Friday, October 30, 2015

Celebrating Fresh Starts

Thank you to Ruth Ayres for the opportunity to focus on celebrations every week! Please join us!
First quarter ended yesterday. I love that we get opportunities to start fresh a few times each year. We end our nine weeks of hard work with a reading celebration called the Zone Day. 
We bring lots of books to read. We stretch out on desks and pillows. We settle in and read. It's heavenly! We spent some time reading our read aloud book too.  Yesterday I read Karen Harrington's new book, Mayday. It's not released until May, but I was lucky enough to get an advanced copy. 
I gobbled it up in one day! It's full of drama...about a boy named Wayne who is struggling to figure out who he is supposed to be. This is happening as he survives a plane crash and learns to deal with his family and friends. Wayne is such a likable character! Karen Harrington, the author, writes tragedy so well. She communicates the layers of life...everything isn't all good or all bad, and she steers her characters through the messiness of life. I LOVE her books! I celebrate good authors and the chance to read their writing! Look for Mayday this spring! I celebrate trust. By the end of the first quarter, I see the trust that's been developed between me and my students. It's something I work hard at and continue to develop throughout the school year. My students continue inspire me with their willingness to take risks in their writing and to push themselves to become better readers. I celebrate life. It's messy and sad. It's beautiful and miraculous. I learn everyday that life isn't all bad or all good. I learn everyday that people aren't all bad or all good. I remind myself that everyone has a story and is doing the best they can.

Monday, October 26, 2015


Thank you to Stacey, Betsy, Dana, Tara, Beth, Anna, Kathleen & Deb for this amazing platform to write and share writing! What a wonderful community you've created! I'm honored to be part of it. Join us at Two Writing Teachers.
Traveling changes my perspective. 
I get a chance to slow down and look at things from another angle. My cousin got married this weekend and I drove up to Massachusetts to be there. 
I could have flown, but there's something about that long drive that brings me peace. I know the route like the back of my hand, so I can relax into the drive. 
It's been fifteen years that I've been taking this route home and I feel like I  notice different things each time. This trip brought brilliant autumn leaves. I love the freedom of leaving before the world wakes up and watching the sun rise. 
Rest stops provide a moment to stop and look around.
Flying might save time, but it doesn't bring me peace of mind. I figure things out on the road. Sometimes the music blares and a belt out a few tunes and other times I listen to audiobooks or podcasts. It's time when I must be mindful and pay attention to the road...time when I think about life. 
Arriving at my destination feels like an accomplishment. I left one place and I arrived in another. Seeing the happy faces of my family and getting the's why I travel.
No one seems to understand why I drive. I get looks of confusion and furrowed brows. Questions like, "How long does it take you?" and "Wouldn't you rather fly?" greet me each and every trip. The answer is no. I wouldn't rather fly. I get to drive! Is there traffic? Yup. Construction? Sure. Bad drivers? Certainly. Driving is about the time and the quiet and stopping and looking around in a world that's so busy. 

New School Retreat

This school year brings changes for me as I'm transferring to a new school. It's a brand new school. It's still being buil...