Thinking

Ya know when something major happens and instead of dealing with that, you focus all of your turmoil on something insignificant.  Yeah, so this post http://www.sunnyskyz.com/blog/526/All-Kids-Have-Picky-Eating-Habits-But-These-32-Toddlers-Take-The-Cake has PISSED ME OFF!  That, and doing grades, and worring about the downfall of human civilization, how education is broken, corporations rule the world and realizing I'm old....

The thing is with the post is I put myself in my grandma's shoes when I read that.  And instead of funny, it just seemed so sad and tragic.  DON'T get me wrong, I'm guilty of pandering to my 4 yr. old when she wanted to only eat blue things.  I am no better than the parents in this meme.  But the thing is, I'm also a high school teacher and have to deal with your lovely child who's been catered to and helicoptered over his/her whole life.  S/he's been told how perfect and special and wonderful s/he is their entire life.  S/He's come to expect mommy/daddy to work tirelessly every moment of every day to ensure that they have s/he has every moment planned and filled with entertainment and gogurt.  "Will there be snacks?" is the first things HS students ask when deciding if/which club meeting to attend.  Not the content, or what it's doing, or even who's in the club.  Just, is there food?  And if not the student scoffs and leaves.  My generation are some of the shittiest and best parents yet.  Some of us are great, raising kids without the violence or prejudice many of us were raised with.  And bullying, nothing like when I was a kid.  I still remember in Jr. High, SN making so much fun of my pizza face and telling me infront of band class how ugly I was and that no one really likes me they just feel bad for me because I had so many zits that she'd be old by the time she counted them all.  Everyone laughed and that was that.  Yes I realize the cliche of a pimpled faced band geek, but I own that baby, flute fah LYFE!  :)  Mr. Silvey did nothing, just told her to sit down.  Now a days, there'd be interventions and conferences and such, possibly a 504 or a behavior contract.  Kids today hide their bullying on the anonoymous feeling interwebs.  Never-the-less, it's nowhere as evident in the classroom as it was in the 80's.

If my brother got in trouble, my mom didn't even want to HEAR his side, to her it didn't matter - you don't fuck with the teacher.  Whatever the teacher says is law.  Now.... hubby who teaches COLLEGE get's parents calling him pleading their student's cases.  It's the opposite swing of the pendulum.  So many of us are now parents who are frought with anxiety about being the BEST parent most loved by their children.  I remember my grandma feeding me fish, even though I'm allergic because she thought I might have outgrown it.  Some will read that and gasp in horror, others will give a little snort.  And that my friend is the difference between parents of my generation.  Now I'm not advocating putting your children in anaphatic shock, but that lady (my gma) grew up with 15 brothers and sisters.  She got married and didn't tell her parents, just went on like everything was normal until they read it in the paper.  She spent her entire  pregnancy and gave birth to her first child all by her self while her hubby was off fixing planes in Africa during WWII.  She was an actual Rosie the Rivitor.  She was fire and grit and determination.  She was intelligence beyond compare and filled with loyalty and love for her family, always seeing the good in things.  She wasn't just a survivor, she thrived.  She believed in the good in people.  She grew up in a different time so it made total sense to her that I could have outgrown the allergy.  (fyi I didn't hehe)  But the thing is, your child didn't do shit all semester and so please stop trying to blame me and make me change the grade because your lovely child is perfect.  Make them do their homework!  Get on their ass!  Take their freaking phone away.  Spend your energy being a good parent and not a shitty one who tries to blame the teacher for "not liking your kid."  I have NEVER EVER EVER failed a kid because I didn't like them.  Nor do I know of a teacher who has.  Does it exist, I'm sure it does somewhere.  Just like with every job, there are good doctors and shitty doctors, but you can't assume that becuase you've had one shitty doctor that all doctors suck.  It's the same damn thing with teaching.  We're doing the best we fucking can.  We WANT your child to be successful.  We get so freaking excited when your lovely kid does well.  Even after they've called us a fucking whore.  Just like you love your child even after they say that to you.  It's in our nature.  Damn it to Hell I wish it wasn't, but it is.  So please trust me, your lovely kid needs you to stop picking the breading off of every single piece of chicken nuggets EVER SINGLE TIME just to get him to eat something.  Let him "starve" for dinner, let him throw that tantrum and throw his ass in his room until he decides to be human.  Why?  Because we don't need a shitty generation of self-entitled, narcissictic, pseudo-adults who don't know how to be human.

