05 April 2020

Here it is... Sunday!

Well, spring break 2020 is over. SIGH. Went on a few walks, cleaned out our storage building and put things back neatly this time. Lastly, got some extra sleep that was needed!

Now, back to work tomorrow. Work? Isn't NC under shelter in place order? Why YES, yes we are; however, the governor sees educators as essential employees! HUH? What can we essentially do at the school building w/o children to teach? Let me list the things we can do!

  1. We can clean our classrooms
  2. Find work for students who do not have access to either their Chromebooks or the internet.
  3. Handout food from the buses as they go to each bus stop so the children can eat breakfast and lunch.
  4. Search the internet for cool things to do with students when we start digital learning.
  5. Walk around the school to get your steps in all the while keep social distancing.
  6. Lastly, hope and pray they don't see you leaving school early because you are so stinking bored!!!!
So, here it is 9:11 PM EDT and I am going to get myself ready for bed b/c I have to be bright-eyed and bushy-tailed for our Google Chat and Google Meet tomorrow! Still going back and forth whether or not I am actually going into the school or not. Decisions, Decisions!


03 April 2020

I am back and ready to blog again! 

COVID-19 rocks world!
Just a quick update... since 2012...

Let's see...2013- Still teaching and still married. Johnathan turns 10 and Lee's son Logan comes to live with us. He's from California!
2014- Pretty much the same--- Johnathan turns 11 Logan turns 12. Both boys finish elementary school!
2015- WOW what a year! Boys started MIDDLE SCHOOL!!!! I get to go to Ron Clark Academy for professional development, see my goddaughter play soccer, meet her sister's boyfriend, and see my best friend. Hubby and I got to sneak away for the weekend!!! Charleston, SC!
June 2015- My school- my little country school closes 😢
Packing up 6 years of memories is hard and tiring. Heading across town to merge with another school that has closed.
July 2015- Met my new principal, moved into my new room and started to mold it to what I wanted! Just not a new building!
School year 15-16- Uneventful, stressful, and nothing really notable. Boys moved to 7th grade.
School year 16-17- Fourth grade again--2 different teammates during the year! Good kids overall. Principal and AP leaving!! Nothing notable, uneventful, and still stressful! Lee started dialysis due to kidney failure! SIGH. 
School year 17-18- Moved to 5th grade- New principal, a friend joins the staff, and VERY STRESSFUL!! Not the year I wanted nor desired. Was moved to the middle school for the next school year!
School year 18-19- 6th grade Math and SCI!! Had some of the same kids from the previous year! It was good overall. Kids definitely different. 2 principals that year! LOVE, LOVE, LOVE middle school!!!
School year 19-20- Well, here we are! Moved from a 2 man team to 4 man team!! Teaching JUST SCIENCE!!! I love my team! We work well together. Kids are very bold and brazen! They try to tell us what they are going to do and not do! HA! 
November 19- I found out my dad had brain cancer- CANCER SUX! I went home for Thanksgiving to see him!
December 19- Go home for Christmas. It might be his last one!
January 2020- Dad goes into hospital b/c he has pneumonia. Sad!!
Late January 2020- Dad comes home, I go to stay for 8 days b/c he's declining fast. It is bad.
Feb 2020- Daddy left his earthly body here on Feb.13. Family heads from NC to Ohio!
March 2020- Still trying to get my groove back from missing almost a month of work. Kids going crazy not wanting to work.
14 March 2020- Without warning, without a single word---- Schools closed due to Corona Virus or COVID-19! 3 weeks they say... minimum!
Starting 16 March 2020- teachers reporting to the school building to plan and help hand out lunches to kiddos. Did what I had to do! Created packets for 2 weeks for my babies.

Week of March 23-27- worked from home b/c my boys had class too! Also started a flowerbed in memory of my Daddy.  Chatted with students in Google chat, did a couple Google meet sessions with students, and worked on new material. 

Week of March 30-April 3- SPRING BREAK!!! OH YEAH!!! PSYCH!!!! NC is now "Sheltering in Place" due to COVID-19 as of March 30! OH JOY!

Perks of being home--SLEEP on Spring Break, not as stressed, assisting my 2 HS Juniors with work-- what I can, and watching things grow! OH, and spending time w/ my doggies!

I am going to make it a concerted effort not to be gone another 8 years. I think I am going to blog about our new normal for the next month or so.

Today, April 2- Gas was 1.75 at Wal-Mart, we've been sheltering in place now for 4 days, didn't leave the house all day today, and went on 2 walks with my doggies! Loved it!

Hope you all are staying safe, social distancing, and being smart!

