Encouraging kids for back-to-school

My kids both start school a week from today.  Big kid style.  Precocious has been in school for years and years now, but Charming is about to enter first grade, which means he’s going to school with the big kids all day long.  I’ve been really excited for this milestone forever, but now that it’s only a week away, I have to catch the sob in my chest every time I look at my baby boy.

son

We’ve had the summer of a lifetime.  We went to Europe and spent all day long every day together.  We’ve been to the pool at least twice a week since June.  We’ve ridden our horse, slept out on our trampoline, played on a slip and slide, and blown bubbles.

But I’m still not quite ready to let go.

reading to kids

Charming can’t wait to go be with “his kids” all day long, and eat pizza in the lunchroom with his big sister, but he’s a little bit terrified too.  He’s not reading yet, and he feels pretty nervous about that.  He feels like he’s behind already and he hasn’t even started 1st grade yet.  So we had a little talk the other night when I was tucking him into bed.  I told him it’s okay not to be reading yet, that plenty of other kids in 1st grade don’t know how to read.  I talked to him about what an adventure of reading is, that it shouldn’t be rushed, and when the day comes, whole new worlds will open up to his little baby brain.

But for now, it’s okay if his mama reads to him every night before bed.

*SOB*

girls

Precocious is old hat at this school business by now.  She’s a 6th grader, which means she’s queen of the elementary school.  She knows all the teachers, is friends with all the kids, and knows which days to bring a lunch from home.  But that doesn’t mean she isn’t a little bit terrified too.  She’s unsure of where she fits in the world of pre-adolescence.  When does she get to start wearing makeup to school?  Are all the other girls wearing bras too?  How does she remain friends with the boys who are her best friends when she has a crush on them too?

reading at night

But her main concern, as it has been from the first day of preschool, is more academic.  Will her 6th grade teacher like her?  Will she let her read and read and read without boundaries?  Is math going to drive her crazy this year?  We had a conversation over the weekend about grades, and when they start to matter, and what we can do this year to make sure she feels on top of her school work.  Precocious doesn’t do 50% or even 80%.  If she doesn’t get 125% on a test, we’re not allowed to talk about it.  Math has been a sticking point for her, as it is for so many girls in America {don’t even get me STARTED} all through elementary school, and she’s worried she’s going to fail 6th grade.

Precocious is scary smart, and the fact that she’s even worried about academics upsets me more than I let her know.  But instead of showing my worried parent card, we talked about teachers.  We talked about how little teachers make a year, how they teach because they love the kids, they love teaching, and just how much they want everyone to succeed.  How much I want my kids to succeed, and how I’ll do whatever it takes to make that happen.

Cheers. Here’s to a new school year.

Hallmark Special Occasion— “Hallmark sponsored this post. I’m partnering with Hallmark to shine a light to the Life Is A Special Occasion blogger campaign for the rest of this year. Everything about my kids in this post is the honest to goodness truth; I couldn’t make it up if I tried.”

If you’re interested, here’s a link where you can sign up for Hallmark email to be notified about special offers.

 

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Allison

Hello there! I'm Allison Czarnecki, founder + editor of Petit Elefant, a blog all about style on a budget for every part of your life: style / home / travel / family. I do a lot of how-to beauty + style tutorials, travel posts, easy recipes, home remodel projects, and cool DIY crafts you totally want to try. I'm super happily married (to a hot Polish immigrant) and am the mother of two kids, a daughter and son, all of whom are featured here on the regular. We live in the country but we're a little bit rock + roll. Welcome!

50 Comments

  1. the emily :

    My little boy was reading well ’til the end of first grade, and he’s just fine and super smart!

  2. Jane Maynard :

    so sweet…I’m right there with you on First Grade…and so glad we’re not up to 6th grade yet, that’s when things get hard. but at least she has a fabulous relationship with her parents…that will make all the difference.

    growing up is bittersweet. time needs to slow down a bit.

    xoxo

  3. katrina :

    darn it Allison! you made me cry! Lookin at Preschools for my oldest this year to get her started for full day kindergarten next year… booo hoooo my baby!
    As for your daughter and talking about teachers instead.. what a great idea! I will have to remember that one.

  4. Carina :

    I think it’s common to have the school-beginning butterflies. I give my guy a pep talk about how if he works hard he can accomplish everything at school. You are so sweet about your kids. I can’t wait until they are ALL in school. Seven years. I can hold out til then.

