I had a dream last night
(I cannot say that sentence without following it with “I had high-top Nikes. I had diamonds in
my mouth and diamonds on my mic.”)
My dream wasn’t like T-Swifts dream.
I was at church and we were listening to a speaker.
The speaker was telling the congregation some of the most embarrassing things about me.
I really don’t get embarrassed easily, but he was telling everyone vulnerable things from my
life that he thought was funny, and no one was laughing.
It was as they say, cring-worthy.
As I listened, I looked around and noticed on the row in front of me, 5 or 6 students from my cute 2nd-grade class.
I looked behind me and there were 5 or so more!
As the speaker finished up, another person with a microphone called me to the front of the
room. All at once the seats were gone and it really looked more like a ballroom than a
I don’t know how (okay yeah, I do, it was a dream and dreams don’t give a rats about the
laws of the universe) but I knew that my mom had planned something really spectacular for
me. A surprise involving all of the people I loved.
I saw all of my students, friends, and family, and they were about to start a flash mob just to tell me that they were happy about my existence on the Earth.
Was it my birthday? No
Okay I just typed that and a thought is currently occurring
Maybe that was my funeral
Okay now I’m just laughing in my head because that makes way too much sense
Someone speaking about my embarrassing stories and people I love gathering to celebrate me
Well whether or not I can apply that, in the dream, I did not think it was my funeral
Just as the signal was being given for a very organized group of people to play their part
(There was an orchestra and people were to begin singing 1 small group at a time)
a videographer was there to catch my reaction and I could hear him say
“This is going to be amazing, I wonder if she will cry”
I don’t know all that had been planned
But just before it began
it all started to unravel before me
Someone got sick and left to throw up
Someone lost their kids and left to find them
Half of my students just disappeared
My friends and family looked lost and walked around some singing some trying to dance awkwardly with confusion on their faces, but ended up just leaving
My mom was frantically trying to keep everyone together so that they could begin this grand gesture of love for little old me.
None of it worked
What started as an event that I sort of knew was going to happen, that made me begin to cry tears of joy as it was about to begin
Ended with more tears and disappointment at what should have been
Was I entitled to have that grand party attention and happiness for the love I have for all these people?
But somehow, I felt robbed
I actually woke up crying for the strong emotion of disappointment that I felt at what could have been
I knew it was a dream, I was relieved
But still half asleep the deep sense of emotional switch from high to low stuck with me
+ I cried for a couple of seconds before falling back asleep
Let me tell you about a little thing called being a teacher
To 2nd Graders
They care more about your birthday than their own
If you don’t get at least 25 hugs a day you’re doing something wrong
They want justice and they want it now if the following occurs:
He tugged on my coat
She didn’t line up when you told us too, she just stayed and held the drinking fountain button for the other kids
He is drawing on his desk
She won’t play cheerleaders with me at recess
He is an eraser swiper Ms. Saunders… He swipes ‘em.
She called me the b-word.
He called me the b-word.
“Will you please spell it so that I can make sure I understand what word he called you?”
someone wrote me a note that says “I like you”
“How very kind of them!”
he picked his nose
(said with a disgust strong enough to almost fool you into forgetting that the speaker was picking their nose fifteen minutes ago)
“We all have to do it sometimes. Just tell him to feel free to use a tissue for his gatherings and use some hand sanitizer when he’s done.”
And so on and so forth.
I’m learning that each student is completely different.
There have been more serious matters to be taken care of than these, but the honest truth is that some of these silly things are their whole world.
I used to be dismissive and chuckle to myself every time I heard one of these issues.
In all reality, who to play with at recess is their reality.
If they don’t have anyone to play with, it is heartbreaking and they deserve to be taken
seriously even though their problems don’t seem like problems compared to mine in the
stage of life I’m in.
So I play with them and immediately all the other kids flock to us.
Reason #24345 I love my job and the age they are:
I feel like a rock star.
These kids really boost my ego because, at their age, they still love school and their
teachers are the coolest people they know.
Yes, it gives me a big head indeed.
If you had 26 people in your fan club you would also get a big head.
I’ve learned that empathy is a valuable skill to have no matter what age the human is you are experiencing it for.
No matter what their level of life experience is, even if there are “bigger problems” in the world to worry about than whether or not someone stole your favorite eraser.
