Online Writing for Students

My school district has been focusing on writing the last couple years. We have gone to a writing conference and have been sharing our classroom writing activities every week. The school wants more though.

The other day, we were given a goal that we must write online with our students once a month. That includes all regular teachers as well as PE and music. And absolutely no one is thrilled. At first, when I heard about the new goal, I thought that meant having the students write blogs. That was the only online writing I could think of and I was not happy. My third and fourth graders have a hard time using a username and password. I knew that if I created a school safe blog for my students, they would need a lot of help. Plus, I really am not comfortable with young kids writing blogs.

However, one of the teachers in charge said that online writing could be as simple as having the students type their spelling words. That I could probably handle. I am still not pleased though. What is wrong with writing their spelling words by hand? That is how they are going to take the test. Besides, it takes forever for my students to type. We do type our formal writing projects and even though they get typing instruction once a week, they still have to hunt and peck. Sure, I know typing is what students will eventually strive for. They have years to practice though.

And, what about kindergarten? The kindergarten teacher was told that she could have her students put pictures from stories in order but that is not writing. And what about music and PE? If the kids have to start writing instead of moving in PE, they will not want to go. And that is not the purpose of PE. The purpose is to get kids moving.

I have trouble seeing how writing online is going to benefit the students and help them become better writers. Especially if all they are going to be doing is typing their spelling words.

 

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I AM TIRED

I ended up going to the doctor today. I guess I am tired of dealing with the anxiety. Somewhere, there must be a way to help me manage my stress. The doctor ended up dropping my anxiety medication and increasing my antidepressant. Hopefully that will help with the depression I have been feeling off and on as well as the anxiety.

I am just tired of dealing with it all. I am tired of the depression and anxiety. I am tired of being a cutter. I am tired of pulling out my eyebrows. I am just tired of dealing with my mental problems. I know that there is not a cure, but I do feel that there is a way to manage my problems.

Trip to the Doctor?

I am almost out of my anxiety medication. I am not entirely sure how this dose is working for me. I have been on it for about a month and the doctor said to come back in a month. However, I can get up to three or four more refills on the prescription.

I am not sure if I want to go back to the doctor tomorrow. I am not feeling depressed like I was about a week ago but I still bear the signs of my problems. I have the marks from cutting a week ago on my arm. I am also missing my eyebrow from pulling it out.

I know a person should be honest with their doctor. However, it is still embarrassing to be a cutter and have trichotillomania.

The Cutting Addiction

The other night, some people were talking about this older woman that has a gambling addiction. I really did not like the conversation because it reminded me how I was addicted to cutting. At first, it was easy to think that I was better than this woman because my cutting only affects me while this woman’s gambling problem affects her family that has to bail her out as well as herself because she does not have money to live quite often. But then I remembered that while my addiction just hurts me, it is still difficult to overcome, just like this woman’s gambling. I know how much cutting was on my mind when I was still ok with being a cutter. And I remember how difficult it was to stop before I managed to make it eleven months. And even now, I have had relapses because the desire never completely goes away though some days are better than others.

The conversation made me wonder if there really was any difference between addictions. And from what I read online, I do not believe there is. With that being said though, I really did not like comparing myself to the woman’s gambling addiction. If there ever was an incentive to stop, that comparison was good enough for me.

Going Back to School For a Masters Degree

I have mentioned several times that I will not get my masters because I cannot handle the stress. I almost killed myself in college because life just got too demanding. Instead, I have taken a self paced class and recently enrolled for another one. I do feel bad in some ways because I was valedictorian in high school and graduated Summa cum Laude in college. I feel like I am not living up to my potential. However, I know that is better than killing myself.

My friends recently found out that I will not go for my masters. They do not understand and try to tell me that it will not be so bad and that I will get a pay raise. Even though they know about my mental problems, they do not understand why I will not go back to school. I want to try to explain to them without saying that I do not want to commit suicide.

Am I really making a mistake about not going back to school?

I Cannot Stop Pulling

Yesterday, I was pulling my hair from my eyebrows quite frequently. I already classify myself as bald even though I am only missing most of one eyebrow but everyday, I lose even more of the few hairs I have left. Yesterday, it was particularly bad. I kept pulling, realized I was doing it and then stop for a few minutes. Then, I would pull again.