  5. Rachael :

    Why are you trying to rip my heart out on the internet? It’s not polite.

  6. Michelle :

    Lovely post…if only I could articulate my feelings as well (I might not eat so many cookies!).

  7. Kami :

    Your baby boy is going to be gone all day?! so sad!

    …for two weeks…and then FREEDOM! ;)

    I know…not what you wanted to hear, it’s just that I am ready! Ready for school to start.

  8. Marie :

    I’m having mixed feelings. But they are a little goof-ball crazy at this point, so I’m ready for school days to begin! :)

  9. Jenny :

    My kids are so excited for school. I need more summer! I also need to think of some way to prep them for the school year this weekend.

  10. Lauren :

    Alison! You totally summed up so many of my feelings. My little one is starting preschool in the fall and I have such a mixed bag of feelings. I know that’s exactly what she SHOULD be doing, but as a mom I can’t help but feel that it’s the start of something…before I know it she will be a teenager and an adult and as exciting as that is – there is such comfort in knowing exactly where she is and what she’s doing all of the time. <3

  11. Rachelle :

    Your comment about teachers making so little, plllllease! Teachers make a good salary and they are off more days than any other profession! Give me a break! You are very niave to think that they all become teachers because they love children. They love all that paid time off plus where I live at least they make $80,000 and up after 1o years which I wouldn’t consider very little money.

    • Lindsey Johnson//Cafe Johnsonia :

      Where do you live, Rachelle? Some teachers make that much after teaching for 30 years. The starting salary for a teacher is not even enough to support more than one person. My husband has a master’s degree and the school he worked for paid him less than the secretary! And furthermore, all of the teachers I know (and believe me, I know a lot of them) spend about 16 hours a day in the classroom. They certainly are not paid by the hour. They work after school, on holidays, and weekends grading papers and preparing lessons. AND, AND most of them have to get summer jobs to make up the rest.

      When I lived on the East Coast teachers made that much sometimes after they’d been working for years and years and they’d taken extra classes. But if you factor in how expensive it is to live there, it is not enough to live on.

      This kind of thinking is why our country is in trouble when it comes to education. People think teachers are lazy, which is not true. No one who becomes a teacher does it for the money and so they can have a ton of time off and an easy life. They do it because they love kids and teaching. Period.

    • Kristen :

      My mom, sister, mother-in-law, and sister-in-law are public school teachers. They are all scraping by, and could probably make more money working at the mall. Do you actually know a teacher? $80k? Please enlighten us on this school district so we can all move there.

    • Carina :

      Rachelle. You cannot be serious.

      Let’s see, my husband has worked all summer long, you know, on his “days off.” He doesn’t get days off during the year: if there’s a school concert, family event, or even vacation opportunity, he can’t go. He HATES his “paid time off” because it’s not really paid time off and he’d rather be teaching. He’s working on his lesson plans, writing tests and homework assignments. Just because the students aren’t in his classroom doesn’t mean he’s not working. And during the school year? People expect him to work for FREE. They want him to meet with kids, tutor them, meet with parents, do work while not being paid for it…so his salary is actually regressive comparative to his hours.

      And his actual salary? ARE YOU SHITTING ME? I just looked at the tables: our family would be considered indigent if we lived just on his salary. If we lived on just his salary, we’d qualify for free school lunches and breakfasts. I mean, that’s insane.

      So I don’t know what kind of shangri-la you live in, but you should stop making base statements about what teachers make. Sounds like teachers in your neck of the woods make an adequate salary–OH NOES! You’re lucky. Maybe your kids will get a decent education.

      OK. I gotta walk away from this…

    • Denise-EPL :

      Hi Rachelle! I’m a teacher in the REAL WORLD, not the one you imagine in your head. If you spend 30+ years in our school district teaching, have educated yourself beyond a PhD, there’s a chance you can earn $75,000.00. Do you know how many teachers have earned that honor that I work with, less than a handful. Do you know how many kids walk out of college earning almost the same amount of money in at least 50% of all other professional careers?

      When I started teaching, I was so excited to make $30,000.00. After 10 years that number rises, but not even close to the sum you have created. Try about 1/2 your figure, if of course I continue to educate myself, earn a Master’s Degree, and then keep on going. Did you know pay is based not only on experience, but level of education? I would also like to add, if it wasn’t for my husband, I could not live off of my teaching salary alone, with two children. Although your perception is I’m rolling in the dough.

