This Side of Third

…and second

Misplaced My Motivation


Here I sit, finally prepping for the start of the new school year.  After this past year, and with new developments, and a smidge of self-pity, I already want the year to start so it can be over so next summer can arrive.

I’ve done nothing school-related for the last month because I needed a break.  No Tweet Chats, no blogging, no shopping, no classes.  This is only the second time I’ve opened my laptop.  I did read three work-related books, so I guess I didn’t do nothing.  I just have no motivation to give more to a job that gave me nothing but grief, no matter what I did to change it. Especially over vacation.

At the end of the year, I was looking forward to this break so I could get education-related stuff done that I couldn’t get to while teaching.  I have two separate lists created to ensure I wouldn’t forget all the things I wanted to accomplish now that I had time.  Know how much I’ve done in the last month?  About 30% of it.  Once I got away from the school environment, I lost my motivation.

I’m like that with running, also.  If I don’t have a race looming in the near future, I tend to slack off on my runs.  My next race isn’t until September. That’s too far off.  I’m going to need to give myself a goal to keep up with exercising.  Hmm…  I have a month until school begins.  Wonder if I can lose 20 lbs….

Anyway… I suppose I’m nervous (nervous? no. concerned? not right. apprehensive? meh.) cautious about this new year.  When the entire SpEd team asks to leave the school for other jobs in the county (and outside the county) that should be a red flag.  Someone, somewhere, needs to recognize that.  So everyone received new their new positions in the county for the upcoming year.  Except me.  I’m still here.  With a new team. Although you can’t call it a team, because even when we were all still together, we were not a team.  That was frowned upon.  There was no SpEd team; only grade-level teams which the SpEd teacher was a part of.  Uh-huh.  I’ve been told that will be different this year.

I’m also on a new grade-level team than the last three years.  For this I am happy.  While not a fan of change, I needed to get back to the little guys. I’ve left third grade and returned to PK and Kindergarten.  I will miss my teammates in third, but the team in ECE is solid.  However, this blog is called This Side of Third (Third Grade Things).  Do I change it (This Side of Kindergarten)?  Modify it (FKA This Side of Third)?

I actually spent an hour looking at new blog themes here, and on WordPress, for inspiration. Nothing happened.  So, for now, even though it’s an untruth, the blog remains what it is.  Although, this happened:  IMG_0990  It’s tough helping mom with her blog and listening to jazz.

I know it seems like I’m always bitching about my job.  I DO love teaching. I just don’t like all the crazy that goes with it.  And if I don’t vent here, I tend to do it at work, and that gets me in trouble.

Another Lesson in Perseverence…or Stupidity


It’s probably stupidity.  Honestly, it’s me.  Maybe I shouldn’t say stupid.  Let’s call it strong-willed, hard-headed, or even prideful.  Stubborn?  Whatever.  It’s me doing what I know I shouldn’t do, and not doing what I should do.  Le’ me ‘splain.

I am a runner in the loosest sense of the word.  My best 5k time is 37:00.  That’s roughly a 12-minute mile.  Certainly not a Boston qualifying time.  I typically don’t enjoy running; I force myself out the door.  I do it because it’s healthy, I give myself goals to work toward (races), and it’s helping me to lose weight.  I’d much rather be at home reading, knitting, cross-stitching, or writing.  Sadly, none of those will help me tighten up that which jiggles.

I went for my run last night, slogging through the first intervals on my 10k app (apparently, I’m not happy enough running only 3.1 miles).  I got through the first two 8-minute sections and headed down the last hill for my last 8 minutes.  I realized I was actually enjoying myself…for the first time, ever.  I was loving this!  I’d broken through that proverbial wall and was in the zone!

CRASH!  My left ankle rolled, sending my left foot inward, landing me on my right calf, hip, and hand.  OH MY GOD!  I rolled over on my back, threw my arms to the side, and lie there in the middle of the road.  My iPod took a hit on the way down, and that stupid stick I run with (my husband thinks I’m going to be attacked by bears when I run) was the only sound in nature as it continued to roll down the rest of the hill.

The first thing I did was to see if I ripped my capris-they’re my favorite.  Then I limped to the bottom of the hill, caught my breath and ran back up, cursing at myself the whole way. If Kerri Strug and Joy Johnson can carry on, so could I.  I will triumph!

I have a race next Saturday, a race that I think I have a chance to finish strong.  It’s a very small field, and I think it may have more walkers than runners.  I may have a chance to place better than 13th in my age group!  I’m so irritated!!!  I was finally enjoying myself!  I broke that wall and left it in the dust!  I have a race in 9 days!  WTH?!

The first thing I did when I got home I iced the ankle with a bag of pierogi for a few minutes and tried to stay off of it.  The Hubs gave me a bag of frozen bananas later to use, but that just annoyed me.  I was fine.  It’s all good!

So today I’m wearing a skirt and slippers.  Mr. Blackwell is rolling over in his grave.  The skirt is not to show off my battle wound.  I’d rather hide that.  The skirt is because I can’t wear pants.  The slippers are because I can’t wear a shoe on my left foot (my ankle is the size of a tennis ball).  I look lovely.

So here I am…swollen, in (some) pain, scratched up, and irritated.  I threatened the students with showing them my ugly leg if they don’t behave.  I hope my silent lesson in appearances and perseverance get through to the kids.  I may need to teach a specific lesson though.  I don’t have the most, um, aware students.














Wow.  Watching the NYC marathon today was very inspiring.  I am a fledgeling runner who has never run further than 3.15 miles.  My best time is 37:00 minutes.  My love for running is almost non-existent.  I do it because it’s healthy, helps me lose weight, and is something I can personally do to reach a goal (no matter how small or goofy; like getting to the next stop sign, or not throwing up at the end of a 5k.).

Today I watched Tatyana McFadden complete the first-ever marathon grand slam.  A grand slam means that she won the London, Boston, Chicago, and NYC marathons this year.  A-MA-ZING.

Tatyana is a MD girl who was born in Russia and left in an orphanage by her birth family.  Her American parents adopted her, brought her to the U.S. and immersed Tatyana in a world of sports.  I can only imagine the training that went into her daily schedule for her to accomplish this feat.  Not to mention the tenacity and self-confidence that’s required to pull this off.  I’m now training for a 10k and I can barely get myself out the door, let alone feel good about it.

This is the kind of perseverance we try to instill in our students on a daily basis.  We are always encouraging our kids to stick to it, keep going; applauding their efforts, no matter how small they may be.  We also push them to be better than they think they can be.  Even as a special educator, I am very hard on my kids and have high expectations.  I had one administrator say that I almost come across as being mean to the kids.  I’m not, and I’m lucky the students know me better.  They know I want their best, I’ll do what I can to get them there, whether it’s tough love, or show tunes.

Handicapping conditions are no reason to expect any less from people than their best.  Physical handicaps, intellectual handicaps, or both, never underestimate someone’s ability.  We don’t know what any of us are capable of until we try.  Be an encourager to all, regardless.  Case in point…

Tatyana was left in that orphanage most likely due to her Spina Bifida.  She is now a Paralympian athlete, completing marathons in a wheelchair.  She’s won 4 marathons in a wheelchair.  That’s 26.2 miles x 4.  I teared up when I watched her cross the line to capture the grand slam title. Then I got off the couch, got dressed, and went for a run.  I am nowhere near marathon level, but that doesn’t mean I can’t give my little run the best.

Skip to toolbar