for her service but she is already eyeing the next customer. At least I no longer felt alone.

The fresh air felt great and my thoughts started to lighten, until I got home. I shared my my outing and the hubs, who is always positive and the words he uttered shocked me in response to my story. “Probably the new attire.” Laughingly, I asked. “Will we have to wear them.” His answer was hesitant. “We will see, it looks like it.” Then I panicked. I don’t sew, there is the bra version I could maneuver or perhaps the EMT son has an extra or two. Probably not, so now I sit wondering which bra I should wear, and which one the hubs should wear. Around our faces of course.

Whatever we choose as a guard it will probably be black and come with a very chic story.

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It’s Friday

Parents feel free to celebrate ten days in confinement and pat yourselves on the back. You are amazing as are your kids, as their stress and boredom is as real as yours. With that celebration, the end is not in sight. While some of you are getting used to the rhythm and may even enjoy the simplicity and flexibility that home-school can bring, most of you are wondering what is next or ways you can better service your kids. As a teacher I am wondering, waiting, and long to be of better service to my students. Currently our district is only doing packets while other avenues are explored. I am frustrated. So I turned to the masses or honestly the few that read and find that if nothing else we are all in this together and while my words may change depending on the crisis of the educational moment, my blog and its focus has finally found a purpose which is to continue to serve and be a constant voice for kids.

Onward…Next week will be a challenge as the newness has worn off unless you have in your home kids that love confinement and you giving them their math lessons. Yes, that’s what I thought. So, now what. Change up the routine and change it up fast. Here are some ideas.

  1. Let your child re-design their work space.
  2. Let your child take more breaks. Walk, Art, Video, Snack, Creating cards for the elderly or medical professionals.
  3. Change the time of their studies go from AM to PM or vice versa.
  4. Let them play dress up and be in character while they attack their studies.
  5. Bribe any students in the middle-school years. Oh, you have. Double it.
  6. Give praise.
  7. Skip a day or two.
  8. Allow your child to plan a menu, take your order, set the table, and create the snack or meal.
  9. Watch an educational video.
  10. Let them learn a new skill. Whatever your child wants to learn, find information and let them get a taste of it.
  11. Go outside with their material and “camp.”
  12. Find a virtual tutor, if you are at wits end. Find one, it will save your relationship.
  13. By a recorder (horrific instrument) and play. Sorry it sounds horrible but it is fun and teaches the basics of musical notes. Go to Amazon. They are plastic. Enough said.
  14. Let your kids wear their swimming masks and flippers while they do their work, and then go swimming. This also, fits under the bribe category.
  15. Create a work wall to hang their best work of the week. Let kids choose and create.
  16. Create Salt Art and have a gallery walk around your house with your child as the docent.
  17. Virtual Field-Trips
  18. Let them re-design their rooms. This will take some patience, a little bit of cash, and perhaps a coat or two of paint. This is similar to number one but on a larger scale and giving your child in these uncertain times a new place that defines their personalities.
  19. Give praise.
  20. Drink, eat, workout…whatever your vice is that gets you through this time. Do it. Into macrame, go for it as you are setting time for yourself and that is important. If anyone still does macrame, I would like a picture. Just saying.

Many of the above, you have done. I know. Again, this blog is for the masses or the four or five that follow, and maybe they have not been treated to a meal created by your eleven year old.

So how do I end something that seemingly has no end. With links. hopefully helpful links to get creative in anyway that would work for your child and revamp your weekend or upcoming week.

Links:

Modern/Hip Hop Dance: www.steezy.com

Dance for Preschoolers: http://www.danceparent101

Ballet: http://www.balletcoach.com

Plethora or Stuff: http://www.diy.org

Paint online:http://www.kidmons.com

Piano: http://www.hoffmanacademy.com

Salt Art: http://www.artfulparent.com

Virtual Field-Trips: http://www.virtualfieldtrips.org

Educational Free Stuff: http://www.pbs.org

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Montessori Life

Twenty-nine years ago my classroom life began in the Montessori philosophy and school. My experiences from following the child, the central mantra, is now the title of my blog. Fitting, as I still follow these thoughts with a bit of leadership everyday. The curriculum is not for everyone, but it sung to me, as it is hands on, active, and creative.

