Showing posts from January, 2016

Never Met a Kathleen I Didn't Like #SOL16

I've never met a Kathleen I didn't like. There is a special Kathleen I know who has a generous nature, a hearty laugh, the ability to find the greatest children's books I've never heard of. She's good at crafts, from all those Girls Scout days. She taught me how to use a glue gun. She knows her way around an iPad and pushed me to learn new types of technology. She is a gifted teacher, the one the kids will always remember, will think about when asked to name their favorite teacher. She was a treasured colleague who brought light and innovation. We are no longer Kathleens across the hall, but friendship has never really been about geography.
Last year, Kathleen gave me a box of quotes. Each one is a gift to me, as she has been a gift to me, too. Tonight, I pulled out the quotes and these are the ones that spoke to my heart:
"Every day of our lives we are on the verge of making those slight changes  that would make all the difference." -Mignon McLaughlin

From This Seat On The Bus #SOL16

During summers at the Long Island Writing Project, each day began as predictably as a sunrise, with "shared reading." That meant one of the participants or facilitators would bring in a text to read aloud to the group.  The texts could be anything- a picture book, poem, article, excerpt from a novel...whatever the reader selected.  The group would listen and then as the last word was spoken, pens would be picked up and start dancing across notebook pages, the words lingering in the air as inspiration arrived.

There was one shared reading that always seemed to be chosen to open up the Summer Invitational Institute.  It was a chapter from a memoir, The Moon and I, by Betsy Byars.  The chapter was entitled, "Miss Harriet's Room." In this chapter, a young Betsy describes how she always wanted Miss Harriet to be her first teacher after witnessing her older sibling delight in being Miss Harriet's student. When the first day of school arrived for Betsy, the childre…

A Curly Cut #SOL16

In my quest to add more "HAPPY" to my days, today I did something I've never done before: I got a curly cut! 

Those of you with curly hair know the struggle is real.  Having curly hair is very challenging and in the end, you need to decide if you will embrace the curl or fight it. Since I am not very skilled at styling hair and very short on time in the mornings, I cannot straighten my hair so have been doing my best to style my curly hair.  I noticed a curly haired colleague at work has been looking especially bouncy and her curls have been beautiful! She shared her secret- she goes to a salon that specializes in curly hair!

As a New Year's "HAPPY" present to myself, I made an appointment and today was my "curly cut " as they call it at Curl Revolution.  The stylist cut my hair when it was dry! (Shocking!) She hydrated my curls, dried my hair under a big dome dryer, applied styling products, dried my hair with the dome dryer and a diffuser, and the…

Blessed to be a Teacher #SOL16

Today was my first day back in the classroom after missing some time at work when my grandmother passed away, and then, of course, the holiday break. What a treat to find the room so neat and organized, thanks to a wonderful substitute teacher who took the time to leave things just so. I found papers scrolled up with a red ribbon on the corner of the desk. Opening it, I saw that it was a letter from two of my colleagues, a second grade teacher and a fourth grade teacher. Their classes collaborated for a "Big Buddy/Little Buddy" Random Acts of Kindness project.  The students wrote letters of appreciation to former teachers.  Under their letter, I found two letter from former students of mine. One even included an acrostic poem with my rather long last name!
Reading their sweet messages was so heartwarming and was a beautiful way to start my 2016 at school. What a kind and lovely idea my colleagues had! December is a very hectic month in our school, as report cards go home and …