Celebrate: Being Nerdy

It is time to celebrate the week with Ruth Ayers on her blog. Thank you Ruth, for inspiring this weekly practice, that acknowledges the big and little things that are worth celebrating.
celebrate link up

This week I celebrate being nerdy.

I’ve been working on things for school, at home. I never really stop thinking about school stuff, but the thought process is a little more reflective and relaxed in the summer. Once I set foot in the classroom, I’m back in school mode, so I have avoided my classroom. .

I’ve been working on a classroom website I’d started at the end of last year. I was intimidated, but the tools turned out to be really easy to use and fun to play with. I sat at the dinning room table, next to my oldest who was busily typing up something.  Looking over at him, I decided to ask him if he wouldn’t mind reading through the site. I knew what I was in for. He’s a kid who discusses the nuances of words and has to explain his reasoning for every editing choice.  I decided this would be a good thing for me and my site — to have the benefit of a very critical eye.

He takes my computer, and I sit, a little nervous.

“Mom I think this paragraph should go first because it gives the purpose of the page.Then it flows into the next one with the actual nuts and bolts of what this means..”

“This edit… I can’t really explain why I like it this way, I just do.”

“This is really great. I love this part.”

“Could we change this word to …”

“Ok, let me read it one last time.”  He starts from the beginning, reading it aloud, with expression. Some more edits. Then re reads again. He must have read three more times. We talked, discussed my reasoning. Considered ideas. Sometimes I went with his idea. Sometimes I defended mine. The nerdy thing about this was that we had such a good time doing it.

“Thanks so much for helping me with this,” I said.

“Oh, I knew what I was getting into,” he responds, “this is what I do.”

We continued on for another hour. It was getting late, past noon. I had promised myself to go in to school to start on the library. I was close to publishing the website, but not quite.

“Why don’t you just finish it, and then go in tomorrow,” he says.

That was all I needed. I was having way too much fun fiddling around with words and pictures.

By dinnertime I published it. Check it out. Hopefully parents and kids will use it, and I’ll keep it up to date.

Flash forward to the next day. My room is calling, and my book-loving son agrees to come with me to help.

I have this shelf, actually three shelves, that have become the home for all books that I don’t know what to do with. The ones that I’ll deal with, later.  I decide later is now and my son can deal with them. “Just sort them by genre,” I tell him. “Use the tables.”

He gets music going and starts in.

“Oh l Poppy, I loved this book.” Time passes. He holds up the Walter Dean Myers biography of Muhammed Ali. “This was a great book.”

“I remember when you read that. Did you know Myers died in June?” I say..

“No!  Man!  First  Maya Angelou and now Walter Dean Myers.”

“It’s kind of unbelievable.”

Sorting continues. “This is the girls-who-love-animals pile, and this is the I’m-having-a-terrible-summer-but-I-find-a-true-friend pile.”

I laugh. He is micro categorizing by theme and topic. (What a great activity for students!) He remembers books. When he read them, the parts he loved, or why he didn’t care for certain ones. He stays for about three hours then takes off to spend time with a friend.

Flash forward to the evening. I’m sitting at home and he walks in. “I got the job at the library!”

“Well they would have been crazy not to hire you,” I tell him.

“Yeah, I suppose.”

Today I celebrate my nerdy book-loving son who believes re reading books is the best part because, “How else are you going to remember the best quotes.”

 

 

Celebrate: Summer Learning

Time to celebrate this  week with Ruth Ayers.  Read more here and consider joining in the weekly celebration of the big and little things in your life.

celebrate link up

 

Today, I have five rather big things i’d like to celebrate

FIRST: Two Writing Teachers. If you don’t already, subscribe to this blog. There is always something worthwhile and inspiring. Their teaching sticks with me as a writer and a teacher of writing. A perfect example of this is Dana Murphy’s recent post on internet writing. Every time I blog I’ll be thinking of the tips I took away from this post.  I’m working on word count (under 500), offering hyper links and when possible, bullet or list key points.

SECOND: A little reading and reflection. Blogged about my thinking here and here.

THIRD: My youngest as she learns to drive. I am so proud of her respect (read healthy fear) of driving. She is taking baby steps and I get to cheer her on. Don’t you love these keys. She sleeps with them.

