I am a writing teacher.
I recently started teaching a home-schooled 8th grade student. My student is bright and converses well with me. He was diagnosed with dysgraphia in 5th grade. So far, he has written one descriptive paragraph and is working on his second descriptive paragraph at this time. I always knew I loved teaching reading to emerging readers but I am enjoying the writing sessions with my student.
I have spent some time learning about dysgraphia. Dysgraphia is a learning disability that presents itself in many forms. A person with dysgraphia might have poor handwriting, problems with spelling, or putting their thoughts in writing. I am learning about this disability and the best way to help my student improve his writing.
Our private lessons will continue. I have already noticed an improvement from the assessment paragaph to the most recent piece we worked on together. Next, my student will tackle his first essay, ever! And he will be ready.
I am a writing teacher. I be!ieve every child can learn to write well.
And the tears formed in my eyes as I prayed, “Our Father who art in heaven,” as I was thinking about my father, my Dad.
Just a year ago, I spoke with my Dad about the negative environment at work. He encouraged me to go to work every day and do my best. His take was the problem was with my supervisor. As long as I enjoyed teaching, I should continue working. But there was more to it and I knew it was best to resign and move on in my life. I didn’t want a negative evaluation on my record nor did I want my reputation tarnished.
I went out-of-town after Christmas but I never made it to the coast. I had just recovered from the flu and was looking forward to spending my mornings walking along the coast. My stop in San Antonio was extended as it was raining at the coast. While there, my allergy symptoms flared up. It was time to head back home to recover. The irritating pollen was not common in my area so I knew the best thing I could do was to simply get away from the source of my discomfort, the pollen.
A few days after arriving home, my younger sister called. She was very concerned about our father. I drove over to his house later that day and I was alarmed to see Dad had lost a significant amount of weight in the short period of time from Christmas to mid January. Dad wasn’t feeling well and explained he was having digestive issues.
Our father who art in heaven, I prayed. And worried. And had faith. But still, I worried.
I am a strong woman. I am a woman of faith. I love my heavenly Father. I love my Dad and wondered, worried, and prayed.
I looked forward to continuing my part-time teaching assignment for the Fall semester 2012. This semester was completely different from the Spring 2012 semester. The factor that made the greatest difference in my two experiences was the “principal” and the style of leadership and management. The 2011-2012 school year was a success. I loved my students and I loved going to work. Teaching gifted ed again was such a blessing.
The 2012-2013 school year did not turn out as I anticipated. The school was assigned a different principal and she told me in September she didn’t want me to return after the December break. I didn’t quit when she first broke the news. My first instinct was to never return and quit immediately. Why should I stay where I was not wanted? The money was nice, I will admit. But I really enjoyed my students and teaching in a community where I worked previously 10 years prior.
I continued to teach with joy. A few changes, more tension, and I finally decided in mid-December it was time for me to leave. Sometimes, you have to walk away from a situation. I was a retired educator working part-time. I taught with JOY in my heart. I told my students I would not be returning, worked my last day doing paperwork, and ended my teaching career again. I sadly left the building on my last day but I was able to walk out with my head held high. I am a teacher and I taught my students well. I said a few good-byes to my colleagues and asked them to keep in touch.
I briefly mourned the loss of that position but I couldn’t help but wonder how my journey would continue. Teaching again was one of life’s “ups” and leaving something that fulfilled my purpose was one of the downs. I knew there was more to come. God had His plan for me. I took time hanging out at the Texas coast after Christmas listening and reflecting. I learned a lot about myself. I learned that I needed to love myself too!
I am a strong woman. I am a woman of integrity. I am very blessed.
It’s been a long time since I sat down and started writing on this blog site. A lot has changed since I started my own company in May 2011. As far as providing tutoring services in Dallas, I was out of business there as soon as TEA required the school district to prioritize which students would receive services as they didn’t have the funds for every child in a low performing school to receive tutoring. MATH…Dallas decided students needing math tutoring would be the first students allowed to register for services. Oops! My approved TEA proposal only provided services in reading, writing, and science. This was when I was technically out of business and it was only October 2011.
I elected to focus on providing services to students in San Antonio. The company folded because I just didn’t have the marketing or manpower to recruit students. Plus, students seemed more interested in “getting a free computer” rather than selecting a company that would provide them with an outstanding teacher as their tutor. I attended 5 parent fairs and not one student signed up to receive tutoring services from my company. I was ready to call it quits there by the end of October but family members encouraged me to continue my efforts to recruit students. It just didn’t work out.
I regrouped quickly. With so much time on my hand, I decided to volunteer at the school of my final teaching assignment prior to retirement. My volunteer position turned into a part-time teaching position. Yea, teaching gifted ed and getting back to my teaching roots was going to be a blast.
It was a blast while it lasted. January 2012 to May 2012 was a wonderful time in my life. I worked 2 1/2 days a week doing something I truly loved, teaching. My kids were great and I worked with many outstanding teachers. We had our GT Festival in May on the same night as the choir performance. It was fun seeing the parents walk through the display area looking at all the student projects. Other students were in the computer lab to show their power point presentations to their families and all interested parties.We had a good turn-out of students and their parents and I was PROUD. I was so very proud of my students. The 2012 school year ended on a positive note!
I attended the PTSA meeting at Brackenridge High School in San Antonio, TX last night. It was just what I needed! A young woman fresh out of college explained her role as a college readiness counselor. The principal stressed his desire to start working with their freshment to change their mindsets. They are going to college! This small group had a great amount of energy. They had a “Shared Dream” and that dream was to encourage, inspire, motivate and utilize all resources to help students enter college.
I am a teacher. I am a bit disillusioned at this time with students, schools, and a system set up to provide low-income students with educational assistance (SES). Maybe disillusioned isn’t the best word to describe how I feel.
I have a tutoring company with teachers ready to teach, engage, and assess students. It appears that many parents and students don’t want “real” teachers to serve as their tutors. The tutoring is provided FREE to parents. Each school district must set aside federal funds per NCLB to pay for Supplemental Educational Services (SES). Free tutoring isn’t enough, they want more. Many companies provide laptops or cell phones for students to use for online tutoring. Then, the students are allowed to keep the learning tools.
So does this mean the families believe that online tutoring will achieve the greatest educational gains for their child? Or are students convincing their parents to sign up for online tutoring simply because they want a new cell phone or laptop?
The Waldorf Schools, private schools operating throughout the US , do not allow their students to use computers until high school. Austin Waldorf School Administrator Susan Darcy stated, “I feel that introducing technology early is actually cheating children.”( Nov 10, 2011) Hmm, these parents pay over $10,000 a year for tuition and the school doesn’t allow the students to use computers. They believe children should be children and should use their imagination, construct their own knowledge, engage in the arts, and learn to work together.
Closing the achievement gap, transforming low-performing schools, and improving the quality of education for students living in poverty are all phrases we hear repeatedly. Is our government doing enough? Is our government doing too much? Should the system of providing Supplemental Educational Services be changed or eliminated? Maybe parents need to be educated before they select a SES provider for their child. Maybe I’m wrong and online tutoring SES providers are doing a wonderful job of educating their students.
What do you think? Oh, I do have one student signed up for tutoring. I am also marketing again to recruit a few more. I am a teacher and I want to teach. I want to make a difference in the lives of students. I want to Spread the Dream!