Monday, November 14, 2016

Celebrating When You'd Rather Scream and Cry....

Discover. Play. Build.

It's been a week, hasn't it? And sometimes, during times like this, it's really hard to find things to celebrate. I had to be very intentional to find things that brought be JOY this week. But, because I paid attention, I found celebration all around me.

Little things--
  • Double chocolate donuts brought as birthday treats
  • Great conversations with kids after the election
  • My College Prep Lit kids who discuss books better every day
  • Starting a new speech season
  • New improv team members who are rockin' it!
Big things--

Our district became part of the Iowa Teacher Leadership grant this year, and as a result, we have three instructional coaches. While all of them came from the elementary building, they are great educators and have spent a great deal of time learning the ways of secondary ed.  

They've all been in my room, but one in particular has become a regular in my College Prep Lit class. She loves sitting and discussing books, so whatever we read, she reads. And then, about once a week she comes in and joins us for discussion. She's helped me with finding a way to grade discussion rather than worksheets. We're working on ways to connect students and discussion when they all read different books in the next unit. 

I love having someone to bounce ideas off of. Someone who finds resources and shares them with me. Someone who has been in my room multiple times, watched growth in my students and continually says, "I love what you are doing."



Last, I want to celebrate the passion of a student involved in the election. Last year, as a junior, he was an ardent Bernie supporter. He caucused. He was elected as a representative for our county and went to the state meeting to cast votes for Bernie. But when Secretary Clinton was selected as the Democratic nominee, he was all in. He went door to door. He made phone calls. Again, he threw himself into the campaign. 

When he wasn't in school on Wednesday, some in my classes assumed he was home, too upset about Clinton losing to come to school.  The actual story? He had to drive to the state capitol to return his party laptop.  I wrote him a note this week and told him in a note how proud I was of his commitment and enthusiasm. 

Trust me. 

The future is in good hands.





Saturday, November 5, 2016

#CelebrateMonday and All the Rest of the Week

Monday.

I stood in the hallway, watching students racing off to their first hour class, wishing I had stopped at the local convenience store and bought myself a cappuccino to sip during my prep. I was going to head up to the lounge to grab a cup of coffee, but it wasn't the same thing. And then, from around the corner, came a wonderful sight.

Mitchell, one of my senior speech kids, had two cups in his hand and handed one to me.

"White Chocolate Caramel cappuccino. Your favorite."

Monday saved.

Tuesday was our first day of conferences. I woke up that morning preparing myself for a long day. After my shower, I sat down with a cup of coffee and to check Facebook and Twitter.

Tuesday saved.

Wednesday. Well, Wednesday was the Cubs. Enough said. Wednesday saved!

But Thursday. Oh, my. It's the second day of conferences and I was up much past my bedtime on a school night watching those Cubs. Yikes.

But it was OK. I certainly wasn't the only tired one. It seemed everyone watched that game much past their bedtime and we all commiserated on how tired we were, but how great the game was. Even if we weren't a Cubs fan, we knew someone who was and knew how important it was to them that the Cubs won the series. 

After a second great night of conferences, I could go home and snuggle on the couch. Sleeping in on Friday was a given. And we headed off to Wisconsin to spend time with family. 

Today we will head off to craft shows and repurposing shops, and maybe a brewery and just enjoy being together.  

Saturday saved.