Thursday, February 20, 2014

Love Our Teachers

Remember that interview I went on? Well, I got the job as a substitute. I wish that it was full-time, however I am enjoying being back in the education environment.  I am so happy I have found what I love to do. If I had forced myself to continue being a journalist I don't think I would have been satisfied. On my bad days I still love teaching. On my bad days as a journalist I questioned my worth. 

Teaching gives me hope for the future. Yes, there are days that I'm not sure if we should release these 12 graders out in the real world and I wonder how these 9th grades made it this far. However, there is that magical moment when I'm teaching something and the whole class is learning, truly learning.  It is amazing every time. 

Teaching is hard. I don't think people understand everything that it takes to teach. I love that it challenges me in every way. It takes bravery to stand in front of 20-35 teenagers. I have to take my knowledge and what the world/textbook/administrators/parents/government want them to know and make it interesting, everyday. I have to manage the classroom; meaning making sure the students get along and stop talking long enough to learn. There is an unholy amount of paperwork. Some days I'm a social worker, mother, counselor, listening ear, enforcer, student and teacher to these students. Yet it is completely fulfilling. 

There is a lot of pressure to make sure our students reach certain levels on standardized tests. People want to hold teachers accountable (and they should be) but everyone (especially parents) should be accountable as well. Parent involvement is crucial. There is a reason why "helicopter parents" children do better in school- they are overly involved. I just want parents to think about that when they are sitting at parent-teacher conferences mad at me because their child is failing. Most teachers I know are working their asses off for the student and the parent. 

I don't know when students (or parents) stopped giving gifts for teachers but it needs to make a comeback. I'm not saying this because I want gifts but a simple thank you note would be appreciated. I have notes from my students that I've saved because it reminds me of why I teach. I'm making a difference in this world. 




Teacher Appreciation Day is Tuesday, May 6, 2014.



Monday, February 17, 2014

I relapsed..[creamy crack]

A couple of hours ago I posted this picture to my Instagram. Then I went to do the do before I chickened out. Yes that is right folks, I have voluntarily removed myself from the cool kids club (read: natural hair club). This is part confessional/part review. (SN: I, in no way, endorse this product. They did not ask or pay for my opinion. Use at your own risk). 
There are several reasons why I decided to get a relaxer. I've been natural for almost 2 years. I went natural because I wanted to stop putting chemicals in and on my body. As I started doing research I was disgusted with how many chemicals we consume and touch our bodies. So I stopped using relaxers and I started getting my hair blown straight. Since I refuse to BC (big chop) and I like wearing my hair straight this seemed like the best plan. 

I don't believe that by wearing my hair straight I am denying my African-American heritage. I know people have strong feelings about this.  When I was young my hair was down my back, very light brown with blond streaks and full of 3A curls. Couple this with my light complexion no one believe that I was 100% Black.  I have learned that it doesn't matter what those people think. I know who I am. I am a Black girl who likes her hair straight. 

So I didn't set out to relax my hair. I saw the Cream of Nature, Straight from Eden in Essence magazine. It says it's 100% plant-derived (however there is fine print). It says there is no lye, no mineral oil, no parabens, no sulfates and no formaldehyde. Of course my interest was peaked. I researched it and since it just came out in January there was not a lot of information just paid for reviews. I happen to pass by a beauty supply store and thought I would check it out in person. The manager didn't have them on the shelf yet, she pulled it out from the storage room. I checked out the ingredients on the bottom. I was pretty satisfied that it was in fact mostly plant-based.  (The chemicals come in with the activator). 

I bought it before I could rethink. It was a hard decision besides it being more expensive than traditional relaxers, I wondered it I was willing to give up almost two years of natural hair. I love that my hair is healthy and I've learned how to take care of it better. If I was still working I would not probably do the relaxer but y'all know my job situation

The relaxer has two activators and turns a pretty weird shade of green. At least the smell was pleasant.  I liked that it included two real gloves instead of those plastic bags they usually call gloves. Everything else was business as usual. I love the shampoo and conditioner. I hope they decide to sell those separately. The repairing oil is divine, again, I hope they sell this! My hair is soft and shiny and very straight.  Overall, I like this relaxer and I feel good about using it. Since I have relapsed, I'm glad it was with the best product. I've never had my hair be so soft afterwards. I would definitely use it again.  I'll give a update in a few weeks to see how it is still holding up. 

**update**  I just found out that they do sell the Shampoo, conditioner and repairing oil separately. 

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Randomness

There is so much floating around in my mind that I can seem to focus on one blog topic so here comes a bunch of random ass thoughts...sorry

1. Time:  In four months I will be 33 years old. Many doctors recommend having children before you turn 35. I feel like I'm running out of time (check out my friends' blog about the topic). 

2. Puppy: I want a designer dog. I even looked up a few breeders but I know I should adopt from a shelter. I truly believe in rescuing dogs who need excellent pet parents but I am looking for a specific breed. How many people find designer dogs at shelters?

3. Reality Show: If I would have known that I was going to be out of work this long I should have tried out for The Biggest Loser. I need to lose weight. I have a great personality. I'm ridiculously competitive. All I needed was a sad/inspirational back story and the win would have been mine. Although I do feel that the show has lost its earlier magic in the midst of product placement. 

4. Faith: I feel like this long unemployment is testing my faith. A test I'm not sure I'm passing. I keep reminding myself that things could be worse. I need to pray and be thankful. 

5. Knife: The next time someone says "things will work out" is getting stabbed. I know it is coming from a place of love. I appreciate it but I hear it from everyone. It has stopped being encouraging and started reminding me how things are not working out. 

6. Piercing: Am I too old to get my nose pierced? Seriously. I really want to know. Lately I've been thinking about a super tiny diamond stud. 

7. Tattoo: If the answer to #7 is yes then I'm getting another tattoo for my birthday. Actually, I'm getting the tattoo no matter what the answer to #7 is. 

8. Singles: Stop being bitter about Valentines Day. Buy yourself a new toy and vow to not be single next year