Friday, December 30, 2011
Wednesday, December 28, 2011
Tuesday, December 27, 2011
But for the past few days I've looked like this:
No scarf, no jacket, no pants (shorts, of course), and no shoes. I'm actually wearing sandals when I go out - in South Florida, of course. It's unseasonably warm here right now - about 80 degrees for the high, but it's beautiful and it's warm, and that's a good thing for me. I'll head back to the cold in Virginia in a few days, but for now I'm soaking up the warmth (not the sun though as I'd likely burn) and enjoying the warmer temps before returning to the brunt of the winter weather up north.
Sunday, December 25, 2011
But I hope that everyone has a wonderful holiday season, that you get to spend loads of time relaxing and hanging out with family,and that you indulge a bit on the treats and smells of the holiday season!
Image: © Guillaume Piolle / CC-BY-3.0 , via Wikimedia Commons
Thursday, December 22, 2011
Sunday, December 18, 2011
Monday, December 05, 2011
Saturday, December 03, 2011
Thursday, December 01, 2011
Tuesday, November 29, 2011
Sunday, November 27, 2011
Wednesday, November 23, 2011
After a long outdoor soccer season filled with rain and reschedules, it's nice to move back indoors. All of the games are at the same place, and unless we have a massive snowstorm here again, it most likely won't stack up all in the last few weeks of the season. The kids love indoor soccer, and Lucy likes to run around without being continually told to stay out of the mud, the street, and off the field. Winter soccer is a much easier thing for our family to pull off - three boys all playing travel soccer, Tom coaching one team and me managing another made for a crazy outdoor season. So, between now and about the end of March we'll be hanging at the indoor soccer place near here, hanging out int he warm, cheering the kids on as they take the field.
Tuesday, November 22, 2011
Friday, October 28, 2011
Tuesday, October 25, 2011
Sunday, October 23, 2011
Saturday, October 22, 2011
Thursday, October 20, 2011
Monday, October 17, 2011
Saturday, October 15, 2011
Sunday, October 09, 2011
Saturday, October 08, 2011
Wednesday, October 05, 2011
Wednesday, September 28, 2011
Sunday, September 11, 2011
Friday, September 09, 2011
Thursday, September 08, 2011
Wednesday, September 07, 2011
thought it was fun. Max liked some of his teachers a LOT, and some he left out completely, so I'm guessing he was non-plussed. He learned some stuff about the school, where his locker might be (they'll get those next week), and that he's the only 6th grader in the Advanced/Symphonic band. Not sure what that means either, but hey, he's excited. All three boys were glad to go back the second day, and so I'm hoping that this will be
a great year. Buses ran on time, supplies were delivered ahead of time, and everyone made it to and from school in one piece. Max made some new friends, Ian and Sam ran across loads of old ones, and all is right in the world. And now, I nap.
Tuesday, September 06, 2011
Saturday, September 03, 2011
Thursday, September 01, 2011
Two years ago I was smacking myself up the side of the head because I left some letters and supplies at home. Today we went to our 6th year of Open Houses, hit two of them today, and didn't break a sweat. Instead of just attending, I set up the PTA stuff, handed out the school supplies, and helped with the ice cream scooping briefly. We had school spirit shop sales that exceeded our expectations, served up a TON of ice cream (probably close to 800 scoops) and got most of the supplies out the door. In addition, we visited three classrooms for the two little boys, cleaned up the cafeteria and gym, and came home. All this after attending Max's open house this morning and exploring his new school (sans ice cream). Wild, crazy day.
September 06, 2009
If this were any other job I'd be fired
Wait, this is my full time job yet after this screw up no one sent me to the unemployment office. Let me explain. I am a stay at home mom. I have four kids, three of whom are in school. The baby would LOVE to be in school (and she finds herself there often while I'm volunteering for things), but she's still a little squirt and has a few years left before she joins her brothers. Anyway, today was the boys' school open house, and we were not only supposed to take them in to meet their teachers, but also bring their school supplies up, and write letters introducing them to their new teachers. Well, I took them to the open house. Yes, we showed up - on time, I'll add - but that was it.
