Tuesday, June 27, 2017

{time} #sol17

Slice of Life is hosted at the Two Writing Teachers
Join in and share a slice of your life. 
_____________________________________________________

So far, I haven't said too much because at first I had {no words} and then all I had was {today}.

It was time for a change. I just didn't know it was MY time. After a few weeks of reflection and the process of packing up my classroom, I've accepted my new role and transition to a new school.

My reading specialist role is changing. I'm now considered a "Literacy Interventionist" in my district. Sounds fancy, I know.

But really, my goal is the same: Improve student learning as readers, writers, and thinkers, and nurture the love of reading.

The location is what differs: Instead of working with the most developing readers, writers, and thinkers in my own space, I'll be working with classroom teachers and students in their space.

Oh, and all this in a new school too.  The learning curve just curved again.

I understand the benefits of both working in classrooms and working with students outside of the classroom. Of course, I'll be honest, I adore my own cozy room full of books and magic and connecting with readers and writers.

I'm open to the possibilities of what is to come, working with teachers and students in classrooms. I'll be reaching more students and working alongside teachers to be a thinking partner and to help students achieve their goals.

Change can be good, but change can also be hard.

Or, in my case, change can be hard, but change can also be good. I have to envision the positive.

For now, I appreciate time - time to reflect, to accept, to think, to plan, to read, to write, to ponder, and to dream forward.

And, so, with change, a new Pinterest Board was created: New Adventures!


Tuesday, June 20, 2017

{Today} #sol17

Slice of Life is hosted at the Two Writing Teachers
Join in and share a slice of your life. 
_____________________________________________________

{Yesterday}
I packed my last box
stacked it on top of all the waiting boxes
and I sighed.

{Yesterday}
I looked around my desolate classroom
thought about my students
and smiled.

{Yesterday}
memories of students laughing, learning, sharing
of great books echoed in the empty room
and I looked down.

{Yesterday}
I left a note welcoming the new teacher
moving in hoping she loves the cozy space as much as I did
and I blinked back tears.

{Yesterday}
I took one last look, closed the door
for the last time
and cried.

{Yesterday}
I walked down the hallway, out of the school
drove away for the last time
and never looked back.

{Today}
my summer can begin -- time with my girls, reading,
continued learning, growing and preparing for my new role
and I let out a big sigh of words.


Tuesday, June 13, 2017

{no words} #sol17

Slice of Life is hosted at the Two Writing Teachers
Join in and share a slice of your life. 
_____________________________________________________

I don't even know where to begin.
There is so much to say.
Yet, still no words.

My brain is a tangled mess of words and emotions.
So many changes: New role. New school. New teachers. New students.
Saying goodbye to my school family after 15 years.

Friday was our last day of school.
Squeezing students goodbye because I just couldn't say the words ...
As tears fell, heartbroken.

I waited and waited and waited before starting to pack.
A room full of books and treasures, because once I started ...
Then I knew it was all too real. Too final.

Yet, I understand my purpose for moving on.
It wasn't my decision, but I understand there is a bigger plan.
I must forget all the reasons why it won't work--

And believe the one reason why it will: The kids.
There are new kids who need me, my help. my love.
Or, perhaps it's me. Maybe I'm the one that needs these new kids.

I'm in the midst of packing box after box after box.
Every little thing packed has a story.
A memory that I'm bringing with me.

Huh, I guess I found a few words.
There is still more to say ...
But this is where I begin.

(Thanks, Terje, for nudging me to slice.) 

Saturday, June 3, 2017

Announcing the 2017 #cyberPD Book Choice!

Check out our #cyberPD Google Community to 
learn more about our summer PD event.

  ______________________________________________________________

Every year in May, we ask to see your stack of PD books you can't wait to dive into over the summer, looking for just the right book to read together. Then, we plan to discuss our thoughts and learning virtually through our Google Community, blog posts, and Twitter during the month of July.

This year, once again, there were many great book selections shared. And, yet again, we had many conversations about the perfect book for our #cyberPD group. Our list of criteria is extensive and our standards are high.  This book must reach a wide audience that will allow for deep thinking and learning. Our hope is that the book selected will push our thinking to make positive changes in our classrooms.