Then, I went into the public classroom, and have evolved depending on the grade, curriculum, and group of kids. The littles of long ago were in groups and I came home stained from a variety of projects. My ELL students sat with me at a horseshoe table. My theatre classes, in the high-school setting, were all over the place but every move had a purpose. Currently, my middle-school writing students are currently in rows and have flexible pull-out groups. The point of all this babble is that we need to follow, adapt, and create based on the moment of the day, week, month, year, and the kids.

One activity that you can do at home and continue when the days of homeschooling are over, are the below shapes that coordinate with parts of speech. Since we have lost the art of the diagramming of sentences, in a majority of classrooms, I bring you the Montessori way. Now, I have used this with littles after my stint in Montessori life to introduce the parts of speech non-verbally, and have allowed older students to use the shapes to show me their knowledge. As for today, I use a variety of books that teach the concepts, without going into the massive grammar trees of yesteryear. I want understanding and the use of words in their writing correctly, not to stop and recite all known prepositions in one sitting. Who cares. We have Google.

Now, in Montessori school there are specific lessons with each symbol but since the majority of kids do not participate in this style, I would allow them to find nouns one day and draw the coordinating shape etc. Just the action of finding the parts of speech and taking crayon to paper to show that knowledge will be a fabulous learning tool.

In bringing you this short dribble today I hope that you can see inside my heart and passion for all kids.

Following the Child was an obvious choice!

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Homeschooling or Bust…


A few weeks ago, you dropped off your child at their school and did your daily happy dance as you survived the morning chaos and had the day to yourselves. We know. We understand. We have seen the dance in car line. It’s OK. You have adult lives that need your focus. As you waived good-bye or more of a see ya, as you are the parents that are constantly on high alert. You take on the tasks of daily homework help, tests, projects, forms to sign, and lunches to pack etc. Frankly, that is enough as you are our partner not the teacher. Why? You are also in charge of raising a good human, working, cooking and cleaning and chauffeuring to play-dates and sporting events. Your plate is full and we got this teaching stuff down.

Enter a virus that seems to spread at a rate that boggles the mind and you are stressed, your kids are stressed, and worse yet you are stuck in your home without the release valve of adults at work or their little playmates. You are now the teacher along with all of your other daily tasks that now seem never-ending as working from home is no picnic as you never leave your work. Mix in kids and schoolwork and boom, you have your own mini-pandemic.

This blog is now here to help. No, not in the perfect homeschooling fashion that shows how easy it is to stay home all day and come up with exciting options that make you drool. These parents before the pandemic probably made you feel you could do the same. If they can, I can syndrome. No, no you can’t, as it is not that easy, those parents have made a conscious choice and weathered the storms to make it look simple as it is their calling for their families. It works for them. On day whatever with your kids screaming, a loss of how to do common core math, and crying over assignments. You know better, but you do need to survive and enjoy the process of learning together. I am here to save the day for those that have no desire to ever do this again but need a bit of humor and a lesson or two to incorporate or pass to others. For those that are pros pass this along to those in the minor leagues or in crisis. Those parents can be spotted day drinking. Just saying.

So let’s get started. My specialty is writing in the middle and high-school years. But in the spirit of this blog I will go through the various ages and stages as I have taught all grades sans fifth. To begin our writing journey we are starting simple with the little ones. Caution, mom and dad you are going to back off and resist wanting writing perfection you need to see where they are in their abilities so the focused lessons I give, over the weeks, are ones you can use to fit their needs. Also, please note these lessons are gap fillers, not new curriculum, as I do not know your child, their level, prior education at their school or any of their advanced or special needs, so you will have to accommodate.

