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Posts tagged ‘school’

My People!

Today we donned our new
“We are OC”

 shirts the boss got for us. 

I loved matching my co-workers. It might seem kind of goofy to others, but to me, it was like being part of a cool club. I loved the unity. 

I love to see the pride we all take in our work and our school. I especially love to be a part of all the excitement we have for Monday. 

We get to usher a new year in with our students! (BIG CRAZY SMILEY FACE HERE)

I thank God for my OC family. 

They are MY PEOPLE!   

Here are a few pics of the crazy group as we were going outside to pose for this year’s campus photo:

  

   

  

 Like I said, MY PEOPLE!

And to end this blog today, I want to praise and thank God for blessing OCHS with two leaders that are HIS people. It’s a great feeling to have bosses who know Jesus. I truly have been blessed throughout my years as a teacher to have Godly administrators. 

 They were both a little worried when I wanted to take a picture of them today, because apparently I’m a bit malicious when it comes to embarrassing photos or videos. Not the case today! I wanted to show these two off as my blessings… 

My people, but most of all—

GOD’S PEOPLE. 

The first two days…

The first two days…

Yes.  I am blessed.  The last two days back at a job I love have been blessings.

Some teachers (and other people who have to) go through meetings get frustrated and upset at times.  They worry and fret over things, because the boss is not saying what they want or a co-worker won’t stop asking questions.  Well, I recognize the fact that we are all different people, different personalities and bodies.  We have difference of opinions, mind-sets and medication.  Haha!

I LOVE THOSE DIFFERENCES!  If we were all the same…how would this world be!?!  We’d all like bananas and the color green would be our fave.  How would that even work?  Yes, we would all agree, but how would that help move anything forward.  Plain and simple, it wouldn’t.  Duhh.

Ok, I know that some of those meetings go on and on because someone can’t let go of a point. I get it. But instead of getting upset, I giggle.  NOT AUDIBLY; although, sometimes a weird sound comes out from trying to stifle the giggle.  I don’t giggle because I’m making fun…I giggle because, as I said up there…I recognize that we are all different.  I giggle with joy that GOD MADE US THAT WAY!

I do admit, I threatened a couple of co-workers with a good ole body slam yesterday, but all in fun OF COURSE. (if I could actually body slam them..that would be entertaining tho!  haha!)

Back to my original point: I AM BLESSED.  Thank You God for these first two days!!!  Excited to see what this third one holds and the many more to come.  Excitement really doesn’t even begin to describe my expectancy!

We are ALL gifted!

Today at our awards assembly, so many of our students were recognized.  It makes me so proud to see them all excel in one way or another.

I wish we could give them all an award–

NO, I’m not like one of those people who think everyone should get a 1st place trophy for just participating (besides t-ball, they should always get a trophy!)  OR everyone should be the quarterback because they THINK that is their talent.  I’m saying, I wish we could give every child in our school an award for doing something awesome.  They all have an awesome ability.  WE ALL have an awesome ability.

We have students who are… the best encouragers (and I’m not talking about the uniformed cheerleaders),  have the best penmanship, always ready to help out when needed, the best at turning in their work on time, smile, laugh, story-tellers (fiction or non-fiction!), posture, serious faces, funny voices…

I think you get what I’m saying.  WE ALL HAVE OUR *SOMETHING* THAT MAKES US …US!

Most of us have A LOT of somethings that make us …US!

We are all gifted with some talent/ability/awesomeness that makes us who we are.

WE ARE ALL GIFTED!

(sooooooo blessed!)

Can’t make EVERYONE happy.

“Do what you feel in your heart to be right – for you’ll be criticized anyway.”
Eleanor Roosevelt

This quote came to mind today mainly because so many people are quick to criticize the weather people when we should all keep in mind what their job really entails.  The human race, some more than others, love to criticize others no matter what their job, opinion or actions.  This will always be… that is why I like the Roosevelt quote.  She is so right.  There will always be those who hate on you.  Haters gonna hate.

If you look at any weather forecaster and their record of predictions, we should already know they cannot do their job to perfection (WHO REALLY CAN!  There is always room for improvement!).  THEY are not IN CONTROL of what the weather does.  They can only guess, but calling them Weather Guessers just doesn’t sound right.  Forecasters try to predict correctly with tools and calculations, but sometimes that task is like trying to lasso the wind.   This is definitely true in our part of the world.  Texas weather is crazy!

We are in the middle of a snow day.  It’s a freezing cold, stay at home from school kind of snow day.  This is the kind of day students, no matter what age, LOVE.   From the wide-eyes of a 10 year old at the site of a winter wonderland to the actuality of sleeping in of a 16 year old, it’s all love.  I, as a teacher, would rather not miss a day of work only to have to make it up later, but I must say, I do love seeing the excitement of my children.  (birth and non-birth ones)

The weather here in Northeast Texas as much of Texas is so unpredictable.  Sometimes it makes me crazy, but most of the time, as with any situation, I REJOICE IN IT!  The snow today is beautiful.  I don’t want to touch it, but it’s beautiful.

