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Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Fun Ideas for your middle school graduation Sweatshirts -- S post

When it comes times for your students to graduate from middle school, it can be nice to have a small memento for them. One option that a lot of teachers choose is to give each student their own sweatshirt. This way they have something to wear, something they can remember their time at the school with, and something that will last for a long time. When putting these sweatshirts together, there are a few fun things you can do to make them even more special.

The first suggestion we have is to get the sweatshirts in the same colors as your school. Most schools have one or two main colors that represent them, so consider getting the sweatshirt in these same colors. You can either have both colors on each sweatshirt, or have two options for which color sweatshirt the student would like. Looking at these colors will instantly remind the students of your school and the time that they spent there, along with instilling a sense of school spirit in them.

Secondly, you can put a custom logo onto the sweatshirt. Instead of using the same logo that represents your school, you may want to put something that is a little newer and more exciting on it. This will make the students excited to see the sweatshirt when it finally comes out. One thing you could do is hold a contest among the students to design the new logo, then pick the one that gets the most votes. This will allow the students to feel more involved in the process. If you want to create your own custom logos, there are plenty of sites on the web that can help you out.

Our third option is to list all of the student’s names on the back of the sweatshirt. Having each member of the graduating class on the back of the sweatshirt will help the students remember who they went to school with when they look back on it. It also creates a sense of community, having everyone's name listed under the same heading. You can either list the students name alphabetically, or by “homeroom” if you desire. Just be sure that each student's name is spelled correctly before you place your order, and that no one is missing!

Fourth, along these same lines, is to put each individual student's name on the back of the sweatshirt. Almost like an athletic jersey, this will allow the students' sweatshirts to be unique to them, while still keeping them among the group. You could also ask each student to pick their own name that goes on the back, allowing them to put on a nickname if they desire. This will make them laugh as the years go by and they see the sweatshirt with the name they picked on the back of it.

There are a lot of things you can do to make your school's sweatshirts unique. If you need some other ideas, we recommend asking some other teachers who have done it. The key thing to remember is to try and keep it geared towards the students, and towards your school. This is a memento to help them remember the time spent at the school, along with the people they spent it with. You can easily do this with a sweatshirt if you just be a little creative. In the end you'll have a great souvenir for all of the students, something for them to take with them as they leave your school for the last time. 

Thursday, February 19, 2015

I am not Father Time

"Hurry up! We've only got 10 minutes!"


This scenario plays out in my house at least three and probably closer to 17 times a day.

While I appreciate the unadulterated power the girls have bestowed upon me, the assumption that the sun rises and sets at my command, I simply do not have control over how fast the Earth spins on its axis--believe me, kids, I wish I did.

Yet, somehow, no matter how many calm sit-downs we have about this where I explain that time moves independently from my personal will and obvious crusade to ruin their lives, they cannot separate the unyielding hands of the clock from my person.

So, on top of having to do the dishes five times a day and make the food and generally take care of these two little things I helped create, hoping to God that in spite of me they end up being good people, I also get to be responsible for the fact that time isn't stretchable.


And to foil my nefarious undertakings, in my house the phrase 'hurry up' now means 'go at an exaggeratedly slow pace while glaring belligerently at mommy because she can go eff herself with her making time go extra fast bullshit.'

Which is frustrating as hell.

Over the past few months, I have made a concentrated effort not to yell at them when this happens. I admit, when this first became an issue, I lost it a few times because how could my intelligent, literate, amazingly quick six year olds not understand the simple concept of minutes always being the same length regardless of our intent?

But apparently they cannot grasp it.

I am sorry to say that the only improvement my not losing my shit at them when they slow down after I tell them to hurry up is that we're not all screaming at each other in a Tasmanian devil paradise as we bust through the front door to get where we're going.

So, while it has slightly improved morale, it has had no effect on our arrival time.

