Category Archives: 2022

Positive Change for Teachers

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We are not baby-sitters. Summers are not completely off. Anyone cannot be a teacher. It does require a college degree. Our job is not easy. It is not true “If you cannot do-then teach.”

I have heard this and more and it is just.plain.wrong. But finally, our voices are being heard as there is a MASSIVE teacher shortage across the entire USA.

For the first time in my career districts are negotiating and offering incentives for teachers. What we do is challenging and most do not do it for money, but so good for others to see our value and importance then recognize it with more decent wages. Teachers are priceless and I hope this brings the reform and change in mindset we deserve. This season will be hard, but with our voices we can bring about some change!

Teachers-do not let this time in history pass us by! God is doing something in this hardship and making a way. He has heard our prayers. We are some of the most graceful, patient, flexible, persevering people on the planet (this is why we make great teachers), but those traits have often get us run over with long, unpaid hours, little to no yearly raises, increased health insurance expenses (since we have the time to go to the doctor), ridiculous political mandates that have no benefit for the kids just brings about more paperwork. Sometimes I think we do not even take ourselves seriously in an effort to be humble. But when schools were shut down, we stepped up with innovation and new ideas-quickly. This is our time to be heard,show our value, model our professionalism and gifts/talents. We do this with our actions and being willing to have the hard conversations in love for the kids.

The pandemic knocked us down, but we got back up and are now stronger and for the first time seen. The world is watching! This is our time and we are ready!

Biopsy Results

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Today was the virtual consult with the nephrologist. The biopsy revealed the Class 5 Membranous Lupus we were expecting. This was good news since the kidneys were not worse than we thought. The medications will be intense. 2000mg Cellcept daily and 25 mg of steroids daily.

Nervous if similar side effects will occur like last time causing my hair to fall out, lip blisters and overall decline in my weight and health. This drug is most famous for the stomach issues which is a struggle when you are trying to gain weight. Overall, my biggest fear is just struggling to stay thriving. Fatigue is real on these medications! But, this is a fight for a major organ so I will suck it up and follow doctor’s orders.

I serve a mighty God! I serve a God that saves and goes with me. Today made me feel frustrated that we have to get serious with medication right before I start back to school where my stress kicks in the highest…so afraid of going backwards and just feeling beat down when I need to be stepping it up. But I will trust in God’s promise that he goes before me, stay grateful for the good things he has done and remain hopeful for a cure and better tomorrow with Lupus.

To Biopsy or Not Biopsy

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After meeting with the nephrologist, she suggests getting a kidney biopsy to learn the extent of the kidney damage. Originally, I thought this was a good idea, but as I learn more I question if this is necessary. Of course, I want to know the extent of the damage, but will it change the treatment? If not, then can we skip it?

Who knew the biopsy would be considered an outpatient surgery? The cost is very high since my deductible is high. The recovery is longer than I thought. Just wondering if it is necessary. I know this is a result of Lupus so let’s get it under control.

I question if I do not get it, will I miss treatment that is necessary. Who knows. What I do know is Lupus is evil. It attacks healthy cells. It attacks organs. It masks itself as good. It is deadly, painful and rests only to act up again. It is uncurable and induced by stress but our world is stressful.

So for now I pray and wait and hope for a cure and long for a full life not cut short by disease.

Perspective is Everything

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Summer fun can be exhausting. Getting up early, going from lesson to playdate to camp…being in the car from 30 to 45 minutes at a time depending on traffic. Doing all I can to make memories and do all the fun stuff while school is out. Keeping cool in this heat…fun, but tiresome.

I was expressing this thought to my son’s tutor whom is a widow and all three of her boys are grown and out of the house. Her response surprised me.

She said the busyness traveling in the car is what she missed the most about raising kids. She explained the time she spent talking, laughing and going to all the places for the summer are the memories she holds dear to her heart. Being all together in the car is priceless.

It made me stop and think the thing that exhausts me is what she misses. I should learn from her and change my perspective and find joy in this phase of life. Appreciate the talking, the questions and the places we travel together. Value this moment in motherhood.

Don’t miss the memories we are making. God has given me this child for this moment and I refuse to miss this opportunity by not appreciating how blessed I am. So thankful this lady could unknowingly mentor me and change my perspective before it was too late.

Saying Good-Bye

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We said good-bye to our dog of 16 years this week.

To be honest, it was time, but that does not make it easier. She was deaf, blind and like her sister suffering from kidney disease.

We knew it was coming, but still not ready. It all happened quickly while we were in the Bahamas, but thankful we could make it back home so we could be together.

Explaining death to a 9 year old never is easy, but it gives us more opportunity to talk about God and heaven and Jesus.

The hurt is real, but so is the beauty of a best friend. The creature at my feet each night and the unconditional love in the loneliness. The loyal companion of my adult years. I miss her busting through the closet or barging in on my bathtime. Even miss the way she did anything to get to food…I miss her. But the pain is worth the 16 years of joy and the happy times of her youth.

Church

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What do you think of when I say the word church? Joy? Good people? Pain? Hypocrisy? Unspoken?

