Tuesday, September 30, 2008

She's Free!

Teagan has been cleared of her jaundice diagnosis and I returned the bed yesterday. She slept great last night in her crib (I was a little concerned since she's been on the bilibed since birth). Her skin coloring looks great and I am enjoying just holding her, although I haven't seen her much today because of my school schedule. I am looking forward to getting home tonight; I miss her. :(

I taught today and overall it went well. Today isn't the first day I've taught, but it's the first time I've implemented my own lesson. My mentor teacher observed and critiqued me, and I have some things to reflect on to improve the lesson. I learned some things and am very happy that I had the opportunity to do so; some things can't be taught, only learned through experience. This is one of those things.

Well, I am headed to my last class of the day. I can't wait for 5pm to arrive- school's out!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Jaundice Update

Teagan is doing better with her jaundice. Her levels were down on Friday but rather than taking her off the bilibed now and risking her levels rising again, the doc kept her on the lights through the weekend. I have to take her back tomorrow afternoon and will more than likely return the bed.

Yesterday and today have been the first we've been able to really hold her and love on her. Because of the jaundice, she had to be on the bed except for feedings. Thankfully she has taken a bottle fine (unlike T.G.) so TJ has been helping with feedings in the middle of the night. I have been nursing around 11ish, then he gets the 1ish feeding, and I get the 3 and 5ish feedings. But, since it was the weekend, I also got to sleep in until 8:30 so I don't really mind.

The bilibed has been a mixed blessing. Teagan is my first child who hasn't slept with us in the beginning. I have always had the baby in bed with us to make nursing in the middle of the night easier (I have a co-sleeper so it's safe for the baby to be with us). Since she couldn't be off the lights for long, she nurses and gets put back on them, meaning we sleep better because we don't have the co-sleeper in between us. She also doesn't have to be nursed back to sleep; I can put her down even if she's still awake. I hope she continues to be so content once we give the bed back!

Still no pictures- I have been crazy busy with school and writing papers and lesson plans. I am teaching full-time this week and I have to submit my lesson plans 2 days prior to implementing the lesson, meaning I had to have one finished today and another one finished by Tuesday. I also have some midterms next week (3 to be exact!) that I need to find time to study for. Life is just all around crazy!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Another update

We came home yesterday because Teagan's levels were below the 75th percentile. However, we took her back to the doctor today and she is now on photo-therapy at home because her levels have risen. It's the same type of bed as the one in the hospital, only we are at home instead of in-patient. She goes back for another re-check Friday morning. Hopefully she'll be better and we won't have to get more aggressive with her treatment. I know jaundice is common but I've never had to treat any of my kids like this, and they've all had it. It's a little scary because it's new, but I totally trust my doctor and her judgement.

*I am thankful to have a pediatrician that my family loves- mom and kids, both!*

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Teagan update

Just a quick update. . .

Teagan is jaundice and spent the past 24 hours on the "bilibed" to help get her levels down. She is being assessed by the doctor as I type this and is hopefully doing well enough that we'll be able to go home today. Although she has been nursing well, she has not passed enough stools to get the excess bilirubin out of her system.

Say a prayer that she is doing better today!

*I am thankful for the care and attention we've received while here.*

Monday, September 22, 2008

Happy Birthday!

6 years ago today I welcomed my firstborn into this world. A lot has changed in our family since then, but one constant has remained: my love for him.

Th is an amazing boy, full of laughter and joy and compassion for others, animals included. He is funny, caring, smart, and as best he can, living his life for the Lord. He is an excellent big brother and for the most part puts the needs of his siblings ahead of his own. I am so proud and thankful to be his mom!

Happy birthday, buddy! I love you!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

She's Here!!

Teagan Claire made her arrival at 2:48 this morning. She weighed 7 pounds, 4 ounces and was 20 inches long. Like the others at birth, she too has dark hair and lots of it! Teagan is doing well, nursing about every 4 hours or so.

