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Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Lots to Filter Through


Why is life in general coated in fatigue? Every turn. Ugh!
I’m just going to keep moving forward. No matter the distraction. No matter the sleep deprivation. No matter the defeat on some days. 
Productivity is high and I’ll focus on that too. Just wish it was enough to get ahead. What teacher is ever ahead? Not this year. That’s for sure. 
I’m wishing all of you good days forward. Celebrate the victories, no matter how small. Give yourself moments to breathe and some quiet time too.

Tuesday, September 22, 2020

One Win for 2020

I think we can all agree, 2020 has not been light on surprises, scares, and suckage. It has been difficult at times to find the joy. Today, in kindergarten, the color of the day was blue. To celebrate, I put three blue scrunchies in my hair. I've worn a different scrunchied ponytail or bun for the past several days. 
For a while, I was borrowing from my daughter's six dozen stash of colors, patterns, and textures. A few weeks ago, I decided to splurge and get myself two six-packs of assorted colors. There is just something fun about a scrunchy. I'm also baffled at how happy I am about them. A year ago, I would have thought a scrunchy looked ridiculous in my hair. Perhaps they still do, but for whatever reason, my lens has changed, and I see fun, happy hair when scrunchified. 
Maybe it's the influence of my daughter. Seeing her enjoy scrunchies the same way I did at her age, perhaps nostalgia plays a role. 
I don't make a habit of wearing scrunchies on my arm, but for this post, it seemed like the right move. 

Tuesday, September 8, 2020

Sometimes, Seinfeld.

Today was the first day of school with students. After many twists and turns over the summer, I landed in a remote kindergarten position. So, even though the rest of the face-to-face students were in class, and the first through fifth-grade virtual students met with their remote classes, kindergarten, as it always seems to be, was different. 

I taught kinder for more than a dozen years. I never thought I’d be back, but today I met a few in person for some pre-kindergarten evaluations and met another online for the same. I heard some letter names, colors, and even an “ I love you.” Kinders really are the best in so many ways.
I’m looking forward to more. We will all meet remotely starting next week. 

Even though my day was absent from the physical exhaustion of kindergarten, I’m still ready to decompress tonight. Lately, the way I do this is with an old favorite, Seinfeld. 
When I was in college, Thursday night was sacred for Seinfeld. Now, I can recite multiple lines, and I still laugh uncontrollably at the punchlines. It surprises me how much I remember. It is, for me, a great way to unwind and laugh.  

Tuesday, August 25, 2020

Binders, and Standards, and Essentials, Oh My!

Today I started sorting through some binders to get my kindergarten and first-grade curriculum, standards, and must-haves all in one place. It's one of those things I do to feel like I have something organized. It's comforting. 

It is kind of like how a few weeks ago when I was stressed about what my job was going to be I went in my backyard and ripped out rows upon rows of ferns that we had been meaning to remove. It was one of those, "eh, we'll get to it," kind of jobs. It was also something I knew I could do in one day and it would be neat and tidy when I was finished. 

Last weekend I rearranged our overflow pantry items and moved them all to a new location. It's neat and tidy too. I love sorting canned goods

Yesterday I had to go to Target. I do most of my shopping online now and get deliveries but we really needed some new towels. Again, not totally necessary, but we needed a bit of luxury around here. I bought four new towels, a new bath mat, and put a shelf together for the bathroom I hadn't gotten to. My bathroom is now rearranged and I have new towels!

But tonight, I am sitting on my basement floor. I'm surrounded by some clean and unfolded laundry. I have standards for four different grade levels in front of me that I'm attempting to organize. I also know, when I'm done, one more thing will feel like it is complete.  

Tuesday, August 11, 2020

Cycling Thoughts

I'm in the middle of some Professional Development modules for my "Back to School," requirements. My district's admin team put together several activities to mostly help us reflect and prepare. One of the assignments was to create answers to some prompts and reflect on what virtual learning was like in the spring and how it will change in the fall. I created this image (above) in response to, "The instructional improvements I am making for teaching virtually in the Fall are..."

I feel like that thought bubble is a very accurate representation of my thought pattern right now. I've been reading all summer long. All kinds of reading. Novels, verse, professional texts, articles, antiracist works, blog posts, the news, and now discussion boards for PD. I cycle through ideas that feel like genius, throw up my hands in frustration, settle back to the drawing board, read more, think more, and get more ideas. 

Even amidst all the uncertainty and frustration with reopening plans, changes, opinions, and idiocy at times, I am excited to start the school year. There is still a lot that is unknown to my school district. I don't know when I will actually be able to prepare for whatever happens. I do know that the day will come and until then, I guess I'll go back to reading. 

Tuesday, August 4, 2020

In My Present Mind

Hmmmm...what should I tell you?
I've been reading a lot of verse poetry in preparation for a unit I'm writing for middle school readers and writers. I'm enjoying the work.
The rain has really cooled things down. It's been a hot summer, my favorite kind.
Fatigue from all that life is offering right now is thick. 
I passed my language arts certification test and can now teach middle school English if the opportunity arises. 
Our dog Cassie keeps growing. We are beginning to think she isn't what we thought she was, but it's hard to know. She'll be six-months-old tomorrow. 
I'm drinking my morning coffee at 6 pm today. I opted for tea this morning. Peach tea is delicious. 
Longing for a family routine, I'm finding it challenging to get everyone on board. 
I miss my mom and dad.  

Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Not Ready

Early Sunday morning, I was attempting to percolate a post for Two Writing Teachers. I had a handful of ideas but had been so buried I hadn't "put pen to paper."
I ended up writing what sounded like too much of a downer of a post. I did end up using parts of it but merged multiple parts of my ideas into one. I knew it was a pretty real part of what I was feeling, but it also felt a bit more personal than a TWT post. 

The general start of the post was this:

As I write this post, it is the early hours of the day before the first day, and like any other, that could be compared, I am not ready. Just as I would not be "ready" for the first day in my classroom. There is always that measure of readiness before the first day. 

"So, are you ready for your first day?"
"Ready enough!"

No one is ever ready. 
I don't know what will go wrong. I don't know what will be successful. I'm not sure how my students will respond to my math and social studies lessons. I've accepted that I may never be on the pulse of the needs within the moment because most of those moments will not include me in live time. Conferring with readers and writers will be different, and even under the best circumstances when we are all together, it's a challenge. 
I continue to spiral around the questions:

Is this authentic
Will they do this
What's the value
How does this match my beliefs
Will they smile
Will they cry
Will someone be there
Will they love learning
Will they hate "learning"...after this...what will they have gained. 

So, I'm not ready.

I'm now on day two of our official distance learning plan. I'm still not ready, but I'm moving. I'm moving along and hoping things get better. I'm pretty sure it isn't going to get easier, but that's okay. One part I was ready for, and I realized it yesterday--I was ready to SEE my students. I have seen 18 of the 25 faces, and I hope to see a few more soon. Thank goodness for technology.