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Saturday, November 10, 2007

Refugees and Vampires

Ok.. So I am definitely using this blog just as I use a journal. NEVER. LOL! I love to write and journal but I seem to be very sporatic at best writing things down.

So first the GOOD:

My daughter got a 3.8 with 5 H's (Honors) in citizenship. I cannot begin to describe how incredibly proud I am of her. WOW!!! I NEVER came close to that. I was a very bad student begninning in as early as 3rd grade. I was one of those very smart, very annoying and underachieving students. So... to have 2 children that enjoy school and have good citizenship... I am just THRILLED!

My son's report card should be officially coming any day. He is in an advanced placement program and is definitely above a third grade level. He's probably about where most of my 5th graders are. His citizenship is coming along. He is a chatterbox.

Also some other great things going on in my life. I am finally dealing pretty well with that fact that I've had between 33-35 student this year. I am really proud of myself, because I have implemented some really great ideas this year into my classroom. I feel like my students are truly learning and that I am really being able to positively motivate them.

One of the most heartbreaking parent conference experiences in my life occurred just a couple of weeks ago. I have a Somalian Refugee boy in my class. He is tiny compared to all the other students, and his behavior is terrible. He hits, bothers, walks around aimlessly, and most of the time doesn't understand what's going on. Of course I absolutely love him, but I have to be honest, he is difficult.

Anyway... I was excited that we found a translator for our conference, and I was ready to tell the mother what was going on at school and hopeful that I could get some support from her at home.

As we sat down... the mother immediately started talking to the translator and the translator told me that she was saying he was a terrible kid and wouldn't listen to her at home and even hits her. Oh MY!!!

So... I quickly knew that I was not going to get support at school, and I decided to just try to keep it positive somehow. I said I would send home his notebook everyday and put a smiley face if he was good at school and a frowny face if he wasn't. And... to my surprise, this has really been effective!

A couple of days later I had a note in my box that said this boy would be having a new guardian shortly because the mother was dying of liver cancer. Holy Cow!!! No wonder the dang kid is acting out. Then, I met with his educational advisor so to speak, and he was telling me about how this boy escaped from Somalia and witnessed his own father's death. Holy, Holy COW!!! My gosh! Right here in my own classroom.

I have to say this is just one story among the many of others that are in my classroom this year. Another girl was upset because her mother couldn't make it to conference because she has Lupus and was in the hospital.

So... Why have I felt overwhelmed and at times seriously depressed? I want to HELP these children more than words can say and the feeling of helplessness easily overwhelms me. BUT!!! I have truly given myself some credit! I have felt so rewarded this school year already. I have worked hard to help each one of these students feel important and special, and it has effected me this year more than any of the 8 previous years. I feel so emotionally invested but mostly in a great, positive way. I desperately want each one of these kids to be successful just as I have those same hopes and dreams for my own kids.

OK... Enough about school.

Another thing that has kept me extremely busy this last week... Vampires Lol! I am reading a new book series called "Twilight". Oh MY!!! I think I've found my new favorite books. (Sorry Harry... time to let Bella in.) I can't even begin to explain why or how it has drawn me it, but it HAS and I am addicted. LOL I am easily addicted to anything so that's not saying much. But... I do feel like this book has changed me and some of my outlooks and opinions on certain issues.

But... most of all why I LOVE this series... I love that my daughter and I have something in common that we can talk about and that can "connect" us. It's so interesting to read it and think about what my daughter is thinking and then to think about how I am reacting as a parent. I can NOT believe that I have a 12 year old going on 13 daughter. No wonder I feel like I am going to have a nervous breakdown and my midlife crisis at 31. LOL!!!

Ok... So bottom line... Life is Good and the outlook... Hmmm.... maybe I'll start thinking about becoming a vampire.

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