Friday, December 31, 2010

Cumplida

I've finished book #52 this late afternoon! I've met my goal for the year and I'm feeling quite good about it.


My last selection of the year, suggested to me by my husband, was Mary Oliver's Red Bird. And on this evening of resolutions and looking forward to the New Year, Oliver's book of poems is very fitting for me. Through her observations of the fox, the river, the turtle, and many other gifts of this world - including her pet dog Percy - Oliver reminds us to pay attention to what is alive and around us, to be aware of nature and the way you feel, and the way it feels.

Beautiful.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Distractions

I'm halfway through book #50. You'd think that being on Christmas vacation and being snowed in would help my mission, allowing me to finish the last three books I need to read before the clock strikes twelve on New Year's Eve. But I have a problem.

I'm easily distracted.

I'm distracted by emails, Facebook, and Twitter. I lost my way yesterday when I glanced at the windows in my office and just had to make curtains, right then and there. (They're lovely, I must say. I made them out of two Indian scarves.) I'm distracted by laundry, but not so much that I actually do any. (OK, I did one load today, just the essentials, like a bunch of underwear and some pjs I'll need for the rest of this lazy week.)

I'm distracted by Christmas cookies.  Lots of cookies, all kinds. Every time I pass by the kitchen table, these bright red tins call to me. I open them, and discover new treasures while sipping hot coffee.

was productive today, and helped my husband shovel snow. I was distracted though, when the most beautiful flock of geese flew by, and I couldn't help but marvel at the beauty of the day - the crisp cold, the white snow, the blowing wind, the clean air. (How alive I felt!)

I did read this afternoon, but a nap came on.  I gave in. Now here I am, it's almost 11 pm, and I'm about to watch a movie with my family. Movies are distracting too, but this is the week to catch up on them. When the movie is over, off to bed I'll go.

I'll prop myself up with a bunch of pillows, and read until I'm struggling to keep my eyes open.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Almost there! Not giving up!

To date, I've read 47 books in 2010!  Just five more books and I will have met my challenge!

Now, how to get five more books in by New Year's Eve? The routine is: get in bed by 10:30, read for an hour or more, then sneak in short spurts of reading here and there, between after school and dinner, and on the weekend, between housework and holiday shopping.  It'll be a squeeze for the next two weeks, but I will do it.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Books, books, and more books!

When we rang in the New Year 2010, I resolved to read a book a week this year.  It's been a challenge to keep up the momentum, but it's also been exciting to see my virtual bookshelf fill up on Shelfari.  My shelf is at the bottom of my blog here, if you care to take a look.

So far, I've read 42 books this year!  I MUST read 10 more books by New Year's Eve or I'll be disappointed in myself.  No matter what is happening in my life, I absolutely have to read everyday, or I get to feeling like the day was a waste.  During the day, I plot how I'll get schoolwork, errands, and housework done in time to get in bed by 10, so I can read for at least an hour before going to sleep.  It's what I look forward to all day...

My husband, @TheAmericanPoet on Twitter, honored me with a poem about my reading quest. Please read it at his blog, Crowned with Laurels.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Torn

Look how long it's taken to make my way back here! 
Time gets shorter and tighter as it slips through my hands and feet -
I try to finish a billion little things
as I juggle enormous tasks.

Has anyone realized how long it's been since I've posted? I'm trying to keep up with everything; work has a way of taking over. In the 20 years I've been teaching, the amount of work I bring home has increased dramatically. No matter what I do, I'm always behind. Added to that, my responsibilities to family (which should come first) as well as those to my advocacy organization; I often have a hard time keeping up with it all.  All I can say is... you should see my house!

I wish... I could read and write all day and then I wouldn't feel like I'm not doing everything I should be doing to complete ME.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Tales of a Female Nomad - Book Review

Travel often and live outside your country for a while, if possible.  You'll learn three things. 
  1. You can live without many of the objects and comforts you feel are must-haves.
  2. People want to connect with you.  They want to share what they have, even when they have little to give.  Eating together and talking are two of the most important activities we can engage in with anyone.
  3. You create your own adventures. You just have to be willing to take the first step.

These are just a few points I've internalized from my reading of Tales of a Female Nomad by Rita Golden Gelman.  I enjoyed the book tremendously. 

