Beginning of the Year Reflections

September 30, 2014

Reflections from the beginning of this school year …

Teaching and learning should be filled with joy.

When I decide to smile and be positive, students reciprocate.

I’m not going to always like the kids I work with. This doesn’t mean I have to let them know it.

One kid in group drives me crazy; he doesn’t have a fruitful past. I decided to enjoy him PRIOR to small group instruction. Because I am positive, he can’t wait to come group. Me: I don’t mind him so much anymore.

Kids love books. They just need to have someone to cheer them on.

I like sharing books with kids. Correction: I LOVE sharing books with kids. I believe my excitement ignites interest in students.

I miss reading a story to a class.

I realized my heart hurts when I am not able to read to children. Thus my blog has been silent.

Intervening with children is hard work. I smile a lot.

A question that drives me: what am I doing to help kids get from where they are to where they need to be?

I want to create joy in learning.





SOL: Culinary Love

May 14, 2013

sols_6The past four days, I have cooked dinner for several extra persons. Chicken, pasta, salad, forks, plates, glasses.

My culinary arts lack creativity, but my family does not go hungry.

I do not enjoy reading cookbooks, trying new recipes. I prefer the familiar, the tested, tried and true dishes. This choice is not due to my taste buds. Nope, it’s due to efficiency. I am quicker with tradition.

You see, my friends, cooking is not a favorite activity. I wish for a cook more than a maid.

The past four days, I have cooked and cooked and cooked some more … and loved every minute.

Why you may ask?


My son is home from college.

My Iowan niece and nephew have moved here.

My mother wished for a home cooked meal.


Laughter and sharing and more laughter has filled our rooms. The kitchen is the central meeting place.

And I listen.

My daughter shares, giggles, reciprocates the humor of her cousin. My sons banter with their father and voice levels range. My nephew wrestles and joins in. Snippets of stories are shared. Slices of hope, support, of family ring in the air and my heart is satisfied.

The past four days, I have cooked and listened and savored. My culinary love calls for their stories and we are nourished.

SOL: BONS, I Appreciate You!

April 9, 2013

sols_6The BONS writing group began over two years ago and has been a powerful agent in each of our lives. I’m proud of each of us slicing all 31 days in March!! Whoop Whoop! 🙂

Today, I have been thinking of each of you, BONS. Maybe it’s because we are setting dates to meet. Maybe it’s because I’m writing my supportive thesis for my teaching evaluation. Maybe it’s just because thoughts of you brings sunshine to my day.

Ruth, you are exemplifying, real, supportive. Your leadership shines through and lifts me up. I love reflecting with you about school, about writing, about kids. The thousands of words you write inspires me to keep going.

Tam, you are endorsing, loyal, helpful. Your quiet reflection rings powerful through your masterpiece of of memories. I love your sketches, your bits of ideas sculpted into possibilities. Your perseverance and charm nudges new thoughts and makes me smile.

Ruth M (aka: the other Ruth), you are encouraging, insightful, reflective. Your poetic craft spell bounds me – every time. I love the richness of your words, savoring them over and over and over. Your calm perspective ignites ideas and sparks persistence.

Tammy, you are energizing, creative, heartful. Your stories bring out laughter and emotion. I love your adventurous spirit and welcoming friendship has taught me to stretch beyond myself. Your enthusiasm spreads and your conversations are the best!

We all bring laughter and stories. It’s contagious. Our BONd keeps us fueled for the daily writing or idea-mulling treadmill. The celebration is the key. It’s in celebrating the bits of nothing and somethings that’s at the heart of the BONS.


SOLC: Reflection: Being a Risk-taker

April 1, 2013

sols_6The Slice of Life Challenge is about committing to writing each day. It’s a commitment to think, reflect, prioritize. It’s a discipline of yourself to focus, notice, and take time. It’s a community where you can parallel posts, listen, and support. Because of the SOLC, I have learned to be a risk-taker with words. I play with words during SOL Challenge and on Tuesdays throughout the year. It’s the one place I will try something out and not be reserved.

Just like an artist, I’m in my fourth year, my fourth year of developing. Some of my friends create mentor texts for me (unknowingly) as they thread words together into an exquisite, priceless written tapestry. My work is a simpler cross-stitched piece written with pride, pleased with where I am and focusing on where I can go.

I have learned:

Thank you, Ruth and Stacey, for hosting Slice of Life Challenge at TwoWritingTeachers.

Thank you, slicers, for your encouraging comments. Christy, LeAnn (aka: elsie), and Linda, I’m in your fan club and so appreciate your many comments.

Thank you, BONS, for your daily thoughts, as we are growing together (can’t wait to see you tomorrow)!

SOLC: The Ordinary becomes Spectacular

March 27, 2013


From Two Writing Teachers, Ruth Ayres posted

Lessons from a Chairmaker


The Ordinary becomes Spectacular!

It’s moments

like these

in the classroom and in my home

that make life

so enormously special.


drives excellence.


is my passion? How

can I spark

passion? Passion

fuels the energy to keep going.

In moments of passion,

my heart thrives… reflects… adjusts….

In the moments when the ordinary becomes spectacular,

my heart soars.

How can I keep

the passion going?

When I’m tired,

am I passionate? Does

my passion weary?

I must not!

Love Ruth’s post!

Great meaning

for each day of teaching,



SOLC: Temptation

March 14, 2013


savor the sweetness

cream-filled doughnut, sprinkles on top

ice cream – any kind, any time!

Speaking without pausing


Did I really just say that?

All have consequences

due to a momentary reflux

Think, wait, and weigh the effects of my actions, words

Temptations – – momentarily satisfying

followed by hours of discipline

Is it really worth it?

SOLC: Laundry

March 13, 2013

sols_6“I love you, Mom,” my college son said, walking in with his full laundry basket.

Laundry has been a topic I have written about in the past, in a post and in my mind’s notebook. It’s a recurring topic because much time is invested in this chore. Laundry. Just saying the name brings an array of feelings, thoughts, and sighs.

I want to say much time is invested in completing this chore. But completion is the issue – It’s. NEVER. done.

I’ve decided I don’t hate the chore. I find myself thinking about the person and praying for them too. The music in the room cheers my heart and brings energy.  I just like to check things off my list.  Laundry even gets a “did that” line through it most Saturdays.

But completed – hardly!