I dragged myself to a swim workout this morning. Started out feeling very tired, wondering if I was going to make it through. Not wanting to shame myself by getting out early, I forged on deciding not to judge my effort too harshly, just do it I thought. And I did. By the end, I had left my negative persona in the pool and was greeted by a warm shower and locker room talk with women I’ve swam with for years. Some are literally world champions. Others, like me, are there to just complete the workout not aiming to win any trophies, but to start the day with a clean outlook on life.
When I woke up this morning I was beating myself up a bit as a teacher, wondering how I could write a celebration post. At home after coffee, I looked for inspiration on the Celebration link up.
I found Linda Baie’s post that cited a quote from Ruth’s book on Celebrating Writers:
Celebrations ought to wrap around many moments in writing workshop–not just the final product. Celebration is essential to the livelihood of young writers.
Linda goes on to say how this is something to consider, not just in writing but for our lives. Thank you Linda and Ruth for helping me find and secure a mindset that allowed me to hone in on pieces of my life very worthy of celebration. Here are seven things I’m celebrating.
One. My house is quiet and clean. I am very lucky to have someone who cleans my home on Fridays. Having a clean house to end a cluttered week and start the weekend is a year long gift my husband insists on. I thought it was too much, but he is wiling to pay for this. It is a wonderful weekly indulgence that I am grateful for.
Two. My daughter is on her way to becoming a licensed driver. On Friday she passed the written portion of her driver’s test. While the prospect of her behind the wheel is disconcerting, she is thrilled. I remember the feeling and I honor her celebration.
Three. My adventurous and interesting friends came to dinner. Last night, they shared their homemade soda beverage, toyon berry soda. It’s made with native toyon berries that grow in their backyard and throughout California. These non-native friends (Australian and German) rediscovered what the our native indians knew. When the toyon berry is steeped, the result is a natural tea beverage. Add a little yeast and volia! soda. Another interesting tidbit: the plant that blooms in the winter months is the California Christmas holly plant and the origin of the name Hollywood.
Four. My colleagues are open to risk and learning. This week was the first week of instructional rounds. The ones I took part in were positive and instructive.There is risk in this work. Done incorrectly it could subtly create a pecking order. Still, teachers willingly open their doors and let their colleagues in, so we can learn.
Five. My students are filled with spring fever, but holding on tight for two more weeks. Our spring break is very late this year and students are getting antsy. It’s so interesting how learning, like all of living, is subjected to our biorhythms. I don’t know if it’s the weather, something in the air, the age of the student, or the amount of school they have taken in. Whatever the reason, they are ready for a break, from school and from each other. Tears have been shed over hurt feelings, less than performances have been experienced. And in spite of this, they keep on, doing as best as they can, even though their brains and bodies are resisting.
Six. My reflection on teaching is a good thing. After getting through the “I’m a lousy teacher” thing I do from time to time, I reflect and revise. It sounds counter intuitive, but I think one of the good things about me as a teacher is that I am hyper sensitive to the negative. Many times that is what I see in my teaching. It makes me very aware of my weaknesses. Lots of what I do is good, but I would not be growing if I didn’t look for the cracks in the teaching and the learning. Some are obvious. But more importantly, I need to look at places where I feel comfortable. Those are places to throw off the covers and look underneath. Test it and question, is is as good as I thought? Then revise!
Seven. My Slice of Life virtual writing colleagues are the best. I can’t thank those who write posts and read mine enough. I have grown, grown, grown this month. While parts of my life have suffered, (lack of sleep and bit of a cold) the rewards have far out weighted the negative. I only wish I had the energy to read and comment on more posts. So many, so good. Thank you, thank you Tara, Anna, Dana, Stacey, Betsy and Beth and all the bloggers who contribute to Two Writing Teachers .