In her late forties, Gelman embarks on a series of travels around the world.  A successful writer of children's books, Gelman lives a very comfortable life, but something is missing.  She sells her things, and fills a backpack with the most essential items for a journey into the unknown.  She really isn't sure what she is getting into at first.  But once she goes to Mexico, and lives in a Zapotec village... she is hooked on living simply, living with and learning from different people, and experiencing the sights, sounds, and flavors of another culture.  She travels all over the world and stays for months at a time in places like Nicaragua, Israel, the Galapagos Islands, Indonesia, New Zealand, and Thailand.  She even returns often to the US between travels and stays in different places - giving her the valuable opportunity to reconnect with family and build new friendships.

Gelman's descriptions of people and places were excellent.  I felt as if I were traveling with her.  I was especially intrigued by her detailed accounts of meal preparation and sharing in these very different places.  Female Nomad and Friends - Tales of Breaking Free and Breaking Bread Around the World, is Gelman's next book where she "pays homage to the wonders of traveling, connecting, cooking, and eating around the world".  I plan to read that one next.

I've had the opportunity to visit several different states.  I've also traveled often to Bolivia, and I've been to Spain once. (Thanks dad, for igniting the travel flame!)  I hope to have the chance someday to travel more. Maybe I'll even be lucky enough to enjoy an extended stay somewhere where I can work at an elementary school.  Traveling, eating, and teaching around the world... now that would be my dream adventure!

Bracing myself

School starts in a couple of weeks.  Not just school, where I teach, but school, where I'll be going every Monday for a graduate course.  I've decided to go back to school to get my supervisor's certificate.

When I finished my master's in 2005, I thought I'd never go back to that stressful schedule of an intense day of teaching, followed by a one-hour drive to the university, then two hours and a half of class, then a one-hour drive back home. Here I am once again though, registered and tuition installments paid.  Luckily, I enjoy school, at least until I start to become overwhelmed with classroom duties and family obligations. 

I predict an intense year, where I'll need to be extra organized and manage my time wisely.  I'm good at letting things pile up, and getting annoyed when they do.  Willpower, coffee, and the occasional nap will get me through.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

And the Winners are...

Marjorie, Karen, and Beverly!
Thank you ladies, for visiting my blog and participating in the book giveaway.  I will get in touch so we can send out your copies of Sisters, Strangers, and Starting Over by Belinda Acosta. 

I am also looking forward to reading Sisters, since I recently finished Damas, Dramas, and Ana Ruiz by the same author, and I must say, I really enjoyed it!  A funny thing happened when I started to read Damas a few weeks ago.  I received an invitation to attend the National Council of La Raza's Annual Conference in San Antonio, Texas which would take place July 10 to 13 at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center.  I was very excited about the event.

My bags were packed for my early morning flight, and so I settled in to bed with my book.  I started to read Chapter Eight, and guess where it was taking place?  At the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center!  The main character Ana and her daughter Bianca were at a quinceañera fair, getting some ideas for the young lady's special day.  (A quinceañera is the latino equivalent of a sweet sixteen.) 

¡Qué casualidad!  What a coincidence!  I was headed to a place in my book, while I was reading it!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Book Giveaway! Sisters, Strangers, and Starting Over

I'm hosting a book giveaway on behalf of Hachette Book Group.  There will be three winners, who will each win a copy of Sisters, Strangers, and Starting Over by Belinda Acosta. 

Beatriz Sánchez-Milligan is shocked when her 14-year-old niece, Celeste, stumbles into her 25th wedding anniversary party. Celeste reveals that her mother, Perla, has died and that she has nowhere else to go. Beatriz immediately takes Celeste in - a decision that troubles her husband, Larry, who remembers that wherever Perla went, trouble followed. He worries his wife is rushing in without having all the facts. Undaunted, Beatriz begins to plan a quinceañera for Celeste; but the party planning doesn't comfort Celeste, nor does it ease Beatriz's pain.  -Hachette Book Group

Visit the author's website
Follow the author @BelindaGene
Become a fan on Facebook

To win a book, please comment here by July 31, and share your thoughts on sisters, whether you have sisters or not. When you comment, please leave an email address or link to a site where you can be contacted. Winners must be US or Canadian residents. No PO Boxes please. Winners will be selected and announced on August 1.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Realzar... La Raza

I was invited to attend the National Council of La Raza 2010 Annual Conference in San Antonio, Texas, July 10 - 14. The call was totally unexpected and very short notice, causing me to hesitate and think I'd need to sleep on it.  But I didn't need to think on it too much; how could I not go?  I've been a long time supporter of NCLR and its ideals, and to think that I've been given yet another opportunity to be with people who work toward the same things as I do... well, it means a lot.  And as my husband said, when I was on the fence about going, "You have to go. It's your thing!"

