Sunday, March 18, 2018

Yep, A Post About the Weather: SOLSC Day18

Yep, A Post About the Weather it was bound to happen.

So many times I find the word perspective playing a role in my life.  So much so I think it should've been my one little word for 2018.  Maybe next year.

My oldest daughter goes to grad school in Charleston, South Carolina where the sun shines most of the year, and where she can choose to go to Starbucks or the beach to read or do her homework.

I live in central Ohio where it snows and stays between 10 and 32 degrees for two to three months of the year. My reading and homework spaces most certainly include a cozy fireplace.

 But now, spring is on its way, and we are excited to see the sun and my daughter is home for spring break.
 Our spring is Charleston's winter.

So this morning when we woke up, and it was predicted to be sunny with a high of 53 degrees I dressed in ankle pants, a long-sleeved t-shirt, and my slides.  When I met Lexi in the foyer, she was wearing a cable knit sweater, long jeans, and ankle booties.  We both laughed as I reached for a light wrap and she reached for her parka!

It's all about perspective.
How's your spring perspective?

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Juxtaposition: March Madness and a Desired Respite

March Madness cheering, shoes squeaking, and the announcer's excitement overwhelmed my senses as we ate dinner.  Then the phone rang, and a memory of a much-desired respite came to mind.

From the moment my doctor said, "Let's have a baby this weekend."  This baby was ready!  My husband and I arrived at the hospital at 10:30 am as directed.  By 12:07 pm I was holding our second daughter. 

Liv was born with strong lungs, and she exercised them regularly for the first two months of her life.  No matter what we tried, Livi cried!  I was desperate for sleep, and one night I handed her over to my husband, "She's dry and full, and I need sleep.  Do what you can I am going to bed."

Later I feel my husband slip into bed, I woke with a start, "Where is she?" I expected him to be handing her over to me; retiring in defeat.  Instead, he whispered, "She's in the bassinet, go back to sleep."

The next day I learned Liv loved watching March Madness with daddy.  He held her high on his shoulder and rocked her in the glider while they watched basketball.  Liv fell fast asleep, and I had sweet dreams.

This respite wasn't a one and done.  Liv and her daddy continued to watch March Madness together.  Liv didn't cry, and each time she fell into a comfortable slumber.  To this day they share this memory, and when she's home, they take in a game or two together.

She's away at school tonight, but she just called her daddy for a quick little chat!

Join us at Two Writing Teachers for the March Slice of Life Story Challenge. 

Friday, March 16, 2018

Really? Ninety-nine iMessage Alerts? SOLSC Day 16

Day 17, Slice of Life Writing Challenge and still my writing is surprising me.  I didn't see this one coming when I sat down to write, but here it is...

Really? Ninety-nine imessage alerts?

I worked with first grade- my watched tapped my arm.

I worked with teachers- my watched tapped my arm.

I checked slice of life comments- my watch tapped my arm.

I said a prayer of well being for a friend- my watched tapped my arm.

I prayed for one daughter's safe flight- my watch tapped my arm.

I ate lunch- my watched tapped my arm.

I sat in a meeting- my watch tapped my arm.

I sat in my car, pulled out my phone and

My friend's surgery went well.

All our friend's prayers were answered.

My daughter landed safely.

My family expressed their gratitude.

My dad is feeling better as his Shingles begin to heal.

A teaching friend chased a dog off the playground,

While the first graders paniced!

My husband will be home early.

A teacher wondered about her kids blogging on spring break.

Now, one more daughter in the air...

I am praying for her safety.

At 12:01 am she'll be home,


I'll put my watch away for spring break!

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

It's Not Different, It's Just the Perspective: SOLSC Day 14

For the month of March, I'll be writing with all you in the Slice of Life community.  Disclaimer:  I'll be writing every day so the writing will be raw and a bit messy most days.

Maybe you've been teaching for years or maybe your new to the classroom.  Either way, you know the feeling of pride swelling up in you as you watch your students grab the lesson and lift it to a higher level and then beam in their own pride at what they've accomplished. 

This is what happened to me today.  You'll be surprised to know after 26 years of teaching; this was a first time for me.  Not because I've never experienced this with the students in our classroom because that is far from accurate.  I strive each day for this familiar intrinsic celebration. 

