Thursday, March 5, 2015

Layers

As I was driving to work this morning I couldn't help but think about how wonderful 20 degree temps feel! We had record breaking temps in Ohio during the month of February with multiple snow/cold days and few days above the 0 degree mark. I am wearing less layers the last couple days and I realized how good it feels not to be so bogged down!

Lately I've spent a lot of time thinking about being happier, more optimistic.  Getting back to the old me.  As I was thinking about my thinning layers literally this morning, I realized also that I went home yesterday in a better mood and I believe it was because I chose a better attitude.  This morning I got some news from my mom that could have brought me down.  It wasn't life threatening news, just silly dysfunctional family news.  I was initially mad... but then I thought about how good it felt to wear less layers.  And I am choosing to not let this news get the best of me.  It will not bring down my day or my attitude.  If I can't control it, I won't let it control me.

I am an inherently optimistic person so I don't know what's gotten into me lately.  But I do know, that I like the way I feel with less layers on.  So I'm going to wear my negative attitude like I wear my clothing: thinned.  :)

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

#goCavs!!

Last night I went to a Cleveland Cavaliers game! And it was everything that I expected it would be!!!

Being born and raised in the Cleveland area, I am a true CLE fan. I was fortunate to see Lebron James when he was "just" a high school player and again when he first played for the Cavs.  Last night was my first game since his return. I loved seeing Cleveland breathing again! It's growing, prospering, putting the reputation of "fattest/laziest/most unemployed city" behind us.  Cleveland, with a little hope, love, and nurturing is doing better than ever! The CLE is getting a second chance.

As a teacher and parent, I can say with confidence that Lebron is an athlete, a sports hero if you will, that I don't mind students or my own children looking up to.  So often kids idolize athletes, but why? Lebron has given them a why.  He not only plays an amazing game, but he has amazing roots right here in the Cle/Akron area. Lebron helps the underprivileged.  He has an "IPromise" campaign that does amazing work. Lebron puts education at the top of his list of important things to stand up and speak about. Lebron loves his family. He is very committed to his wife and children. And then... he plays basketball.

Going to a Cav's game has been something I've wanted to do since Lebron came home. I'm so thrilled to have had the opportunity. I love my hometown!

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Celebrated Dr. Seuss

Last night I was honored to be a guest speaker at a local elementary school's first ever Literacy Night. Once I got over my nerves of reading in front of the adults, I embraced the fact that I could share my love of reading with the children. It was planned on National Read Across America Day which is Dr. Seuss's birthday so the theme of course was the one and only!

I read Would You Rather Be a Bullfrog? It's not one of Dr. Seuss's more popular books, but I drew on the little's prior knowledge by asking how many have ever played the popular card game, Would You Rather? Many kids were familiar with it so the story lent itself to lots of silly and thoughtful discussion. For the parents in the room, I believe watching their children discuss literacy was eye opening.  Kids had great responses and all sorts of unique thoughts! Parents walked away proud, mystified and some maybe embarrassed at what their kids had to say. But the conversation was begun to be continued later.

My own children attended this literacy night even though the elementary school was not theirs. They loved it! They enjoyed hearing a police officer read The Cat In the Hat, a couple high school students read Green Eggs and Ham, and our curriculum facilitator read, The Lorax.  Of course my children said my story was their favorite, but they are a bit biased when it comes to their favorite "teacher".  :)

My take away from the night was a renewed sense of pride in the fact that my children, at ten year olds, still love to be read to.  And hopefully the other parents in the room enjoyed seeing their children enjoy being read to and keep up the tradition at home.  And I hope the conversations continued....

Monday, March 2, 2015

It's March!

How can you tell it's March? 

Not because the snow is a mile high and brown around the edges.

Not because the sun is trying to peek through the clouds, reminding us that Spring is just around the corner.

You can tell it's March because tensions run high at work! Teachers are feeling overwhelmed, students are feeling over tested and under energized, cafeteria workers are feeling the need to move noisy kids outside for fresh air.

