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My Rant Regarding Family, Work and Horses-UPDATE

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  • IdahoRider
    started a topic My Rant Regarding Family, Work and Horses-UPDATE

    My Rant Regarding Family, Work and Horses-UPDATE

    Okay, before I start, let me be the first person to acknowledge how lucky I am in many ways. I have a home, work I love and find fulfilling and a family that I love with a fierce passion. And I am surrounded by animals. My dogs and my horses. House cats. My Toy Poodle settles in and sleeps on my chest when I read at night in bed. He is like a living, breathing weighted blanket that slows down the anxiety I often deal with as I struggle to make "everything work" in my life.

    Rant time: I have had this weekend as a home alone situation. My husband and my 19 year old son are out of town until this afternoon. I live for these weekends. They happen once or twice a year and I revel in being alone. I eat when and what I want. I stay up late reading and don't get nagged at to turn off the light. I try to mix my own cocktails. I think about how my life would be different if I hadn't become a Mom and a wife. And I am always glad to see them when they get home.

    I am kind of neat and tidy myself. My husband has ADHD and can't focus long enough to get much done. My son is cluttered, but keeps that clutter mostly in his room. The first thing I like to do when I have a home alone weekend is to pick up a little. I like to enjoy leaving home and then coming back to things still where I left them.

    This weekend I have spent most of my time cleaning. My oldest son dumped his untrained, wild Pit Bull on us six months ago. It was supposed to be for a couple of months. They can't find a rental that will take a Pit Bull, and he is still here. He has separation anxiety and can't be crated or left in a bedroom. Nor can he have the run of the house with my little dogs because he is young and like a bull in a china shop. So my little dogs are left locked up in my bedroom, while the Pit has the living room. I have had to shampoo the rugs twice in two days because he can't seem to aim his bum over the potty pads I have to leave out for him. Oh, and he pulls books off the book case and shreds them. All over the living room.

    But before I can shampoo I have to tinker with the vacuum because my 19 year old seems to think that he can suck any old thing up with it when he vacuums his room. I spent almost three hours yesterday unclogging the darn thing. I was planning on riding yesterday afternoon. By the time I made it out to the barn, I was tired, dirty and feeling sorry for myself that my "me time" turned into a "pick up sixty thousand socks my husband left scattered around the house time" and "unclog the vacuum from a week old clog that stinks like cat poop time".

    What the heck? How am I ever going to get my mare going if all my energy is being spent of picking up after people? I leave the house at 7:30 in the morning during the school year and I often don't leave school until after 7 p.m. I am not a spring chicken, either. I have a broken 55 year old body that has just much left in the tank. All I want is to have some time and energy left over to do more than fall into bed at night and hope that tomorrow someone else will wipe down the counters or clean the bathroom sinks.

    I tried the whole "Mom is on strike" thing and it was a flop. I get very anxious when things get cluttered and dirty. It is bad enough that we need to paint and replace the flooring. But my husband is able to literally walk over a pile of dirty laundry in the middle of the living floor for weeks. I don't think it really registers in his brain. He brings the mail in, drops it on the table by the front door and walks off. If it slides off, onto the floor, he never bats an eye.

    All I want is to ride my horses for a few minutes a few times a week. Why does that become so impossible? Have I missed my window of opportunity by being older and not having the energy to get everything done and still ride?

    Rant over.
    Sheilah
    Last edited by IdahoRider; Sep. 29, 2018, 03:01 PM.

  • Trakehner
    replied
    Originally posted by Dr. Doolittle View Post

    It might be helpful to read the update before going on a rant.

    Rant? No, no rant....just a very common coth complaint/situation with typical/common responses.

    Leave a comment:


  • IdahoRider
    replied
    Originally posted by chebeau View Post
    As a school administrator, I can say it was neither helpful or kind of your principal to randomly mention you had lower scores. Typically, states do not test K and 1 students on standardized tests as it is not age appropriate so I would be asking to sit with him to analyze your data and know what scores he is referring. Do not be afraid of the data. Use it to inform your instruction and hone your practice as an educator. If your district has instructional coaches available, ask to work with one of them as it will support you in your grade level changes--- so many different standards to know and a K kiddo is a different beast than a 2nd grader. I am a former coach as well so I feel strongly about using them to help improve our practice just like we do a trainer with our riding. As a beginning teacher, you need a few years at the same grade level to help develop your teaching repertoire and hopefully your principal can make that happen. If there were real issues in your classroom, your evaluations should have reflected it. Please know sometimes there can be district or state pressures put on school administrators and that stress can trickle down to the teachers even with the best school leaders.