This year isn't any different.  I am still working to help my students grab the lessons, lift the purpose, effectiveness, and, then take ownership.

But today was the first time I realized this year is different.  This year I am working as an instructional technology coach.  This year I am working with teachers as colleagues and as learners. 

Today when I walked into a first-grade classroom to deliver a lesson on branding your blog, and the classroom teacher greeted me eagerly saying, "I was thinking, I'd like the students to make a poster or something after OUR lesson.  I want them to have something that they can use to remember what WE talked about in the lesson." 

 I knew I wasn't going to be simply "delivering a lesson."  She was grabbing the lesson and taking ownership.  She didn't ask my permission. She planned to be apart of the lesson. She owned the lesson.  As her coach, I was swelling with pride.  I saw the growth in "my student," and I couldn't be more proud! 

After WE finished the lesson, the first-graders went about creating posters to represent the brand of their blog.  The classroom teacher moved from student to student, smiling at the personalization her students gave their work.  Some students worked in sketchbooks, some worked in Pixie, and others worked in Pic Kids.  She marveled at the engagement and quality of work.  

I stood back and watched it all knowing it was the classroom teachers' ownership that lifted the lesson.  I realized these learners were creating, problem-solving, and owning their work.  I know this level of independence doesn't come from an occasional visit from me.  This teacher and these kids have been taking control of their learning all year long! 

Thank you first-grade for sharing your learning environment and creative powers with me today and for working so hard every day! 

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

My Writing Surprised Me: SOLSC Day 13

For the month of March, I'll be writing with all you in the Slice of Life community.  Disclaimer:  I'll be writing every day so the writing will be raw and a bit messy most days.

Today I looked back at my post and noticed they seemed a bit tired and sad. My writing brand surprised me, I am not sad, and yes, I have been tired, but it isn't as bad as it seemed when I reread my post.

Today's post is happy thoughts!

1.  Two more wake ups and its spring break!
2.  One more wake up and my oldest daughter comes home for spring break!
3.  Thursday I am getting my hair cut!
4.  This morning I had coffee with friends before school.
5.  My husband made the most delicious carnitas for dinner.
6.  Our Language Arts Committee finalized our work today.
7.  Tonight my calendar was completely open, and I spent the time at home with my husband.
8.  I will be working in classrooms all day tomorrow!
9.  I got to have lunch out today with the language arts committee.
10 I wrote a happy post, and I almost didn't write tonight, Shh!

Monday, March 12, 2018

I Woke Up Without An Alarm: SOLSC Day12

For the month of March, I'll be writing with all you in the Slice of Life community.  Disclaimer:  I'll be writing every day so the writing will be raw and a bit messy most days.

The time change can throw things off a bit but today, the time change threw things right out the window! 

I knew I was in trouble the minute I woke up without an alarm clock. I opened my eyes, and I saw daylight coming in around the blind! This can't be good.  I reached for my phone; it should be dark out not BROAD daylight.  My eyes opened even wider when the screen displayed 07:40! 

"Oh, no!" I yelled, waking my husband, "It's 7:40 and I have an 8 o'clock meeting!"  I sprung from the bed and ran to the shower as my husband pulled the blankets up and went right back to sleep. (Of course, I felt a tinge of jealousy.)

Just before getting in the shower, I texted the teacher I planned to meet with and told her I would not be able to make our meeting.  I washed and shampooed quickly, no time to enjoy the heat of the water or envision the day ahead. Instead, my shower was spent worrying about having overslept and my irresponsibility of missing a meeting with a teacher. 

Finally, jumping out of the shower I grabbed a quick and easy outfit, dried my hair, and just I started to apply my make up I reached for my phone to check the time.  I noticed I had a message but decided I was too late to get caught up in texting. It would just have to wait. 

I dried my hair, barely, pulled it up and called it done.  Now,  all I needed was to grab my bookbag and dash out the door.  

As I sat in traffic, I decided to check my message.  Whew, it was from the teacher I should've been meeting with, and it said, "Oh, thank goodness! I also overslept, and won't be able to make our meeting!"

Breathing a sigh of relief, I decided to pull in to Starbucks.  I opened the mobile app to order; today was not a grande kind of day, today demanded a Venti. It was the Monday morning after daylight savings time.  