Also, my grandma died
and left me a journal of her "life lessons" and memories
and my car died and left me nothing
but I have a new nephew Jayden who is perfect
and I taught my other nephew Wyatt how to do some ballet
Life is funny

  • Current Mood: Rambling
  • Current Music: Sia

fear

So I just found out that I'm diabetic.  It's no surprise, looking in the mirror I know I'm not "me".  I haven't been for years.  And for years, I've gone back and forth losing the same 10lbs, but nothing more.  I've known that what I eat is horrible, not so much the quantity, but the quality.  And I've always told myself that if I just buckled down, I'd lose the weight and once (fill in the blank) is over, then I'll really hit it hard.  Only there was always something else.  Some other holiday or event or work stress.  And so here i sit, fat and sick.  My brain is telling me that this is a blessing in disguise.  I'm now forced to eat real food and take care of myself, but emotionally I'm in a panic.  I can't stop crying.  I can't cry around my family because they're already worried and again.... my brain knows I'll be okay.  But all of a sudden I'm forced to deal with my relationship with food.  When I was young and thin and a dancer, I ate what I wanted when I wanted and never thought twice.  Food wasn't a source of joy or pain.... it was simply food.  But now, I realize how much I try to get joy from food.  How I use it as my reward for dealing with the stresses of being a HS teacher, a mother to a teenager, a wife.  It sounds horrible, but one of my first thoughts was, "how can I be happy if I can't eat anything 'good?"  I imagined coming home and having to prepare something that simply isn't as awesome as junky, sweet, fattening food and it overwhelmed me.  Yet ANOTHER thing I have to worry about/do.  For many this would make no sense.  Even to my brain I know it's illogical, but to the emotional, irrational part of me, it strikes fear down to my core.  Again, don't get me wrong, in the scheme of the world I know it's not a big deal, but in terms of self-reflection, it's a huge deal.  How did I get to this point of using food as a way to feel "happy"?  The change was so gradual I couldn't pinpoint its inception and I never really put a face on it until this moment.  Tomorrow I will be fine, I'll adjust and make changes that will be better for my health.  But right now, in this moment, I can't visualize it.  I feel like a 2 yr old who just lost their blankie.  And I'm angry and scared, but without anyone other than myself to direct it towards.  Which just sucks.
Havasu Sunset

There's a first for everything

In 12 yrs. of teaching I have a student that I believe is truely evil.  As in serial killer, sociopathic, find your bunny in a boiling pot of water evil.  
And she has decided that I am enemy #1
lucky me
In case some cyanide is slipped into my coffee at work...... I love you all
Havasu Sunset

summary vent

 So here are the things that piss me off about all of this.
  • I was never told about this March 1st date  ever
  • In her first email she says both "we never thought it would take this long" AND "the same thing happened to me when I moved here".  Which one is it!
  • I was told by TWO people i'd be paid back pay
  • in one email she contradicts herself and says march 15th instead of 1st
  • i'm doing the job of a teacher, planning, in charge of a club, mentoring students etc but have sub pay
  • she led me to believe that this March 1st date was in some magic "educational codes" which in reality it is not, it's just something the district does which means she COULD give me a contract, but for whatever reason chose not to.
  • if it's not written anywhere about this magic march 1st date, how is anyone suppose to know
  • my principal has no idea about any of this - when i asked him he's like, "uhhh not sure, ask ZZZ"
  • If I'm in a supplamental one year position doesn't the very nature of the job title negate me having to be notified on the magic date of march 15th that i will not be offered a contract right now for next year
  • They're getting the federal funds to pay a .60 teacher, not a sub..... but i'm only getting the sub pay
  • AND no insurance
i turned everything in when I was suppose to and did everything right.  So pissed
Okay, I think I can let it go for a bit now.  I just really really hope that I can get paid what I'm owed.
Havasu Sunset

