Friday, June 23, 2017

Here Comes Summer - R2BC

Here are this week's Reasons to 2B Cheerful. I joined the R2BC linky at Becky's Lakes Single Mum

Shabbat On Kibbutz
Last weekend we went to one of my favourite places and spent Shabbat with my friends on their kibbutz.

Reports Finished
Yep. All done. And only one more week of school to go.

Water Slide Open
They opened the water slide at the pool. When we go for DD's weekly lesson we get there 20 minutes early so she has time to play in the pool before the lesson. This week we found that the water slide was open for the summer. DD rushed to go on it. As she crashed into the water at the bottom, she called out to me, "that's the best time I ever had in my life!"

This coming week I'm going to a wedding on a kibbutz in he north. My friends' son is getting married. These are friends from my teenage years and it's going to be a bit of a reunion of about seven of us from way back when we were all friends growing up in England.

DD will be sleeping over with a friend. Her first sleep away apart from when she stays with my sister and her cousins in London. I'm excited. She's not so sure but as I'll be out of town so she'll have to get on with it. Seriously though, she's eight and a half so she's old enough to know that one night comes to an end and I'll be back the next day. And she's staying with close friends who she's known all her life.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

DD Published In Kids Read

Warning: this is a completely 'proud mum' post. If you're not in the mood for my kvelling, go away and come back later.

There is an annual magazine published in Israel called Kids Read. It accepts English writing in response to books and poems that kids have read.

I am actually on the publishing committee but since I'm not available for evening meetings atm my role is restricted to proof reading. I am not on the selection committee. And all the entries are selected anonymously. This is significant to mention because DD has a piece in this year's Bar Mitzvah Edition (i.e. the 13th edition).

The pieces are sent in by teachers up and down the country and throughout the year and Kids Read comes out in June. I knew DD's piece about the book Stone Fox (she wrote a short epilogue to the story) had been chosen because I proof read the final copy before it went to print. However, it was lovely to receive an email from her teacher, Karen, telling us and inviting us to the launch party.

DD and Karen, her English teacher

Last week we went to the launch party. DD loved it. Some of the committee performed some funny poems about reading which DD thought was hilarious. There was a new prize presented in the name of one of the founding committee members, Lynda Waxman, who sadly passed away earlier this year. After that some of the children read out their entries and DD had an opinion about each one. She also said that she'd like to read next year if she's chosen again.

The highlight of the evening was when each child's name was read out and they went up to the stage to be presented with their own copy of Kids Read. It was like a degree graduation and I was about as proud as if DD had got a Ph.D.

When we got home DD took Kids Read to bed with her and read some of the entries. She particularly liked poring over the pictures of all the book covers from each book or poem that is written about. It has remained beside her bed for browsing and of course for reading her own piece again when she wants to relive her glorious moment. Which she does quite often, LOL.

Friday, June 16, 2017

On Being A Teacher - Reasons 2B Cheerful

I did a lot of learning about self-development this year. Remember the Breakthrough posts I wrote about the course with Devorah Sisso Stieglitz? I still owe you (me?) a post for Breakthrough #6. I got stuck on visualizing a fabulous future for myself - my goals seemed to stop at getting through the week, cleaning the bathroom, and paying the bills. I'm going to work on it again over the holidays. Watch this space.

Meantime, In the interests of gratitude and the laws of attraction - both essential to leading your best life possible, here are my reasons 2B cheerful for this week. The linky is back with Michelle on Mummy from the Heat where a group of us gather to be thankful. It sounds soppy but actually it's vitalizing.

It ends
I was having a moan to a friend last week about how much there is to do at the end of the school and college year. I was writing reports, setting exams, grading exams, end of year parties (mine and DD's), I was given the task of organizing part of the end of year family outing for my school, prepping the summer course, packing up the English room as they need it over the holidays for something else, etc, etc, etc....

My friend sat there patiently while I got it all off my chest and then replied, "yes but in three weeks time it all comes to an end and you have two months off." I got it. I shut up.

Poor but safe
The foundation that pays part of my salary for one of my jobs only pays for 8 out of the 10 months of the school year. So at the end I am paid by the organization that pays the other half of my salary at that particular job. It comes out as much less at the end of the month as they each have different ways of calculating the pay. And, for this particular job, I get almost nothing over the summer. It's annoying but, otoh, I don't work there over the summer. Otoh, teachers still have to live and pay bills for that two-month period.

