Training question: I'm afraid to tell them I wasn't trained properly

Discussion in 'Secondary Education' started by Kenz501, Feb 7, 2018.

  1. a2z

    a2z Maven

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    But it isn't. Every day you are ineffective in the classroom is one more day each child you teach loses a day of education.

    If you were ice skating the only people being harmed are whoever is paying for your lessons and those who can't use the ice time you are taking. For the majority of people in the country, that would not impact their lives tremendously.
     
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  2. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    [​IMG]
     
  3. a2z

    a2z Maven

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    Then why aren't your more generous with your university professors instead of blaming them. Maybe they are just learning too!
     
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  4. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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  5. Always__Learning

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    I don't think you are going to find the solution to everything on a discussion board. If you are willing to try what is suggested, asking about a specific issue can be helpful. I think there is some frustration on the board that everything that people have suggested leads to you saying that it won't work for "X" reason or you weren't taught "Y" at college.

    In terms of a disability, there are many teachers who have disabilities who are effective educators. I have worked with educators who are autistic who are successful. I know one educator who, for example, works a modified schedule. They feel that 1/2 days gives them the time and energy to both be effective and to have their own time at home. I'm not saying this is what would work for everyone, but my point is this person has found what will work for them.

    I think what separates people with disabilities who are successful from people with disabilities who are not is really no different from people without disability who are successful versus people without disability who are not successful. People (with and without disabilities) who are successful work hard, reflect on themselves and work to improve. I see this in students all the time. Some students (with or without disabilities) when something goes wrong are willing to accept feedback. They realize that doing bad on a test is, at least partially, a reflection on them. Other students blame their teachers, say we didn't teach it right/ the test wasn't fair, call their parents to complain that their accommodations were not implemented (even if they were the one who refused to use the accommodations). As a teacher I am going to support both students but in my experience, over time the first student does better because every time they fail/ fall down/ have difficulty, they pick themselves back up and try again and it is through that trying that they get better.

    I don't think anyone is trying to say that a person with autism can't teach. I do think that if you have never worked on your communication skills or your social skills (both which can be improved even with autism) that trying to address these while concurrently trying to learn how to be organized and how to teach may be too much. Most teachers feel like they are in over their head in their first year. It is expected that there will be a learning curve. There is no magic solution. But if you lack the prerequisite skills it is going to be that much harder.

    At the end of the day, you are where you are. I would say your best chance is to focus on what you can do and what you can learn rather than blaming others for your challenges.

    But that's just my thinking on the topic.
     
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  6. teacherintexas

    teacherintexas Maven

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    Have you done your lesson plans for next week? Post them and maybe we can help you tweak them.

    If you haven’t done them yet, get out your standards and teacher editions and get busy.
     
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  7. a2z

    a2z Maven

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    But you know what they say... When you meet one person with autism, you met one person with autism... or something like that because no two with autism have the same level of deficits. Just because some with autism will be successful, it doesn't mean everyone with high functioning autism can even with a good attitude and work ethic.
     
  8. TrademarkTer

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    Thank you Kenz! You've just found the solution!!! After this year, take off and sub for a few years, and then decide if you want to get back into the ring. I think that is a smart decision. This may be the training you desire.
     
  9. Kenz501

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    I guess I should "stop airing my personal concerns on public forums," and try to ask my questions in ways that are less personal. Eliciting emotion is a great way to get people to pay attention, but some end up prying too deeply and giving advice that was not requested.

    Okay, whoever tried to tell me that, I think I'll try your advice. I was only including my personal experience, though, to explain my problem.
     
  10. svassillion

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    I understand and still agree. But in this case I think the OP has the capability to improve to the point that she feels comfortable teaching. Although as Im writing this Im beginning to question if Im putting too much faith in her capabilities. I just figured its hard to get this far without some capability. So I'm getting what you're putting down.
     
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  11. Kenz501

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    I'm not sure how much faith I have in my own capability, either, but, to my credit, I did start my career in a tough environment, so maybe I shouldn't gauge it by that.