Wherein I argue with a woman about money

For any vouyers out there here's the back and forth between me and "ZZZ"  

 -----Original Message-----
From: ME
Sent: Thu 3/10/2011 11:37 AM

To: ZZZZ
Cc: YYYY

I teach Environmental Science and US History at QQQQQ H.S. I was hired with the federal funds in September. I was told that I would be paid as a sub until my CA certification went through (I'm an out of state cert. teacher) and then once my cert. was processed I'd be paid as a .6 regular teacher (no longer a sub) and that I would be paid retroactivly since my certification would also be retroactive and the position is permanent. Well my cert. has FINALLY been cleared with the CTC :) I emailed a copy of my certification to my principal and he forewarded it to YYYY I believe, but I've yet to hear about my contract. AAA told me that I needed to email ZZZZ  about that so that I can finally be paid my full amount, insurance, etc etc. So I figured I'd email both :)
Let me know what I need to do.
Thanks!

ME

HER RESPONSE:

Nicole,
When you came on board we never anticipated that your credential would take this long. I am unable to give contracts after the March 1 Board meeting. California Education Codes states that teachers who are to be released at the end iof the year (which you would because you would have received a one year temporary contract) must bve notified by March. In order for me to do that, the board needs to take action on it. Additionally, I don't know who told you anything about retroactive pay, but this is not true. We can't pay someone the contracted rate retroactively. 

I feel bad for you that it took so long but our hands are tied. If it means anything, I found myself in a similar situation when I came to California. 


ZZZZZZZZZ
Assistant Superintendent, Personnel Services





----Original Message-----
From: ME
Sent: Fri 3/11/2011 4:11 PM
To: ZZZZZ

Subject: RE:



I should have been notified from the beginning of the March 1 date. No one has ever said I had until March 1st to be certified or else I wouldn’t be offered a contract. I was told that I would be paid retroactively because I was being paid with federal funds and the certification was retroactive so my pay would be as well. My question is where is the money from the federal govt. going which would have gone to me had the CTC been faster. I feel that I was misled here. XXX and YYY had said that as soon as I got my certification I’d be paid as a regular teacher and would get back pay. This was one of the reasons why I took this position and left my other job. Now I’m going to go the summer with no pay. I’m doing the job of a teacher, but paid as a sub and that’s not right.




HER RESPONSE

Nicole,
I am very sorry for this situation. No one mentioned our not being able to offer contracts after March 15 because we never imagined tht the CCTC would take so long. I don't think anyone in our district ever promoised you that your contract would be retroactive. We NEVER do retroactive contracts as there are legal ramifications of that practice. 


ZZZZZ

Assistant Superintendent, Personnel Services



-----Original Message-----
From: ME
Sent: Thu 3/1/2011 5:38 PM

Can you explain in more detail why you're not able to give me a contract at this point in time? I knew from the beginning that this was a one year situation. What action does the board have to take that they can't do on the 15th? I'm just a bit confused with this process. My next question is a matter of the funding coming from the federal government. How is that being allocated if I am only being paid as a sub. Where is the difference? In addition, I was specifically told that I would (as soon as my certification went through) be paid retroactivly - I specifically remember this because it was one of the reasons I decided to take the position. I was told that because CA retroactivly certifies you it would be reflected in my pay. I realize that is simply my world here and I realize that unfortunatly I will not see that money, but I want you to be aware that I WAS told that. I was also told from the beginning that this would be a one year deal because it was funded by the federal government. I do not understand why I am unable to get the money the government allocated for me to do this job. I am performing all the duties of a teacher, not of a sub. I see that there is a board meeting March 15th. I think that the fair and right thing to do would be to grant me a contract for the remainder of the year.