And, yes, I have talked to them multiple times about how "hurry up" is not a moral judgment on their character, and has actually nothing to do with them. That we are all on the same team. That it's me helping them. We've tried other ways to say hurry up. The countdown only makes it worse. Looking at the clock pisses them off. Let's go, let's go, let's go, let's go, sung in the way of Little John used to work 18 months ago, but the novelty wore off and now it just gets an eye roll or perhaps a nostalgic giggle.

I need to figure out why this is so hard. It's one of those super-simple-for-grown-ups concepts that we all just take for granted. Time moves. It moves at the same pace day in and day out and is completely out of our control. It's so natural a concept that we never think about it.

Until a six year old is stomping around in slow motion just to show you what you can do with your stupid time model.

Then all bets are off, and it looks like you'll be getting a late pass.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

An Open Letter to Employers -- Guest Post

An Open Letter To All Employers.

While I, myself, am not a mother, I work for mothers. Or, should we say in the past I have worked for them. Between daycare jobs and nannying jobs, moms have been my bosses for the majority of my work life. And there’s one thing that always comes up. And I do mean always. This is very much a solid happening. I get at least one call per month from a mother who needs me to come sit at home with her sick kid because the daycare won’t let them in and mom can’t stay home from work without being penalized in some way.

Don’t get me wrong. I don’t mind filling in for mamas when it comes to sick littles. But it’s not the same thing. I have a friend who will remain anonymous, along with her company, who could still lose her job even with a doctor’s note. Now, I get it … to a point. You need your workers so that your company can be productive. But how productive is it when you have four workers show up with various flus and pneumonias and other contagious illnesses that they are now passing around to each other. Nobody can ever get well because the moment their immune system tries to make a comeback, it gets hit by another germ.

As some of you know, little kids are germ factories. If one gets sick, they’re pretty much all going to get sick. You want to know why? Because they’re too little to understand how to taking universal precautions. I mean, let’s be real here - there are plenty of adults who don’t follow universal precautions themselves. How can we expect a child under the age of say … 5 to be able to take them. Sure, as daycare teachers we do our best to sanitize everything every chance we get. We seclude the sickies at naptime away from the healthy kids in hopes of creating a barrier. We even wash their hands and faces as much as we can.

But that’s not the problem. No, the problem lies with you, dear Employer. Because there are parents who have such strict sick day/personal day/time off policies that they will dose their feverish child up before bringing them to school. Do you know how long Motrin lasts? 6 hours. That means that if they drop their child off at 8am, we won’t find out until said child wakes up from their nap that they’re running a fever. And guess what? A fever masked by medicine doesn’t mask the germs they have. They’re going to make other children sick.

At the age of 28, I came down with a virus usually only seen in toddlers and infants because so many of my toddlers had it, that I just couldn’t escape it. And even though it was my own illness and not a child’s, it cost me my job because of how sick I was. My Hand, Foot, and Mouth turned into bronchitis which lead to me still running a fever. The doctor would allow me to go back to work and DCYF’s attitude is “well, you better be in ratio” so they had to let me go and find someone that could help keep them in ratio.

And again, I go back. I really do understand that you need your workers there. I understand that if they don’t do their jobs, you can’t do yours, and your company fails. But there has to be something that can be done. Leeways that can be put into place. For office jobs - let your secretaries and clerks and accountants come in on a Saturday to get work from the week done. Yes, I know, you’re going to have to pay them, but the day(s) they took off during the week were either sick time or personal days and in a lot of jobs, if you don’t have any hours logged, you don’t get paid.

If your employee can work from home, please let them. Maybe it’s not the most professional thing in the world, but it is the best of both worlds. Baby isn’t Patient Zero at daycare and while Baby is napping, mom (or dad, but I see this happening more with the moms) can get her work done. There has to be a solution that you, the Employer, can come up with that will make you, your employee, and the sick wee bairn (sorry, I went Scottish for a moment) all happy at the same time.