To listen and to help students feel heard is to me very important to the success of my job.
You cannot build a skyscraper without building a barn out of popsicles sticks first.
The problems they are learning how to solve on their own now
(with a bit of facilitating from me) will help them to solve the world’s problems tomorrow.
One of my favorite things to do when students fight with someone (not physically) is have them sit down together with a sticky note that says:
1. Talk until you both understand each other (this doesn’t mean you have to agree about everything, just understand.)
2. Brainstorm solutions
3. Pick one that you both like
4. Apologize and forgive even if you still feel like you didn’t do anything wrong.
I let them know that it’s okay if the first step takes a while and that it’s okay to disagree but
you don’t have to be mean about it.
I leave them alone to it, and it’s one of my favorite things to watch when they happily let me
know that they are all better and ready to go out to recess walking out with their arms
around each other’s shoulders.
This doesn’t work for every situation of course, but many it does beautifully.
Why am I rambling on about behavioral management?
I think because it has taught me the most about humans and how we work.
How we solve problems.
How to help others solve their own problems.
I’m still learning and I love it.
The most rewarding thing about teaching for me so far, has been watching students make a transformation dealing with their belief in themselves.
I would say most students in 2nd grade have a growth mindset, which is the belief that they can grow if they work hard.
To not have a growth mindset would be to think “I am either smart or I’m not. It’s how I was born and it won’t change.”
Having a growth mindset is more like “I am not sure how to do this yet, but if I work hard my brain will grow and I will be able to understand! I love the challenge!”
I studied quite a bit on how to help students have this kind of belief system in one of my Childhood Education Psychology classes.
I have one student who shall remain nameless, who was at the very bottom of the barrel in math.
I invited the student to stay after school for tutoring, and what I realized was shocking. It wasn’t at all numbers and symbols and word problems that this student needed to practice, it was a belief that he wasn’t “just the way he was because of how he is” but that his mind was a muscle.
If he just did some “brain pushups” as I like to call them, he could grow his muscle!
So we watched a cartoon video about this and talked about hard work and the truth:
that he has immeasurable potential.
I never told him that he was there because he was low
I never showed him his previous test scores
Lo and behold
2 weeks ago he got 100% on his test for the very first time.
I gave him his test and named him my “Math Pick of the week”
At tutoring, I acted like I wasn’t surprised at all and said
“That’s just who you are. You’re a hard worker so good things will happen for you like that!”
I found out just a couple of weeks before that from his mom, that he had a teacher last year
at a different school that was red pen happy and very verbal about my student’s lack of
abilities in math.
(have I mentioned how much I hate red pens?)
I know it’s probably fine to use them, but I don’t.
You won’t find me writing a minus sign on my papers.
I am thankful to be working at a school that grades based off of mastery not necessarily mistakes.
They get a 4 if they know how to do it well enough that they could teach it.
3 If they can do the math concept by themselves.
2 If they can do it but only with my help.
1 if they cannot do it YET even with my help.
0 only if they refuse to do it at all.
I circle the areas that need “extra attention” or extra practice in any color besides red and allow them extra time to understand what they missed.
Next to wherever they show their work,
I write “Awesome job at showing your work!” Even if they bombed the answer lol.
Why? Because what is more valuable?
The process by which you work through a problem, or just getting the right answer?
Is it more valuable to hire a naturally smart person or a hard worker that is just as smart now because they had to work for it?
As a parent is it more helpful to you that you were able to get straight A’s in high school, or
that you know how to solve problems most of which you have never solved before?
(I am not saying the two aren’t related in some aspects, it does take a great deal of hard work for some people to get straight A’s)
They don’t exactly teach you in school what to do if your kid gets involved with drugs, hits their sibling by accident in the head with a golf club, or puts a bead up their nose so far that you can hardly see it. But I’ll be darned if I don’t think that the process of working through problems in math, science, and English doesn’t teach us how to use our brains to solve those problems.
Maybe your answers vary, and you won’t agree with me, but I think that when we feel that we have the self-control to improve and see ourselves for our potential AND attack life to achieve it, that is when we are doing what we are here to do.
Let’s get rid of the fear of the world's definition of failure
When we aren’t afraid to fail, we can achieve so much more than this
The fear of failure comes from red pen happy teachers +
negative feedback on childhood creative endeavors
Just like learning how to talk to another child about how you feel about them tugging on your coat in line will help you learn how to communicate with your spouse when they don’t help you change diapers, red pens, minus signs, an F on an art assignment could stop you from being willing to be vulnerable enough to put your creativity out there for the solving of the world’s problems.