That's when I realized the day was far from reset.  My app balance was $2.09! What? No coffee? I was sure today was going to be a rough day.  Then, I noticed I had rewards; I tapped the button on the app releasing my rewards. I am not sure who was happier, Starbucks or me.  The app danced, released balloons, stars, and glitter!  My coffee was on Starbucks! 

What it about free coffee?  It just tastes better. 

Sunday, March 11, 2018

They'll Be Right Back: SOL Day 11

For the month of March, I'll be writing with all you in the Slice of Life community.  Disclaimer:  I'll be writing every day so the writing will be raw and a bit messy most days.

This morning I was at a loss for what to write.  I decided to click on a few slices to find inspiration, and the first one I picked was See, Think, Notice, and Realize by Ms. Chiubooka Writes, and I had found my inspiration! 

I see... bags of clothing in white trash bags that my daughter left sitting in my office before going back off to college.  I've left them right where she left them in January.  

I see... our adored cat laying on top of the bags.

I wonder.... why they're still sitting here when I am a bit of a neatnik. 

I wonder... why I am not in the least bit bothered by the bags sitting in my office?

I wonder... does our cat miss the girls as much as I do? 

I realize... seeing these bags reminds me the girls will be right back and cat misses them too! 

Thank you, Ms. Chiubooka not only for your writing inspiration but also for what came of my writing today.  Now, when I look at those white trash bags filled with clothes sitting in my office, I am going to smile.  I'll be reminded that my daughters will be right back! 

Saturday, March 10, 2018

The Weekend Surprise: SOLSC Day 10

For the month of March, I'll be writing with all you in the Slice of Life community.  Disclaimer:  I'll be writing every day so the writing will be raw and a bit messy most days.

I have had a busy month. Two of the weekends involved traveling to see my daughters and the other two had me presenting at local conferences. Each weekend has been amazing, and I would do each one all over again.

These busy weekends have also taught me I need recovery time. I was surprised to learn I could no longer fly back in on the red-eye and get up for work the next day without a hitch.
I have been dragging each week!

So today, my first weekend off in a month and my understanding husband left me sleeping while he came downstairs. He even chose to have his breakfast in the basement his man cave while he watched morning news so the tv wouldn’t disturb me.

Now, as I eat my breakfast and write my post, he’s scurrying around in the kitchen doing dishes, tidying up mail, gathering the day's errands, and he has the laundry going!  All chores he waited to start until I got out of bed.

This is going to be a superb weekend and I owe it all to Tim!

Friday, March 9, 2018

Shared Knowledge is Powerful: SOLSC Day 9

This has been a busy week at school.  In both of my buildings,  I had a day of planning with grade level teams.  Grade level is a day (or two) of coaches, the media specialist, and teachers sitting around the table discussing student needs, curriculum,  best practice, and how we can work together to support students.

This week we made a few changes to our meeting plans to help us be sure the teachers would look forward to coming, and they would leave with new thinking and plans for their students.

First, we made an agenda for the meeting.  Each team knew what to expect, and teachers knew what they would take away from the meeting. To help jump-start teachers to think about how we could support their needs we created a choice board and emailed to them along with the agenda before the meeting. The choice board included blended learning ideas for math, reading and writing lessons that reflect current classroom needs or that can be quickly adjusted to fit any grade level or tailored to meet more individual needs.

Next, we started the meeting with five minutes of fun.  This weeks fun was a white elephant gift from your classroom.  Five minutes of fun was a great way to relieve the stress teachers may have been feeling.

Finally, a Two Minute Tech Tease.  During this time we provided a quick glance at an app and discussed the possible uses in the classroom.

I want to thank my amazing coaching team and Jim Smalley for the all the ideas that helped us make these two days so worthwhile to everyone!

Thursday, March 8, 2018

An Unexpected Gift Day 8 SOL

For the month of March, I'll be writing with all you in the Slice of Life community.  Disclaimer:  I'll be writing every day so the writing will be raw and a bit messy most days.

Night after night I beg my cat to curl up on me and snuggle like a baby to no avail.

Tonight, as I try to write, here she is laying on me like an infant.

My heart is warm. Now, I am off to embrace this snuggly gift!