Last week a friend who had a high-flying position in hi-tech suddenly lost her job when the company reorganized and scrapped her whole department. I went to work that day and thanked God for every irritating thing about my school and for every difficult pupil. I am so lucky to have a job that helps me almost get to the end of the month in the black.

Finishing early
For the final two weeks of the year, the 6th graders who are leaving this year and are busy with their leaving events, get let out of school at 1 pm. So that's a 1 pm finish for me two out of three of my days at school, for the duration.

Patient friend who is regularly in her office till after 6 pm: "What time do you usually finish then?"
Me: 3 pm.
Friend: Oh.
Me. Oh.

I do teach a summer course over the summer but it's mostly online so I can do it at home. Thus, unlike most other parents, I will not be paying a fortune for summer camps and juggling child care with work obligations. If I were to get my full salary over the summer in return for working, it would all go in paying for summer programmes for DD. So in fact, being a teacher is the best thing to be.

I actually enjoy teaching. I like being with my pupils and my students. Staff rooms are usually friendly and supportive places. I have fun. There I've said it.


Friday, June 9, 2017

Supper At School - R2BC

Another week and more reasons 2B cheerful. I'm not mentioning the elections as all we know for sure is that, at the moment, nothing is for sure. As usual I'm joining the R2BC linky which is over at Becky's Lakes Single Mum for the month of June.

Supper At School

They had a Supper at School Shuk at DD's school to raise money for the end of year events. DD's class made desserts in cups. I was a bit tardy in seeing the list for contributions - I only got there 20 minutes after it'd been sent. Thus I missed the disposable tablecloths and plastic spoons options. I was also too late for the easy jellies. I was drawn to the chocolate mousse but raw eggs in 30 degree heat, not to mention the expense and the time involved..... I reinterpreted it as instant pudding and we made 20 cups of chocolate, butterscotch, and vanilla puddings. We added sprinkles.

DD wanted to take a tray of desserts out into the field and try to get some passing trade. I could have told her that selling is a thankless task. I'm useless at it. After a long time and only two sales she handed the tray to her friend who promptly sold the lot in about three minutes. *sigh* We have other talents.

Blog Ranking

I've been placed 57 in the Top 100 Single Moms Blogs list. I don't remember submiting my blog but I'm chuffed it was picked up anyway and placed at number 57.

In the tots 100 I also went up last month although I'm still in the 1200 range. There'll be a party when I break the top 1000 barrier again.

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Away For Shabbat And Other R2BC

We didn't do R2BC last week because of the terror in Manchester. Yesterday there was more terror in London. I love London and I am very very angry and very very sad. Here are a few Reasons 2B Cheerful even though there are those who are terrorizing the civilized world and the civilized world has not yet decided how they are going to deal with it. I hope they come up with a plan before there is more suffering and heartbreak.

Away for Shabbat
We went to the seaside in Netanya to stay with my cousins. Though they do live right on the front we are not beach people especially and preferred to watch the sea rather than be in it. You don't have to splash about in it to be hypnotized by the beauty of the sea. And every so often I find myself thinking in wonder, that's the Mediterranean and I live near it.

So we didn't descend to the beach but we did make full use of the pool. And we met, bumped into, and visited with all sorts of lovely people  - old friends and new.

Chronicles of Narnia
We finished The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe and now we are nearing the end of The Magician's Nephew. I'd forgotten quite how much the birth of Narnia and Aslan echo themes in the Old and New Testament. I've never got further than the first couple of books before but now I hope DD wants to continue with the series. I am intrigued as to how far the religious allegory is taken.

Fidget Spinner
If there was one thing I knew about them, it was that I was never going to buy one for my daughter. Even though most of her friends have one (Why? They are not all ADD?). Firstly, I don't understand the attraction. You spin it. And then you spin it some more. Secondly, teachers hate them. Whilst the kid with real ADD problems might be helped to stay in his seat, he is not focusing on his work or the lesson but focusing on the spinner. And meanwhile all the kids around him are distracted by it. I tell my students - If I see it I take it until the end of the lesson.

So we get to Netanya and my cousin has very kindly bought DD a bunch of small gifts and games to amuse her during Shabbat. By far the most used was the spinner. I say used, but actually she just fidgeted with it. The other major thing you do with it is try to get it out from under the sofa when it spins off your fingers. All good fun I suppose when you're 8 1/2.

DD has taken the fidget spinner to school today. I'm opening a book. Even favourites on lost or confiscated.

That's all for the past week. I'm linking this post to reasons 2B Cheerful which is back with Becky on Lakes Single Mum for this week. The coming week is full of more report writing, and planning and organising the end of year lessons and events. See you on the flip side.