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FOURTH: Twitter and TCRWP Summer Writing Institute. Every morning this week I woke up to look at the tweets coming from educators in New York CIty. I busily favorited and retweeted  the gems I saw. My fav’s from last week are storified here. They are all worth posting on your walls, your computer, your notebooks, wherever you find or need inspiration. This one is particularly appropriate:

FIFTH: TCRWP Reading Summer Institute all next week. .I am overwhelmed and grateful for the opportunity to walk on Columbia’s campus, enter Riverside Church, hear Lucy.  learn from TC staff with educators from all over the world, ride the A train, eat all over New York City, run in Central Park humidity, see my virtual colleagues for the first time, go to Bank Street Books, and even do some homework.  Boarding pass is on my phone. An extra bag is packed to carry back all the books I know I’ll HAVE to buy.

My heart  is bursting!

 

 

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College Ready, College Done, Whadabout Life?

It’s time for Tuesday Slice of Life with Two Writing Teachers.  I love this weekly writing. Read more slicer posts here. I’m coming to this post later than I normally do for many reasons. One being that the classroom schedule is lifted. Now is my time to read, recharge and rethink. Some of that rethinking is here.

Checking the Twitter feed for #TCRWP is also cutting into my time. It is a bit of an obsession right now. If you can’t be there, it’s the next best thing. I can credit the fact that I wasn’t at last year’s institute for my discovery of Twitter and blogging. Sometimes disappointment can bring unexpected gifts.

But wait focus. Turn off the phone.

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My slice starts at the dinner table two nights ago.

It’s my dad’s birthday, he just turned 94 and if that isn’t enough, all of our kids were home. Lots of reasons to celebrate.

When big kids  come home it is startling. They are adult sized living in spaces that used to house smaller people. The noise factor changes. When they left home, it became disturbingly quiet. But you kinda got use to it and now, they are back and the difference is well, startling. Back to dinner.

Things were lovely. Lots of good conversation and then someone asks the oldest:

What happened to your cell phone.

He looks sheepish.

I know he doesn’t have it. He threw it away. This one is very retro. Really belongs in a different era.

So he tells this story:

I was waiting for the bus. And there were these two beautiful girls focused on their phones. They were surrounded by this beautiful place, trees, blue skies. And they weren’t paying attention to anything, just their phones. Not the place or the people. And it made me sick. So I threw mine away.

Ok. Making a statement. And I feel a little pang of guilt, because I love my phone and should pay more attention. Unplug.

But, what if you need help? Or someone needs to get in touch with you.

That’s my mom.

And, what if you’re late for work. How will you let them know?

That would be the dad comment.

Son goes on to defend his choice on principle.

Others go on to loudly rebut and cite evidence proving the value of their devices, the apps, etc. We’ve clearly hit an emotional chord. I am silent.

The lovely dinner becomes not so lovely.

I pull the mom card and say,  “ENOUGH.”

It stops. Deep breath.

The discussion of job, turning over that VISA card, taking on responsibility and generally growing up is tabled, at least until my parents go home.

Move forward, one hour.

Dishwasher running. Daughter is in her room.  Sons are talking behind closed doors. Husband rolling his eyes.

Proud parent of yesterday’s magna cum laude graduate has changed his tune.

Sides are being taken.

Yikes.

Next day,

So Mom, I’m getting that cell phone, just no data.

I think, baby steps.

Laughing he tells me,

I’ve learned how to read. Now I have to learn how to live.

He is a reader, a writer, a thinker. A graduate with two degrees in the humanities, brilliant, great kid. Thousands of dollars invested in higher learning.  But wait. What about that other thing he has to learn now. Life.

Yikes.

Here’s a test of my beliefs. We strive towards making our students literate. That is my passion and very clearly a literate life is what my son has chosen. But literate career?

Writing?  Maybe teaching?  To quote my husband:

 He’d better marry someone rich.

Ha.

Celebrate Extra Time and Space

Every week Ruth Ayers invites bloggers to celebrate their week by focusing on about the big and the small things worth holding up and celebrating. Thank you Ruth for this lovely ritual. Read more celebrations here.celebrate link upToday I celebrate the time and space created by summer. As a teacher, the school year is very time driven. We eek all we can out of every minute. And we get a lot done. But with that pressure, that efficiency, we loose a bit of mind space that allows for possibility and growth. Today I celebrate all that can go with the extra time and space that summer allows.

1. Conversations. In the hurry of the school year, I maintain friendships with a text, a wave, a promise to get together, but in the end, while I mean to take the time, I often can’t or maybe just don’t. I say, next week, tomorrow. All of a sudden, time has slipped by and it hasn’t happened. With a little less schedule, I stop and talk. Today I celebrate two long conversations and how the ebb and flow, the back and forth that goes with it can move your thinking and lift your heart.

2. My desk. I’m one of those teachers who cleans up their classroom and brings a lot home. Because I need to read it, organize it, cull through it, re think it in a thoughtful manner.  The upshot of this is that my desk, in the corner of my bedroom, is inundated with charts, books, papers, more books, files, stacks and stacks of things to go through. Yesterday I went through my stacks of papers, took pictures of charts, filed, tossed and so today, I can celebrate my desk. You can see the color of it!