    Hope you continue to find a better work life balance with ample time to ride and your hubbie picks up his socks. Glad to hear you found an ideal home for your son's dog.

    Take care and happy riding,
    Jessie
    Jessie,
    Thank you so much for taking the time to respond. I can't tell you how much your words have helped! I do have access to an instructional coach and I have already reached out to her, specifically mentioning I need to identify where the disconnect is happening between my classroom and test scores.

    I need to frame this as an effort to inform my practice as a teacher. Just as you said, no different from my riding instructor improving my riding. See? Another instance where life is improved by our riding lives.
    Sheilah

    Leave a comment:


  • Magicboy
    replied
    Wishing you well...

    Leave a comment:


  • chebeau
    replied
    As a school administrator, I can say it was neither helpful or kind of your principal to randomly mention you had lower scores. Typically, states do not test K and 1 students on standardized tests as it is not age appropriate so I would be asking to sit with him to analyze your data and know what scores he is referring. Do not be afraid of the data. Use it to inform your instruction and hone your practice as an educator. If your district has instructional coaches available, ask to work with one of them as it will support you in your grade level changes--- so many different standards to know and a K kiddo is a different beast than a 2nd grader. I am a former coach as well so I feel strongly about using them to help improve our practice just like we do a trainer with our riding. As a beginning teacher, you need a few years at the same grade level to help develop your teaching repertoire and hopefully your principal can make that happen. If there were real issues in your classroom, your evaluations should have reflected it. Please know sometimes there can be district or state pressures put on school administrators and that stress can trickle down to the teachers even with the best school leaders.

    Hope you continue to find a better work life balance with ample time to ride and your hubbie picks up his socks. Glad to hear you found an ideal home for your son's dog.

    Take care and happy riding,
    Jessie

    Leave a comment:


  • Dr. Doolittle
    replied
    Originally posted by Trakehner View Post
    Man...6 pages I'm not going to read...it's so simple it hurts. The OP is a volunteer, not a victim.

    Pit to the pound, now. Let useless son know to get his dog now.

    19 year old son, out of the house now...permanently.

    Husband, any clothing left other than in a hamper, in the trash, now.

    No excuses, no whining.

    if she won't stop being a volunteer, she's made her choice what to accept in her life.
    It might be helpful to read the update before going on a rant.

    Leave a comment:


  • NorthernHunter
    replied
    I read all the posts, because I also have similar struggles! Hugs to you Sheilah! Glad you were able to rehome the dog, hopefully it is a great home and you can find some more peace in your home without the worry the pit brought.

    Your administrator sounds like a peach... no advice there, but teachers are so underpaid for what you do. From a mom who appreciates everyone who takes the time to educate and look out for our children - Thank you!

    Leave a comment:


  • Trakehner
    replied
    Man...6 pages I'm not going to read...it's so simple it hurts. The OP is a volunteer, not a victim.

    Pit to the pound, now. Let useless son know to get his dog now.

    19 year old son, out of the house now...permanently.

    Husband, any clothing left other than in a hamper, in the trash, now.

    No excuses, no whining.

    if she won't stop being a volunteer, she's made her choice what to accept in her life.

    Leave a comment:


  • Dr. Doolittle
    replied
    Nothing to add to all of the supportive posts, but {{hugs}} (Gentle ones...)

    You are certainly going through it! It seems as we age, life often becomes more complicated, not less - always exacerbated if there are health or physical issues.

    Hang in there, and keep finding time to ride, it's therapeutic on SO many levels.

    Leave a comment:


  • MsM
    replied
    Did your kindergarteners really have test scores? I understand the need for some information, but IMO test scores are both overrated and badly used.
    You haven't exactly been set up for success with three grade levels in three years! Of course, much of that depends upon the group of kids and where they were academically when they started that school year (as well as all the issues that can occur during the year to disrupt a kid's learning) If you have access to the info (and you should) I would look up last years group and compare their scores at the beginning and end of the year. You really need to be evaluated on the group's academic progress, not one set of scores in isolation.
    Signed, A Retired Teacher (whose mind is boggled at testing these babies! I think my state starts testing in third grade and that is controversial!)