I totally admit, I’m not a cold weather lover, but without it, how would I really know that the Texas 90 plus degree summer days are my favorite?  I wouldn’t.  If we didn’t have dark days, how would we truly appreciate the light?  We wouldn’t!  If there weren’t valleys, how could we be in awe of the mountains?  I think you get where I’m going.

I’m just trying to say, give this day and everyday a chance.  Stop being quick to criticize and more quick to find the silver lining, the bright spot…THE JOY!  LOVE, don’t hate.

It is TOTALLY true that you can’t make everyone happy, but you can make YOU happy…just by your attitude.  Find the happiness and joy, rejoice in THAT.  Change your attitude even tho, EVEN THEN, you…

Can’t make EVERYONE happy.

I’m so proud to be a REBEL.

MY SATURDAY MORNING FB POST:

So proud of THE REBELS–all of them–not just one kid…not just one team…all of them. So honored and blessed to work at OCHS. If you look back, my posts, WIN OR LOSE, say good things about our students. I’m always a fan, always a REBEL. #RebelPride #SchoolSpirit #Forever

I’ve been a Rebel since about 1976 when I first stepped into Mrs. Lynn’s class.  She was so intimidating and scary.  She taught me though.  I learned.  I eventually realized even though she was very strict, she loved us.  That is what a teacher does.  They love.

Here I am many, many, many years later teaching at the same school I graduated from.  Through those years, I was a rebel in so many different ways, but always a loyal Rebel even when I taught at a different school with a much different mascot.

There have been several students come through my classroom here at OCHS.  They come in all different shapes, sizes, learning abilities, strengths, weaknesses, talents, attitudes, character, and so on.  Some, actually most, have insecurities I recall having when I was their age.  Others have strong opinions about events, other students and classes they take–and they don’t mind voicing them.  I remember being that exact same way as well.  ((I know yesterday’s post was a little negative about the strong talkers, but I know I was once right there–“wasting my time.”))

However they come, I love them.  I support them.  I hope to teach them more than what the class is called.   I hope to show them things about life that if not understood now, perhaps, one day they will remember.

Our football team is on a major winning streak right now.  If you know anything about Texas football, you know that is a big deal.  Win or lose, though…I’m proud of all of our students who are involved at our school –from the player to the fan, the athlete to the scholar.  They are all important.  Period.

…and no matter what…

I’m so proud to be a REBEL. 

I am Rita Clawson and I’m an Art Teacher. Judge away!

I’ve been preparing for a workshop I’m hosting at our high school tomorrow and I keep thinking of all the things I can share. I’m going to have to narrow it down, because some of the teacher coming are presenting as well. I’m so excited to CONNECT and LEARN! This workshop is not just for art teachers…there will also be several teachers there who teach other subjects—some electives, some core. It will be a mix! EXCITING!

While I was making notes on different things, I came across some projects and info that made me think about how art teachers (and other electives/ non-core) are looked at by some of our co-workers, peers, parents and others. I like to think of it as the “dumb-jock” stereotype. We are looked at as the *EASY* subjects and some even refer to us as the classes that “don’t really matter.” I’ve had parents actually say that to me. I even had a parent tell me one time that all elective teachers do is pull a grade out of their butt for each student. HA! SERIOUSLY? Other teachers have been caught saying things like, “I wish I was the art teacher and got to have all the fun.” or “I should have gotten my degree in (said elective class here) so I wouldn’t have to give state tests.” Again, SERIOUSLY? My answer to that is… oh, let me add it to the list below… read on.

I came up with this rant to answer a lot of questions on why our “EASY” CLASSES are really very important and very essential to each and every person in this world.

1. Art is EVERYWHERE! If we didn’t have art we wouldn’t have awesome tennis shoes with bright colors and aerodynamic features which make us want to purchase them and run like gazelles. (well, I don’t run, but you might) We wouldn’t have photos of loved ones hanging in our halls, water bottles with a SUPERMAN S on it to make us feel super, clothes with any pattern, color or style, music to enjoy, dance, television, web-design, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles underwear! Ok, I think you get this first point. Whether or not you like to actually create art in any form, in some way, you USE IT. It’s everywhere!

2. Art has been proven to help all kinds of learning. Creating it helps develop problem solving. There have been studies on better test scores and how it helps make a student less likely to drop out of school (sometimes an elective class is the ONLY reason a student drags themselves out of bed and on to school). Art can stand alone and/or support. It’s awesome!

