I've been MIA for the past two weeks due to classes (yuck), planning, parent teacher conferences, and an unplanned funeral. I hope to be back soon once my life is in order!
On a much better note I got a new car!!
FINALLY! My old one didn't have heat or air at the end.. I had been driving it since I was 16.
And had a wonderful birthday!
Has anyone seen it? You can view the first part of the film here. And I believe all parts are accessible on YouTube. After watching the first half here are my thoughts...
Does Superman Exist?
After watching the first half of “Waiting For Superman” it makes me wonder if there really is a cure for the American public school systems? And if so where do we even begin? From a point of view outside of a teacher’s eyes I think that improving the educational system in America seems easy. All you have to do is teach children to learn certain skills. Through the eyes of a teacher that is where the problem lies, some children aren’t learning these skills. Every day I ask myself why aren’t individual students not comprehending the skills and knowledge needed to complete an assignment? I can’t even answer the question; it turns into a blame game. I wonder if it is the way I’m teaching it- Do I need to differentiate instruction AGAIN? I wonder if the student isn’t ready to move forward because the basic foundations of previous concepts were never established- Do I reteach what another teacher had supposedly taught before? Or is it something cognitive inside this child’s head that is permitting the comprehension of this topic? How do we know? That is where the problems starts.
After completing my first year of teaching I often found myself asking when is it too much time to spend focusing on a topic just because one child doesn’t understand the skill? When is it time to move on? I never want to risk leaving a child behind in learning but as a teacher with 19 other students how do we find the time to teach individual students when we usually only have at most 6 hours in the classroom a day? With this in mind an idea comes to me, what if we didn’t teach subject matter to children unless they were ready for it? If you can’t build a house without a strong foundation how can we advance children into classes where they don’t have the basic skills to build on? It makes me wonder if we are doing something wrong in the school system. If all these children are failing then why do we pass them? I’m not sure if it to avoid social embarrassment, because parents won’t allow it, or because statistically failing students’ doesn’t provide immediate results in learning. Whatever it is I’m not sure passing these students on is helping them or hurting them.
First off I would like to happily say that my Donor's Choose project was successfully funded today! I can not express how excited and eager we are for our kidney table's arrival! It should be here in about three weeks and I can't wait to put it to good use.
This week we are working on character traits! Check out what we have scheduled!
We are FINALLY done with our place value and rounding unit and I'm super excited to give a test on Friday (who says that) to see how my kids do! With that in mind we have been reviewing all week. Today we did this fill in the blank place value activity. I put it up on my smart board when we went over it and the kids loved coming up and writing in the blanks. Check out this freebie on my TPT website! At the end students create their own and we took turns doing them together.
On another note I was elated to find an e-mail from Tim, the owner of Super Teachers Worksheets.com, in my inbox last Friday---giving me a FREE one year membership to their website! How amazing is that? I've tried not to brag too much to other teachers because I know everyone is super jealous of me now. It really is an incredible site with so many math worksheets and games over just about everything. I already hit it up this week for rounding and even/odd worksheets. The best thing about it is that they are constantly updating the site with new things every week. I know that next week when we start money things will be cray and I'll be heading over there everyday.. that rhymes and yes I did use the word cray. If you want more information on joining their site click here.
They also recently created a new website called Modern Chalkboard. It is full of interactive Smartboard activities. It you haven't been there check it out!
If you own a blog and are interested in making a couple extra dollars with a sponsor link on your sidebar e-mail Clay at firstname.lastname@example.org! Earlier this week he contacted me asking to pass on that tid bit of information. I've worked with him before and he is super quick to paypal the cash over:) Which is always good! And he e-mails you when his subscription is up for renewal. I've worked with him twice. He is always welcome on my sidebar. What more can you ask for?
I feel like lucky things have been happening to me so much lately. I don't know what it is. 2011 has by far been the luckiest year I have ever had. I feel like I win something super snazzy every month. I can't wait to pay it forward with a 450 follower giveaway... Almost there:)
Disclaimer: I was not paid or sponsored to write this post.
I'm working on some new even and odd worksheets for TPT! Here is a sneak preview for everyone! Check it out! Sneak peak is over! You get 4 mazes for $1.50 on TPT! So far everyone has loved them! My kids begged for more!
“You have cancer.” These words, told to me by my
doctor struck fear to the core of my being, as they have with countless others
around the world. I heard these words when everything in my life was going so
well. 3 and a half months prior to hearing these three words, I had a baby.
Now, I was told I had cancer. To be more specific, I hadmalignant pleural mesothelioma.
This is a cancer caused by exposure to asbestos.
My first thought was, isn’t asbestos banned? The
question that I’m always asked is how I was exposed. First, asbestos isn’t
banned. Second, I was exposed through secondary exposure. Asbestos was on the
clothing my father wore in construction. He was responsible for drywall taping
as well as mudding and sanding. This dust contained asbestos and he brought it
home with him. What seemed like an innocent white dust on his clothes and in
his car contained asbestos fibers.
At the age of 36, I was diagnosed. At this time,
the Mayo Clinic had only discovered one other case in a person as young as I
was. The average mesothelioma patient is considerably older. Typically, the
person is male and one who has worked in the trades. This could be an electrician,
plumber, mechanic or in the heating industry. It could also have been from
military exposure from a ship. The wives of these men were also getting sick.
These were the second-hand exposure cases like mine. The wives would be doing
the laundry for their husbands, shaking out the clothes that were caked with
this harmful particle.
There were also women working as secretaries who
were exposed. The schools they worked in had tremendous amounts of asbestos in
The next generation of mesothelioma patients is
starting to show up. Little did I know, I was the beginning of an alarming
trend – the children. Children who were exposed because of their parents’
trades and children who went to the asbestos filled schools were getting sick.
Children who hung out with their dads and would get into dad’s clothes were
being exposed to asbestos and never knew better.
The more I research mesothelioma and get
involved with the community, the more I see. Men and women in their late
twenties and early thirties are being diagnosed. These are patients just
getting started with their lives.
Lives are coming to a screeching halt, just as
mine did. People are getting married, having babies and starting new jobs. That
all ends when they must concentrate on overcoming mesothelioma as a full-time
There is a silver lining. Advances inmesothelioma treatment are being made to help overcome the disease. The survival rate is
increasing every single year. It’s no longer a death sentence. These are people
of every age.
Hearing that you have been diagnosed with cancer
is devastating, but it’s not an instant death sentence. It’s critical to hold
onto hope. I held onto hope when I got mesothelioma and I have known many others
who have done the same. We have come together as a community to share our
experiences with one another and to support one another. We can cry when things
don’t work and celebrate victories when they do.
I have gone through the trials and tribulations
associated with mesothelioma. At a time when all was supposed to be going well,
I was diagnosed. I developed a support system to get through things and I want
to make sure that others are able to do the same. I share my story over and
over again to bring awareness to the community. Until more people are aware of
what’s out there, nothing is going to change.
My hope is that my story will offer something
for someone. Maybe it will offer a glimmer of hope to someone who has just been
diagnosed with the cancer. Maybe it will stop someone from being fearful of the
mesothelioma diagnosis. A diagnosis is horrible but it’s not the end of the
world. Life must go on. If one person can learn this, then I know I’m doing the
right thing by telling my story ofsurviving mesothelioma.
*In Honor of Mesothelioma Awareness Day that took place on September 26th