“Your” Children

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Dandelion Watercolor

One of the biggest lessons in life I’ve had to unlearn is that my children are “mine.”

Gibran’s words are plain and true:

Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you,
And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.

Kahlil Gibran

Too many parents believe their children are a reflection of themselves. Our job as parents is to provide nourishment and safety for these souls. But they are whole people already – we do not – SHOULD not – impose our dreams on them.

 

Writing prompt: What do you want to be when you grow up?

Student: This prompt makes me sad. Because I don’t know. My parents tell me I must be either be an engineer or a doctor. I cannot have a job that pays less than that.

Teacher: Well, let’s say your parents tell you that you can pursue ANY profession that you want. What would it be?

Student: I don’t know…I don’t know, because I’ve never even thought of it.

Why do parents tell their kids how to live your lives when they have their own?

 

By the way, Gibran never had children. Maybe he could be this wise because he had the distance necessary to see the whole picture.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Teacher’s Week

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Morning Run

I started going out for runs at 5:30am this week. It’s a phenomenal way to start my day.

It was Teacher Appreciation Week and I received very touching notes from students (as well as their gifts).

It’s allergy season and it seems just about everyone exhibits some symptoms. My classes have gone through many boxes of tissues.

A word of advice: When a student sneezes and says, “Oh gosh!” Don’t look.

The Underdogs

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Cinco de Mayo is not about Mexico gaining independence. Instead, it commemorates the defeat of the French in an underdog victory during the Battle of Puebla, May 5, 1862 during the Franco-Mexican War.  It is celebrated to appreciate the Mexican culture and heritage.

Unfortunately, in many parts of the United States, commercialism has reduced it to a day of drinking and high jinks.

You can learn more about the Battle of Puebla here. *

*History.com

 

Dog Daze

 

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I should get up now….get some work done.

 

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I’ll hit the snooze button…just need five minutes…
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…ok, maybe ten..

 

 

 

 

Red4Ed Update 5/2/18 5:15pm MST

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Just now, I received this:

#RedForEd must act now. Call, text, or email your legislators. The Governor seems close to passing his partisan budget that we oppose. The House of Representatives is now on the floor with all sixty members taking the first official vote on the budget and debating the budget bills and amendments. The bill is expected to be heard in the Senate soon.

#RedForEd has friendly legislators who will be introducing amendments to the budget that support the #RedForEd demands. This is our chance, and you need to contact legislators now with a simple message. Tell them to support the four #RedForEd amendments:

  1. Cap class size at 25 students per classroom
  2. Defines “Teacher” as: any non-administrative personnel who teaches students or supports student academic achievement as defined by the school district governing board or charter school governing body including, but not limited to nurses, counselors, social workers, psychologists, speech pathologists, librarians and academic interventionists.
  3. Cap student-to-counselor ratio at 250:1
  4. Student support services personnel should receive a 10% increase equal to the teacher pay proposal, go into base level and be paid for by tax conformity.

Contact your legislators NOW to ask them to the #RedforEd amendments.

Here’s the “Problem”

To the teachers who do not support the Red4Ed Movement – the teachers who actively engage and complain with members of the community who hate us:

What do you tell children who say they want to be a teacher someday? That the job is awesome, but the pay sucks?

How do you reconcile in your mind that schools are using 20-year-old textbooks? What do you suggest I do when I have 37 students, but a computer cart that holds only 15 laptops, with 8 that work?

What is your solution to this?

A new teacher to our district makes $38,500 (gross).

She decides to opt for maximum take home pay, so let’s say she takes home $2,000/month (net). She wants health insurance (of COURSE) and health insurance for her kids. Here are her options:

HDHP 2500 (Cigna Choice HDHP 2500 Plan)

  • Employee Only:  $10.00 per month
  • Employee with children: $452.54 per month (actually, closer to $800/month because we get 18 paychecks, not 24).

These quotes are for a very high deductible – all the other options are more expensive.

And then there is the requisite retirement 11.5% taken out of each paycheck.

And food.

And shelter.

The cost of everything goes up (inflation). And yet, our salaries have been frozen for the past ten years, until this year, when we received a 1% raise. And guess what the Governor was planning on doing? He was going to give us another 1% raise. Gee, so generous!

You say, “Well, I agree with the grievances. It’s just that…I don’t like how it’s happening. We should have walked out just once a week until our needs were met.”

My reply: There is never a good time for a walkout. Never. But if you act like a doormat, you get treated like one.

What will you say when you get a (much) bigger – overdue –  raise thanks to the Red4Ed movement? There are teachers out there demanding better for you, for the kids and for our future. Don’t disparage them.