Stroke Victim at 49

23 July 2008

Why so much hate?-Part 3

It seems Mr. Slappy continues to get volleyed about. The Vegas Art Guy (http://laurichg.blogspot.com/) give him a bit of whats for. (Also should add, Vegas Art Guy is a blog worth reading. Thanks VAG).

Vegas Art Guy:
Mr. Slappy, it's obvious you have no idea what you're talking about. As much fun as it is for people like you to bang on teachers for all the ills of society, maybe you should try living in the real world. I checked the pay salary for the area I live in and IF you have a PHd and have taught for many many years you could earn a total of $70000. Secondly, until you've taught in an at risk school, you really have no clue on the difficulty involved. Go teach or substitute teach for a while then come back and tell us how easy it is to teach. We'll be waiting with breathless anticipation for your pearls of wisdom.

Mr. Slappy is obviously someone who is either, into a bit of the S&M or has such a miserable life he has to make those around him miserable. The people I feel most sorry for are his wife and children to have to deal with this idiot on an ongoing basis.

I'm still trying to wash the toxic poison of this person off of me.

22 July 2008

Why so much hate-Part 2

Continuing the saga. I had to go to school, UNPAID, to setup my classroom and do a meet and greet with parents yesterday afternoon/evening. I spent 5 hours at the school. Time that I was not paid for but did willingly. I am kind of glad that I didn't continue with this. Mr. Slappy is an idiot who is the most social and civilly uneducated person I have read in a while. A few others joined in:


Saluki Rod:
Ms, I salute all who chose to become teachers and stayed in the field. You have chosen to work in one of the most challenging school districts in the country, and you in particular I salute as well.

Also, to all who have morphed this topic into a "we want more school days" rant, that wasn't in the article. The issue is the way the vacation is distributed, not the amount of the vacation.
Ms Teacher wrote:

Looking at your district I now see where you are coming from. a diverse population that is 78% white, 100% of your teachers are white, and the average salary for your teachers is a shocking $15K above CPS.(From your districts figures). And, yes, I am white.
Yes we teacher have so much money to burn. Tell that to my 30K in loans to become a teacher, that I am still paying off. As for the part-time crack, you obviously have NO idea what goes into teaching. We may only be PAID to be in the school for 6 1/2 hours but the average day is FAR from over when the students leave the building. Between developing lesson plans and grading papers, that 6 1/5 hour day is more like a 10 hour day.
We do it because we love it. I can't believe you seriously believe what you say. Or else you have no idea what it takes to become and be a teacher. You should leave teaching to the professionals, since you obviously have no idea what a teacher does.
Life in the city is FAR different than the cocoon of the suburbs. Be care when casting stones, some of us are not as cushioned as others. If a high school drop out, or student on the edge of dropping out, can get a GED and go on to getting a university degree, my job is SO worth it. Trying to make a difference in a students' life is not something to put down.


Ms Teacher wrote:

Wow, so much for compassion or belief in the human race in general. I work, as you say, "in the hood". One thing I do know, children are children, where ever they may live. They all need the same things, love, safety, and mental stimulation. Shame on you for stereotyping. I would gladly take, "my little darlings" to the close mindedness of you.
No system is perfect. No PERSON is perfect. What the focus should be on is what is best for the next generation of American leaders, namely, these little darlings.

Stirs controversy:
Completely agree. My friends and I are all products of Chicago Public Schools and have all graduated from stellar 4-yr universities. 7 of us are engineers, 3 are in law school, 2 are finishing med school, and the rest range from an entrepreneur, to public health advocate. It all comes down to the teachers, the parents, and the student. I know many people who are products of private schools that are major dingbacks (I guess their parents thought it'd be easiest to throw money at the problem of unmotivation).

Anywho, that whole "let kids be kids" mentality is a viewof the lazy. Other countries have kids in school all year-round and still have plenty of "family time" as family is the priority. U.S needs to get onboard.

