Thoughts From The Mind of A Princess

My faith is like shifting sand changed by every wave; My faith is like shifting I stand on grace. -Caedmon's Call Shifting Sand Isaiah 26:8, James 1:4, James, 1:22-27

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Balancing Act

As you can probably guess, with the start of the school year and the start of my first semester of grad school, I am pretty stressed out. It takes a lot to stress me out. I worry by nature, but I don't really "stress out." I adapt quite quickly to change, and I always do what it takes to get things done.

School (teaching) has been pretty good this year--much, much better than last year. The only thing I have been really dealing with is the size of my classes. I teach 3 of the 5 English II Honors classes at my school and the only English II Pre-AP class. According to my principal, our classes should have no more than 33 students enrolled. Well, my honors classes have 48, 50, and 50 students in them!! I have a small classroom--it was difficult last year with only 37 students in a class. I literally have nowhere for these kids to sit--they sit in chairs all along the wall, or against a counter that have computers on it. I won't even try to describe how difficult it has been to stay on top of grading papers...

To make matters worse, students have begun getting annoyed with the class size and have asked to be transfered to my Pre-AP class. In case you are not familiar, Pre-AP is the next step higher than an honors class. It is designed to prepare you for Advanced Placement classes. It is an intensive and fast-paced curriculum focusing on higher-level thinking, analysis of literature, all while preparing for FCAT and covering the normal English II curriculum. It is a very interactive type of class and an in-depth grading system is required. Needless to say, the ideal size for this type of class is no more than 28-30. Guidance has been allowing students to transfer in without my authorization and has been allowing C+ students to enroll in a class that requires a prereq. of an A in English I. I have voiced my opinions loud and clearly in this situation, and now can only be patient until a new teacher is hired.

School (UCF) is okay. All three of my classes deal with research. I have a twenty-page research plan due at the end of the semester for the only class I attend on campus. One of my online classes is actually fun--it deals with reading trends in American education and allows me to really take a look at my reading curriculum. My other online course is kicking my butt!! The professor is really intimidating, and I've never even met her in person!! I have a paper due this Sunday by 5pm. You can probably guess what I'll be doing as soon as school lets out on Friday.

Church has been pretty exciting--we are growing in numbers and it looks like we'll be buying land and building very soon. The worship team is still fun, except the rehearsal schedule keeps changing which causes me to stress out even more because rehearsal cuts into homework or grading time.

My family is doing well. Tina is getting married in April; Cheryl and Brian are still in the Trinity area; Ronnie is well, as is Jon. My parents are the same, working hard and living life the way God calls them to.

Things with Phil and I are going very well. It seems like every day someone is asking one of us when we are getting married. We usually just shrug it off or laugh. We've talked about it, and I am pretty sure the intent is there, but we are in no hurry. We are both very happy with where our relationship is, and won't take the next step until we know that is what God wants us to do. I must say, that Phil has been absolutely amazing with my transistion. I've been calling him with very tense and tearful venting sessions. He sits there and just allows me to get it all out. He visits me while I do homework, and helps me out wherever he can. I have been trying to do the same but he understands how busy I am. I can tell it has been at bit taxing on him but I am so grateful that he continues to support and love me. What an amazing man God has blessed me with!!

Well I guess that's it for now. I gotta' go get some sleep. TTYL!!

Tuesday, August 23, 2005


Check out this personality test. It's pretty interesting.

I'm" a O47-C94-E91-A38-N32 Big Five!!

Sunday, August 21, 2005


The other day, we had somewhat of a fiasco with the marching band kids at my school (I am on staff with my school's marching band and really enjoy it). In between the end of school and the report time for our first home game, the staff went out to have a quick dinner at the Ale House. We cherish this time because it is an hour or two away from the students where we can just talk and relax before having to put on our staff shirt and be adults. During this time, the kids know to relax, get something to eat, and have a little fun before having to put their uniform on and focus for that evening's performance.

Apparently while we were gone, some of the kids decided to stand out in a lightening storm, jump around all over the front of the school, and drag race in the school parking lot. Technically we are not responsible for the kids during this time because they are on a break away from school. The catch is that most of them wear the t-shirts that have the title of the field show and "Freedom High School" plastered on the front, thus making themselves a billboard for our band, whether they are acting like monkeys or like resposible teenagers (oxymoron?). Well, when we all got back to school we were bombarded with student leadership, teachers, and administrators giving all the details of the afternoon's activities.

Of course the Director of Bands called everyone into the band room and gave them a firm talking-to about how stupid they were acting and how disappointed the staff is with them. As the kids were coming into the room to get seated for the "talk", one of my former students, who is also a percussionist, called me over. His face was bright red, his knee was moving uncontrolably, and he couldn't look me in the face. He was explaining to me that he was one of the alleged drag-racers but the story was getting blown out of proportion. He proceeded to give me the details of what actually happened and how scared he was, all while trying to fight back tears. I tried to be as firm as possible, explaining that perception is everything in this world, that even when we haven't done something to the extent of what people perceive, unfortunately that perception is what is going to be at the forefront of people's minds. He seemed to understand what I was telling him. He sat and listened to the director talk to the entire band, and accepted the band-wide punishment.