    This place is better, but my coworkers are still difficult to communicate with. I don't want to seem incompetent or needy, so I try not to ask them too many basic questions.
     
  12. MrsC

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  13. Kenz501

    Kenz501 Cohort

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  14. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    You're welcome--take the time to read and find what you need to get going on your plans for the week.
     
  15. MissCeliaB

    MissCeliaB Aficionado

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    You remind me of a former coworker of mine. He was alt cert. But he would not follow suggestions of coworkers and kept insisting it had to be done a certain way he had in his mind it needed to be done. My partner and I suggested he make seating charts. We told him over and over. It took him over 3 weeks to make seating charts, and his management suffered the whole time. His issue was task prioritization. He only taught for a year. He is now a successful manager at a major retail chain. The job is better suited to his strengths. Teaching required too much of a kind of thinking he's just not good at. He needs a daily checklist. I shared mine with him, but he needs someone to tell him exactly what to do when. He never settled in to the daily routine of classroom life.

    Have you looked at other options besides being in the classroom? Many districts hire teachers to implement their homebound program. Or, maybe an interventionist job?
     
  16. vickilyn

    vickilyn Magnifico

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    OP, you have spent the majority of today posting on this thread. How many lesson plans did you write? How many old text books did you dust off and reread, looking for the terminology and information you didn't learn the first time through? As far as the expense of testing your hypothesis of what may or may not be wrong with you, if you have benefits now, use them. No promise that you will still have them come summer, so why not pursue reliable testing from a qualified doctor at this time in your life? FYI, I did fall repeatedly while trying to learn to ice skate. My wise deduction was that if I still wanted to walk by the time I was twenty I would find a better use of my time. I realized I was totally lacking in that area of expertise. I consider that making a smart decision about my abilities, not giving up. Turns out, college and I were/are destined for each other. They teach, I learn, I am a better teacher for learning what they taught. If I took classes that I learned nothing from, it would be like trying to ice skate - a waste of time, money, and energy. I don't have the time to waste foolishly when there is so much more that I can apply to my life.

    And let us keep this one piece of information in mind - this isn't your first year teaching, but your fourth. For all of the sweeping those first three years under the rug because you were "teaching subjects you weren't qualified for", the truth is that an ESL teacher is actually an accepted teacher in all contents, because you are teaching literacy and connections to the English language. And before you ask, yes, I earned my MEd. in Teaching English as a Second Language. It isn't all I teach, but to teach ESL, I have to be able to teach English throughout the contents. .Heavens, if you were struggling so much, why didn't you start taking a class here and there to put things into perspective for you, instead of using that canned curriculum and stagnating as a teacher for three years?

    The truth is that you may have passed the teacher exams, but some people can remember facts for a test without understanding how they are connected, so I take that with a grain of salt. Some people don't test well because they are slow readers, which impacts scores on timed tests, yet they understand the content with great depth. I don't think you are going to be happy subbing, with the much smaller paychecks and lack of benefits. That said, it may be the right course of action for you so that you can ask as many questions over and over without fear of reprisal. However, if you can't control the classes, you may find yourself not being called as frequently as you would like.
     
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2018
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  17. Kenz501

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    I have taken a few small steps toward trying to apply some of the pertinent advice I've received on this thread.

    No, I didn't fail with everyone everywhere. I wasn't sure how well I was doing at the youth center, because there were a lot of unfair things happening to all of the teachers. Apparently, I was not regarded as doing as poorly as I imagined since they kept me for almost three years and maybe would have kept me longer, but I found a better job, so I resigned with my boss's recommendation. If we are to count that, why not count the time I did as a tutor or substitute teacher while I was in graduate school? That would bring my total years of teaching experience into the range of about five or six years or more, but I feel calling myself a teacher with that many years of experience, really, with much experience at all, belies the truth. Until this job where I am currently, I had never worked in a public school long-term. I was never required to plan my own lessons. I didn't even have to see the same students the whole year. That doesn't mean I wasn't trying to improve myself constantly. I've asked teachers so many questions that they've probably gotten tired of hearing from me!

