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Showing posts from January, 2017

Celebrating Underestimation

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This has been a good week.  I could write a long list of everything I celebrate. And that's the thing I found about celebrating--the more you do it, the easier it is to find things that bring you joy. There have also been a couple of "how can I give this up?" moments, but I believe those are for reminding me I am leaving while at my best, and that's exactly how I want to do it.                                                         ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ As always when teaching Fahrenheit 451 in College Prep Lit , we discuss  education. Yesterday, I started with this quote as a thinking prompt.  The conversation was fast and furious. They started with standardized testing, moved on to upper level math, class rank, grade points, and teachers. My instructional coach and I have been working on deeper discussion in this class during both semesters and this class blew me away.  And the best part is--I underestimated them :) This is a boy-heavy class.

#sol17 It's Coming!

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-------------WINTER STORM WARNING------------- At some point today, the snow will start. The winds will blow. The roads will be slippery. And we will go home. The thing is, it probably won't start until later this afternoon. The warning now starts at 3:00 pm instead of noon.  But that won't stop the inevitable question: WHEN ARE WE GETTING OUT? Phones will be held at their sides out of my sight, computers will be open to the weather page and to one of the TV stations that post school closings. The whining will start with the first early out, "Everyone's getting out but us!" I will again post this on my board. It answers both their questions: Will we get out early today? Will we have school tomorrow? I prepare myself for the whining. Oh! But wait!  I won't be in the classroom today!  I have a sub and a student teacher who will handle the whining and complaining! I won't have to tell them to put their phones away and get back to work! I

Celebrating the First of the Lasts

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Bittersweet. I unlocked the door at 7:00am, knowing some would arrive before they needed to. It's contest day and excitement will get them moving much earlier than teenagers like on a foggy Saturday morning. I think back to all the other Saturday mornings I have done this, other bus rides, other students. This is my 10th year coaching Speech. And my last. Bittersweet. We're only riding twenty miles today, to a school who has hosted many of the contests we've been to. It's a familiar place and I like that. I check in for the last District Contest. The first contest of our season. When I have time, I remember other performances, other tears and cheers. But not too much remembering--we have new memories to make. Bittersweet My kids this year are awesome. They are silly, creative, weird and family.  One of my favorite moments happened with two of my senior boys at their acting event. Their judge is a Hall of Fame Coach (Literally. Iowa Speech Coa

Celebrate and Discover

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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 a

#sol17 Last and Best

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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.

Celebrate 1: The Start of a New Year

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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 sho

#sol17 I Want to Remember...

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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&#