NCLR is "the largest national Latino civil rights and advocacy organization in the United States".  I'm excited to listen to the conference speakers, learn new things about community and advocacy at the workshops, and network with people from across the country.  You can be sure that I'll be seeking out other educators and advocates for English Language Learners.  While there, I'll be tweeting my experiences @CassyLL.  Do follow!

I'm a proud Latina and I feel it's my obligation to support other Latinos, especially my students and their families.  While at the NCLR conference, I'll draw fuerzas y animo from the other participants - strength and encouragement, for the work that lies ahead of me.  Mi gente... I'm so excited! 

Friday, July 2, 2010

Bitter fruit

I was recently at an informal gathering of coworkers, all of whom work at school in some capacity.  It was nice to see everyone in summer mode, wearing t-shirts, shorts, flip-flops... sipping on cold drinks and enjoying chips, burgers and dogs, fresh fruit, and key lime pie.  The relaxed atmosphere was very pleasant, something I know everyone needed after a long and stressful school year.

However, some of the conversation troubled me.  I was disappointed to hear some people talk so poorly about the kids they worked with.  I hated hearing some of them preface several negative comments with "these parents".  I cringed when one of them - the same one I've seen being downright abusive to children - talked about how much she "couldn't stand them".  A few of them even mentioned the many ways they "got away with" stuff all year... I don't even want to go in to detail. 

Some of us stayed quiet, listened, maybe raised an eyebrow.  We made eye-contact, some of us, and in that mirada said to each other, "look what they're doing to our kids".  Some of us, for whom teaching and advocating for children has become our life's work... nos quedamos calladas, we remained silent.

Inwardly, I was giving these gals a piece of my mind; I wish I could tell them to GO elsewhere with their bad attitude and mediocrity.  If only I could say out loud that I blame them for the way things have gone sour in this profession.  I wanted to say something. I wanted to speak up for the kids and their parents.  I wanted to tell them...

And if I had said something... would they have even listened?  I can only hope the summer rest will sweeten their outlook a bit.  It's not so much that I care about them - I'm thinking about the little kids they'll meet in September.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Sensing and Connecting


I had always thought that the connections we make between life experiences and the five senses were fascinating.  Several years ago, upon reading A Natural History of the Senses by Diane Ackerman, I became even more aware of the ways in which I perceived particular moments in time, as well as how others "sensed" them.  Ackerman explores the senses in historic and vivid detail in this engrossing book which I go to again and again.  I highly recommend it.

My interest in this topic was peaked again when I came across A Mango-Shaped Space by Wendy Mass.  This young adult novel is about Mia, a 13-yr old for whom letters, numbers, and sounds have color.  In the course of the novel she is diagnosed with synesthesia - "a neurologically-based condition in which stimulation of one sensory or cognitive pathway leads to automatic, involuntary experiences in a second sensory or cognitive pathway." (Wikipedia)  How fascinating! 

While we watch Mia struggle with her condition in this story, we also get to see the reactions of people who are close to her.  This is a story about growing up, discovering who you are, friendship, and family.  I enjoyed it.

As soon as I started A Mango-Shaped Space, I began making connections to A History of the Senses, which was a nonfiction piece.  This kind of text-to-text connection makes learning concrete.  It's a big part of teaching reading to children.  Being aware of these connections makes us better readers and teachers!

Monday, May 31, 2010

Buen provecho

On my desk and shelves,
in my bedroom, on my bedside table
piles of books, stacked as high
as they'll let me. These towers
built with mixed bricks,
flavors I want to taste.
Afraid I won't have enough
like a binge-eater, I read until full
never feeling like I'm done.
Quiero más.

