Devine site

A little bit about my day, my family, and my knitting.

Saturday, August 06, 2005

We're Baaaack!

To school, that is. Here in S. Florida, teacher's report back to work Aug. 2 and the students return Aug. 8 (the 10th for Palm Beach County). For teachers working in Broward County it was a short summer....8 weeks (for the last 2 summers, to move up the school year calendar) instead of the usual 9 weeks off (and I only had 7, as I went in a week before for training/workshops). Now you might say, "Well, you DID have the whole summer off," but for those of you who don't work with 20 different personalities, 20 different learning styles, 20 different cultures, all 5 - 6 years old, 20 different kinds of parents (who sometimes act like 5 - 6 year olds), you probably don't apprciate the need for all those weeks off. Some teachers aren't as lucky as I am either in that they have to work a second job in the summer to make ends meet (Florida pay, while not the worse, doesn't compare to what I would be receiving had I stayed in NY, though it certainly is better for me than dealing with winter snow and cold). I must admit, though, that I was ready to return to work, as I had a very busy June into July. And just about all my Florida friends are people I work with, and I was eager to be among them again.

One of the best parts of attending workshops and meetings is that I get alot of knitting in. I finished my broadripple socks (see previous post) and started the Textured Shrug, using Electra and Clea yarns. I have finished one sleeve so far. The rest of the time I was extremely busy setting up my classroom. We have a 20% rule in Broward County (supposedly in all of Florida,but I heard that other counties don't adhere to it). The 20% rule is that you can only put paper up on 20% of your classroom hanging from the ceiling, nothing closer than 18" from the ceiling, no fabric on anything (may not be flame retardant), no live plants (it adds to the moisture in the room and we have a mold problem), no little fountains (same reason as plants), no upholstered furniture such as an easy chair, no cushions for the children to sit on, no big or medium stuffed animals......all contribute to mold issues. Now you have to know that LAST year we were told to have live plants, fountains, fabric covering shelves to make it look neat and pretty, and to make our rooms look comfortable and "homey" for the children. I was taught for many years to create a "print rich" classroom, which helps children develop reading and writing skills. As you can see, this change is very frustrating for teachers (not to mention costly.....we are the ones who paid for the plants, fountains, cushions, fabric, etc.). In addition, the last two years we were told to limit our "literacy centers" during reading to just 3 areas....computers, listening and use of Leap Desk/ Language Masters. So we got rid of many of the teacher made activities that went with our previous learning centers (because we have no place to store them....our closets were under close scrutiny, too). NOW we are ENCOURAGED to have many "Literacy Work Stations,".....ABC & Words WS, Poetry WS, Pocket Chart WS, Overhead Projector WS, Writing WS, and so on. Don't get me wrong...I am THRILLED that we are going back to what we know to be beneficial to the students, but I am so sick and tired of every year the powers that be changing from what works to what they think it should be. And I hate my sterile looking room. I miss seeing lots of poems hanging on the walls, children's work displayed all over, pretty colors (they want us to use only soft colors such as blues and greens, no vibrant reds, oranges or yellows)...this IS Kindergarten, for goodness sake. AH - forgive me...I just get incensed at all these changes, and frustrated that those deciding these changes are not the ones on the front lines who know what the students need. Thank goodness my administrators are in agreement with us....but their hands are "tied." If they don't have us comply with the rules, they will be sited. They are only following orders!!!!!

Thanks for letting me vent!!!! All this aside, I had a wonderful day. I went to the golf course with a friend and played 9 holes of golf. I took lessons about 2 years ago, and "played" 18 holes of golf with Gerry 2 times (once was a tournament, but really, they just needed a "warm body" to make the fourth). Needless to say, I forgot everything, but Linda was amazing in that she kept showing me how to swing, how to stand, etc. She was patient, encouraging and fun to be with, and I had a very satisfying experience. The course we played on is right next to the Atlantic Ocean, which was beautiful this morning. It was hotter than heck out there, and I , who rarely sweats, was dripping, but it didn't spoil the fun. When I got home I helped wash the dogs, took a nice shower and a 2 hour nap....hey, I deserved it. A little later we went for a 4 mile bike ride, then out to dinner, arriving home just before the rain. I couldn't ask for a better day!

Today my daughter Alison and her husband Michael moved from AZ, going to GA. What could be better for a mom than to have her child move closer. I couldn't be happier!!!


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  • At 7:17 PM, Blogger secret pal said…

    We're back at school too - ugh!!

    Your SP5 Pal


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