Mr. Slappy:

Ms Teacher wrote:

Looking at your district I now see where you are coming from. a diverse population that is 78% white, 100% of your teachers are white, and the average salary for your teachers is a shocking $15K above CPS.(From your districts figures). And, yes, I am white.
Yes we teacher have so much money to burn. Tell that to my 30K in loans to become a teacher, that I am still paying off. As for the part-time crack, you obviously have NO idea what goes into teaching. We may only be PAID to be in the school for 6 1/2 hours but the average day is FAR from over when the students leave the building. Between developing lesson plans and grading papers, that 6 1/5 hour day is more like a 10 hour day.
We do it because we love it. I can't believe you seriously believe what you say. Or else you have no idea what it takes to become and be a teacher. You should leave teaching to the professionals, since you obviously have no idea what a teacher does.
Life in the city is FAR different than the cocoon of the suburbs. Be care when casting stones, some of us are not as cushioned as others. If a high school drop out, or student on the edge of dropping out, can get a GED and go on to getting a university degree, my job is SO worth it. Trying to make a difference in a students' life is not something to put down.
Okay its time to teach Ms Teacher. My ISP location may show up as Bloomingdale however that information shows where my provider's server is. But thank you for your research on Bloomingdale, sounds like a nice place.

My son's kindergarten teacher retired last year. Her salary for teaching my son the year before,$102,000. Lots of homework to grade and lesson plans to develop; sandbox, crayons, nap, recess.
Her pension is currently $73,000 a year. In 7 years her pension will increase to $86,000 with a 3% yearly raise after that. In 15 years she will be hauling in $109,000 a year and have removed $1,315,000 from the pension fund.

So stick with it Ms Teacher. Your $30,000 loan will be chump change in a few years and you will still be working a part-time job sitting around all summer.


badger fan:

All right Mr. Slappy. Those salaries are rarely paid out to teachers for quite a few reasons. 1. Teachers rarely last long enough in their profession (due to lack of pay, long hours, etc) to get to that level. 2. Most districts nationwide do not pay their teachers that much.

I checked with my district (yes, I am a teacher) and found that if I choose to work for another 35 years (I'm currently 30) I will be making close to $68,000 a year (not counting for inflation). So in my district, someone with 35 years in (and a Master's degree) is making $68,000 a year. Right now, I make about $31,000, for those of you who are wondering. With a Master's degree.

You want to talk time? I get to work by 7:00 every day. I leave around 4:30 (hoping to beat the traffic home). That's on a day when I don't have any extra-curricular committments. On those days, when I'm chaperoning a dance or selling tickets at a game I'll arrive home after 10:00 or sometimes midnight. Then I get up and do it again the next day. I also bring work home with me - I've got plenty of papers to grade. I sometimes spend my Saturdays and Sundays working on lesson plans for the next unit. And my winter and spring breaks? Those are used to catch up on all the work that students turn in right before they leave.

This summer, I taught summer school for two weeks (getting paid about $17.00 an hour - I make more bartending). And next week, I'll be at school 3 days working on a project with other teachers. Do I get paid more to go? No.

On a whim, I went back through my calendar and looked at all the days I stayed late at school. I counted up the hours. I then added 4 hours a week of "extra work time at home" to the total number of hours. I added it all together and divided by 52. I came up with about 56.8 hours a week. Hmmmmm. Do you see why we need summer breaks?

By the way - in order for me to buy a condo, I had to get a part-time job teaching at the local junior college during the school year AND get a bartending job in the summer. No - I didn't get one with a lake-view. I'm in a diverse neighborhood, on the south side of Madison (which for a single, white woman is not the greatest place to live).

So get over yourself already. I'll take a 9-5 business day (my kids would be awake when they got there - read up on teen sleep research, they're worth almost nothing before 9:00 and we get them at 7:30) with martini lunches (to deal with the bureaucratic tests we administer and the parents who have no part in their child's life) and bonuses for performance (for kids who graduate - all of mine did last year, a feat for teaching at an alternative school for at-risk students).

