Sunday, November 19, 2017

Sunday - A Day of Rest?

Sunday wasn't quite a day of rest for the Heinisch family, but it was a little less jammed packed than Friday and Saturday.  Brett and Doug started their morning at 8 a.m. mass before taking Cam to religion.  Next Meg, Cam, Brett, Cal and HM all joined my parents at their church for a Thanksgiving  luncheon.  They enjoyed the food and then headed their separate ways.  Cal and HM went to Fort Wayne to shop at Costco.  Meg and Cam had to clean the guinea pigs and Brett needed to work on his budgeting paper.  Doug and I kept busy with laundry and yard work throughout most of the afternoon.

I did get out of the house to watch the Bethany play.  It was a good as Meg said that it would be.  Brett, Cam and I all enjoyed it.  Doug had dinner ready when we got home.  We really appreciated it as he tried something new - two different chicken dishes.  Both were delicious.  We ended the evening watching Shawshank Redemption with Brett while catching up on computer work.  It was a nice weekend with our family, but definitely a busy one.

Saturday, November 18, 2017

It's Just Not My Thing

Cameron had a basketball tournament at Central Noble this morning that Doug and I both went to.  His team ended up finishing fourth out of the four teams.  He wasn't disappointed as their last game was extremely close.  The A team faired better finishing as tournament runner-ups.  Cam stayed to watch them play while we headed home.  We had a couple of hours to work on laundry and leaves before we left for Meg's game in South Bend.  Brett offered to spend the evening with Cam after he picked him up at Bethany.  They ate dinner at their favorite fish place in town and played games until we got back.  Cal was busy with his friends and HM's game.  Meg did very well tonight.  She had several opportunities to score and made some great passes.  It was a varsity only contest and she played well over ten minutes.

I was happy that Cam and Meg had the opportunity to participate in today's games.  They have enjoyed being a part of basketball this season and that has been fun to watch.  Overall, however, I realized today that being a sports mom just isn't my thing.  I felt guilty coming to that conclusion, but after Doug and I talked I felt a lot better.  From what we discussed it made sense that I wouldn't love sitting in the stands of a sporting event.  First of all, I loved playing sports as a child, but I don't live vicariously through my own as they play.  Second, I haven't been as social since I started working again.  I get a lot of interactions with students and teachers everyday, so I do not look for more social activities in the evening.  Most of all, however, the negativity that occurs at the games has been more than I can handle.  So for now Doug and I came up with a solution that should work for our family for the time being.

Friday, November 17, 2017

New Strategies

This trimester I have implemented some new teaching and behavior strategies in my classroom for my afternoon classes.  Today we put one of those into place and I felt it was a success.  I was exhausted, however, after school from standing for three hours.  We had plans this evening, so I wasn't able to rest at home after such a long day.  I was able to sit down, however, as Cam had a ball game at 4:30 at Bethany.  Brett rode along to keep me company.  Doug agreed to stay for the A game after Cam's.  He likes hanging out with his friends while watching.  Doug, Cam and Cal then went to dinner at Buffalo Wild Wings.  Brett and I ate at home and then went to Wawasee High School to watch "The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe."  Gabrielle had a main role and I wanted to see her in it.  She did a nice job and I knew several of the other students in the play as well.  

Meg did not go with us as she went with Jackie after practice to see Bethany's play.  It was an original  written about a Holocaust survivor.  The play write and the survivor both came to Bethany to meet the cast members and to speak to the student body last week.  Meg was impressed with the performance and had a lot of fun with Jackie.  They even went to dinner and did some shopping beforehand.  It was fun catching up with her when she got home.  

Thursday, November 16, 2017

They're Home

Tonight Brett and Cal arrived home from Bloomington.  They were both glad to be home.  Cal missed his last class of the day to beat traffic.  He heard later from friends that many of them were stuck on 37 for well over an hour, so he was pleased with his choice.  Cam had a game at Wawasee Middle.  Once he and I got home from that we all ate dinner together including Hannah-Marie who stopped by after practice.  Everyone talked non-stop and it was wonderful to hear.  There were shared memories going around the table as well as some new stories.  I could have listened to them talk all night long.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Forty-Nine and Counting

Today was my forty-ninth birthday.  Turning a year old has never bothered me, so I enjoyed the students asking me how old I was and trying to figure out which teachers were older.  I wasn't at school long today to answer their questions, however.  I had to leave during team time for physical therapy.  It was there that I received my first birthday present of the day - I was released from therapy.  They gave me a lot of exercises to do at home and reviewed them with me.  It will be awhile before I can do walking lunges, but I will keep working at them.  It was amazing to think about how far I have come in just two months.  This summer I never thought that I would walk normally.  I was thrilled to be proved wrong.

I spent the rest of the afternoon at a high ability math meeting.  It went well and we accomplished a lot.  I came home to a quiet house.  Meg did not have practice tonight.  She decided to use the time to go to Milford school and visit Mr. Larson.  I called her at 4:45 to remind her to head home.  She had talked for one hour!!  Cam had practice.  Doug picked him up and the four of us left for Bella Vitale in Warsaw around 6 p.m.  The food was excellent and we enjoyed visiting together.  My parents met us back at our home afterward for dessert and gifts.  My Mom brought two of my favorites - chocolate cake and cookie dough ice cream.

I enjoyed my presents this year.  Meg gave me a print of "Jugglers at the Circus Fernando."  Cam's gift was a blu-ray copy of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone.  Doug scored points with a sweater, pajamas and a butterfly necklace from Morocco in EPCOT.  My parents found some nice kitchen towels for me along with orange slices and my Dad's favorites - circus peanuts.  Cam opened them immediately.  Cal had told us earlier in the week that the flavor of circus peanuts was banana and Cam wanted to check to see if that was true.  He confirmed that Cal's information was correct.  Even with the rain and 40 degree weather I had a wonderful birthday and felt blessed beyond belief.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

There's No Way to Make Bleachers Comfortable

Tonight I sat on the bleachers at Bethany for over four hours.  Cam had a game against Lakeland and Meg had two against Central Noble.  No matter what I tried there was just no way to make those seats comfortable.  The ones in the middle school gym were the worst.  They were made out of plastic and just don't sit well.  I have noticed that a lot of schools have switch to those from wood ones.  I definitely was not a fan.  Fortunately, the majority of the night was spent in the main gym with the old style bleacher seats.  Both Meg and Cam's team came up on the short end tonight in the win column.  Meg earned high point honors for the junior varsity this evening, however.  It definitely reminded me of her middle school days.

Monday, November 13, 2017

Teacher Day

Friday was the end of the trimester, so today was a teacher work day.  I started at a math meeting at Wawasee High School.  It was supposed to be a vertical planning session, but it didn't feel overly productive.  Our group tried to stay on task, but others decided to follow their own agenda.  It helped to ask our 7th and 8th grade teachers questions about their standards and rules in their classroom, but I was glad when the meeting was over.

I spent the afternoon working in my classroom. This year has been challenging because of the number of students in 6th grade.  We have over 80 right now and this has typically been the time of year when we get a lot of move-ins.  I have found it difficult to manage that many students and continue to hep them grow academically.  I appreciate that my own children do not have to be in classrooms of this size.  Cam's entire grade was only 29 students to start the year and they have two of sections for each subject.  Thus, he rarely has more than 15 in a class.  Meg's class sizes have pretty much been the same as well.  All educational studies have shown that the best way to improve education would be to reduce class size.  Most agree that twenty-two should be the maximum a teacher should have to run a classroom effectively.  I would love to see that implemented in our district.