Objective: Writing Can Be Fun

Kinder thru Second:

Materials

  1. Paper, pencils, crayons, or computer
  2. Two types of cookies, candy, chips, or ice cream

This writing will first allow your child to taste-test the products of their choice. If you recently baked, allow them to sample your baking and compare it to the store bought variety. If you do not bake, then just go to your pantry and dig out any tasty treats. After the tasting it is time to write. Well, wait a minute let them draw first. Fold the paper in half and let them draw both of the items they tasted making their best choice the obvious winner via stars around it, circling it, happy faces, stickers…whatever they want! Next comes the writing, you are looking for two solid sentences:

I Like ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________.

Because

____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________.

Your child will be at a variety of stages. They might still be oral, thus telling you his/her likes and the why with you writing it down on the lines, with their copying the letters after. Perhaps, writing in complete sentences with letters reversed and phonetic spelling (don’t change and don’t panic). Or finally, using a full subject and predicate model (noun and verb) with adjectives or describing words either beginning or in full use. Your goal with this patterned writing is two full sentences or more with a noun, verb and adjective in phonetic spelling with the goal of finding the misspelled words and putting those naturally in your spelling practice without making their mistakes a big deal. You can use this I Like/Because pattern throughout the week with all different activities that do not require food. Play games, and compare, ride a bike and a scooter and compare, slide vs. swing. You get it. The goal is fun, art and finally the writing.

So give this a try and let me know your successes and/or other needs. Later this week I will write a lesson on B and D, give some spelling practice fun, and of course a more advanced noun, verb, adjective hands-on lesson that will guide their learning and take their learning to the next level inserting it in their writing before we tackle our next writing, the how to book.

Enjoy,

T

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An Extrovert in Crisis

Many titles go through my mind, my favorite is, “Crazy and the Aftermath of COVID-19,” but possibly offensive, or is it? Another,”We are all in this together.” Yes, we are and why are we still re-stating that tired phrase? Finally, “Social distancing and how far is far enough?” Again, we are an intelligent public, just state the obvious without the fancy wording. Stay inside and drive yourself out of your minds while doing mindless chores to remove your outside thoughts from altering your current reality of no social contact. That my friends is social distancing. Gamers got this activity down to a science, but inside the mind of the extroverts in your lives, it is not pretty. Personally, I lost it on Day 3 and truth be told, I have no idea what day it is, either weekday or isolation number. I stopped counting. But “Mr. Clean” would be proud. To make matters worse in my scattered brain, I am a teacher. No one but my husband has recently heard me bark, “Walk to the right, tie your shoes, no running in the hallway, classroom, sidewalk, and for the last time hoodies off.” Please note he does not own a hoodie, but he has obeyed all other rules. We did have a significant debate on hoodie wearing, and I now see his side. What is the big deal? If I get the chance to go back to my second home all hoodies can be worn. I will pay the price, but our kids need comfort after an earth shattering virus, a hoodie is no big deal. But today, on day whatever, none of this matters as we are in a world that is unrecognizable and for a teacher this means having no one to teach.

So, I wait for what is next. We all do.

Education is people orientated, we are not all meant to sit behind computers and calculate away, but this is our new adjustment and major companies are stepping up to the plate bearing resources galore. For the short-term life has glorious options to keep our kids ticking. virtual field-trips, online art, Broadway shows streaming into you home along with free/reduced prices on the major players in the learning world. All fantastic and actually amazing home opportunities, unless you are like me waiting to see the faces of your kids and calm their uncertainty. My fear is that many will stay in this homeschooling arena, out of fear, the longer we stay closed. Not coming back to the classroom world of education filled to the brim of the social interaction needed to create a well-rounded human would be a mistake. I think all modules of choice, charter, private, and public will be dampened by our choice of panic and closures. Instead they will learn online in a safe bubble. So, is this bad? No. It is a parents choice, and the fear is real. No blame, just a big fat sad emoji, as I am a public school teacher, and I want all of my kids to come back. Teaching is who I am and in our lives we all need to be valued inside or outside of the home, or both. What we do in our professional life, and where we go everyday to fulfill that role allows us to feel like we make a difference, which gives us the impetus we need to stay on this rabbit wheel, through the tough times. I will never forget my first few years of a stay at home parent. I was lost, felt undervalued (I wasn’t) and knew I needed more. Insert graduate school. It was hard especially with toddler in tow, but through tutoring, kind instructors, and a great kid who did not mind ASU lectures, I succeeded. That was my goal and after it was met, I decided to put it to use even after my value as a person was validated just by crossing the finish line. After nineteen years in the classroom I am again at a loss.

