Sunday Post with Berls | Meet Alia!

Posted December 2, 2017 by Berls in The Sunday Post / 23 Comments


News at Home – Meet Alia!

So I hadn’t mentioned it, because I was in denial… but Tauri – my 2005 Ford Taurus – has been sick for a while. Y’all may remember I was involved in a hit-and-run accident August 2016 and she’s never been quite the same. But about a month ago, her transmission started struggling. And my husband has been letting me drive her less and less, telling me she’s not safe and that it as time for a new car. The car shopping really started this week… and I was ADAMANT that I wanted another Ford Taurus. I’ve never loved a car so much, y’all. I feel like I’m betraying her hard core, after she took such good care of me in that awful accident and ever since. But, as my husband assures me, cars do not have feelings. Right?

Anyway, last night we went to a couple dealerships, which was a pretty new experience for us because usually we buy cars off the street for cash. But this time my husband wanted to get a newer car because he feels like I just drive too much for something older. Well, that meant a Ford Taurus was going to cost a lot more money and he convinced me to try out other styles. My first car was Sarah (yes, I name all my cars… hence the attachment), a 1994 Nissan Sentra, and that was my second favorite car ever. So dependable, she went to 280,000 miles and honestly could have kept going if I’d had the money to do a little work on her. So I was willing to give a Nissan Altima a go. And I was shocked to find her just as comfortable as Tauri.

Long story a little less long, after lots of debate, we bought a 2012 Nissan Altima. I’ve named her Alia and I definitely think it’s the start of a beautiful relationship. It was hilarious, when the dealer gave me the “key” to start the car, I couldn’t figure out how to start it. Because, ya’ll, my NEWEST car to this point was Tauri, a 2005. And back then, cars still had REAL keys. Not push buttons. Not Alia. She has a button. And I pushed her button and I didn’t think she was on, but I wasn’t sure. She wasn’t. You have to hit the break too. LOL! Everyone laughed at me, but I’m learning her cool tricks. Like the button on her front doors that lets me lock and unlock her without ever taking the key out of my purse. Wow. That’s going to be handy! So meet Alia:


Anyway… buying a new car is not ALL that happened this week. Went back to work after the holiday and had a pretty decent week. Remember that kid I was telling y’all about who is a constant behavior problem? He had a GREAT week! I was even able to give him a character award yesterday, which is great, because I’m hoping he’ll start to feel the joy of being good and keep it up! Yay! On the flip side, a student I had trouble with at the start of the year and had gotten to a point where he had mostly good behavior had an AWFUL week and I had to make several parent phone calls. πŸ™ It’s a truth in teaching I think, if one fixes their behavior at least one will rise to fill the spot! But this one is no where near as difficult as the other, so I’ll take it.

My other student concern – the new student who I couldn’t make any parent contact with – has gotten both better and worse. I was FINALLY able to connect with mom on Tuesday. She apologized for being so hard to connect with and explained that she recently had to take on a 3rd job! Gah, my heart goes out to parents who are working so hard to just provide the most basic needs. I can tell she’s trying her best and is just spread way too thin without much of a support system. Which is really unfortunate because what I haven’t told her yet – can’t really until I get some more documentation under way – I’m like 80% sure her daughter is going to need some sort of SPED (Special Education) placement. On one hand she seems passively defiant, and on the other hand I’m pretty sure that’s actually because she’s just not 100% there. So that’s an uphill road I’ll be traveling this year for her.

And I have to say, I’ve never had such a high SPED population and I’m convinced there’s SOMETHING going on to create so many Special Needs kids. I have in my class 3 that came in already identified and I have another 3 that I’m working on getting testing setup for… and let me tell you, getting that testing accomplished is a lot of paper work, meetings, and just brutal hard work. Of course, being a Kinder teacher, it’s kind of something that we do a lot more than other teachers because this is most kids (in our district at least) first time in school and thus the first opportunity to really get that diagnosis if parents didn’t know how to recognize signs or what to do. Anywho, that’s 6 out of 22 kids… quite a lot and it’s not making life easy! And the other 2 GenEd Kinder Teachers are looking at similar numbers. And Bilingual Kinder teacher has a ratio of 3 out of 12, so high too.