3. A teacher who says OR THINKS (because some people can hold their tongue) that an art or any other elective teacher for that matter is just coloring, singing, building, creating, finger painting, etc. every single day and does nothing else, but sing and dance in class, is a teacher/person who has no idea what we are about. Sure, we have fun, but it’s because we were CALLED TO DO THIS. If you are a core teacher who was not called to do an elective, you should be having fun doing what you do best just as we are with what we do best. Am I right? When any teacher complains about an elective teacher not being as hard-working or held accountable as much as OTHER teachers…this, to me, is just a reflection of the dark sadness they have in their heart about the vocation they are apparently “stuck” in. If you put me down for what I was called to do, that only tells me there is something wrong with you–NOT ME. I could go on… but I won’t. Oh, oh, oh, one more thing…WE DO HAVE TO HELP GIVE STATE TESTS. If only we could use being an elective teacher to get out of that! EVERYONE would want to be an elective teacher then! HA!

4. A parent or even a student who believes our classes are NOT IMPORTANT makes me giggle a little. As a parent, try to be around a child that has no time in their day to create or express themselves in a unique way. If all day a student only looks at letters and numbers and they have no time to run, play, create (talking about all electives here)–you will have a student who is about to explode when they get home. When a student believes an elective class is not important, most of the time, they just don’t think they are good at it.

5. I dedicate this number all to THE GRADE that somehow, SOME people think I pull out of my hind end. (including that parent that said it to me one time…that parent was also a teacher…*sigh*) So, what I do, I’m assuming, is look at the piece of art and just come up with a number. If that were the case, I think I’d just give 100s or 0s. It would either be a GO or a NO. THAT would make it easy. My grading system is so difficult at times. There are so many factors that go into grading a piece of art. It’s sooooo subjective. I must take in consideration all of these (VARIABLES): the student’s ability, the student’s attitude, the use of tools, the use of materials, the solution to the problem I’ve presented them, the actual final product. To add to all of those things I must decipher, I also have to remember that my opinion must not be a major factor in the work. Say a child uses tons of blue in their work and blue is my least favorite color…that cannot be a factor in the grade. It’s not like grading a multiple choice paper or worksheet (bad word) with definite answers on them. Some days, it’s MIND BOGGLING! Let me say this, I DO NOT PULL A GRADE OUT OF MY BOOTY OR FROM ANYWHERE ELSE THAT MIGHT BE IMPOSSIBLE OR IMAGINARY. The end.

6. We are not dumb. For real. We had to take all those college courses just as every other teacher did. The classes in our major were just different. I would love to see some of those core teachers try to pass some of the crazy art classes I had to take! It would be about as hilarious as me trying to pass an upper college level math class. No thank you.

7. I just like the number 7 and thought I’d end with it. I didn’t write this to offend, just to defend.

I’m soooooooo excited about the workshop tomorrow. I’m praying for a room full of fun, happy, excited people who are ready to CONNECT and LEARN! OHH BOY!!! MY FAVORITE!!!

LESSONS LEARNED

Today…

I learned that some people are mean and rude no matter how you treat them.  I had students be disrespectful to me today who have NEVER even looked at me in a rude manner.  There is something about the end of school that makes a teenager crazy.  They will talk words of sarcasm under their breath, try to leave the room without asking or blatantly speak mean words directly to your face.  IT IS CRAZY.   Of course, TO THEM, the reason I get on to them after they do such things is because I– AM– IN– A– BAD– MOOD.  Wow. I’ve expected respect the entire year SO, all of a sudden, I am just “in a bad mood” instead of the fact that I’m still expecting them to show respect to me?  I do not get it.

I learned that students love to make messes on purpose and leave messes just so you can clean them up.  (ON THE FLOOR!)

I learned that students will do the very least they can on their assignment, but still act like they are working as hard as they can.  This is one of the craziest things I observe.  To me, it would be harder to do that than to actually work.

I learned that students will TELL YOU they are “finished working for the day,” because they painted two spots and since they have all week to work on the project, they can spend the other 25 minutes of class doing what they please.  What!?!

I learned that students will try their very best to get out of OTHER classes in order to come in your class and work on the project they didn’t work on when they were in your class.  Does that sentence I just wrote even make sense???

These lessons, I’ve learned before, but I’m usually not reminded of them daily until it gets to the last few weeks of the school year.  Some years are worse than others.  This year, it’s pretty bad, but I’m going to KEEP on KEEPIN on.  We are still going to WORK in my classes.  I’m going to teach and continue to demand respect.  Most of all, I’m going to pray for my babies.  I’m going to pray for their sanity and their peace and their safety.

I know you aren’t supposed to pray for time to pass quickly, because EVERY MINUTE is a gift from GOD, but God knows I am going to pray that summer comes quick!

You learning any lessons these days?

 

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