Nikki J

AT THIS POINT THE PRINCIPAL CAME IN AND SAID BASICALLY, "SORRY..... I DIDN'T KNOW THIS STUFF"



From: ME 

Sent: Thursday, March 17, 2011 12:32 PM

To: ZZZZZ

Subject: RE:

I'm still waiting for clarification on the date. Originally you said the 1st, but then changed to the 15th. Upon asking the union reps I was told that the 15th is acutally the deadline and not the 1st which means that there was time to give me a contract as I notified my principal and Ann on March 3rd. Also, in going through my records I found that on 2/13 I sent a letter I received from the CTC stating academic elgibility for my certification and that all that was left was my fingerprint clearance which had already gone through for me to be able to sub. Regardless of that, the march 15th board meeting was an opportunity to grant me a temporary contract for the rest of the school year.
Please update me on the status. Thank you
Nikki Jeung


HER RESPONSE:

Nikki,
I thought XXX was going to explain how it works. The last meeting of the board to approve contracts was on March 1. The letters informing people that they are released at the end of the year have to be delivered by March 15.

ZZZ
Assistant Superintendent, Personnel Services

-----Original Message-----
From: ME
Sent: Thursday, March 17, 2011 5:27 PM

To: ZZZZ

Subject: RE:


XXX  did speak to me and apologized for telling me I'd be paid
retroactively and that he was sorry for the situation (me being paid as
a sub) but I'm not sure he'd have the answers to my specific questions.



1. If my position is funded federally due to overflow and I am being
paid as a sub, what is happening to the difference in my pay. Where is
that going? I am not receiving what you should be getting from federal
funds for my position so where is the difference.



2. Why wasn't this contract issue dealt with in Feb. when I sent a copy
of the letter I received from the CTC saying that I had passed the
academic portion of certification and was only waiting on the
fingerprint part (which I had already completed in order to be a sub). 



3. Since my contract is a one year supplamental, why couldn't I have
been offered a contract at the March 15th board meeting (since I knew it
was a one year supplamental). Or even offered a contract and given
notice of it only being a 1 year contract at that meeting. 




4. Was the union rep. incorrect when he told me the deadline for
contracts was March 15th.



5. Where can I access the information that states March 1st was the
last day the board can offer contracts. 



I'm just having a hard time wrapping my head around the idea that
because of a few days I am going to lose out on a significant amount of
money. That there's no way for me to get a contract due to something
completely out of my control and that I was never notified of. 

Nikki,


HER RESPONSE

1.  The Federal monies are not for a specific assignments or number of
positions. It is a pool of money that we spend down until it is gone.
We will be spending it on positions until it is depleted. 



2.  We could not proceed until a credential was issued.



3. We don't take contract to the March 15 board meeting. The last board
meeting for contracts is March 1.



4.  
I think your union rep was thinking of the release letters. 



5.  There is nothing that specifically says March 1 is the last board
meeting for contracts. The Education Code says we have to deliver
release letters by March 15. the Board meeting is at night. The board
can't take this action on March 15 because I would not be able to
deliver the release letter on that date. I can't deliver it until the
board takes action. 



ZZZZl
Assistant Superintendent, Personnel Services


ME
Considering what is at stake, I would have met you wherever and whenever to get the release letter. Since there was nothing written stating that March 1st was the last day for contracts, and I informed my principal and YYY on March 3rd accomidations should be made to get me the contract. I feel that the district has not upheld their end of the deal and that I am justly owed a contract for my services. If an agreement can not be reached I will file a grievance and pursue this until it is settled.
Havasu Sunset

My letter to my Union Rep

    I was Interviewed at the end of September with Mr. XXXX for a .60 teaching position at XXXX  that was created with federal funds because of overcrowding. I was told the position was just until the end of the year and that he couldn’t guarantee me a contract for next year, as this position was to deal with the overflow.