Oh and to top off my week, we had ANOTHER round of district walkthroughs yesterday. Y’all I am so effing tired of these people coming into my classroom to make sure I know how to teach. If you don’t believe it, then fire me I’ll find a job somewhere else. Wait, I just took on a car payment, so don’t fire me, but gah! The thing is every time they come it’s SUPPOSEDLY random what classrooms they will visit but they keep coming to mine. And I found out yesterday that since it’s a new group of walking clipboards (that’s what I call them) they actually tell my principal that they have heard they need to see my room. I know, I should take that as a compliment, and I do… except the constant disruption is not fair and I don’t think it’s really that good for my kids. I told my principal as much yesterday when she told me why they keep coming to my room and she told me, “Well you’re going to have to stop nailing it then. You keep impressing them. As your principal, I’d rather you keep it up though.” LOL she’s kind of hilarious huh? They did leave me a nice card thanking me for letting them in my room and telling me that they were impressed by the routines and structure in my room, as well as the fact that ALL students were clearly engaged. I just hope they skip me next visit. Please.

I realize this is a super long post and I’m sorry! I just really enjoying sharing my week with y’all – it’s like a chance to catch up with my best friends πŸ™‚ I have a super busy day ahead of me – updating car insurance to full coverage. GROAN. Cross your fingers for me that it won’t hurt too much! I have to run back to the dealership to fix our financing, we discovered at the end that we could actually get a better rate (by 3%!) if we put down $500 more, which we have, but we didn’t have on us. And CarMax has this thing that you can change your financing within 3 days with no penalty, so we’re going to do that this morning. Then I need to go buy a baby shower gift, wrap it, go to the baby shower 1 hour away from home! Then I have a christmas party… 1 hour away from the baby shower. At least I have new car for all that driving, right?! LOL!

Have a great week y’all!

Blog News

I realize I misspoke last week when I said I had all of December written… that was all my December REVIEWS written. However, I’m still in really good shape and only have 7 posts to work on for December (except Sunday Posts which can’t be pre-written). I actually visited blogs 3 days this week! Yay! Not as good as I was hoping for, but I promise I’ll get there! It’s a start, right?

COYER is around the corner! Signup over at the COYER website for COYER Winter Switch! I’m really excited about this round and plan to challenge myself big time πŸ™‚

We also have our Reading Assignment Challenge sign up for 2018… we announced a couple changes this week to make it easier IMO.


#FitReaders Update

Can you believe November is over?! I feel mostly happy with how I did with my goals last month. I am a little disappointed that I didn’t hit my weight loss goal for the month, but I came close. My goal was 20 pounds and I lost 17.6. Pretty damn close! I finished November off strong, even completing a workout challenge at my gym. Felt Great!

So it’s time to recommit for December. I’m adjusting a couple of my goals to fit where I’m at now and getting rid of my water goal because I’ve been surpassing that literally every day, so I don’t feel the need to track it anymore… here are my December goals:

  1. Do yoga every Monday – Friday morning for 10 minutes (minimum) – so no more weekend yoga to track
  2. Eat 70g of protein daily – I still struggle with this
  3. Go to the gym 4 times a week (Sunday – Saturday) – I’ve been going so much more than my November goal of 3x so I want to keep up the momentum and I’m increasing this goal to 4x.
  4. Walk 8000 steps a day – same
  5. Do 1 C25k walk with Buffy each weekend – same
  6. Lose 17.4 lbs – this is lower because I think it needs to be, but also because that will be an eve 100 pounds since surgery!