    I'm sure my experience doing those jobs counted for something. I have taught a range of different subjects, and, oddly, my two favorite subjects to teach are math and foreign language, even though I'm not certified for either one. I have worked in settings that taught me lessons I would do well to transfer to anywhere I work, such as people of all ages often look to the schools to provide for other needs besides academics.

    Please remember, however, that I do not have a lot of practice making up my own lessons. I'm used to scripted detailed step-by-step plans that not only show me the objective but provide step-by-step suggestions to the instructor for delivering the lesson and computer programs that deliver the lesson and only require me to intervene if the student doesn't understand something. That's most of my "teaching experience."
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2018
  18. Kenz501

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    Furthermore, I may have my own set of unique problems. Perhaps sometimes my brain just doesn't process certain bits of information the way you might expect. Easy tasks are sometimes very complicated for me if they aren't explained and demonstrated, sometimes multiple times. It's just the way my brain works and I've had to cope with it all of my life. Usually, this doesn't play a big role in my day-to-day functioning. So what if I have trouble reading the instructions to assemble something or don't exactly understand how to do certain math problems or read a complex chart in the doctor's office? There are usually people to explain things, but I haven't found anyone willing to explain how to use those "resources" they've given me to follow on my job. Most of what I've found out has been by frustrating trial, error, and guessing.

    For example, recently, I found out which textbook I was supposed to be using. Before this, I didn't know and assumed I was supposed to use the Reading textbook for Reading and the Writing textbook for English. I didn't know that one contained the main lessons and the other was just used as a supplemental resource. This week, I found out about the website that gives an overview of the objectives for different grade levels. Today, I'm planning to ask an elementary math teacher more about how to use this system for lesson planning, since my coworkers in ELA haven't proven nearly as helpful. Hopefully, things are starting to come together. Keep in mind, though, that I've been here for about seven months. It would have been nice to have an idea of how to use the resources provided before now.

    I also don't understand why people get frustrated when I ask them the same questions, since they clearly don't provide the answers I need. It's frustrating when people make things a guessing game instead of explaining things clearly. It's happened to me enough, though, that I don't even think people realize they're doing it to me. It may have something to do with the way I process information, but why do most people settle on vague explanations when I ask for specific answers? Why did I hear "use the textbook" but not which textbook? Why did I get "explore the website" but not what to look for on the website?

    What's frustrating about this is I can't really tell my boss that I haven't been trained or wasn't provided with the right kind of help or resources, because everyone I've had enough nerve to ask has tried to help me in some way, mostly through providing more resources I don't exactly know how to use, but they did try to help. I guess to them it looks like I'm refusing to learn this stuff, but they aren't presenting it the right way for me to even understand what's going on half of the time. I also feel like some of the people who were really helpful to me are losing patience with me. This isn't new. I'm just giving my perspective. Had I understood the problem earlier, I probably would have felt comfortable approaching someone about it, but I didn't even know what I was supposed to be doing at first. Surely my coworkers or principal recognized this?
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2018
  19. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    It requires effort to improve, yes, but what's being missed here is the OP's students. While Kenz flounders around, blaming failure in lack of 'training' (I really dislike that word-dogs get trained; professionals get developed)...her students aren't getting what they need. Kenz is failing his students while whining about her own education.

    It's FEBRUARY, Kenz. Your observation write ups aren't good, YOU JUST FIGURED OUT WHAT TEXTBOOK TO USE, and most importantly, you have wasted more than half a school year of your students' education.
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2018
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  20. TrademarkTer

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    You write this, but then instead of stating what those steps are, you write 7 more paragraphs of the usual whining. You are not the student any more Kenz. You are the professional.
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2018
  21. a2z

    a2z Maven

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    I did write a post, but deleted it because I thought it would be very insulting to you. It described the different types of text books, such as student edition, teacher edition, supplemental, etc. The truth is people probably get frustrated by you asking the same questions because they couldn't imagine anyone getting to where you are without knowing these things because they are some of the most basic things or that if you took the time to look at all of your resources carefully you would notice the difference between them by the titles and the pages within the texts.

    Most people who are asking the questions you are asking are looking for general guidance. They just need to know where to find the resources such as using website abc for extensions for reading comprehension.

