Saturday, May 19, 2012


It seems I've once again been away from blog land.  Most family and friends that I originally started blogging for here are now connected with me on Facebook, so my blogging bouts are further and further apart.  However DH and I made some major progress today with our SIF issues, which made me want to post. 

So on to the updates:

-I'm a bit relieved that my principal is retiring effective June 30th.  We don't know yet who the replacement for next school year will be, but I am hopeful the new person will bring positive changes our way.  Most of us feel the school morale has declined immensely over the 3 years the current principal has been with us.  In addition, the student behavior school-wide seems to have also worsened.

-I feel horrible.  A new teacher whom I'm the mentor for was told (by principal mentioned above) that she isn't being re-appointed for next year.  It's really awful.  I am livid at the way it was handled...the teacher was in the middle of instruction during 1st period, when there was a knock on her classroom door.  Upon answering the door, there was a substitute teacher who told her she was needed in the Principal's office and the sub was there to provide class coverage.  The teacher reported to the Principal's office, where our principal and one assistant principal were waiting.  They then informed her that they don't want her to return to our school next year.  After their meeting, she was expected to go back to her classroom.  Can you imagine?  I am pleased that she is sticking with it through the duration of this school year, as I think many people would have "walked" immediately upon being told their contract won't be renewed. Why this was not handled during her planning period (last period of the day) or before or after school infuriates me.  To expect someone to return to their classroom immediately after learning they were terminated?? Ridiculous!
-I do think the new teacher was doing poorly, however I don't think they gave her a fair chance.  She was hired after 13 subs had been in the classroom.  In addition, it is her first time teaching in the state of FL.  I believe she should have been given at least one more year, becuase I truly think if she'd been able to be with the students for the WHOLE school year, she could've established her own rituals and routines from Day 1 so things wouldn't have been so crazy.  To me it's like they threw her into a hornet's nest and then didn't give her any support when she tried to make her way out.

-I was informed on Weds that I will be moving back to 8th grade (instead of 6th) next school year.  I have mixed feelings about this...I really enjoy the 8th grade students, but the administrator and classroom I'll be working in are not as wonderful as those I use now. I am also a bit anxious, because county-wide the 8th grade will be using new reading curriculum next year...and new programs are always a pain in the backside to implement.  Sighs.

-Continues to be such a joy!  I am ever thankful for my girl each and every day!

-Has completed half of the testing to be deemed "Gifted" for gifted resource classes at her school.  Unfortunately, the state of Florida allows school psychologists a certain number of school days to complete all testing, so we do not anticipate that all testing will be finished prior to school starting next year.

-Based on observations by us at home and by school staff at school, we also believe that Emma falls into the "Sensual Overexcitability" category. 

-In a nutshell, a famous Polish psychologist, Kazimierz Debrowski researched and labeled five "overexcitabilities" which gifted children often have.

-I feel SO badly I was not honed in on the signs of this overexictability earlier!  But there are signals of overexcitability that Emma has done for as long as I can remember:
       -She MUST have clothing tags cut out of her clothes.
       -If socks don't align on her toes "just right," she will refuse to wear them.  (When we find socks she likes, I always go back and buy multiple pairs.)
        -She is sensitive to loud noises.  In movie theaters or places with loud music (concert; marching band, etc.) Emma plugs her ears.  We use ear protection for her when she views fireworks, because she hates the loud noise.   Each week at the end of dance class, the girls all form a circle, put their arms in the middle, then high five and yell "Bravo!"  Emma places one ear down on her shoulder, plugs the other ear with one hand, and then does the "high five" with the arm under her ear/shoulder.
     -She is particular about food.  She only likes certain foods and likes them certain ways.  (Ex. she prefers boxed mac&cheese to creamier homemade types.)  She also does not like for her foods to touch--she will scoot items on her plate as far apart from one another as possible.
-Fortunately, Emma's oversensitivity is mild and she seems to cope better with things the older she gets. 

-It's been interesting for me after dealing with low level IQ students for many years, to be learning more and more about the gifted and higher end needs of children. 

-It was amazing for me as a mom when for the first time, Emma (in 1st grade) passed the reading level of my lowest students (in 6th grade) this year.  Way to go, Em!

-There was a Book Fair at Emma's school this week.  One of the books that she purchased was a quiz book.  DH and I cracked up today when Emma was completing a quiz about her interests.  For the question, "Who is your favorite actor?," the conversation went something like this:

Emma:  Who's that guy from "Back to the Future?"
Me:  Michael J. Fox
Emma:  No, the old guy.  Doc.
Me:  Christopher Lloyd?
Emma:  Yeah!  I love him!       

She then wrote his name down in her quiz journal as being her favorite actor.  Hilarious!

Secondary Infertility:
-After all these years, DH and I had our first appointment with a Reproductive Endocrinologist today. I felt we established more goals and plans in our 30 minutes with Dr. B than in our last three years with my OBGYN.  SOOOO glad we went!

-Thrilled that he (Dr. B) wrote down notes about our medical history himself---no secretary/RN like at my OB's office.  He spent time with us and heard us out.  I am pleased.

-We left with a 3-step plan:
1.  I will have blood work done with my next cycle in June.
2.  I will also do one cycle of Femara to try to get PG.
3.  If we do not get PG with Femara use, then the Dr. wants me to do outpatient lapraoscopic surgery, because he suspects I have endometriosis.
4.  And Beyond--after determining whether or not I have endometriosis and if it is entirely removed, we can then pursue IVF.     And they literally offer a "teacher discount" for IVF procedures done during the summer months....crazy, hey?

-DH and I both liked the doctor's demeanor.   And I think we were both stunned when the doctor told us he believes we can have a baby "for hundreds, not thousands of dollars" of medical interventions.

-So today, I feel real hope again (with regards to having Child #2) for the first time in several years.   Definite progress!


Kristin said...

Alana, I am always thrilled when I see a new post from you (even though I see you on Facebook).

Emma has many similarities to my oldest son. He was tested into the gifted program too.

So glad to hear about your appointment with the RE. Keeping my fingers crossed that you have success soon.

tbonegrl said...

So happy to hear that you got a "plan." I cannot tell you how awesome that made us feel.

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Sunny said...

What a great update, Alana! I will be anxious to hear how your testing goes.

Miss La said...

Interesting to learn about the gifted overexcitability... I never knew some of those signs, but I remember them driving me nuts when I was little too (the sock thing, and I'm still sensitive to loudness). Makes much more sense to me now, and it has gotten somewhat better with age, but I think I've just learned to deal with it better. Noise is still the hardest one though, and I understand why Emma is so sensitive to fireworks now.

I also love that she loves "the old guy" Doc! She cracks me up!! :)

Jenni said...

Emma sounds like a hoot!! I bet she is a fun little lady!! I am so joyful for the optimistic news from this new doctor!! If I were there in person I'd give you a big old hug and high five!! I pray that you will have peace in process and I look forward to following this journey :)