Category: School

Fall

Fall is my favorite season. I love putting on a long sleeved T shirt. That slight chill in the air. Sitting outside in the evenings with no bugs. Oh yes I am excited for the month or two that is before us. This fall is … Continue reading Fall

The Blizzard

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We are to be getting a Blizzard of Armageddon proportions today.  You know the type; the media is in a frenzy, the stores are packed and you have your rations of milk, eggs and bread.

I often wonder what are we to do with this milk, eggs and bread.  Is the staple meal with a blizzard, french toast.  Why wouldn’t we just have our normal groceries in the house and just eat our normal menu.  I am very glad in times like this I am a caner.  I can open a jar of soup, or meat to make a meal.  Very handy to have in situations like this.

So there is this hype and frenzy in the air with a storm.  Mind you not one flake has fallen yet but a big percentage of the schools in the state have already closed.  A major metro school district, St Paul, is closing at noon.  That floors me- these predictions better be good.  We are still in school but the school closings are getting closer and closer to us.  We are now seeing schools within a 30 mile radius are closing.

I don’t know what to think.  An old fashion big ol’ blizzard would be fun.  Watching the snow get higher and higher is exciting to watch.  No one has to leave tomorrow so we would be safe.  We have our bread, milk and eggs.  Then there is this practical adult part of my brain that is saying NO we don’t want this.  Our cars will be covered in snow.  Then we have to shovel this snow.  As soon as I am done shoveling the plow goes by and makes a wall that is waist deep that we now have to shovel through.

So we wait, and we wait.  The electricity in the air of anticipation is almost to much.  Technology is such that we can text friends and family far and near, “Is it doing anything by you yet.”  Yes that childlike part in my soul is ready for a big Minnesota Blizzard.

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I Need To Keep My Head Up

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This past month I have felt like this a lot.  I have felt like I am drowning.  Yes I try to be the optimist, the glass is half full type of girl.  I just can’t keep that up all the time.  I can’t keep the smile on my face that everything is fine and everything is great.  I am the glue that tries to keep it all together in my family but lately I am having a hard time doing this.

I finally confided in my husband and told him that I am really having a hard time keeping it all together lately.  I feel like I am drowning and I am sick of keeping the smile on my face when I miss half a conversation and have no idea what someone said to me when they walk up to me at school or church.  I am sick of working so hard to understand all that is being said.  I am just sick and tired of life being hard.

Everyone has troubles in their lives and I try not to ever be a person that says well my troubles are worse than your troubles.  I hate when someone says, “At least it is not cancer.”  Yes I am glad of that also but guess what hearing loss, a son on the autism spectrum, anxiety, and so on isn’t that great either.  Everyone has trials in their lives, let them grieve and work through their trials.  Don’t discount it that a problem isn’t big enough, in their life it is a mountain.

My husbands employer has this new health insurance hoops you have to jump through.  We have to do an online health assessment and then talk to a health advisor.  I am fine with this until they talked to me about the stress and anxiety aspect.  1st off they knew of the hearing loss since that was one of the questions I had to answer.  They asked why I have stress.  I told them I walk into a building and I always feel off guard at first if I will understand people talking to me and understand what is being said there.  Their answer was deep breathing and I just need to believe and tell myself that everything is good and I can hear it all.  REALLY- I was hoping for some relaxation techniques.  I informed them I can’t make the hearing loss go away so in reality I am not going to hear it all.  They came back with I can tell myself I hear fine and that will take care of the stress.  Wow I didn’t know how to respond.  If this is what the insurance companies are going to tell us we can will all our troubles and our worlds troubles away.

I work at the school as a substitute teacher.  It seems to be getting harder and harder in some ways.  I like certain classrooms a lot, I like the high school.  I know I can hear decent in them and I know I won’t run into problems.  But the hallways, lunchroom, and the elementary school I just want to run away.  I feel like the air is being squeezed out of me.  I hate it and there is no way I can hear anything.  The elementary school is like a horror movie for me.  Little voices and always a sea of background noise I just cringe going in there.  This past week I was to work at the elementary school Monday and Tuesday.  I felt sick all weekend even thinking about these two days.  I don’t know what my negative feelings did but we ended up getting an early November snowstorm, we received over a foot of snow.  SNOW DAY on Monday and two hours late on Tuesday.  My prayers were answered!!! I hate that I dread going to work or certain places.  I hate that I have this sense of failure of events coming up.