    It is frustrating for co-workers to have to keep answering questions and even more unsettling that someone with a master's wouldn't know there are different types of textbooks.

    You say everyone does this to you. Well, if everyone is reacting the same way to you, I suggest it isn't them to blame. Seems you aren't able to explain to them the level of information you need and how to break it down, but you explained it here. Why aren't you saying this to them? If your disability is interfering that much in your job that you can't get your questions answered you either need to figure out how to better address this issue or you need to explain to others what is going on with you even though it could be kept private. That is your decision though because you are not required to tell your co-workers about your disability.

    I know people with Asperger's syndrome and what is obvious and easy to most is difficult for them and what is complex for others is easy for them. Sadly, unless people know this about them, it can be frustrating and confounding because it becomes frustrating to communicate with them because of the deficits. Once you know, it becomes much easier because you can't assume basic knowledge. Then the problem becomes when they get insulted if you provide basic knowledge they have mastered that now seems obvious to them.

    Seems to me, if you really want your questions answered, you need an ally who understands your disability.
     
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  22. vickilyn

    vickilyn Magnifico

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    So basically, you have spent all of this time acquiring bad habits. With all of these years in a classroom, using "canned curriculum" (other people's instructions, lesson plans, etc.), you have failed to learn to distinguish the books needed, learn the terminology, notice any similarities in how concepts and curriculum is laid out or the similarities in presentations. This doesn't improve how I see your future prospects.

    I know you have texts from college, access to a library or book store, a history of seeing how a year's curriculum is unpacked and utilized, so this is more about you not wanting to do any hard work on your own. I know that I have suggested securing the services of an individual who could help you organize your life and break things down into small steps that would work "for you." I also said that these people make a living helping people who can't do this for themselves, meaning you would need to pay them for "training" you, although I would call it helping you learn requisite steps that would allow yourself and your students to be successful. Nowhere have I seen mention that you are seeking such a professional, probably a behaviorist, because you realize that you are drowning. Instead, you persist with the same question, lament, and actions - post, answer, ignore recommendations, ask us to have pity on you. End thread, start new thread, repeat some actions and laments, often having so many threads going at once that you couldn't possibly have time to follow any of the suggestions given.

    Canned curriculum hasn't done you any favors in the past, so what makes you think it is the "answer" to your current dilemma? You can lead a horse to water, but not make them drink. For years you have been in education in a teacher capacity and for years you failed to learn concepts, terminology, etc. Wake up and smell the coffee - you have failed to learn despite a very long "training" period.
     
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  23. teacherintexas

    teacherintexas Maven

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    I guess I should assume that you haven’t done lesson plans for tomorrow.
     
  24. teacherintexas

    teacherintexas Maven

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    I offered help and you refused it.
     
  25. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    Are we finished here yet?
     
  26. pommom

    pommom Comrade

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    Kenz, it wont let me private message you. I would like to send you a private message. I had a horrible first year teaching English, and I can relate in some way. If you don't mind, you can send me your personal email on here and then delete it soon.
     
  27. Kenz501

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    Thank you for the offer. It's weird that the system won't let you send me a private message. Let me try sending you one.

    Didn't see an option to do so. I did post my email address briefly, but I don't want to keep it up. Let me know when you are online.
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2018
  28. Kenz501

    Kenz501 Cohort

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    Well,

    I do feel like I'm doing better. At first, I wasn't sure which textbook to use, or even if we were supposed to use a particular textbook. Now that I understand that the textbook is supposed to be my go-to resource, though, and that it is, in effect, the pacing guide or a very important support for it, I'm clearer on what I'm doing, not crystal clear, but I think I stand a chance at creating lessons that are much easier to understand.

    Yes, I maintain that this whole fiasco could have been avoided had someone just told me the day I was hired, "we don't use detailed online pacing guides here, but the textbook for the writing class is aligned to all of the standards you need to teach; we use that to plan our lessons. The other resources we gave you should be used as supplementary resources." How difficult would that have been? Instead, I was directed to Teachers Pay Teachers, given a small stack of informational resources, and informed about how to find a list of objectives on the website. I incorrectly guessed that my main textbook was just a grammar resource, so I didn't use it for much of my lesson planning for months!
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2018
  29. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    [​IMG]
     
  30. pommom

    pommom Comrade

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    I am online now.
     
