Monday, October 05, 2009

My Pageant Debut!

I'm baaaack--again! And this time, to stay. The past few years have been quite a departure from my usual life. Great fun, but teaching middle school doesn't leave a lot of free time for blogging!

Literally, the first day of school in August, I recieved a call from my agent who asked if I would be able to handle a speedy book contract. In short, seeing how I had bulletin boards to assemble, shelves to dust and a supply closet threatening to swallow small sixth graders--no. I'd been having a tough enough time keeping up with current writing obligations, let alone taking on new ones. After a lot of soul searching and long talks with Hubby, we made a family decision for me to return to full-time writing.

While I've wholeheartedly enjoyed working for Tulsa Public Schools, I also seriously love working in my PJs again!! Both of my parents were teachers, and also my grandparents. It's a profession I've always wanted to try, and will always look back upon fondly.

One lesson learned, is that teaching is hard. VERY hard. I went into it starry-eyed and excited to meet my eager students who wanted nothing more than to learn. Ha! Yes, there are a few of those kids out there, but the reality is that there are an awful lot of kids in need. They sometimes arrive at school not having eaten, slept, or even bathed. They worry about not just grades, but bullying and gang issues. There is cyber-stalking and text-hating and even "sexting". Though many public schools in my area have instituted a uniform policy, there are still all too many ways to show status--or a lack thereof--through the latest Nikes or Ed Hardy's.

Though I'm no longer on the front line of education, directly serving children, I'm still keenly aware that there's a serious need for change in this nation. As a former teacher and parent, it is my opinion that never in America's history have strong families been needed more. During our first days of teacher inservice, my building's principal told us that when it comes to student behavior, we should remember, "Fear equals anger."

It was my goal for this school year to model this quote in my every student interaction. There are a lot of angry, frightened, lonely kids out there and while this blog has now taken on the tone of a pageant contestant wishing for world peace, my original intent was to praise teachers and parents and encourage them to keep fighting the fight of raising responsible citizens. Our kids are worth it. When you see a child acting out, sure, he or she might just be pulling a typical teen tantrum. On the other hand, they might have larger issues dragging them down. Don't be afraid to help either through volunteering at a local school, talking to the kids on your street, or being the household where your child's friends feel comfortable hanging out.

Okay, whew, stepping off of my soap box, major smooches to all of you readers who have been with me from the start!! Sorry for my disappearing act!! From here on out, my blog will most likely consist of everything from wacky Granny Sylv stories to conference play-by-plays and of course, the latest gossip on my Hubby and kiddos!!

Until then, there are lots of book excerpts on my web page and if you're in the mood to chat, sign-up to be my Myspace friend!

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