Yes, book selection is important, but what makes this PD event truly successful are the amazing teachers and educators across the globe that support each other through the learning process.

YOU make #cyberPD a success! Thank YOU for joining us ... whether this is your very first year, or your seventh year, or somewhere in between, we are thrilled YOU are joining in the conversations! 

The beauty of this summertime PD is you make it what you want and you do what you can when you can do it! Personalized online PD that meets your needs!

So, are you wondering what book we selected for 2017, like these #cyberPD friends?!?




I think Kylene Beers would agree ... the 2017 #cyberPD title will teach us, touch us, make us want more, and fill us up! (And, no, it's not Kylene's new book Disrupting Thinking ...)


  ______________________________________________________________

(Now cue the drum roll ...)



This summer we will be reading Vicki Vinton's new title  ...







It all begins this July! Order the book (if needed ... it was in many book stacks, so a lot of you are ready to ...), start reading, and join in!  Share your thoughts each week around specific chapters (more specific information to come) with a reflection in the Google Community -- a blog post, a Google+ comment, and on Twitter (#cyberPD).  We encourage you to respond and comment on at least 3 other participants reflections.  Happy deeper reading!

  ______________________________________________________________

Additional Resources

Questions about #cyberPD? Contact Cathy Mere or Michelle Nero. We are here to help!


Saturday, May 20, 2017

#cyberPD: Share YOUR Book Stack 2017


Welcome to the SEVENTH #cyberPD summer event!



Check out our  #cyberPD Google Community to learn more about our summer PD. 
Cathy Mere and I can't wait for YOU to join our community and conversations.
_______________________________________________________________

I cannot believe yet another school year is ending and endless days of summer will be arriving. For me, summer is an opportunity to experience the fun of playing at home, outside in the backyard, visiting local parks and zoos, stopping by the library, getting lost in a book, and occasionally getting bored with my twin seven year old girls.

I also like to dig into a professional book (or a few when time allows ...) with a group of amazing educators that participate in the summer learning of #cyberPD. This group pushes my thinking and makes me want more. Kylene said it best:


Our goal is to pick THAT book that will teach us something, touch us, make us want more, and fill us up.  Each summer one professional book is chosen to be read by the #cyberPD community.  During the month of July, the book is discussed across three weeks.  Each week participants read and discuss a different section of the selected book.  Share your thoughts each week around specific chapters with a reflection in the Google Community -- a blog post, a Google+ comment, and on Twitter (#cyberPD).  We encourage you to respond and comment on at least 3 other participants reflections. 

That's what #cyberPD does for you:  Provides an opportunity to read a common book, share your thoughts, and grow with educators across the globe.  

You will not want to miss out on the conversations and learning this summer.

_______________________________________________________________

So, are you in?  

Your FIRST step is to share your PD book stack 
in the "Share Your Book Stack" section!

Click the link below:


We'll be sharing our #cyberPD book selection on June 3rd, 2017. Then, come July, we'll all have the selected PD book in hand, sticky notes and highlighters ready, ready for sharing.  Let the true learning begin.  I hope you will join in the conversation too!

_______________________________________________________________

Stay connected via Twitter and our #cyberPD Google Community to learn more about 
#cyberPD starting in July and to find out more specific details.  

For your planning, the book is divided into thirds and each week in July we 
read, reflect, share, and respond to others. Then the last week, we will host a final Twitter chat. 


Got questions, suggestions, or wonders?  Contact one of the #cyberPD co-hosts:
Michelle Nero on Twitter @litlearningzone and blogs here at Literacy Learning Zone
_______________________________________________________________

Past #cyberPD titles include:

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

{excuses} #sol17

Slice of Life is hosted at the Two Writing Teachers
Join in and share a slice of your life. 
_____________________________________________________

And just like that three weeks fly by without writing a slice.
But I have excuses:

My brain is full and ready to share what's on my mind ... just not here.

Many changes happening in my district ... that I'm not ready to share.

New position on the horizon ... but I'm not sure yet.

My girls turned SEVEN ... and I still cannot believe it.

Kid parties, family parties ... oh, thank you cards to help write.

