De Ann's Clan

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Average

Hi.  My name is De Ann Moore and I am average.

What is average?   Average is right in the middle.  It means I am just a normal person with normal abilities.  So why is that so depressing.  I live a world where I am told that I need to be special.  I need to be the favorite friend, daughter, worker, and teacher.  What happens to all the other people if I became the best or above average?  It would put people under me.  It makes me better than other people. How is that healthy?  Since when does that make me better?

From my experience, I have more respect for the person that has all odds against him or her and he or she beats it anyway.  I have a student this year that I am in the process of referring for Special Education.  He struggles in math and reading.  He is way below average.  I have been working with him daily and watch as he works his way through tough math equations.  He has to put in three times the amount of effort of the rest of the class.  And yet, he has surpassed many students that do not put any effort into their work.  He probably looks at everyone in the class and thinks he is not very smart.  In my eyes, he is one of the most deserving students in the class.  He may never score very well on tests.  He may always struggle in school.  But he has learned to give everything he has and then some.

I am reminded of people on my mission to Germany.  There was one family in particular that was willing to change their entire lives to live the gospel.  They had to get rid of all their old habits and replace them with better habits.  They put forth effort to grow closer to God.  I look at them and think they have far surpassed people that have been members their whole life and have never had to make major changes.  Yet the world would still say they are not as great as the later.

What it comes down to is effort.  How much effort does one have to put into something to be successful?  If I were given the power to choose who was above average, who was average, and who was below average, my world would be different.  The people who would deserve respect would be the hardest workers. People would be recognized for how they respond to challenges. But for right  now, I am average.




Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Accident in 2011

Many of you know that I was in a car accident in August 2011.  I was stopped on the freeway, when a car going about 65+mph rear ended me.  I have had back, rib and neck problems ever since.  I am still trying to get a settlement to cover my costs of the accident.  That being said, I have some wise words of advice for anyone reading this.

1. Call your insurance right now and raise your PIP.  I was at $3000, which is the lowest amount of coverage you are allowed.  For just a few more dollars a month you can get up to $100,000 coverage.  This is an account that is billed for all your medical expenses after an accident.  After you use up the amount that you have, the rest is billed to the other insurance. 
     It doesn't seem right that we should have to have so much coverage on our end if it isn't our fault, but it is something that I wish I would have done before my accident.  The reason is simple, the other insurance will do whatever they can to get out of paying.  Meanwhile, the bills keep piling up and even the lawyers can't keep the companies from reporting past due bills from the accident on your credit. 
   If I would have had a higher PIP, I would have no bills waiting to be paid after the settlement.  My insurance would be more eager to go after the other driver's insurance.  I wouldn't have to spend so much of my time doing things that I thought the lawyers I hired should have already taken care of.

2. If you have Farmer's Insurance, change to another insurance.  The woman that hit my car has Farmer's insurance.  They offered me $700 for a totaled car (Worth +&2000).  They offered me about $2,000 for all my medical bills (+$10,000).  They are only looking out for their bottom line.  I am a victimized victim.

I try not to complain about the accident.  I will have daily pain the rest of my life because of this accident.  I am just trying to get on with my life.  I think it is about time Farmer's took responsibility. 

Saturday, May 23, 2015

SAGE Testing and Other Things I Wish I Could Talk About

     We just finished up SAGE testing.  I wish I could share all the things I think and feel about the testing.  But as an educator, I can lose my teaching license.  Any teacher can tell you the internal struggle they have as they give the tests and how they feel about end of testing only if you are another educator.  It is like a cult of sorts. 
     John Oliver really hit close to home with me when he talked about end of year testing.  https://youtu.be/J6lyURyVz7k .  I actually tossed my cookies during the last section on the math test.  I said part of a question, then I would run into the coat room and throw up into a garbage  can.  I would come back and finish reading the question.  It was quite the spectacle.  I can guarantee my students did not do so hot on that section.  I think I will the prize.  Not to mention that I am the laughing stock of the entire faculty at my school.  It's good to be me. 
     There is a movement of parents opting out of testing.  This movement is stronger among charter schools where parents have more contact with each other.  I think of the demographics at our school, where 75% of my class speaks English as a second language.  It is rare that my families can communicate with each other.  I wonder how fair it is to compare schools with different amount of parental voice than others.  So my school, with 75% English Language Learners are compared to another school where a greater majority of the students have opted out. 
     I can hear family and friends arguing already.  I am not trying to start a dispute.  But until you come to my school, meet my kids, and understand my school's demographics, you don't really understand the discrepancy. 
     Somewhere through the grapevine I heard that any student that opts out, will receive a score of 2 (out of 4) on the test.  I am actually for that.  Now let me explain.  I have opted two of my children out of testing and had my other two children take the end of year testing.  Teachers are not allowed to tell parents about opting out.  Schools are not supposed to advertise the option of opting out.  But in some communities, it is common knowledge.  What about the communities where it is not common knowledge?  The scores of the students that take the test are compared against each other.  What if all of the underscoring students opt out of the test in a higher scoring school? But all the students, including underscoring students, take the test at my school?  How is that fair?  My ability as a teacher is determined by these tests. 
     The whole testing system is flawed. 

Friday, January 2, 2015

Esophageal Esophagitis

I was diagnosed with Esophageal Esophagitis after my last biopsy.  It means my throat is affected by what I eat.  The doctor told me to go without dairy products and gluten.  It has been a little while since then and it has been quite the experience.

I used to eat yogurt everyday.  Cheese and other dairy products were pretty much my main food stays.  I don't eat much meat, so cutting out dairy and gluten takes away a lot of my choices. 

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Deep Throat 2

I went in today for a throat scope.  I thought I might feel better after the procedure.  I was wrong.  At least now I can take something for pain.  They dilated my throat and took 4 biopsies.  I asked the doctor what he found, but he said he wouldn't say anything until after the biopsies come back.  Here is to more waiting.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

The secret posts

Saturday is the only day I have time to post.  So I was looking at the blog to see if I have posted every Saturday.  There are some Saturdays without any posts, and yet they are on my list of posts.  It is frustrating that there are experiences at work that I cannot share because I am an educator.  I wish there was a way to share some of my classroom experiences without breaching confidentiality. 

Report Cards

I sent out report cards this week.  Students can get a 1-3, 3 being the highest, a p for passing, or an n for needs improvement.  As I was doing the grades, I basically gave any student in the 90% a 3, 80% a 2, 70% a 1, 60% a p, and an N for anyone under 60%.  I believe all students should be able to get a three if they earn it. 

That being said, my class report cards were very low.  It always seems that they are at the beginning of the year.  I don't know if students are just used to getting a good grade despite not putting forth any effort.  Once my students realize that I do expect them to work and earn their grade, most try harder. 

As a teacher, I do not mark off points for late assignments.  I send home a list of missing assignments every couple of weeks.  I even attach all the missing assignments to the paper.  There is a reason I give out an assignment.  If a student hasn't done the assignment, I want them to take their time to get it done. 

I send home a weekly calendar that lists all the homework assignments for the week so parents know what is due when.  I am a working mother, so I try to make life easier for other working parents to keep track of what is happening at school.  And yet, I still have parents surprised their child is missing assignments. 

I can't wait to get feedback from the report cards.