You, Mr. Slappy, obviously have no idea what you are talking about. Kudos to your son's kindergarten teacher. I can only imagine the crap she had to put up with dealing with you. She deserves every cent she got.
Mr Slappy wrote:

Okay its time to teach Ms Teacher. My ISP location may show up as Bloomingdale however that information shows where my provider's server is. But thank you for your research on Bloomingdale, sounds like a nice place.
My son's kindergarten teacher retired last year. Her salary for teaching my son the year before,$102,000. Lots of homework to grade and lesson plans to develop; sandbox, crayons, nap, recess.
Her pension is currently $73,000 a year. In 7 years her pension will increase to $86,000 with a 3% yearly raise after that. In 15 years she will be hauling in $109,000 a year and have removed $1,315,000 from the pension fund.
So stick with it Ms Teacher. Your $30,000 loan will be chump change in a few years and you will still be working a part-time job sitting around all summer.

(This is the last post I wrote before leaving for school)
Ms. Teacher:
Mr Slappy wrote:

Okay its time to teach Ms Teacher. My ISP location may show up as Bloomingdale however that information shows where my provider's server is. But thank you for your research on Bloomingdale, sounds like a nice place.
My son's kindergarten teacher retired last year. Her salary for teaching my son the year before,$102,000. Lots of homework to grade and lesson plans to develop; sandbox, crayons, nap, recess.
Her pension is currently $73,000 a year. In 7 years her pension will increase to $86,000 with a 3% yearly raise after that. In 15 years she will be hauling in $109,000 a year and have removed $1,315,000 from the pension fund.
So stick with it Ms Teacher. Your $30,000 loan will be chump change in a few years and you will still be working a part-time job sitting around all summer.
You are a very sad man who should be pitied. If you honestly believe that ALL your sons Kindergarten Teacher does is nap, recess, sandbox, etc. There is so much more to being a teacher. A Teacher observes and facilitates a child's well-rounded development. An INVOLVED parent would know this.

As for her salary, it again proves the economic area in which you live. If I say nothing else regarding money, Teachers are not in it for the money, benefits, etc. I left corporate USA BECAUSE I LOVE TEACHING. I took a huge salary cut, time with my own child and husband, weekends, all so I could make a difference in the lives of children who are not as fortunate as others. To some of these kids I am the only mother figure they have.

Shame on you for turning it all into dollars and cents. Not everything in life is about the almighty dollar. At the end of my life I will sure feel good about all that I have brought to my students rather than if a stock price rose or fell.

The only thing you have taught me is that ignorance and elitism seem to go hand in hand. I'll continue going to "the hood" as you call it and continue to feel good about the students I have helped. You can go back to counting your money and living in your plastic bubble where "those little darlings" live far far away from you.


Mr. Slappy:
badger fan wrote:
All right Mr. Slappy. Those salaries are rarely paid out to teachers for quite a few reasons. 1. Teachers rarely last long enough in their profession (due to lack of pay, long hours, etc) to get to that level. 2. Most districts nationwide do not pay their teachers that much.
I checked with my district (yes, I am a teacher) and found that if I choose to work for another 35 years (I'm currently 30) I will be making close to $68,000 a year (not counting for inflation). So in my district, someone with 35 years in (and a Master's degree) is making $68,000 a year. Right now, I make about $31,000, for those of you who are wondering. With a Master's degree.
You want to talk time? I get to work by 7:00 every day. I leave around 4:30 (hoping to beat the traffic home). That's on a day when I don't have any extra-curricular committments. On those days, when I'm chaperoning a dance or selling tickets at a game I'll arrive home after 10:00 or sometimes midnight. Then I get up and do it again the next day. I also bring work home with me - I've got plenty of papers to grade. I sometimes spend my Saturdays and Sundays working on lesson plans for the next unit. And my winter and spring breaks? Those are used to catch up on all the work that students turn in right before they leave.
This summer, I taught summer school for two weeks (getting paid about $17.00 an hour - I make more bartending). And next week, I'll be at school 3 days working on a project with other teachers. Do I get paid more to go? No.
On a whim, I went back through my calendar and looked at all the days I stayed late at school. I counted up the hours. I then added 4 hours a week of "extra work time at home" to the total number of hours. I added it all together and divided by 52. I came up with about 56.8 hours a week. Hmmmmm. Do you see why we need summer breaks?
By the way - in order for me to buy a condo, I had to get a part-time job teaching at the local junior college during the school year AND get a bartending job in the summer. No - I didn't get one with a lake-view. I'm in a diverse neighborhood, on the south side of Madison (which for a single, white woman is not the greatest place to live).
So get over yourself already. I'll take a 9-5 business day (my kids would be awake when they got there - read up on teen sleep research, they're worth almost nothing before 9:00 and we get them at 7:30) with martini lunches (to deal with the bureaucratic tests we administer and the parents who have no part in their child's life) and bonuses for performance (for kids who graduate - all of mine did last year, a feat for teaching at an alternative school for at-risk students).
You, Mr. Slappy, obviously have no idea what you are talking about. Kudos to your son's kindergarten teacher. I can only imagine the crap she had to put up with dealing with you. She deserves every cent she got.
Nice rant. If you stay in Hooterville for 20 more years your $68,000 will double to $136,000 @ 3%. Not bad money for an area with a low cost of living. If that isn't enough move to Chicago and a better paying district.

