Monday, February 28, 2011

I Heart Faces Shoulders, Knees and Toes week

This week the challenge at I Heart Faces is “Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes.”. Basically anything but a face. So here is my entry:

Tip Off

It's a picture from about middle way through the basketball season, and one of my favorite moments to take a picture of, the tip off. I just love watching the boys fly through the air to get to that ball. So I played a bit with the original picture to get it so it was just their feet. :)

Make sure to head on over to I Heart Faces  and check out all of the creative entries!

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Tell Congress to reject efforts to undermine public employee benefit pensions!

Here is my letter, I suggest you write something similar! I got the format off of NEA's website I believe that anyone can use the forms there to let their voices be heard.

Senator Chambliss:
I urge Congress to reject efforts to undermine public employee defined benefit pensions.
Educators have dedicated our lives to public service. We have forgone the higher salaries available in the private sector in order to work in the profession we love and help our students become the productive citizens our nation needs. We do not retire in luxury. Through our service, we have earned the modest pensions that will help us ensure a secure retirement.
The traditional public pension system is a vital stimulus to the economy that safeguards the delivery of vital taxpayer services.
It is a sound system. Funding shortfalls can be avoided without overturning the entire system.
If defined benefit plans are abandoned in favor of defined contribution plans, taxpayers will pay more to move to millions of private accounts. And, they will also pay more to foot the bill for workers who outlive inadequate, unstable retirement income.
I urge you to look at the facts and reject the public employee bashing so popular lately.
Please protect public employee pensions.
Patricia Cleveland

Urge Senate to help Students Pursue Higher Education - Dream Act

I would like to encourage all of you to urge your congress members to pass the Dream Act. The email I sent is below, you can go to and send your own letter.

Senator Chambliss:
Each year, we let some 50,000 high school graduates - many at the top of their academic class - look ahead to a future of unrealized potential at a significant cost to our economy and our country.
These 50,000 students who were brought into this country as minor children without proper immigration standing are ineligible for in-state college tuition.
These students have been productive and active members of their community. However, most cannot even attend community college because federal law effectively prohibits them from paying in-state tuition for college.
The DREAM Act is bipartisan legislation that gives eligible young people who were brought to the U.S. as children the opportunity to resolve their immigration status and work towards citizenship. Those eligible will have to pass background checks and be of good moral character, graduate from high school, and go on to complete additional requirements related to attending college or completing military service.
The DREAM Act is a great return on money we have already invested and will prepare the country for the global economy.
The students who would benefit under the DREAM Act have been raised and educated in the U.S. State and local taxpayers have already invested in the education of these children in elementary and secondary school. Taxpayers deserve a return on their investment.
Leading businesses such as Microsoft have endorsed the DREAM Act because they recognize that our broken immigration system is draining our economy of the talent and resources needed to compete in the global economy.
I urge you to support immediate passage of the DREAM Act.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Why I teach...

I first posted this about a year ago, and came across it again today. Reading it made me realize that I needed to read it again (ya know the whole God points you in certain directions thing), and that I wanted to share it again. I have made a few changes to the original post, but the was originally posted on February 10th 2010. 

 After having a rough couple of days, I decided that I needed to remind myself as to why I do what I do, what I have been doing since 1998. 

I do not teach for the money, goodness knows I barely make a living wage considering the number of hours I work, and the education I have. 

I do not teach for the retirement, because when you look at our retirement plan compared to someone in the private sector with a similar education level, our retirement plan is garbage. Could there be changes to make it better, or more fair? Of course there could be, but that's not up to me, so quit trying to hurt me and my future by taking it completely away. I have been paying into it fairly, I expect to be treated fairly. 

I do not teach for the glory, goodness knows that I am rarely appreciated by my students, or their parents. There are exceptions to this, as I know very well, but they are the exceptions, not the rule.

I do not teach for the fun of it, goodness knows there are days when I am definitely not having fun. I always try to have fun, but some days it just is impossible.

I do not teach for the summers off, goodness knows there is rarely a summer that I have not taken at least one class/workshop, or have not worked at all. As a matter of fact, I can think of two in 14 years, the year we moved from England to Florida, when my summer was all of one month, and the year before we moved from Florida to Georgia, because I resigned my teaching position knowing we were moving over the Christmas holiday, and I refused to do that to my students, having to change teachers part way through the year. 

I do not teach for the "breaks", you know, winter, fall, President's Day, etc. Because goodness knows on those "breaks", I am still making lesson plans, grading papers, taking a class or something similar. Especially when the kids get the break, and we have a teacher work day.

I do not teach because it's "easy", goodness knows there are days when I do not feel like I reached any of the students, and wonder not what is wrong with them, but what is wrong with me. 

I do not teach because I can "recycle" lesson plans and teach the same thing year after year. Even when I have been blessed enough to teach the same subject two years in a row, the kids and the differentiation needs have changed, or the standards and curriculum have changed. So I personally don't see how ANY teacher could do this.  

I do not teach because its a 7:15am to 3:15pm job. Most days I am at school right at 7:00 am and most days I am there until at least 3:30 pm. Some nights I am there as late as 7:00pm when we have PTO or other meetings. Then I get home and I am grading papers, changing lesson plans for the next day, calling parents, or just thinking about the day and what I could have done to make it better. I always put in several hours over the weekend working on lesson plans, usually at least 3, sometimes as many as 5.
  I teach, because I care. 

I teach, because I want to make a difference.

I teach, because I care about the future of this great country. I know that the children are the only chance we have of having a future.

I teach, because I want to make the world a better place.

I teach, because I know that I CAN make a difference in the life of a child.

I teach, because I can see the future in these student's eyes, if only they are given the opportunity to reach their potential. 

