Sunday, October 13, 2013
Finally, it's Columbus Day weekend and I am able to take a breath from the pressures of a new school, stop the stress eating, catch up on my sleep and visit with my Spark friends! After 32 years of teaching! I know September is always a hectic month as I get back into the swing of things, but I was not prepared for just how stressful and chaotic it would be! I love my time with the students. My three 90 minute teaching periods are not the problem. It is all the "other stuff" that is going on as we embark upon the new frontier of "teacher accountability" as legislated by Governor Christie.....new evaluation model (Danielson's Framework for Teaching), SGO's (student growth objective), SGP's (student growth percentiles) new lesson plan format (3-part objectives)...all the paper work that has nothing to do with teaching my students but takes hours to maintain. All this is in the name of ACCOUNTABILITY! I'm all for being accountable, but you can't simply measure a teacher's effectiveness by test scores. Fortunately for me, two of my former students reminded me of why I love teaching and true accountability. One student who graduated 8th grade last year went to a Board of Education meeting and during the public comments portion got up and spoke about how I had changed his life by pushing him to work hard and believing he could do it. The next day he delivered flowers to school for me. Another former student, a senior in college, studying in Brazil, posted this poem she found on Facebook for me:
If I Could Teach You, Teacher
If I could teach you, teacher,
I'd teach you how much more
you have accomplished
than you think you have.
I'd show you the seeds
you planted years ago
that are now coming into bloom.
I'd reveal to you the young minds
that have expanded under your care,
the hearts that are serving others
because they had you as a role model.
If I could teach you, teacher,
I'd show you the positive effect
you have had on me and my life.
Your homework is
to know your value to the world,
to acknowledge it, to believe it.
Thank you, teacher.
By Joanna Fuchs
The she sent me a dozen long-stemmed roses, with a lovely note saying how she wouldn't be where she is today if I hadn't believed in her and shown her that value of leadership.
So to all the bureaucrats who want to "evaluate" me and are stealing the joy out of teaching...go ahead!!! I've got my score! I only hope that my younger colleagues get to be evaluated by the ones that truly matter to us.....OUR STUDENTS!!
Monday, September 02, 2013
Well all good things must come to an end, so it is with summer. I return to work tomorrow. Tuesday & Wednesday are teacher days and the students come in on Thursday. I love my job, but always miss the freedom summer affords me. I get up daily at 4 am and start my commute at 5:40 to arrive at work by 7 am. Fortunately, I am in a carpool. Yes, it's a long commute and no it's too late in my career to work any closer to home. When you change school districts you drop back down on the pay scale. They don't give you credit for all your years of teaching. I usually get in from work around 4:30 pm, but since I am doing physical therapy for my back 3 days a week, I won't get in until around 6 pm. Fortunately, my husband is retired so he will cook dinner. With my schedule, I won't have much time to Spark. I will try and catch up with all my teams on the weekend. I know from experience you are all very understanding and supportive whenever I drop in on team discussions. I am not giving up or giving in. My plan is as follows:
1. Begin & end each day with prayer.
2. Get at least 6 hrs of sleep.
3. Plan & track my meals & snacks
4. Drink 64 oz of water each day
5. Continue to get in a minimum of 10,000 steps a day....hopefully keeping my 69 days and counting streak alive!
I am planning for success!
Friday, August 02, 2013
Summer is half over and before I know it I'll be back to work and the hectic pace of the school year. I want to go back to work a loser! I am on Day 38 of my 10,000 steps a day streak. Maintaining a streak is a powerful motivational tool for me. I have gotten my steps in despite the physical aches & pains that normally make me give up on exercising. I never thought I could consistently get in 10,000 steps a day but I am. It's shocking to me how little I would normally move in a day. Now I make conscious decisions to get steps in. No more just sitting for hours on the computer or watching TV. I get up every 15-30 minutes and march in place. I park farther away from my destination. I make a few extra trips up & down the aisles of the store. I don't even have to leave the house yet I can get my steps in. I can do it anywhere, anytime, any weather.....no more excuses not to get up & get moving!
