Showing posts from October, 2016

Celebrate: Silly Kids

My favorite part of teaching comes from interactions with kids. I love their enthusiasm, creativity and downright craziness (although, I'm pretty sure I wouldn't have written those words at 3:30 Friday afternoon). This week's celebrations come from those little moments. For years I posted silly student quotes on a wall in my room. You know the ones. Kids say and do things in class all the time that just make you laugh. For some reason, I haven't written them down in awhile, but several students think I should start again. And I may. But this little snippet would be too long for the quote wall. It deserves to be shared. My College Prep Lit class is a small (10) group of great kids. Three gifted and talented sophomores, the rest juniors and seniors. I've had them all in class before and they get along fabulously. They are not afraid to admit when they don't know or don't understand something. And they are not afraid to fact check me. We start

I Write

I write The words flow out my fingers at times when it seems NO ONE will understand them. I keep them private Just for me. I write The words flow out my fingers to celebrate the moments of my life That I never want to forget and I SHARE them with the world Or at least my blog readers I write The words flow out my fingers to convince a student their STORY MATTERS their life matters and they need to share it With someone. I write At times it has felt that the words left me No longer wanted to be shared They are in my head But they won't flow from my fingers I let them go for awhile But now I force it Because my head isn't going to tell My fingers what to do I write

Lighting a Fire...

The power of speech--not only for the student but the teacher also. The things I learn about my kids and the connections I make are priceless.... I didn't have much hope for him. I listened to girlfriends and former girlfriends and teachers and former teachers. In my head I thought, He's probably not going to do much. He'll probably barely get by.  At least I didn't let the voice in my head come out of my mouth. Because that voice was wrong .  Really wrong . I am ashamed of myself for even letting that little voice whisper. This is a great kid with passions most people in the school don't know about. Well, now they do. Because I've been sharing part of his story with everyone since last Tuesday. One of my favorite speeches for kids to give in class are demonstration speeches. I encourage them to share with the class something they really love, something they are pretty good at. I have kids who think they aren't good at anything. I hav


Here I sit, on the first weekend of no lake time, wrapped in a blanket, drinking coffee and very content.  As much as I will miss the lake later this winter, today, it is comforting to be nesting and enjoying home today.  I have time to clean and and grade some papers, to watch football and grade some papers, nap and grade some papers, binge watch something and grade some papers.  You're seeing a theme here, right?  It's the end of first quarter next Friday, so grading papers will be top priority. I tried something new for me this week--I created learning stations for editing and revising in my Creative Writing classes (Shout out to two of our Instructional Coaches for letting me talk out what I wanted to do and for checking in with my kids while I was gone the first day).  They seem to be working well for most kids. I mini-conferenced with them all on the second day and most seem to like knowing exactly what I wanted them to do. And the checklist--they loved the ch

Celebrating Moments

"I can't be a leader, but I would sure help someone." And just like that, in a single moment, a friendship of almost 30 years was born. I haven't had the words--still not sure they are there. But one moment he was here and then he wasn't. Cancer stole him from us last week. But there are still moments to celebrate--we spent the summer stealing moments before cancer took him. Precious moments for his wife, but also the rest of us. There were concerts, and meals, and laughter. There was a golf day the Saturday before. I felt luckier than his wife when he was stolen because we are still in the town where they lived and worked for so many years. I received a great deal of love when the news broke. I felt guilty. Guilty I was receiving what was in reality hers. But lucky too. Because people cared. Since last spring I haven't written, haven't blogged, haven't shared celebrations. Not because I didn't find things to celebrate, but bec