I started December off rough … my non-stop gym approach (y’all, I just checked and I did a class 10 days straight with only 1 break… the day I did the Turkey Trot 5k!) landed me a pretty bad shin splint. Like I was crying to bend my leg enough to put on pants bad. Thankfully I get regular massages and my masseuse fixed it up pretty good on Tuesday. And like a dummy I went to the gym Wednesday. Needless to say, it started hurting again, so I skipped Thursday. And then Friday my stomach was not feeling great, so I skipped Friday. And then today I can’t go because I have so much shit to do. And Sunday they aren’t offering any classes. And Monday I have a holiday party, so I can’t go! Grr! But Tuesday my leg BETTER be fully healed and I’ll get back at it πŸ™‚

Days since surgery: 116
Total weight lost since surgery: 84.4 pounds
December wight loss: 1.8 pounds

Last Week on the Blog

Coming Next Week From Me

My TBR List Voting
Sunday Post with Berls

Sugar Rush #audioreview

AuthorLuv#2018 Sign Up Post

It's Monday! What Are You Reading

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? is a place to meet up and share what you have been, are and about to be reading over the week. This meme started with J Kaye’s Blog and then was taken up by Sheila from Book Journey. Sheila then passed it on to Kathryn at the Book Date. And here we are!

I just finished…

I finished The Trouble With Twelfth Grave and while I loved it, I always loved Charlie, it felt a bit like a filler book.

Reading Now…

I’m both reading and listening to Beyond the Veil, my November TBR book. I’m loving the whisper sync because otherwise I think it would take me forever to read and the audio is really good. Kinda cool being literally in one book for once.

Up Next…

Not 100% sure!

How was your week? What are you Reading?

Berls wants you to meet Alia! Read all about her in the Sunday Post with Berls! Click To Tweet

About Berls

Michelle adopted me as part of her blog when I decided to close down my blog, Fantasy is More Fun. The blog was dying, but my love of reading and the blogosphere was still strong as ever - so I found my new home here at Because Reading!

I'm not just a book lover, but a one time author (that hopes to be more in the future), wife, mom to the cutest, happiest, best 2 year old and step-mom to the craziest, sweetest 22 year old on the planet. My family mean everything to me and they appear frequently in the Sunday Post with Berls. So grab a glass of wine and chat books, blogging, and family with me!



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23 responses to “Sunday Post with Berls | Meet Alia!

  1. Jen

    You realize that they are never going to leave you alone and stop the walk through’s because you are such an amazing teacher.

    Having a kiddo in SPED, I can tell you that it was a RELIEF for me when she was identified and tested. I knew she was struggling (Kinder, 1st grade) and behind, so having the identification and IEP in place helped ease my mind to know she would get the services she needed. She’s been doing great – in 4th grade she went back to gen ed Math. She’s still on IEP for reading, writing, spelling, but she’s working hard (in 6th grade). It’s the dedication of teachers like you that make the difference. Unfortunately, not all parents want to hear their child may have a learning disability or need extra help. That’s their own pride lashing out, rather than looking at was is best for the child.

    CONGRATS on Alia!! May she bring you years of comfort and safety!

    As for fitness – you are doing a great job and I’m glad the weight loss has started again. I finally took a break yesterday – after 36 days straight of meeting my goals, exercising and walking 10,000. I’m feeling the impact in my feet and legs. At least the yoga is keeping me from getting too bad.

    • They were in my room again Monday! It’s driving me insane :/ my kids were not doing so great, but apparently it went well in their eyes. *shrugs* I was kind of hoping that would keep them out lol.

      I wish all parents felt that way. Some of the battles I’ve had, I’ve felt like the only one fighting for the child and that sucks. I get that no parent wants to hear that their child has special needs – but you can will that away, so why not accept it and the help that can come with it? I’ll never understand why pride keeps parents from wanting their child to get help for the daily struggle of GenEd classrooms. Some are just too busy or too lazy to take the necessary steps. πŸ™

      Thanks, I do love Alia so far πŸ™‚

      Yesterday was my first day back in a week! Getting Alia took a lot of time and interfered big time with my gym time :/ I’m glad you’re getting a much needed break! The yoga does really help me too.