I teach, for the days that I can see that light jump into a student's eye, when all of the sudden they "get" it. 

I teach, because watching a child grow and change through the learning process and knowing that I had a part a small piece to do with it is the best feeling in the world. 

I teach, because I know that some days the only nice words said to that child may have come from me. 

I teach, because I know that this group of students has the ability to become future veterinarians, doctors, lawyers, musicians, actors, directors, statisticians, artists, moms, dads, aunts, uncles, husbands, wives, military spouses, pilots, military members, and politicians, just as much as my former students are now doing, even the ones that we worried and lost sleep over 5 to 10 years ago (I love you guys! I know I didn't say it enough back then!) 

I teach, because one day, perhaps tomorrow, perhaps 10 years from now I just might get that email, that phone call, that Twitter message or that Facebook/Myspace message that says, you made a difference in my life, you always believed in me, thank you. And in that one message it makes all of the bad go away. 

If you are reading this, thank a teacher, really, it's not just a saying, its the truth! I promise they will appreciate the gesture!

LET YOUR VOICE BE HEARD FOR EDUCATORS AND WORKERS’ RIGHTS ~ We Pledge To Stand With America’s Educators, School Support Staff And Workers ~

Go to this website

 and sign the petition that says:


~ We Pledge To Stand With America’s Educators, School Support Staff And Workers ~

We believe that educators, school support staff, nurses, firefighters and other middle class workers are essential to the well-being and safety of our families and communities.
We believe that working Americans need to use the strength of our numbers to fight for better wages and benefits, job security and safer workplaces.
We believe that the attacks happening in state after state are more of the same old partisan politics in which whatever party is in power tries to hurt the other side.
We believe that while we suffer, the same politicians support tax breaks for corporations and CEOs. Politicians know unions are a check on corporate power, so they are working to weaken or eliminate them.
To fulfill the promise of workers’ role in restoring balance to our economy, protecting and growing the middle class, and sustaining our communities, we urge governors and politicians to:
  • Meet with educators and other public employees to find fair and sensible solutions that are in the best interests of the nation’s middle class, children and families.
  • Stop the power struggle. We need balance that brings our leaders together to create quality jobs and solves the problems hurting middle class families across the country.
  • Do their share by cutting their own high salaries, pensions and perks before asking frontline, middle class workers to sacrifice even more in wage and benefit cuts.
  • Solve the problems of the middle class instead of giving even more power to the corporate CEOs who got them elected.
  • Remember that public employees are our neighbors and friends. They are educators, firefighters, social workers, and police officers. They make a lot of sacrifices and make a big contribution. It’s important not to vilify them or to suggest that somehow they are the cause of state budget problems.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Fund Raiser time!

Ok everyone, DJ is selling Cookie Dough to raise money for the playground, and Nat is selling raffle tickets for a chance to win a Playstation 3 (the 160gb $300 one) for $5 to raise money for band uniforms. If you would like to help either of them out please let me know! Thanks

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Before the Morning

 My friend Renee  over at had this on her blog tonight, and I so needed to hear it so since I needed to hear it I thought maybe someone else might need to hear it.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

I Heart Faces Cell Phone Week

This week over at I Heart Faces the challenge is a picture that you took with your cell phone. Well I had to go back a couple of months to find one that I liked, but here it is:

kelsey beach taken with cell phone

This is Kelsey on the beach at Tybee Island over Thanksgiving break. We had gone to take Senior Pictures and I took this one with my phone so that her dad could see what it looked like as he was at work.

Make sure you go over to and take a look at all of the entries

Thursday, February 17, 2011

I am a teacher. I am not the problem. Our retirement fund lost billions in Wall Street speculations that went awry. Your community's school teachers, librarians, firefighters, police, street & highway workers, & others are NOT the enemy. We live here, pay taxes, work hard, & are trying to support our families, too. We don't get paid big bucks. Stand up for what is right! If you agree, please copy & repost.

I am a teacher. I am not the problem. Our retirement fund lost billions in Wall Street speculations that went awry. Your community's school teachers, librarians, firefighters, police, street & highway workers, & others are NOT the enemy. We live here, pay taxes, work hard, & are trying to support our families, too. We don't get paid big bucks. Stand up for what is right! If you agree, please copy & repost.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Five Question Friday

Momma M. over at My Little Life sponsors a five question Friday, almost every week. I have been reading her answers and some of the other people that play along for a while now, but just now getting around to joining in. Make sure you head on over and see what other people had to say.
1. Would you rather be on ABC's Extreme Home MakeOver or TLC's What not to Wear?  What not to wear, not sure really why, but the fact that they tell you what will look good on you and what doesn't sounds good to me!

2. Do you have any tattoos? Yes, An Arizona State Sun Devil on my left shoulder.

3. Do you tell your kids about things you did growing up? Yes....

4. If the traffic signal turns yellow, do you stop or speed up? Depends on where I am at, in regards to the light. If I am right on top of it, speed up, if I am back a bit stop.

5. What's your preference: chocolate or chips? CHOCOLATE!!!

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Go Check Out David Osu AKA King D Mr. Perfect's You Tube Channel

King D Mr. Perfect is an unsigned rapper, singer, & producer, working out of Charlotte, North Carolina, USA, he is also a former student of mine from my days teaching in the U.K. He is a great guy and a great musician. Go check out his station on You Tube and enjoy his music.                            King D Mr. Perfect's You Tube Channel

My favorite part of the Super Bowl?

This..... Not the commercials, not the plays, not the commentators, just the Declaration of Independence.

Thank you Fox for the reminder of why this country is GREAT. God Bless the USA.

Monday, February 07, 2011

I Heart Faces~Hearts

This week at I Heart Faces the theme is hearts, so with DJ's help this is what I came up with.

Head on over to and check out the entries!