Last night, after having sore fingers and a sore eyebrow, I finally put a bandaid on my thumb. I had to put it on at an awkward angle because otherwise, I could still pull.

Today, I did not pull at all, at least not with the hand that the bandaid was on. I do pull with my other hand but not that often. However, my students noticed the bandage and several of them asked what had happened because of the awkward angle. I ended up lying to the kids and told them that my cat had scratched me. I cannot tell my students that I cannot stop pulling out my hair. They would not understand.

I have a hard time lying though. I felt awful about lying. However, I feel great about not pulling for a day.

My Friend Noticed

My friend noticed me pulling my hair out yesterday. I did not even realize I was doing it until she called me out on it. It was kind of embarrassing even though she just told me to stop. She is the only person that knows I have trichotillomania so she is the only person that can stop me.

It is getting frustrating having trich. I am basically missing one of my eyebrows. I am bald. My friend says that it is not noticeable because my eyebrows are so light but it is only a matter of time before people start noticing. I cannot hide my problem forever; especially since I am losing more and more hair everyday.

I have a spinner ring but it just does not seem to be helping.

Hypocritical Librarian

The librarian at the school where I teach is very against Accelerated Reader. She says that it limits kids from reading the books that interest them. I agree too that is why I allowed kids to complete book reports over books that were not AR books and get points that way. However, I do not think AR is all that bad. It can encourage kids to read because in my classroom, students can earn prizes for getting a certain number of points. Plus, if they meet their monthly goal, there is always a prize for that too. However, with this being a small school, the AR program was discontinued.

Yesterday, my class made our weekly trip to the school library. The students are allowed to check out three books. It is my rule that two of the books can be picture books and one of them must be a chapter book. I require the chapter book because otherwise, my students make daily trips to the library. However, I know many of my students do not enjoy reading and will never be able to finish a chapter book. Plus, even though I have no problem with third and fourth graders reading picture books, I also want to encourage them to read chapter books.

Before we left the classroom to go to the library, I reminded my students that they must have one chapter book. I also reminded the kids that they needed a picture book because they are reading to the kindergarteners every week. Once we arrived in the library though, the associate told my students that they were not to check out picture books because those were for the little kids. She said that was a rule put in place by the librarian. I immediately corrected her and told her that my students needed picture books to read to the kindergarteners. And even if they were not reading to the kindergarteners, I would still have told her that some of my students need picture books. The associate was not very happy when I told her that my kids would be reading to the kindergarten every week and then she made a comment that this would mean more books to put away on the shelves.

I thought it was pretty hypocritical of the librarian to say that third and fourth graders could not read picture books when a few months ago she did not want kids to be limited. And really, many picture books are at a third or fourth grade level.

At least my students are reading. And I believe that they are reading the right level of books because many of them are very low readers. A couple of months ago, I brought a stack of my picture books from when I was a kid and my students were going crazy over them. The librarian knows nothing about my students.

My Life is a Mess

I debated about whether I should go to church this morning. I have been depressed the last several days and today was no exception. But I got my fake smile ready and went to church. I regretted it though. I really felt like crying all through church and had to work to control it. I also ended up pulling out more hair from my eyebrow that was practically nonexistent anyway.

Once I got home, I cut myself and then cried. My life is a mess and I do not understand why. I am on an antidepressant. It was working because I felt so normal. I do not understand what has changed.

I normally call my mom on Sunday nights unless I have just gone home for the weekend. I came home on Wednesday but I am not going to call. I know she will be expecting it but I really have nothing to say. I did work in my classroom, just like I told her when I left. That ended up not being a lie. However, nothing else has happened. I do not need her grilling me about spending New Year’s Eve and most of New Year’s Day alone. I do not need to tell her about how my life is a mess.

School resumes tomorrow. I am dreading it. It is very difficult teaching when you are depressed. Plus, I have nasty cuts which I will pass off as cat scratches and I am missing most of my eyebrow which I will say is because I have a condition that makes my hair fall out.

Why does life have to be so difficult?