Posts

Permission to Fail

I've been wanting to try something with my students for years but have put it off because I was worried that it wouldn't turn out the way I hoped it would. I won't bore you with the details of exactly what it was. I finally realized that I had to try, though, because of one of the biggest lessons I've learned as a teacher: magical things can happen when you give yourself permission to fail. Reminding myself of this lesson makes me work toward going bigger, better, and bolder every time. Sure, we totally crash and burn on "guinea pig" days in class sometimes. Yet, it's all worth it for the grins we get to share on the days when we realize that something is going right. Really right. Awesomely right. I set a personal goal to get my students to the point where I felt that we were ready to try the thing. You know, that thing... from the first paragraph. Little by little, chunk by chunk, we scaffolded and prepared without them even knowing that this thing was …

The Light Under the Door

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One of the biggest cliches about parenting is also one of the biggest truths: those kids, they grow up so quickly. I'm all too aware of how fleeting time is and how important it is to be fully present in each moment because nothing beyond what's happening right now is ever guaranteed.

I remind myself of this every time life gets crazy or every time I'm tempted to start a pity party for myself. I remind myself of this when I worry big time about small things. I especially remind myself of this when I'm spending time with my kids and especially when I feel myself starting to get into the "I'm so busy, life's so crazy" spiral of excuses that prevent me from enjoying life's little moments to the fullest.

I hope it is abundantly clear to anyone who knows me just how much I love and adore my kids. They drive me nuts, but I couldn't be any more nuts about them. Each little guy has his own quirks and habits that make him absolutely delightful and deli…

Carry On

Tyson has developed a sweet habit of helping me carry in my things from the car at night. As a recovering bag lady, this is truly more meaningful than it may sound at first. It's nice to have someone to help lighten the load. Today, he was having trouble because he picked up too many things. I heard myself saying to him, "Well, Tyson, don't take on more than you can carry!" Immediately as the words left my mouth, I realized just how ironic that statement was.

Just like my Grandma Ginny, "I'm fine" to a fault. I come from parents who inspire me by going out of their way on a daily basis to improve the lives of others. Seriously. They are a human interest story in kindness. They have passed along that gene to me (I hope, I'm working on it), along with a gene for hard work. I have worked and clawed and stressed and struggled and risen to life's challenges and have begun to carve out my own place in this world. My life has not been easy by any means…

To Whom It May Concern (Which Should Be All of Us)- Draft 2

There are some things that need to be said about the state of education in our country. I'm going to have to let the two things that are most uncomfortable for me to talk about, politics and money, have a place in this conversation. But I need you to listen anyway. Please. Pretty please.  If I had the choice to "just" be a teacher and not get involved, I would do it. I would put my head down, go about my job and my life, and be happier for it. The problem is that it's not a choice I have any longer. I need to be heard. I need to be heard so badly that I'm sitting here, still soaked from the shower, balancing a nursing baby and a laptop, scrolling through the list in my head of the hours of work I need to do this morning and trying to triage to make time for this because I need you to hear it.
You can’t be apathetic when it comes to education. You just can’t. It's not enough just to care. You simply have to walk the walk. Education isn't just an issue that …

To Whom It May Concern (Which Should Be All of Us)

There are some things that need to be said about the state of education in our country. I'm going to have to let the two things that are most uncomfortable for me to talk about, politics and money, have a place in this conversation. But I need you to listen anyway. Please. Pretty please.  If I had the choice to "just" be a teacher and not get involved, I would do it. I would put my head down, go about my job and my life, and be happier for it. The problem is that it's not a choice I have any longer. I need to be heard. I need to be heard so badly that I'm sitting here, still soaked from the shower, balancing a nursing baby and a laptop, scrolling through the list in my head of the hours of work I need to do this morning and trying to triage to make time for this, all so I can let my heart speak the words it NEEDS to say. I need you to hear me, and I need you to do more than click the "like" button after you read. I need you to care, and I need you to ta…

Me, Myself, and Thighs

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Despite having the appetite of a truck driver and an intense aversion to vomit, I was diagnosed with having an eating disorder numerous times. I was never diagnosed by a doctor because I never actually had a disorder, but that didn't really matter to the number of people who came to their own conclusions anyway. This diagnosis was made by the critical eyes of strangers and the unkind whispers behind my back from “friends” and people with “concerns” who voiced their opinions through most of my teenage years. Up until that point, I had experienced enough unconditional love from my parents and “Ah, I remember the glory days when I was that thin… was I ever that thin?”comments that I had a healthy sense of self-confidence in my “skinny minnie” status. As a teenage girl, however, the things people said about me became who I was and how I saw myself. The confident toothpick turned into a blubbering mess in a dressing room being lectured by her mom that she would never love the clot…

Grandma Ginny

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Admittedly, I am terribly awkward in emotional situations and never know the right things to say or do.  This is why I either eat or write my feelings and why I am currently wiping chocolate chip cookie grease from my hands in order to try to think of the right words to write words to capture something important.  I want to somehow do justice to my Grandma Ginny.  The good news is that when you are a true original and classic like Ginny, the stories really write themselves.

There are so many things that are quintessential Grandma Ginny that the only trouble is knowing where to start.  Many of my earliest and many of my fondest memories of her involve holidays.  She prided herself on taking each of her grandchildren out for a date on their birthdays.  I was treated to years and years of these, with dinners at Ponderosa (one of her favorites) or Finley's (one of my favorites) followed by a trip to a toy store to pick out whatever my heart desired.  I remember there was one year when…