      One last thing, 95% of teachers I know LOVE children, me included. I suggest walking into a school and volunteering to gain some perspective on the reality of education these days.

      • Rachelle :

        Well my brother in law does make that much but he does have his masters. I realize the salary is also based on education level. I never said teachers are rolling in the dough but I think they make a fair salary if you look at the hours they put in. Yes, I know I woudln’t dare speak of this to a group of teachers, nor my brother in law and his wife, LOL! No need to get so angry about it dear! Good luck to you.

      • Rachelle :

        Bt the way, I do volunteer at my children’s school so you have no idea what you are talking about miss. Get over yourself!

    • Natalie Wright :

      I would appreciate it if anyone is going to make negative comments about anything, they do some research first to make sure they are being accurate. Most the “time off” in the summer is usually spent at teacher development workshops or tutoring or teaching summer school, and any days that aren’t are more than made up for by the hours we spend before and after our “contract time” hours making sure we can give the best to the students. Most teachers I know put in 12 hour days on a regular basis, sometimes more. My district pays us from 7:30-3:15, but my work day is usually 6:30am – 6 or 7pm.

      p.s. I want to live where you live if teachers are making $80,000+. I am not a new teacher and I make way less than half that much.

      p.p.s. I am a teacher because I love children.

      • Natalie :

        I’m sorry if my earlier comment sounds very hostile. It was not meant to be. I just wanted to add my perspective.

      • Allison :

        Natalie, you don’t sound hostile at all, you sound perfectly justified in your response. I agree 100%. And this is coming from the daughter of a teacher. Summer’s off? Ha, Ha ha hahaaaaa haaa!

  12. Jenny :

    Rachelle, I have lived all over the US and have never been taught by a teacher making that much, nor are my teahers in Utah County getting paid that much to teach our elementary children. They live in our neighborhood and when they see our kids around town they are warm and friendly and express genuine interest, so I know those teachers are vested in our school and my children. It is important to look at education and teachers without being naive or making generalized statements about education just because you know someone somewhere where it may be the case.

  13. Rachelle :

    I agree with you, most teachers are very warm and care for the children. I really like most of the teachers at my children’s school. It just drives me crazy when people feel sorry for teachers that they make so little. Yes, the catholic school teachers make nothing but in the public schools (at least where I live) they start off at around $60,000, that’s not bad plus all the days off. Maybe you have lived in the middle of nowhere where people make nothing.

    • Erica :

      Rachelle, your comment is entirely off-subject for this post. The post is about preparing children and parents for school, not about arguing about this point about teachers. No, not all teachers are good. Every group of people has some sour apples (*ahem*). While Precocious has her worries, let’s bring up to her about how some teachers lost their groove and how teacher salaries vary by tax bracket. Great talking points, there.

      How about this. Print out your comment and take it to your kids’ teachers on the first day of school, and then let us know how the year goes for you. Meanwhile, I’m thankful for this post that Allison shared about preparing her kids in a very stable and loving way. Kudos to you, Mama.

  14. Kalli :

    Rachelle, it must be nice to be a teacher in your area but I can assure you such a high salary is not the norm nationwide. My sister in law just landed her first teaching job this year with the starting salary of $32,000, which is almost embarrassing if you ask me. I made more as a corporate executive assistant. In Wyoming where teacher salaries are in the upper range, starting teacher salary is $40k.

    Our kids deserve good teachers, and good teachers deserve better pay.

  15. Cecily :

    Oh, Alison, I’m right there with you. Tori starts full-day kindergarten and I’m more scared than she is. Sigh.

    And Rachelle, you’re HILARIOUS. Have you actually done any research on that? Do you realize how much teachers spend on supplies for the classroom? Here in the Philadelphia area a teacher working in a war zone is lucky to make 30K a year. Get your facts straight.

  16. Heather B. :

    Oh, Rachelle, you made me laugh.

    I don’t know where you live but as a person who works in the education field I can tell you that the only teachers making 80K are near retirement. If they’re lucky. Most teachers have to negotiate contracts so they can get paid $30,000, again, if they’re lucky. Even then and as Cecily stated, many are still chipping in for supplies that the district and/or students cannot afford. Yes they do get days off but want to know what they’re doing on those days and summers off? Working a second job.

    Oh yes. Being a teacher is totally life styles of the rich and famous.