  31. Kenz501

    Kenz501 Cohort

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    I...don't think I did?
     
  32. Kenz501

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    Taking down in a minute or so. Post if you got it.
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2018
  33. pommom

    pommom Comrade

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    okay
     
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  34. Kenz501

    Kenz501 Cohort

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    Yes, it's "mail" not "gmail."
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2018
  35. Been There

    Been There Habitué

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    So, now that you have reviewed your childhood, described your predicament and received numerous suggestions from us, where does that leave you? Based on the information you've provided, I've reached the following conclusions:

    Professional Preparation

    You have not received the proper preparation needed to become a full-fledged teacher. Your online classes seem to have been a total waste of time either due to: 1) their inferior quality or 2) your inability to apply the content of the classes to a real classroom setting.

    Personal Commitment

    You claim to be receptive to advice and support from others, but provide no evidence that you are truly committed to improving your predicament that has evolved into a chronic condition. Taking "a few small steps" to correct deeply rooted habits have proven to be ineffective. Side-stepping to give yourself credit for starting your career in a tough environment points to one of the major issues which is your preference to remain non-committed to resolving your problem.

    There has been some discussion of possible ASD involvement related to your case. Although I am not a psychiatrist, this caused me to wonder about several possible contributing factors. Are you aware that you have any difficulty picking up on social cues (both verbal and non-verbal)? Teaching is difficult enough without the burden of being unable to detect communicative signs via facial expressions, body language, verbal nuance, humor, etc. - areas that often challenge individuals with ASD. If this applies to you, it may help explain the difficulty that you've been encountering over the years in your attempt to become a teacher.

    Unlike TrademarkTer, you strike me as still being the student and have a ways to go before you can call yourself a teacher.
     
  36. Kenz501

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    Yeah, hindsight is 20-20. School isn't really the most supportive environment you can work in. I thought otherwise from the student's side of the desk, and I think that's why I decided to pursue it as a profession, possibly to my detriment. I stayed unemployed for around four years, and was only employed part-time the other three. That's almost eight years of my life I sort of "wasted" going to college for a profession that I perhaps was never cut out for.

    It seems that the lesson I learned in elementary school, that anyone could be anything as long as they studied and worked hard, isn't necessarily true in my case. I want to be a great teacher; I'm only a mediocre one. I had contempt for mediocre teachers when I was a child, but now I have a little more sympathy. It is a difficult job that perhaps does not suit all personality types; I see firsthand.

    Still, though, even though my successes have been few and far between, I've still had them, and those little successes make me feel like maybe it's still worth it. Sure, I'm failing now, but maybe that won't always be true.
     
  37. vickilyn

    vickilyn Magnifico

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    I realize that the last four words of the quote almost certainly include a typo, but maybe not! After countless months, threads, and posts, OP has, in 10 hours, figured out her life, how to be a teacher, remembered her unlearned terminology, and acting as if pacing guides and lesson planning are NOT a foreign language that isn't understood. Is it possible that OP "ate" a professional (teacher) and assimilated all of that knowledge in 10 hours?? Science teachers are always fascinated when there is a remarkable result that doesn't seem to be the result of available facts. Maybe we should do a head-count and see if any professionals are missing. :eek: Just in fun, TrademarkTer - miraculous breakthroughs happen so infrequently, that they are always worth noting! :cool:
     
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  38. Kenz501

    Kenz501 Cohort

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    LOL

    That talk I had with the elementary school teacher HOPEFULLY did a lot of good. At least I don't feel totally lost now.
     
  39. vickilyn

    vickilyn Magnifico

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    Relapse Alert!
     
  40. Kenz501

    Kenz501 Cohort

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    Let me start talking positive instead of dwelling on all of the negative, or better yet, let me get off of here and finish planning out the next six weeks!
     

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