I just need to get over these feelings.  I will, I am not worried about it.  I will learn some new coping techniques.  I am trying to learn speech reading which I really believe will be a huge asset to me.  I need to reach out to the friends that I know will be there when there is a bad day and understand.  I need to speak up, I need to say what I need instead of saying sorry like I was a problem.

It is going to be a long winter I am afraid.  This will be my winter to learn new things.  Maybe just maybe when spring comes again I will have some new skills and instead of this drowning feeling I am having I will be having a sense of renewal, just like my tulips coming up to see the sun.

Life as a Substitute Teacher

Life as a substitute teacher is a life of the unknown. Do I work today or not? Always a question of where to work, what grade, and what kids.  I have been hard of hearing at this level for about 6 months or so. I am very new to this chapter of my life. A few people have told me, that I was proactive and didn’t stay in the land of denial and disbelief for any amount of time. I think the main reason I was proactive and ordered that first hearing aid was because I was sure I wouldn’t be able to work at the school, I wouldn’t be able to hear the kids all talking to me at once. I FEARED the loss of my job. I still have a problem with many kids talking at once, hearing aids are aids not miracles. I felt in my heart of hearts if I didn’t tackle this head on and immediately I would no longer have a job.

So what changes if any did I need to make as a substitute teacher and hard of hearing. One major thing I had to do was make sure I got those calls at 6:30 in the morning. We live in a small house and only have one phone jack so one phone in the house that is not in a bedroom, living room, or the basement. I have the school call my cell phone. I can usually remember to have that with me.   I also had to make sure my ringtone is nice and loud, but I also don’t want to annoy anyone else around me. The one thing I was given which I really like is this little device.

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This nice little battery operated stand will start brightly flashing when the phone has vibrated. This has been a great thing when I happen to be sleeping, and no hearing aids in.  I don’t hear the phone call but open my eyes to a light flashing. I can call the school back and not miss those jobs. Before I had this I was missing a lot of calls and I had to do something I was dreading. I had to let our secretary know that I am hard of hearing and I am missing your phone calls not just ignoring you. I got the kindest response, just a big thank you for all the subbing I do. I am not sure why I was so scared to let someone know.

I work in our local school district, which is small town and maybe 60-70 kids per grade level. A lot smaller then I was raised with. With having such a small amount of kids I know them. I have worked with them for 7 years; I have seen these kids grow. One thing I really like to use in the classroom is an FM system. I have seen these used before. Some teachers use them and some don’t. My son has an IEP and it states use of the FM system for his mild hearing loss. I try to use the FM system in every class I am in. For myself, and for students the use of the microphone is a nice way to make an effort that everyone can hear what is going on in the classroom.  I try to have no one including myself left behind.

There are classes that are much easier for me to teach in than others. Kindergarten through about 2nd grade really scares me. Why…they all talk to me at once in their little voices. I miss a huge amount of the content of what they are saying. I really try to implement one child at a time when I am in the class. An English class is usually an easy one, quiet and usually just reading. Now coming up I will be the agriculture teacher for three days. I know already this will be very stressful. It is a huge room with industrial fans, shop noise with industrial tech next door. I will sit facing the students and the door ( I don’t hear someone coming in the room), kids now to come up to me and face me to ask to leave class.

I guess my job is the same as all subs. I just have to make sure I am aware of what is going on. Make sure my eyes are on the kids and the kid’s eyes are on me. I would like to hear about what if any changes you have had to make in your career.

Feeling Blessed

The past couple week for me have been ones of thinking, planning and reflecting.  I feel a strong tug to do something different in my life.  If that is a different job, different volunteer opportunities and different experiences.  It has to be little baby steps and living in a rural area nothing is close, I don’t have a plethora of opportunities.  So I made up my resume.  I think it has been almost 15 years since I have done a resume.  It has been a good learning experience.  I have applied for a few jobs and I have been turned down for a few jobs.