Mr. XXXX told me that he wanted to hire me for the position. Because I wasn’t CA certified yet I was told I would be a substitute in order to be in the classroom until my certification was processed, then I would be given a contract as a .60 teacher. He also told me that because the certification would be retroactive I’d also be paid retroactively. I agreed to take the position. I then filled out the sub paperwork and got my fingerprints done so that I could get in the classroom. I began teaching the beginning of October.

I put in my certification at the end of September. In f November I was sent a letter from the CTC stating that I needed a letter from each of my previous schools stating my position and certification. I contacted the schools but didn’t get all of the letters returned to me until January. In Jan I sent the letters to the CTC.

During one of my evaluations in January he asked me what the status of my certification was because he wanted to make sure that I was getting paid “what I deserve” as a teacher. He had me go through the regular evaluation process that teachers go through. At that point I still had not heard from the CTC.

In Feb. Mr. XXXX emailed me about my certification status. Having heard nothing from the CTC I called them to verify that they received the letters and to get an idea of how long it would take. I was told that it takes up to 4 weeks after the get mail for it to go to the individual who worked on my certification and to call back in a few weeks. I emailed Mr. XXX and YYY  this information.

2/13/11 I received a letter from the CTC saying that I had passed the academic portion of certification and that all that remained was fingerprint clearance. I scanned this letter and sent it to XXX and YYY. I did this because the letter says it can be used for employment purposes and I knew I’d be fine with the fingerprints because I already passed them to be a sub.

On 3/3/11 I checked online and found that I was certified. I emailed XXX and YYY a digital copy of that along with a message asking what my next step was. XXX was the only one who responded saying he wasn’t sure but that he forwarded my message to YYY and ZZZ. I heard nothing from either of them.

On 3/10/11 I asked AAA whom to contact regarding this situation. She called the DO and told me to email ZZZ. I emailed her and was told that the Educational Codes don’t allow the district to offer contracts after the March 1st board meeting. I was also told that the district never pays people retroactively and she had a hard time believing that anyone would have told me that. I responded explaining that Mr. XXX had told me I would be paid retroactively because my certification would be retroactive. I asked for further clarification on this board policy of not offering contracts after the 1st of March and expressed my unease about the situation.

In another email she had said that contracts couldn’t be offered after March 15th board meeting. This was prior to the March 15th board meeting so I asked her to clarify since she had previously said March 1st and if it was actually March 15th then I should have been able to get a contract. I received no response.

On 3/15/11 Mr. XXX talked to me and apologized for saying that I would be paid retroactively, that he thought I would and he was misinformed. He also apologized for the situation and admitted that he was unaware of the March 1st policy.

After receiving no response from ZZZ I emailed her again (3/17) asking for clarification and specifically listing my questions. In this email she admitted, 

”There is nothing that specifically says March 1 is the last board meeting for contracts. The Education Code says we have to deliver release letters by March 15. the Board meeting is at night. The board can’t take this action on March 15 because I would not be able to deliver the release letter on that date. I can't deliver it until the board takes action. “ 


We were in contact prior to the March 15th board meeting. Considering that there’s a substantial difference in pay between a sub and a teacher, I would have met her at the meeting to ensure that I was delivered the release letter on that date had she told me that was the issue. I feel that she was misleading when she told me the 1st was the last day the board could offer contracts as it is (by her own admission) not specifically stated anywhere.

I feel that the district has been negligent in their duties and as a result I am out the money and benefits that is due to me. What actions can I take to remedy this? My biggest concern is simply getting a contract for the rest of the year. Feel free to forward this to anyone who may be able to help. Let me know if you need copies of any of the emails or any more information. I’m new to the state and am not sure what to do.
Thanks!
Nikki J.

Havasu Sunset

drug induced entry

My stupid pneumonia cough is back so I downed some cough syurp with codine in it and I feel the effects kicking in, but i'm in the mood to write after reading oodles of blogs from people who are in the process of becoming doctors.  My two cents are to be thrown in.
Why am I reading such blogs?  Because my district screwed me.  Like bff says, "in education you know every district will screw you, granted each will screw you in a unique way, but they will screw you none-the-less"  My district chose to do so in the form of not granting me the agreeded contract after my certification went through so I get paid as a sub instead of a teacher even though I'm doing the work of a teacher.  

