Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Life in Alaska

We have had a very dry (brown) winter with very little snow this year.

Thursday, March 5th, was our last day with students before our "Spring Break".  I took our students on a walking field trip to find a geocache.  It was warm, sunny, and I had to work on keeping them out of mud puddles!

Saturday, March 7th was the Ceremonial start of the Iditarod Sled Dog Race in Anchorage - extremely warm temperatures had caused the race organizers to move the official start from Willow, to Fairbanks.  I had visions of walks outside during my time off and maybe find a geocache or two.

On Monday, the first "real" day off?

COLD!  Bone chilling, the whole week and into the weekend, some days temperatures were below zero!

I could live with that.  After all, I live in Alaska and it is still, for us, winter.

But, Mother Nature can be cruel.

Now that we are back in school?

Warm and sunny, with temps above freezing!

Friday, March 13, 2015

Quick Knitting and Life Update

The wingspan is done, but I am on Spring Break and "too busy" to take pictures!  That's really it on the knitting front.

On the teaching/employment front?  Lots of changes.

I don't recall if I shared or not, but after 2 1/2 years working with the current principal, and having positive evaluations, and never a negative word to me, I received a less than positive evaluation from him.

My husband recommended I just "walk away" and stated he knows I will not go back to teaching after my Leave of Absence.

me:  But I might......

him:  No you won't, and you know it!

Yes, I know it.  There are more things wrong with my job than the principal. After teaching in a state that was in the top 10% in the nation, and coming here, that is rated bottom 10% in the nation for education, I have struggled.  I am forced to use curriculum that would have gotten me laughed out of my school in the lower 48!

I wrote a rebuttal about negative comments made on my evaluation, had the union look at it, was told it was well written and one of the best rebuttals he had read.  I stuck to the facts, and was very professional.  My claim was that up until November 24, the principal acted in a manner that led me to believe he was satisfied with my job performance, and that changed after I called in the union to protect my rights.

That was almost a month ago and I've heard nothing.

Last Friday was a Work Day for end of the grading period and the day before Spring Break.   I got all my Special Education paperwork up to date and handed in. Some of it was late, but, up until I called the union, I was getting planning time less than 20% of the time, and was working 6-7 days a week, 10-12 hour days to make sure all my paper work was on time and I've stopped that.  I am almost working to rule, I try to work no more than an hour over our contract day.  Whatever doesn't get done, for the most part waits until the next work day.  I have brought home a few things, like the day before an IEP meeting, I had to get some things done I could be ready.  I am finding that I'm working smarter!  I have the mentality it has to get done today, and not, "well if I don't get to it, I'll bring it home or come in over the weekend!" I brought nothing home over our spring break!

Unless I get new students between now and the end of the school year (which is possible), I am all done with Special Education paperwork, at least IEP's, and ESY determination meetings.  I'lll still have to write progress reports, and end of year reports.

Today, I am meeting with my new boss at the barn where the equine assisted therapy center is.

I have decided to spend more time on my TpT store, and am creating a packet for E/BD teachers that will include the spread sheet I use as well as how I set up my classroom (which I have been informed by our district's Behavior Health Professional is a model classroom for E/BD students).

If you need a spread sheet to document things, let me know, please, let me know!  I can create a spreadsheet that does amazing things - I am often amazed what I can get them to do!

I currently have two spreadsheets in my TpT store that track minutes read for Idita-read: odd and even years. I guess if I was really on the ball, I would have created one for this year, the "we didn't get enough snow and had to start in Fairbanks" year!

The spreadsheets calculates minutes read each week and then states what checkpoint the students have read to!

So, I am off to the barn to smell horses and see what I need to do to get that job going!

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Melody Wingspan, Week 3

This weekend was my second with WingSpan.

I have 31 grams left of yarn - hoping I will get two more triangles
(if I had only weighed my skeins pre/post triangles I would know if I have enough).

My friend brought in her Wingspan to work yesterday:

She is using hand spun for her fiber guild's challenge.

This is "Tattered Wingspan"  I like it and think I'll be digging through my own hand spun and knit up a Tattered Wingspan for myself!