My classroom is not a quiet, orderly place.
Students are constantly moving, thinking, talking, reading and writing.
I do my best to help my students find success.

April 30, 2013

Loosening my grip

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Two Writing Teachers

Raising teens can be fun - they get your sarcastic jokes and funny comments.  They have some decent reasoning and usually understand the reasons you refuse to let them do something.  They have great stories to share about their social lives (if they decide that you can hear it!).

It's a bit more tricky to raise teens who have a driver's license and access to a car.  There's a balance between over-parenting and under-parenting.  I'm still trying to find ways to keep track of my daughter, allowing her to run errands and even get a bite to eat, without both of us feeling like she's being micromanaged.

I've asked for a message when she moves from one place to another.  That's worked pretty well.  Some days I'll be told earlier in the day that she plans to head for the mall or food after practice.  Some days there is "radio silence."

On those days I'll send out a message, asking if she's still in the place where she started.  Then I get the "sorry... we went..." message.  I try to contain my frustration.  When did a driver's license give you the freedom to jaunt all over town?  I know - when I gave you access to a car.

We are trying our best to get along and keep the communication lines open.  I'm jealous of time she spends with her friends, away from home, but at the same time we have little to talk about when she is home.  Sometimes I'm accused of talking to her too much when she's home.

I'm feeling the stress of walking on eggshells, trying to preserve our relationship.  I don't want to fall into the overly dramatic mother/teen dramatic-I-hate-you/you-are-ungrateful but I feel like I'm working too hard to watch my steps and what I say.  I've heard from other mothers of teens that you should stay true to your mothering style and the teen has to deal with it.

One thing I want to become better at doing is to remind both my girls each day that I do love them to pieces.  That's hard to express when "I love you!" is  a phrase we use sparingly in my house.  My husband and I are mushy when it's funny.  We need to find a way to express our love and feelings of pride to our kids.

I never thought I would say this, but parenting teens is tiring and wonderful, all at the same time.

April 16, 2013

Emotional day

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every Tuesday at
Two Writing Teachers

Sunday night
Busy mind, tired body
Wind howling through the yard
Little sleep

Monday morning
Testing, thinking
Teaching, lecturing
Students, staff
Long day

Monday afternoon

Monday evening
Questions, few answers
Processing with my children

Monday night
Brahms, Tschaikovsky,
Winds, brass, strings
Beethoven, Greig

April 9, 2013

Alone time

I realized today that I've never lived alone.  I lived with my parents and brother until I went to college.  I had between one and four roommates every year at school.  I got married during college (child bride, LOL!).  We have two children.

I knew at an early age that I like to be surrounded by people.  It was more fun to have lots of kids on the swingset or in our small pool.  I was constantly asking my best friend, Beth, "Can we have Sami play, too?  Is Jeannette home?"  I think Beth was content with just the two of us to have a dance party or play with our Barbies, but I loved having a big group of friends over.

In college, I had a hard time studying by myself.  I would find myself leaving the door open if my roommate left for the weekend so people on the floor would stop by.  I studied in the library or in the common room.  Again, the more the merrier!

This year (at the ripe old age of 43), I've figured out that there is some peace of mind found when I am by myself.  I'm finally comfortable with alone time.  I'm choosing more often than not to have lunch in my classroom with a book or my Twitter feed.  I'm enjoying quiet evenings when my girls are at their activities or out with friends.  I don't mind that my husband is traveling.

I'm beginning to relish the quiet.  I can calm my mind and think through what needs to be done.  I can reflect on my day.  I can make decisions for the week. Reading and knitting can be done without distractions.

I almost had a solo night at home recently.  The girls were off to their respective friends' houses, with the possibilities for sleepovers.  My husband had left town.  I would be alone in the creaky house (with the parakeet for company).  I was excited, I was bummed.

Then my phone chimed with a text message.  "Can my friends stay over at our house?"

Alone time canceled.  Maybe next time!