Thursday, March 17, 2011

Truth Thursday...A little despair...a little joy

I wanted to write a post yesterday about how sad I was feeling. But I didn't.

I know in "Blog world" sometimes things get a little distorted, and you would probably rather see a "Happy" blog than a sad/angry/frustrated/depressing blog.

I am a real person after all, and I don't ALWAYS do the pretty little crafts you often see me posting about.

I AM that crafty person, but I'm also a mom, a teacher's aide, and a wife.

Sometimes when something happens at home like a fight with my kids or my husband, it's hard to put on a "happy face" with the kindergartners that I work with. It's hard, but I HAVE TO. Because who knows what might've happened at THEIR house the night before. Maybe their parents fought, or they had a sad night, or a rough morning.

So, I feel like I always have to be "ON" and THAT is exhausting. Not that I'm being totally fake at school, and a have a personality that I don't at my own house, but I do feel like I always have to be a happy helper. This is the most emotionally draining job I've ever had.

Not to say that the kids don't make me laugh on a daily basis, or that I don't enjoy working with my fellow teachers, I do, but I think you know what I'm getting at. When I fall into bed exhausted EVERY NIGHT because after school I get supper ready, pack lunches, do laundry, help with homework, etc. , and just be a mom, it's justified.

I am feeling OVERWHELMED lately, and I don't know what to do about it. It has been weighing heavily on my heart. It makes me feel weighted down.

I'm sorry you have to listen to this, but I just needed to get it out. I'm feeling better already. It's TRUTH THURSDAY after all. This is the TRUTH.

If your kids are in my class...I LOVE your child! PLEASE don't get me wrong!

Ok. Enough with that. It's time for the joy part I promised you about!

Our Principal is a good Principal. I feel lucky to work with her everyday. (Just so happens she's also my neighbor and our husbands are best friends!) But that's beside the point!

Because of the new law in Indiana that will take effect in a couple of years, every 3rd grader will be required to be reading at a third grade level, or be retained. This is a big concern.

SO....our Principal asked our local Lion's Club to help us out with something. They paid for books for every family in the school. We're all reading the same book. "One School, One Book." is what she's calling this program.

We're all reading the Tale of Despereaux.

Each night we're required to read to our kids. As a faculty, we're also ALL reading the book. This IS a stretch for some parents. This is even a stretch for some parents like me whose kids are in activities most every night of the week.


Each chapter is only a couple pages, and my kids have LOVED this extra time we're spending together each night at bedtime.

Everyday, based on what everyone was supposed to read the night before, our Principal asks questions to different grade levels over announcements. Then, whichever class is asked a question, calls in, and their answer is read over announcements.

She also made copies of coloring pages, and activities to do at home to go along with the book.

I'm including some of those today, along with the link to a website that has other coloring pages.

It's a good idea. Not everyone was happy about it, but I think it's working.

Some of the kids whose parents don't read it to them each night, can go down over lunch recess and the Principal will read it to them in the Library to get them caught up as well.

There is also a movie based on the book, so I'm challenging you too. Read it to your kids. I'm sure it's in the public library near you. Then watch the movie together as a family with lots of popcorn if you're into that kind of thing.

Every kid deserves to have a great reading experience, so there will be more great readers out there!

Have a great THURSDAY everyone, and thanks for listening to all my rambling. You're WONDERFUL listeners!


  1. I know this probably feels like "just one more thing" for many families but.... I don't think you can ever read too much :) (This said after I stayed up until 12:30 last night reading "The Day the Falls Stood Still" because I just couldn't put it down.... Ha!)

    When my kids were young/elementary school age I read a chapter or two a night from a "chapter book" like James and the Giant Peach, Holes, etc.... my kids loved that I kept reading to them even when they could read themselves. It was a great way to stay connected with them as well.

    I hope this program works well!


  2. sorry to hear your down in the dumps. Life is like that, and being real for yourself is what you need to do to maintain sanity. I keep a pretty real blog. If I am not doing good I post because it is the truth, like you said, and I love this quote "The truth will set you free"

    I think is is biblical, but Miss Stacey also said it to Anne.

    I used to loathe reading to my kids.
    It was such a chore to me.

    I recently saw, Waiting for Superman.
    Have you seen that?
    I was shocked, and being Canadian, it gave me an understanding into comments I have heard on TV, about , getting into a good school, and college and why that is such a big deal. WOW.

    Cheer up! We are here for you.


  3. I'll be thinking of you. I know that overwhelmed feeling. Hopefully it gets better soon. I'll be thinking of you and praying for you.

    I've read that book to several of my classes. It's one of my all time favorite read alouds. I can't wait until WeeMan is just a bit older so I can read it to him. (I will tell you though that the movie is not as good as the book - but then they usually aren't)

    We have the same problem here. I've tried to talk to some of their parents about reading with their kids at home or making sure they read every night. (I teach 4th and 5th - so usually they read on their own) All too often the response I have gotten is - that's your job to read to my kid or make sure their reading at school. They don't need to read at home. As an upper elementary teacher - I'm glad we're trying to do something to make sure kiddos can read before they get to me.... but holding them back b/c of a test isn't going to fix the problem. The problem won't be fixed until parents start acting like parents. The kiddos that are going to pass that test are the ones - who for the most part - have someone at home acting like an adult and being a parent. Sadly though it's going to fall back on the primary teachers as they're not doing their jobs. Not the parents. It makes me so MAD. (Sorry for jumping on my soapbox - just to say I agree with you)

  4. SO true, so true,all your comments. It's hard working in a school AND being a parent at the same time. I see so many kids not getting help at home, and it breaks your heart! Teacher's have a hard job. Sometimes they are teacher AND parent. So, with that being said, help your kids!

  5. Thank you so much for writing such a lovely, honest post. I think we all get the blues sometimes. Hopefully it will be of short duration. I have taken your advice and ordered tales of despereaux. I know my daughter will love it. Thank you!! :)

  6. i get overwhelmed all the time...being a mom ( a new one at that), a wife, a homemaker, a friend, a daughter. i find it comes in waves and passes, usually after a good cry. you have extra pressure being s teacher's aide. i know this because i am a former teacher. i know the pressure of always having to be "on", it's really, really hard to do on a daily basis. you are only human, don't beat yourself up about it, i bet the kids know you love them! hope you have a good weekend in spite of how you are feeling now...
    love that your school is focusing more on reading, that's always a wonderful thing! thanks for sharing your truth :)

  7. hang in there, lori! summer is just around the corner...not that it makes everything better, but at least school will be out, right? :) you're great.

  8. Love this post. Always appreciate it when bloggers keep it real. Hope you're feeling less overwhelmed by now. It gets to me often. When I'm doing great training horses or working on the gardens etc, I'm gettin' buried alive by dirty dishes n laundry... When I'm a great housewife then the farm suffers... sigh. I guess it's good I'm a bit ADD so I can just keep switching gears and focusing on new projects. If only I could complete more! ;-)
    Am so with you n Mama Monki about reading to your kids. It's the BEST time of my day no matter how much I've been rushing to do, I always look forward to reading with them... In fact, at dinner we each tell the highpoint of our day, and often I joke that it hasn't happened yet b/c I know that bedtime might be my best time all day! Thanks for the book suggestion. Sounds like your principal is great.
    BTW - I am blessed not to have to smile for too many little students - when I'm cranky I just make an announcement to my clients as a joke/warning and tell them not to take it personally. Usually they cheer me up right away! :-)


Thanks for commenting...I love reading what you all have to say!