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Saturday, November 30, 2013

A Week of Celebrations!


Celebrating? Yes!
I am celebrating a short work week that deviated from the normal. When this happens everything gets the shaft a bit and I love that my students, though they love a little deviation, get upset when Writing Workshop is cut short. There are groans and moans and my boys say, "It's already over?" or "When do we get to finish? Can I do it during open choice (playtime)?" Yes, I celebrate this. Even though we were making pilgrim hats in one room, watching Charlie Brown in another and learning about popcorn in my room, when my class returned from their crafty projects they wanted to write. I live for this.

I had a student write a story about being an author, the title was, "When I Become an Author." Ummm, yes I celebrate this. I celebrated so much I interviewed her on camera to express to her how much I love that she feels she will accomplish this goal. Then I reminded her she already was an author, of many many books.

Celebration also flew in this week when I spent time with my children on a less than busy Thanksgiving day. We ate spaghetti! We laughed. We played. We deviated from the normal Thanksgiving traditions and it was fun.

I chalked the other day with my kids, at night. My daughter kept asking, "When are we doing Chalk-A-Bration?" I kept telling her, "Oh, yeah, we'll get to it." Then it was suddenly dark. Well, so what, get a flashlight and let's go! So we did and we loved it.

Today we spent the day with my husband's family. It is always nice to reconnect and we laugh...a lot! My cheeks hurt a little.

Tomorrow I get to see my family and celebrate my mom's birthday. I can't wait. My sister and I bought a very special necklace for my mom that symbolizes an important part of life, a life that lacks nothing. Most of us live this truth. Our lives really lack nothing if there is love shared. I hope you have love to share in your lives and can find time to celebrate that love.

Thanks to Margaret for sharing her students Thanku! Check them out here. 

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Bedtime Stories

Tonight my daughter has been plagued with a bad dream and can not shake it. It reminded me of when I would have bad dreams and go snuggle down with my mom and dad in their bed. I remember climbing right in between them and feeling the warmth and love that is so comforting when you are scared.
My daughter wanted me to tell her a story. I came up with many. One about Janie the fish. Janie the teddy bear. Even a story about Janie the puppy who had an owner named Pennsylvania. All my silly stories did the trick and got her mind off whatever scary things were lurking in her little head. She is now in my bed, resting quietly. Which means someone will need to move her before my bedtime comes. Then again, maybe I will just leave her there to keep me company in case I have any bad dreams tonight.
Happy snuggling. :)


Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Evidence


Why do I tempt her? Why is it even within reach?

My husband, Shawn, collects typewriters. Yep, he does. We have four of them. He's always looking for one that is more ancient than the last one he's purchased. One of the typewriters sits in our living room and is "untouchable." Shawn will occasionally type on it but otherwise it is basically a decoration. Last night my daughter was plucking away at it and we reminded her not to touch. She stopped and we thought it was handled.
After the kids went to bed we noticed a paper next to the typewriter. An old large sticky note with several typed letters. At first I thought, "Was it my son this time?" Um, no it was little Jane. She had typed JHubb in several spots on the paper, basically labeling the evidence that she had touched the typewriter AGAIN. Then I looked up and noticed what was at the top of the paper, "mmoomm I Love you." Kinda made it hard to be upset with her...how do they manage to do that?

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

The Red Badge


My husband put on an old coat this evening. It belonged to his father when he was in the Navy.
I would wear it on cold fall mornings my first year teaching. I was a preschool teacher at an inner city school. There were all kinds of students but each came with their own story of heartache.

He wore it outside today to take out our dog who was begging for a quick break in the cold air. When he came inside he said, "Wait for it." He was holding a small red circle with a safety pin poked through it.

Puzzled, I didn't understand. "What's that?" I asked.
He turned it over in his hand.
This little circle in his hand held much more meaning and he knew,
he knew it would bring me to an emotional state.

I Gasped, "I can't believe it. Of all the names, it's his name on that little circle."
"I know." He said back to me. "Do you remember his last name, do you think you could find him?"

I didn't.

I couldn't remember his last name but his face was burned in my brain. His home that I had visited on a cold fall day back in November of 2001. I remember it. Door ajar. What would we find, but an empty house. No mother. No father. Just noise from the TV and a broken door. He was gone. I didn't see him for days. When he returned to preschool it was as though nothing happened. He smiled. I smiled and we went on with our lives.

He was my first project. One I never got to finish. One I never quite felt I did enough for. A little one. The littlest of my four year-old students. He was special. I have his name badge and I will keep it forever just as I have kept him in my heart all these years.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

A Classroom of Love



Celebrations, thanks and gratitude...I have them all. 

I celebrate my students everyday but what I love the most about each of them is the tolerance they demonstrate on a daily basis. We have a lot going on in our first grade classroom:
A student who screams because it is a release from all the sensory stimulation we cannot relate to, but is loved.
A student in a wheelchair battling a disease, but is loved.
A student who goes under the table because he is overwhelmed, but is loved.
A student who interrupts, distracts and disrupts, but is loved.
A student who is very hands on with peers, but is loved.
A student who is difficult to communicate with because of a neurological disorder, but is loved.

All these students and their needs are tolerated, embraced and accepted in a classroom of love. What could be a better celebration? I can't think of one.



Tuesday, November 5, 2013

A Slice of Mary Oliver



I started reading New and Selected Poems Volume One By Mary Oliver this week. I have had the book since summer but didn't pick it up until recently. I really enjoy Mary Oliver's work. I have read two of her books previously and find her style of writing poetry quite fascinating, beautiful and something to aspire to. Her words are quite lovely, dark at times, but true and real. Tonight I went back to one of the poems I marked. I felt warmed by it and a bit more centered. I thought this might speak to you as well.


The Sun

Have you ever seen
anything
in your life
more wonderful

than the way the sun,
every evening,
relaxed and easy,
floats toward the horizon


...click here to read the rest

The last two stanzas are what speak loudest to me:


as you stand there,
empty-handed--
or have you too
turned from this world--

or have you too
gone crazy
for power,
for things?

Certainly gives us something to think about doesn't it?