      Have a great week!!

  2. I’m going to starting calling you Charley Davidson, since you’re naming your cars. Are you naming anything else?

    I’m glad about your wins at school. It is sad to hear about your one student and the poor mother trying to care for her. It sounds like she is probably living in a poorer neighborhood. I wonder if there is lead paint or lead pipes that could be causing problems in the area. I know that all newer houses don’t have that, but there are still a lot around that haven’t been updated and they are usually in the poorer sides of time (which is even worse, because they can’t afford to upgrade or move or they would’ve by now).

    • Lol I’ve always named my cars – something that drew me to Charley right away. I love that she names like everything and since reading the books I’ve often thought I’d like to name the girls, just got to find the perfect combo πŸ˜‰

      Hmmm I hadn’t thought of that, but we do have an extremely high incidence of SPED at our school so it’s worth considering! Especially since we do service some older, poorer areas.

      Have a great week Melanie!

  3. Yay for a Alia! I love Nissan Altimas though I’ve only had them as rental cars. I’m a big fan of Carmax. We had to replace my beloved Toyota Sequoia last year and we went to several dealerships but the experience was so awful that I left the last one almost in tears. On a whim we went to Carmax and it was like the sky opened and angels sang. I could SIT in the car without a salesperson pestering me and trying to get me to upgrade to something I didn’t want. It was amazing. It’s my automatic first choice for car buying from now on! I can see where kindergarten would be such a challenge for a teacher because you’re the one who has to catch everything. I know several people who thought their child had no issues until they got into kindergarten and the teacher was like “yeah something’s not quite okay here”. Glad to hear your trouble student had a great week and how awesome that you could reward him! Have a great week!

    • Yeah that was pretty much out experience too with car shopping. The pressure is gone and they really just let you check out the cars. It will be our first choice too on the future, I think. Hope you have a great week πŸ™‚

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  5. Our district over-identifies students. I have had students and parents tell me they just didn’t want their kid in a gen ed classroom for testing, so they were able to bitch and get 504 accommodations without any diagnosis or legitimate need. One of those babies absolutely refused to ever go for her testing and I pushed and pushed for it to be taken away because she didn’t use it and she actually didn’t need it. They wouldn’t. I have 130ish kids this year and nearly 50+ SPED and 504, with more going through RTI. I don’t agree with it. After teaching a while, you know your students who have a true need, and you know your ones who are just plain lazy.

    Congrats on your new car!!! It is definitely important to be driving in a safe vehicle. This is my second (well, technically my third, but I never even got to drive the first one) and I finally broke down and bought it after I poured more money into my car than I paid for it and I was still having issues. I was concerned I would break down and get hit, so I made the fateful choice to get my Jeep and I am SO happy!! Enjoy the new car!

    We have walkthroughs like that about twice a month, and we have one this coming week with LARGE groups of principals, instructional specialists, and teachers they are trying to impress into buying into this program with E3 Alliance. I hate it, too. It is NOT good for our students to stop in the middle of the lesson, distract them with doing a horse and pony show of cueing the lesson again like class is starting all over, and then trying to get them to have a higher level question with small group purposeful talk when you already did it or you’re not there yet in the lesson. I tell them to just have their FRAME out and open for the crazies to look at so they won’t ask them questions and can evidently see for themselves we are doing what I actually say we are doing. I feel the same way – if I’m not doing what the State Board of Education gave me a certificate for and has categorized me as a highly qualified teacher – then find someone else. I guarantee they won’t put up with the BS of running yearbook with no preps and won’t do near as well curriculum-aligned instruction with attention to detail like I do, which is a large part of why my campus was one of only two in the entire district to receive an ELA distinction.

    I have some December blog writing to do, too, plus my five reviews. I’m hoping to start moving forward with some more books, too!

