Sunday, August 14, 2016

Busy Week!

Water is our first medicine. Your health can certainly improve when you offer a simple prayer to transform your water. Please make it a daily practice to give thanks for your Water with prayers of love and gratitude. There can be no life without water...We can heal ourselves with water. When water is transformed into medicine, it will have a healing effect on our bodies. A man shared a vision he had about water at a ceremony several years ago. 'Heal the water and everything else will follow,' he said.
This weekend has brought a lot of really interesting actions. The Dakota Access Pipeline is on the move and there are a number of native people who are in motion with it.  We have been publicly asked to join Indigenous people in prayer, I had to pause a video posted yesterday to explain to my seven year old daughter what I was watching and what it meant...it means that the world I use to think we lived in is evolving. 
Our children will be a part of a generation that will see the adaption of our people to join the universal struggle for human rights.  As I was making my four year-old sons' bed it dawned on me that my children will experience a time in their life where they will realize that they are expected to accept unequal treatment and I may not be around  to encourage their strength so I will continue to do what I can to support them and show them the beauty of the world and remind them of our path in this plane while I can. 
On my childrens' behalf I think of the young people now who are experiencing the break down of privilege from a number of angles. I have to remind myself that they are growing and coming into their place in the world. I think about the children of The Longest Walk in 1978 as well as Wounded Knee and realize they are grandparents and transferring their knowledge and experience on  to the generation who are being asked to oppose the Dakota Access Pipeline. 
My children and I will be mailing extra camping gear that we haven't used for a few years to Cannonball, North Dakota on Wednesday. Its no longer a disconnected relationship with opposition of wrongdoing, it's a small step and the opportunity to help my babies learn.

Monday, August 1, 2016

August 2016

We made it! Look at us, another year down and a new school year approaching. I love to read and reassess where I am and what I think I am doing every fall so I thought I would start with this wonderful visual and commentary to follow. Please take a look at:
Oh Boy It's Farley


Almost every question I have had as a pre-teacher I was able to find a straightforward solution on this blog. I honestly have followed links to dozens of blogs that have met my needs on more than one occasion. SO let's begin.


Listening: I love The Big Chill, I can't wait to get a little bit older and have life long friends that get my quirks and strange behaviors that not everyone can appreciate. The music is amazing, I love Spotify(c) and the selections are classroom friendly.

Loving: I love the path that I am on and the people who have been brought back into my life. I went through some time where I felt alone and had to navigate my place in the world and felt the pressure of being a single parent which effected our most basic needs and I had to question where and why I had to struggle. I am in love with my life and I am humbled by the people who've been returned to me. I hope that I am in a strong mindset and spirit to welcome them and provide what they need.

Thinking: I have read and re-read my semester planning materials and with such a young early childhood group I don't want to lead them down the wrong path and I am sure it's a common concern for educators for such a young group and the balance of phonemic development and fun is always in the back of our minds.

Wanting: Encouragement that I am on the right path in life and the past few weeks of awesome are what I am gaining, and it's not fleeting. It feels fleeting but I want to know that I am strong enough and in the right place at the right time because it's what I needed, not dumb luck.

Needing: Resources and more time to fine tune and role play and rework my conceptualization of activities and curriculum...and yes, yes I know it's never going to happen but I am running out of words.

Back to School Random Act of Kindness: Flowers for each classroom. I have the jars and just need to call a florist who is willing to go cheap on a few arrangements for our classrooms. And gum, who doesn't enjoy gum while doing paperwork, right?

I follow and love:

Monday, December 7, 2015

I.Am.Struggling.

     So I chose not to work this fall semester. I chose to try to create some time to study for the Foundations of Reading Test (FORT) and pass with flying colors and all would be right in the world...I have yet to pass the FORT and at this point I cannot keep all of my eggs in the FORT basket because this basket has way too many holes that I cannot repair without a consistent class to reteach me the skills I feel I am missing.

      I have agreed to graduate December 2015 with a bachelor of science degree in elementary education.  I will graduate without a teaching license but I can now apply to graduate schools. This is where the fun begins...

     I have to take the Graduate Record Examinations (GRE) to apply to a majority of accredited colleges. I have not studied for the exam because my personal life is out of control. I am struggling to keep myself together. Ready for this...
    