By the way, there are millions of us working 60 hours or more a week and we DON'T get a summer break. Quit your whining and you could get your papers graded faster.

Stella:
Mr Slappy wrote:

With a dropout rate of almost half you aren't even close to mediocre. Maybe if taxpayers didn't have to contribute so much to your pension, benefits and inflated salary for a part-time job we could "focus" the money on the student.
I am not a teacher but I am a parent of 2 teenagers.
Why are you attacking this person just because they are a teacher. First of all I believe that teaching is a state job so teachers don't collect social security like most people they collect a pension. Teaching is almost becoming a dangerous job -- every day teachers risk their lives whether they teach in the "hood" or the most elite of suburbs. Teachers today have to put up with a lot of crap from kids and when they try to talk with the parents most parents are in denial -- Not my little johnny or suzy - is the standard response. Parents need to take more responsibility for their children and their actions.
In regards to LW the dad should have held the kid back until the teacher finished changing and then let the kid go say hi -- these parents are probably typical parents who will deny that their son ever does anything wrong -- The parents made more of an issue out of this than need be --

KTR:
Mr Slappy wrote:

Nice rant. If you stay in Hooterville for 20 more years your $68,000 will double to $136,000 @ 3%. Not bad money for an area with a low cost of living. If that isn't enough move to Chicago and a better paying district.
By the way, there are millions of us working 60 hours or more a week and we DON'T get a summer break. Quit your whining and you could get your papers graded faster.
You DO get a summer break (hmm, even fall, winter, and spring) from your company ... you, my friend, CHOOSE not to take it. NEVER complain about a teacher's schedule...

Mr. Slappy:

stella wrote:

I am not a teacher but I am a parent of 2 teenagers.
Why are you attacking this person just because they are a teacher. First of all I believe that teaching is a state job so teachers don't collect social security like most people they collect a pension. Teaching is almost becoming a dangerous job -- every day teachers risk their lives whether they teach in the "hood" or the most elite of suburbs. Teachers today have to put up with a lot of crap from kids and when they try to talk with the parents most parents are in denial -- Not my little johnny or suzy - is the standard response. Parents need to take more responsibility for their children and their actions.
In regards to LW the dad should have held the kid back until the teacher finished changing and then let the kid go say hi -- these parents are probably typical parents who will deny that their son ever does anything wrong -- The parents made more of an issue out of this than need be --
I suppose you make $100,000+ teaching kindergarten.

Mr. Slappy:
KTR wrote:

You DO get a summer break (hmm, even fall, winter, and spring) from your company ... you, my friend, CHOOSE not to take it. NEVER complain about a teacher's schedule...
What are you babbling about breaks? If I want to complain about teacher's getting a 2 1/2 month vacation in the summer plus breaks in winter and spring the First Amendment allows me to. Never got past 8th grade yourself eh?

