'Cause I got issues
But you got 'em too
So give 'em all to me
And I'll give mine to you
Bask in the glory
Of all our problems
'Cause we got the kind of love
It takes to solve 'em
-Julia Michaels Issues
I read. I read a lot. I read news articles about the world and what's happening; about education and politics; about religion; I am no expert on any subject. I won't pretend to be. What I do consider myself is well read and able to discuss these issues- minus politics and religion. Politics and religion are always off limits. I won't tell you who I voted for, why I voted for that person, or press my religious ideology off on you or anyone. Those issues, those ideas, those beliefs are mine. I don't hold those freedoms of ideas against anyone, unless they are directly threatening, racist, homophobic, sexist, etc.
Lately, in the news, there has been a lot of stories about education and what needs to be done. The steps that need to be taken, etc. I do consider myself a little bit more than well read in this area as I have been on the front lines of this for the past 11 years. And baby, I've got issues. I have issues with the radio personalities that I was listening to today who were bashing education because they have read a few articles and decided that teaching and tenure, firing and hiring, and TEACHERS were an issue. I took offense to their comments because I am on the battle field of this issue, trying to do my job, and they are taking articles of information and bashing the entire education field. I take issue with people who think they have the "end all, be all" answers to the education problems in the world and they have never stepped foot into a classroom.
I don't pretend to know what my husband's day to day job entails, what stresses him out, if he's doing something right or wrong; in fact, I am there to listen to him vent or sing praises when they are needed. He doesn't pretend he understands my profession and issues--"but you don't judge me, cause if you did, baby, I would judge you too." We aren't those people. We haven't always been, in fact, it took a lot of work to get where we were.
Everyday in my profession there are successes and there are failures. There are trials and there are errors. There is constant flexibility, adaptions, growth and goals. I think, I want to hope, it's like this for everyone. More successes than failures, more growth and goals attained.
See, weeks ago, at least three of them, I read an article by a teacher who, like most of us (yes, I lumped us together, but I am on the front lines), where she expounded on some of the issues. I never went into teaching to make a mint, in fact, I knew I'd be lucky to look at my bank account and be lucky to take a vacation to the backyard with an inflatable kiddie pool and a beer. I am a-okay with that choice and that type of vacation.
What I am not okay with is the constant bashing. The constant let downs. The CONSTANT changes from people who are not or have not ever been into a classroom. Every August, back to school supplies come out, I spend over $300 to equip my students with the materials they will need: pencils, pens, paper, folders, notebooks, binders, erasers, index cards, so they do not fail, or have an excuse to fail because of material. I then spend the same amount on EACH of my children because that is my job as their parent. Back yard, inflatable, pool and beer. Districts are taking hits, losing funding, and not able to provide their teachers with adequate budgets to supply our classrooms. Staples, tape, that comes out of my pocket. Does it come out of yours for your job? Should it? Would you be okay with it if that was the case?
Summer vacation...lord, help me. Jesus take the wheel! You get summer off. You only work 9 months out of the year. My husband, who is the son of two retired teachers, has said the same thing to this effect, wherein I ask him why he did not enter the same profession. His reply...crappy pay, long hours, no overtime, and no raises for performance. He's not wrong, but it is what I chose. It's what I love. It's what I do. I spend hours grading papers at home, planning lessons, making copies, worrying about my students and if they have enough to eat, if they are safe, if they have a cold, are their needs being met...all day, everyday, even during the summer.
Safety, protocol, etc. I am on the front lines. Every angry outburst by a student in my room or during the passing period, is something that I have to deal with. When I was 7 months pregnant with my daughter, a fight between 2 high school boys broke out in the hall and I had to wade in to stop it because that is part of my job description. Lucky for me, once I pushed through and yelled and they saw who was responding and a few seconds after my belly arrived, the rest of me did, they stopped, apologized and walked with me to the office. Other teachers in my building and around buildings in the country are not as lucky. They have been hit with that fist, or an elbow...I won't go into the other sacrifices teachers have made when it comes to school violence because those articles and stories are out there, we have all seen them.
Snow days, inclement weather delays. Maybe it's just me, maybe I have issues, but I would much rather that my own personal children are safe at home if the weather is bad. If that two hour delay for ice, snow, or whatever protects their lives, then so be it. If 16 year olds, with brand new shiny licenses don't have to test their capabilities and other drivers, then I am happy. It is a boon.
Okay, so what's the point? I am not really sure I am making one. It's just that with any job, any profession, there are issues. People have an opinion. The more you read about something, the more knowledge you have, the better prepared you are to argue your point.
I guess the whole point is, as people, we have to do our best to see something from more than one point of view before we become so vocal on that subject. We need to be more compassionate, more understanding, more educated to make better decisions.
When that fails...inflatable pools in the backyard and a beer.
https://www.facebook.com/WillowCreekPhotographyIL/Wow! Our May event at The Loading Dock in Grafton, IL came and went! We had some great vendors! These ladies were full of energy and knowledge! It was a great time to come out and connect, learn some new tricks and try out some super cool products!! We were blessed with an absolutely beautiful evening; stunning view of the the river; an awesome venue; and of course, some delicious food and beverages!! If you haven't made it out to one of our events, you are missing out!