So, I wait for what is next. We all do.

I am ready for this to go away permanently as my feeling of usefulness beyond being a brave grocery shopper trying to snag toilet paper or clorox brings zero satisfaction. Teaching is my life and I know my kids need me as much as I need them. Also, many of my kids do not have what many families do, relative sanity, a high-school education, patience, and the time to deliver the guidance the online work truly needs.

So, I wait for what is next. We all do.

We wonder and pray what life will be like after we all are set free from the hunkering down in front of our television sets and computer screens. We play board games, binge on Netflix, scrub our homes, clean out closets, and dream of a time when gatherings will be plentiful, and our emotional buckets full. We are as a country doing the right thing though I see no end in sight. My extrovert self started my own daily routine filled with reading, writing, prayer, online lesson ideas, walking, and online fitness programs. Plus the added thrill of the new hobby of finding of toilet paper and clorox wipes. I might not come out of this a sample size or a home filled with paper products, but I hope that the small part I play in this pandemic does what it needs to and kills the spread during these uncharted times. Currently, all you can do is go with the flow and value life on a simpler level. As I go through my daily tasks the pain of not seeing my kids does not lessen but it keeps me busy and that’s all that any of us can ask for during this time.

For the next few weeks and beyond please follow my blog. In the midst of the homeschooling terror I will give you weekly ideas to help you get through these times along with real-life tips from a former failed homeschool mom, me. Well, not a failure but a final standoff and a threat to put me in perpetual timeout unless I stopped teaching came from my one and only and I quickly realized timeout sounded fabulous. School tours quickly ensued. People, this format is not for everyone but my experience in the classroom and in the home arena along with my real words, no fancy teaching jargon, will hopefully give you the sense you are not alone. Think of me as the bloggess of education. But be prepared I call it like I see it, but am here to help, make you laugh, and remind you we will all get through this together.

Stay safe and healthy!

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Here a blog, there a blog…

From the world of the writer of Life With Eyes Wide Open and Complicated Diva. Now taking a step away from the world of my past, into the life and times of my today, my yesterday and my future.

The newest creation Follow The Child takes you through my days with a look into the society of today with tongue in cheek tone that allows you to see a day in the life of my world of over  100 students a day with a spin of fun that only my mind can bring.

Looking forward to publishing my fist ebook, using my past blogs as a part of my life and times of parenting an addict and looking forward to using this site to beg for your money.  Who knows I might just bring some sanity to someones insane world if times are darker in your lives.

I promise there is always a silver lining, I just cannot promise where or how you will find it.

Now on with the introductory show…

The Relatively Sane Adventures of a Teacher

Disclaimer
Teaching was not my initial calling it was broadcasting, but my voice was too high or too low and never just right. My face ok, but not beauty queen enough more like the girl next door or Sixteen Candles. My famous twin during my younger years. . Sixteen Candles

So after a brief stint at a high-end department store in management, where I promptly bought most of the store…I found the merry-go-round world of education

For the past 18 years on a variety of campuses and districts these are my stories that have happened within the walls of my classroom. Neither the campus or the students will never be named, as my blog is a collection of human interactions that I have lived through with a smile or a shake of the head with the youth of today and the adults of tomorrow that all can filed under relatively sane after all these years.

How Not to Answer a Phone
Just an average day leaping over backpacks and too many desks to get to a chair that brings a sense of sanity in what is an insane environment that combines an office like experience with numerous desks, backpacks and feet, large feet everywhere. Rarely do I sit in this adult chair, but thought just this once, I would answer the phone like an adult…as you can see, that went well and of course this was during class, of course. Laughter came next. Intense with a bit of embarrassment but just another average day.

More to come..

