This blog post has some interesting ideas. It is actually a post about an article about a book. (Get that?) The book is Cal Newport’s “Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World.” (Sorry, writing police. I havent figured out how to do italics on my Kindle.) In very, very short summary, we spend most of our time on emails, social media, phone calls, documentation- all the time consuming, boring parts of our work. We should be spending the majority of our time on the “deeper” work which involves our creativity. I think I have been wallowing in the shallow work-related tasks- trying to build my platform, reading craft books, reading critiques of other’s writing when what I desire to do is create my own worlds and characters. I think I need to get a copy of this book and read it.
I’ve been struggling a lot with my work. I teach students with low-incidence disabilities. I have come to like it, but I originally did not want to teach in the “multi-handicapped” classroom. When I found out I was being moved into this position, I begged God not to put me there. I prayed and cried for Him to fix what I saw as a serious problem. I felt like He told me to hang in there because something truly amazing was going to come my way. Four years later and I’m still in the same position.
Every year there have been challenges. My room was flooded after it was decorated, and I was forced to move rooms. The entire bottom floor of the school building was flooded, and the school was moved to a temporary location for nine weeks. New students with disabilities I felt I was ill-equipped to provide services for came to my class. Every time a seemingly insurmountable problem occurred, I begged God to take me out of the situation. Take me from this position that I never wanted in the first place. He always said, “No.”
This year I have several students with severe behavior problems. I feel like most of my school day is spent chasing students to calm them down and solve their problems rather than teaching. A couple of the students have aggressive behaviors, and I am at a loss as to how to help them.
So what do I do of course? I pray and beg God to take me out of this situation. I cry. I cajole. I scan the internet and newspapers to see what other careers I might try. I ask my Facebook family to keep an eye open for jobs I might be interested in. I fall into depression, feeling sorry for myself.
Then I read the daily devotional at Faith Gateway from December 14, 2015. The title was Believing in Hope by L. B. Cowman. What a revelation! George did what God wants me to do. Even though George had no physical evidence, he trusted that his grandmother would follow through on the promise she had made. The story cites Romans 4:18 and I think it speaks to the situation perfectly.
Against all hope, Abraham in hope believed and so became the father of many nations, just as it had been said to him..(Romans 4:18)
Even though I can’t yet see the amazing things God has planned for me, I need to know He is busy working to bring those incredible blessings to fruition. Instead of crying for relief every time a minor setback occurs, I will wait with hope. I will endeavor to be more like George and never waiver in my faith that God will come through with the promises he has made to me.
I thought I published this post on November 19, but obviously I did not. Here it is now for your viewing pleasure.
We had literacy night at my 5th and 6th grade school a few nights ago. I used Rory’s Story Cubes for my table. If you have never seen these, they are great for story starters. There are a total of 9 dice with different symbols on each side for the player to interpret. The player rolls the dice and tries to make a story using all 9 of the cubes. Players might interpret the symbols differently. For instance, the symbol for fire could be fire, flame, burn, etc. So a group of people could come up with different stories with one roll of the cubes. Fun!
There are several different sets of cubes like Voyages and Actions. They recently added the Batman set which I can only assume is awesome! The website has some great ideas for using the cubes. I found some great writing frames on Pinterest to help kids get started. The company has even developed an app so you can play on the go.
All in all, my table was a success. The kids had a great time and I was impressed with some of the stories they came up with. Rory’s Story Cubes are great creative writing tools. Since my special needs students have difficulty spelling words and being able to put words on paper, I like to use these cubes for expressive language activities.
If you get the opportunity to try Rory’s Story Cubes, you should. They are a fun way to practice language arts skills.
I would love to homeschool my children. Not that I am bashing public schools in any way. I am a public school teacher after all. But I like the idea of being able to lead my children through learning at their own pace, whether it is slower or more accelerated than average. Since I am still a novice to the homeschool world, I’ve been picking my sister-in-law’s brain about great homeschooling resources. She has home-schooled six of her children, five of whom have already graduated. The first company she thought of was Rainbow Resources.
I visited Rainbow Resources and discovered the company is owned and operated by Bob & Linda Schneider and their family. The company started in 1989 as a curriculum recycling center to help homeschooling families get quality resources while staying within a budget. It is no surprise when they started selling new items, they continued to offer tried and true homeschooling products at affordable prices.
Rainbow Resources is a Christian-based company and offers over 50,000 homeschooling products. I was impressed with the variety of products available. They have the general curriculum resources you would expect to see, but also arts/crafts, early childhood, and games, puzzles and toys. Even more impressive are the links they have for workshops, articles and a parent forum.
I liked the way the website is set up. It is easy to find specific items and they have a tremendous amount of inventory. I don’t know from experience, but I am guessing they have excellent customer service. If anyone has additional information, please leave a comment. I would love to hear your thoughts or about any experiences you might have had with Rainbow Resources.
Admittedly, I am learning how this whole WordPress thing is supposed to go. I have been trying to figure out how to link my Facebook and Twitter accounts to the WordPress account. I’m sure I will get it eventually. For right now, let’s just say I am frustrated.