TJ and I took the kids on a walk yesterday to go visit our neighbor who lives behind us. She has lots of land and animals, a small farm of sorts. She recently added some ducks and chicks to her animal collection, and last week brought us some fresh eggs, one of which was green. She invited us to come by and see the hen house where the chicks live.

While we were walking, I began to have some contractions. Nothing major, but they were there none the less. By the time we arrived at my neighbor’s house (we took the long way there so the kids could ride their bikes and burn up some steam), I was tired and the pressure from my belly was getting to be too much. We took the shortcut home (which is just through our backyard) and once I sat down, I was okay.

We lit a campfire and roasted marshmallows before bringing the kids in to get ready for bed. I was still having contractions, but again, nothing major or overly concerning. I bathed T.G., then Th took a shower, and TJ gave Ta a bath while I dressed T.G. None of the kids had good naps yesterday so T.G. went to bed at 7:45pm. The boys followed shortly behind her, with Ta finally falling asleep about 8:30pm.

I went downstairs to do some schoolwork and study for a mid-term exam I have on Tuesday. I tried to concentrate but the contractions were becoming more painful (like menstrual cramps in my lower abdomen). TJ was sitting outside by the campfire again so I told him I was going to take a bath because I wasn’t feeling well. He knew what I meant and brought me the phone in case I needed him while I was in the bath (isn’t he sweet?). I tried to relax in the tub but my schoolwork was weighing on my mind so I made it a short bath, only about 15 minutes.

Once I got out, I did feel a little better and was able to begin studying. It was probably around 9:30pm or so at this point. At about 10:20pm, I told TJ he should start timing the contractions because they were more painful and lasting about 45 seconds each. Of course, as soon as I said that, he went into panic mode and rather waiting to see if a pattern was established, he immediately suggested I call someone to come over to stay with the kids. I assured him I was okay for now and that before I could call the doctor, I needed to find out how far apart the contractions were. As usual, they were erratic. I had one 4 minutes after I initially told TJ to begin timing then, but then it was 10 minutes until the one after that. Finally, at 11pm, I told TJ I was just going to bed and would see what happened.

I lay in bed for about 15 minutes trying to fall asleep, but with each contraction, I was jarred wide awake (not that I was sleeping, but dozing). I decided I had better call someone while it was still fairly early. I did, and thankfully I didn’t wake my friend up (she had been at the Clemson game all day and had recently arrived home). I also phoned the doctor who told me to come in for observation. By the time I had my things together, my friend arrived and I went over the schedule/phone number list, and we got to the hospital, it was a few minutes past midnight.

The nurse checked me upon arrival and I was 3 centimeters. TJ and I were sent to walk the halls of the hospital for the next hour. Let me just put it this way: by the time the hour ended, I could barely stand with each contraction, and they were coming regularly about 3-5 minutes apart. When the nurse checked me again, I had made it to the magic number of 4cm (the number I had to get to in order to be admitted) so I was immediately relieved. Once I got settled in a permanent room, I was permitted to relax in the Jacuzzi tub. I got in the tub about 1:45am. About 30 minutes later, I had TJ get the nurse and I requested an epidural (I have had my last 2 deliveries natural, but this time, the pain was much more intense). She came in and helped me get out of the tub, checked my cervix, and informed me I was too late. In the 30 minutes I was in the bath, I had dilated to 8.5 cm! She paged the doctor, my water bag was broken, and Teagan entered the world on my second push. Since TJ and I did not have a name immediately upon her birth, the doctor joked that we should name her “Bullet” because of her speedy arrival. She was born about 2 ½ hours of us arriving at the hospital- crazy!

Overall I am happy I once again did it without any medication because the recovery is SOOOO much better. Yes, it’s extremely painful during labor, but once the baby is out, I am virtually pain free. With the epidural and other medication, there are side effects that cause drowsiness and require a person to need assistance to get up, walk, potty, etc. I am self-sufficient and was able to go off the IV once my bag of fluid was empty.

