Tuesday, March 7, 2023

Thinking About Being a Teacher

Are You Thinking of Teaching as a Career 2

Because I hope to be forthright with these commentaries, it’s possible you may wonder if I like teaching. You may be asking, if she doesn’t think teaching is a good career for the money, then why did she become a teacher?

I have been teaching my whole life. While, I’m not one of those people who looks at going into education as a calling–more power to those who see it that way–simply put, I have been teaching my whole life. I came this way. But most of the time, it wasn’t for money, or much anyway.

As a kid, I taught swimming lessons. I’ve had violin students off and on for decades. Taught sign language to teenagers. Acting for a children’s theater conservatory. In my church, I have taught every age group and type of teaching that is done, from helping others learn teach how to teach, to music and everything in between. I’ve taught workshops and writer’s groups, horsemanship, given guest lectures, written and directed plays for elementary schools. (Okay, that was a bit more like herding cats but it was still teaching.) I’ve even taught music conducting and hand embroidery. Need it taught? Give me a minute, I’ll figure it out.

That is who is am. A teacher and a storyteller.

Teaching makes sense to me. It’s like a superpower. I can read a class, sense the needs of individuals and adapt what I’m doing and how I’m saying it to reach them. On the fly. I can sense when to pivot (Education jargon alert! Sorry, just had to throw one in) and come at something at a different angle without hesitation. No, not every time. LOL…but generally.

I express myself by wanting to share my excitement over cool things and I do it by using my love of learning mixed with a generous dollop of performance. Teaching is something I enjoy. It gives me energy. Brings me joy. 

There is another more pecuniary reason that took me into education as a profession. I needed consistent insurance. My then-husband worked in IT in project management and he was perpetually (it felt like that anyway) being laid off. One project would finish and we were suddenly struggling looking for another job. It could mean months of fear and worry. I had children and we needed insurance. I was happily working for a national bookstore chain, but not making a whole lot and thanks to a changing world, it was going under. I had heard that teaching was a safe and steady career that meshed well with raising a family. It paid more than working in retail and for an entire year, I would be able to make sure my family was medically covered no matter what arose with my spouse’s employment.

Only one problem. I didn’t have a teaching degree. 


Sunday, March 5, 2023

Are You Thinking About Teaching as a Career?


Are you thinking about teaching as a career? 

There are an awful lot of discussions out there about teacher shortages. People leaving teaching. Alternate pathways to certification. Testing. Teachers should be paid more. Crowded classrooms. Teachers are not treated like many professionals. The Covid gap. Online learning. One of my favorites–you have summers off!

Perhaps I’ve heard enough. Perhaps I’ve seen one too many video shorts on Facebook. Perhaps I’m just plain ready to do something I enjoy–writing. But whatever has driven me to begin this commentary, please take it for what it is. My view. My opinion based on what I’ve seen and experienced. I cannot nor would not hope to speak for others. I will, however, over the next while, endeavor to bring up topics and ideas someone may find interesting and perhaps slightly thought provoking.

So let’s begin with money. We’re all out there working because we’re trying to support something. Ourselves. Our families. Our hobbies, etc.

I’ve seen many articles stating that starting salaries for teachers are over $60,000. Seriously? Where?

I am in my 16th year of teaching and should be at the top of my local district’s ladder or salary matrix (more on that later). I hold a certification as a Secondary Teacher in History and Geography. I have a Master’s degree + 28 hours (meaning I’ve taken enough classes after my master’s program that I have accrued more than 28 hours of university credit.) This actually does not include classes I took the first several years after I started teaching and I thought I would never need to worry about such things as school district ladders, lane changes etc., so I opted for state continuing education credits which counted toward re-licensure but did nothing for future remuneration benefits. 

If I were working full-time…(more on that later) I should be making $72,000. I don't know if that sounds like a lot to you. My children make much, much more than thatin other industries, of course. And, I live in Idaho. It's 37th in the nation as far as teacher pay.

If I were teaching in one of the largest districts in Utah, I would also make approximately $72,000. But, the price of my little house in Idaho, would cost so much more in Utah. That's actually why I moved from Utah. After I'd sold my house–with a small acreage–I couldn’t afford to buy another plain, simple house.

Most districts spread this salary out over 12 months. Many give you the option to decide if you want it spread out or to fit it into the nine months of full time teaching. I understand in California many districts do not give you that option which means you will not have a pay check during those non-teaching months.

So, if you’re going into education for the money–you may want to re-think. #teachingcareer

(Stats info came from https://worldpopulationreview.com/state-rankings/teacher-pay-by-state)

Friday, June 5, 2020

Harry Day 1

Harry is a bundle of cuts and scrapes. Thoroughbreds are notoriously thin-skinned. He has a cut on his knee, hip and back right leg. His face is swollen from the kick and he's SKINNY!! (They gave him cow hay!!)

First things first. A gentle grooming and mane trim. He does shine in the sunlight.
My mom said he looked sad.

His first time out in the Near pasture.
I wanted to know how he'd react to me. So I went out into the pasture and he trotted away. Boy! Does he have an amazing trot! Big! And floaty. 

