Category Archives: Public School

And so it begins…..

Every year at this time I get a bit sentimental………This makes my third year of starting back to school with out Curt.  Last week I brought Curt along with me while I was going to work in my classroom.  As I was finishing up I asked Curt if he wanted to walk down and see his old classroom.  He said, “not really, I don’t know where it is.”  I suggested we just walk down his old hallway, just for the heck of it.  He complied and as we walked together, he turned to me with this little glimmer of familiarity and said, “this is my place” and then as we continued down the hallway he walked right up to the door of his old classroom.   HIS old classroom, the place where he spent 15 years teaching HS students. 

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Curt loved his job!  He would always be so excited as the lazy days of summer began to wane and the leaves in our woods began to fall, knowing the first day of school would soon be here!  I on the other hand would shudder and complain about going back, he would smile and remind me, that we should be thankful for the jobs God has given us! :)  I still complained……….

He would get up early that first week of school and be there by 6 am each day.  He wanted to have time to get work done when there were no students around.  He would say, “after school time is not time to get work done, that is time to help students.”  He would often come home late from school after hanging out after school talking to students, helping with assignments, or just giving advice.  I would often have to call him at school and say, “DINNER IS READY can you please come home!!”  I would get so mad…….now I would give anything for him to arrive home late for dinner.

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Curt being a cheerleader and a trooper on a Father/Daughter night for the cheerleaders, this girl’s dad couldn’t be there so she asked her fav teacher to fill in.

He cared for his students, he worked hard to get them involved in each class, he engaged students with his witty sense of humor, and taught with a passion. 

He was diagnosed with Younger Onset Alzheimer’s Oct. 1st 2010, I remember I was making a quick stop at a local store for some much needed school clothes the next day.  The clerk who checked me out noticed my last name and asked if my husband taught at our local high school.  When I said I was his wife, she gushed on and on about how he was her favorite teacher, and even though she didn’t like World History she loved his class!

  I didn’t have the heart to tell her about his diagnosis and thanked her and went in the car and cried!

Yes this time of year I reflect so much upon Curt’s teaching days.  Just the other day we were out at a local restaurant and when the waitress brought our check, she smiled at us and said, “A former student paid for your check tonight!”  That was not the first time that has happened, it happened another time at a local Applebee’s restaurant. 

1998 Yearbook pic

1998 Yearbook Picture of this nice married couple that taught at the same high school :)

One man’s life does matter, and it does impact others.  I know, it sounds like a scene from It’s a Wonderful Life. :)

Curt was always a fan of Oswald Chambers, I found this quote in one of Curt’s books recently

“We are not made for the mountains, for sunrises, or for the other beautiful attractions in life – those are simply intended to be moments of inspiration. We are made for the valley and the ordinary things of life and that is where we have to prove our stamina and strength.” ~Oswald Chambers

Yes Curt lived in the ordinary things of everyday life and in those ordinary, daily moments he worked hard to live a life that would always honor God, and reflect a life lived with passion and integrity. 

I am thankful for the model he served to me to live that life. 

It is with that inspiration that I start my school year this year! 

Summer Finally and We’re Off on our baseball adventures!

Summer Break, it’s finally here!  It is much needed and anticipated!

My last day of school was somewhat emotional……I cried a bit thinking of what a crazy, exhausting school year it’s been.  From finding out on Oct 1st of Curt’s diagnosis, to the decision for him to stop working, to being at school every day with out him.

Then as our entire school district was gathered for our end of the year meeting, I really teared up!  Curt was due to receive his 15 year award for being with the district for 15 years ( He previously taught in another district for 10 years).  As he went up to accept his award, the sweet colleagues, friends and employees of our school district gave Curt an endearing standing ovation, the superintendent gave him a hug and whispered in his ear that she continues to pray for him!  Well that was all I needed to open the flood gates of tears.  Actually it still brings me to tears as I type this.  It was a moment to cherish.  Such good people of our district!

Yet it was also one of those moments that didn’t seem real.  I stood so touched by the love and care of the friends of our school district, but also stood in disbelief that this is really happening to us.

