One Little Word 2018: Venture

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My “One Little Word” for 2018 is VENTURE. I found my OLW easily this year; the past 3 words, Progress (2017), Dream (2016), and Lean (2015) led me to this one. The start of 2018 has already been a bumpy one, and there’s nothing I can do but move forward. I embrace the challenges, and I’m ready to make 2018 the best it can be.

My past words served me well, and now that I have a jump-start, I’m ready to tackle new adventures. VENTURE: defined as a noun on Google as 1) “a risky or daring journey or undertaking,” 2) “a business enterprise involving considerable risk.” As a verb, VENTURE means 1) “daring to do something or go somewhere that may be dangerous or unpleasant,” 2) “dare, be/make so bold as, presume.” VENTURE is the perfect word for me this year because that’s my plan: VENTURING out there, taking risks and presuming new roles.

I’ll write more specifically about these VENTURES as I move through the year. I look forward to the challenges ahead. Happy New Year!

 

 

Happy New Year!

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Happy New Year!

The year 2016 was a whopper! Each day I read the news and comments on social media, and each day I think to myself, “It couldn’t have been that bad.” No, it wasn’t that bad at all.

  1. My close family relatives are alive. This is a big deal to me. Hardships with disease and sickness have become standard in our family, but this year we are all still kicking!
  2. My work situation improved and I still have exciting options for the year ahead. My classes of students are the best, my work team is awesome, and I love being a teacher AND PD teacher leader/facilitator. I added School Librarian to my teaching credentials, which I hope to use in the next year, as well.
  3. My writing life and professional PLN is fantastic! I attended NeRdCampMI this summer and met so many more authors and illustrators, and now I’m “real” friends (instead of virtual friends) with amazing people. I wrote for the Nerdy Book Club and this blog, which makes me feel like I’m finally a writer. I followed my favorite authors, researchers, and educational speakers around the country again, ending up at NCTE’s Annual Conference with so many friends I didn’t even get to spend time with them all! (Seriously, I need longer than 3 days at NCTE — most amazing conference ever!) And last but certainly not least, I had an amazing journey with my wonderful friends/colleagues at #G2Great (Twitter) — My Good-to-Great team is my teaching hope for the future, focusing on KIDS and LITERACY and LEARNING! All my favorite things!

So as I wrap up 2016, I wish you and yours HAPPY HOLIDAYS and HAPPY NEW YEAR! I will see you in 2017, strong as ever!

 

Slice of Life Tuesdays: Start With the Why

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During the summer, I attended the All Write Institute which advertised the theme, “Start With the Why.” I’ve been thinking about the WHY today as I prepare to start another school year. I’m torn. I want to get back to work, but I would love to read more books, have more time to travel, and get household activities done. So…here are my WHY lists for both.

WHY go back to school?

Ok, let’s be realistic. I need the paycheck again. But “I’m in it for the money” is not what teachers say. First, I want to share all the wonderful lessons and book titles I learned about this summer. I read many books, wrote a little, made new friends, attended functions, and traveled, and I want to tell others about all of it. Second, I miss my friends. (Students sometimes come to school just to see their friends. Teachers do, as well!) Third, it will be nice to be on a productive schedule again. I haphazardly complete tasks when I know there’s not a deadline. I look forward to school; I can socialize with students and colleagues, continue to grow in my practice, and help students to grow and learn, too.

WHY stay home?

I’m still trying to live my One Little Word this year, LEAN. I need to finish cleaning the clutter in my office and in the empty bedroom (formerly home of my daughter–who has moved out on her own). In the spirit of cleaning, we need to finish the home projects, and I cannot wait to get them done. It’s going to be fabulous! Other reasons to stay home? More Reading! More Writing! (Oh, wait. I can do that at school.)

Yes, I am looking forward to going back to school now. WHY? It’s going to be a great year!

 

Slice of Life Tuesdays: Possibilities

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Slice of Life Small LogoPossibilities

My principal retired this spring, and at the last staff meeting, she bequeathed the items in her office to the teachers and staff. It was one of those white elephant-type gifting — pass something down to the next generation. Most of the items had to do with tigers (we are the Tigers) and mementos from past years.  My present was a nice wall hanging with an inspirational quote: “Possibilities. The only way to discover the limits of the possible is to go beyond them into the impossible.” She said she passed it to me because I’m always looking for new possibilities.