Below are some pictures of my sweet baby girl. T.G. is already in love, as is Ta. Th is just excited and overwhelmed about the whole situation, so I’m not really sure what he thinks of her specifically. Plus, with her birthday so close to his, he thinks that’s neat too.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

My Decision

At this point I am not going to be induced. I have been praying about and reading Scripture to try and get peace about the situation. Yesterday during my Bible reading, the Lord brought this verse my way: "For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways," declares the Lord. (Isaiah 55:8). I really feel like the Lord has been trying to teach me patience these last few weeks, and this verse confirms my thinking. I don't know what the Lord has in store for me or this baby, and I don't want to risk jeopardizing any blessings by trying to take control of a situation that is not up to me to control. As much as I am a planner and take-charge type person, for once I am going to let God be God while I wait patiently for His perfect will to be done.

*I am thankful, as always, for the opportunity to read and study my Bible.*

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Baby Shower. . . at School

Tonight during my evening class my professor and classmates surprised me by throwing a baby shower, with a beautiful cake, drinks, chips, and of course gifts. It was so shocking and much appreciated. There are only 4 other students in the class besides me, so it was an intimate group and I just can't thank the girls enough. They are so sweet and, especially because they are all in their early 20s, I know the financial sacrifice they had to make in order to do this for me. I called TJ during my break to tell him what they did, and I smiled the entire class period (from 5-8pm).

Here is a picture of the cake- isn't it beautiful?!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Progress, I guess

I went back to the doctor today. My cervix is "ripe and ready to go" as the doc so eloquently phrased it! The only problem? I'm still not dilating and probably won't anymore until labor starts. This is the complete opposite of my pregnancy with T.G. With her, I was dilating but my cervix wasn't ripening. I was going to be sent home from the hospital at 5cm because my cervix wasn't thinning out as quickly as the doctor thought it should be. Thankfully a very nice nurse let us stay the night because T.G. was born about 2 hours after that! Anyway, the doctor did say I was an excellent candidate to be induced if I choose to do so. I don't know what to think about that- I've never had to face that decision before! LOL!

If I do decide to be induced, it won't be for 2 more weeks because the earliest the practice is comfortable inducing is at 39 weeks. Can you imagine me pregnant at 39 weeks? I surely can't!! I am torn on what to do because part of me feels like, by being induced, I am trying to take control and "be God." The other part of me feels like it would be a good idea because then I could prearrange childcare for the kids and not have to worry about who's coming and when and for how long. I have to make my decision by next week so the doctor's office can schedule it with the hospital. Lots of praying for me in this next week!

School is going well. I've been teaching here and there, although next week I am full-fledged teaching and being observed. I am doing a lesson that integrates health, math, reading, and functional skills like cooking and shopping. Can you guess what I'm doing? We're going to be cooking a fruit pizza, but first, we'll talk about how the ingredients are part of a healthy diet and review the Food Guide Pyramid. I'm excited, but overwhelmed. I have to have my lesson written out in a certain format that is VERY time consuming and not very practical. But, it's what the college wants and my grade is based on it so of course I'll do it. On top of writing this lesson, I have to conduct an interview with the mom of one of my students that will take about an hour to an hour and a half in order to determine her learning goals for him. The interview covers all aspects of living from academic to social to communication to functional and so on. It's very inclusive (as it should be) but again, time consuming. I then have to write a report based on my findings and determine the correct placement and goals for the next year for him. Plus, I have a midterm exam on Tuesday that I need to find time to study for. Yeah, school is great!

*I am thankful I will be DONE with school for good in a few months!*

Monday, September 15, 2008

Party Pictures

Th’s party was fun. He had a good time being silly with his friends. Below are a few pictures from the day. Oh, by the way, TJ pulled Th’s tooth so I have been joking with him about brushing his holes. He thinks it’s hilarious, and this morning he came in and said, “Mom, I brushed my holes already.”