    Leave a comment:


  • IdahoRider
    replied
    Originally posted by Ruth0552 View Post
    As a teacher I am very sympathetic with you. It is not easy to work so hard and then have someone tell you that you suck. There are so many other factors that affect how a student performs on a test. I know Idaho doesn't have unions (right?) but is there no tenure as well?

    Its a lot easier to keep someone around than to hire an unknown...
    It stinks to be told how great you're doing for two years and then to be told that your test scores stink. I have moved grades every year. I started at kindergarten, there weren't enough kindergartners to run three classrooms, so he moved me to first grade last year to keep me in the building. And then I moved up to second this year. Three grades in three years.

    I do know that this is the first time that I have started the year out with the majority of my students already proficient at grade level benchmark. So maybe I can pull a good year out of it and have decent test scores. I hope so. It breaks my heart to think that I am not any good at something that I love so much.

    We don't have unions here. We have "associations" by district. We don't have tenure, but after three years in the district you have some job security in that you are almost guaranteed to have a position somewhere in the district, at some grade level, in some school. This is my third year. And poor test scores are something he has never mentioned. At all.
    Sheilah

    Leave a comment:


  • Ruth0552
    replied
    As a teacher I am very sympathetic with you. It is not easy to work so hard and then have someone tell you that you suck. There are so many other factors that affect how a student performs on a test. I know Idaho doesn't have unions (right?) but is there no tenure as well?

    Its a lot easier to keep someone around than to hire an unknown...

    Leave a comment:


  • IdahoRider
    replied
    Originally posted by JanM View Post

    However, I would accelerate the job hunt, because as you've probably guessed, your contract is toast. He shared the test score information, because he's going to add that and everything else, and you'll be jobless after the school year ends.
    Yeah, despite the fantastic evaluations I have had every year, I know that crap runs downhill. I knew better than to say anything, but I did want to ask if I was such a horrible teacher why did he keep giving me such great evaluations and why did he keep giving me a job every year.
    Sheilah

    Leave a comment:


  • IdahoRider
    replied
    Originally posted by SuzieQNutter View Post

    Why can't you mount? Practice teaching to stand still and put a mounting block in a corner so the horse can't walk forward or step away sideways.
    I had a spinal cord injury and can't feel my legs, bum or feet. Mare is very quiet, but she has been taught that walking off as the rider puts a foot in the stirrup is okay. I don't have the strength in my legs to mount as she is stepping away. So I need someone to hold her still until I mount and situate myself.

    I am a para rider, unclassified, and as I have aged with this disability I have just decided to do what I have to do in order to continue to enjoy the things I want to enjoy. We are working with her, but even a shift in her weight can cause me to tumble off the mounting block.
    Sheilah

    Leave a comment:


  • JanM
    replied
    Good update for the dog, and other things. You'll work out the mounting issue, and maybe see if anyone can help you train your horse to stand still for you?

    However, I would accelerate the job hunt, because as you've probably guessed, your contract is toast. He shared the test score information, because he's going to add that and everything else, and you'll be jobless after the school year ends. Many are gutless, and refuse to lay out unpleasant news, so that was his way of hinting what's going to happen.

    Don't be surprised to see how much stuff the elderly uncle packed on the moving van. I'm sure a lot will have to go.

    Leave a comment:


  • SuzieQNutter
    replied
    Yay yay yay, boo and boo.

    Good luck with finding something for work.

    Why can't you mount? Practice teaching to stand still and put a mounting block in a corner so the horse can't walk forward or step away sideways.

    Leave a comment:


  • IdahoRider
    replied
    It has been a difficult last few weeks. I have had a couple of rough spots at school and my elderly uncle will be coming to stay with us for a week or two while his furniture is moved up from California. This is a huge deal and has caused us all a great deal of stress. He is 85 and has lived alone for the past 60 years. This move is going to be fabulous once it is all over and done. He has bought in to a retirement community about 30 minutes from my home, so we'll be able to visit and keep an eye on him much easier. But he is stressed and I am stressed. He has lived in his current home for over 40 years and he is a bit of a hoarder.