I talked to him and didn't look at him and slowly work my way up to him and just sit next to him and scratched his shoulder then walked away. I doubt that's ever happened in his life before. 

I did that three times and the last time as I stood scratching his shoulder he let out a big sigh and his head dropped. It's a good sign. 
And when I walked away he followed me.

Harry Canary OTTB

All my life I have loved horses but they were something I had to love from afar. My next door neighbor had a subscription to Thoroughbred Racing Magazine and for a couple of years I got the old copies, looked at the pictures and cut them out to hang up in my room.

I think this was the beginning of my love of Thoroughbreds. 

What's difficult about the multi-million dollar industry is what do you do with these highly breed animals once they're done racing? 

(This is not a debate on racing... Just an explanation.)

When we bought our first horse on a tiny budget, and being in Utah, we basically had two choices. Quarterhorse and an Offtrack Thoroughbred (OTTB).

Some time I'll tell you about Eiger. But he gave us experience with OTTBs and when he left, my heart hurt.

Don't get me wrong. I adore my Canadian Warmblood/Thoroughbred Cross. She's my future. My funny girl. And my partner.

But I couldn't help looking for another horse.

Enter--Harry Canary. 13 yr. old, 15.2 hh, gelding. A red head. (Never really liked Chestnuts btw.) OTTB who raced for 4 years. The last two he never won, placed or showed. 
 After racing, he was in Montana. But sure how long. Not sure what he did.... worked? Pleasure ride? English? Western?

Six months ago, he was moved to Nebraska. There the family "couldn't keep weight on him."It was a constant battle with Eiger, but like I said, I've learned few things.)

Circumstances put all their horses for sale.  Word came to me. The price was right. I knew I've have time this summer for a project. We've had some luck taken struggling horses, getting them healthy and teaching them about kindness and love.  So Harry came to us after a long hot trailer ride.
He was kicked in the face the day before he was to come--a vet said he'd be okay.
Evidently, they had to pull him into the trailer.

So will begin a hopefully happy transformation as we introduce Harry to the world of dressage, jumping and spoiling.

Saturday, May 16, 2020

Lessons Divorce is Teaching Me

I've been divorced almost five months now. Divorced 2 days before my 38th anniversary. Now, I know what you're thinking. Crap! She's old! Lol!
I actually married pretty young and I don't actually feel old.
I'm not sure what I thought it would be like, but here are a few things I've learned and am learning.
1. Paying bills isn't quite as scary as I thought.  I paid my credit cards but he did the rest. I was terrified. But you know, I'm figuring it out.... Thanks Google calendar.
2. I can pay taxes. 
3. I hate having to remember to take the garbage out to the curb. 
4. Spiders still freak me out.
5. I'm actually pretty clever at unclogging drains.
6. I'm not ready to date. Out of curiousity I looked at some dating sites. (Actually, I'd love to someone from England and settle there--why not dream big?) But now I can't get off their sites and I'm not willing to pay, so all those nice gentlemen.... I'm assuming they're nice... that have tried to message me, I'm really not a snob. I'm just poor, suspicious and terrified.
7. Interesting. There hasn't been pee on the toilet since he left. So much for him telling me it was my fault.

I was never told that I was beautiful. I was never told that I was loved. I was never told that I was special.  And I felt lonely in my own house.

Know what? Even though I sleep alone, I'm not lonely any more.

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

2019 My Year for Change

This is not about New Year's Resolutions.  I'm crap at those.  But this year will be a year of many changes.  Of this I am sure.  Some I hope will be grand.  Others --to be honest--I fear. 

I have realized that I need to simplify.  One idea I had to help me simplify is to get rid of one thing every day.  When I first thought of that idea, it didn't sound like much, but then I realized that by the end of the year I will have removed 365 things from my life! Now that seems like a significant difference.

Just a little at a time!  That's the way.

And so it will begin.  Today I am getting rid not just one, but several Christmas mugs that not even once have ever been used. 


Monday, February 22, 2016

SOLD!! Aladdinn's Fire Gorgeous Blood Bay 5 Year Old Gelding

TR Aladdinn’s Fire (Fire), 15hh and still growing, born in July 2011.  Asking $3500 OBO.

Sire: world champion Aladdinn—in fact Fire is Aladdin's his youngest son. (Polish)
 Dam’s side: his grandfather is champion—Muscat. (Russian) 

This boy is royalty and has brains and heart to match his pedigree!
He has been ridden both English & Western. Most regularly English lately. He is an incredible mover—has a big bold trot and lovely Western pleasure jog, and perfect Arab canter.  He’s beautiful, smart, not spooky, good around other horses, and waits patiently when being held. Face clips perfectly. Bare foot. Introduced to ground poles. Given perfect health assessment recently by Dr. Monroe. 

So why are we selling him? We’re focusing on eventing and as great as he is, Fire isn’t going take us that direction. We even thought about changing our direction and heading into the Arab show world, just so we could keep him.

Contact us for more information. Come and see him with your champion's dream and Fire will help you make it a reality.  

Located near Ogden, Utah