Still no baby. I am honestly shocked. A few weeks ago, I was having such strong, hard contractions and in the past week, they have been few and far between. I guess Taco is happy where he/she is and will arrive in his/her own time. I also think the Lord is trying to teach me patience because I am getting very impatient. My hips and joints are killing me and it is painful to walk. I thought that taking a stretching class with my students would help, and it has, but the relief is temporary. I also thought the stretching would get things going with labor, but that hasn’t happened, either! LOL! I have been trying lots of “natural” things to start labor (i.e. eating spicy foods, lots of walking), but so far nothing has worked. I go back to the doctor on Wednesday so hopefully I’ll have made some more progress.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

It's Over

My speech went well, and I was surprised at the turnout. There were about 150 people in attendance. I was the second speaker, and was scheduled to speak after lunch. I finished my meal and excused myself to the restroom. On the way back into the room, I quickly phoned TJ and he prayed with me to help calm my nerves. As soon as I opened the doors to the dining room, all eyes were on me- it was my turn! I promise you I wasn’t out of the room for more than 5 minutes, but apparently the first speaker gave her speech as soon as soon as I left. I was so embarrassed!

At the end of the presentation, several people came up to me and congratulated me. It was nice to have the support of so many, especially because a few of them didn’t even know me. I even received an email from a current classmate this afternoon congratulating and thanking me for giving such an inspirational speech (I didn’t think it was very inspirational). It was also nice to see some former professors, classmates, and friends who, because of our crazy schedules, I haven’t seen in a while. And, because I’m such a perfectionist, I woke up last night replaying my speech in my head and the parts I would have done better. Crazy, I know. I just wish TJ could have been there with me for moral support and to meet/greet everyone afterwards. He has been such a huge support system for me that I realize I couldn’t have gotten this far without his help. My success is his success, and I want others to know that. There is no way I could have completed my degree on my own; it is by the grace of God and TJ’s support that have helped me to achieve my goals.

Changing gears, Th has his birthday party today. He is very excited and was up at 6:15am (although that’s what time he wakes every day). We were able to get a sitter for T.G. so TJ and I can enjoy the party without having to entertain her.

Again switching topics, I went back to the doctor last Wednesday. I am still dilated the same (2+ cm) but my cervix is 50% effaced (changed from 20% last week) so he thinks it will be sometime before this next Wednesday. I hope so! I am so ready to bring this baby home and establish a routine. Currently, I have to plan every day as if I’m not returning at night. I have to make sure all the details are handled to make it easier for TJ and/or a sitter. It requires lots of planning and preparing, and it is tiring. Plus, I am trying to keep the house picked up so that when I do spend time in the hospital, hopefully things won’t be too messed up when I get home. Hey, a girl can dream, right? Along with all of the preparing, I still have tons of schoolwork. I am looking forward to spending time in the hospital simply to catch up on reading many chapters from various textbooks.

It’s time to get my day going. I need to get things together for the sitter for T.G., shower, and pick up around here. I’ll try and post pictures from the party later this afternoon.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Speech! Speech! Speech!

Below is the draft I submitted for my speech. Hopefully I won't have to make too many changes!

We all have many names. T. is the one given to me at birth from my parents. Other names include: sister, friend, student, Coach, and my personal favorites, wife and mom. You may be wondering what being a wife and mother of 3 ½ small children have to do with taking classes here at (insert college name). To be quite honest, my husband and children have greatly influenced my decision to pursue my education.

In high school, I applied for and received a full scholarship to attend a local university upon graduation. For personal reasons, I declined the scholarship and instead enlisted in the United States Air Force as an airplane mechanic. To say my family was upset with my decision is an understatement! The September following my high school graduation, I left small town Ohio and headed to Texas for Basic Training, then shortly thereafter I was stationed in California.
I always knew I wanted to be a teacher from a young age. However, it wasn’t until I volunteered with Special Olympics while I was still in high school that I knew I wanted to teach special education. I actually began taking college courses while a senior in high school, but once I left home and joined the Air Force, my college career was put on hold.