    But the plane reservations have been made. My husband and brother will fly down to L.A. next Friday. My brother will drive uncle's car up to Idaho and my husband will fly back with uncle. They will be here a week from today. I am very anxious about having him stay with us, because our home is very different from what he is used to. But I adore this guy and can't wait to see him again and have him close by. So I am trying to concentrate on the good and just do my best to make him comfortable while he is here.

    We did rehome the Pit Bull. We gave our son an ultimatum, pick him up by this date or we will work our resources to find him a home. They finally admitted that they just couldn't take him. They both work full time and and on top of that, they can't find a rental that will take a Pit Bull. We reached out and found a family that wanted an older puppy, which fit him because he is only 18 months old. We checked references and their story of their 9 year old Pit being put to sleep a couple of months ago checked out with their vet reference. This man is a tattoo artist that wanted a friendly dog to go to the tattoo studio he owns. Sounds too good to be true, so we'll have to follow up carefully.

    I am trying so hard to ride three or four times a week. I had moved my warmblood mare to the same facility that I have boarded my 23 year old Arab at and she has settled in nicely. Lessons are going well and I feel like I am progressing finally. Work is a drag right now. I love my job so much, but the insecurity from year to year is horrible. And I have started to look at work outside of education. I love teaching, but I have hit that "five year wall" that you hear so much about. No matter how hard you work, there is always that special needs kiddo that you can't get services for and there will always be state test scores that could be higher. And your administrator will have hard days were they snap and are demeaning. Whatever it is you are doing in the classroom, you need to do more of it. Or less of it. I was blindsided with the news that my classes have had the lowest test scores for the grade level two years in a row. My administrator just causally dropped that bit of information into a discussion where he was officially admonishing me for posting a picture of student work on Facebook. It was a picture of student work, not a picture of the student. But one of my co-workers saw it and went to him to say that it was unprofessional and a person who knew the student would know that her name was part of a weird crossword puzzle that I hadn't even noticed. So I am sitting there, feeling stupid anyway and he takes that moment to drop the bombshell about my test scores. Why he decided to share the information after two years is anyone's guess.

    But I keep riding. I still can't mount on my own. But I want to ride so badly that I no longer have any shame in hunting down anyone on the property to hold the mare while I mount. I just want to ride. And on the days that I just can't bring myself to make that much of an effort, I bring a book to the barn and read for a while.
    Sheilah

    Leave a comment:


  • PonyPenny
    replied
    Originally posted by IdahoRider View Post
    Maybe it is the same conundrum I find myself in with the dog? I didn't pick him, or want him. But he is here through no fault of his own. Rescues are full, the shelter option kind of stinks because it is full of Pitties like him and I don't feel comfortable rehoming him when they say they want him and live him and will take him back as soon as they find a place that will accept him.

    I like the dog. Despite the mountains of shit he drops, he does try to hit the potty pads. He means well. This isn't his fault.
    Sheilah
    Dog is not at your house through any fault of his own. He is there due to your son dumping him on you and you allowing it. If you are intent on keeping him and obviously not requiring your son to step up, I would hire a professional dog trainer to work with the dog daily. It will be pricey, but well worth the cost.

    Leave a comment:


  • Ruth0552
    replied
    You have the same story so many working women have, horses or not.

    My ex husband did the same thing some of you describe. I'd be at work, he'd have the day off, and I'd come home and he'd ask what was for dinner. Or he'd take some meat out if the freezer so I could make... whatever. That was extremely frustrating. It got much better when we divorced.

    My husband now is much better about such things but I would also say that I put those expectations in place early on. He is fairly well trained. And I refuse to do housecleaning unless we do it TOGETHER.

    Leave a comment:


  • IdahoRider
    replied
    Originally posted by Angela Freda View Post

    ... while enabling the older son wrt the dog.
    I'm wondering if the older son is our [the COTH posters] favorite?
    Maybe it is the same conundrum I find myself in with the dog? I didn't pick him, or want him. But he is here through no fault of his own. Rescues are full, the shelter option kind of stinks because it is full of Pitties like him and I don't feel comfortable rehoming him when they say they want him and live him and will take him back as soon as they find a place that will accept him.

    I like the dog. Despite the mountains of shit he drops, he does try to hit the potty pads. He means well. This isn't his fault.
    Sheilah

    Leave a comment:

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