February 19, 2013

Found this post from the fall....

....unfinished! The aftermath of the hurricane that left us powerless for over a week took a toll on my sanity. I guess enough that I couldn't even remember to post this post! :)

 When the lights, went down, in the city
(title sung like Journey)

It’s been a long week, and it doesn’t look like it will be over any time soon. I’ve learned a lot over the last few days, but one thing I’d like to share is how you too can do a test of your sanity. Some people pay tons of money to go to research labs and be studied. No siree, I’ve got you covered, and it’s free!

Step one is simple. Don’t send your children to school for one full week. Try to stock up on things for them to do(no video games or tv!) and remember that they will ‘be bored’ no  matter how much you give them.

Step two is to wait to complete this task until it is no more than 35 degrees outside. Having the optimal temperature will ensure just enough teeth chatter that you will layer accordingly.

Step three, and this is a biggie, turn off your house. Everything. Heat, TVs, phones lights, appliances. Break out those good ol’ candles and flashlights. 
Now you are ready, just follow those steps, and wait to see what happens!

* * I’ll fill you in on what happens, just in case you don’t make it through the whole week. * *

The first day or two, you are a warrior. This is no biggie! We have some laughs, play near the open windows where the sun shines in, make puppet shows with flashlights at night, easy peasy.

The next few days, it gets considerably colder. You realize the whole family should stay in one room together because of it being too cold and too dark. Ok, I can do this. Thank goodness for the small but mighty electric heater that covers one room. It’s just like a sleepover the first night you huddle, then it slowly becomes the glue that comes undone….

Did I leave out daytime? Where you are scrambling to find something to do, somewhere to go, oh and you haven’t showered in a few(just not sure how many days since you lose track of time).
Towards the end of the week, there’s a glimmer of hope. You think today’s the day where all will be restored! You plan for it, pile the laundry even higher, and go to sleep expecting tomorrow to be brighter.

But it’s not. It’s just as dark, now colder, and you now smell more. Your kids fight more, you run out of anything to do, and you stop to think. O. M. G. How will I make it through another day? 

Amazingly, you do. You find that inner strength, the one that lifts you up even on the darkest days, and you move on. There's a song in the Rankin Bass version of Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer that has a great line:

"Put one foot in front of the other....and soon you'll be walking out the door!"

I'm going off on a tangent here, but all I'm really trying to say is that you can do it! And when it's all over, when that laundry is all put away, kids are all clean, and meals are warm again, you'll look back in amazement. Us humans are AMAZING. We are STRONG. You might be a little mentally wrecked, but you shall survive!

When Mama Bears Attack..

I'm having a rough go lately, readers. I'm going through a big 'when it rains, it pours' situation with my boys and school. I have always been a vocal involved parent, and I assumed as they got older, it would get easier. Wrong-o! I am in the thick of it now more than ever. And strangely enough, the older grade teachers don't seem used to involved parents, nor do they seem comfortable with it. Well wake up educators, this Mama refuses to back down.
Why has it become such a comfortable norm for teachers to think it's ok to make choices for students without consulting parents? I shouldn't say teachers, I should say people that work in a school building. From secretaries, to guidance counselors, to even the nurses, we have seen a breakdown of home to school communication like I could have never imagined. I GIVE you my children to educate them during the day. I TRUST you to do what's best for them. I EXPECT to be told when there's something off, or something that needs to be changed. 

Sadly, yes, there are many parents that choose not to be involved. And perhaps, it not because they don't want to. It might be because they are uncomfortable chiming in. Or intimidated by snotty teachers. OR, as I know many in my area have said, maybe they've been pushed down/away so many times by the school, that they now have the 'why even bother?' attitude. I tried that last reason at the beginning of this year. WHY BOTHER? They don't listen, they don't care about what you have to say, so why get myself worked up? Well, that lasted about a week for me. I snapped out of it, and remembered IT'S MY JOB AS A PARENT. If I don't act/react/chime in, who is going to ensure my child is getting the best education possible?

Now I know some of you might say 'oh, this doesn't happen in our district', 'my child's teacher isn't like that'. I'm glad to hear that. I'm just speaking from my own, personal experience. As a mother. As a teacher. I'm on both sides of the fence daily. I can say with great certainty that I became a MUCH better teacher once I had my own children.

I want to encourage all parents reading this to SPEAK UP. Yes, those in the school building are trained to do their jobs in the world of education. But you have the right, and the ability, to have a say in every facet of your child's education. Don't let people in the building intimidate you, and don't let others around you deter you from doing what's right for your child. Your student will only be in that building for a handful of years, but you will see the (hopefully) positive marks their educations make on them for many years to come. :)