I met my husband while in the Air Force, and after we had been married for a little more than 3 years, we welcomed our first child into the world. It was then that the name “teacher” took a more significant role in my life. Prior to having my own children, I did not fully grasp the responsibility that goes along with being a teacher. I understood the importance of being a positive role model, but it was a limited knowledge since I did not have first-hand experience. My son changed all that!

Once I had my own children, I realized the responsibility I had as their mother. Not just in their physical well-being, but in all aspects of their development: social, emotional, spiritual, and educational. If I want my children to grow into responsible adults, I need to model it for them now. There’s an old adage, “Do what I say, not what I do” that many of us have heard and perhaps even said to others. But, we know as educators, that is not the case. Children will emulate what we do because they look up to us and want to be like us; it’s only natural. I want my children to value their education, so of course that means I need to show them the value in education. I really had no choice BUT to go back to school!

Like many other nontraditional students, it has taken me several years to complete this degree in special education. By receiving these scholarships, some of the financial burden that goes with taking courses has been eased. We are grateful for the many opportunities to share our insight as nontraditional students afforded to us from some of our professors, especially those in the COE. And, because of the support received from family, and of course the professors at (insert college name), we will be graduating soon. In graduating, we are modeling many important skills for our children, whether they are in our classrooms or in our homes: the necessity of finishing what one starts; the link between hard work, determination, and success; and to never give up despite the obstacles and challenges that are presented.

Soon, we will be all able to add teacher to our list of names, and that is one that we will hold dear because of the sweat equity that was put into earning it.

Monday, September 8, 2008

More on my plate. . .

I received this email request today from a pretty important person on campus. I am honored, but flipping out at the same time. Read below.

I know that you plan to attend the Scholarship Luncheon this Friday, and we would like to have you speak on behalf of your fellow students to express appreciation to our donors. You could tell a bit about yourself and your own situation (as much as you choose) to demonstrate the need for such scholarship support. You will be one of two students speaking to the group, and between the two, you would be in a good place to represent the needs of those who are nontraditional students with family responsibilities, jobs, etc.

We hope you will agree to take this on--folks in the college are very proud of you and all that you accomplish.

How can I say no? Now I am working on a speech so I can turn in a draft by Wednesday morning. On a different note, my bulletin board that is due by Thursday has a little flexibility because of some circumstances out of my control, and I have everything I need for it, I just need to get it displayed. I think I will feel better about my school situation after tomorrow when I can talk to both my mentor teacher and college professor to get answers to my questions and more guidance on the lessons and assessments I have to conduct over the next 2 weeks. Things seem brighter compared to last Friday, but at the same time, I'm not out of the woods yet.

On a personal note, Th has another loose tooth! He has been begging TJ to pull it out for him, but it's not ready. However, the Tooth Fairy will be visiting again soon, and Th can't wait!

Friday, September 5, 2008

Stressed, overwhelmed, and emotional. . .

are probably the best words to describe how I am feeling lately. In all honesty, I have never felt any of these emotions to the extent that I have been feeling since yesterday. Balancing my home life and school has always been challenging, but never like this. I am second-guessing myself in every decision I make, taking me on even more of an emotional roller coaster. For instance, I needed to clean the house as I haven’t done it in 2 weeks. I decided to begin last night, and I finished up this morning. I worked my behind off to get almost everything clean. But, because of my decision to clean, I put off doing my school work until this afternoon. I regret that decision now.

I spent the afternoon trying to figure out where to begin, and with each assignment I started, I can’t finish because I either need more information from my students or from my teacher. Plus I received an email today informing me that I have less than 2 weeks to prepare and teach my students a 30-45 minute lesson. Not only that, but I am going to be observed and graded on how well I do. No problem, except that I have other assessments/lessons/parent interviews/student evaluations I have to complete in the same time frame. On top of all that, at some point I will have to spend time away from school in the hospital delivering a baby. I am trying to get ahead so that when delivery day comes, I won’t feel so overwhelmed. My plan is not working so great!

