Educators… MOUNT UP!!!

As the reality of homeschooling, home offices and quarantines sets in it’s easy to forget what we’ve left behind. On Friday, I walked the silent halls of my Elementary School. I was alone, everyone had left for the day… maybe for the year.

There were no colorful backpacks hanging on their hooks, or any voices of students working together on a rigorous task. Students’ chairs were turned upside down on their desks and the SMART boards were dark.

However, school was in session. Teachers were hard at work. They’re preparing for a completely new way of teaching the children they love so much. They’ve had no time to prepare for this. These educators,the ones I work with everyday, took what public education has been for centuries and flipped it upside down and inside out. The school district I work in has taken on the task with determination.

Washington, DC didn’t tell us what to do. The state didn’t tell us what to do. It was the public educators. The ones in the trenches. We are going to “war” with traditional teaching and also with the “virus” that has become a world wide pandemic. And… there is no one… not one staff that I would rather go to war with than my staff at Huntington.

There’s little we can do, us educators on the front lines. The teachers, principals and central office staff members want nothing more than to be on the front lines. We want to visit our families and help serve grab and go meals. But, we know there are people on the front lines already… the nurses, doctors and medical professionals who need us to stay back and help from afar.

So that’s what we do. We do what we can from afar. I’ve been lucky enough to have the platform to do that. From this blog I’ve been able to reach out to so many of my school families. I decided last week to do a live read aloud each night to help keep some sort of connection to my students.

The funny thing is I was hoping to reach a few students, maybe even a few from my last school… but then something happened. Hundreds, thousands of people tuned in. Channel 8 News asked for an interview and Chronicles of a New Dad and Jax were lighting up the 6:00 news.

It become a family affair, a way for a community to gather (or at least I see it that way). I feel that it helps me do “my part.” While I joke about another 15 minutes of fame, the message is clear… educators are doing their part to keep their students engaged and in the end, as a society, that’s all we can ask.

Coronavirus scare: Teachers, administrators, and students turn to social media for traditions like storytime

My Son is a Parseltongue

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So I have been so hesitant to write anything about what’s been bothering me lately.  Like really bothering me.  I know I pretty much write about anything and everything on here because that’s what this blog is about… The real stuff… The good, the bad and the ugly… Clint Eastwood style.   But I also want to make sure that later in life Jax doesn’t have a complex… (Or at least too much of a complex).

But I’m starting to worry.  So this blog entry is less about me telling a story and more about me being able to get something off my chest.  Something that is worrying me.

I’m pretty sure everyone knows I’m an educator.  I’ve been a teacher and administrator for 15 years now.  Maybe I have some sort of hypochondria or a super heightened sense of attention to detail when it comes to child development, but I feel like I’m starting to stress out.

So he’s almost 17 months old… He’s done a lot over the past year and a half.  He’s hitting milestones left and right… But he’s still not taking. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m the first to defend the… “Everyone develops at their own pace” philosophy.  But when it’s my own kid it’s stressful. Don’t forget… This is the type of literature I read on a daily basis:

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Try reading that as a parent and not losing your mind.  Try reading and article that says by 15 months your child should be able to order Lo Mein in Chinese and be able to use chopsticks to eat it. I’m struggling to balance my professional career as someone who diagnosis students’ reading problems and has to decide if a students behavior issues are developmental, environmental or learned… I’m struggling to balance that with my professional career as a dad who worries about everything.

I mean, we do have the basic “mama” and “dada”… and for whatever weird reason there’s also “nene” (bottle).  But other than that he has the language skills of Animal from the Muppet Babies.

We talk to him (I mean… I could talk for hours… its my favorite pasttime).  Grammy, literally gives him literacy and vocabulary lessons all day… half of his toys talk to him… and we read to him every night.  And all we get in return is something that sounds like Parseltongue.  I mean, maybe I’m looking into this to deeply… but he sure fits the bill of a Parselmouth

“Parseltongue is, when spoken, a hissing sound, similar to that of a snake; as such, normal people cannot understand it (one known exception being Dumbledore). Apart from merely communicating with serpentine lifeforms, Parselmouths also seem able to influence the will of serpents to a certain extent. Aside from serpent-based creatures, Parselmouths can communicate with each other with the language, as Harry understood Tom Riddle’s commands to the Basilisk and the House of Gauntcommunicate with each other almost exclusively in Parseltongue. While inherited, Parseltongue usually requires the speaker to face a snake-based creature or object shaped like a snake (e.g. a carving); more proficient speakers may be able to speak it at will.” -HarryPotter Wiki

So maybe I should be less worried about the fact that he isn’t really talking or more worried that my son may be a Dark Wizard?