Friday, March 20, 2015

Highs, NO Lows and THIS is Reading?!?!

Today is my 20th slice for the 
March Slice of Life Challenge on Two Writing Teachers.

I just got this notebook last week because of the quote on the bottom (and the cute elephant picture)! It says, "Your day will go the way the corners of your mouth turn."

I think it's more than that. I believe you make lots of choices throughout the day that decide how your day goes. After a tough day today (Thursday) a friend and I decided to share our highs and lows...but we skipped the lows. I'll do that here too...

Today was mostly a good day. I had to work very hard to be able to say that and have it be true. That's the thing about good days...a lot of them don't just happen. It started out with lots of rude drivers. I turned up the music...LOUD...and sang! At a light, I turned and noticed this...a HIGH!
I don't think you can see it in this picture, but there was a tiny rainbow peeking through the clouds. I watched it for a long time at the light and tried to snap a picture.

At school time spent with my students is precious...especially after being out for a day. We had a terrific day together. The first couple of blocks worked hard and got lots done!

Time for lunch. Sigh...I need to skip lunch highs here.

After lunch I needed positive energy! During the last class of the day when we were walking back from the library, some students were asking for more reading time. MORE. I must have had a perplexed look on my face because one of the boys asked me why I looked like that. I said, "You want more reading time? Remind me...what did you think of reading back in September?"

He smiles and says, "Oh that I don't like to read. I still don't."

I asked, "Then why more reading time?"

He replied, "I love this book! It's so good! I want to finish it!"

I said, "That's reading."

He said, "No, it's just this book."

I said, "NO. THAT. IS. READING. You know how you are feeling right you would rather read than do anything else?!?! That's how READING feels! That's READING!!" 

He smiled. Looked perplexed for a moment and then smiled and said, "Oh, ok. I LOVE to read!" 

Does it get any HIGHer than that?!?! By the way, can anyone recommend books that are similar to "How to Steal a Dog" by Barbara O'Connor? That's the book these students are LOVING!

We had some time for a bit of recess. I brought my class outside and they all decided to play together. 
I heard giggles and watched them run around... happy & carefree! HIGH!!

The day ended with a parent conference. It went well. They asked good questions and got some advice. When I got home, I got this email...

I choose not to listen to the negative voices.
I choose to focus on solutions instead of problems.
I choose laughing instead of yelling.
I choose HIGH instead of LOW.

Here's that tiny bit of a rainbow again, as my day ended...


  1. What a great post! I love how you structured your writing--beginning and ending with the rainbow-- and the overall flow of your day. I truly appreciated the reminder of how important our outlook is in the experience of our day. Hope you have another day filled with highs.

  2. This post just helped me reset my frame of mind and my day. Thank you. I LOVE that notebook and want to find one! I also like how the rainbow began the day and ended it too and how a rainbow is a symbol of what happens when the sun (the highs) and the rain (the lows) come together if you don't let the lows drag you down.... I love that a reluctant reader realized, with your guidance, that he doesn't in fact hate reading at all but loves it! No greater gift can be given to a teacher, in my opinion, than the gift of a student loving reading because of YOU. How lovely to get such wonderful feedback and have parents see how much you care and how good you are at your job. I am happy the highs outweighed the lows and I thank you for your positive, happy post on what felt a bit like a dreary Friday morning. Time to find my own rainbows!

    1. The notebook came from Thank you for your kind words!!

  3. I love how you reset your day - clearly aware at each turn and twist that your focus was on the positive. Even if your day had been )#(&%)#%(&%(&)#, when a student finally admits he likes to read, even if it is just a single book,.....NOW THAT IS A GREAT DAY ANY DAY.

  4. The power of optimism. Your reflection served as a great reminder to break free of negativity and take control of your day. It read that your day contained more highs than lows. Thank you for your positive outlook - leading by example :)

  5. There was so much bravery in this post! Courage to focus on the highs! I love how your students finally admitted that he loves to read!!! What a gift that was!!

  6. I love coming here and getting a dose of happy to start my day off right. Love the conversation about reading. I have a student just like that and he is loving Duke by Kirby Larson. He also really loved Crossover.

  7. Anything by Barbara O'Connor, Kirby Larson or Augusta Scattergood -- all wonderful. And I love this post.

  8. Or anything by Kate DiCamillo, Raina Telgemeier, or Kazu Kibuishi!

    Love that your day ended and began with rainbows -- the only HAPPY thing that curves DOWN!!

  9. So many positive signs. I love this post. It just fills me with happiness.

  10. What Katherine said! You have a talent for seeing the beautiful. That's part of what makes you a great teacher. How to Steal a Dog is a great one. Winn Dixie and Duke are books I group with it.

  11. I love that he didn't think that was reading. No highs at lunch?!! We need to rectify that!

  12. It takes a lot of work and energy to focus on the highs. It seems to be much easier to fall into the trap of negativity. Your story about your student realizing he LOVES reading is exactly what I talked about yesterday in my presentation. All it takes is that one book and that special teacher! Hope your Friday is filled with happy highs today!

  13. School days have many ups and downs. I agree that the best way to survive the lows is to focus on the highs. On some days it may be very challenging. Your day had some super highs (the found reading love and a note form a parent.)

  14. Congratulations, Michelle, for so many reasons. Getting a 6th grade boy to recognize himself as a reader? Hooray! And what a gratifying email from parents. Thank you for sharing your optimism with us today!

  15. Such smart, wonderful choices you made today, Michelle! It doesn't get any better than this. Keep FLYING!


  16. Your post is helping me end my day with a smile. We play the high/low game at our house, but now it's only my husband and me. Maybe we'll skip the lows and just focus on the highs. I think you're on to something. :)


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