My Real Life

September 24, 2010


Filed under: Uncategorized — Amy @ 6:27 pm
Tags: ,

I’m feeling grumpy and unsettled tonight, and I can’t quite put my finger on why.

My Facebook status last night was “Too busy tonight.  Doctor was running an hour late. Now everything is behind.  Grrrr…”

A friend commented that it must have been a really bad day, because I don’t usually post negative things.

I thought about that comment and realized that he was right.

I am pretty darn happy with my life.

But, this week, I’m off.

Life is just kinda off.

Granted, it’s been a very busy week.

On Tuesday, I had to get Monkey in the Middle to football, then get to choir, then not home until later, all after working a full day.

On Wednesday, lots to do around here in the afternoon, then Back to School Night for Monkey in the Middle, which was great, but we didn’t get home until 8:30, smack dab in the middle of a thunder and lightning storm, which meant that the monkeys were up until around 9:45.

On Thursday, I had a doctor appointment, which ran an hour late, (and which gave me conflicting information from my regular doctor appointment) then had to race to get Monkey in the Middle to football, drop he and the other monkeys off with Real Man, then race home, brush my hair, and head to a different Back to School Night, where I was speaking to the crowd, and didn’t get home until 8:30.

Tonight, I was looking forward to just chilling.

I taught piano after school, picked up the monkeys and headed home.

I planned on making cavatelli and broccoli, relaxing, watching some tv with Real Man, playing board games with the kids.


Then I got a phone call that someone is coming to look at the house tomorrow.

So, instead, tonight I’m doing all the laundry, getting it put away, having Real Man and the monkeys help clean up the entire house, vacuuming, etc.

Tomorrow is flu shots and Monkey in the Middle’s football game, and saying things like “Hey, don’t touch that…someone is coming to look at the house.”

Add to that Oprah’s current complete reversal in her support of teachers, and I feel like I’ve been through the wringer this week.

It takes a village, but if something isn’t working, it must be the teachers?

Is that it, Oprah?


So, I’m just feeling beat up, exhausted, and grumpy tonight, and while I had hoped to come here and write something witty to take me out of the funk, it’s just not happening.

So, forgive me, but Mama said there’d be days like this, and we all have them.

I’ll be back with the wit tomorrow, I think.

For tonight, I think I’ll just wallow.


  1. i dont watch ophra any more.. what did she say? i think its parents not doing their job like preparing kids for school or too much tv ect

    Comment by diana — September 24, 2010 @ 7:02 pm | Reply

  2. wallow as much as you need to! i promise, we’ve all felt like that. granted, i’m not a mother or a teacher, but I know how it feels to be overwhelmed. hang in there and make sure to give yourself some ‘you’ time, even if it’s only for ten minutes 🙂

    Comment by Amy Johnson — September 25, 2010 @ 10:28 am | Reply

  3. Oh my gosh….you are human!! Thank God!! (Just kidding) Even the sunshine is covered up by clouds sometimes. :0) Love you!

    Comment by Alicia Bozza — September 29, 2010 @ 8:55 am | Reply

  4. Oprah loves great teachers. She just doesn’t like the system (aka the union) to allow for so many failures in educating our kids. The unions really have to change their position.

    Yes – some parents are lax. And yes – there are GREAT teachers out there.

    But, lets face it – there are a lot of bad teachers as well. Why can’t we reward the great teachers & start making bad teachers improve, or leave (sh*t or get off the pot, as my father would say).

    Tenure is wrong. Its outdated & doesn’t do anything except protect teachers who do not perform. As a great teacher, I would think that you would agree with this.

    Look around at people in other businesses. They are working 50-70 hours a week, just to be told there are no bonuses, no raises, and their contributions to healthcare have increased 25-50%. They get 2-5 weeks of paid vacations every year, but rarely get to take those any more…. They are lucky to get a day off here & there. And, they feel lucky to have such a crappy existance, because they have survived years of layoffs.

    My husband had back surgery & got the day of the surgery off (Friday) & on Monday, he was working 6 hours from home & the same on Tuesday. On Wed, he was back in the office (I had to drive him because the dr wouldn’t clear him for a week) because there was just too much stuff that had to be done that required him to be there. This was 5 days after he had MAJOR BACK SURGERY.

    He got 4 days off for our wedding – before/after.

    He didn’t get to use up LAST YEAR’S vacation time. We aren’t even discussing this year’s vacation time (yes – its almost October & he will end up losing it). And, he doesn’t get reimbursed if he doesn’t use it. Its use it or lose it….but he isn’t allowed to use it, because of the workload. So, he gets screwed & the company doesn’t have to worry about paying.

    He isn’t alone. This is real life for Americans.

    Oprah wasn’t attacking teachers like you. You are a great teacher. You try hard. You engage kids. You work with them & you want to see them succeed. Unfortunately, YOU ARE NOT THE NORM ACROSS THIS COUNTRY.

    Oprah would applaud you, if she could see you.

    So, please don’t take it personally. It wasn’t anything about you. Teachers like you are the solution to the problems.

    Comment by Carla Corcoran — September 29, 2010 @ 5:17 pm | Reply

    • Carla, I do agree with you. Tenure is nonsense. Good teachers will get rehired and don’t need tenure to protect their positions. Bad teachers need to be easier to get rid of. My concern with Oprah is who she is talking to and who she ISN’T talking to. She should talk to great teachers. Chris Christie is not someone who knows anything at all about education. I’m all for teacher accountability and would welcome it. However, you can’t do it through standardized test scores. NJ education is in trouble because teachers aren’t allowed to teach anything but to the test. Also, they don’t compare student growth. They compare how last years 8th graders did against this years 8th graders. Two different groups of kids…how does that measure growth? Special Ed teachers won’t earn well, because their children have low test scores. ESL teachers…lower test scores. These teachers work extra hard, but their children, traditionally score low on tests and not for lack of good teaching. A student dies in our school the week before the test…the kids are devastated and perform poorly on the test…my job security is based on those scores? There are so many issues with standardized test scores, and yet, that seems to be every politicians answer for teacher accountability. Even kids know that the tests are BS and not good measures of knowledge and learning. Right now, there is no test for Social Studies, and so I have a nice freedom to try to really engage kids in the learning process. How will they decide if I’m doing a good job? By testing the kids in SS? Should we test the kids in Art? Because, my art teachers would have certainly failed, as I have zero artistic ability. Not for lack of their trying, but I just don’t do art. Standardized tests in gym? Where does it end, and what is a truly fair measure of accountability? I want all of those questions answered before I am willing to start listening to any politician, who has never been in a classroom, make decisions about education.

      Comment by abozza — September 29, 2010 @ 5:35 pm | Reply

  5. Amy –

    Agreed with all your points. So, come up with the right way to measure success, reward great teachers….and send it off to Christie & Mayor Booker (everyone is looking for the right solution, they just don’t know what it is.)

    What we need is for a bunch of great professionals to brain storm on the best approach & then get out there & sell it. Oprah is likely to listen….THIS YEAR.

    Unfortunately, elementary & middle school teachers don’t have the benefits of using graduation & college attendance as measurements.

    And, as a person who never did well on tests (I actually just colored the dots on 2 sections of my ACTs & did extremely well – better than if I had tried to read the questions)…and a parent of a child who doesn’t test well, but has a great brain, I know that standardized testing is for one type of tester/learner.

    I think Mel Levine should get involved. He probably has the right answer somewhere.

    Hmmmm. I think I will try to contact him & see if I can get a response.

    Comment by Carla Corcoran — October 8, 2010 @ 11:11 am | Reply

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