    • Denise-EPL :

      I’ve seen that show on Bravo, Lifestyles of the Rich Educators. Lucky ducks.

  17. Rachelle :

    My brother in law (who’s been teaching for 20 years) and his wife are both teachers in Nevada and I know his salary is $75,000 and yes they work hard but all I am saying is they make a living and they are home with their children by 4:00 every day. It’s not that bad. I didn’t say it was life of the rich a famous here but they do make a fair living….that is all I am saying. As far as teachers getting jobs in the summer, well boo hoo, the rest of us have to work all year so why shouldnt they? Oh, and the person who said teachers buy supplies for their classroom? Not where I live. The parent’s have to buy everything, even the tissues,papaer towels, computer paper and more.
    I can’t talk about this anymore.

    • Sarah Kimmel (Tech4Moms) :

      According to this site http://www.teachersalaryinfo.com/average-teacher-salary-nevada.html The average salary for a teacher in Nevada is $45,000. I’m glad your Brother in Law is able to make so much more, but I would say that is definitely not the norm for a teacher, also yes he’s been doing it for 20 years so of course he’s going to be at the higher end of the pay scale.

      Here’s something to consider though, we “pay” athletes and movie stars millions of dollars every year, and how well do they “teach” our children by their actions? They get arrested for drug abuse, wear skimpy clothing, and use inappropriate language, and yet we continue to idolize them and put them on a pedestal. Compare that to the people who are spending the majority of the day with your children, who are teaching them to be future leaders of this world, and teaching them how to read and write and survive as adults…. and yet we pay them such an insignificant amount in comparison.

      Personally I would much rather see teachers make millions of dollars than a movie star or athlete. I think they deserve to make decent salary, because they help shape our children’s future, and THAT is worth more than anything.

    • Allison :

      Rachelle, it’s fine to have a nice discussion about teachers, but when it gets inappropriate and ugly comments will be deleted. This is a lovely space, and defensive, mean, off topic comments won’t be tolerated. So let’s keep it nice!

  18. Kimberly :

    The attitude of teachers being overpaid for their talents and summers off is a bit tragic. I’m married to an educator who fights tirelesslyto improve and preserve a great blessing of living in the USA: free public education for everyone. His starting salary was not even worth discussing. But let’s discuss: all the hours of undergrad work. The hours of coaching after school sports for underprivileged kids. Or meeting with parents or child services or police officers. Or the year he provided Christmas, out of pocket, to the family of a student who had nothing. Or the hours and thousands of dollars in his masters, and summers at a second job or volunteering for the boy scouts of America. Qualifying for WIC for 8 years is totally a life of luxury. He must be overpaid and lazy.

  19. Kimberly :

    PS: kudos to Allison for the pep talks and for nurturing a desire to learn in her beautiful children. It makes a difference.

    PPS: kudos to my hubby for improving students test scores significantly. Every single year. And for earning every teensy bump up the pay scale on his own time, and own dime.

  20. Anna-Karin Smith :

    Of course this conversation is a sad one to have when Allison was sharing some inner angst about her children starting school again. I know that many teachers put in long hours for their work, but so do others in their own jobs. And yes, many teachers will go into the profession because they love children, but the time off is also a very big reason. I plan to start my Master’s in Education next summer, and those two reasons are two big ones for me — what other job can I have where I can be home with my kids in the summer? And no, teachers don’t make much. I am thankful that my salary will be supplemental to raising our kids, not primary. But the time off is much more than any other full-time job that I know of. On of the biggest problems is that teachers are not allowed to progress in salary (for the most part) based on performance, and are also not allowed to be docked or let go for the same reason. This is why we do get some teachers who should not be teaching. For the most part, I think that teachers work hard and put in lots of time for the kids. But they also have perks with the job that others do not receive.

    • Rachelle :

      Very nicely stated. I wish you all the best. I am not against teachers I just get tired of hearing them cry about their salaries when they have so many other perks. I know that is not what this post was about and I probably shouldn’t have commented. I know a lot of people really took this the wrong way. I am sure you love children and you will be a wonderful teacher but there is nothing wrong with admitting that other professions work really hard too and that teachers do get a lot of time off. It’s the perfect career for a mom. Anyway, all the best to you.