Last week I applied for a very unique experience.  I have had a 45 minute phone interview (thank you for an amplified phone).  If I would get this job I would be a literacy tutor for grades K-3 in our local school.  What an awesome opportunity.  To be a constant in a childs life and get them to that magical goal of reading.  I hope I can be that person in a little persons life.  I hope to hear this week if I will be going on to the next interview.

Another part of the dreaming comes with this tutor job.  At the end of my year I would receive an education gift.  It is a rather good amount of money to further my education.  Wow does the dreaming begin.  What would I do?  What would I study?  I don’t know I have ideas swirling in my head faster than snowflakes in a blizzard.  I am thinking deaf and hard of hearing something with that.  Maybe teacher for deaf and hard of hearing or a vocational or rehabilitation counselor.  Just don’t know too many decisions.

Then today to start of the week with a blessing and a half.  I subbed in Ag again today.  I have to say it was much better today than the last time.  Not one scissor got thrown across the room.  I shouldn’t even have to say that.  So back to the issue at hand…got home to a letter in the mailbox.  I was gifted a hearing aid from the Sertoma club.  I was beyond speechless and tears were flowing.  I will be balanced (haha-one in both ears).  This is a gift I can never repay and I am so humbled.  I go to my audiologist on Thursday morning.

We just had our wedding anniversary and I just feel this will be a year of changes and I pray these changes will be good ones for our family.

My Yellow Belt Miracle

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Look at the attention that my dear son, Henry, is holding.  It is amazing to me and that is the main reason this picture had to be taken.  You see my boy hasn’t always sat like this let alone be in a room of people watching him.  I thought I would take this opportunity to shed a little light on how Henry used to be till now.  The problems he has had are not gone totally but they are handled and he know how to hold himself and his emotions in check….for the most part.

Henry was born 5.5 years ago and he was just the cutest little thing.  He was always very reserved as an infant and as a toddler.  He was also a sick little guy.  He would spike a fever so easily and so fast.  It was about every 3 weeks he would spike a fever between 105-106 degrees.  He and I spent lots of time in the ER and the doctor’s offices.  It was determined a good year after this trend started that he needed his tonsils and adnoids out.  Thank god he has never spiked a high fever again since that surgery.  After that surgery attention was turned to could he hear? That was the big question, being past the age of 2 and not babbling or really making any noises.  So after more paperwork and talking with the doctors, and school district (early intervention) we went to an audiologist.  Henry was found to be right at the line for moderate hearing loss.  Being at a moderate hearing loss myself I know now that would not be easy to learn speech and interact.  Henry had glue ear and had surgery to remove that and put tubes in and they also clipped his tongue at that time.  His hearing has gone to a mild loss and that is where he is still at today.  He entered ECSE (early childhood special education) at the age of 3, Occupational therapy, and speech therapy.  He has made huge strides in the past couple years.  During that time was full of  appts, worry and constant love for him.  Henry had a grand mal seizure at school one day so that was then a trip to a neurologist, EEG, MRI.  It hasn’t happened again and hopefully will not.  Henry was also diagnosed with PDD-NOS during the time of preschool.  PDD-NOS is under the Autism Spectrum umbrella.  Henry also has SPD, sensory processing disorder.  I believe this is what has affected him the most.  From hating the sound and feel of water falling on him.  To having complete meltdowns walking into a store or restaurant that is full of people, bright lights and loud sounds.  We still have moments this all comes back but it is getting better.  He still has huge issues with food (most things are OH SO YUCKY).

This brings me to Friday.  My handsome son is in kindergarten, speaking at his age level, and interacting with friends.  He is in TaeKwonDo and had a promotional test Friday night.  I get so nervous and proud at those tests if it is for Henry or Greta.  I am so proud to say Henry PASSED his test.  He passed all his material on the first time.  He ran across the gym and while doing a flying sidekick he broke a board!!!! He did it with people watching him and he did great.  So proud of both of my kids.  I think of two years ago and never in a million years would I think we would be here today.  Miracles, hard work, prayers, and help do work.  I know I have a little boy with a yellow belt living in my home as proof.

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