Go Away

Oh, so common

Not the first or the last time you will visit

No one invited you

You didn’t ask permission

A nuisance while you’re here

The sneezing

The coughing

The itchy eyes

The headache

Please go away and visit someone else

 

Check

Day 30. I have a list on my desk that’s as “long as my arm”, and it all needs to get done by the end of this week. So I’m having a hard time finding space in my brain for a slice today.

My success with this challenge is important to me. We are so close to the finish line, and I can’t give up. So I’m posting this short piece in the hopes that it suffices for now.

One thing about having a list is the sense of accomplishment as each item is checked off. As soon as I hit publish here in a minute, I will have knocked one more thing off the list. Check.

Today We Celebrate

To my friend whose Mom shares a birthday with my Mom today……

May your hug be a little tighter and longer today

May your smile be a little broader

May the sun find its way to shine

May the Jonquils be a brilliant yellow

As you celebrate with your Mom today

Just as I’m celebrating with my Mom in my heart

Happy Birthday, Moms!!!!

taking sides

A recent discussion at a family gathering came back to me this morning as I made the bed. It wasn’t about politics or religion. Those are topics to avoid unless one is looking for a heated debate. No, what we had was what I call the Other Great Debate.

To make or not to make the bed….that is the question.

Apparently there are only two types of people in the world. Those who make their beds everyday and those who don’t. The arguments on either side were as expected.

–No. You’re only going to get back into it again at night.

–Yes. It feels better to get into a freshly made bed at night.

–Yes. I would have to make it right before I went to bed if it wasn’t made.

–No. Nobody sees it besides you.

–No. When you’re at work, even you don’t see it.

–Yes. I couldn’t sleep on a bed that hadn’t been made.

And then there were the all important questions……To what extent do you make it everyday?  With or without the decorative pillows? With the full comforter and all? Do you fluff your pillows when you make the bed? So many questions, so little time to answer.

We laughed as we talked. It was pretty predictable on which side of the debate each of us landed. We know each other well.

On which side am I, you wonder?

–Yes. If I had a maid, I would have clean sheets everyday.

Hence, the reason I made my bed this morning and every morning….comforter, fluffed pillows and all.

We survived

We experienced serious technological issues with our tests today. After having what I considered to be success for the first two weeks, this week turned out to be a struggle. I would describe today as a disaster. We had 18 of 32 computers crash during an 8th grade test this morning and at least 15 do the same this afternoon with 7th graders. Much of my day was spent on the phone with the help desk, consulting with our IT guy, and moving students mid-test from one computer to another. We even had a handful of students who had to move twice. So much for providing a calm testing environment.

But I’m done thinking about the challenges. What I want to do is think about the positive that came out of a bad situation.

I want to acknowledge our students who were patient when we needed it most, flexible when we needed to make a change, and willing to keep plugging along on a system that was testing us and them today.

And I want to thank the staff who worked diligently to keep things  working. They maintained their composure with each other and with students as they tackled each new problem that arose, all while being vigilant about maintaining the integrity of the test.

I’m not sure how our last few days of testing will go, but today proved to me that we will survive whatever comes our way!

Crazy Again

I don’t want to leave here before I post for the day, but it’s a little hard to think right now. I remember a post from last year that I called Crazy. I went to it, hoping for some end-of-the-day inspiration. I’ve decided to do a modified version of that post…sort of an erasure poem. I only need the most important words to express my current state of mind. Here it is…

Crazy!

Busy!

Hectic!

Home??

Oh, yeah!

Tomorrow is another day

success

I met with my book club today at lunchtime. Joining me are five 5th and 6th grade girls and boys who have been identified by their teachers as “reluctant” readers. It’s not that they can’t read; they read without struggling with the text. But these are kids who, for whatever reason, are not passionate about reading. My goal is to help nudge them a little closer to a love of reading.

It is a fairly lofty goal at times.  These are the students that all teachers have in their classrooms who require more support. These are the students who would rather sit than participate in learning. These are the students for whom teachers work very hard everyday. I know that because these are the students who are making me work hard. It would be easier for me to not do this, but I can’t. My teachers can’t stop being teachers, so I must not either. My belief in the value of book clubs for kids has not wavered, nor has my confidence in my teachers’ ability to instill a love of reading in their students. Hats off to them!

This is the second book club that I’ve done this year. We meet at lunchtime once a week. We decide together on a title and I order the books. When we finish the book, I tell them they can take it home and keep it, share it with others, or donate it to their classroom library. One teacher emailed me by the end of the day when the first club had finished to say that her student had already given the book to a classmate to read on the condition that it came back to him so he could share it with others. He was creating a “sign out” sheet to track who had it.

I consider that my success story.