I skip words when I speak,
I can't come up with what I want to say
but my mouth utters one, two, three disparates
until the right one comes.  
Have I overindulged?
These ideas swimming together,
sorting themselves out, do they
cause me to misspeak?
Should I watch what I read?
Or should I fill up even more,
because there's always more to be had.
No one ever watches how much I read.
They'll judge my plate, eyebrows raised,
but not my shelves.

Me sirvo más.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Arizona... estoy contigo

This morning I am struck by the latest post over at La Bloga.  It was Arizona's Day of Action yesterday.  People marched in the scorching heat to protest Senate Bill 1070 - a bill that invites harassment and mistreatment of Latinos.

A colleague of mine, for whom I have little patience, recently asked me what I thought about the latest in Arizona.  I can't have this kind of conversation with this person; there's too much ignorance there.  How do you explain that people often come here out of desperation? Out of need? And what about dreams and visions?  Are brown people not allowed to hope for something better for themselves and their children?

My colleague, for the hundredth time, says "they" take some of our jobs. I ask, "Are you willing to pick fruit in the hot sun all day long? Would you stand in an assembly line fastening plastic bits to metal parts? Would you mind bussing tables and washing strangers' dishes? Would you scrub toilets? Can you imagine taking on two or three of these jobs just so you can get by?

And now I ask you - mi colega
would you deny food to Maria who stands in
the lunch line, anticipating the
warmth in her belly that will come from a sandwich
and a carton of milk?
Do you want to send Alex away, whose dad has just
moved his family of five
to a third floor apartment
in a run down house,
no air-conditioning?
And what about Wanda,
who excels in class, writing colorful poems and
hopeful stories - the top student -
would you send her back to a place
where school is unstable?
Would you take from these children
because, as an American
it's your duty to stand for "what's right"?

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Macrame


Blue bandanna taming
wavy brown hair
tied and tucked under
at the nape
faded flare jeans
plaid western shirt with pearlized buttons
and platform sandals.

It was the bracelet that drew me in,
brown knots and beads.
I wished for one,
and unwrapped it on my birthday.
She was college life,
l'air du temps
sweet potatoes with allspice in the kitchen,
and rice with pigeon peas.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Me han dicho un dicho...

The Latin Baby Book Club is celebrating El día de los niños, El día de los libros over at their blog.  Please stop by and see how proverbs or dichos are an important part of literacy as well as culture. In Small Phrases, Wordly Lessons I share my thoughts on sayings - and the lessons they teach.  I also suggest a few books classroom teachers can use to anchor lessons about idiomatic expressions and proverbs.

Friday, April 2, 2010

La tecnolución

Ya hace unos dos o tres años que ando buscando maneras lógicas y auténticas para incorporar la tecnología en mi clase. No es fácil – uno tiene que estar balanceando las demandas del horario, las preparaciones y las expectativas de los exámenes, etc. Además, aunque tenemos las herramientas, las máquinas, y la facultad, a veces nos vemos rodeados de personas que temen o sospechan a la tecnología. Pienso que, comenzando de arriba, tiene que haber una actitud de ánimo y curiosidad para que la escuela en total se ponga las pilas para intentar cosas nuevas. Los que sabemos algo debemos de compartirlo y buscar cómo interesar a nuestros colegas.


No creo de ninguna manera en abandonar el libro, el papel, y el lápiz. Pero sí veo el entusiasmo y los ojos abiertos de mis alumnos cuando usamos los portátiles, cuando trabajamos en nuestro blog, cuando entramos a sitios increíbles en el Internet… todo haciendo que las lecciones sean más grandes y llenas. La tecnología se ha hecho gran parte de las vidas de nuestros alumnos; debemos aprenderlo y manipularlo. Al contrario, corremos el riesgo de quedarnos atrás. Yo planeo ser parte de la “tecnolución”…

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Asynchronous

Napkin on kitchen table:
Fed the animals, coffee’s brewed. Might want to
let the dog out one more time. Drink your juice.
See you tonight.

Text message before lunch:
Did u call dr? Don’t forget! Luv u

Email, after lunch:
Tried calling, keep getting put on hold so
will try later. Dumb doctors. Bring Chinese for dinner?

Reply email:
Yes, Chinese. No worries – keep trying, leave message
for MD to call you asap.

Reply email:
Cancel Chinese please. Stomach’s in turmoil. Hot soup?