It seems Mr. Slappy just wanted to attack everybody. I am glad I went to school and did something productive rather than listening to the rantings of an idiot. I was able to see my students and how much they have grown over the summer, meet parents I had not met before and had a really good time.


21 July 2008

Why so much hate?

I read an article in the Chicago Tribune this morning about summers getting shorter for students. I am going to cut and paste an argument I got into with a poster. It started off very innocently. I am not an argumentative person by nature, but this guy really chapped my hide.

Here is the article:

Back-to-school sales already? Classes starting too soon, some say

Some can't believe how soon the new year starts

Kathleen Durkin-Mirabella was shopping for shoes with her three young daughters on a steamy mid-July day that in another era would have been spent searching for sandals or beach clogs.

Instead, the Frankfort mom perused back-to-school styles as her girls prepare for classes on Aug. 20.

"It's just way too early," said Durkin-Mirabella, a teacher, as she pushed a cart at a Target store in Tinley Park. "It's like we've barely had a summer."

Educators, under pressure to boost academic performance and prepare students for standardized tests, have pushed for mid-August start dates, wreaking havoc on everything from seasonal businesses to family vacations.

It's a full-throttle effort helped along by retailers eager to peddle school gear as soon as they're able.

Proponents say an early start provides numerous academic benefits, in some cases allowing students to finish up final exams before Christmas break. A majority of Illinois schools start in the last two weeks of August, according to the State Board of Education.

But the shifting summer break—and the inevitable cramped schedules—has created a nationwide backlash.

A grass-roots movement called Save Our Summers has gained momentum in recent years, and six states—Alabama, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, South Dakota and Virginia—have passed laws that say classes can begin no earlier than Sept. 1. State Board of Education officials say they are unaware of any similar legislation in Illinois.

Sherry Sturner, from the Florida chapter of Save Our Summers, said snipping away at summer leaves no time for families to get together. "There is a whole bunch of stuff kids need to learn in life that is not related to school, from camp to getting to see family," she said.

Like swimming, crafts and roasting hot dogs over a fire. The American Camping Association felt the trend so threatened an American institution that it issued a position paper earlier this year, concluding that "providing these experimental learning opportunities for our youth becomes a challenge when an ever-creeping school calendar" encroaches on summer.

Dan Bertrand, superintendent of Marengo Community High School District 154, 16 miles west of Crystal Lake, said he wants to ensure students complete their first semester before Christmas, and that means starting earlier.

He'd have a mutiny on his hands if he switched to a later date, said Bertrand, whose students will report to class Aug. 13.

The superintendent said he thought it was "ridiculous" for students to go on a long vacation over Christmas and then have to spend a week preparing for exams that should have been administered closer to the time they learned the course material.

"Pretty much everybody likes it except the football coach," Bertrand said of the early start.

Freshmen at Orland Park Consolidated High School District 230 will start school Aug. 15. All other grades are scheduled to show up three days later.

Keith Pain, superintendent of Summit Hill School District 161 in Frankfort, said his district has been starting on or about Aug. 20 for years. The extra week does allow more time to prepare for state tests, but that's not the driving force, he said, adding that parent complaints are few.

The lengthening back-to-school shopping season also contributes to the feeling that summer is getting shorter.

Sears, Roebuck and Co. began rolling out a promotional back-to-school campaign in June with the tag line "Don't just go back. Arrive."

A spokeswoman for the company said the demand begins almost immediately after July 4.

"It seems kind of strange to be doing this in July, but we want to capture the momentum," said Estrellita Garcia, a clerk at the Sears in Woodfield Mall in Schaumburg.

Kmart is now offering sales on backpacks, glue sticks and other must-haves.

Walk into Walgreens and you'll find rows of brightly colored markers, crayons and folders. Same holds true for a Jewel-Osco in Schaumburg.

"The kids hate it," said Ak Patel, assistant store director. "They feel like they just got out of school and now they're having to get new supplies."

School districts say they are responsive to parents' concerns.

Orland School District 135 used to start school around Aug. 22, but a 2006 survey revealed that parents and teachers wanted another week off. The district listened and will open its doors to students Aug. 27.