29 October 2012


This letter has been sent to the UCPS district by this author, Kris Nielsen. Many teachers in the US feel exactly the same. This letter was locally published and now has national attention! WOW!
Kris L. Nielsen
Monroe, NC 28110
Union County Public Schools
Human Resources Department
400 North Church Street
Monroe, NC 28112
October 25, 2012
To All it May Concern:
I’m doing something I thought I would never do—something that will make me a statistic and a caricature of the times. Some will support me, some will shake their heads and smirk condescendingly—and others will try to convince me that I’m part of the problem. Perhaps they’re right, but I don’t think so. All I know is that I’ve hit a wall, and in order to preserve my sanity, my family, and the forward movement of our lives, I have no other choice.
Before I go too much into my choice, I must say that I have the advantages and disadvantages of differentiated experience under my belt. I have seen the other side, where the grass was greener, and I unknowingly jumped the fence to where the foliage is either so tangled and dense that I can’t make sense of it, or the grass is wilted and dying (with no true custodian of its health). Are you lost? I’m talking about public K-12 education in North Carolina. I’m talking about my history as a successful teacher and leader in two states before moving here out of desperation.
In New Mexico, I led a team of underpaid teachers who were passionate about their jobs and who did amazing things. We were happy because our students were well-behaved, our community was supportive, and our jobs afforded us the luxuries of time, respect, and visionary leadership. Our district was huge, but we got things done because we were a team. I moved to Oregon because I was offered a fantastic job with a higher salary, a great math program, and superior benefits for my family. Again, I was given the autonomy I dreamed of, and I used it to find new and risky ways to introduce technology into the math curriculum. My peers looked forward to learning from me, the community gave me a lot of money to get my projects off the ground, and my students were amazing.
Then, the bottom fell out. I don’t know who to blame for the budget crisis in Oregon, but I know it decimated the educational coffers. I lost my job only due to my lack of seniority. I was devastated. My students and their parents were angry and sad. I told myself I would hang in there, find a temporary job, and wait for the recall. Neither the temporary job nor the recall happened. I tried very hard to keep my family in Oregon—applying for jobs in every district, college, private school, and even Toys R Us. Nothing happened after over 300 applications and 2 interviews.
The Internet told me that the West Coast was not hiring teachers anymore, but the East Coast was the go-to place. Charlotte, North Carolina couldn’t keep up with the demand! I applied with three schools, got three phone interviews, and was even hired over the phone. My very supportive and adventurous family and I packed quickly and moved across the country, just so I could keep teaching.
I had come from two very successful and fun teaching jobs to a new state where everything was different. During my orientation, I noticed immediately that these people weren’t happy to see us; they were much more interested in making sure we knew their rules. It was a one-hour lecture about what happens when teachers mess up. I had a bad feeling about teaching here from the start; but, we were here and we had to make the best of it.
Union County seemed to be the answer to all of my problems. The rumors and the press made it sound like UCPS was the place to be progressive, risky, and happy. So I transferred from CMS to UCPS. They made me feel more welcome, but it was still a mistake to come here.
Let me cut to the chase: I quit. I am resigning my position as a teacher in the state of North Carolina—permanently. I am quitting without notice (taking advantage of the “at will” employment policies of this state). I am quitting without remorse and without second thoughts. I quit. I quit. I quit!
I refuse to be led by a top-down hierarchy that is completely detached from the classrooms for which it is supposed to be responsible.
I will not spend another day under the expectations that I prepare every student for the increasing numbers of meaningless tests.
I refuse to be an unpaid administrator of field tests that take advantage of children for the sake of profit.
I will not spend another day wishing I had some time to plan my fantastic lessons because administration comes up with new and inventive ways to steal that time, under the guise of PLC [Professional Learning Community] meetings or whatever. I’ve seen successful PLC development. It doesn’t look like this.
I will not spend another day wondering what menial, administrative task I will hear that I forgot to do next. I’m far enough behind in my own work.
I will not spend another day wondering how I can have classes that are full inclusion, and where 50% of my students have IEPs, yet I’m given no support.
I will not spend another day in a district where my coworkers are both on autopilot and in survival mode. Misery loves company, but I will not be that company.
I refuse to subject students to every ridiculous standardized test that the state and/or district thinks is important. I refuse to have my higher-level and deep thinking lessons disrupted by meaningless assessments (like the EXPLORE test) that do little more than increase stress among children and teachers, and attempt to guide young adolescents into narrow choices.
I totally object and refuse to have my performance as an educator rely on “Standard 6.” It is unfair, biased, and does not reflect anything about the teaching practices of proven educators.
I refuse to hear again that it’s more important that I serve as a test administrator than a leader of my peers.
I refuse to watch my students being treated like prisoners. There are other ways. It’s a shame that we don’t have the vision to seek out those alternatives.
I refuse to watch my coworkers being treated like untrustworthy slackers through the overbearing policies of this state, although they are the hardest working and most overloaded people I know.
I refuse to watch my family struggle financially as I work in a job to which I have invested 6 long years of my life in preparation. I have a graduate degree and a track record of strong success, yet I’m paid less than many two-year degree holders. And forget benefits—they are effectively nonexistent for teachers in North Carolina.
I refuse to watch my district’s leadership tell us about the bad news and horrific changes coming towards us, then watch them shrug incompetently, and then tell us to work harder.
I refuse to listen to our highly regarded superintendent telling us that the charter school movement is at our doorstep (with a soon-to-be-elected governor in full support) and tell us not to worry about it, because we are applying for a grant from Race to the Top. There is no consistency here; there is no leadership here.
I refuse to watch my students slouch under the weight of a system that expects them to perform well on EOG [end of grade] tests, which do not measure their abilities other than memorization and application and therefore do not measure their readiness for the next grade level—much less life, career, or college.
I’m tired of watching my students produce amazing things, which show their true understanding of 21st century skills, only to see their looks of disappointment when they don’t meet the arbitrary expectations of low-level state and district tests that do not assesstheir skills.
I refuse to hear any more about how important it is to differentiate our instruction as we prepare our kids for tests that are anything but differentiated. This negates our hard work and makes us look bad.
I am tired of hearing about the miracles my peers are expected to perform, and watching the districts do next to nothing to support or develop them. I haven’t seen real professional development in either district since I got here. The development sessions I have seen are sloppy, shallow, and have no real means of evaluation or accountability.
I’m tired of my increasing and troublesome physical symptoms that come from all this frustration, stress, and sadness.
Finally, I’m tired of watching parents being tricked into believing that their children are being prepared for the complex world ahead, especially since their children’s teachers are being cowed into meeting expectations and standards that are not conducive to their children’s futures.
I’m truly angry that parents put so much stress, fear, and anticipation into their kids’ heads in preparation for the EOG tests and the new MSLs—neither of which are consequential to their future needs. As a parent of a high school student in Union County, I’m dismayed at the education that my child receives, as her teachers frantically prepare her for more tests. My toddler will not attend a North Carolina public school. I will do whatever it takes to keep that from happening.
I quit because I’m tired [of] being part of the problem. It’s killing me and it’s not doing anyone else any good. Farewell.
CC: Dr. Mary Ellis
Dr. June Atkinson

