SOL #26 Surprise Envelope…or Two

 

FullSizeRender

In the midst of packing… surrounded by boxes, picture frames, medicine bottles, shelves, dog toys, I discovered a few treasures. Some old notes from students, a couple of tickets from a Regina Spektor concert, and a bag of envelopes.

I looked down, and smiled, all giddy-like and read aloud, “Open when you’re stressed.”

That certainly describes me now…report cards and grades due, Parent/Teacher Conferences, and moving to a new place all in one week! I eagerly ripped open the envelope and removed the contents.

Moments later, spilled on the floor were an inscribed note from a friend reminding me that it’ll be okay, some bubble wrap, and a button that reads, “I got 99 problems but they can wait until tomorrow.”

Within seconds the button was reflecting light off my chest.

 

FullSizeRender (1)FullSizeRender (3).jpg

And then I reached for the “Open when you’re happy! :)” envelope.

With even more speed than the first envelope, I tore open the letter case and peeked inside. I slipped the prizes on my feet and obeyed the command to “Happy Dance”.

My feet read “HAPPY”, my mind read “HAPPY”.

And, although this is a most stressful time, it’s such a happy one! I’m so excited and am charging full speed into the face of change.FullSizeRender (2).jpg

I’m just so lucky to have friends like this to be there for me when they’re not even here. Thank you, Jill!
Even though I was almost too patient in waiting to open these little prize envelopes and in by doing so, forgot of their existence, these little surprises made this moment so special to me. I love you!

SOL #11 Our Didn’t Do Day

Today we didn’t shower.

We didn’t get out of bed before eleven.

We didn’t drive our cars.

We didn’t go outside, except to let our dog go potty.

We didn’t wash our clothes.

We didn’t vacuum the floors.

We didn’t clean the litter box-sorry kitties!

We didn’t do the chores.

We didn’t do our work or prepare for the week ahead.

Today, we just didn’t. And it was perfect spending my didn’t do day with you.

SOL #6 Call 8-1-1!

Time to talk to parents, the dreaded phone call. They didn’t show up to Parent-Teacher Conferences, they didn’t respond to emails…it’s time.

I’m coaching my first year co-teacher on what to say. I implore her, “You need to call!”

“I know,” she says, reluctantly picking up the phone and in a hurry, she dials quickly. Let’s get it over with, thoughts that consume both her and my mind.

Suddenly her eyes go wide and mine do too in response…it was only seconds into the call, What’s happening? I thought, worry spreading, speeding up my heart rate.

She slams down the phone.

“I JUST CALLED THE POLICE!” she yells.

“YOU WHAT?!” I scream back.

Both of us burst into laughs. So, that’s a definitely a win for calling parents for the first time ever… WHOOPS!
But you know what? Apparently she wasn’t the only one because I got this text from her today…

IMG_4918

So now, all first year teachers won’t be stunned into the same mistake of calling 9-1-1. They won’t have to spot police officers outside the school, even though it was “after school” hours and we didn’t get a call back. They won’t have to shamefully tell their principal. AND they won’t have to bashfully call the police department to clarify their simple mistake because people don’t call 8-1-1!
Haha! Love you, Britt! 🙂

 

My co-teacher wrote her Slice of Life about this incident too! I can’t wait to hear her perspective, but chose to write BEFORE I took a peek…I’ll edit and add link here!

https://teachingbychanceblog.wordpress.com/2017/03/06/sol-6-that-time-when-i-dialed-911/comment-page-1/#comment-35

There WILL be a NEW Tomorrow

I have been quiet for a while. Contemplative.

Every moment I have words of worry, of fear, of potential hope running through my head.

On November the 8th, we failed those that didn’t have a voice.
While we argue over small matters and pick and choose our options, there are those of us who cannot choose, who wait by the sidelines and hope for the best.

I am crushed because we have failed you.

My Hispanic students, we have failed you. My immigrant, LGBTQ, disabled, Hispanic, black, Muslim, minority friends, we have failed you.

And I am so dreadfully sorry.

 

It’s terrifying and sad that the people in this nation lack empathy, something I teach third graders in my very classroom. You may not be an immigrant, Hispanic, Muslim, black, or someone who identifies as LGBTQ, but you CAN put yourself in their shoes.

To the rest of you, myself included, you don’t realize how privileged you are. I know I didn’t until now. You did not choose this life, it chose you. You were born into the “right” race, “right” gender, “right” religion, “right” country. You are LUCKY and, unbeknownst to you, you have PRIVILEGE if you can walk down the street without fear, if you can wear clothing of your choice, if you can vote for your candidate.

And while you carry on, with your perceived every day life, there are those of us, yes, US, that fought to simply have a work permit in the United States. There are those of us who boldly wear scarves to practice their religion. There are those of us who proudly speak a language other than English.

So while you and I, the privileged ones, cutely joke about leaving the country and playfully wish for a representative to care more about whether or not we can own guns, there are those of us who do not joke and cannot wish because they are stricken with terror. And because they CANNOT. They do not have this option.

This is not just a preference; it is a way of life. It is being torn from your family. It is the destruction of confidence. It is losing your job, your license, your house. It is living in fear of your own safety. It is the constant worry about those you love. It is the uprooting and yanking away from a place you call home. It is the annihilation of your very life as you know it.

This part of us, these wonderful, beautiful, diverse people, are HUMAN. You are NO MORE HUMAN than they are. So, while you have been handed a deck full of luck, they have been handed a deck that is stacked against them. They are forced into difficult situations, hard work, proving themselves, fighting for identity, and struggling for the privilege that we were simply handed.

I look at these friends and I see BETTER examples of human than I have ever been. I see MORE qualified versions of United States citizens in these people than any I have ever encountered. Let me speak candidly: I have the luxury to vote or not to and I feel safe, while my friends are working with their local governments, speaking at universities, and addressing the community from which I teach. I am less than you are because you had to work for these opportunities, you had to work for these rights, you had to earn respect. I was handed it.

And so, this election divides us. Not because I disrespect the platform of Democracy, not because I am bitter on small issues or because I disagree with your vote. It is a division on basic human rights. It is a moral chasm between your beliefs and mine.

 
I will not support this president. He is not mine. What I WILL do is to continue this fight against racism, misogyny, discrimination, and hate. I will NOT move away. I WILL be your voice, if you will have me. I WILL speak for my students, for my friends, for my family that cannot.

And when our voice is heard, there will be a new tomorrow. Until then, as Obama has lovingly, said, “The sun will rise in the morning,” and I want you to know, SO WILL WE.

 

 

SOL #16 Underwear Buttons

Buttons! Underwear buttons? What were they thinking?

So it goes with many “old” sayings, many of them fail to make sense in today’s world. Most of the sayings, however, I am well acquainted thanks to a very repetitive dad of mine.

…But this one…this one threw me!

I was speaking with my colleague, mostly rambles, I might add, and I had lost my train of thought, yet again.

“Soooo… soo….” I stammered.

“Sew buttons on your underwear!” she chimed in.

“Ummm, what?!” was all I could manage. What a weirdo!

Apparently it’s a thing. And of course, she just had  to follow up the conversation two days later by giving me buttons for my underwear. Haha.

She’s a hoot, that one.

buttons.jpg

I’m still a little baffled by the saying, I must admit. Any ideas?