McHenry High School District 156 will start a week earlier this year in part to help bring up the test scores of its most underachieving group. However, it had planned to start two weeks earlier. Gina Swinney, assistant superintendent, said school officials pushed back the Aug. 11 start date to Aug. 18 after hearing from parents and teachers.

Some states have taken the decision out of the hands of local educators, creating a new debate about who is best suited to control the academic calendar.

After noticing a drop in hotel occupancy rates, Michigan lawmakers usurped control in 2005, mandating that school could start no earlier than Labor Day.

The shrinking summer hurt tourism, an $18.1 billion industry in a state that is in an economic free fall.

It wasn't just that resorts, restaurants and municipal pools all faced a labor shortage when youths had to return to school at the height of the season.

"It also limited the opportunities for residents to travel and enjoy their own state," said Kirsten Borgstrom, a spokeswoman for Travel Michigan.

Another vacation was definitely how one of the Mirabella girls—Emily, a 4th grader—said she would use extra summer time off if she had it.

"I'd have more friends over," added Sarah, a 6th grader. Meaghan—entering the 1st grade—chimed in with "more lunches and dinners out."

Kenyana Hopkins, a rising 8th grader at Orland Junior High, was more circumspect.

"So much happens during the school year . . . so much stress and drama," she said. "There isn't enough time to renew yourself. . . . But I guess we have to be ready for high school."

Here is the argument:


Ms. Teacher: (me)
The CPS school I teach at adopted Track E, which still has the same number of days but splits up the vacation time for the students. It is considered year-round, but students get out in June at the same time as other schools. The only difference is,they begin in August, have 2 weeks off in October, receive an extra week off during the winter break, and have 2 weeks off for Spring Break instead of 1. As an educator, the knowledge retention has more of a chance for success if the time away from school is shorter. This is our first year with it and I am excited. I hope it is a success for the students.


Mr. Slappy: (Him)

Ms Teacher wrote:
The CPS school I teach at adopted Track E, which still has the same number of days but splits up the vacation time for the students.
Whatever track CPS schools roll down doesn't matter. CPS students will still end up at the "F Station." TOM SLICK is a perfect example of another CPS failure. If you want to teach something try putting in a gun range in each school. Then maybe the "little darlings" could hit what they are shooting at in the hood.

Ms. Teacher:

Mr Slappy wrote:

Whatever track CPS schools roll down doesn't matter. CPS students will still end up at the "F Station." TOM SLICK is a perfect example of another CPS failure. If you want to teach something try putting in a gun range in each school. Then maybe the "little darlings" could hit what they are shooting at in the hood.
Wow, so much for compassion or belief in the human race in general. I work, as you say, "in the hood". One thing I do know, children are children, where ever they may live. They all need the same things, love, safety, and mental stimulation. Shame on you for stereotyping. I would gladly take, "my little darlings" to the close mindedness of you.

No system is perfect. No PERSON is perfect. What the focus should be on is what is best for the next generation of American leaders, namely, these little darlings.

Mr. Slappy:

Ms Teacher wrote:
No system is perfect. No PERSON is perfect. What the focus should be on is what is best for the next generation of American leaders, namely, these little darlings.
With a dropout rate of almost half you aren't even close to mediocre. Maybe if taxpayers didn't have to contribute so much to your pension, benefits and inflated salary for a part-time job we could "focus" the money on the student.


Ms. Teacher:

Mr Slappy wrote:

With a dropout rate of almost half you aren't even close to mediocre. Maybe if taxpayers didn't have to contribute so much to your pension, benefits and inflated salary for a part-time job we could "focus" the money on the student.
Looking at your district I now see where you are coming from. a diverse population that is 78% white, 100% of your teachers are white, and the average salary for your teachers is a shocking $15K above CPS.(From your districts figures). And, yes, I am white.

Yes we teacher have so much money to burn. Tell that to my 30K in loans to become a teacher, that I am still paying off. As for the part-time crack, you obviously have NO idea what goes into teaching. We may only be PAID to be in the school for 6 1/2 hours but the average day is FAR from over when the students leave the building. Between developing lesson plans and grading papers, that 6 1/5 hour day is more like a 10 hour day.