So of course I sigh and try to find out the greater lesson in it all.  I found it ironic how i had finally come to terms with being a teacher.  I reluctantly took the job after swearing off teaching and amazingly found that i did like teaching, i was actually good at it.  One good thing is that it renewed my faith in both myself and my ability to be a successful teacher.  So there I was finally at peace with that part of my life, finally saying, "ya know.... I COULD do this for the rest of my life."  Then BAM, I get screwed.  So I'm trying to acertain what exatally I'm to do about this, what is the lesson?  Is the universe telling me to fight to be a teacher, or is it giving me a chance to leave education without feeling like a failure.  Then hubby pointed out that the universe was not in fact trying to get me but rather giving me multiple options all of which are "right" it's just a matter of what I want to choose to do.  This got me thinking.  What do i really WANT to do.  Well shit, that's a hard thing to decide.  I kept finding myself with a cup full of "if's and's & buts" so I tried to eliminate all variables except what i actually desired to do.  I looked at it through the lens of if $ and time weren't an issue what would I do.  Without hesitation I knew, I'd be a doctor.

When I first started college that was my plan, but i thought I could never afford it, it took too long, and I wasn't smart enough.  I quit.  I went the "easy" route and it's always been there.  

The thing is, I would be a kickass doctor.  Under pressure and in "gross" situations i totally hold my shit together and am a calming force.  Here's the thing too, I'm a woman who comes from a poor family.  I know what it's like to be pushed to the sidelines.  There this definate class distinction (usually) between physicians and patients and I want to bridge that gap.  
Havasu Sunset

Playlists

 I finally created some playlists on my iphone.  I know I know.  I always have a hard time making playlists, too much to choose from.  For me it's a little like grocery shopping on an empty stomach, you come home with WAY too much food.  I have a hard time putting my music into categories.  So far here are my playlists:  "Emo days"  for well, all my tourtured artist stuff.  "Gimme a beat"  for my awesome 80's stuff, "Rock me like a hurricane"  for my hard stuff, "Sing it gurilll" for my chick rock , "Bunny gangstah" for rap/hip-hop and "Oi Oi Oi" for my punk stuff.  Oh and "grandpa music" for my bluegrass coolness.  Jensen has like 5000 playlists, too intimidating for me.  Too many decisions to make.  I hate having too many things to choose from, sometimes it paralyses me - too many "what-if's"  This is indicative of something bigger, I'm just not sure what yet.

Personal Evolution has been weighing on my mind.  Boo's growing up.  I know parents always say that, but she really is.  She's going to be in jr. high next year.  She's already off spending the night at friends and doing all sorts of wonderful things without me.  It's such a double edged sword.  I love that we moved out here and she took too it so well.  She's blossomed so much, but at the same time I have to continuously confront the reality of the situation - she is growing up and on.  I've done my job well, but I don't know how parents do it - I don't know how they watch their babies go off in a car - driving - or away to college - or off on some far away adventure.  For so long it was just her and I.  And even when hubby came in, i've given so much of myself to that role of "mom" that I forget what it was like without that.  And now, as she's growing away on her own I'm finding that I need to re-define myself.  Remember who I was, who I am aside from being "mom."  I have to find a way to not get depressed when she spends the night at a friends house ya know.  It's just crazy how in truth, we need our children so much more than they need us.  Hopefully she'll go to Berkeley or Santa Clara and not live far away :)
Havasu Sunset

(no subject)

 I really really don't want to plan.  Instead I want to lay in bed and crochet and watch vampire movies.  Sigh, being a grown up sucks sometimes
Havasu Sunset

Day 5

 Due to a lame mis-communication with a retarded doc, this is day 5 (of who knows for how long) of no meds.  Here's what I learned, it's hard to get good sleep when you dream.  It's like staying up and watching tv..... rather annoying.