March 31, 2021 ~ Reflections on the month

  1. I wasn’t planning on doing the challenge this year. Too many things on my plate.
  2. I still did the challenge, although I didn’t write for 31 days.
  3. I won’t get a prize, but writing as much as I did was my prize.
  4. I enjoyed my writer’s eye that I had searching for my moments to slice.
  5. My eyes were sometimes blinded by the challenges in my life, and that’s ok.
  6. I was reminded that I really do love to write.
  7. I would love to know how to make it a bigger priority.
  8. I think I say this each year.
  9. I hate not being able to format the things the way I write on paper, on the computer.
  10. I will think about continuing on Tuesdays and maybe I will add it to my calendar so that I make sure I stick to it this time.

March 30, 2021 ~ I hate making dinner

Yup, I said it. I hate everything about it.

I hate thinking of what to make.

I hate prepping what I’m making.

I hate the work involved in creating the meal.

I hate when someone sits down to eat and doesn’t like the meal.

I hate the clean up and the arguments over who is washing the dishes, washing the table, packing leftovers, loading the dishwasher.

I hate making dinner. I would like to go on strike. You heard it here first.

March 29, 2021 ~ For me or them?

Yesterday I mapped a learning plan for an end of unit project for my 6th graders as we wrap up our social issue book club unit. I had a few days to spare and thought it might be nice to tie in the last bend AND an engaging project as we all wait for spring break.

I mapped it out. Made a plan. Prepared a template. Scheduled it in Google Classroom. Then crossed it off my list.

Until this morning…

When I thought about whether they would need a model. Would they be able to do all the steps without a model for a project they’ve never done? Probably. But there would be questions. (There always are regardless of my preparedness.)

Would it help if I made one up? Which topic would I use that would not be an exact replica for some? What should I do?

So… I started to put things together. I hit a few roadblocks. I overcame them. I took the minimal planning time I had today and worked on the various parts of it.

I just reopened the assignment and added my sample to the assignment. While I know it will help them, sometimes I wonder if sometimes I just want the ability to be creative and think like a 6th grader again!

March 28, 2021 ~ The Promise of a Rainy Day

A rainy day promises time inside.

It provides us guilt-free time curled up with a good book.

A rainy day promises not getting dressed to go out.

It reminds us that some days we can simply stay home and run errands tomorrow when it’s sunny again.

A rainy day promises indoor activities after busy days and busy weeks.

It asks us to stay close, stay quiet, and simply be.

A rainy day promises sunny days to come.

It gives us the chance to rest.

March 27, 2021 ~ Everything Feels Hard

Everything feels hard right now.

With my colleagues and students, it’s hard to…

Manage social distancing

And mask wearing

And reading aloud with a mask

And watching people disregard all the rules set forth to protect everyone

And teaching in ways that we’ve never taught before.

With my family, it’s hard to…

Encourage my son to return to college

And give restrictions, but not too many

And agree on what’s best for everyone

And make decisions that you have no right answer for.

With myself, it’s hard to…

Process all the things that I have no control over

And workout regularly to stay healthy

And eat right so I can lose the weight

And manage the never-ending list of ‘to dos’

Everything feels hard right now.

March 25, 2021 ~ A moment to slice before 8:00 AM

I clicked send.

Three minutes later, Sharyl comes up to my door and flings it open.

“Hey, I just sent-”

“Yes, I know. You sent it to a parent,” she interrupts.

“No, I sent it to the 6th grade reading teachers,” I respond with confidence knowing that I had diligently gone through each and every one.

“No, you sent it to this child’s mom,” she answered, “Pull it up.”

I felt the panic start to rise. No, I’m sure I typed in each and every name. I saw each teacher’s name fill the ‘To’ line.

I pull up my ‘Sent’ items and there it was. The mom’s name prominently displayed next to the names of two of my colleagues.

“OH MY GOSH… now what?!” I ask.

“Can you unsend?” she asks.

I click on buttons, I google ‘undsending’ emails.

NO SUCH LUCK… it is gone. So I exhale and reopen the email. I know it was professionally written. I know I didn’t use the child’s name, but it was a sensitive-ish topic.

