It’s been a long and depressing day. It’s hard to work so hard for something, and see it not turn out the way you hoped it would.

My students’ test scores came back yesterday. I waited until today to tell the kids how they did because I wanted some time to look them over first, and I wanted to have a chance to type up and get a letter translated for parents. I didn’t want to tell them one day, knowing that their parents wouldn’t get a letter until the next day, so I waited.

I hate testing. Let me just go on record as having said that. One test that my kids take on one day does not show how much they have truly learned this year. Especially when one of the biggest things I teach my kids is to use their resources, but during the test, they can’t use any resources. Walls are covered. Computers are off. Books are closed. Discussion is prohibited. Responses can’t be discussed or justified. All of the adaptive behaviors that we, as adults, use to help us, we take away from our kids, and then tell them that this test, this one test on this one day, defines their success as students, our success as teachers (and parents), and our school’s success. And yet, as an adult, I openly admit that I don’t know the answer to everything. And one of the things that contributes the most to my success is my resourcefulness. When I don’t know something, I know where to find out. I google. I read books, magazines, and any other print source I might need. If I don’t know how to solve a math problem, I use my resources… If nothing else, I have friends at the local college who can show me how the math problem works.

As I had to tell a couple of my kids that they didn’t pass, and then watch them crying as they realized that they’re not ready for third grade, I couldn’t help but feel like I am a failure as a teacher. Am I taking away from them by holding a position that keeps other (read that as better) teachers from getting a job there? Am I really cut out for this?

Very early into my first education class, I decided that I didn’t want to teach at a school where the kids were predominantly high achievers. I’ve always been a huge fan of the underdog. I wanted to work with the kids who needed it the most. I wanted to work with the ones that were poor, struggling in school, and at a high risk of failing, or even ending up in trouble down the road. I sought out those schools and those students, and was lucky enough to fall in love with a school during my student teaching that was full of all of the things that drew me to teaching in the first place. From the second I walked into that building, I have felt like I was at home. But the past few months I have been questioning whether I really am cut out for this. These test results definitely make that self-doubt much harder to shake. If I left teaching, would my leaving open up a job for someone who would do a better job? For someone who could make more of a difference for these kids?

Maybe I shouldn’t be so hard on myself. I truly have done everything I could have for these kids. I know at the end of the day that there’s nothing more I could have done. But could someone else have done more, if I weren’t there?

I guess I have a lot to wrestle with, and I wish there was an easy answer that would make me feel better. There just isn’t.

Moving on, I do have something good to say.

Usually by May (especially late May) I am on 3 different medications for my allergies. I usually have a horrible sinus infection, constant sneezing, headaches, pressure… the works. This year, nothing. An occasional sneeze and a slight stuffy nose a couple of times, but it’s cleared right up within a few hours. The only thing I’ve done differently this year is that I have mostly avoided dairy. In using almond milk for smoothies and cereal and using soy cheese, I have almost cut it out entirely. On top of that, I have noticed that the times that my sinuses have been a bit stuffy, I stopped and thought about it, and every time, I had dairy the night before.

If that’s not some inspiration to become a vegan (or at least come a lot closer to it) I’m not sure anything will motivate me. It has been really eye opening to see how much milk was affecting my sinuses. I’m definitely going to be cutting it out, or at least way back.

On that note, I’m going to hit the bed. I have morning duty tomorrow. Nothing quite like getting up an hour early to watch 250 or so kids sitting in the hallway!

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Today has been an incredibly busy and frustrating day. Our state mandated testing is in just a few weeks, so we had a district-wide pretest the past couple of days… I’m severely disappointed. To look at those tests, you would think my students have learned nothing at all this year. I know that’s not the case, and I can see a lot of growth in them… I guess it’s just frustrating when you pour so much of your time, energy, and efforts into something, and feel like it isn’t showing. The next few weeks will include a lot of review, in the hopes that they’ve just forgotten the material, which there’s a really good chance of.

My weight has stayed consistent for the past few days, which I’m not exactly happy about, since I was really excited at how quickly it was dropping for a while there, but at the same time, I know that I’ve had a few slip-ups this week, including not getting enough sleep, which I know doesn’t help matters.

Today’s eats:

Breakfast:

  • a banana
  • 2 slices of meatless chicken
  • rice milk

Lunch:

  • healthy choice frozen meal
  • cashew cookie larabar

Snacks:

  • banana
  • apple
  • clif z bar

Dinner:

  • sauteed spinach
  • veggie patty
  • 2 tomato slices
  • corn (which I had to share with a hungry bird)

I always think it’s strange when people talk about their heart, as in emotionally. I was thinking this afternoon about my own heart. Not in the physical sense, as in the beating organ, but as in all of the things that I have been through in the past few years, and the resilience of the heart.

Relationships are hard. That’s no secret. But I am amazed by my husband, who has stood by me and helped me to heal through some things that I never thought I would be able to. When we started dating, I was at the tail end of a devastating and nasty divorce. I had let go of my ex, but couldn’t seem to let go of the hurt, and honestly saw no hope for truly loving again. I didn’t think I could open myself up to being hurt like that again. He took a risk with me, in that I wasn’t so sure that I could ever love anyone again, and he bet on me healing. He was right, very much to my surprise.

Last night, we didn’t do much of anything special. We had dinner out for the first time in a while, and then did a bit of running around, shopping. Then we came home and just absolutely crashed. Still, it was the first time in a while that we had the chance to really do anything together, so even though it was nothing particularly special, it was special just for that reason. I got the most wonderful text message from him this afternoon:

Hey! I love you! You make me very happy and last night was fun. It’s awesome being married to my best friend.

I couldn’t agree more. It reminded me just how great it is to truly be loved for who I am and to be able to share my life with my best friend. I couldn’t ask for more!

Today was not a good day at work. Basically, our state testing is in 3 weeks (well, 3 weeks of school, but we also have spring break in there, so a little bit more, really) and my kids are nowhere near where they need to be. I have taught all of the material, and at one point they had it, but they seem to have forgotten it. I guess out of sight, out of mind? So now I have to review all of that and bring it back up to the surface.

I also went clothes and makeup shopping tonight. I bought some bronzer and mascara. I have no clue where my old mascara went. I decided to try this one, though, as a replacement. I don’t wear mascara much, but decided what the hey, while I’m at it…

I also bought 4 new shirts, which are all much more suited to the springy weather! Yay!! I have only found pictures of 2 of them online, and I think they look better in person.

henley-tissue

and

cascade

I also saw this dress while looking for pictures. It’s only available online, and I hate to buy clothes that I haven’t at least seen. Hmm…. I may have to think about it. I really like this dress, and for $22… well…

dress

I guess I’ll have to think it over.