Tuesday, December 18, 2012

sols: forever

Slice of Life Stories hosted

it doesn't make sense
it will  n e v e r  make sense

innocent children
sweet, little babies

brave teachers
protective mothers-to-all

questioning why, WHY, why
praying for peace

and comfort that
won't come for a long, long time

shedding many tears
a heavy, heavy heart

grabbing my baby girls
squeezing them tight - maybe too tight

kissing and loving on them
whispering to them over and over

"i love you.
i love you so much."

"to the moon and back, momma,"
they respond.

"yes, to the moon and back --
and even more."

and even more
more than you will ever know.

so many lives touched
scarred, changed


Tuesday, December 11, 2012

sols: just for today

Slice of Life Stories hosted

I usually write my Tuesday "Slice of Life" on Monday evening.  Some Mondays, I have a story or idea already mixing -- and sometimes even several ideas to choose.  This week was different.

I started typing.  Then deleted.  I had an idea.  Then started over.  A blank screen stared back at me.  Fingers tapped on the keyboard, but nothing filled the page that was worthy of sharing.

I then remembered reading Rachel's post:  Sunday Stills @ finding joy, and I also remember thinking to myself: I may need to try this again for a slice.  So, here I am, borrowing a little inspiration.  Again.


today:  i'm in a happy, calm place (deep breath and enjoy) balancing "it" all (for now)
want to be:  home with my girls, laughing and delighting in the new moments of seeing the world with two and a half year olds
blessings:  my family, my daughters, my home, and my God, who day after day provides me with so much
thinking:  where did the year go?  no, really?  what happened to 2012?  (and where is a little bitty snow?)
planning:  a new focus on ME-first for 2013, including healthy eating and exercising to be ready to celebrate my brother's and almost-official-sister-in-law's wedding
writing:  a slice of life in a simplified little package
loving:  the Christmas season full of lights and decorations, new traditions, and shopping
grateful:  for all that i am, all that i have, all that i'm learning, and all that the future holds

today {again}:  i am reminded in this moment that when i purposely slow down life and just let go, i see more beauty

What are you thankful for today?  What's on your to-do list?

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

sols: on my mind

Slice of Life Stories hosted

I don't know if you read this post yesterday, but you need to take time now to read it.  Go on, it will just take a couple minutes.  I'll wait.

Pretty powerful, huh?  That's what I thought.  Ruth, one of my nudgers, wrote about creating space in our minds in order to then be reflective in our practices.  Always smart thinking from her.  Simple, yet it makes so much sense to me.

And then all night and first thing this morning when I woke up, I was consciously thinking about what was on my mind.  My brain is still a little cloudy right now waiting for some space to be created.

You see, I fall into this trap.  I'm constantly reading and tweeting and learning and trying to gain all this knowledge for my own purposes in my classroom as a reading specialist and for the colleagues and teachers around me.  I want to learn and improve my practices and I wish the same for my colleagues.

However, there's something On My Mind . . .

     1.  Teachers are at varying levels of their own personal and professional development and reflective stages.  Beginning first and second year teachers just trying to survive.  In knee-deep-of-it-all teachers.  Teachers continually perfecting their craft.  And then, those teachers who need big (gentle) nudges and pushes to move forward.  We talk daily about differentiation with our students, but teachers need differentiated professional development as well.  I may have shared an article two years ago, but a teacher may not have been ready to hear or understand the message, but now, today, she is ready.

     2.  Differentiated professional development is tricky.  How does it happen effectively, except to have someone right by your side, coaching you as you are in the thick of it all?  The idea of coaching has been tossed my way and it quite honestly scares me.  (Not to mention that I love the kiddos too much!)

     3.  Over the last couple years, I dreaded attending team meetings.  I struggled with the fact that it was a waste of time for me and then it was quite possibly a waste of time for teachers that already have too much on their plates.  The format of our team meetings have changed this school year and our instructional resource team is spending more time with individual teachers to talk about student concerns and move forward in the RtI process.  I'm feeling better about the meetings, but still not feeling confident that we are meeting the RtI expectations of differentiating and documenting.  It's a learning process and with time I think it will continue to improve.  (I hope!)

     4.  I have been out of the classroom for ten years.  (Wow, that's crazy to even say!)  Funny thing is, I was only in the classroom for two years before I was placed in my current position.  So remembering back when I was in the classroom to regain perspective is difficult for me.  In my little world, I eat, sleep, and breath literacy instruction, but I have to remind myself that the classroom teachers also teach students various other subjects that, of course, incorporate the important skills of reading!  Yet, when we meet with teachers to document interventions, I'm not always sure additional, targeted support is happening in the classroom (i.e. guided reading, conferring).  So, now it's my job to plan for the intervention in my classroom and your classroom?  I'm struggling with how to move forward even though I understand the difficulty of being a classroom teacher with lots of little ones vying for your attention all throughout the day.

     5.  Balance.  I mentioned to my hubby last night that some days I wish there were more than 24 hours in a day and then I quickly retracted the statement.  I realized that I may have more time, but there would always be more to fill up that time.  It's about prioritizing the time I have now between home and school.  I need a major readjustment because ME time has been eliminated.  I need to start exercising again.  I need to start eating better.  I need to take care of me first.

There is more swimming around in my head.  But I can honestly say that I feel a little lighter.  I'm moving ahead with a little more space to be reflective and make professional (and personal!) decisions.  Thank you Ruth for your enLIGHTening words!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

sols: thank-full

Slice of Life Stories hosted

There were many moments from the long Thanksgiving weekend that I want to capture.  My family had a spectacular visit at my Mom and Dad's house in the country, including some much needed peace and quiet and sleeping in (except for the two and a half year olds running around enjoying exploring Grandma and Grandpa's).  It was time to disconnect from the every day race of life and enjoy the company, delicious food, and the rest the days had to offer.

But today I need the reminder to be thankful.  After a vacation away from home and the usual routine, the day after can be hard.  Monday was hard for many of us.

Keeping patience was hard.  Really hard.  Holding on to it.  Living it.  Believing it.

And then a conversation I had yesterday with a fifth grade teacher, who is currently reading aloud Wonder by RJ Palacio to her class, had me thinking.  We talked about empathy, kindness, understanding.  She shared her thoughts on being thankful . . . looking at the glass half-full and being thankful for what you might not think you should be thankful for.



i am thankful for the demanding tone and whiny attitude
because i know my girls have a voice and strong opinions,
but we'll continue to work on the delivery.

i am thankful for tripping over toys and constantly picking up
dolls, trains, puzzle pieces, cars, tea cups and cupcakes, and books
because i know my girls are learning through play and imagination.

i am thankful for the spilled milk, scattered crumbs, and squished food
because i know it's a spot, an area, an entire floor
that is clean many times throughout the day.

i am thankful for an early alarm buzzing me awake
because i know it's a fresh start to a new day to
remember all that i need to be thankful for in my life.

i am thankful for what appears to be a lack of time and hours in a day
to possibly accomplish all that i think needs to be done
because i know my life is full of many blessings.

What are you thank-full for this day?

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

sols: time

Slice of Life Stories hosted

time moves forward
faster than i
can keep up.

calendar pages flip
and early dark 
evenings have arrived.

thanksgiving is here
with family time
near to celebrate. 

december, cold, snow
will arrive with
absolutely no fear.

more family-days
holidays christmas and
new year's eve.

need time
to   s   l   o  w  but
i already know

the busiest time
of year is
now right here.

as best as
we can, let's
savor, remember, write

sit back to
slow down time 
relish the memories.

enjoy this time