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The paths we choose

August 22, 2012 - Pam Rodgers

Schools across Iowa are returning to session this week. It a crazy busy time for both the students and the teachers. It means relatively nothing different for me as I choose a profession that isn’t within the education system. However, I am still surrounded by it, thanks largely to my parents and my sister.

They are teachers (my brother and I were the “rebellious children”). I am sure I have mentioned it before, but my parents teach at GMG. My mom is a junior high/high school math teacher and my dad teaches special education. My sister, Trish is a high school math teacher in Chariton.

Growing up as a teacher’s kid, I got to help with the teacher side of things, and I still do today. For teachers, the transition starts before school is even in session. Teacher’s need to get their room ready for class, that’s common sense. This is an easy job for some. My dad’s room is small and basically takes care or itself.

My mom and my sister however have larger classrooms and always need to do some work to get their rooms ready. It’s not hard labor, but they like to have everything they need all ready to go when the teenagers invade. And me, being the generous sort, offer my assistance as they prepare.

I’ll start with my sister, because I technically helped her first this year even though I’ve been helping mom for years.

Trish is starting her fourth year of teaching. She is also getting a new room, which is great because it’s bigger than her old room. The downfall is having to move all of her stuff.

OK, it wasn’t that bad. Turns out she didn’t accumulate all that much stuff in three years and on the bright side, she had an excuse to go through things and toss what she didn’t need.

The monkey wrench of the situation was that she got all new text books this year. So she had 200 plus math books to get out of boxes and number. This is where I come in. I generously donated my time on my day off to assist her with numbering text books. We had a good system going. She numbered the Algebra 2 books while I took Algebra 1 (which turned out to have 15 more books so I got the raw end of that deal, but I digress). Then, she had a teacher’s meeting so I was stuck with the 45 pre-calculus books. She bought me dinner at the Olive Garden so it wasn’t all for nothing. ;)

Mom, on the other hand, has been teaching for 35+ years and been in her current room for 11 years. You naturally accumulate things so you have to get creative sometimes to get it all filed away. My job was to help her move things around because she really shouldn’t be lifting too much. I also helped her move two desktop computers to a better place in her room. GMG has one-to-one computers, so they aren’t for students. She uses her school laptop for everything but she holds onto her old desktops, just in case she needs her old files. I tried getting her to transfer files but she doesn't want to change it cause she knows where everything is. Hey, it’s whatever works for her.

I am sure I will be recruited to help throughout the year with various things my parent’s might need. It’s what a daughter’s for. My sister, however, is on her own from here on out!



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