  21. Kim :

    Alison, I am right there too. Amelia starts Kindergarten this year and it is ALL DAY with only ONE recess!!! It is killing me. I won’t have an empty nest, but 1/2 the number of kids at home as I am used to ;)

    As for Rachelle – obviously you live in some fantasy world where Teachers are paid well. It surely does not hold true for the rest of our country where Teachers scrimp and save and pinch every penny to get by. The fact that you say that Teachers make what they deserve makes me very sad for you, your children, and the Teachers who teach your children.

  22. Kalli :

    Rachelle, I really can’t imagine why you take such issue with the idea that the majority of teachers are underpaid, even as far as to suggest that it’s not the norm. Nevada teacher pay is an anomaly to be sure, whatever they’re doing right the rest of the nation needs to get on board with. The majority of teachers are the ones forking over the dough for their own classroom supplies, not parents. Though teachers may send out requests to the parents of their students for supply donations, I guarantee they still fall short and dig into their own shallow pockets. Teachers in Utah and throughout the rest of the U.S. also face overcrowded classrooms and underfunded programs. Though your BIL may be home by 4 pm and collect a $75k salary (after 20 years) I’m sure he would be the last to describe his job as cushy.

    In many European countries, teachers make as much money as doctors and lawyers. Something is WRONG with our society when teaching and educating our children is paid out on the same equivalent as janitors and housekeepers. Investing in our educational system is investing in our children, and why would you ever want to shortchange them? Give credit where credit is due.

  23. kelleyn :

    Hope that all went well for them on their first day of school!

  24. von :

    As far as I am concerned teachers are not paid enough…even if they are making 80k. At our school, parents are supposed to do 20 hrs of help in the classroom, and I am AMAZED at how much goes into being a teacher. Good luck with 1st grade. We are venturing into that same year.

  25. Mama Bub :

    Oh man, school. I have an entire year before I have one in real school and it’s safe to say that I’ll do my fair share of school related hand wringing.

    And Rachelle… well let’s back up. Let’s assume that there are teachers making that much money somewhere. Are we suggesting that the work that they do isn’t worth that kind of compensation? Are we suggesting that they shouldn’t be rewarded for the time and energy that they put into their work? I’ll allow that not every single teacher is in the profession for the love of children. Would you allow that there are doctors who practice simply for the chance to pad their bank account? Or that any profession is subject to someone who is just doing their job?

    Paid time off? Can somewhere tell me where my husband has been hiding his summer paychecks?

  26. AnnaO :

    Best of luck to your children in school this year, Allison. I tear up every time I think about how big my BABIES are getting.

    I also tend to tear up when I think about my mom who raised me largely by herself and who has been a teacher since I was in 2nd grade. I loved that my mom and I got to spend our summers together. She didn’t have to go to work so we were free to spend 3 months together lazing about… well, when she wasn’t attending a continuing education course, reading and taking notes on the latest dozen or so teaching books, and prepping for the school year to come, that is.

    During our summers, I loved the way we made the most of our time having picnics and taking in the natural beauty of the area in which we lived. It would have been nice to have been able to take a vacation with her too with all that “free time” we had together, except that even as a young child I knew we were barely getting by and that the newly popularized “stay-cation” was all that we could afford.

    It was also really great that she was done with work the same time I was done with school… except for the fact that she would spend the rest of the evening at the kitchen table or on the couch correcting dozens of papers and wrestling with the task of how to get through to the kids who just weren’t getting the concepts or weren’t giving school their best. I loved being able to say goodnight to her every night… as I woke her up from where she’d fallen asleep in her pile of papers, utterly exhausted.

    I loved putting my creativity to use in my mom’s classroom in the week we would spend there every year during her “time off” in the end of August getting her room perfect for the new group of students. I also got to put my counseling and comforting skills to use as I listened to my mom, in her evening “off,” being berated over the phone by a parent who was angry that my mom had the audacity to give her child a non-passing grade after the child had refused to turn in ANY homework or participate. (That part I definitely did not love.)

    I can be one of those mama-bear types whose hackles go up when her kids are slighted and I tend to have the same reaction when it comes to things said about teachers and the lives of luxury they supposedly lead. So, Rachelle, I would really love to reply directly to your comments but my teacher mama raised me better than to use the kinds of words necessary to say exactly what you deserve to be told.

  27. Lindsey Johnson//Cafe Johnsonia :

    And let’s also not forget that teachers who live in places where a Master’s degree is required for a teaching degree don’t even earn enough to pay off their loans. Hence the reason my husband had part-time jobs on the weekends, taught college at night, and tutored students each night after school.

    What a cushy lifestyle indeed!

