Tuesday, March 10, 2015

It's Testing Season

    Well... It's here! Testing time! This week our school along with millions of others around the country is starting testing. Our students will be subjected to hours of coloring in those tiny bubbles on over 4 different standardized tests. This week we start EXPLORE which is a pre ACT test for 8th graders. Next week first week of PARCC testing (yes there are two weeks of PARCC). Then in April it is LEAP and iLEAP. May brings EOC (End of Course Testing), PARCC Phase 2, and Exams! So we will be testing our students until the end of the school year.
    As a teacher I dread testing time. Not because I fear that my students will not perform well, but just because of the sheer pressure that is put on them, the teachers, and the administration of our school. There has to be a better way of assessing our students.
     I am not sure how many of you are familiar with PARCC, but the test this year will be quite different from how students have been tested in the past. PARCC only covers ELA and Math. Many of the questions that students are asked to answer contain multiple parts, which is fine, however if a student gets part A of a question wrong they therefore get part B and C wrong as well. There are also questions on the test with multiple answers. So question 12. could have the answer A, C, and D! Our students have been practicing these types of questions since we received the new s of what the test contains. However this will be their first attempt at this type of testing.
    Teachers at my school and all over the country have been focusing on teaching students how to answer the questions, because this type of testing is new to everyone. I am not sure what to expect from our results. I just hope that the students do not get discouraged and quit. I know my students and when things get too hard and no one is allowed to help them they shut down. I fear that students will give up before they are even given a proper chance to show what they have learned. I also fear that many teachers will lose their jobs over students test performance. In the state of Louisiana 50% of a teachers overall evaluation is based on students test scores. This means if they fail, you fail. No matter how hard you worked all year, you did not do your job because your students could not perform on a test. There is no consideration for home life, parents, economics, or students learning levels. It's all the teachers fault.
    The silver lining is that summer is only 50 days away! All of the stress and anxiety that comes with testing and all of the other end of the school year activities will soon be over. At least until next school year when we start this roller-coaster ride of emotions all over again.

Friday, March 6, 2015

Weekend Goals

It's finally Friday! Yeah!
This week seems to have been the longest week ever and I am definitely ready for the weekend. I am sure like everyone else my weekends are packed with family, chores, and a variety of things to get done. Being a Type A person I make plenty of to do lists. What to do on Saturday, what to do on Sunday, but seeing it all on paper made me have anxiety. So instead of a to do lists, every Friday I create my goals for the weekend. Using the word goals makes the tasks feel like more of a challenge. Like it is a goal I have to meet.
My goal lists usually incorporate the usual laundry, grocery, etc., but I also incorporate things like take a nap, and spend time with friends. I add these things to my goal list because sometimes I get so busy that I forget to just relax and take time for myself.
So here is are my weekend goals for this weekend:

1. Laundry
2. Plan meals for week and Grocery shop
3. Finish Big Painting
4. Clean entire house
5. Do something for my mom's birthday
6. Spend time with friends
7. Watch an movie
8. Read a book
9. Do the taxes!
10. Go for a run or a walk (weather premitting)
11. Set the clocks forward an hour (Saturday night)

I know what you are thinking. You do all that in one weekend? The answer is no. There is no way I can reach every goal every weekend, because they are just that goals. I do get excited when I reach a goal and can scratch it off my list. So I encourage you to make a weekend goal list and get to reaching those goals.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Lack of Energy or Motivation?