Shortly after that, I found this neat framed print that seemed to capture the theme of our life these days. It simply reads “Remember the moments, not the days”  The days may seem long, but there are beautiful moments to remember.

But I barely set foot into summer, when we were out the door for our first of many baseball tournaments to Va Tech.  Curt and the kids picked me up at school after that emotional last day and I drove the fam to Va Tech.  After a long day I got a little goofy as we were driving through West Va.  I cranked up the country music and tried to take a little video while I drove.  Excuse the quality of the video, but the looks on the faces of Tyler and Madi are priceless.  They look so VERY mortified that we are their parents and we are acting this way!  Don’t ya just love being the parents of teens! :)  And do me a favor don’t tell the kids I posted this on my blog…..ha ha ha!

Curt and Madi outside the stadium at Va Tech

Our schedule is a bit crazy, we have  baseball tournaments scheduled at Univ of Md, Ohio State, Wake Forest, Univ of Cincinnati, and Atlanta, Ga for a week. And guess who hates driving….yep that would be me!  Curt usually drove us everywhere for years, while I read and napped in the car.  Well this summer I will be sharing the driving duties with Tyler…..no more napping for me.  Two thoughtful friends sent me Starbucks gifts cards……I already spent about 5 dollars off of one of them driving home from Va Tech!  So you can call me the “Car driving Caffeine Chick” this summer! :)

So our summer tour has begun, we are off to Univ of Md this weekend.  Look for pictures of our summer adventures.  Pray for lots of coffee, fun, and safety!  I promise I will post more on how Curt is doing next time.  Things have gotten a bit worse, and we are seeing more and more symptoms.  It is such an unpredictable and unforgiving disease!


Friday Fave Five

Well it has been a glorious week for this teacher!

My number ONE favorite of the week was;

SCHOOL IS OUT FOR THE SUMMER!!!!



I am also enjoying my simple, little herb container garden.  I planted dill, rosemary and chives.  They are thriving and I just love stepping out onto the deck to cut a bit of fresh herbs for the things I am cooking!  I feel like a cool, pioneer kind of women! Ha Ha

SportTman broke his pinky finger diving for a baseball in center field.   It makes my Friday Faves since he has a huge baseball tournament coming up in Omaha, NE in 10 days,  I wanted to be sure he could still play so I took him to a sports orthopedic specialist.  He made this funky cast for him so he can still throw a baseball this week, and he thinks he will be ready for Omaha! Phew!

My woods is another favorite.  Drums just mowed the weed field that it had become, and it looks lovely!!  I just love to spend time out there praying, relaxing, checking out the wildlife, picking berries, walking the little trail we made etc.  We have all been back there so much more now that it has been mowed.  This is the view from our deck.

The Inventor and her friends also make my list this week.  They got out of school early their last day of school and took over my kitchen while I was still at school.  Well did I come home to a wonderful treat.  They cooked a delicious dinner of twice baked potatoes with cheese, bacon and onion, blueberry crepes and a fresh salad and a homemade blueberry milkshake!  It was so good, and they even cleaned up!!  Wow….I love those girls!

For more Friday Fave Five stop and visit Susanne at Living to Tell the Story.

Fourteen

He is entertaining, a goof, annoying to his sister at times, a typical boy who leaves his stuff laying around the house, his room isn’t the neatest, and his clothes are rarely put away in his drawers.  He is a boy who has a passion for sports.  He is also currently raising our weekly food bill by eating constantly, he stands tall at 6 feet, and is wears a size 13 shoe.  As an 8th grader, he plays for the 9th grade school basketball team, he also plays for a competitive tournament baseball team.

But I also see a leader beginning to emerge, he helps lead a bible study at his public school middle school, he isn’t real captivated by cell phones and the current popular clothes, he is content to be himself.   He enjoys going to youth group, and is not embarrassed that his mom is also his Sunday School teacher.  He enjoys playing drums for his Jr. High youth group praise team.  I am starting see glimpses of a Godly man forming.

