May Issue


Teacher Appreciation Week is here, and with that a week long of teacher appreciation from every student, staff, and community member. The hardest career to choose is to be a teacher, because being a teacher is also choosing to be a Mother, Father, Grandmother, Tia, Friend, Counselor, Santa Claus, Easter Bunny, and sometimes we have to be the Bad Guys. Yet it is one of the most rewarding careers!!! Your students will always remember you, they will thank you when they make it. They will remember the roles you played in their education and they will honor you when their greatest moment comes.

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Carpenter Middle School is supporting the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports & Nutrition in honor of National Physical Fitness and Sports Month. During the month of May, we challenge all adults to get 30 minutes of physical activity every day.

Did you know that regular physical activity increases your chances of living a longer, healthier life? It also reduces your risk for high blood pressure, heart disease, and some types of cancer.

The Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans recommend that adults:

  • Aim for 2 hours and 30 minutes of moderate aerobic activity each week. Moderate activity includes things like walking fast, dancing, swimming, and raking leaves.
  • Do muscle-strengthening activities – like lifting weights or using exercise bands – at least 2 days a week.

Physical activity is for everyone. No matter what shape you are in, you can find activities that work for you. Together, we can rise to the challenge and get more active during the month of May!

10 Ways to Be More Active:

1. TAKE 10. Do at least 10 minutes of activity at a time to reach your weekly goal, such as walk the dog for 10 minutes before and after work and add a 10 minute walk at lunchtime.

2. MIX IT UP. Start the week with a swim at the pool, take a yoga class during a weekday lunch, lifts weights in the evening and end the week by working in the garden.

3. BE READY ANYTIME. Keep comfortable clothes and walking or running shoes in the car and at the office to be ready for when the urge strikes you.

4. BE CREATIVE. Take the stairs instead, jog to the bus stop or ride your bike to local store. If you have an infant or toddler, take a long walk using the stroller to get some fresh air.

5. WORKOUT DURING TV TIME. Watch a movie or favorite TV show while you jog on a treadmill or ride a stationary bike to help you meet your weekly goal.

6. BE AN ACTIVE PARENT. Instead of standing on the sidelines, help the team during practice or walk up and down the soccer, football or soccer field while the kids play their game.

7. FIND A SUPPORT GROUP. Join a walking or running group, practice martial arts, enroll in an exercise class at your local recreation center. Get your family and friends involved too.

8. GET OUTSIDE. Visit a local park to do some hiking, canoeing, paddle boarding, scavenger hunting or collecting flowers and leaves.

9. WELLNESS AT WORK. Be a catalyst at your place of work and start a softball, basketball or volleyball team or an exercise group at your place of work.

10. THE CHORES COUNT. Clean the house, wash the car or push mow the lawn. Know that these activities count toward your goal of at least 150 minutes each week.


Water Safety Tips:

1. Staying close, being alert and watching children in and around the pool

  • Never leave a child unattended in a pool or spa and always watch your child when he or she is in or near water
  • Teach children basic water safety tips
  • Keep children away from pool drains, pipes and other openings to avoid entrapments
  • Have a telephone close by when you or your family is using a pool or spa
  • If a child is missing, look for him or her in the pool or spa first
  • Share safety instructions with family, friends and neighbors

2. Learning and practicing water safety skills

  • Learn how to swim and teach your child how to swim
  • Learn to perform CPR on children and adults and update those skills regularly
  • Understand the basics of life-saving so that you can assist in a pool emergency
3. Having appropriate equipment for your pool or spa
  • Install a four-foot or taller fence around the pool and spa and use self-closing and self-latching gates; ask your neighbors to do the same at their pools
  • Install and use a lockable safety cover on your spa.
  • If your house serves as a fourth side of a fence around a pool, install door alarms and always use them. For additional protection, install window guards on windows facing pools or spas.
  • Install pool and gate alarms to alert you when children go near the water
  • Ensure any pool and spa you use has compliant drain covers and ask your pool service provider if you don’t know.
  • Maintain pool and spa covers in good working order
  • Consider using a surface wave or underwater alarm
  • For more tips for pool and spa owners, visit


No one understands teacher problems quite like teachers do. Because, let’s face it: Teachers GET teachers. Now, who wears their emotions on their sleeves (paws?) better than dogs? Whether they’re confused or curious, pups’ faces say it all. And that’s why we’re sharing some top teacher problems accompanied by priceless pooch expressions. Teaching: it can be a ruff life (yes, I went there), but it can also be as rewarding as a rawhide treat. But, I digress. Without further adieu… dogs.

