Saturday, August 21, 2010

School Has Started!

I am so glad it is Saturday!  

Last week, we teachers returned to the orange halls of our high school to prepare for the new year.  Some of this preparation--specifically the staff development meetings-- felt like a waste of time, as it always does.  The rest--preparing the room, working with the other teachers--that part was fun.  As I always do, I find that I have missed interacting with people on a regular basis over the summer.  I'm really proud of the way my room looks too!

I will still miss the summer, especially the part about only having two flares.  My ankle has been flared, meaning I've been limping all over the place, since Monday, and the kids haven't even come back yet!  Oh well.  Though, as I mentioned in my last Not Me! Monday post, it is hard leaving the summer's flare and sickness-free existence and returning to a place where I am guaranteed to experience both.  I am still struggling with the fears I mentioned in that post too.

That said, there are things I am looking forward to this year--sponsoring the anime club, meeting my new kiddos, and working with the Spanish I planning team (our new teachers are awesome!  And one is an AGGIE!!! WHOOP!), to name a few.  Seeing my old students is high on the list too--three of my volleyball girls came to see me yesterday and it made my week!  So all in all, I am starting to feel the slow increase of excitement that comes at the beginning of every school year.

It's funny, the longer I'm in education, the more I disagree with the current trends, or at least the mentality driving the current trends.  Primarily, the insistence on entertaining the students.

Of course, "entertaining" is not the term used--the term is now "engage".  I am all for student engagement, but I draw the line at regular arts and crafts projects at the high school level, to the exclusion of lecture.  I also do not agree that teachers need to constantly use technology in their classrooms to "engage" their students.  Students have to be held accountable for engaging themselves in their education as well.  They need to learn how to apply themselves to the task at hand, even if that task is without technological and visual bells and whistles.  After all, both in college and on the job, nobody will be as desperately concerned with keeping them entertained as K-12 teachers are expected to be today.

I also get tired of hearing the "new" proposals to "fix" or "remake" the current educational system.  With few exceptions, these ideas are NOT new--and those few are not truly feasible at the national level.  If I learned anything while pursuing my Masters of Education in Curriculum and Instruction, I learned that education is cyclical--the conceptual core of "new" ideas have fueled such "innovations" before, and yet we keep coming back around to the traditional model.

And I really wish folks would stop using the comparative argument for reform--that is that the American education system is horrible in comparison to other nations.  I would like to point out that we are the only nation that INSISTS on educating ALL of its children at the same level.  In Europe, there is a tracking test that is taken around 12--if you pass, you are on the college track, if not you go on the trade school track.  Other nations only educate the children of families who can pay for it, and even if they do offer education to their entire populace, they sure as heck aren't tracking drop-outs and punishing the schools they've left, nor are they tracking down truants and dragging them back to school.

In other words, are students are compared with the cream of the crop of other nations--so OF COURSE we come off looking bad. 

Anyway, enough of that.

On the RA front, we're continuing to try to put off surgery with cortisone shots--which are working, kind of.  I also have to continue wearing my brace on my right wrist, and continue with my 5lb weight limit on my right arm.  At my one month follow-up with Dr. G, he also did a physical examination of my left wrist and pronounced it "not a normal wrist".  Imagine my joy.  So, I am now subject to a 10lb weight limit on my left arm, and can no longer vacuum--at least not until we get a MUCH lighter weight one.  Dr. G gave us several brands to check out.

Because my ankle is already flaring, Dr. C put me on prednisone (5 mg/day as needed) and I'm going back to see him in September.

Other than all that, life is really going wonderfully.  I was able to get one room redecorated and Victoria's shower came together splendidly.  

Bryan leaves for his field test this coming Tuesday--I'm going to miss him a ton for the three weeks and three days he'll be gone BUT I will also have plenty to keep my busy!  School and water aerobics will keep my weeks hopping, and as for the weekends, well--next weekend I pick up one of my bridesmaid dresses and go get it fitted and go to Bryanne-Michelle's shower.  The weekend after that is Victoria's bachelorette party, and the weekend after THAT I am going to an Astros game with my mom and day for Hero's Night.  And the next weekend, Bryan will be home!  

Lol, but even THAT weekend I'm busy--I'm flying up to Ft. Worth for Victoria's shower up there.  And then both weddings are right around the corner, as are Thanksgiving and Christmas!  This fall is going to fly by! 

Now, to go back to enjoying the first Saturday of my school year!


  1. I'm not sure the European system is such a bad idea, and my reasoning there is less elitist than it sounds. There are a lot of kids who can't possibly afford college or else don't have the aptitude or the interest, who would benefit tremendously from having options like trade school presented more favorably; it seems that too many of them are presented with this idea that either you go to college or you're not succeeding, when alternative career options like that could have some of these non-college-bound kids on the way to good solid employment and better paychecks than either of us get with our degrees. Thoughts?

  2. I agree with Kiona. Also - no vacuuming!! You should get a roomba with a remote control - you know that would be so awesome. :) Except the stairs... the one great nemesis of robots.


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