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Showing posts from May, 2015

Hurt No Living Thing #sol15

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When my sister rose to give the toast as Matron of Honor at my wedding, she told our guests about one way she could always bother me when we were younger: She would kick the pine cones when we walked in the park.  For some reason, I imagined the pine cones were with their families, laying on the cement clustered in groups.  She would laugh and say, "Oh no, the baby pine cone is calling out to his mother!" as she gleefully kicked the smallest one away from the group.  I would cry and put the pine cones back as we found them. 
I am overly sentimental, I will admit, but I do think there is something to not deliberately hurting anything, even pine cones.  A few weeks ago, my son Alex was with other children who were squishing ants.  I am not an insect lover by any means and have gotten rid of many a bug, but to purposefully squish ants just scurrying by on their way seemed cruel.  I told Alex that ants were creatures who had families and we should leave them alone.  I saw him pro…

Kindred Spirits #sol15

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Anne Shirley is a kindred spirit.  I've read the entire Anne of Green Gables series and also loved the movie version featuring Megan Follows as Anne.  She was a character I respected, admired, laughed with, and was someone who I would have loved to call my friend.  She often used the phrase "kindred spirits" in her books and I've felt that way about special people in my life, too.  
Anne Shirley said, "Kindred spirits are not so scarce as I used to think.  It's splendid to find out there are so many of them in the world."  Becoming a connected educator has allowed me to see the truth in this quote and my world has become bigger, richer, more alive by the people I interact with online. 
For a long time, I felt under the stormy cloud of the political storm surrounding education.  Article after article talked about low teacher morale, ridiculous and unfair ways to assess, misery in the education field.  When I dreamed of being a teacher as a child, this nigh…

Good Guys, Bad Guys & Befuddled Writing Teachers #sol15

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Folding laundry in the basement, I listen as my four and a half year old son Alex plays nearby.  A battle is apparently raging where the good guys are fighting the bad guys.  Every so often I hear an "Oh yeah? See what you can do!" exclaimed or a "You'll never get me!".  He is completely engrossed in the story he is creating with the little figures he holds in his hands.  It dawns on me that Alex is only a few months younger than the kindergarten writers I used to sit next to for writing conferences. A light bulb flashes over my head in what Oprah would call an "Aha!" moment.  

You see, I often struggled with how to handle my little boy writers.  We would be in the midst of a small moments unit of study and I would pull up a chair next to a little guy who would have a frenetic scene scrawled across his page.  He would tell me a very detailed tale about bad guys fighting and I would inwardly groan.  What was I supposed to do with THIS? This was not a sm…

The Teacher Manifesto Project

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The Teacher Manifesto Project, issued by Talks with Teachers, challenges us to post the "anti-resume" and reveal what it really means to be a teacher.  Here is my Manifesto:
A teacher is a tree: firmly rooted in theory and experience, growing each day, yearning to touch the sky & the future, showing students that stars are within their grasp.  A teacher is a cozy home: comfortable and safe, providing warmth and shelter from the harsh conditions, relentlessly beating on the door.  A teacher is a library: knowledgeable, accessible, full of stories that captivate your mind and touch your heart.  A teacher is a coach who believes in you, challenges you, trains you, applauds you.  A teacher is a bridge, sometimes over troubled waters, but always the way to connect you from what you know and who you are to new uncharted territories of understanding and possibility. A teacher is a song that keeps playing in your mind and heart long after the last note was sung, an influence that…

When things choose you... #sol15

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This week, I read Sarah Brown Wessling's "A Letter to My Children: What It Means to Be a Teacher" https://www.teachingchannel.org/blog/2015/05/01/what-it-means-to-be-a-teacher/?utm_content=buffer14eab&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer (I highly recommend you read it too!) Sarah writes, "What I want you to know is that there are things in this world that you will choose, and there are things in this world that will choose you."  
That line struck me as so very, very true.  I believe that we come to occupations, and places and people for reasons that we might not even understand, but always for a reason.  
I feel that way about my house. 
The morning after our wedding, my husband Mike and I went to brunch. We were leaving for Mexico the next morning and that Sunday was meant to relax and catch our breath after our Saturday wedding.  On the way back from brunch, Mike told me there was an open house he wanted to check out in the to…

Crayon Blue Sky, Red Wagon Ride

Crayon blue sky
Pink puffy trees
Verdant green grass
Red wagon ride.

Some firsts today:
Megan said, "Mommy I love you"
throwing her arms around me
All on her own 
without me saying it first.
Alex reaches the sink
without the step stool
another sign that my baby
is truly not a baby anymore.
Megan climbs with persistence 
up the steep rock climbing slide
without any help.
She couldn't do this
just days ago
and now, just like that,
 she can.

On the swings,
Alex proclaims he is a birdie!
Flapping his wings
as he lays on his stomach
on the black swing,
face full of gold light.

As I stand on the playground,
I notice the sometimes numbness
in my hands and feet
is back today
and I vaguely think
I probably should 
have this checked out.
Will next May be as trouble-free
as today?


Walking home,
we pass the 9/11 Memorial
and I remember that day
was crayon blue, too.
The Memorial says:
"No farewell words were spoken,
No chance to say goodbye.
You were gone before we knew it,
And only God knows why."

My thoughts turn …