Showing posts from December, 2017

A Very Mogwai Christmas #SOL17

The packages were under the tree, in color-coordinated wrapping paper. Alex had green paper with Minions in red Santa hats. Megan had magenta paper, with Disney princesses and mistletoe and holly. Wrapping paper flew with exclamations of delight until Megan opened one gift that stopped her in her tracks. Gizmo, a Mogwai- a Gremlin was opened to shrieks of joy. I was not in favor of my 7 year old son and 4 year old daughter watching Gremlins, the classic 80’s movie. I remember it being so scary. On a night where I was out, my husband showed it to them. They loved it and no nightmares. In fact, they talked about Gizmo a lot, especially Megan. Which gave Santa the idea to buy her Gizmo for Christmas. There were many other adorable stuffed animals she received, but it was Gizmo who she held all day long on Christmas. Her new alphabet beads were used to spell out MOGWAI in a necklace for Gizmo. Gizmo was lovingly carried to her grandparents’ house and didn’t leave her arms for

Teacher Happiness #SOL17

In December 2001, back before my curricular units were all planned out prior to the school year starting, created by others and not me; back before "I can" statements were anything I knew; back before teacher evaluations were based on the Danielson Rubric and being deemed "highly effective" was synonymous to the Holy Grail, I was a first year teacher, teaching sixth grade in an elementary school. Back then, one of the subjects I taught was "Language Arts" and aside from the New York State Standards at the time, there wasn't a whole lot of direction in what I should be teaching. While that was disconcerting for a first year teacher, it was also freeing. Here is what my sixth graders did in December 2001: Each student was part of a group. The assignment was to make your own toy or game. It could be based on a real game, like Monopoly, but redone with your own categories and questions. Students had to create the game and write the directions for how y

An Honor #SOL17

The violins played "Pachelbel's Cannon" as the high school juniors, holding a small candle, filed into the auditorium. I sat in a special section, with other teachers from my district who'd been asked to attend by a new inductee of the National Honor Society. The student who invited me was a former kindergarten student! How honored I was that she chose me to see her receive this honor.  After I had the chance to hug her and tell her how proud I was of her, I bumped into another former kindergarten student and her brother, who was from my first kindergarten class. He's a college student now! When I saw his face, I knew instantly who he was and could picture him as a little kindergarten student. I took a picture with my 3 former kindergarten students and it was such a special moment. There are days and moments when teaching feels too hard, too heart-breaking. There are times I feel lost. But the moments that ground me, that anchor me, are moments like tonight.