Day #31: Last one

Phew! I can’t believe it has been 31 days already.

The research states that students should write everyday. Participating in this writing challenge has given me a first-hand perspective on what it means to write every day.

  • it’s ok if student struggle with topics to write about
  • it’s ok if students can’t “write”
  • it’s ok if students don’t “finish” their writing
  • it’s ok if students write in different formats

The best way to support students with their writing is to provide options, examples, and encouraging feedback within the framework of a community of learners.

Day #30: 9 years ago today…

Don’t ya just love Facebook.

Today, as I logged on, there was an amazing memory of me from 9 years ago just waiting to be reposted. To share all over again that glorious moment.

I’m guessing that Facebook uses some code to pull up random memories for you. Because if people actually are “stalking your memories” to post, they seriously need to be retrained or they have a sick sense of humor.

Here is my amazing picture memory…

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Nine years ago today I got out of surgery.  I was at home ready to endure a minimum of 6 weeks of bedrest after rupturing my Achilles tendon right off the bone. I guess I am not really ready to talk or write about that incident (and for those of you who have not had the pleasure of this injury, I suggest you pass on it. Yeah, just cross it right off your bucket list.).  It is one of those unintended-kind-of-consequences incidents when you are never the same. Besides bearing the physical scar, I also have an emotional one. Although the one on my skin has faded, the one inside is still raw. Maybe if you have ever been a competitive athlete and received a career-ending injury, you would understand the pain and loss- the change.

So, here I am 9 years later. Hoping that in 9 years from now, I won’t be posting the other leg. Reflecting about my life and the events that have “defined” me.

Thank you, Facebook.

Day #29 Almost there…

Well, here I sit. Staring at a white screen.
Waiting for a muse to come and slap me upside the head
With a brilliant idea.

Would I even feel it?
That is debatable at this point.
I am exhausted from a long day at school
Then being a mother to three girls
Supper and a band concert.

Did I even stop to go the bathroom at all today?
It’s not just my mind. My whole body is numb.
My eyelids heavy with the promise of sleep.

I stare at the screen, not so white anymore.
Hoping my thoughts are coming across the space
Coherent.

Day #28

Am I training my students to have learned helplessness (or a fixed mindset)?

Yesterday, I started reading a professional book about reading instruction (Who’s Doing the Work? by Jan Burkins & Kim Yaris) that really got me to thinking. Am I denying my students the problem-solving process that leads to learning (and independent, life-long reading), because I am uncomfortable with their struggle?

I know better. I really do. Maybe it is the pressure of meeting the standards/targets. Maybe it the pressure of time. Maybe it is the pressure of fitting in. Maybe it is the pressure of responsibility. Maybe I just forgot who I am as a teacher and the art of teaching.

I need to go back to my heart. To what feels right, and makes students grow as readers. I have to remember that learning is a journey, and we are all in it for the long haul. Together, as a community of readers.

I am so happy that I found this book (shout-out thanks to my sister). It has realigned my teaching compass. I am back on the path. I can’t wait to chart my new course for tomorrow.

Day #27: Off-Schedule

Have you ever made the mistake of eating later in the afternoon than anticipated? Like around 4:15 pm when you are planning to have supper at 5:30 or 6:00 pm. Your tummy is grumbling, but you know you could just ruin your supper opportunities.

Yeah, I did that today.

Have you ever made the mistake of taking a nap too late in the afternoon? Like around 4:30 pm when you are planning to go to bed around 8:30 or 9:00 pm. You are so tired you can’t even keep your eyes open, but you know you could just ruin your sleep opportunities.

Yeah, I did that today.

So here I sit. Starving and deciding whether or not I should eat supper this late.
So here I type. Sleepy, but not tired enough to go to bed for the night but morning comes way too early.

I guess there is something to be said about sticking to your schedule…

Day #23 When you love someone

This song always makes my daughter cry. She refuses to play it even though she really likes it. The lyrics hit her in too raw a spot. And I don’t blame her, because I feel it too.

Come home early after class
Don’t be hanging ’round the back of the schoolyard
I’ve been called up a teacher
She says she can’t even reach you cause you’re so far

My daughter’s perfect world imploded in 2012 when I shouldered the responsibility of ending a less-than perfect 15-year marriage. We lost the house and she had to move into two different apartments in two different towns with two different parents. This is one case when having two is not better than one.

It don’t make sense, but nevertheless
You gotta believe us, it’s all for the best
It don’t make sense
The way things go

She complained that it wasn’t fair. It just didn’t make sense to her. We never fought, I never cried; the status quo should be just fine. All of her other friends had intact families, and she would be the only one from a broken home.

Sometimes moms and dads fall out of love
Sometimes two homes are better than one
Some things you can’t tell your sister ’cause she is still too young
Yeah you’ll understand
When you love someone

At 14, her older sister saw the tension, the excuses, and the pain. She knew about the lies, the empty bottles, and broken promises. She knew that other dads would play catch, would celebrate birthdays, would read bedtime stories, not just moms. But 11-year-olds don’t really understand infidelity and alcoholism and what real love means.

There ain’t no one here to blame
Nothing is going to change with your old friends

Maybe I should have told her that just because I asked for the divorce, it did not mean I wanted it. Maybe I should have told her that both your dad and I deserve to be happy, even though it means it is not with each other. Maybe I should have told her that sometimes you are stronger when you just let go, instead of hanging on.

So now at 15, traveling back in forth in the car. She refuses to play this song. Because even though her friends haven’t changed; all of the other parts of her world are NOT the same.

*Lyrics from James TW’s song “When you love someone
** Ideas for this slice came from . Check it out at her blog