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3. Projects Completed. This desk space was only possible after I finished a few school related “projects.”  All were opportunities to interact with other teachers, to do things I love, but the prep took mind space, leaving no energy or time to clean up. I moved from one project to the next, telling myself, when it is done then I’ll organize, make dinner on time, shop before 6 pm. I promised myself, my workspace would move to one spot of our house rather than the living room, the dining room and sometimes the kitchen. Today I celebrate the completion of these projects and the space that finishing creates.

4. Reading. Reading takes on a different persona in the summer. I read during the school year, but my summer mindset changes how I understand things. In the summer, I see things that could be. I can see how certain things apply beyond the moment I’m in because there is no particular moment I’m in.  It’s time to fall in love with reading again. Today I celebrate the time and space created for reading and the thinking that goes with it.

5. My family all in one spot, at the same time. Everyone is scattered and schedules seem to never align. But this weekend, the amazing will happen and (because school is out) all will be together at one time. Today, I celebrate that rare occurrence.

Happy first day of summer.

 

Happy weekend to you.

So Hard to Let Them Go


11454297503_e27946e4ff_h“Which was harder for you when Andy (my oldest) or when Matt (the middle son) left home?” my daughter asks me  as we drive to school. 

She has volunteered herself to help me sort through the many, many books in my cupboard. Actually she volunteered to give her time as long as there is an hourly wage. That’s ok. I gladly pay her. She’s got a good sense of organization which I need when it comes to the books in my classroom.

I probably have 2,000 books, maybe more. That sounds insane. But it’s true. You see, I never get rid of anything. The thought of letting a book go is just too difficult. I mean after all, someone might like this book. The pages are falling out, yeah, but we can tape it.

I told myself that this year, I’d change. I’d get rid of those well loved books that are broken into three parts and have covers attached with packing tape. I mean who would read that? It’s totally unappealing. I promised myself I’d get rid of those books that no one picks up. The problem is I keep having hope for the-never-read-books. I think some day, this book will be just right for some student. I just can’t bear to let them go unwanted. Today, I’m telling myself to let them go.

I have a box in front of my closet.  In it are 25 year-old Roget’s Thesauruses and  35-year old Intermediate Dictionaries. It’s a start I tell myself.

The room is covered with books on tables. Not categorized by author, but by genres. The dog lover books on one table. Historical fiction stacked on two tables. Sports, mystery, bullying, boys against girls, girly girl, adventure, fantasy tables are all around the room. This is how I think when it comes to books.

I keep pulling out books. We look for partner books, for book club books. The club books with missing partners might get mixed in with the partner books. Many books are put in the independent pile, the pile with no partners.

Books like songs bring back memories of time and people. I pick up the Unicorn Chronicles series and remember Lilly. This year, two groups of girls found them and loved them again.

Shredderman, Origami Yoda and Winn Dixie saves boys every year and this year was no different. Isaiah came in not liking reading and left asking for more reading time.

My Big Fat Zombie Goldfish and Doll Bones were big hits as was the ever popular Amulet series.

One boy really loved On My Honor. He read it four times. He was also slow to come to the reading party. But that book somehow just made it click for him.

I start to put away my historical fiction. Nazi Germany was high interest this year. I notice one copy of The Boy in Stripped Pajamas is missing. Probably at Mauricio’s house. He tends to hold on to things. Lucky for me his little brother is coming back.

Every year there is a contingent of kids who love the Warriors series. I think those who love fighting animals are of a certain type. I can’t get anyone to take up Perloo. I just loved the fighting rabbits. I set the fighting animal series on one table. It really is its own genre.

I pull out the one copy I have of the children’s version of the Odyssey. No one has read this since my son. But it was The book for him. So I keep it, even though no one reads it, I have to. There can’t be just one boy who loves this book. There has got to be another. .

My daughter picks up a book from the Candy Apple series. “I loved these books,” she says.

We all have our pet books. The ones we hold close. Every time you see them you get a certain feeling of excitement, of remembering, of wondering who will love this treasure.

After two hours we have to go. I pack away the partner books next to the single copy treasures that might be just The book for someone next year. These books hold histories, relationships and hope for more. They are packed away waiting for the right person to love them again. .

We walk out the door with my not-so-heavy box of books  to be given away. Am I crazy to hold on to some of these books in the closet? Absolutely. But I suppose I’m not quite ready to let go yet. So I house them for a little while longer, still waiting for just in case.