Be aware of your words and the power that they hold.
Especially regarding children.
To a child, criticizing their ability to do math/read/art could be the foundation of a belief system that they can’t _____.
Fill in the blank.
If you have some spare time, look up “Brene Brown” and just watch every video you can get your hands on.
Anyway, these are some of the things that I am learning as a teacher. I love my students.
I love them so much that I knew I would miss them over the break, so I arranged for us to meet with parents and siblings at a retirement home to go caroling the Saturday before Christmas.
It was lovely despite my mediocre ukulele playing.
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“You should write a blog about your dating stories, especially this one.”
Have you ever heard the joke about the Lawyer, the Doctor, the Pilot, and the Musician?
Let me tell you about it.
Once there was an aspiring lawyer who took a girl to get food and have conversations that thankfully weren’t the average awkward date type of conversations.
They had a lot of interesting connections and a mutual love for southern food.
The date was short and sweet, but also, they talked about some bitter things and probably left feeling introspective and a little bit uneasy.
He texted her about getting together again, she’d like that, but it hasn’t happened yet.
There was also an aspiring doctor who promisingly enough began to text the girl. It should be noted that she is V attracted to all of these boys, (except 1) and this one is DEFINITELY not the one she is not attracted to.
Although they have randomly messaged each other consistently for a couple of weeks, literally nothing has come of it and today he said “when can we meet?” to which she replied:
The aspiring pilot is not even just aspiring but he actually is one.
We had some V interesting conversation and I kicked his butt at ax throwing.
(I had a blast because I’d never done it before and discovered a new talent)
Nothing has come out of it, which tells me he wasn’t a fan of the fact that he is tall and strong and manly, yet a 5ft4 teacher could chuck an ax to a bullseye faster than anyone could say the word LumberJacked because he has not made contact since.
AAAAANNNDDD that brings us to the aspiring musician.
The greatest joke of all.
Boy messages girl on Instagram
Girl thinks he’s from mutual many moons ago
Girl allows boy to follow her on Instagram and gives boy his request of having her snapchat info
Boy facetimes girl through snapchat
Girl genuinely enjoys getting to know strangers and hearing life stories and this was no exception
Boy was very open and told girl his life story without her even asking for it
Girl listened and politely commented on her appreciation for his vulnerability even though it was a bit much to take in
Boy confessed undying affection and plans to fly girl to the state in which he currently resides
Girl politely declined
Boy confronts girl with questions such as
“What is your interest level in me?” “Why are you talking to me if you are neutral about your interest in me?” and statements such as “I want you no matter what it takes. No matter how much time it takes.”
Girl tells boy flat out that she doesn’t know boy well enough to know if she has any interest and that a future with him is not on her mind at all and that the reason she is talking to him is to make a friend and also curiosity.
Boy asks a couple of days later if anything has changed.
Nope still don’t know you at all
People reading this might think I am writing with an undertone of annoyance
Let me assure you with my very small interactions with this boy, I was kind and honest
(and yes I am writing this with major tones of annoyance so there)
When he asked those questions that in my opinion were way before their time of relevancy, I answered politely yet honestly stating that
“I’m just trying to be as transparent with you as possible and I’m realizing that we are not on the same page.”
Boy stated that he needed to go without further talking… they hung up…
“So I’m out of the picture for ya?” he messaged shortly after the phone call.
“I think that is best.”
Boy then writes girl the ugliest message girl has ever received to her knowledge that she does not open until the next morning.
“Wow to think you were undecided just a few days ago…”
Side note: I didn’t say undecided the word I used was neutral because that is what everyone should feel regarding interest in someone they do NOT know.
“… I’m gonna let it loose. You have to learn to open up. Talking to you was great initially and then it was horrendous. Please learn to listen to the other person.
When I say something, value it..”
As if I didn’t listen to his whole life story and offer genuine and encouraging words even though some of the details made me slightly uncomfortable.
“…I feel like I was your side character, not a main part of the story…”
That is 100% accurate. When I’ve had 2 conversations with anyone in the world, I would consider them to be a side character and for anyone to feel entitled to be a main part of my story after that long is disrespectful and unwarranted.