Eating is a bigger challenge for me. I have not been consistent with tracking and because of all my failed attempts, I believe I am not capable of really doing it. Most days I will track my breakfast & lunch but then I eat without restraint through the late afternoon & evening so I don't bother to track it. I can't even call it mindless eating because I am very aware that I am not truly hungry and should not be eating. I know all the tools I should use to avoid this type of eating but I don't bother to use them. I am ashamed to let my family see how much I eat, so I generally hide my "snacks". With each bite I lie to myself that..... "I'll just eat this and then no more!"....... "I'll be better tomorrow!" When the food is in my hand, I am living in the moment! I have lived this way for 45 years and this is why I have not lost the weight. Living in the moment can be a good thing. That is the philosophy of any 12 Step program...."Just for today!" That is how a streak begins, one day at a time. So today is of my track & stay within my calories streak. This is how I can change my mind set from "I can't" to "I can!" I thought I couldn't possibly get 10,000 steps in EVERYDAY but am doing it. Now I have to show myself can eat within my calorie range. It is possible!
Saturday, July 13, 2013
Thursday, July 11, 2013 was my 5th year anniversary here on SparkPeople or as we say here on Spark, my Sparkaversary. I did not post the date on any of my teams celebration lists because I did not feel like I had anything to celebrate. In fact, I was feeling frustrated and embarrassed that in five years all I had done was lose & regain the same 20 lbs. I look around and see so many people having success and think, "What's wrong with me, why can't I do it?" One of the lovely friends I have made here on Spark, TEDDYBEAR662, who I know as Missy remembered my Sparkaversary without any reminder from me. She posted it on our team and friends wished me well. Then I read a blog by JUSTYNA7 who joined Spark the same week as I did. There are just a few Spark Class of July 6-12 team/classmates left that are still active on Spark. I thought a lot about it and I realized I have something to celebrate! Life is more than just how much I weigh and that is certainly true about my life here on Spark People!
First and foremost, I have made SO many wonderful, inspiring, supportive, funny, helpful, caring Spark friends. They are always here waiting and willing to share all the things that happen in my life, not just my weight loss journey. These friends have supported me through so much more. They were here for me three years ago when my husband faced a life threatening heart problem and he had to have an ICD (internal cardiac defibrillator) placed in his chest to insure his heart wouldn't just stop and continue to beat regularly. I worried not only about losing him but how we would survive financially since he could no longer work. They prayed with me and comforted me when I was at my lowest and felt like I had no where to turn. When I had to be strong for everyone else in my life, here I could let it all out and just be me. This month they were here for me again as my husband went in for a total knee replacement with words of advice, support & encouragement. They have been here to celebrate my birthdays,wedding anniversaries, daily joys and problems, and small victories along the way. Day & night I always know I can come here and share.
Then I thought am still here five years later doing the same thing! Wait, I AM STILL HERE! I haven't given up on myself. I am currently working a a 10,000 steps a day streak and it's been 18 days so far. I have consistently logged on to Spark for 560 days. I lost 5 lbs in the last two weeks.
It seems I've gained more than I lost, but just look at what I've gained....amazing friendships, knowledge, and the ability to persevere. So I realize I do have something to celebrate.
Monday, June 24, 2013
School ended on Friday, so today officially starts my summer break. I return to work on September 3rd. I have 71 days of freedom! Freedom to focus on myself and a healthier way to live.
Here is my plan of action:
1. Drink a minimum of 8 cups of water.
2. Walk a minimum of 10,000 steps a day.
3. Make healthy food choices and control my portion size.
4. Avoid mindless evening eating.
5. Stay active on my Spark Teams.
6. Get at least 7 hours sleep at night.
Starting weight= 285.6
OK summer let's melt away some fat!!
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