It's March because while teachers want to be feeling refreshed from snow days, playing in the remaining white, glistening snow, and warming their faces on the sun, they are instead preparing for the time of year when standardized tests will test everything BUT the students.  It will test a teachers patience.  It will tests a districts quality of education.  It will test a parent's faith in the teachers.  But it will not test the kid. This year more than any we are faced with testing! New tests. Lots of tests. Less time with students engaged in quality learning.

With so much discussion focused on PARCC, conversations among parents of who is opting out, teachers worried about how this will affect their evaluations, we need not forget why we really teach. We're here FOR THE KIDS.

At the end of the day, they need us to motivate them to always do their best, not just for a test. They need us to encourage, listen, understand them. They need us to remind them that after all, this is JUST a test.

Monday, August 18, 2014

A new year... a new me

Well it's the 2014-2015 school year.  Today I was honored with a pin from my district for 15 years of service. WOW!! I cannot believe it's been 15 years that I've been a teacher. I have done so much over the years, but still have lots more to conquer.

This year I want to have a positive outlook and challenge myself to accept being uncomfortable. I think having a bit of fear in my daily perspective will push me to do great things.  I don't mean fear like being afraid of heights, bugs, or elevators, but fear of being wrong, trying new things and challenges.  I want to push myself to the next step. I don't know what that is, but that's part of the challenge. I want to pursue the next great thing in my career. Will I present something? Will I consult someone? Will I take a class that is difficult? I can't wait to find out!

This year is going to be a good one. I'm going to wake up each morning ready to be my best and I'm going to go to bed each night reflective and proud. 2014-2015... This year belongs to the best me I can be. :)

Thursday, August 29, 2013

You're Always Thinking

My children had the greatest conversation at dinner yesterday. They were discussing the fact that you're always thinking; even when you sleep. They argue that if you're not thinking, you're dead. I think they must be getting thinking confused with breathing, but I loved their thoughtful conversation nonetheless.

I was talking to a coworker the other day about the fact that my own children love reading. They're in 3rd grade this year and they think homework is fun too.  Where is the breakdown in that thinking? As a middle school teacher of 13 years, I don't see a lot of teens who love to read and find homework enjoyable.  There must come a time in a child's life when something changes that way of thinking. And I'm anxious to know what that life changing event is. But I'm not too anxious as that would mean my own children no longer have the passion for learning that they do at this time.

I noticed in the copy room at my school the other day that as an introduction to the school year activity, a teacher had run off worksheets for the students to create their own record. Really? My guess is that they don't even know what a record is.  Not to be critical, but the original looked like it had come from a ditto machine and the assignment was ancient; prehistoric to today's middle-schooler. So I would gather that they wouldn't dive into this assignment, feel eager to complete it, or very comfortable in the environment in which it was presented.  Maybe it's at that point that children no longer feel eager to learn.

Just some jumbled thoughts that I've been thinking and wanting to write about.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Family Rules

I love my family; obviously more that I love my sanity.

My 10 year old nephew is visiting for the next couple weeks (sans parents).  I love him; he's a doll, and he's sooo my side of the family! Add him to the three 8 years old I already have and insanity ensues.  You see, my nephew is an only child~

My kids have shared everything since conception. They know the art of sharing. They know to enjoy what they have and what they are doing at any said time. They are not picky eaters.  We have a sign in our house that says, "Family Rules". And number 1 is share. If you're an only child sharing is a learned trait, not innate. And though my nephew is capable of sharing, every so often that only child syndrome comes out and he does not want the others touching his stuff. I respect that to an extent, but it's frustrating as I'm also dealing with a picky eater and a child who wants what he wants when he wants it. I'm not saying my children are perfect. There's always room to grow. But the next couple weeks are going to test my patience for sure; and my nephew is going to test our family rules.

But at the end of the day, I love my family, the insanity and all~