As the kids were dismissed from the band room to get set up on the football field for a run-through of the show before getting dressed, the alleged drag-racer's mother was in the band room. She came to talk to me and another staff member. I could tell she was fighting back tears so we just stood with her and listened as she vented. She told us how angry she was with her child because "he knows better than this" (the mom is very active at our school and the adminstrator who caught her son knows her very well). She then explained that if her son actually did drag race, she could deal with that but she could not deal with the thought of her son lying to her face. Apparently as soon as she found out what had happened, she came to the band room to find her son and get to the bottom of the issue. After finding him (we told her that he was hiding in the bathroom, trying to figure out how to handle the discussion with his mom that he knew was coming), she confronted her son. She went on to tell us that she and her son have a saying from the bible "Let your yesses mean yes and your nos mean no." Well when she asked her son if he was drag racing in the parking lot, he looked her in the eye and said "My yes means yes." She started crying as she was telling us this story. It was quite difficult to listen to the mom pour out her heart without being touched.

Later in the evening as I was driving home (from our first home victory and a decent first performance of the season), I began reflecting on this situation. I tried to imagine what I would do in this situation. I hope that I will be able to hold my anger back enough to listen to my child and try to get a grasp on the situation. I hope that I could have enough love and compassion for my child that I would handle the situation in a manner that would not demean, but still discipline. I hope that when I have kids, I have a kid that will know the Word and will be able to tell me that his yes is a yes or his no is a no. This alleged drag-racer was a student of mine last year so I've become quite fond of him and his mother. I wonder if I'll ever be able to tell them that they have given me a glimpse of the future relationship I hope to have with my children.

Friday, August 12, 2005

Big Brother 6

Does anyone else watch this show? I am absolutely addicted to it! Last night, I sat in a movie theater and watched 7 hours of DCI (quarterfinals). I got home around 11ish but could not go to bed until I watched Thursday's episode of Big Brother. Throughout the entire 8 o'clock hour, I kept whispering to Phil about predictions of the show. If you've never watched it, I highly recommend it. It is on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays (at 8 or 9pm, I can't remeber which time on which night) on CBS. It is so much better than all the other Reality-Competition shows!!

Monday, August 08, 2005

Post The First Day of School

OMG!! I am so not ready to be back in school. I am exhausted!! I got home around 7ish and slept for almost 2 1/2 hours!! Either I did not sleep well last night or I am getting old. This is insane!!!!!!

Seriously though, other than being exhausted, my feet hurting from wearing high heels again, the AC being out for the beginning of the day, and class sizes ranging from 35-48 students, the day went well. It's too early to tell how the kids are, but I'll keep you posted. One thing I can say is that I love my principal. Someone once told me that the difference between a good school and a bad school is the principal. I am a firm believer now.

Well, I need to get organized for tomorrow and then head to bed. I'll update soon, hopefully.

Sunday, August 07, 2005

Pre-The First Day of School

I am getting ready for bed and I have butterflies in my tummy. I am entering my fifth year of teaching and this has happened to me every year. I am not really nervous, just anxious. Please pray that tomorrow goes well, along with the rest of the year. I'll let you know how it went. G'night (hopefully). ;-)

Saturday, August 06, 2005

"Do you like teaching?"

I really don't have anything profound to say right now other than it's my final Saturday before the students come back to school. My plan for today is to try on some new clothes I bought (on credit--bad, bad girl!!), buy a few last minute things for my classroom, and then stop by my school to drop those things off and take a last glance around my classroom to make sure everything is in order for Monday.

Someone asked me the other day, "Do you like teaching?" My immediate response is "Yeah, I do." I actually do enjoy my job. Unfortunately I don't live in a state that supports their teachers or values education. In fact, I think the state legislature is trying to make the public school system crumble. I don't have a lot of factual evidence to support that statement, just personal experience, but when I get some evidence, I'll share it with you.

Teaching is a very unique career--you are in charge of making sure a group of students master the curriculum you present them within 10 months. High school is a weird age group because you would expect that these teenagers are ready to take on responsibilty and you can challenge their minds to expand, but in many cases lately, they are not. I've been out of the public school system as a student for ten years now. It has changed dramatically, in my opinion. There is very little respect from parents and students, you are responsible for every little thing that child does in and out of your presence, and even though many of these kids have grown up quicker than they should have, they cannot handle the responsibilty you place on them (seriously, how difficult is it to take home a novel and read 20 pages?!). The state is constantly changing their standards and expectations and forget to tell you about the changes, you cannot say anything, think anything, have an out-loud opinion about anything, or else you will be brought up on charges. You work your butt off to make sure your classroom is a safe, inviting place to be, that your teaching style is challenging yet attention-grabbing, that you state your expectations up front only to have a parent or child complain and then a superintendent or school board member side with the parent or student, and that you cover every single benchmark/standard that state expects you to cover. On the other side, you've got people in the profession sleeping with their students, molesting children on a bus or in their classroom, stealing money from the buget, and solisiting prositutes on OBT!

Do I like teaching? Yes I do, because I know that in most cases I am a respected professional. I make a difference, both educationally and personally. I work hard at what I do and I am damn good a what I do!! School starts on Monday--BRING IT ON!!