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The Cries in the Hallway

A school has many hallways and each one has a different story crying out to be heard. The halls carry the average childhood conversations and much more. The sounds of the day are not for the faint of heart as they can eat you up, but if you are in tune with the haunting melodies the bonds and respect are endless.

The everyday pain kids feel in todays world is met with my smile and open heart. So many of my students fall through odd holes that whisk them through terrors that they discuss with a certain adult quality. Just this week a mom came out of jail, two kiddos were in crisis, and another stepped forward to save a friend, while another is struggling with teacher issues that impact his little world. This was Monday. Then there are the tears that just flow for countless reasons but the rawness is too new to share. Year after year, (number nineteen is almost in the books) I put kids not tests first. Looking at the week, watching their faces, rescheduling my educational requirements, teaching and re-teaching, and getting things done in a way that does not follow the standard and perhaps break a rule or two.

Most days it is not the lesson that is first and foremost in my mind. It is the smile I give and long to receive. Students tend to know me as one who will listen and find a solution on the campus to their issue. However, always the first to say the obvious. “I do not have the answers, but I will fight to find the help you need.” This along with a bit of humor and a few glass half-full thoughts to get them through the day, or worse the weekend without the constant of school schedule and the support not seen at home. This is when I pray.

This time of year I have a stream of students following me just for my smile and the one I find within them, that I can force out, so they can feel a bit lighter for the day. I often have thought that the perfect Pied Piper costume should be my standard uniform. My door is always open and lunch in my room is a revolving door so students can have a safe place just to be without other 8th grade lunchroom gossip. None of this is to brag about me, I am not special, just tuned to a different drummer.

While my methods are the antithesis of the testing generation, (I have 4 weeks of testing just around the corner) I stick to my heart as I know within my classes my students are working harder within the curriculum confines and I am producing writers. We just get down to business, write, share, write, share, edit, share, write, and turn-in. I follow the curriculum but march to my own beat. Seeing beyond the lessons to create the dynamic that touch my population and make them want to write and rarely ever using the same lessons twice, as each group is different. I break boundaries and create trust through writing. Reading about my students/parents time in jail, their parents rejection, having to work to put food on the family table are much better launch prompts than the pretend prompts that will come soon enough to prepare for the test which I always look at as their scores, not mine, not the schools.

I wish more would let go and teach as the conversation surrounding the test is wearing on our kids and forgetting our overall goal of teaching to the child. This season of testing smile more, be positive, let go of this is your score, and love your kids, and please remember if we are stressed they are overwhelmed. Insert some fun where you can even if it is fifteen minutes of recess for no other reason than play.

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The Journey Of Self

Recently, education has a new buzz word, self-care. This obviously named term is different to each teacher. Most, I fear just sleep. The profession is tough. I take two days into each holiday break and hide from all humans. This sounds insane and cause for a nice padded room vacation, unless you are a teacher. It is the daily movements or lessons that cause me to become a shrinking violet, it is the mental stress that never leaves my side along with the constant pressures of data, testing, and the reality that our kids live in this crazy world. One that no amount of data can guide. Our kids love or hate us, with no bearing on who we are, but who they are in their lives on that particular time of the day. It makes days challenging and I love that factor but it is also exhausting, bring on the buzz word.

So another weekend begins. I start with true momentum. I get dressed. Then I take a nap. I look at Facebook and get true FOMO when I hit Instagram. With my senses completely overstimulated I launch into the realities of the weekly mindless chores, that I hide behind just to gather enough strength for the week. It is not the physical or the creative demands that brings me to my knees. It is the issues the kids bring into the room and how we need to whisk all their baggage away so learning can happen. The impossibility of this notion brings me back to self-care. On Saturday, I do not move. I am too exhausted. If I tell you I did something exciting over the weekend, even a movie outside of my home. I am probably spinning a tale. My FOMO is always high with no jealousy at my friends adventures, but always wondering what it would be like to have enough strength to have a weekend where home necessities and events could intertwine.