We do it because we love it. I can't believe you seriously believe what you say. Or else you have no idea what it takes to become and be a teacher. You should leave teaching to the professionals, since you obviously have no idea what a teacher does.

Life in the city is FAR different than the cocoon of the suburbs. Be care when casting stones, some of us are not as cushioned as others. If a high school drop out, or student on the edge of dropping out, can get a GED and go on to getting a university degree, my job is SO worth it. Trying to make a difference in a students' life is not something to put down.

This got me SO mad! I'll update if Mr. Slappy needs another slap.

17 July 2008

Some irritation

My sons brother Justin called. He wants to visit with my son this week. I have no problem with that. In fact, since Justin has returned home to his mothers house I encourage it. I think it is very important for my son to build his family relationships, even if that family does not include me. We are bringing my son to visit with his brother on Saturday. (Justin lives in a suburb an hour away from the city)

The part that really chaps me is, Justin asked if my son wanted to go visit with their Great-Grandmother. I hold no ill will towards Justin. If anything I know much more about the boys' family then he does. What bothers me is the way that woman treated me and my son after the death of my sons Grandmother, her daughter. I adored my sons Grandmother. She was a wonderful woman. She passed away so young, 40 years old. She loved my son and cared for me as well. Her mother was another story.

Just before the Grandmother passed, her then 13 year old daughter was becoming a handful for her. Jenna wasn't a bad kid, just a 13 year old with 13 year old drama. Debbie (the Grandma) asked if I could keep her for a while. I did so, gladly. After Debbie's death Jenna moved in with her father who was going through difficult times. The father asked if I could take over legal guardianship of Jenna. I agreed. Jenna was a good kid with bad things around her. Just before we finished the paperwork, the father died. This poor girl had lost both parents within 6 months. I was prepared to raise her myself, though I was only 25 at the time. Her Grandmother called my house and asked me to bring Jenna to her house for a family meeting. I thought this was a very good idea. That way the family and I could make the arrangements for her to stay with me. That was not to be.

Instead of a family meeting it turned into, "You are not Jenna's blood. She can't stay with you." When I reminded them that my son was her "blood". The Grandmother replied, "Steve (my son's biological father) is my blood. We don't have proof that your son is." I reminded her that her own daughter acknowledged my son as her grandson. Her reply was, "I am not my daughter. My concerns are with my blood." From that moment on I was dismissed. Jenna was taken and moved from one bad situation to the next. That woman never once asked about my son, never inquired and cared. Now all of a sudden wants a re-introduction into my sons life? The Grandchild she did not even consider as her own?

I know I should not be as angry but I am. They do not deserve to know my wonderful son. My child has turned out great without their influence.

Just a rant...

Is Summer Break Really Over?


I can't believe summer is almost over! My school starts year-round this academic year so our students come back to school on August 4th. Prior to school beginning, I have 5 days of professional development and a meet and greet with parents on the 21st of July. It will be nice to be back in the classroom, but I have to be honest, it was REALLY nice being home. I have been cooking a ton of soups and freezing them in individual containers. After the cream of tomato garden that is just finishing on the stove, I will have enough soup for lunch, with 5 different types, for the first 2 months of school. I have really been trying to eat helthier and make tons of fresh vegetables.


I am so excited about teaching the Civil War this year. After I get through with the Illinois Constitution Exams, I will begin the Civil War. So much of Chicago History can be incorporated into lessons it will be great. I tought a Chicago History class when I was teaching high school. I developed the whole thing and had such a good time teaching it.


I have been spending a lot of time at Powells Bookstore. One of the best academic used stores. Their Chicago section is amazing. I have been doing a lot of trading with Powell's. What's great about them, either they will give cash or give a bigger dollar amount if you purchase. My husband and I have been like kids in a candy store.


One of the great things about summer in the city, the Museums! Here's Ethan when we went to the Field Museum.



Bye-bye summer.