Saturday, January 14, 2017

Celebrate and Discover

Discover. Play. Build.

Sometimes as teachers, we really don't know if we have made a difference. Students leave us, and we may never hear from them again. But some we stay in touch with, and it is those students--my "forever kids", that gave me so much to celebrate this week.

As I wrote on Tuesday, I've decided to take the district's early retirement package this year. It's a bittersweet decision.  But it's what happened after I shared my news that I celebrate. The outpouring of love was amazing. Former students, parents, colleagues, all with words of love.  I'll admit to screenshotting my Facebook post, so I will have all that love to wrap myself in when I'm feeling blue.

Just a few of many (Teacher confession--it feels like bragging to share these. I'm not, really. I am actually so humbled by all the comments...)

But it was the comment by a former colleague that made this all OK and connects right with Ruth's post about giving love away. He said to me, "Could you think of it as giving another person a chance to have all the great experiences you had? It makes it easier, in a way."

And, you know what? It does.

This week's DISCOVER
Love comes back to you if you put it out in the world 

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

#sol17 Last and Best

I'll admit to a few tears in my eyes as the school board voted 5-0 to approve an early retirement package for our district. Greg and I have talked about it for months. If it was offered, I would take it.

And now, it's real.

So why the tears? I really don't know. I told Greg when I got home that they were happy and sad tears.

Can you have both?

My wonderful husband told me I didn't have to take it if I didn't want to. If I wanted to stay a couple of more years, I could.

But I don't. I am ready to retire. I am ready to be done with lesson plans and grading papers. I am ready to be done with the politics and defending summer "vacation".

But I am not done with kids. And that's where the sad tears came from, I know.

This will be a semester of lasts. But it will also be a semester of BESTS. I am determined not to be a short timer and be my best as I count down the lasts.

Stay tuned as I DISCOVER how to do this and find the future.

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Celebrate 1: The Start of a New Year

Discover. Play. Build.

Tuesday was an ice day.  And while I now hate the ice and the teeny tiny shuffling steps across it to get from the parking lot to the school, I really needed Tuesday at home.

The boys and their families left from our family Christmas celebration about noon on Sunday. Greg and I did a quick sweep through the house and did a "five minute pick-up". But we were exhausted. Cleaning would wait. We watched basketball instead :) 

I though I would clean on Monday and take down the decorations. But, the football game was on and we started watching The Crown" on Netflix. Oh, is it a good one (the show, NOT the football game). So again, I procrastinated taking down decorations and cleaning. The weekend was coming. I would do it then.

Freezing rain overnight saved the day. Finally, Tuesday, with no school, no school work, I put everything away. And we are back to "normal".

Wednesday was the first day of classes and the start of new classes. It was short because we had a 2 hour late start, but that was OK. It was just good to get back into the routine of school. I missed my kids :)  I also have an education student with me during the month of January from a nearby college. It was a hectic week for him to start, but we'll get ourselves back on track Monday.

A couple of moments stand out for me this week. 
  • Two of my girls from last semester's College Prep Lit class showed up the second day of this semester. They missed our discussions and books. I invited them back anytime they wanted to come and join in. 
  • I teach Contemporary Lit also this semester. Current or fairly current YA Lit. We start with a class novel The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian. I love this book. We start with just flipping through the book. What do you notice? And then, I read the first chapter out loud and we talk about Junior. Kids got it right away. "He's so smart!" They were so excited, I read the second chapter out loud also. 
  • The next day, a student came in saying, "I'm sorry Mrs. Day. I had to read ahead."  I laughed. She wasn't the only one. A "non-reader" boy was about half way through the book. Two other girls read the whole book! They all loved it.  I may have to adjust some plans, but I got what I wanted. Kids are reading.
There were more celebrations (I keep a post-it in my bullet journal for writing down celebrations), but these were my favorites. And I'm writing there's that :)

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

#sol17 I Want to Remember...

Sunday, January 1

The silence is welcome, yet deafening.  Our boys and their families hit the road and should be home by now. And I am tired. a good tired. A cozy tired. A "PJ pants and new fuzzy slippers wrapped in a blanket in my favorite chair" kind of tired. But before I doze in my chair watching TV, there are some things I want to remember...