So instead of self-care that revolves around outside enjoyment, spa days, or other intellectual moments, mine will always be about sleep. On Monday I always hit the ground with vim and vigor as long as coffee is by my side or my true addiction Diet Coke. In the midst of writers workshop on Friday I thought I lost my soda, as I roamed the room and scanned countless essays. I teared up. That is not a good sign my friends, but it will have to be as the week is long, my kids are needy, and I will always love being the exhausted teacher that I was meant to be in this world.

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Memories That Travel

Add this post under the stuff entitled memories that travel.

My most treasured item from my classroom is a refrigerator, and not an ordinary one. A small tiny silver and black cube that has been lifted all over this valley. Through the years it has lost its initial luster and now is a roving display of stickers from a variety of students that wanted to leave their mark. Skateboard stickers, bike brand stickers, happy face stickers etc. Kids that love the fact that I love them, even to the point of keeping all stickers in tact. It looks less and less like a refrigerator and more and more like a scrapbook, but it is one that I cannot shun to the side, in favor of a newer model. So while it over freezes and sometimes the rubber comes a little loose, I always have a student to the rescue fixing my woes, as no one wants the refrigerator to lose its rightful place…as one student put it…”it would not be your room without that thing.” So true, sort of like my ruby red slippers and giant Wizard of Oz painting.

My room has ruby red slippers, costumes and paintings from students. It is a room filled with love. It is home. It is where my students can be my students, at least for a year, and then visit and reminisce and ask me to re-tell the stories (all true) of how each piece of my room became part of my culture.

The refrigerator still travels on well past its prime and the day it stops, as it will someday, I have vowed to use it as a shrine to my teaching career placed carefully on my Turkish rug with my photo, yes photo. Not requested, trust me! It was a gift for all to see and question. For fun, after my return from Turkey, I placed it at my classroom doorway to watch the expression on people’s faces as they enter. Priceless. The rest of my decor comes with the territory. The ever-changing laughter, love, and constant chaos that comes with the profession. My little traveling refrigerator is my constant that is a reminder of my past, present and future.

Today, the refrigerator lives in my office due to my break from education and the end of an era of being allowed to have small electrical appliances in our rooms. It still works. I might bring it in unplugged of course.

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Not On Point…

And so it begins a regular seventh hour when a student bellows throughout the room the status of my eyelashes. Yes, they have status. Not mine, but teen eyelashes do, and mine were not on point. Now, by seventh hour my lashes could be doing a tango for all I care, as this hour keeps me on my toes, but no, I was not to have clumpy lashes on that day in that very moment. “Sit down Mrs. L, this is going to take work, what are you doing in the morning?” “Um, well you know the usual,” I say with a glimmer of please, oh please let this moment pass. The others in class were busy with their writing coursework and this little doll was doing what she did best, ignoring work when she was stressed. I have known her for years, and I knew our beauty session was not about my lashes, it was her life that she needed a short escape from and my eyelash rearrangement gave her what she sought. We talked and laughed about my lack of skill and her obvious skill and evaded the true topic that I knew she wanted to blurt out, but today was not to be that day. My clumps would have to do. As she went to work with precision, she poked and prodded at the task at hand, shrinking from issues and creating her little masterpiece. She stared at me like so many times before and gave me a wink of thanks. “You are the best, you know it right?” She stepped back and gave me the nod (only known to us) and went back to work. It was her kind words between my treatment that I finally heard clearly for the first time.

When I began 25 years ago, I wanted to be the perfect teacher. The color-coding fool who can instruct inside and out and never missed a beat. Instead I became the non-color coding crazy instructor who has never taught a lesson twice. I never miss a beat of the hearts in my class, and will stop a lesson in a moments notice if the real world comes raging through the hearts of my borrowed kids. Oh, I always circle back to the lesson, but I create a home first and education second. This cannot be learned but I took excerpts from good teachers I had in my childhood. Teachers that cared more about me than my scores. As for my clumping issues, I stood perfect for that moment and as for the student I only hope she had more teachers who opened their hearts and minds to her world. As for my newly borrowed kids they have a teacher who will always allow them to fix her lashes and listen. I think that is pretty perfect, even if my color-coding and data files are a bit off.

The above story is true and my little sweetie is a senior this year.