Reply email:
Whatever you want – talk later, boss coming.

Whispered voice message from 4 pm meeting:
Soooo tired. Can’t wait to go home. Finally reached the
doctor – we’re on for tomorrow. Yay!

Voice message, from car, loud:
One more stop hon, and I’ll swing over to Roma’s for your soup and
fresh bread. How ‘bout that? Huh? Taking care of my baby… see you in a bit!

While he waits for her soup and his sandwich, he goes next door where the bell
rings as it swings against the glass, and the curly H promises just the right words…
not one for flowers and pastels –
he settles on blue
the color of a dream he has, about to come true.
He retrieves a pen from a wrinkled shirt pocket, and
leaning against the counter,
writes

You and me, we’re in this…

Monday, March 8, 2010

Book Review: Away, by Amy Bloom


Away, a novel by Amy Bloom, fell in to my hands at the same time my 4th graders and I are finishing up a thematic unit on immigration. I believe my students appreciated that I too was doing some reading on the topic, and that I was enjoying my novel immensely.

It's the 1920s and Lilian Leyb, the story's heroine, leaves Russia after a pogrom has taken her family, including her small daughter Sophie. Lilian sails to New York City to begin again, passes through Ellis Island, and suffers like so many other immigrants. Her trials, however, are aggravated by the horrific memory of the murders of her family.

Lilian makes do, finds work, and does what she must to to get by. Surviving involves doing things she probably never imagined having to do. The reader can understand the "whatever it takes" attitude one must have in order to eat and have a roof over one's head. But these are not Lilian's only motivations. A cousin arrives from Russia, claiming that little Sophie is alive. And so begins Lilian's quest to reach her daughter in Siberia. The brave heroine embarks on a journey that takes her from New York, to Seattle, to Canada, to Alaska - in the blind hope of finding her child. It's the people she finds along the way though, that make this story a gripping read.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

The cositas we carry...

Those who follow my blog know, or have figured out, that I am of Bolivian descent. Papi came to the states in the early 1960s, and brought my Mami over on their wedding day in 1966. I know that they both brought cositas (small things) with them to give a Bolivian toquecito (touch) to their new American home. These familiar items - among them an aguayo, a monolito, pictures of the cantuta and the city of La Paz, and many, many record albums of Bolivian music - were how I came to learn about my ethnicity.

My love for Bolivia grew during my childhood, kindled by my father's determination to take my siblings and me there every summer. The months of July and August were an endless adventure of cousins, day trips, family celebrations, music, succulent foods, sunshine, Sunday mass with the abuelitos (grandparents), and every eye-popping color of the rainbow. My childhood was rich for those experiences.

The Ekeko, pictured here, was also an object of "Bolivian-ness" I recall seeing now and then while growing up. Relatives would give these small dolls to my family as we left to come home to New Jersey. This little guy carries tiny possessions, miniature foods, and paper money - all symbols for the things we hope to never have to do without.

My parents recently returned from a trip to Bolivia, and brought back my very own Ekeko. Only this time, it's the female version of the small god - an Ekeka. She carries of course food, clothing, money, as well as kitchen tools, and a cell phone. She also rides a bike, holds her baby under one arm, and carries her husband on her back. A small dog runs by her side.

I love this cosita and place her on my bookshelf. She makes me smile. I imagine she's also lugging a laptop somewhere in her bundle, a bunch of books, bread and chocolate, and of course an iPod loaded with the heart-filling music of Bolivia.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Student to Teacher

I taught one of my favorite lessons today, and was reminded of how exciting it is to take children to the next level. The lesson was part vocabulary, part poetry, part metaphor, part Black History Month, part "this is your teacher telling you she wants you to keep trying".

We read this poem together. I choked up on the first read, as I always do. Hughes does that to me. We then read it in parts, we role-played, we talked about message and meaning, and the poet's use of the vernacular.

No, I don't teach high school English. I teach 4th grade English Language Learners.

"Did you like this poem?" I asked as the bell rang for lunch.

"Oh YES Miss! That's how my mom talks to me!"

"Now THAT's some good advice he gave in the poem."

"I LOVE how you read that Miss!"

"Can I keep the paper Miss? Can I memorize it?"

"Let's do another one tomorrow Miss!"