The every day to do list ... that never (ever!) gets shorter.

I know excuses shouldn't really matter.
So I'm back to writing a slice today.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

{time} #sol17

Slice of Life is hosted at the Two Writing Teachers
Join in and share a slice of your life. 
_____________________________________________________

Today, my six year old daughters -- and I can only say that for another 12 more days -- brought home an ABC end of the school year countdown.

It starts on Thursday.  So that means there are only 28 more days left of school.

"You will only be first graders for 28 more days," I thought out loud.

Tears filled my eyes.

"Don't cry, Mommy," M. said as she held my face. "You are going to make me cry."

"I just can't believe it. You are almost ... I can't even say it ... second graders."

Big eyes stared my way.

"You don't understand now, but time just goes way too fast."

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

{time for us} #sol17


Slice of Life is hosted at the Two Writing Teachers
Join in and share a slice of your life. 
_____________________________________________________

It's late. I haven't written a thing.

This week I scribbled some ideas and seeds in my notebook. But time has not allowed me the opportunity to just write.

Particularly because of our newest obsession with a TV show.

Now, here is what you need to know. I watch minimal TV. But so many people encouraged us to just watch.

I'm thankful for "on demand" TV. The entire season ready to watch right at my fingertips.

Weeks ago we started watching.

Almost every night we watched yet another episode. Sometimes two.

Tonight the last two episodes waited. And we had to watch both. I put my schoolbag to the side. My laptop remained closed. Slicing would have to wait until later.

We watched and cried and couldn't believe the ending ... there's one more episode, right?

Oh, when does the next season of This Is Us start again?

Because I know that this story is worth watching.  And it's ...  Time for us.  Together.


Tuesday, April 4, 2017

{vacations} #sol17

Slice of Life is hosted at the Two Writing Teachers
Join in and share a slice of your life. 
_____________________________________________________

Vacations are exciting!
Planning, preparing, scheduling, anticipating.
Check lists, packing, organizing, repacking.

Vacations are exhausting.
Early to rise, go, go, go.
Drive, drive, stop, drive, drive more.

Vacations are exhilarating.
Sunshine, blue skies, ocean breeze.
No worries. No reality.

Vacations are expensive.
Tickets, souvenirs, ice cream.
Memories, stuffed animals, more ice cream.

Vacations are extremely sad in the end.
Pack up time's up.
Reality slowly creeps in.

Vacations are memories.
Photographs and stories. Remember? Smiles.
Planning next trip, anticipation, can't wait.


Saturday, March 25, 2017

{break} 25/31 #sol17



The March Slice of Life Story Challenge
hosted at the Two Writing Teachers.
Join us for a month of writing!
__________________________________________________

Dearest Reader,

Today is the day. Spring break begins. A time to get away from the ordinary daily scheduled life and make new memories as family.

I've debated my next move. I've thought a lot about what I should do. This year is going to be different. It's hard to write these words, but this is the first spring break vacation that is not a stay-cation at home or a visit to my parents' home. Our days away will be full and busy and exhausting and fun.

Living life is more important to me right now. Time with family and friends is more important to me right now. Snapping photos and capturing memories in my notebook are more important to me right now.

So, I have decided, as my friend recently did, to press pause right now.

I have wondered how I would even manage it, squeezing it in the full days planned, and spending the time crafting something worth sharing ... I don't want to write something just to post it daily. 

This is my seventh year of the March SOLSC. Over the past six years, I wrote all thirty-one days in March. That's a celebration. I enjoyed it and I had the time to dedicate to writing and commenting in those seasons of my life.

I will not apologize for letting go of this challenge this year at this time. It's what I need to do for myself. I have enjoyed the journey so far, but I'm getting off at today's stop: Spring Break and I'm taking a break from the challenge.

I wave goodbye for now with tears in my eyes. Sad to know I will miss YOUR stories and YOUR words. But I am happy to know I can live freely in each new moment to come without worry.

I'll catch up with you on Tuesdays. Hugs to you all.

Sincerely,
Michelle

P.S. My amazing Mom and fellow slicer has graciously accepted to complete my month-long task on the Welcome Wagon. Thank you so much, Mom!