So many thoughts…none of them wrong, but I think of home. My go to place each Wednesday and Sunday. My first boyfriend and best friend. Youth group hang outs and camps. People that prayed.

Sure it is full of broken people and sinners, but that is why I fit in so well. My brokenness is welcome here and yours should be too. My youth church closed its doors this past Sunday. Church is not a place, but still sad I cannot go back to visit the building where I was baptized. Happy to have my family with me this Easter. Hope my son has all I had in a church home and more. If you feel a certain way about church, I encourage you to try again. It is worth it.

Be the Church

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One of my favorite things to do is work in the preschool at church. I get to love on babies, play with toddlers, tell little ones about Jesus and SHOW them God’s love on display. Tell each kid that Jesus knows his or her by name.

I get to give parents an hour to worship undistracted by little ones. My time with their children help ls them to feed their souls. Is it loud and crazy…oh yes. But is it important?

Nothing else matters.

The kingdom belongs to these littles. We must be careful to train up the next generation so the church carries on until He returns.

Be the church wherever you fit in using whatever gift He bestowed upon you.

It is everything right now.

Good Father

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My husband does not always do everything the way I prefer him to do it, but one area where he excels is being a good father. He makes the time, sets boundaries and always follows through. Proud to have a front row to watch them two bond.

One thing that I am thankful for is NOT having daddy issues like many women I know. My dad modeled a genuine love for me including being present. He still is that father figure. He leaned into Jesus to learn how to be a dad because his dad was not there. Thankful my husband leans on Jesus too because my son will benefit like I did. God is a faithful Father and if you missed out having this experience as a child, know God can be trusted. Lean into Him!

Teacher Struggle

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I want to start by saying that this year for me is WAY better than last year, so I am thankful. Last year juggling virtual teaching and student absences while trying to maintain a gradebook was intense. I will always be grateful for my mental health this year, however teachers across the country are abandoning education at a massive rate. I struggled to put into words why…but then a teacher I follow on Twitter said it perfectly…

The teaching game has changed, but the mindsets of those making the decisions and laws have not. They want to “catch up” kids to make them what they use to be and these kids are not what they use to be. Families have changed, education has changed and now laws need to change. The stress being put on teachers to test and perform is breaking our spirits as more hours of tutoring, documentation and building up their SEL is exhausting. I made this TikTok last year I think of one of my favorite Christian songs called Truth Be Known. It sums us up well…looking good, but feeling weak.

https://vm.tiktok.com/TTPdkM82sU/

God is my source of hope and strength so I know my foundation is firm. I have endured this business for 20 years so I know I can endure this valley, but those that do not know any different are walking out at an alarming rate. I get it. I hate it, but I get it.

On another note, wow how Lupus has changed my hair. No clue when my hair began to fall out and thin, but seeing my hair in this Tik Tok is shocking…long, full of volume…this is it today

Not without hope, but definitely not what it was. Crazy how a medicated auto immune disease can do that. My devo today said God has a purpose for my broken body and I am putting all my faith, hope and love that it is true.

The Trauma I Never Knew I Had…

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Covid has wreaked havoc on education. Sub shortages, teachers leaving the profession, kids with anxiety and on medication…now even the leaders are retiring. So the big question is “Why?”

The short answer is apathy. In order to keep schools afloat and not ruin an academic future, schools required as little as possible. We took one grade per week, made most assignments optional, gave a choice to show up in person…we made learning easy and students got comfortable. However, what we were doing was hardly education. We were surviving.

When schools reopened, we again made many things optional and the virtual experience became a joke. Students got a year of very minimal learning as most teachers were forced to do a hybrid learning model. So now even though school was back in session, the learning struggled as teachers were overwhelmed balancing both. Later, Texas tested all of our kids while saying it did not count…was a baseline for the future. Wrong!

HB4545 is attempting to bridge the gaps of the horrific scores that “did not count” while frustrating teachers and making them feel defeated. Students have seen how minimal effort can bring a grade and failing is still nearly impossible so why put in more than the minimal? Then we got the sub issue.

Certain districts pay more than others so subs are really community members that love their community.

Watching the Amazing Race episode 3 when they shut down due to Covid, reminded me I have trauma. Trauma from life shutting down and my job closing. Trauma from sending kids home with one hug and a good bye. Trauma from virtual teaching. Trauma from homeschooling as a teacher. Trauma from learning new things and putting them to use quickly. Trauma from wanting to teach but realizing we are just giving a grade…most kids did as little as possible.

The teacher trauma is real!

Now we have schools with anxious students and teachers and leaders in very stressful situations. Balancing everyone’s mental health and not wanting anyone to break.

So here we are…brave educators digging in deep to ride this out. Kids are fragile so we all must walk carefully. No other job impacts children like teaching and I am here to stay…but things are challenging as you have to choose between scores and sanity.

It is what is, but the more support the better! Parents show you care. Teachers check on each other. Leaders show grace and compassion and serve your staff. Students come to school to learn. We can conquer this together. God is with us and suffering produces perseverance. The answers are complicated, but hope and love are strong and I believe in our business and system.