As we drive away from the school, she asks me again about how I felt when each son left home. Which was worse she asks.

They are the same, but different, I tell her. I try not to think too much about it. If I did it would be too hard. I tell her, this is what happens in life, kids move on. She’s asks how I will take her leaving in two years. I’ll have to find out when we get there, I say. I shelve away my feelings about such things. And go on.

 

Slice of Life: Sorting Through Things

It’s Tuesday. Time for Slice of Life writing with Two Writing Teachers. Thank you  Tara Anna Dana Stacey,   Betsy  and Beth for providing this space for our writing.  Join us every Tuesday to read or write a slice. You can find more  here. 

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“I wouldn’t let my kid live in Isla Vista,” my husband said when I walked in the kitchen Sunday morning.

This statement  weirdly transported me back to my parents’ worries.

My alma mater, UC Santa Barbara, was in the headlines. That’s where I lived I told him. That’s where all students live.

Two of our children are at sister campuses, three weeks out from their finals. They are  living in communities just like Isla Vista, with students just like the ones at UCSB.

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Looking for a problem to solve, my husband went off to shop for bookshelves.

Early in the day he had constructed and filled a bookshelf from Target. This worked for the corner of one son’s bedroom, but there were still stacks of books and the thought of more of these white leaning towers wasn’t pleasing. The next thing I know we were traveling to Memorial Day sales.

After a few stops, we wandered into Pottery Barn. It felt like the MoMA gift shop: very modern, clean and gave me the intense urge to buy things I had no use for. The cabinet that opened up to become a bar was fascinating. I loved it. When I showed this wonder to my husband he gave me a you-will-never-use-this look. To which I responded with, “I know. I just thought it was so neat, look at how it folds up!” The fact that he thought I wanted to buy it still makes me smile.

Upstairs we found  two “real” book shelves made of solid wood. While these will help, I know there are still many corners to stack books; where bookshelves will eventually tower.

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Organizing our ever expanding book collection is a good problem.  Helping our children find their way in the world is frightening, but something we want to do.  We try to help them figure it out, sort through the confusing parts and make sense of it. We send them off with our fingers crossed.

My heart aches for those families affected by the events at UC Santa Barbara and for all of us who send our beloveds out into the unknown.  When it isn’t ours that are hurt, we breathe a sigh of relief, pull them close, say a prayer and send them out again. And we are thankful for those problems we can solve like bookshelves.

 

Celebration: My Students, My Girl and A Long Weekend

celebrate link upEvery week Ruth Ayres invites bloggers to celebrate their week.  I love this ritual. Thank you Ruth for the opportunity to share. Read more celebration posts here.

Today I’m celebrating my students who hosted a school-wide Colonial Fair. Here are some of the Friday reflections they posted on their blog.

The colonial fair was pretty cool because we were acting characters from 290 years ago. It was sort of a celebration from the past.

My favorite part at the colonial fair was the One Room School House  because  they would tell you about manners and the correct way to eat and if you come to school dirty you would get whipped. 

Some of the 5th graders had to be a tour guides for 2 sessions, even though it was hard to take care of second graders and third graders while suffering of feet pain and hunger. 

The two kindergarteners I was responsible for were so calm and nice… one of the two kindergarteners hugged me. They got so many things I had to hold the stuff. It was hard to hold their hands with all the stuff in my hands, but I managed to do both .

It was super easy to take care of the kindergarteners because they were quiet and very interested in what the fifth graders in the booths had to say. They had fun and laughed. It made me feel good about helping them get around the fair.

I feel like just because I got tired does not mean that I did not have fun. I think that this was the best Colonial fair ever because the kids really got to learn and so did I.

I enjoyed the colonial fair and I really liked taking the kids around it made me think that I was an actual grown up chaperone. I felt glad to show kids how colonial times were like and how I got to teach about farming back then.

I saw the kids having a lot of fun because we had props and games that the kids could use to make learning fun, so it wouldn’t  just be us talking. Another reason working at the booth was fun was that you could see the smiles on the kids faces and how the Colonial Fair was a big experience for them.

Just feeling that you’re teaching something so cool and new to somebody else is amazing!!!! All the kids listened and did what they were supposed to do, even though there were some trouble. I liked teaching the little kids since they were so cute!!! I even learned things I didn’t know before while tour guiding.

Today I’m celebrating student blogging. On Wednesday, one of my students told me, “I’m posting my 100th post!” I was a little ashamed because I had no idea she had that many posts. (I just got to my 100th post in March!) In total, two classes of 5th graders have posted 960 posts and 2,019 comments. Feel free to check out their interesting thoughts here and here.