10 March 2012

Well, what can I say other than I should be blogging more and facebooking less.... Well, maybe not!  I have another addiction to add....... PINTEREST! What a great website and idea! Love this!!!! 

I have been adding/ boarding/ pinning all day everyday! You could pay me to pin!!!! LOL  

Anyway, I have found many great things for home, school, birthday parties, weddings, and so much more! It's crazy I tell ya!

Come follow me @ Melanie's Pinterest 

Will love to see ya there!

30 December 2011

Catching up!

Here's a catch up!


They rocked it! It was close, but in the end they pulled it out!!!!

Christmas break is almost over (sigh) and the new year will begin here soon! I am hoping things will be better after this break!

Now, time to get down and busy!

Be back soon!!!

18 November 2011

Fighting SCOTS and what's for dinner......

It's FRIDAY!!!!  Today the Fighting SCOTS of Scotland County take the field for the 3rd round of the playoffs. WTG SCOTS!

I am trying to figure out what to make for dinner and prepare to grade papers.... BOO! Tomorrow I get to go to Fayetteville, NC for a workshop on insubordination, teacher evaluation, and other things. I can't wait b/c I am going w/ a cool teacher, Vanessa Lapre, from my building. She and I are also going to make a trek to Raleigh on Dec. 3rd for a workshop on the new Common Core Standards! It shall be fun!!!

Well, blogger friends... it is time to say good night for now!

06 November 2011

Married, happy, and busy

It has been a while since I have been on here. WOW! Time has flown. On Thursday, hubby and I will be celebrating 2 months of marriage!!! We've been really busy and work has been crazy! This year I have my hat in so many rings, that I do not know for sure what's going on! I am President of Scotland County Assoc. of Educators, on our School Improvement Team, Treasurer of PTO, AND on the district technology team for my school! Shew, that's a lot! I am also thinking about starting a teaching blog, but I am not 100% sure b/c I do not have the time to do so daily! We shall see how that works out!

Well, I hope everyone has a wonderful week! Do not forget to thank the Veteran's on Friday!