Friday, March 31, 2017

Thank You! SOLSC Day 31 of 31

Despite the fact that today is a day of celebration and reflection as we wrap up the SOLSC it's MY NIGHT.  The pizza is ordered, I am on the couch, and the movie has been selected.

But I can't close the month without  thanking all of you who taught me:

I can write daily if I make myself

Even when I think I am not going to write, I find I love sitting down and letting my stories find me.

The less of a plan I have when I sit down to write, the more stories I find.

Just writing, idea or not is really fun!

I don't like to be interrupted when I am writing.

When I write raw each day, and from the heart, I make too many typing errors! SORRY!

Many of us are experiencing the same joy and struggle in this challenge.

I don't have enough time to comment like I wish I did!

I like to make people laugh in writing and in F2F conversations.

Casual writing seems friendlier.

I have a few regular readers.

I am going to miss the daily challenge and all of you!

See you Tuesday!

Thursday, March 30, 2017

A True Team: SOLSC Day 30

The relationship I have with my teaching team is one of my most meaningful relationships, (second only to my family).  Our conversations and challenges keep me up at night and yet knowing they are in it all with me allows me to sleep.  My relationship with my team is powerful.  It has changed who I am as a teacher and a person.  I am who I am now because of my team, and I am forever grateful for each one of them.

When you have a powerful team you know it, you feel it in your gut.  You work for your team, and your team works for you, no thanks needed.  You ask questions not because you want an answer, but because you want to be challenged.  You know the team will make you better.

A two-minute conversation in the hallway can refine a lesson and drive the next five lessons.  You are aware of the strengths of each member and work to optimize these strengths.  Where one is weak,  the other is strong.  You fit together like a puzzle, it just works.

I think the pushback is what makes our team so powerful.  Rarely do we share an idea and have it accepted as it is.  Ideas are reflected on, questioned, challenged, and come back stronger and better. Our team expects this.

When you're in a teaching team that works, kids notice families notice and your building notices. You laugh, you cry, and you pray this team will last until retirement and beyond!

Next year, I will be working to build a relationship with a new team.
Will they welcome the push back?  Will they see my needs and work with me to minimize them? Will our strengths mesh and support one another?  I am lucky, I know my new team, we are already friends, but a team is beyond friendship, a great partnership is a work of perseverance.  I am fortunate to know what a great team is and I am willing to build another great team. A team that just fits.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Green Tree! Green Tree! Green Tree! SOLSC Day 29

Today I was reading Kevin Henkes' When Spring Comes to my class, and I was flooded with memories of a game I used to play with my girls when they were young, and if you promise not to tell them I said, I might say we still play when we have the opportunity.

The game is called Green Tree.  It is played in the early days of spring when "the trees that look like black sticks against the sky," Kevin Henkes, begin to turn to color.  As my daughters and I notice a green tree, we call "Green Tree!" As the game begins, we may call one or two trees a day. On day two we might spot five to seven green trees. The next thing you know, "Green tree!  Green tree! Green tree! Green tree! Green tree! Green tree! Green tree! Green tree! Green tree!"

The original game was merely a ploy to distract a crying toddler, and now it's a memory that will live forever because I wrote it down.  I know words that are written down live forever because Anslee told me so.

What stories do you want to live forever?  Write them down and give them life.

Join my co-writers and me at Two Writing Teachers for the March Slice of Life Challenge.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

The Unquestionable Power of Words Written and Words Read SOLSC Day 28

As an educator, I strive to help my kids fall in love with reading and writing this is my one faithful goal above all else as a teacher.  I bring in books that are current, well written, and illustrated and I keep them coming. Our room is a constant flow of new books to devour.  I search for writing projects, challenges, communities, opportunities, and celebrations to demonstrate the power of why we write and how writing serves us in life.  I write so I will understand what it feels like to write and so I will know how to support my students.  These efforts are ubiquitous in ever part of our learning community.

So, when I found this on Anslee's blog, I cried.  Unquestionably,  Anslee feels the power of words written and words read.  Her knowledge of this power will take her out into our world and serve us all.  Words aren't just for the reader or the writer they are for all of life.

Click here to hear Anslee's beautiful message. You're welcome to leave Anslee a comment.

Monday, March 27, 2017

If I Waited to Write: SOLSC Day 27

Tonight I was finding myself a bit stuck and reluctant to write. I have literacy data to analyze, filing, reorganization of groups for intervention, and a good friend awaiting a callback.  Then, I clicked over to today's inspirational post.  That's when I saw this quote left by our own sweet Melanie.  Thanks for the inspiration Mel!

What I'd do if I waited until I felt like writing:

  1. Eat the last piece of red velvet cake. 
  2. Fold laundry.
  3. Call my friend.
  4. Analyze my literacy data.
  5. Reorganize groups for intervention.
  6. Listen to my current Audible book, A Man Called Ove.
  7. Read Facebook.
  8. Watch a good sitcom.
  9. Unload the dishwasher.
  10. Look at the paperwork for my daughter's upcoming trip abroad.
  11. File my latest assessments. 
  12. Review the new math unit and layout plans. 
  13. Comment on more blogs. 
  14. Pay bills. 
  15. Update the parent news page. 
  16. Research my next (non-slice related) blog post. 
  17. Join a Twitter chat. 
  18. Answer emails. 
  19. Meditate
  20. All right! JUST WRITE ALREADY! 
Now, I am going to reward myself by eating the last piece of red velvet cake and calling my friend! 

Sunday, March 26, 2017

The Dark and Ominous Sky: SOLSC Day 26

The sky went dark and ominous, but no one seemed to notice.  We were all debating who would be the one to clean up after dinner.  Lexi placed her finger on her nose and declared
"I'm sick I shouldn't have to clean up tonight."
"Well, dad and I cooked, so this means it's up to you," I replied with a hint of nanny-nanny-boo-boo in my voice.
"No, I need to rest up I have classes this week, and I am not feeling good." Lexi tried again.

The next thing I knew we all in clearing the table making the task less for all.  As we rinsed off plates, loaded the dishwasher, and filled the fridge with the leftovers the three iPhones resting on the island began to blare an emergency alert.  We all stopped and reached for our phones.

The alert made us aware of the dark and ominous sky and the tornado warning for our area.  The sirens in our area began to sound.  We looked at the radar and streets within two miles of us were withing THE AREA of concern!  My husband stepped outside to check the weather.  (I know, not a good idea, he just can't help himself.)  Lexi and I gathered our technology devices, chargers, our cat, and yelled for Tim to join us in the basement.

We sat in the basement watching the radar, texting family and friends making sure everyone was in a safe area and aware of the warning.  The wind began to whistle, and the rain pounded on the windows. It lasted about five minutes, and the warning was over, and we were safe.  It was a small inconvenience, just enough to raise the blood pressure and readjust your evening for a short time.

We walked back upstairs and resumed the dreaded Sunday night routines as we prepared to return to our classrooms and workplace tomorrow.  Grateful.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

I Can't Miss A Day! SOLSC Day 25

I can't miss a day of the Slice of Life Story Challenge!
Even if it's 10:48 PM and my day was hhectic, and I am just getting home! I can not miss a day of writing!

So here I sit tap, tap, tapping away as my family is getting ready for bed and asking me why I am typing and not coming up to bed.
I told them "I can't miss a day, I have to write and post every day for 31 days!

I hope my wandering mind spilling out on the page as suffice as day 25 of 31!  I did write, even when I thought toady I can't, I just can't, I DID!