I wrote no letters and the school supplies are still sitting in my basement. I failed on two out of three counts on this particular project. If I was getting evaluated for this performance I'd get really, really low marks, or even fired if it was a big project for a client. But for some reason I'm allowed to slide, a lot. At my job, you see, the rewards are huge, and the repercussions of miscues (that's what we'll call it - a miscue instead of a complete failure to execute) are minor, if any. No one here is watching me to see if my performance is up to par, and no one judges when I miss deadlines or slip up a bit. So I guess I'll be driving up to the school on the first day loaded down with supplies. And I guess I need to hop on writing those letters before next Tuesday. And then I'll be thankful that I can't get fired from this job because apparently I am a little too lax on the details periodically. Then again so is pretty much every other mom that I know - they slip up occasionally too - so I'll just step back now and take a breath. Oh, yeah, and get those letters done ASAP.
Monday, August 29, 2011
Sunday, August 28, 2011
Thursday, August 25, 2011
Saturday, August 20, 2011
Thursday, August 18, 2011
Sunday, August 14, 2011
Once again the issue of Adequate Yearly Progress and the Federal mandate to have all kids passing all state achievement tests by 2014 has popped up. Several years ago I wrote about how we looked past the tests at the school that my kids attend. As my kids roll up and out of one of the best schools around, I look back on what I wrote. Along with over half of the schools in our district, we once again failed to make Adequate Yearly Progress. We made it last year so the ramifications are less than they would be had we not made it last year, but something has to give. The idea of Federal waivers that will drive states towards holding teachers accountable for test scores (and towards Race to the Top which our state withdrew from), well, that's unacceptable. We can't hold teachers hostage and at the same time accountable for test results. SO much of my kids' day is already driven by SOL tests (that's what they are called in VA). Can't imagine what life will be like if there are waivers in place that tied the teacher's hands even further and they aren't allowed to actually teach? Sigh...
October 05, 2007
Adequate Yearly Progress
I recently had a discussion with a mother whose child was in preschool and she was wondering where to send her kiddo for Kindergarden. She was concerned about the low scores and also the large number of kids on free or reduced lunch at the local elementary school, yet she'd heard so many good things about the school. There was a diconnect. While some folks in the area understand all of the dynamics of the Fairfax County schools, not everyone "gets it." I know that we didn't when we first arrived here, yet I find myself regularly explaining to family and friends why the test scores don't accurately reflect the education that my son is getting at this school. Here is a blog entry I wrote a few weeks ago in response to the report that Fairfax County failed to achieve Adequate Yearly Progress across the board, and also as an answer to the question of why we send our son to this school.
"The Fairfax County school system for the first time failed to meet academic goals under the No Child Left Behind Act, largely because many students with limited English skills struggled on reading tests that were given in response to a federal order, according to school officials and scores released yesterday." -Excerpt from the Washington Post; By Maria Glod and Michael Alison Chandler; Washington Post Staff Writers; Friday, August 24, 2007; Page A01
My child attends a school that did not make Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) according to government standards.
My child attends a school that has not made AYP in the past as well.
My child attends a school where 45% of the students are not proficient in English.
My child attends a school where 54% of the students are on free or reduced lunch.
My child attends a school where he is a minority in many ways.
My child attends a school where 42% of the population participates in the English for Speakers of Other Languages Program.
But my child also attend a school where there are children from 40 countries that speak 20 different languages.
My child attends a school where there is true racial diversity - 14% Asian/Pacific Islander, 6% Black, 48% Hispanic, 26% While, and 5% Other.
My child attends a school where there were no serious incidents or firearm violations, and only two fights last year.
My child attend a school that has had more winners of the Fairfax County Teacher of the Year than any other elementary school.
My child attends a school with an outdoor habitat learning lab, a black box theater, a museum in progress, a state of the art communication lab where students produce their own TV shows and videos, a staffed math lab and a staffed science lab.
My child attends a magnet school for the arts and sciences.
My child attends a school that has a foreign language partial immersion program in Spanish.
My child attends a school that offers about 30 before and after school classes ranging from athletics to science to band to arts and crafts. These classes cover things like photography, healthy eating, drama, basketball, sewing, soccer, science experiments, and many more. These classes are open to everyone, regardless of their ability to pay.
My child attend a school where kids are given a chance to learn, regardless of where they came from or what language they speak.
My child attend a school where he learns.
My child attends a school he loves.
My child attends a school that really doesn't leave any child behind, regardless of the adequate yearly progress that we do or do not make.
This was posted at Confessions of a Not So Well Behaved Woman on August 26, 2007
Saturday, August 13, 2011
Saturday, August 06, 2011
1. Listen. Take everything in the whole way.
2. Don’t judge. Consider whatever you receive as real and true for its own reasons. Remember the truest stories are most often secrets. Treat them as unexpected, hidden treasures.