Total Pageviews

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

A Bad Call and a Good Letter

A couple times a year each teacher is observed by an outside person.  We know the week, sometimes we know the day, that somebody is going to show up and watch us teach.  I actually enjoy adults in m class, not necessarily watch me teach, but to be a part of the class.  Someone to smile at when a kid says something cute.  Someone who might actually get one of my jokes.

This is my week.  I knew she was coming in the "first part of the week."  Even though I'm always prepared, some days better than others, but really, I'm comfortable with anyone coming in at anytime.  But this stranger doesn't know me.  No background on my class, my kids, or me.  Therefore, I really want to put my best foot forward.  We are one mighty awesome class this year and I really wanted that to show.  She didn't come yesterday, so I was pretty certain, today was the big day.  Everyone and their sister kept coming in to talk this morning.  So I wasn't quite as prepared for her to come in first thing in the morning.  But she didn't anyway.  Good thing because one of my students handed me a terrible "note" from her mother.  It was so bad the poor second grader scribbled it out with pencil on the bus on the way to school.

Parents who are rude, mean and just plain disrespectful to their child's teacher is one of the strangest things to me.  Here you go teacher, I just wrote you horrible things to you and about you and I even added in some lies.  Isn't it common knowledge to the general population what elementary teachers do? Isn't it common knowledge if your child cries I will hug her?  If he blows his nose and doesn't get it all I will literally hold the Kleenex for him?  I will applied bad aids.  I will touch foreheads to check for a fever.  I will put barrettes back in.  I will crawl on the floor looking for a lost tooth.  I will do whatever it takes to make YOUR child feel special each and every day.  Never mind, I will teach each one of them for six hours, five days a week.

I slipped the note under my keyboard because I was so offended I just couldn't deal with it.

I got observed.  It went well.

I went to lunch.  I came back and had to deal with the note.

I dialed this mom's number and it immediately didn't go well.  Someone else answered the phone and rudely asked who I was and said, "Yeah, it's her."

The mother got on the phone and screamed at me for nearly five minutes.  It was ridiculous.  Her daughter was sitting across the room from me as this lady spewed lies and insults and swear words at me.

When I finally ended the conversation I emailed my principal letting him know this occurred and I was pretty shaken up.  My hands were shaking and I needed silent reading to continue for a couple extra minutes until I could handle teaching.  I quickly sorted my mail that I grabbed after lunch.  I saw writing in pencil for the return address.  I pulled out that letter and it had a purple quarter sheet stapled to it.  It said something to the effect of: An assignment for our language art class each student had to write a letter to their favorite teacher.  Congratulations, you made a difference in a child's life!

My eyes were filled with tears.  It was the perfect timing.  I opened the letter and read the two paragraph letter that contained the sentence:  It seemed like you were the only teacher who cared about me.

First, how sad is it that I was the only one who seemed to care about him?  However, thank goodness I did/do.

He ended the letter with, I still miss Team 214.

It seems the times when things go wrong always stick in your mind, so tomorrow I'm going to write back to that student and then I'm going to tape that letter near my phone so I can see it often.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Packing Up the Pump

When I have a baby my milk production is my #2 priority.  #1 Caring for the baby.  #2 Making milk.  It's a big part of #1.  Making, feeding and saving breast milk is a part time job and then some.

When I went back to work two months ago I was nursing Brecken at every feeding plus pumping and extra 3-4 times a day for the excess milk.  Going back to work was going to make breastfeeding very difficult.  That first week I went back my milk took a big dip.  I hoped it was just stress and I'd get it back.  But pumping is so different from nursing.  Plus, I would check emails or plan lessons while actually pumping.  I couldn't really take the full 20 minutes to relax and get all the milk to let down like I needed to.

When I first went back to work I would feed Brecken at 4 or 5 am.  I would pump at 7am before we headed out the door.  Then I pumped at school at 8:45, 12:00 and 2:30.  When we got home I would nurse him at 4:30 and then again before he went to sleep at about 7:00.  I pumped again at 10:00pm.

This cycle went on for an entire month.  Gradually I stopped pumping before I left for school.  Then I cut out the 10pm pumping.  In early October I quit pumping at 12:00 because I was just a frantic mess trying to get my class through the lunch line, slam down a Lean Cuisine and pack in 15 minutes of pumping only to race down the call to pick up my class.  That was a relief.  A couple weeks ago I stopped pumping before school.  Last week I stopped pumping at 2:30.  I nursed on the weekends.  In the last two weeks Brecken seems to be over the bottle.  He doesn't want it at daycare and he's never really cared for it at home much.  We're careful to make sure his meals have a lot of breast milk in them.    Currently I nurse when Brecken wakes up at about 6:30am and then again before he goes to bed at about 5:30pm.

I have had a tv tray holding the pump and all my accessories, including different size bottles and the handy dandy pump cup holder Mark created to fit the edge of our kitchen table, sitting next to our kitchen table since the day we brought Brecken home from the hospital.

When my milk came in just minutes after getting him home I was so relieved.  I pumped at times I didn't want to.  I tried to make the most of of by reading during it.  Planning my day around nursing and pumping.  Getting up at night to nurse and/or pump for months.  Being so stressed at work trying find the time to lock my classroom door.

Today I actually pack up the pump.  Tomorrow I will pack up the one at school.

It's a little sad that one more part of Brecken's babyhood is closing.  However, I am proud of myself for pumping enough milk that I can pack up 100 ounces of frozen milk each Monday morning for him to enjoy through the week at daycare.  I am so happy I sacrificed all that I did to get him the breast milk he  needs until he can drink cow's milk.  I love that I can send Victoria to the deep freeze for a bag of milk whenever we need it.  I love the idea of not worrying about how much water I drink or what I consume going right into my baby.  I would love my knockers to go down a size (or two) as we transition out of nursing completely.

The transition has been as smooth as I ever could have wanted it.  It seems like the perfect time since Brecken has just cut his third tooth and can pull himself up and has taken a few assisted steps.  Our baby is growing so quickly!