I currently work a full time job as a middle school teacher. I get up every morning at 5:30 make my lunch and grab something to eat for breakfast, while getting Baby J settled with cereal and cartoons. School starts at 7:15am, so by this time I am scarfing down my dry cereal (breakfast) and gathering everything I need to start my day. As the kids come in I think to myself here we go, another day. As much as I use to love teaching, now I feel that my heart is not into it. There is so much more to being a teacher than the part I actually love, teaching! 
By the time lunch comes around (10:47am yeah I know), I am exhausted and ready for a nap. The rest of my day is spent helping students with projects, and counting down the minutes until the end of the day. When the bell rings at 2:30pm I am so exhausted that I just want to go home and sleep (which is not possible with a toddler). 
Then something incredible happens, I walk in the door and Baby J runs up to me saying,"Mommy! I missed you!" and my day is made. I am no longer tired, no longer frustrated, instead I get my second wind. We go home and play in the yard, I do a batch of laundry, cook dinner, and even help my husband with his school work. My energy level has gone through the roof and I feel like Supermom! 
It is in this moment that I realize this is what I want to do. I want to be home with my family. Don't get me wrong I have a great teaching job at a great school, but my heart is not there. It is with my husband and son. I want to do everything possible to make their lives better and for now that means teaching because it is paying the bills, but hopefully soon I will be able to find what is good for them and good for me. Because they are my whole world and I want to do what is best for all of us. 


Saturday, February 28, 2015

Getting things done with a toddler

     Ever since Baby J was real little he always wanted to help with everything. When my husband and I decided to redo our master bedroom, we knew that it was going to be a challenge. We decided to do it the week of Mardi Gras because I had a week off of school and that would give us plenty of time. Right? Well we quickly found out that with Baby J running around and "helping" it was really difficult to get just about anything done. We managed to get all of the furniture put together except for one dresser that hadn't arrived yet. Of course my husband had to go out of town for school the next week which left me and Baby J to complete this big project ourselves. 
   The first step was to get everything into our bedroom. I decided that the only way I was going to get this done was to let Baby J help by caring the small things. He did a great job with this! Once we had all of the pieces spread out everywhere I quickly noticed that non of the parts were labeled. This is a problem. Now I had to focus more on directions and pictures, while keeping Baby J from scratching or damaging any of the pieces. OK. No problem. I am a multitasking super mom right? I can do this. 
   After about an hour of screwing and hammering we finally for the frame of the dresser complete. By this time it was almost Baby J's bed time and I knew that once he went to sleep I could get more done. So after putting Baby J to bed I continued to work. I figured I would leave the hammering until tomorrow because the loud noise would wake him up. So there I was screwing a drawer together when the screwdriver slipped off of the screw and went right into my left thumb. OUCH! That was it I was done!
so the next day I decided to finish the dresser and the rest of the room Baby J was a great help today except for when he decided to jump on our bed while I was trying to put the new sheets on. Overall I feel that the weekend and our project was a success! I have learned from this experience that getting things done with a idler is more challenging than I expected, but if I can figure out a way to involve him in the task instead of keeping him out things go a lot smoother. Now all that is left is to relax and enjoy our beautiful new room.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

New Look New Me!

Hey everyone! It's been awhile since I've posted something new but I am hoping to change that. My blog has a new look and I am ready to focus on my blogging and graphic design! With my husband in Physical Therapy school and an almost 2 year old running around life has been pretty crazy, but I really want to focus on my blog as something for myself and of course my readers. So keep a look out for new and exciting things here at Creative NOLA Mom.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

New Website!

Please check out my new website for my new company Guillot Graphic Design. New Website

Monday, January 21, 2013

Moving Right Along

  Well January is almost over! Crazy isn't it. As far as my business venture goes I am moving right along. I got my trade mark, ordered my business cards, and set up my portfolio. Please check it out. Now all I need is clients and I'll be on my way. I can't wait to have my own business up and running.
  As far as our little monkey goes, he is getting bigger by the day and so am I. I will be 24 weeks on Wednesday, which also happens to be my birthday! I've got all of the invitations out for the baby shower and I can't wait to have my whole family here for the event. I am also super excited to get everything in his room set up. Just one step closer to him actually being here. I can't wait to meet my son!
  All in all things are going well. School is school. In a few weeks we will have off for Mardi Gras, which is one of my favorite holidays!