Monday, April 27, 2009

Part II - Lord Help Me I Am Givin Advice. Don't Listen.

Anonymous said...
I've been reading your blog for a while now (love it!)but I am a bit sketchy on your career. I know you are in the education field, and I am assuming you were a classroom teacher at one point. I am a teacher and really enjoy every day in my classroom. It's been 12 years, and I still enjoy working with my snarky 6th graders! Go figure! However, I have a degree in admin as well. Thing is, I am hesitant to make the jump. I would so miss the classroom, but can I just sit on this degree? The money would be very welcome, but the politics that go on in the admin level are just not my cup of tea. I also love the fact that I make a difference on a personal level to the kids in my class. It seems to me the higher you go in education, the less personal that difference is. Just wondering what the motivation has been in your career and if you have any advice for me. Thanks so much!-Nancy

Nancy -- I taught sixth grade too and LOVED every minute of it. It was somewhat hard to move from a classroom teacher to an assistant principal. Somethings I did were give my teachers a "free pass" in which I would teach one of their classes and let them have a free hour. I, of course, had to have some notice - but it was a win/win. Some teachers stayed in the room and joined in the fun.

When I moved to the Oklahoma Dept of Education it was harder. But I truly believe I was able to implement change at that level that I knew needed to happen. I felt like the voice of the teacher and the parent. I believe that is needed more.

Now, I am with a nonprofit education company and while I work daily with districts, I rarely see a classroom. But I do feel like I "teach" my twerps daily -- the important stuff. Like how to fart with their armpit and burp the alphabet. Seriously, can it get any better than that?

SOOOOO -- I say all that to say this...No one can take the teacher out of you. And you can make a difference in admin...your classroom changes from a room of sweaty puberty tweens to a lounge of dedicated loyal heroes who need your leadership. And can use a good armpit fart class. Amen.

Anonymous said...
I have a very hard time balancing home (3 kids) & work... balancing isn't the right word... I should say: accepting the rejection I get from my mother for working outside the home. How do you keep up with the house/meals/kids/work? Have you ever received criticism for not being a SAHM?~heather

Honey, I don't keep up with it all. I have a housecleaner who comes every Friday and I buy prepared meat from Whole Foods for dinner and I count swimming as baths. I let small things go -- like having clean socks on or brushing teeth before bed (please if you are a dentist don't judge me.)

But I am getting ready to say something that might be the most impactful thing I will ever write on this blog. And that really isn't sayin much considering I just talked about armpit farts, BUT..if you ever listen and reread and meditate and take anything to heart...please let it be this...

Judgement in others is the insecurity we feel in our own decisions.

I will give you a minute.

Judgement in others is the insecurity we feel in our own decisions.

When I stayed at home I was extremely judgemental for career moms. It had NOTHING to do with them, but everything to do with my insecurities in the decisions I had made for myself. Sweetie, you have to live your life for what is right with YOU. And when you are happy and fulfilled you will be a WONDERFUL mom.

Kelley said...
I have a sweet 6 mo old little boy and I just found out that I am expecting my second child. Whew...they will only be 14 mo apart. How far apart are your boys? Did you plan it that way? What are the pros and cons of children so close in age?Thanks!

My boy twerps are 17 months apart. We did not plan it, but we do not plan anything. Ever.

In the early months is was HARD. I will be honest. Very hard. And it is kind of a blur for me. But now? Now? Oh how I love it. There is nothing NOTHING that blesses a momma's heart more than to see her two spawn love each other, care for each other, feel compassion for one another, and build a lifelong friendship.

We are VERY laid back parents. But one thing we do not tolerate, even for a minute is to NOT be friends and show compassion to your siblings. People will come and go in your life. Friends will change, schools will fade, churches will come and go...but your brother and sister will always be your brother and sister. And they will ALWAYS be there. And you must always be there for them. Cause I know this, at the end of the day life is about one thing: OTHERS. And who better to invest in than the one who has experienced every step of life with you? Don't mess with the family.

Dana and Daisy said...
You know about my new grandbaby and the less than perfect timing of it all, but I want to embrace the joy this baby brings to our lives. I have only met the mom one time, and don;t have a good relationship with my step son. I want to ask all kinds of questions of her, like "Did your millk come in, how is the nursing going, is the baby cranky or colicky, are you sleeping at all, is Daddy helping, how is your incision healing,etc etc.My question is: how should I approach these delicate and personal subjects with someone I do not know very well without her thinking I am a total freak and closing the door altogether on communication?p.s. I only have facebook as a communication tool with her. And Steve is no help at all, he does not even call every day and ask how the baby is, but I would like to.

I think you are honest. I think you are you. Cause you are one of the most loving people I have ever seen. Why try to be anything else....Maybe something like this.

