Category Archives: teacher life

Um well, oops. Busy week.

It’s been one of those weeks where I’m running around frantically and it’s not going to get better over the weekend.  All good stuff, mind you, but it’s still…crazy times, my friends, crazy times.

Barring nasty hard rain tomorrow (Saturday), Mocha and I will be off to a small horse show at Mt. Hood Equestrian Center.  Now this is the venue of her first show, and I’m hoping that she doesn’t turn into the same screaming maniac she was then.  I don’t think she will, but she definitely knows something’s up.  Of course, my spending about an hour carefully trimming up her fuzzy legs and spending extra time on grooming probably is a dead giveaway to a smart and sensitive horse.  All I know is that she gave me all the cues of “somewhat on the muscle, ready to work hard” yesterday while tacking up…quiet, coiled, arching her neck thoughtfully while I got her ready.  The work was very much the same, with a lot of eager anticipating of cues, good rollbacks, lots of energy.  My back is now up to tolerating a good solid fifty minute ride, and she was still full of pep at the end of a rather aggressive schooling session, including some very nice two-tracking at the jog.

But.  On the muscle, for sure.  I ever compete that horse for more than one or two shows a year, and the sting that’s always lurking slightly below the surface is gonna come out.  No doubt about it.  She likes the challenge of schooling and hard working, and I just wish I was a better rider so as to push her a little bit more.  Work though I can, I’m not always at my best with the timing and that’s what we need.

School stuff has been full of the intensive small group and one-on-one work I tend to do well.  I’m hopeful that I’m seeing some progress with some of my tougher kids…maybe a breakthrough has been made.  I sure hope so.

Sped law conference today.  First special ed-oriented workshop I’ve been able to go to for several years, and I’m quietly excited about that.

It’s also been the case that I need to choose between blogging and eking out a few moments for Netwalker Uprising rewrites.  Editor handed me a big rewrite assignment, with the plea “please do rewrite this, it deserves it and you can so do it.”  So I am.  And what’s coming out of it is also clarifying some things for Netwalk’s Children.  Right now, looks like that will be taking longer to come out, and The Netwalk Sequence publication timeline needs to be pushed out a bit.  Oh well, it’s what’s needed.

So conference today, horse show tomorrow (weather depending), ballet and possibly skiing on Sunday.  Then back to the regular spin of work.

Not exactly quiet times here.  Onward!

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Every teacher’s fantasy

I don’t think there’s a teacher I’ve ever known who doesn’t have this fantasy.

It’s not about the perfect class or the perfect principal (although those are often secondary fantasies).

It’s about starting my own school.  You know, the one where you and your bestest teacher friends who of course are the BESTEST TEACHERS EVAR find the funding and the facility to set up the ideal program.   We all have this dream, even the most jaded, burned-out twenty-seven-year-veteran-clinging-by-her-fingertips-to-qualify-for-pension-status.  Sit in the faculty room long enough and bits and pieces of the dream surface.

“You know, if I could only get these resources, wouldn’t it be cool to try this.

“I’d love to do this, but the class schedule/pacing guide/district curriculum/principal/director of curriculum and instruction/setup/whatever else exists to impede innovation doesn’t allow it.”

“We don’t have enough time to do X, and we need to spend more time doing Y.”

Off-site, in secluded restaurants or people’s homes, wherever it’s safe to talk without administration present, more details surface.  Like I said, every teacher has the seed of what the perfect program would be somewhere in their brain.  The picture they have generally is populated with the perfect students, it’s always sunny, and bird songs fill the air.

(so why do images from the creepy Red Room scenes in Twin Peaks keep whispering through my brain?)

I have that dream as well.  A special ed super-tutorial service, incorporating basic academics with horse therapy, focused on kids with learning disabilities, ADHD, autism, and mild emotional issues.  An hour of academics followed by horse time, with a lot of groundwork.  LOTS of groundwork.  Maybe incorporate a little bit of mildly spoiled horse rehab where the rehab doesn’t involve dangerous behaviors, just pushy horses who need a tuneup in manners and that would be a challenge for more skilled kids as you go through the skill development progress.

It’s not likely to happen.  It requires the right combination of insurance, customer base, and facility.  I’m pretty dang sure the customer base doesn’t exist where I live now, and I couldn’t afford to move and go through what is needed to set up a program like this in the places where the customer base is.  Additionally, I’d want to work with kids who wouldn’t have the money to pay for the service…which means flogging a non-profit.

Lots of legal and business impediments.

But that doesn’t mean that the idea doesn’t still linger in the brain.  Occasionally I take the dream out and play with it for an hour or so, thinking over structure and process.

Then I pack it away.  Like I said, not likely to happen.

It is a nice little dream, though.

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