The Author

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I am a high school English teacher, and mother of two charming little ones of my own. I teach in a high poverty urban charter school, while I live in a typical American suburb that has frequently been rated one of the safest cities in the country. It is a paradox I struggle with constantly, but it is my life.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Happy Weekend to Me!

It feels like a special occasion. Tiana is now sleeping 90% in her own crib. She usually wakes up to eat around 5am, which is fine by me, since that is just in time for me to feed her before I have to go to work, but we lay in bed and she goes back to sleep until  it is time to leave for day care. TODAY... however, she slept in her crib until around 7:30! It is funny, she has never slept that long, so when I first woke up and looked at the clock, I panicked. I thought, "Oh my gosh! She's dead!" (I'm not kidding. I was terrified she had died of  SIDS in the middle of the night). When I walked in there and she was laying there, eyes open, smiling at me, I was so relieved and thrilled. What a wonderful milestone.

This has been an interesting week. I started a new warm-up routine with my students. I created a bulletin board in my room called the "Grammar Wall of Shame." This is not for posting students' errors (this would be contradictory to my belief of never embarrassing students), but errors that the students find. It has been fantastic. We go over them in class the first few minutes of each period. It took a few days to pick up momentum, but the students are turning into little grammar hunters. On the bus on our field trip yesterday, the sophomores were shouting with glee when we passed a take-out pizza place, "Mrs. Mohr! Mrs. Mohr! Look!  "Slices Yogurt! Ahhhh!" They made a mad dash to take a picture of it (they get extra credit for emailing me the pictures).  I am sure what the pizza place meant was that they sell slices of pizza, as well as yogurt, but they found "slices yogurt" to be wonderfully incorrect. They have found some other good stuff too.  One student was thrilled to find an ad in his mailbox for a party place that supplies "ballooms and tableclothes."  Another found these pictures in a teacher's classroom. To be fair, I am pretty sure they were made by a T.A., but when my T.A. makes grammar mistakes on signs I ask her to make, I fix them before I put them up,  or better yet, I make her fix them. Anyhow, I am thrilled with the learning that is taking place. When I went over the "schedule" one in class, several students looked at it and honestly didn't know which one was correct, which is great, because now they do. I bet when I do a quiz next week, they are all going to get it right. :-)  After further consideration, I have found it necessary to find my own grammar mistakes online as well for the purpose of teaching a wide variety of grammar lessons, but I am going to use student examples whenever possible.

I haven't posted in a while because I was sick. Last week Vinny was (and I was getting it), then this week I was pretty miserable. I taught via projector in some periods on Monday, because I just had no voice. This happens to me a few times a year, but hadn't happened yet this school year. I seriously get sick way too much. It is a combination of things, mostly allergies and asthma making me extremely susceptible to respiratory problems, but it is also being a teacher, having two kids in two different day cares, and a husband who runs after school care. We actually  pull from 4 different germ pools. Fantastic. By the time my kids are 10, they will never get sick again; they will have the world's strongest immune systems. I finally went to the doctor Wednesday night though and actually got a nurse practitioner who understood my issues. This is rare for me. It is only when I find asthmatic doctors that I have success with treatment. No, I don't mean doctors that specialize in asthma; I mean doctors who actually have asthma. My primary has asthma, and so did this nurse practitioner. I think it is one of those things- you don't really know a person's plight until you've walked a mile in his shoes. At least I am finally getting better.

The steam room at the gym has become my best friend. It clears my sinuses like no other. I have even managed to sort of keep working out despite sick. I didn't go as much in the past couple weeks, but I did go a few times, and I even swam laps. :-) Go me. I always forget how much I love swimming as a workout until I am in the pool doing it. The biggest impediment to it is that I HATE the feeling of jumping into the pool and trying to get used to the water. Yes, it is a heated pool, but it is not "hot," and I am never at the gym in the heat of the day, so this always means an uncomfortable couple of minutes, plus a freezing few minutes after getting out too. I don't know how Marc does it. Like 2-3 days a week he swims in the early morning... like 5:30a.m. early. I would die. I really could not bring myself to jump in a pool that early. The rest of the days he goes at lunch. I could handle that... if my lunch hour wasn't non-existent. Haha.

I even found a solution to my nursing woes this week. I decided to cut down to one pumping session during the day at work. It has worked well. It opens up time for me during the day at school so I don't feel so stressed out all the time, and it spaces out the feedings enough that I still produce. I get enough at that one session to fill four bottles halfway, and then I just fill them up the rest of the way with formula. This means she is getting overall, with nursing at home, about 75% breastmilk and 25% formula, which is a ratio I still feel good about, allows me to keep that bonding relationship with her, and makes life easier on me at school. This is a good thing.

In February when Tiana wasn't sleeping well, Vinny was miserable about going back to full-time preschool and being moody all the time, and I was super stressed all day every day, I kept telling myself, "This too shall pass; it will get easier." What do you know... it has. :-)

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