I just wanted to send you a quick email so you could read on your time and maybe while the baby was asleep. I wanted to first let you know how proud Steve and I are of you. The fact that you have brought forth this precious angel is amazing. And your decisions are so brave. And I do not know if I have told you or not, but thank you. Thank you for being such a giver. I admire that in you. (No need to talk about the circumstance. She knows. She is aware. She does not need to be reminded.)

I know we are not the "closest" in our relationship. And I do not want to try to be something I am not. I know I am not your mother or sister or even friend. But I do hope to earn a friendship with you. I think we both have a lot to give.

I want you to know I care. I care about how you feel, how she smiled at you today, how you slept, how she slept, how she looks when she yawned, how you are healing, your joys/frustrations/hopes/and fears.

I would like to email a couple times a week and check on you and our angel. If this is not comfortable for you, please just let me know and I will respect it. If I cross a line and ask questions you don't want to share, just say so and we will talk about the weather. :)

Basically, I want you to know ...I care. I care about that precious little girl. But I also care of you. And you have already taught me so much with your selflessness and love...I hope to be able to return the favor to you. May I?


From Email
What state do you live in?

Georgia Please don't stalk me and kill me. Please don't be a man in your forties wearing whitey tighties and staring at my pics online.

From email
I have been reading your blog for several months now, and since you seem to have tons of knowledge, I would like to ask some advice. I am starting my first year of teaching in the fall after staying home for two years with my children. (TRIPLETS – 2 boys – 1 girl) I will be meeting my future class before this school year is over. Do you know of any fun activities to do for good first impressions and any advice on how to get ready for my first year of teaching? I feel some what outdated since I have been secluded at home raising my kids and not staying up on all the new stuff in the teaching field. Any suggestions would be very helpful. Thanks.

Ohhhhh - how exciting. First get the book by Susan Winebrenner called Teaching Gifted Kids in the Regular Classroom. Don't let the title fool you. Get it. It is wonderful for all kids.

Second - I love the Harry Wong book - First Days of School.

My favorite first day activity was 2 truths and a lie. I gave each kids a note card and told them to write two truths about themselves and one lie. They would read it aloud and the class would have to guess the lie. We learned some GREAT facts about people.

For example:

I have hiked the Grand Canyon in 11 days.
I have never made Rice Crispy Treats.
I adopted a baby.

Then you all have to guess the lie. Anyhoo - I also like the All About me Bags -- but I did an ABC Book of Me. They had to do a scrapbook form A to Z on them with a paragraph on each page and pics. This really was a chance for the kid to share THEM. I did one too.

I always did a "When life hands you lemons, make lemonade" speech. And I had lemons I threw out when I talked about the challenges the year would bring....but we would all have the choice to chop up our lemon and make lemonade....and we did just that. During the year, I would keep some lemons at my desk and throw them to a student if a challenge would arise and ask them, "What are you gonna do with that lemon? It is your choice!"

BUILD COMMUNITY. Make them love one another, defend one another and above all else teach them what life is all about: OTHERS. Invest in others. Do community service projects. Adopt a nursing home. Adopt a pet shelter. Let them chose. Give. Give. Give. And always believe in them more than they believe in themselves. It will become contagious.

I love you all!!!!


Sally Pepper said...

Nice post. Love the advice on being a busy mom and doing what is right for you. I so agree!
By the way, I'm visiting Georgia for the first time in June. No, not stalking you....visiting friends!

Hair Bows & Guitar Picks said...

I love.....Judgement in others is the insecurity we feel in our own decisions! AMEN

WOW ~ you are so right on! I am going to use this often.

Linda said...

You are wiser than your years.

Tana said...

I thought your example letter for Dana was as close to perfect as such a message can be. And I live in Georgia, too, and I have no wish to stalk you or anyone else. But if I run into you at Monkey Joe's, I might have to say hi. My little boy LOVES Monkey Joe's. But never fear, I am not male, creepy, 40, or homicidal. Just sayin'.

zena said...

Awesome post! The line about using swimming as bath time made me laugh. I've been guilty of that as well!

Anonymous said...

Pretty amazing stuff CG.



Dana and Daisy said...

I am going to copy and paste your letter and only edit out the words you menat for me to read.

Thank you CG! Love, Dana

Marchelle said...

i just read this - judgement in others is the insecurity we feel in our own decisions - somewhere online today and I was like OH that sounds like somethin CG would say.

and here you are a quotin' it!

i think i'm psychic or pychotic or something.

Marchelle said...

PS - i AM stalking you, june 10-13.

oh, and swimming totally equals baths. chlorine is much more effective that johnson's baby wash, anyway. and meemaw has a pool. SCORE.