Today I’m celebrating my daughter. On Monday she found out that she would miss two days of classes due to school swim meets.  Because of block scheduling two days is like four and right before finals. She’s worked hard for her grades and was concerned. She said,”Don’t they realize I’m a student athlete. The student comes first.” I’m proud of her and she’s right.

Yesterday, she swam two individual events (500 free and 100 butterfly) and two relays in the dIstrict’s CIF finals. She had knee reconstruction surgery on December 31st.  This makes me worry. When I met her afterward she was icing the knee but happy with her performance. I asked her about the knee. She calmly stated,  “It’s ok, this is a part of it. I just don’t tell you because you’ll look like that.” I’m  proud, and she’s right again.

Today I am celebrating a gray morning.  This weather, the beginnings of “June gloom,” is a comfort.  It gives permission to stay in and slow down.  All parts of me need a fog-filled Saturday: to sleep in, to read, to put on warm sweats and put my feel up.

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Happy Memorial Day weekend!

Slice of Life: Missing a Mentor

Every Tuesday writers share a Slice of Life with Two Writing Teachers. Please join in if you are so inclined. It is a wonderful community of writers, readers and teachers.   You can read more slices here. 11454297503_e27946e4ff_hYesterday we went to dinner at Benihana’s for my youngest’s 16th birthday. Her choice.

We did the usual things you do at Benihana’s, which is watch amazed as the chef does their magic in front of you. Before and after this dinner is where my story lies.

Earlier that day, I had texted both of her brothers to make sure they gave their sister a call or a text. At about 4 pm neither had done this. Checking my phone, my daughter notices a text from brother number 2.

“Mom, did you notice this text? He’s gonna use my old phone rather than replace the one he lost. Too expensive. Some brother, he hasn’t texted me happy birthday!”

I text him. Reminding him.

Immediately a text comes through.

She tells me and seems satisfied.

Maybe a half hour later, she says, “He isn’t coming up to diner?”

I am kind of surprised she thought this was a possibility.  “You miss your brother.”

“Yeah.”

He’s been away  for two years. Growing up, she followed his every move. She dressed like him: superhero costumes, t-shirts, shorts.  Followed him into the sports he choose: swimming, surfing.  She was an athlete and a tomboy through middle school. Keeping up with him was a major concern. Being like him was the goal.

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When he went away to school, I knew it would be hard on her.  Many of his younger friends become surrogate brothers. She had seemingly adjusted to his absence.

Last night as we drove home, she started talking about him. How when we went to dinner she’d always order what he had, because he had good taste. If she ordered before him and it ended up being different than his order, she would switch to his choice. How he taught her how to cut meat properly. How she was so proud when others said she looked like him.  “You know what Mom, someone at swim said I swim like him.”

“Yes, you do,” I responded.

“Do you remember when people thought we were twins?”

“Yes, I do. Miss your brother?”

“Yes, I do.”

“Me too.”

 

Missing a mentor

Attached at the heart

Tender memories surface

Taking you aback

Clinging, holding on

Lingering, just below

Achy unused muscles

Infused with the past

Responds to fresh

Emotion

 

Thank you to  TaraAnnaDanaStacey,  Betsy  and Beth  our hosts at Two Writing Teachers for nurturing this writing community.

Poetry One of More To Come: Undercover

In honor of National Poetry Month, and because I miss writing daily, I’ve decided to focus on poetry for the month of April. Can’t say how much, yet.

Writing poetry is scary, but I’m doing this with the hope that 1) it will get less scary, 2) I will learn something about myself and writing, and 3) I can share more authentically with my students.

Leigh Anne, and Michelle I know you’re out there doing the same  and I’ll check in to see what you are up to.   Cathy  and Mary Lee you are inspiration on this journey. Steve, will you kindly critique?  Georgia Heard is there too helping  my students and me take some baby steps.

For now, I’m finding  poetry in quiet spaces; tying to catch it, and bottle the feeling; what speaks to me in the moment. My question is, does it speak to others and will it say the same to me as time goes by.

Undercover

Head peaking

unadorned.

Whips and curls frame her face.

One foot is dangling,

fatigue is dragging,

a little girl behind.

Pure child

nestling in dreams.

The older mask

gone:

Hiding?

What’s

found

undercover.

Slice of Life 29 and a Celebration

Today I celebrate with Ruth Ayres on her Celebration link up  and my 29th  slice in the March Slice of Life Challenge hosted by Two Writing Teachers. Read more slices here.

11454297503_e27946e4ff_hI 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.

celebrate 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  TaraAnnaDanaStacey,  Betsy  and Beth  and all the bloggers who contribute to  Two Writing Teachers .

Happy Weekend!