  • the grandkids' excitement for one more Christmas
  • Chloe's excitement and then despair once everyone arrived--including the new dog, Maverick.  She's not so fond of Maverick
  • Hearing "When are we going to open presents" 1,000,000 times and laughing at all of them
  • Mitch (our oldest son) checking out the presents to see what he had under the tree. Once a kid, always a kid
  • Hayden's face when he opened his "Poop" emoji slippers (I hope his mom got a good picture of that)
  • Kaylee and Angelina's excitement for their books (The Fault in Our Stars for Kaylee and Roller Girl for Angelina. I'm excited they are finally getting to the age where I know good books for them)
  • Food. Way too much food.
  • Playing Tripoly and the funny, crazy things that get said as we play. Let's just say we get a little competitive playing games :)
  • Dog cuddles
  • Boston putting together the little guys toys (Yea for grandkids who can put together toys!)
  • How fast plates of Christmas cookies disappeared
  • Laughter
  • Love shared

And now it's Tuesday. Back to school. And I have memories to make me smile.

Saturday, December 31, 2016

Celebrate: Endings and Beginnings

Discover. Play. Build.

There's a symmetry I like in our family holiday celebration. We end and begin each year together as family. 

Our boys and their families come home to celebrate over New Year's.  6 kids, 3 dogs, 5 adults.  1 bathroom.  It's chaos. I'm not going to lie.

And I love every minute of it.

Morning begins with cuddles for Grandma. We'll have coffee and hot chocolate and talk before the other grown-ups come down. I'll find out about school and listen to silly conversations. I'll find out what books they like to read and what books they are reading in school (not always the same thing, as you know).  Chloe and the other dogs will do their best to budge in on those morning cuddles and grab a few of their own.

We'll make plans for summer and Grandma will begin her countdown to lake time. 

Saturday afternoon will find basketball and football games on TV. Card games and board games will be played. And there will be food. Lots of food.

Presents will be exchanged. Love shared.

Movies watched. Lots of conversation. 

New Year's Eve we will watch the ball drop and say good-bye to 2016. And while there were good MOMENTS in the year, we'll be happy to see it go and hope to DISCOVER better things in 2017.

Happy New Year to you and yours. The adventure awaits.

Friday, December 30, 2016

One Little Word

I wasn't really thinking of my One Little Word, but I knew one day it would find me. It always does.

This week, I was on Twitter and someone posted something about OLW. I thought back through my past words (Connect, JOY, Aloha, Balance and Moments) and how they move through my life, even now.

But that's not when it showed up. Not really.

My OLW has been following me around for awhile, always present, just waiting for me to notice it, embrace it. My OLW wanted me to think it I chose it instead of it choosing me.

And, one day, in my wanderings and musings, it screamed at me....


I will turn 60 in March and like it or not, I am at the end of my teaching career. This year, my school district is considering offering an early retirement plan, and if they do, I'll take it. And while at first I was excited, I'm also wondering what this new part of my life will bring. Who am I, if not Mrs. Day?  


Who am I?

So, whether I retire or not, this will be a year to DISCOVER who I am and what I love. 

Join me.

It's going to be an adventure.

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Revisiting MOMENTS

2016 has been bittersweet.
Staying in the MOMENT has been difficult.
But I tried.

I wasn't sure I could write this post, that there were any joyful moments to share. I seemed to have blocked many out. So I took some time and scrolled through my Facebook page. Do you know what I found there????

Lots of joyful moments. Moments important enough that I shared them with friends and family.

My students created many of these moments. Speech kids always give me laughs and reasons to be proud. While last year wasn't our best, it definitely had fun moments for us all.  Throughout the year there were unexpected meetings with former students--JOYful meet ups that reminded me I have made a difference in at least a few lives.

I also worked with an amazing student teacher last year, who gave me back my enthusiasm for teaching. I credited her with my JOY in teaching this year.

There were moments with friends and family. My husband and I love spending as much time as we can with those important in our lives and 2016 made that more important.  In September, we lost our dear friend, Tom, to cancer. Tom wanted one more summer at the lake. He got that, passing away on the first day of fall.

But before he passed, we shared many cherished moments with Tom and his family and our friends. Each concert, each meal, each day spent sharing memories became more precious. And while we are sad he is gone, the summer reminded us why it's important to stay in the moment.

So good-bye 2016. You are leaving, but the moments will remain as precious memories.