At first, I thought, “Yeah! Of course I’m always looking for new possibilities! Why wouldn’t I want to stretch myself and do what I haven’t yet done?” Under her leadership, I have become a literacy coach, gone back to the classroom, applied for other positions in different districts while talking about leaving the state, and asked for many impossible effects. I will continue to ask the new principal for updated technology in the classroom, money to attend conferences and workshops, and different ways to teach concepts with modern books.

What I find most exciting, however, is sharing my writing with my students. The best revision lesson I encountered all year taking out an essay I wrote in college and reading it to my students. Even years later, the class and I found words and phrases that needed revision. It was one of those “teachable moments” when the students gave suggestions and we rewrote my essay together. It was better at the end, too! Now that I’m on a path of regular writing, I will not give up. Even though writing a book may still seem impossible, I am writing; someday, publishing may truly be a possibility.

I’ll learn more this week at the All Write institute. I cannot wait to attend. Just imagine the possibilities!

 

SOLSC Day 12: Almost Half Way!

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Slice of Life Small LogoThe March Slice of Life Story Challenge is hosted by http://www.twowritingteachers.wordpress.com.

Almost Half Way!

Wow! This month is flying by (thankfully). We are almost half way through the Slice of Life Story Challenge. I’m thinking we should have a theme every month, and write every day, all the time! April could be Poetry Month (it is anyway) and we could all post poems of our own or refer to our favorites; May could be gardening/flowers/nature’s wonders; June could be summertime celebrations, etc.

To be honest, it’s not easy to write every day, especially when you have other jobs and careers getting in the way. Not that my job gets in the way of my writing…yes! Sometimes, it does.  I feel guilty when I write some days, because I’m taking half an hour (or hour!) to write a little post, and then I still have to grade, plan, prepare for my reading conferences, look up resources, etc. You, know. All the OTHER tasks that need to be completed, at school and at home.

Very honestly, I just did the dishes tonight after 4 days! Both sides of the sink were full. I usually yell at everyone else in the house to help me get chores done, but I wasn’t doing the chores, either. Everyone else is busy, too, with school, jobs, etc. So I kept quiet. The sink filled. AAHHHH!

Back to writing: “almost half way” made me think about other things that I’m half way done doing:

Life (I’m 46; times 2, that’s 92!)

Paying the mortgage (Yes!)

Cleaning the stacks of paper off my desk (there were 4; I’m down to 2.)

The mid-way point is a good place. I’m really ready for the final stretch, though. Keep writing! I’ll see you all at the finish line!

Slice of Life Story Challenge 2015: Day 1

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Here We Go! Slice of Life Small Logo

The March Slice of Life Story Challenge is hosted by http://www.twowritingteachers.wordpress.com.

“It’s Today! It’s Today!” I can just hear Stuart Little screaming those words as I start my second Slice of Life Story Challenge (SOLSC) today, March 1st, 2015.

Here are some facts about me: I teach 6th grade, I have 3 girls and a granddaughter (even though I’m not old enough to be a grandma — LOL), and I love to write, although I haven’t shared much of my writing publicly yet. This group of “Slicers” is my favorite group in the world, and I am looking forward to this month of March — which seems to be coming “in like a lion” right now. Oh, by the way…

I’m sick of winter! (I’ll probably post about that a lot!)

Two other points about me for my fellow Slicers: 1) I write later at night, so I’m sorry, but you’ll have to stay up past 9:00 pm to read my work (LOL), and 2) our school’s standardized testing schedule starts Tuesday, so I’ll be stressed out most of the time. Hopefully the writing will help me wind down and have some fun!

Happy Slicing, Everyone! And THANK YOU to the ladies at Two Writing Teachers for hosting this awesome challenge!

 

Slice of Life Story Challenge 2015: Day 2

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Slice of Life Small Logo

Day Two, Year Two, and Two is my favorite number, too!

The March Slice of Life Story Challenge is hosted by http://www.twowritingteachers.wordpress.com.

 

http://nutshell.prezi.com/NSbqLGY6QS

Today I was TOO sick TO go TO school.

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