It’s tough out there these days. I understand that better than anyone. There’s so many unemployed people and not enough jobs to go around. So you, the Employer, can give the ultimatum. “If you can’t do this job, I’ll find someone else who can.” But you know what. Stop for a moment and think about that. Think about your employee. Will you really be able to find someone as good as them? Aren’t they with you company because they do good work and you like how they get along with the rest of the staff?

In the end, it comes down to people. We have to stop looking at people as employees and nothing else. We have to start appreciating their whole. Their value to their employer, their family, and to themselves. I bet more people wouldn’t need anti-anxiety drugs if we could all start treating each other like humans and less like cogs in a machine. A little understanding, in my experience, is going to go a very, very long way.

Kindness is free. Sprinkle it wherever you may go.


Bridget Frazier:
A twenty-something young woman who, over the years, has come to realize that hopes and dreams don't always coincide with reality. Take a journey through what it means to accept what life has given you, to be happy with the blessing bestowed, all while mourning the loss of dreams once passed.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Day in the Life - 2015

Woke up ten minutes before my alarm went off because the puppy had to go out. He then woke the girls up 15 minutes before I would have. Because puppy.

Why are we up before 6:30 a.m.?

No, seriously. Why?

The dog is very helpful when we try to get dressed.

As the girls finish getting dressed and ready, I tackle the dishes I ignored last night and make the lunches I was supposed to make last night. You know how we do.

At least they seem to like breakfast.

We drive to school because it's too cold to walk. Also because we're late getting out the door. Again. Natalina isn't looking so hot, huh?

Off they go.

I finish getting ready. I look like this.

Coffee and some work. I'm writing an article on endometriosis this morning. The dog is helping.

Can't do that too long without a break though.

The dog needed to go out again too. Oh, wait, no he didn't. He needed to play with his red bucket.

Next up, breakfast for my husband and I.

I finished that article I was writing, so I update my own blog with a guest post, and keep tabs on where else I've been published. Today it's a literary travel magazine, so that's cool.

It's Friday, which means I have to pretend I was doing grad school work all week and turn in all this stuff I haven't looked at yet. Time to listen to lectures.

After that, I get a snack. And I eat it outside. Because I live in Florida and I can.

I try to get more readings done...

But someone needs to go out...AGAIN. So I skim.

Then I do my assignments. As if I read the readings.

Lunch. And I have no regrets, haters.

Picking up the kids.

In the line for days.

Some of us are more excited than others.

There they are!

We stop at the grocery store where there's something going on that we never figure out.

Buy some Valentine's Day goodies. Because I can't just be making homemade stuff from scratch all the time and this is fine, though.

We're having a snack, and then the doorbell rings.

But it's just some guy trying to sell us meat from his van?

Lilly really wasn't looking good during snack, so I called the pediatrician and they had one opening. Right then.

Off we go.

And it's strep. Ick and eep.

We try to go through the drive-through but the antibiotics aren't ready yet so we go in and get some sore throat necessities.

This calls for a movie once we get home.

And second lunch for me.

Because how else was I going to get through logging all my REJECTIONS.

After that rousing inspiration, I set to work on an essay I actually sold about my grad school experience versus my mother's in 1992 (she is a real hero, to be honest. I look like a lazy sack of poo compared to her, for real.)

Just kidding about that essay, though. We have a real need to play match instead. Right now.

Time for dinner and I'm not cooking tonight, so the well child and I head off to Boston Market. She's a real comedian. Into the back seat with you, missy.

Blessed dinner.

Followed by blessed wine.

Dishes. WHY.

Oh. Look who needs to go out again. It's okay. I didn't want to do those dishes.

But I did. I did do them.

Bed time for the girls. Sickie is already feeling better with the first dose of abx.

I should finish the essay I started earlier, but I am too tired. Early bedtime for me tonight. Do it again tomorrow.

I do these every year, and most times people do them with me. This year we have:

Brooke in Tijuana

Debby in Connecticut

Kristen to come

And if you wanted to see days in my previous lives, here they are lined up. Things change and they don't. You know, you know.


2013 - This one is missing some of the pictures; I don't know what happened. But there are still plenty.




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