Mother to Son, by Langston Hughes (1902 - 1967)

Well, son, I'll tell you:
Life for me ain't been no crystal stair.
It's had tacks in it,
And splinters,
And boards torn up,
And places with no carpet on the floor --
Bare.
But all the time
I'se been a-climbin' on,
And reachin' landin's,
And turnin' corners,
And sometimes goin' in the dark
Where there ain't been no light.
So boy, don't you turn back.
Don't you set down on the steps
'Cause you finds it's kinder hard.
Don't you fall now --
For I'se still goin', honey,
I'se still climbin',
And life for me ain't been no crystal stair.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Passion becomes a problem...

An educator/blogger I've been following asks Where is the Passion?

It's a great post, but I felt a bit guilty when I read it. I had just posted a few days ago about how OVERJOYED I was that we had gotten a couple of snow days. I was that tired and frustrated; I needed a break.

It also felt like Mr. Anderson was writing about me. I'm that teacher who has become disillusioned. I've been thinking I can't keep doing this head-butting thing much longer.

If I were one of those folks who does what their told, enters and exits the building at the sound of the bell, doesn't speak up for the kids, doesn't speak up for the parents, and thinks "it is what it is" - well then, I wouldn't feel this way. School can be a lonely place when you're the only one sweating real issues.

I'm an idealist I guess. I still dream about pushing my kids up and out, guiding them to love books and words, learning together how to connect within and outside of the classroom with all of the tools we're fortunate to have. I can't look at school as a business, and I can't stand to hear another person tell me to "just lay low" and "do what you have to do".

That's too easy. And yet, when you let passion drive you, you get like me - overly contemplative, stressed out, and becoming bitter.

Thankfully, when I get to school tomorrow morning, and I see my kids' faces... passion will get a kick in the rear and fire up.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Snow Day - a Teacher's Best Friend

Back in September, I wrote one of those "I'm frazzled!" posts, and haven't recovered since. Nothing has changed. In fact, things may have gotten worse.

I don't know that non-teachers would ever understand the incredible relief and joy I felt when school was cancelled for the past two days due to snow. I wasn't the only one stuck to the television and weather websites on Tuesday night, crossing my fingers, thinking "Please, oh please... please let's have a snow day!" I imagined I could hear my colleagues shouting YESSSSS! in to their phones as we got our snow chain calls late that night.

How shameful, you might think. Teachers have it easy, you might suggest. After all, teachers only work until 3, have summers off, and enjoy several holidays built in to the yearly calendar. So why the giddy excitement over a snow day?

Classroom teachers have it bad. I'm serious. It's gotten so out of control that the "teaching-is-my-life" mantra I used to wear like a badge, has become "teaching's gonna kill me, and lots of the folks I work with." I'm not exaggerating. Spend a day or two in my shoes and see what's happening.

Were it not for the pure satisfaction in watching children grow as readers and writers, the eye-opening discoveries that occur in math class, and the simple sense of community that comes from relationship-building, I would have totally lost it by now. However, in the scheme of NCLB and the desperation of local administrators to raise scores, time spent teaching and learning has decreased dramatically, while test-taking and useless transportations of paper have taken over.

I teach after school twice a week, and on Wednesdays I stay after for the required monthly staff meeting, as well as one or two additional "staff development" Wednesday meetings, often at the whim of my principal. On the two other days, I stay in my classroom after hours to clean up, and to be honest, to catch up. One school day can result in an enormous mess on one's desk, with no chance to get to it during the day. During the week I reach my home exhausted, with no desire to do much of anything. And yet, you can find me at my desk, after dinner, doing school work until 10 or so.

Typically, I spend most of my weekend at my desk in my chilly basement, grading papers, doing research for my lessons, locating appropriate reading materials (I don't have enough books at my students' reading and English levels), calling parents, and marking the numerous district assessments I am obligated to give - as well as completing special answer sheets and tracking sheets and data sheets. I also spend the weekend preparing fundraisers, planning and organizing parent workshops, and completing referral forms. I should not leave out lesson-planning, which is the most time consuming of tasks. Those that wish to control, rather than see what and how we teach, require pages and pages of descriptive lesson plans. (My principal has not stepped foot in my room even once this year...)

So yeah, I wanted these snow days. I prayed for them, danced, chanted, and wished for them.