I reread the email. Then I reread it aloud to Sharyl.

“It’s fine,” she tries to reassure me. I am not convinced.

I prepare an email to the mother with the utmost professionalism. I exhale.

THEN I realize that I need to tell my colleagues to NOT reply all on the last email.

I jump back up, and start typing Subject: DO NOT REPLY TO MY LAST EMAIL.

I look up at the clock. It is 7:53… oh, it’s going to be a great day.

March 24, 2021 ~ Cliché Or Not?

I stood in front of the room discussing the definition of clichés. We were working on developing more complex theme statements. The clichés bounced around the room.

‘Life is hard.’

‘Be kind.’

B shot his hand straight up in the air struggling to keep his bottom in his seat.

“Yes, B, what is a cliché that you have heard?” I asked

“Butter my butt and call me a biscuit!” he answered with volume and pride.

The room erupted! I had no words. The kids looked at me. I looked back at them.

We laughed and laughed and laughed.

“No, B, that is not a cliché , but it definitely is funny!”

These moments are the ones that remind me that through all the hard things, these kids truly are the best!

March 23, 2021~ An Extended Stay

On Thursday, he came home in a whirlwind.

On Friday, he attended two virtual classes and got his vaccination.

On Saturday, we got an email saying the campus was on status ‘yellow’… a pause until Tuesday. He was thrilled. He would stay until Wednesday morning since his first class on Wednesday was at 2:00 pm.

On Sunday, we got an email saying that the campus was on ‘orange’… a pause until Friday. He couldn’t decide how he felt.

“I’m happy to be home, but I wish it was safe to go back,” he pondered.

I sat. Silent. No words. Sad that his freshman year of college is not going the way it should… just like his senior year of high school. Happy to have him home. Frustrated at the continued increase in cases. Angry that there is no solution or end in sight.

And so I answered, “I’m hopeful that the numbers will begin decreasing and you will be back before you know it.”

March 22, 2021 ~ Taking my own advice

One thing I tell my readers FREQUENTLY is to read a variety of genres. I believe, wholeheartedly, that trying new genres helps to expand your reading skills at the least, and leads you to a TON of new books at the best.

So when I challenged my 6th grade readers to read as many of the Nutmeg nominees this year, they asked if I would read them too. Not one to back away from a challenge, I said ‘Sure!’

And so it began. I had already read four of the books so I knew it would not be too much of a challenge. I chose the books that most appealed to me. Realistic Fiction.

Then I was left with two. One about ghosts and one about outer space. Fantasy. My LEAST favorite genre. I read the ghost book first… knowing that it would be based in realistic fiction.

Then, I had one left. I uploaded it to my Kindle. I read the first chapter. I put it down.
I came back to it the next day. Read half a chapter. Put it down.

I didn’t read the next day. You see where this is going, don’t you?

And so this week, I told myself, I needed to sit with it for MORE than 15 minutes AND during a time that was NOT in bed when I was exhausted.

So I sat for an hour yesterday and read and read and read. I finished the book and I truly enjoyed it by the end. It will not go in my all time favorites, but I definitely learned something about myself as a reader and I learned something about myself as a TEACHER of readers.

The moral of the story: We must be willing to do the things we ask our children to do each and every day. When we struggle, we understand their struggles.

March 21, 2021 ~ A Variety of Perspectives

The young teacher who could barely contain her excitement.

The young man who asked if he needed to go to multiple stations for different shots.

The man who laughed heartily when I asked if he was pregnant or breastfeeding.

The woman who sadly replied no when I asked the same question.

The woman who shared her many concerns over a possible reaction and that she may in fact pass out.

The man who looked up gratefully at the nurse for not making it hurt at all.

The woman who turned her entire seat around so she could not see a thing.

The woman, who I sat beside for 4 hours, who has sat there for three Saturdays, for eight hours a day, administering shot after shot to teachers, bus drivers, cafeteria workers, paraprofessionals, secretaries, and anyone else who works in the schools in our little region…

These are just some of the people I spend my time with yesterday at our local vaccination clinic.