    Charlie recently posted: Sunday Post ~ Week of Writing
    • Yikes that’s so many! We have the opposite problem in my district, it’s like pulling teeth to get someone identified who clearly needs it. So frustrating! I can see it becoming a different problem in upper grades though, where it’s used as a crutch instead of for legitimate need.

      I’m glad your jeep worked out. So far, I think Alia is going to be a good car. I definitely am comfortable driving her and she’s so smooth πŸ™‚

      I’m telling you these walk thoughs are just ridiculous! At least you can explain to your kids what’s going on and they kind of get it, but that doesn’t change how disruptive it is. I’ve tried to explain to my kids a little, bit mainly they’re just super flustered by all these people coming into their classroom and asking them questions while they’re trying to work. *sigh*

      I hope you have a great week!!!

  6. Yay for a new car!! She looks happy. I can tell she’s going to go the extra mile for you. I know, I know, big groaner there. LOL

    And now I feel guilty sitting here in my jammies with cookie crumbs on my chair while you’re out running all over Hell’s Half Acre (is it really only a half acre? Hmmm…) today. I hope you have a fantastic week, Berls!

    A Voracious Reader recently posted: AVR Weekly News ~ 222nd Edition
    • Thanks Carol! Lol only you πŸ˜‰

      Don’t feel guilty, that was yesterday and now I’m in my jammies too. I was so exhausted when I got home, I feel asleep in the couch and didn’t wake until Kiko told me to go to bed at 1am!

      A half-acre would be extremely crowd….right? Lol! Have a great week Carol!

  7. Congrats on the new car! It looks lovely and I hope you get many years and miles from her. My very first car was a Nissan (back then it was a Datsun).

    My car was totaled about two months ago and I just got my “new” one (my old one was a 2002 and my new one is a 2013). The button was new for me, too, though my husband already had one. Didn’t think I’d like it but I’ve fallen in love with not having to scramble in my purse for keys.

    Jonetta (Ejaygirl) recently posted: Flesh & Skin by Kylie Scott
    • My mom had a Datsun. Been really good cars for a long time, so I’m hopeful and optimistic. I think I’ll like not having to scramble for keys, though it’s so weird turning the car off and not having keys in my hand.

      Have a great week Jonetta!

    • Hahaha that’s why there’s two of us, right? I still wonder why it took us so long to combine!

      You hang in, and if there’s anything I can do from Texas you let me know πŸ™‚ XOXO

    • That’s awesome, it’s a lot of work to get kids with special needs where they need to be. I’m glad he had a teacher willing to put in the work to get him where he would thrive! Thanks Laura, I’m loving her so far πŸ™‚ Have a great week!

  8. Nice ride!! Altima’s are nice, hope you love it. And yay for the kid with the behavior problems, glad that he had a good week (and hopefully the other student who slipped a bit will have a better week coming up).

    “walking clipboards” lol.

    Have a super week!!!

    Greg recently posted: Sunday Post #222
    • Thanks Greg, I’m enjoying Alia so far πŸ™‚ fingers crossed for that I get both my behaviors in line next week! Have a great week Greg!

  9. Oh yay for a new car!!!! That is totally awesome!
    Sorry you have such a high incidence of sped kids. As a sped teacher, I KNOW the work that goes into identifying a student and getting that support going. Hopefully that overburdened mom will be receptive to some additional support for her child. Its difficult for some parents, but honestly, I think most parents are just grateful for the help. They know their child’s struggles are beyond their abilities and having the school offer services is kind of a blessing. Hopefully thats how this parent sees it!
    Have a wonderful week!

    • Thanks Samantha! Yeah, you know exactly what I’m talking about with identifying them. What I find so frustrating is that we can all be going, “yep that child needs services” and I’ll spend the entire school year getting them identified and set up for them, which means I never get to enjoy the benefits of my hard work, they just go to next year’s teacher. I’m hoping my new student’s mom will be receptive – I have only had 1 real conversation with her though so I just don’t know what to expect. *fingers crossed*

      Have a great week 6