An End-of-Year Apology to Teachers

Dear Teachers,

The end of the school year is almost upon us. As such, we feel it’s only fair to let you know that whatever happens – or doesn’t happen – these last few weeks are not to be taken personally.

It’s not you, it’s us. We promise.

At the beginning of the year, we’re so excited that it’s not summer anymore that our parental enthusiasm is at an all-time high. But by this time, it’s like the final legs of a marathon, and we’re lurching half-dead toward the finish line. We don’t mean to be so sluggish and unenthusiastic, but when the end is in sight, it’s harder than ever to endure the last little bit. You know the thing that makes people mess around at work all day on Fridays because they’re just over it? Yeah, that…


When school started, all apparel was fresh and new and un-faded and un-stained; it got hung up, laid out, smoothed down. We woke in plenty of time to ensure that faces were washed, hair was neatly styled, and teeth were brushed. But now the tiring regimen of tidiness has started to crumble. Please try not to be distracted by the bedhead, or the crust of dried toothpaste, or the fact that the shorts are wrinkled because we grabbed them out of the hamper (hey, we’re a little behind on the laundry, OK?). And don’t judge us by their holey shoes: we don’t want to buy new ones this late in the game.


Nutritionally balanced, varied, packed with love and care and sometimes an encouraging note: that describes our beginning-of-the-year lunches. But by now, we’re sending our kids with something they probably concocted themselves (PB&J with M&Ms on it? Whatever). Pre-packaged, low effort stuff is the key. We might throw in a spotty banana or a container of mandarin oranges just so no one will call the authorities.


If you’re looking for a project or assignment that shows thought, originality, and attention to detail, you may want to lower your standards a smidge. Because now that the weather’s getting nice, there are sports. And bajillions of birthday parties. And the biological drive of all children to play outside for as many hours of the day as possible. Between all of those things, we’re super swamped. Besides, getting the kids to focus on anything that doesn’t involve bikes, balls, or friends is like trying to stuff an octopus into a pair of pantyhose: really hard and totally sucky.

Backpacks and folders

Also – sorry if we’re slacking on the reading and/or signing of things we’re supposed to be reading and/or signing. It’s just that at this time of year, they’re bringing home All The Papers. Newsletters! Permission slips! Assignments! Certificates! Invitations! Reminders! We’re drowning in to-do lists. You’re OK with just a scribbled initial or two (written in crayon because who has the desire to search for a pen?) instead of a whole signature, right?


OK, so maybe we did sign up to bring a class treat for the end-of-year party – but that was in, like, September, when we still had some stamina left. Don’t think of our contributions as “Twinkies and Goldfish Crackers we grabbed from the pantry because we forgot it was our turn to bring treats” … think of them as “an eclectic assortment of sweet and savory snacks.” It’s all about perspective.

We know we aren’t the only ones who are tired. You’re tired too: anybody who wrangles a class full of children on the daily has got to be worn slick. It takes a lot of energy, and we’re all running on fumes. So let’s make an agreement, shall we? We’ll get them through the important stuff, like the standardized testing (enough sleep and a balanced breakfast on our end, and the actual testing on yours) – and then we’ll both agree to coast downhill until we arrive at the last day of school. You ignore the fact that our kids look like ragamuffins and haven’t turned in homework in a week, and we’ll turn a blind eye to the extra recesses and day-long Reading Rainbow marathons.

Look at it this way: it’ll give us all a much-needed head start on building our reserves of “give-a-damn” for next year.


Parents Everywhere