Thursday, June 27, 2013

It's Time!

Well, it's official! As I signed my paperwork with my new school district, I am finally ready to start my new blog!

I decided I needed a new blog to chronicle my continuing adventures as a special education teacher. Please add my new blog and continue to follow me at The Write Combo!

I'm hoping to set up my TPT and Etsy shops this summer so continue to stay tuned for my teaching products on both sites.

Thank you to those of you who have followed this blog since my beginning days as a new teacher two years ago! I look forward to many more blog posts in the days to come!

Sunday, May 26, 2013

To Be Continued...

So, I've been absent from the blogosphere for a while and haven't had the motivation to write or blog recently because of unforeseen events both in my work and personal life. And I'm not sure when my mojo is going to return to me.

But I hope it's soon...

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Not a Morning Person

I love coffee. I really need it to start my days, as I am by no means a morning person. Starbucks should be delighted by my patronage; I spend about $30-35 at Starbucks every week on my almost daily Starbucks runs.

In an effort to save some money, I invested in a Keurig coffee machine this past September. I liked that I could have multiple cups of coffee at home, switching out the brews (flavors) as I deemed fit. I've found a variety of flavors that I've liked (Green Mountain's Caramel Vanilla Cream and Limited Edition Pumpkin Spice, and Starbuck's Blonde brew, among others).

I was recently shopping at Ralphs when I noticed that they had started producing their own k-cups with the Ralphs brand - which were a few bucks cheaper than the Starbucks and Green Mountain k-cups. It looked appealing, so I decided to give it a try.

The cappuccino turned out much better than the 7-11 cappuccinos I get some mornings on my way to work (which I think are MUCH better than any cup you can get at Starbucks or Coffee Bean). I'm glad that Ralphs is marketing their own k-cups now and at an affordable price for consumers.

This won't be my last box of this brew!

Thursday, February 28, 2013

The Good and the Bad/Ugly

THE GOOD: I was sent an email earlier this afternoon that informed me that I had been selected to be one of Earthwatch's 2013 fellows. The program is taking place in Arizona toward the end of July and into early August and will be centered around climate change and caterpillars. (I know this may not sound interesting, but for a science geek like me, I'm very excited!) As part of the program, I will receive a $1,000 stipend for the trip and get to spend 11 days near Tucson, working in the field with other scientists and teachers. I applied for the program on a lark, not really thinking that I would get the opportunity to participate. I guess it just goes to show that filling out long, tedious applications might actually reap some reward!
Photo courtesy of
THE BAD/UGLY: I have been out of work since Monday, when I went into the emergency clinic for a back injury I sustained at work last week (and that got progressively worse over the weekend). The doctor checked me out and after taking multiple x-rays, determined I had a thoracic sprain in my upper back. He issued some medications and gave me a back brace and an icepack. I had a follow-up appointment yesterday morning, and he told me that I would need some physical therapy. He also changed one of the medications I was taking and told me to up the frequency of which I was taking the muscle relaxers he had originally prescribed. So, I am out of work until next Wednesday when I will have my follow-up appointment after completing several physical therapy sessions.

As much as I sometimes complain about the challenges of teaching, I do miss being away from my classroom. I would rather be teaching my kindergarteners than stuck in bed or on the sofa with an injury. I just want to be back in my element. 

I'm crossing my fingers that the PT the doctor ordered lends to my recovery and return to work.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Holidaze Me

I am one of those teacher's that goes into a holidaze with the coming of each new month. During December, my classroom looked like the North Pole, complete with tons of lighted garland and a lighted, decorated Christmas tree. This month, it looks like cupid threw up. We have pink lights, two different types of heart garland, and tons of Valentine's Day crafts that we've put together, courtesy of Pinterest.

Here are just a few of the crafts my kiddos have done in the last week or two...

Valentine's Day was deemed "Grandparent's Day" at my school job...even though the national holiday was five months ago. We made cute gifts for our grandparents, nonetheless - we even laminated them for safe-keeping. 

I've already started collecting decorations for next month's St. Patrick's Day...and don't even get me started on the Pinterest March crafts that I've hoarded! Stay tuned...

Sunday, February 10, 2013

The Resignation

I decided late this afternoon that I was going to quit my tutoring job.

I didn't need to work a part-time job; I've been comfortable just working my full-time teaching job. But I liked making the extra money, saving up for some fabulous trip abroad.

However, I realized that my part-time job was making me a crap graduate student and was affecting my weekend "recuperation time" from my teaching, which has taken a toll on me emotionally and psychologically - while also exposing me to a whole new batch of germs from sick tutoring clients (yuck!)

I needed my time back.

So, I resigned - via email. Not exactly professional, I know, but I could care less. I am so drained at this point that I needed to do what was right for me...not what professional courtesy dictates.

I spent this evening making dinner, watching a movie, and completing two weeks worth of homework - something I would not have had time to do if I was tutoring clients back-to-back all day.

I think resignation suits me just fine.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Out with the Old, In with the DUH...

Today I participated in a 6-hour training for the new IEP program our district is planning on rolling out on Monday. And all I can say is that the training itself was a waste of time and money.

To start off, I could have spent the day in my classroom actually doing something productive and catching up on the work that's stacked up because I was out sick for a week and a half and because I have an incompetent instructional aide (but that's another blog post altogether). Many of our district's special education teachers opted out of coming today - because this "voluntary" training violates our union contract in about 10 different ways. Unfortunately, as much as I wanted to stay behind and work, I couldn't because I am not yet tenured with the district. And I am POSITIVE that our special education director would have seen my absence as non-compliance and not asked me to return next fall despite exemplary evaluations from my site administrator.

So, I was bitter about attending this whole training from the get-go.

On top of that, though, the district failed to offer any sort of waiver for those teachers who are tech-savvy and/or have advanced degrees in technology (like myself) that would allow for us to figure out the program on our own. By not doing so, the district is basically paying me to sit in a computer lab for 6 hours and chat on Facebook or pin new ideas on Pinterest. Now that's being fiscally conscientious!

I was hoping that this training would be beneficial. It wasn't. 

Every piece of information that was presented was something I could have figured out independently or by looking up in the program manual. It was a waste of time.

It really upsets me that with all these budget issues happening within the school districts, administrators and program directors aren't doing everything possible to save the district money. Like paying for one trainer instead of three and only training those teachers who feel they really need the training in order to be successful? There's an idea!

Or giving a 3-hour training instead of a 6-hour training, because, could have been done in two.

Now while the technicalities of the training flat out sucked...I do like the new program that the district is using. It really streamlines the information and eliminates the amount of paperwork that is processed in special education. It is very user-friendly and will hopefully eliminate some of the errors the district has faced in the past with IEPs.