We also partnered with Willow Creek Photography. Trish took some awesome photos throughout the evening. She got started as a photographer in a unique way, by making cakes and she still does( – check out Sifted Bliss on Facebook!). One day that she realized that she needed to learn some of the basics of photography so she could capture better images of her beautiful cakes. Needless to say, her love for the art developed (no pun intended!) as soon as she got her hands on her first camera. Trish said, " I absolutely love the beauty of capturing my clients and giving them memories to cherish for years to come. I specialize in female photography such as Glamour, Boudoir, Seniors, Stylized Maternity, and I have experience with Girl’s Couture, Birth and Newborn photography as well. I have studied hands-on under some of the best in the industry including; Don Hales, Meg Bitton, Sandra Bianco, Anja & Tracy Joy, Craig Lamere, David Beckham, Curtiss Bryant, William Innes, Tom Tussey, and Kelli Leavens. I have had the honor of traveling and shooting alongside some amazing photographers from around the country and have found pure joy from sharing the passion of photography with my colleagues, many of whom I now consider dear friends. I have worked extensively to perfect the craft so I can give my clients the best possible experience while providing quality heirloom products. I believe in empowering women by showcasing their beauty as every woman deserves to look, and most importantly, FEEL beautiful! I am located in the Madison/Jersey County areas but will travel within reason to adjoining counties including St. Louis, and I offer destination photography for anyone that has ever dreamed of getting their photos taken in an amazing location."
Check out her amazing images!! https://www.facebook.com/WillowCreekPhotographyIL/
As summer draws near and the school year winds down, I have to start making plans! Lucky or unlucky for me, my career allows me to be home throughout the summer. This is a blessing and a curse...boredom versus fun. Since they are getting bigger, I am able to plan a better list each year. 10 activities we are going to partake in on Traveling Tuesday:
1. The Saint Louis Zoo- it's magical! I love the zoo, we spend all day there!!
2. City Museum- what a crazy cool place! I cannot wait to experience this with the kiddos this summer!! If you haven't ever checked it out, do yourself a favor and type it in that search bar!
3. Busch Stadium- a tour. How cool is it to be able to take the kiddos on a tour of the stadium and not attempt to make them sit through a game!!
4. Grant's Farm- history and wildlife for the whole family, yes please!
5. The Loading Dock- my kids love to watch the boats and eat at this fabulous restaurant!
6. The Magic House- the name says it all!!
7. Six Flags- every kids needs to go here, at least once or twice!
8. St. Louis Science Center- why yes please, a little learning and a lot of fun!
We don't go crazy everyday of every week. We pick one day as our go day and that's when we plan our BIG adventures. The other days of the week...well, you'll just have to wait and see!! What are your plans for the summer?
Music, drinks, a diverse menu, fun, causal, kid friendly- what’s not to love? Set in the historic town of Grafton, IL, located right on the heart of the Mississippi River, The Loading Dock Bar and Grill is not a place to be missed or passed over. With multi level patio seating, an assortment of food to appeal to even the pickiest of eaters, and a wide range of drinks, the Loading Dock has something for everyone. It’s a great place to take the kids and grab lunch; grab friends and listen to live music; or sit and watch the river. Open from mid March until fall forces it to close- the experience and atmosphere that The Loading Dock offers is not one to be missed.
I am so excited to say that on May 18, 2017, we will be having our monthly Girls Night Out event at this awesome venue! This is one of those places that’s warm, welcoming, and you always see a friendly place! Come check it and us out if you haven’t already done so! Click on the picture of the boat for more information!
As a non-native of the St. Louis metro area, I love to spend summer days exploring and learning about new places.
The Loading Dock (Grafton, IL): http://www.graftonloadingdock.com/
Starting east of the Mississippi River, I have found The Loading Dock in Grafton, IL to be one of my favorite bars and places to hang out during the summer time. Right on the water, with bright umbrellas and pretty drinks, The Loading Dock is a fun place for family during the day and adult time at night! The whole bar scene and Grafton scene is reminiscent of the beach and a laid back lifestyle. It is close to feeling like home!!
St. Louis Zoo: https://www.stlzoo.org/
I also enjoy taking my kids to the best zoo in the Nation (my opinion), the Saint Louis Zoo. Famed for its beautiful park setting and world-renowned natural exhibits, the Saint Louis Zoo offers a fantastic experience for every one of all ages. From train rides, to petting stingrays, to watching Kali the Polar bear, there is fun to be had for the whole family!
Ball Park Village: http://www.stlballparkvillage.com/
Ball Park Village…if you haven’t had the chance to check it out, you are totally missing out!! There are not enough words to tell you what an amazing experience going to Ball Park or to Busch during baseball season really is!!
Laclede’s Landing: http://lacledeslanding.com/
What an awesome, fun place to be! Dueling pianos, a wax museum, live music and food. Laclede’s Landing is a great place to get lost in a crowd or shut the city down with a group of friends.
The Arch, The Fox Theatre, The City Museum, The Magic House, Forest Park, The Missouri Botanical Garden, Grant’s Farm, and so many other places are great places to find yourself when you are looking for something fun to do. Our beautiful city and surrounding areas, have so much to offer anyone and everyone!!
What are some of your favorite places? Let's talk food soon, too!!
Hey, girl, hey!