Saturday, January 30, 2010

A Balanced Life and Reaching Goal

I wanted to be a missionary Dr. when I was a kid. Or a writer. But I had this tendancy to round up all the kids (and sometimes their mothers) to play circus and kick-the-can and put on little shows (wrote plays), taught them songs to sing, played a little piano and had the mothers invite each other over for tea to watch our perfomances. Most of them closely resembled church services (without the sermons, thank God) or school programs (I went to Christian schools).

When I moved from my neighborhood after 5th grade, one of the other kid's mothers told me the other children didn't know what to do with themselves after I left. LOL.

In high school, other kids started asking me for help with their subjects. In college I gravitated towards English and history and because most woman from my background were encouraged to go into nursing or teaching (if they went to college.) I ended up teaching with some forays into public relations and fund-raising.

Although I'm certified to teach secondary English and history, I sort of fell into the tutoring field and teach supplementary math and reading from grades 1-8, at which I am very gifted. Just yesterday a mother told me her daughter always tells her, "I don't understand the math until Mrs. Flory explains it."

I think I'm a puzzle solver and I see children's learning problems as a puzzle to be solved. Where is the breakdown in understanding occuring? Is there an underlying learning disability? Are they ADHD? What method of instruction works for this child? Do they have better comprehension if they read out loud? If they wear noise-blocking headsets? How can I explain this and demonstrate it so they'll "see" it and remember it? How do I keep their attention and minimize their distractive behaviors so that they can learn? What materials would best suit this child? Is it a comprehension or a computational issue? Etc.

I really fly by the seat of my pants with a lot of this. I just get a sense of the child and leap to an intuitive understanding of what makes them tick and how best to break down the information for them. I think the fact that I love each child and establish a relationship with them also accounts for why they respond so well to my teaching.

Frankly, I'm a self-taught teacher in many ways. I've certainly never sat in a workshop or class that taught me to teach the way I teach. I do continuing ed. of course, but I like to take workshops and classes that give me practical tools that I can then modify to fit the needs of various children.

Lesson plans are guidelines that might or might not be followed. I really don't even write them anymore. I have an overall plan in my head of where I want to go and I modify it on the spot or abandon it totally if the need arises. Amazingly, it all seems to work and my kids make great progress.

I get my exercise in the mornings. I get to school early (7:15-7:30) and climb the stairs and walk the hallways and circle the gym for 30-45 minutes. I usually have a couple of kids already on the computers who are in before school care and I keep checking on them during my rounds. By 8 a.m. I'm already teaching kids who come before school and I teach an after school class till 4 and then private tutor a child till 4:35.

It's amazing how confidant I am when teaching children. I'm truly in my element. It is a stressful job, but mostly its good stress. But I do need to unwind when not teaching. At first, when I come home, after quickly cooking or putting together the meal my husband sets out, I tend to sit like a zombie in front of the TV, slowly eating my dinner. I only take in about half of what my husband says and tend to mostly grunt.

I start checking my Facebook, writing my blog, or go on lapband thread reading posts and responding, and looking up to watch TV when it interests me--and I pretty much do this till bedtime.

I do go out for choir practice one night a week and once a month I go to the school that is the vendor for my services and meet with other Discovery room teachers. We share teaching techniques and ideas as well as provide support for each other. One night a month I meet with the promotions committee for Roseland Christian School and generate ideas for raising money. I'll write some stories for them about some of the children we serve and their struggles and accomplishments.

On weekends I love walking-especially outdoors, gardening, playing with grandchildren, hot bubble baths with diet hot chocolate and a good mystery to read , singing in church, and maybe having a good long talk with one of my sisters or brothers (don't get to do that often, I should call them more.) I love to dance, did that last night a little. I need to do that more often.

Unfortunately, food has always been a big de-stresser that led to other forms of stress--like being fat and unhealthy and in pain. Living without it isn't easy. I still turn to it occasionally, but then the band gets in the way of it becoming a total foodfest.In fact, right now, I've been way into the carbs. Three colds in two months and no sun have really gotten to me. Hadn't gained but hadn't lost the last 3 lbs either. Getting a fill on Tuesday. That should kick me back into restriction.

But surprisingly, this morning when I got on the scale, I was 167 lbs. My goal. Now I did get up a few hrs later than usual and I danced last night so that might be a temporary aberration. I was surprised but I have been cutting back on the meals to make up for the carbs (read Candy).

I do know that if I keep eating candy, eventually I'll start eating more period and I'll gain the weight back. The new fill won't stop the candy. It'll slide right through. And it doesn't make me feel very good. But now that this cold is subsiding, I should do better. I've gone back to doubling my multi-vitamins and Calcium. As my weight loss slowed, and I had fewer prescription pills to take, I was only taking them at night and not in the morning. I think that's why I've gotten sick three times in a row.

But despite my set-backs, God is good. The weight is off. Surprisingly, that isn't the focus of my post. Having a relatively balanced life is the focus. Maybe the two are related. Ya think?

God is good all the time.
All the time God is good.


  1. Congratulations on reaching goal. Its a wonderful milestone as you already know. I am so looking forward to that day too. Can you imagine how happy I will be when I can go to a regular store and buy something really,really pretty??? When I don't have to take all these bp meds. Oh to rejoice with my God on that day! Thanks for sharing your journey.


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