This semester I just can’t seem to balance my duties as a wife, mom, and student like I have in the past, and that is where the emotional part comes in. I feel like since I can’t find that balance, everything is suffering, and it makes me cry. I hate feeling like a bad mom, a bad wife, and a bad student, but nothing I do seems to make things better. I tried to convey some of these feelings to TJ, but he doesn’t fully understand because he’s never been in my shoes before; I’ve never been in these shoes before, and they are very lonely shoes. I didn’t know it was going to be so hard. I don’t know if it’s because I am taking more classes or if the fact that, in past semesters, I always had at least 2 ½ hours of uninterrupted time to study while the kids were in preschool. This semester, that’s not the case. They are in preschool but I always have at least one child home with me, which is why I decided to clean this morning rather than do school assignments (I am the type of person who needs absolute SILENCE to concentrate. I am easily distracted by noise, so even the sound of a child quietly playing keeps my focus off my schoolwork. I have to read and re-read in order to comprehend something when I am distracted.) Also, by having at least one child in tow, it makes it difficult for me to go to school to work on assignments. I have copies that I need to make and stuff I need to print, but I can’t show up in the computer lab with my kids- it’s just not good etiquette! I have an assignment due by 5pm Thursday where I have to design a bulletin board related to health education. I was hoping to go do that this afternoon but for various reasons, it didn’t work out. I was able to purchase some of the supplies that I need for it this evening, but how am I going to show up in a classroom with a 22-month-old to put up the bulletin board? I can’t! My only option is to stay after my class on Monday night to do it, but it stinks because I don’t get out of class until 8pm and where my bulletin board is being displayed is on the other side of campus.

The only comfort I have in all of this is that it is temporary- 1 semester. By the grace of God, I just need to get through this 1 semester. . . That is my prayer, and has been for the past couple of days.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Warning- Long Post!

My first day in the school was AWESOME! My mentor teacher is great, the students are wonderful, and I am so thankful the Lord put me in this particular room in this particular school.

Back in the spring, when the college was giving me some difficulties about registering/taking classes this fall, I was told I would be placed in a school local to my home. However, when I received my placement letter in early August, I was placed in another town about 25 minutes away. Another girl in my class was placed at a school literally less than 1 mile from my house, and TJ suggested I look into switching with her. I am so glad that I didn't! I told him that the Lord was in control and He allowed this placement to happen the way it did (and TJ knew that, he is just thinking about my upcoming labor).

When I returned to college Tuesday afternoon for my class, we had a support session to talk about/discuss our classroom placements and how the first day went. There are only 8 students in the class, so we are a small group and most of us have been in class together for several semesters. Since we know each other, we are able to talk freely about our experiences and learn from them, which is (one of) the purpose(s) of the course. Anyway, most of my classmates either did not have a good first day OR they do not care for their mentor teacher and how s/he handled certain situations.

I, on the other hand, had a wonderful day and I can't wait to return again tomorrow. My class is made of 5 students who are considered to have a severe mental disability. Working directly next door to my teacher is a friend of mine who I went to college with. He graduated this past May and got hired on in the school. He worked with the same mentor teacher last year, and he has been a huge support for me since he so recently was in my shoes. Plus, he is my age and our kids are similar in age, and he went to school with some people from my church, so we have a lot in common. I haven't seen him in about a year because of our school schedules, so I was excited to see him yesterday. Digressing again. . .

My teacher has an awesome philosophy of education, and it is one that I share (which I think was a factor in my placement because I had to write my philosophy of education and provide 2 copies with my field placement application). She does minimal classroom instruction and maximum community-based learning, meaning everything she teaches the students has a real-life application and purpose. We (the students, my mentor teacher, and I) spent 2 hours yesterday morning delivering a community newsletter to local businesses. It was amazing to see the students working together to count out the number of newsletters to be delivered to each business, one student took the old ones and another put in the new ones. My mentor teacher has an assistant who has been out with back problems. The assistant usually drives the van for the delivery route, but since she was gone, my mentor teacher has been doing the driving. One of the students had to give my teacher the directions because she didn't know it. I was so impressed! He knew the entire route, including turns, all by memory. My teacher is hoping that he will be hired to deliver the newsletters once he graduates next May.