Yes, this young man, my son SportTman turns 14  today.  He is a blessing to our family, and I am thankful that I can watch God form him into the man He wants to use for His glory.

Happy Birthday SportTman!

And yes, that is a tie he happily wore to school yesterday for an away basketball game……yes he is growing up!

in-front-of-treein-my-classroom

The $1,046 haircut!

Check out how cool my hubby is! :)

The senior class president at the school we teach at, casually asked Drums one day what it would take to get him to shave his head. He had been teasing Drums about his “slicked back doo” for some time, and was wondering if he would ever change his hairstyle and shave his head. Drums replied, it would take $1,000 dollars……I feel certain you can guess what happened at this point. :) Yep, the senior class students and teachers at the public high school we teach at raised $1,046! Now before you start thinking we will be going on a nice vacation with that large chunk of change, it’s all going to charity. And not just any charity mind you, some of it will go to Compassion International. We have sponsored 2 kids through Compassion for years ( that means it’s been so long, I can’t remember how long it’s been!). But, the bulk of it will go to our friends of who are going to be missionaries in Thailand! The local paper even wrote a short article about Drums “hair today………gone today experience.”

I personally think the new “doo” looks great. So check out the You Tube video that a student took and posted it. I cut his hair with about 70 students looking on in his classroom. What a fun way to end the school year!

The “before” look. The infamous slicked back hair doo!

Here I am cutting his lovely locks OFF!

Here is Drums with the new doo and the student who raised all the money.

A glimpse of public school high school life

As many of you know I teach for our local public high school. I know as christians we all have different views of public school, but I thought I would share some of the good, the bad, and the ugly of my year so far.

Let’s start with the bad……

A teacher at my school had an affair with a student this year. I posted about it awhile back, it was so sad. The man was married and had a toddler. He had earned an excellent reputation as a music teacher and band director. Now, it’s all just a faded memory, as he sits in jail awaiting a trial.

There is a table of freshman students that I see sitting in a booth at lunch every day, they throw things at other kids, they yell rude things, and basically think they own the place. They have served detention, talked to the assistant principal, and their behavior hasn’t really changed. Now, thanks to my hubby the cafeteria monitor, they are all separated sitting at individual desks at 4 separate corners of the cafeteria.

The ugly………

I live in a quaint, conservative small town. Our school recently made news headlines for a racial incident that occurred. Apparently tensions had been rising for awhile, they all came to a head when 3 boys yelled racial slurs at some African-American students and threw trash at them. It was a sad event, perpetrated by just a few rogue boys. It saddened us all to see these events unfold before our eyes, and unfortunately attitudes of hate and discrimination still exist!

Now for the GOOD……….

The  very talented quarterback for the school football team, takes time every day to come and sit with my special needs students during lunch. He started this on his own initiative, and my students, especially the boys LOVE him. It’s a time of trash talking, being goofy, giving him five……good ole typical boy fun.

Our senior class president lost his mom this year to a brain aneurysm. He played for the school basketball team. The entire school rallied around him, and students and teachers purchased over 700 shirts bearing his name, and an inspirational message. Everyone wore the shirts to school on the same day and then to the basketball game that night. The boy wrote a thank you note in the local paper, and thanked everyone for their support…….including Jesus his savior who has seen him through this difficult time!! I might add that this young man volunteers in my class everyday, and plans to be a teacher when he graduates. My students adore him.

A young girl, a sophomore from our church comes down to the special ed classroom next to mine and plays her guitar during her lunch time every Friday. She sings many christian songs for the autistic support class next to my classroom. Just yesterday I heard her singing away………” Holy, Holy, Holy Is the Lord God Almighty ,Who was, and is, and is to come ,With all creation I sing ,Praise to the King of Kings ,You are my everything , And I will adore You”

I overheard a student the other day inviting a student who is in a lot of trouble lately, to his church youth group.

This is just a small glimpse of what goes on. High schools these days can be a tough place to grow up in, but I am thankful for christian kids who pledge to make a difference amidst the bad and the ugly.