  28. Natalie :

    I can’t believe that Miss Precocious is going to be in 6th grade!!! I was telling my husband about how weird it is that all of my sweet 3rd graders are now big bad 6th graders…

  29. Liz :

    Allison, I’m so with you. Kindergarten in good ‘ol Wyoming is full-day and my little super hero is going to be starting, leaving just my baby (who turns two in a blink) at home. I’m hoping he’s ready. Hope hope hoping. Thank you for sharing your heart and your kidlets with the blogging world.

    Incidentally, in our district the pay is astronomically high at $42,000 for a 1st year teacher – funny thing – it turns out the middle of nowhere does pay pretty good. The highest pay position for 2010-2011 (for someone having worked 21+ years and holding higher than a master’s degree) earned $63,950. And that’s probably for a man. Women generally make less. We consider ourselves lucky, but even the teachers here almost always have 2-income homes. What house can you buy here on that income? A modular. Wow… awesome, huh? Teachers deserve any praise they happen to get. They take their work wherever they go and they always have to be a teacher in public too. It’s a great theory that you’re off at the same time as your school-aged children and have the same summer break but in reality there are lessons to plan, functions to plan, meetings to attend, expected community involvement, and often side jobs to juggle. Allison was writing this post from a Utah perspective – where teachers truly are paid pittance and the schools themselves are way under-funded and teachers are commonly found to buy materials for their classrooms out of their personal budgets for the simple fact that they DO care.

  30. Stacia :

    So we were in kindergarten together and Mrs. Butler said there’s nothing you can do to rush a child learning to read. (Or so my mother is telling me right now.) Mrs. Butler related to her that she could tell when the light would come on for a child and they gained a grasp of reading – it was like a light switch – and just like you said – whole worlds open up. It doesn’t happen for many children until sometime during 1st grade. So maybe tell Charming that YOUR kindergarten teacher gave him permission to learn how to read as a 1st grader.

  31. Wendy :

    Sweet girl, I want your summer. Though, I know it was well deserved and much needed. I am so glad that you got it. I feel as though I have missed theirs and missed giving them that magical summer. I keep forgetting about Boston and Maine and Cape Cod and that place that is magical for me and became magical for them.

    It is hard to see them go back so soon. Sam starts preschool next week. It is too much to see them grow this fast and want to spend time away. I just hope that this year their teachers make them wonder and make them want for more and seek for more and I hope that their teachers love their jobs. Really really love their jobs. Kids are hard yo!

    The conversation here was fantastic. Ultimately it is really, honestly, our hope that these educators teach with kindness and honesty and that they are not dull and passionless. What could be worse? As mothers we can help spark their imagination and find what they are best at and find the best in them and help them harvest it. We send them off to these teachers and hope that they will, in their way, do the same.

  32. ~j. :

    We’re entering middle school territory over here, and working out 5 kids in 4 schools (live in my van much?). We’ve got the pre-school year anxiety, I’m just hoping I can keep it together and not cry in front of my oldest as she begins for herself what many of my friends have referred to as the worst years of their lives (AWESOME).

    As for the salary stream: please. I’m the daughter of a teacher. The granddaughter of a teacher. The niece of teachers. The daughter-in-law of a teacher. The WIFE of a teacher. The problem is that people actually believe it: I heard all the time growing up, “Teachers are rich!” Mmmhm. My dad painted houses and sprayed lawns during the summer so that we could (barely) eat. My father-in-law earned his Ph.D. but went back to teaching at the high school level, and has since lamented that getting that degree wasn’t worth it, financially. My dad was offered (and took) a cushy retirement package a few years ago (in New York) because he was the highest paid teacher in the district after working for 33+ years, and his salary was NOT $75K. My own husband just earned his doctorate, and we’ll see what it brings, but the fact remains that most who choose to become educators are doing it for the love of teaching, NOT for the money.

    Best wishes to all our li’l kidlets getting ready for a new year!

  33. Amanda :

    Tell Precocious that sixth grade is going to be all right. I’m in high school right now, and sixth grade was actually not that bad. Tell her that everything is going to be fine. :D

  34. Kalli :

    Way to keep it classy Rachelle. Clearly your teachers growing up were overpaid babysitters considering you can’t even punctuate correctly.

    Super excited for your children and their bright future; can’t wait to keep them employed when I drive through Sonic for my happy hour Coke.

    VOTE PALIN ’12!