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Showing posts from December, 2016

Celebrate: Endings and Beginnings

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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. Presen

One Little Word

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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.... DISCOVER 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?   Really. Who am I? So, whether I retire or not, thi

Revisiting MOMENTS

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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

CPLit: The Introduction

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I teach a one semester College Prep Literature class each year. One semester. That's it. One semester to cram in every text they should have read before they go to college. But I know that's impossible. So, I started with the end in mind. What is it that I wanted them to know and be able to do when they left my class. These are my notes from my summer of reading and planning---notice my "ultimate goal".  "To get students to think for themselves." That was, and continues to be, what I want from my students. This semester, I have a small class of ten students. Eight girls and two boys. All good students. All students I've had before in various other classes and activities. We begin our semester with the essential question, "Why do we need things in books?"  This question actually comes from Neil Gaimon's introduction to the sixtieth anniversary edition of Fahrenheit 451 , and, not so coincidently, the first book we read