The students also clean rooms at a local motel twice per week. Again, the goal is to train the students so that they can become self-sufficient and do it independently. Once they can, they can potentially get hired and the motel can have confidence in their abilities. Next week the class is riding the light rail line into Charlotte for lunch. My teacher gave me a calendar and invited me to join them on any/all outings I'd like to attend. Once I have the baby, I plan to participate more with the class outside of my normal Tuesday/Thursday schedule because I want to learn as much as I can from my mentor teacher regarding community-based instruction (CBI).

CBI is not a new concept but it is not widely practiced. It takes more long-term planning and creativity than regular instruction. Plus, safety is of course an issue, and some teachers simply are not comfortable leaving school grounds alone with their students. Here is an example of what a classmate saw on her first day at a different school in a different district: the teacher threw some brightly colored bean bags to a boy in a wheelchair who is legally blind but can see color. He scooted out of his wheelchair, got the bean bags, and threw them in a bucket. What is the purpose in that? How will that help him get a job? Be independent? Where is the functionality in that skill? Now, I realize not all people with disabilities can live independently or function fully in society. But, the bean bag toss is also not age appropriate. This student is in high school, not in kindergarten. If the purpose is to help him recognize his colors, there are other ways to do so. I guess that is just my philosophy coming through- education should be functional and age-appropriate. I don't want my kindergarten-age son learning material that is for a high school student, and vice-versa, regardless of ability. To me it is common sense but to others, it's a whole new ideal and one that is not highly regarded. Again, it takes creativity and planning and teaching has enough demands without all that.

Enough of my soap box. I am just so grateful for where I am and excited to be going back. The students embraced me and I am sad that I'll only be with them until Christmas. The semester is going to go by quickly despite all the many assignments and lessons that I have to complete.

Oh, I have to teach a unit consisting of 5 lessons to the students. Any ideas on a topic? I want it to be community-based so I'm looking for something that has a real-life purpose and application. I was thinking of "How to Get a Job" and I could do a lesson on deciding on a place to work, a lesson on applying for the job (filling out the application), a lesson on the interview, etc. What do you think?

*I am thankful for the Lord's divine knowledge regarding this field placement. What an answer to prayer!*

Monday, September 1, 2008

High School Again

Tomorrow is my big day- my first day of student teaching. Well, I'm not actually teaching tomorrow but I go and meet my mentor teacher and the students in the class. I will begin actual instruction next week. The only information I received from my mentor teacher is that the kids are in grades 10-12 and they do a lot of community-based instruction (i.e. how to make a purchase in a store, how to use public transportation, how to cross the road safely, etc.) I am excited about that, but at the same time, it makes lesson planning difficult for me because, for my college courses, I have to focus on academic instruction (i.e. literacy, assessment, etc.) But, I'll figure it out somehow- I always do.

Tuesdays are long days for me. I leave the house around 7:15am and don't get home until after 5pm. I will only see Ta and T.G. for about 20 minutes (I pick them up at noon and deliver them to TJ at 12:20pm so I can get to my next class). I'm a little bit nervous about being away from the kids for so long, but it's only crazy on Tuesdays so that eases my mind a little. I just miss them when I am away from them, especially for such long periods of time. It's been a huge adjustment with Th in school all day. I often find myself wondering what he's doing at a particular time or if he's having a good day. I enjoy the few minutes we have alone when he first arrives home from school. I like to hear about his day and just sit and cuddle with him before I have to start my afternoon chores (i.e. getting snacks for the kids, getting supper put together, going through the mail, making lunch for the next day, picking up toys/shoes/clutter, etc.)

Well, I'm headed to bed so I can be well-rested for my first day. Wish me luck!