     I meet the criteria for, 'defining at risk of homelessness. Category I-Individuals and Families.' I do not earn 30%  (or $1,851.00) of the median income ($61,700.00) for the area I live in, and we live in a hotel or motel and the cost is not paid for by charitable organizations or by Federal, State, or local government programs for low-income individuals;

     How did it happen? I am glad you asked because I am about to tell the tale...I resigned from my job to student teach (2014), I couldn't pass the FORT so I committed the fall semester (2015) to learn enough to pass it. I assumed I would substitute teach in the meantime and wait for the opportunity to apply to graduate school for the spring (2016) and summer semesters. My plan was to accept student loans to help cover our bills and expenses for the first year before I began part time work in the public school sector in the fall (2016).

     I was actually homeless before I met the criteria but I didn't realize it because I lived within a community of poverty. I was okay in the poverty until the elements that keep people in poverty began to effect my children and I. After a heated argument I quickly came to the conclusion that I was in trouble and it was effecting my children even though I didn't want to admit it before the argument.

     It's a hard realization to come to but I know that I am doing the best I can to provide for my family and myself. I am seeing my children adapt to being without a home, and it breaks my heart but I am trying to make the best of it. My oldest child has recently been diagnosed with a learning disability and he has begun to hoard the toys that we have been able to keep with us. My middle child is a first grader has begun to keep clothing and small toys in her coat pockets and food in her backpack. It's heart breaking but I am hoping that their resilience will work in our favor and help them continue to adapt and help motivate us all to work harder than before to make a better life for our family.  As I type this my two youngest are playing on the bed with pillows which they've shaped like a car and are talking about the places we've visited over the past few days.

     There are things I miss but I know that we have a warm place to sleep and we are physically and emotionally safe. As far as basic needs go, we are doing fine and as long as we have a working vehicle we have leg up.

     I was hoping to move out of the area but I don't think its possible for a while. I was working toward graduate school in a neighboring state but it doesn't look like something I can do at the moment. I don't have the pieces together to make that change. I am sad but I know that I need to make the children my priority and I can get as many housing applications out into the universe as I want but they won't amount to much if I can't even pay the rent or provide a previous rental history.

     I have had to come to terms with a few emotional threads, the biggest  and most painful was the fact that their father and I will never be on the same page in supporting our children. He doesn't seem to be able to think ahead or comprehend their needs, or maybe even care that much. I was hoping he would but he doesn't. As I was reading today, and came to the realization that my children and I are homeless, he left for a business trip for the week. Maybe he feels that his contribution of child support is enough? Either way I believe it is his loss and we will continue without his emotional support. (BTW: he is  also homeless, meets criteria.)      
 
     The other emotional thread is that I thought my life would get better when I finished my undergrad degree.  I thought I would be ready to teach and the world would be available to me, it is just a new kind of hustle. It is a new type of struggle and another level of determination I have to find and another type of struggle I need to try to convince my children to adapt to. I don't have a teaching license and I won't be able to apply for that until I am able to pass the FORT, I am not ready.  I need to take a class to learn about reading development and assessment so it becomes automatic. There is a community college I may be able to take a class from but I won't know until I get the other needs met first.

     The last and final thread is that I am my own support system.  I have some good friends and family but their situations aren't any better at the moment.  I have siblings but most are barley getting by and asking them to go beyond their personal limitations isn't fair of me.  I had an emotional day today, I was very upset and telling the clerk at the housing office that I was homeless with three children created a lump in my throat that will probably stay with me for a long time.  Trying to ask my children's father for help and not getting a response solidified that lump, and having a nice long cry helped me resolve those feelings of failure and dread I feel for my children.  I feel like I use to be a sensitive person and now I feel a little more fire hardened and less fearful because the worst case scenario has happened and it wasn't as horrible as I thought it would be. I mean it's bad but it could have always been worse.

     So we will continue to meet our basic needs, keep our vehicle in working condition, work on childcare for my youngest, and getting my older children to school in a timely manner. School is the most consistent part of their lives and the district they attend is doing a wonderful job in meeting my oldest child's' needs for his individual education plan.  I just need to keep my courage and update them on our living situation and ask for educational support for my children at this time.

      What I will look forward to is cooking a meal for my children in a kitchen that I can stock and have them spend time in a bed made specifically for them.  I look forward to each of my children putting their supplies away and knowing that they can find them right where they stored them.  Christmas is going to be a small affair this year and it is fine.  Having a safe and warm place to be together is worth more than anything money can buy.

     Wish us luck, say a little prayer and if you know me, I haven't given up. Just a little skinned up but ready to get back out there.