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Roses

5 Jun

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What is in a Name?

3 Jan

So for years I have been called “V”. In a month it will be 15 years actually. You see I have a very difficult last name to pronounce and I started my career teaching Kindergarten.

At the time it was just much simpler for the students to call me Mrs. V, than to learn how to pronounce Varoutsos.

Well the adults shortened that even more to just V.

No worries. It didn’t bother me. I had finally gotten away from the numerous horrible nicknames for Michelle; Shelley, Shell, meme, meems, midget, midge, etc.

Mind you…I didn’t often answer to Michelle. That was my mother’s name. Although she spelled it with one ‘l’, it still belonged to her. I had never taken ownership of it because of all of the little comments that came with it.

“So you’re actually a ‘junior’?” (Always stated in amazement)
“I didn’t know girls could be juniors.”
“Why are you named after your mom, you look nothing alike?”
“Who’s brilliant idea was that?”
“How do you tell each other apart?”

I could go on but I won’t.
So one day I asked my mom why she bestowed this horrible curse upon me. She answered as she always does. Go ask your father.

His “brilliant” answer…..because I knew you would be as amazing as your mother and I couldn’t think of a more beautiful name.

Now to you…I know…it sounds so wonderful…amazing…a tribute…Right?

Wrong!

Nothing could be further from the truth. While I will always love my mother. I will Never stop working to be her polar opposite. She and I began our relationship rocky and have traveled a difficult road. We mostly embrace that, but I wouldn’t wish it on other mothers and daughters.

Is it the name that caused the dissension? No….that was just the beginning of a long journey. It certainly was a daily reminder of where I was headed in life and how I wanted to get there.

So now I live with Mish….for those that are really close to me.

And for the rest, I am simply V.
Can you see the resemblance?
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I know neither picture is very becoming…but I did it on purpose… I told you before I don’t photograph well……

An Office with a View

30 Dec

This year for Christmas I received “A View”.

Yes, that’s right. My daughter painted what the view from my non-existent window should be. You see, I have a beautiful office that is full of everything I need and decorated just like I like it.

The only problem…..No window.

I am a Principal Intern and I don’t spend much time in my office, but I often like to stop and enjoy what’s going on outside. Rain or shine. View or no view. It’s just important to have that connection to the “outside world”.

For a time I worked in a cubicle in what most would call an attic. I often called it the tower and I think I suffered a bit when I spent too much time in meetings “up there”. I became separated and longed for fresh air and life.

Well, my daughter has given this to me to bring back to work next week. No more longing…no more missing the blue skies…it will always be right there with me.

Along with her love.

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I don’t photograph well!

27 Dec

It has been a tough a few days. I have been very sick with an upper respiratory infection, head cold, etc…

But worse off, on Christmas Eve the family wanted to take a few “nice” photos together. We gathered in pairs, threes and even as a group of four and posed over and over. And all I kept hearing was “MOM! Would you stop making that face!” I never even realized I was making one! I was repeatedly told how horrible I looked in each and every picture.

Apparently part of my Christmas gift was going to be a picture of me and my daughter added to a wonderful poem that she wrote for me. Well. Only one pic out of about 50 that were taken was deemed even remotely acceptable. 

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As a tweenager Ican understand my daughter not liking me very much, but not liking any pictures of me either….now that’s a little rough! I thought I was supposed to be the one who hated myself in pictures. I wasn’t even given that option! This is going to be a tough few years considering she’s only 12.

Well I will make the best of it since it’s the thought that counts. The poem is wonderful, MOSTLY, I am not really frosty in my opinion. But then again seeing yourself through someone else’s eyes is supposed to be enlightenling.

Right?

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Freedom

5 Jun

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Testing????

30 Oct

As I sit here watching students finish up their tests and waiting for the rest of the classes to finish as well I am wondering one thing. Why?

I understand why we test, that isn’t what I mean, what I do mean is why do we put so much pressure on the shoulders of these children?

The two questions that always come to mind that are on these tests are “What most likely…? and “Which is the best answer….?” Now you can add these questions to just about any reading comprehension story that a student is being tested with and you have a very difficult question on your hands.

Here is what I want to know, as an adult are you faced with these same two questions sometimes and are you at a loss for words, because I know that I am!

So how can we expect pre-teens and teens that can just about pick out what they are going to wear to school to pick the best answer when the tests are designed to make the answer choices difficult. Inferencing is a skill that comes with time and experience and many don’t develop it even in their adult years.

Does it really matter what the child can infer in 6th grade at the end of the 1st quarter or should we be allowing teachers to teach the new Common Core curriculum to the very best of their capabilities and giving them every resources possible to help our leaders of the future succeed?

Let’s give teachers secretaries to do their paperwork and give them more time to plan and create amazing lessons that will give our children what they need.  Teachers need to spend less time creating test after test to find out what the students don’t know! Teachers already know that!!!!!!

Back to the Common Core! It was created so that everyone would be teaching almost the same thing at almost the same time at every grade level across the country. Then shouldn’t the testing be the same?

Some one created the curriculum, now someone should create the END OF THE YEAR test and move on.Instead we are all fumbling to start teaching the curriculum so that when the test if finally ready the kids will be able to take it. I was always taught you start with the test and move backwards…..So was I taught the wrong way?

By all means I believe we are heading in the right direction, I am just wondering who we are following…..

Through My Children’s Eyes

30 Oct

We are all home for the summer.

That includes me, the teacher/mom.

After reading all of these posts on Facebook about how many more parents appreciate  the fact that teachers are under paid once they have been home for a few weeks with their own kids!

I see it completely differently. Don’t get me wrong, I  love being a teacher and I always have. I only took the standard 6 weeks off and went back to work after the birth of both of my children. I have always wanted to be a working mom.

BUT…..

This summer it seems to be different….I can’t even begin to tell you how much more time I wish I had with my kids.

No matter how much the two boogers argue (they are only 18 months apart, so it’s like having twins!). No matter how messy the house keeps getting. No matter how quickly we go through a gallon of milk (Two days, really? Is there a milk thief somewhere)

I can’t seem to get enough!

I want to sit in the yard and watch them swim, swing, run around, and just be silly. I want to sit on the couch and watch cartoons with them, I want to play Sims on my computer and have them giggle uncontrollably at how bad I am at computer games. I want to bake cakes, and watch my daughter frost them, I want to play poker with my son and have me tell me how terrible I am at my “poker face”.

I know….I want, I want, I want!

Well, I guess I figured out why yesterday. As we were just sitting around talking about like in general the world is a beautiful place “through my children’s eyes”. I like what I see and I really want to see a lot more of it!

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