Okay unless it was an angel or John the Beloved, If I had even ½ of a conversation with one of them it would be a main part of my story.
“…Don’t do the Utah girl thing that you did. Don’t flirt a ton and then immediately back off. It’s childish and immature…”
First of all even if I was flirting a ton (which I wasn’t, it’s called kindness without expecting anything in return which is obviously not part of his character towards women)
isn’t that what happens when you find out you aren’t interested in someone?
You flirt and then back off once you smell the poop.
Well I was kind until the poop was literally lit on fire and left on my doorstep!
PEOPLE NEED TO STOP BECOMING PERSONALLY OFFENDED WHEN THEY ARE NOT SOMEONE ELSES SOULMATE. IT’S OKAY IF YOU ARE NOT RIGHT FOR SOMEONE, THAT MEANS THEY AREN’T RIGHT FOR YOU AND YOU’RE ONE STEP CLOSER TO SOMEONE THAT IS. IT DOESN’T MAKE YOU ANYTHING LESS TO KNOW THAT 1 PERSON DOESN’T WANT TO SPEND ETERNITY WITH YOU.
“…I wish you the best but despite what you may think,
I think that you need a lot of work before your next engagement.”
Just to add insult to minor injury…
(the thing about strangers is that they haven’t earned the right to have control over your feelings so even though this message was a blow, he’s still a stranger so it was more like someone shooting a marshmallow gun at me. But at some of the most sensitive places I have, like right in the eyeballs.)
He topped it all off by sending two more messages.
“Side Note: They’re closing your mission.”
(my least favorite part of all of his messages and I’m not even ready to talk about why.)
then to mimic my sincere attempt to be honest with him to avoid his hurt feelings, after literally firing any shots he had to cause me pain on purpose he said.
“I’m just trying to be as transparent with you as possible.”
In the words of a very iconically ponytailed woman named Ari...
My actions and the words of others on the subject include:
-replying once “Not transparent, harsh and unkind. Have a great life.”
-texting Lindsey because I was at work and requesting that she delete him from my snapchat because I didn’t have the time or the patience to even search his name to do it.
-Lindsey saying, “Literally who does this boy think he is?”
-Another Lindsey (the one I work with) saying “Who does he think he is?” + “You should write a blog about this.”
-Another with the last name of Lindsey saying a few things with the main idea of
“you can always get a sperm donor.”
-two of my best friends who never say a curse word and neither of them have Lindsey in any of their three names each replying with
1.“What in the actual hell?” 2. “Holy Hell..?!?!?”
+ now I’m simply annoyed that this extra in my story has taken up so much of my blog post today.
The joke about the aspiring lawyer the doctor the pilot and the musician is that they are all representations of my aspiring love life.
So let’s end on a positive note, shall we?
There really is opposition in all things.
I have a friend who I have known 5-ever that out of the blue sent me a message that was literally so incredibly kind.
I honestly haven’t seen him in years so to say this so out of the blue right after that terrible message from the extra was not a coincidence.
I believe God worked through him just to say,
“Hey Ry, I know that you honestly think it’s humorous that someone you don’t know said all that to you and that it’s not affecting you too deeply, I know that because I know everything, but anyway I just thought it would be nice for you to know that people don’t generally see you that way.” -God
What my friend actually said was this
“You are a person that can give people crap and get it back and know the difference between joking and serious. You work so hard and have all of your priorities set right. You aren’t scared to put in the effort and on top of all that you’re nice to the people you come into contact with. You don’t spread a bunch of drama from what I can see.”
(keep in mind he had no idea about the messages I had received but for real it sounds like he knew about the whole situation amiright?)
I thanked him then I said I think I needed that because look what just happened
and I sent the pics.
“My personal thought on that is that he made himself fall too hard. If it was legit two conversations. Don’t listen to people who are acting stupid and know that you deserve better. J”
Shout out to people who publish positivity.
(Coming from the girl about to post a whole lot of negativity, but never fear because there is a lot of positive too;)
Much love from this Ryanne-Person who has dreams that are very reflective of her life
(or possibly her funeral you decide)
loves to teach and learn and teach and learn
+ knows a joke or two about her love life involving Lawyers Doctors Pilots Mexicans;) and an Extra that was fired from the set.
Make It a Great Day.