Too Tired to Write… #SOL15

Is that possible? Can you be too tired to write? Is that an excuse? Would that work in our classrooms? How would we respond to a student who used this statement? Does the act of writing require energy? So many questions. I should write about th….zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Connections… #SOL15

I am amazed when I encounter folks who don’t see the value in social media or an online presence. And I’m not talking people my parents’ age. My dad LOVES Facebook ­čÖé I’m talking people my age or younger. Several interactions over the last few weeks┬áhave reminded me how powerful the connnections are that I have made via social media or been able to continue because of online connections:

-the student who contacted me after 7 years

– posting a status update about my new job and looking at the list of people who “liked” the post…former students, old friends, people I have met via Twitter and FB who I still haven’t met in person, people I have met via Twitter and FB who have now become dear friends, former colleagues, new colleagues

-getting a text that same evening from someone who has gone from online PLN member to dear,dear friend and spending an hour on the phone the next day with that same person to talk about our adventures and careers

-sharing the Go Fund Me page for our service trip this summer with high school students and having friends from all over the country contribute

-having an author whose work you love, “Like” your blog post!! (*happydance*)

-getting access to articles and research from tweets and FB I might have missed otherwise

-seeing pictures and “hearing” stories from my former student babies as they lead wonderful lives

-posting a question and crowdsourcing the amazing brilliance of colleagues across the country

-getting a text my first day at my new job from someone who started as an online colleague and has become a wonderfully dear friend

 

And that is just in the past few weeks! Technology can be a nuisance and too much information and input at times can be overwhelming. But I’ll take all the pitfalls if it means I can continue to have these connections. They are just too powerful to ignore and my life truly is better because of them. How lucky am I?!

Missing: Please Help Me Locate My Weekend! #SOL15

It’s Sunday at 9:18pm. And I am trying to figure out where the heck the weekend went! Because the house certainly isn’t clean, the laundry is still not done and I don’t remember reading or relaxing. It must mean that someone stole my weekend! ( Or at least an hour of it.) Perhaps my weekend got lost in the baking for the fundraiser or the six hours sitting at the table selling baked goods or driving children around or checking and sending emails to organize other fundraisers or having dinner with my mentee to celebrate her 18th birthday. Maybe…

 

I still have 2 hours and 38 minutes of my weekend. Off to try and fit in laundry, relaxation and reading…provided I don’t fall asleep first.

 

What We Teach Our Children-#SOL15

 

Warning: Tonight’s blog piece is a rant. Feel free to pass it by.

 

I am one of those people who has a hard time saying “no”. As a result, I’ve become the lead parent working with a teacher to take a group of 18 high school students to Guatemala this summer. Our goal as a team was to work together to fundraise to cover costs for the whole group. We’ve been working on this for months now.

 

This weekend I’ve become frustrated. Just like with so many things, 80% of the people seem to be doing the work 100% of the time. And the most frustrating part? Parents are not encouraging their kids to help with the fundraisers that are helping to pay for the trip and SAVING the parents money. This weekend we have an event. I spent over 4 hours there today. No adult is signed up for the second two hour shift tomorrow. I put a call out telling the parents I really did not want to be there all day again tomorrow and asking that someone else please step up. One parent did. A parent who has already helped with every event and offered resources and additional fundraising opportunities. There are other parent chaperones. Three of them have contributed almost nothing at this point.

 

With two months left to fundraise, we are seriously short of our goal. Now the lead teacher and I are left to try and figure out whether we back off the team goal and send everyone a bill while trying to figure out how to divide the money already raised fairly. Or do we tell those who have participated they can sit back because those who haven’t need to step up and be ┬áresponsible the rest of the way?

 

What frustrates me the most is what these parents are teaching these kids about being part of a team and about working for something you want. One of the parents is an educator who told me they thought the whole team concept was ridiculous and that is should be every student for themself. After all, that’s why we don’t use cooperative learning in the classroom, because team stuff just doesn’t work. (yeah, don’t even get me started on what my response to this person was!)

In the end, all I can do is make sure my boys work with the team and teach them the importance of hard work to get something you want. Because the power of what we teach our children, carries on and is part of the legacy we leave them.

That’s A Wrap!

Today I packed up the rest of the items in my office. After 3 years and 7 months, I ended my time as the Academic Support Specialist for the Blue Ribbon Mentor-Advocate Program. I’ve learned a lot and met some amazing people. But as I made ┬ámy way out today, I realized how ready I am for the next adventure. I think we can be in a place that challenges us and let’s us grow. But I also think we can reach limits. What was once the perfect place for you to be, can become a less than perfect place when you’ve grown beyond the parameters of where you are. And when that happens, it is time to move on.

 

And so, I am. Next week I move on to become the Coordinating Literacy Teacher for HS. It’s a move back to the world of literacy and high school students. A world I love. And it’s a chance to grow and learn. It’s a wrap on one chapter and the beginning of a new one…

Because It Matters (#SOL15)

I missed the last few days of slicing….it’s been an extraordinarily busy week. I have a new job starting next week and I’ve been trying to tie up loose ends. I know next week will be just as hectic as I hit the ground running in my new gig. And in the midst of frantically trying to fit everything in, this message popped up in my FB messages today from a student I haven’t seen in 7 years:

I know it has been a long time since we have talked or seen each other. I hope you remember me. I could never forget you. You were my favorite teacher. You were always so caring and understanding, especially when I was going through a lot in high school. I wanted to thank you for everything! I appreciate you offering me your couch.

And just like that, all the long hours, all the times I’ve struggled to balance the hours I spend as an educator with my role as a mom, they are all worth it. This is why we do this. And no matter what the rhetoric says….It matters.

Eating Like a King

As much as I love being an educator, really and truly my greatest joy is being a mom to my four awesome boys. They can frustrate me and tire me at times, but they also amaze me, make me laugh and remind me of how great the smallest things in life can be. One of the things I love to do for them is pack their lunches. Yep, they’re old enough to do it themselves, but I love picking each item and finding new things they might like for lunch. I love that they open their lunchboxes in the afternoon and are reminded in that small way how much they are loved.

Riding home tonight with my 12 year-old, he once again ┬átouched my heart and made me laugh. He is so good at making us laugh….

12yo: Thanks for the chili in my lunch today, Mom. It was really good. I sprinkled some of the cheese you gave me on there. My friend really likes cheese and he was hungry. So I let him have the rest.

Me: Well that was very nice of you to share, sweetie.

Devin: Yeah, it’s funny. The kids who have parents who pack their lunches always seem to have enough food. But my friends who pack their own lunch or buy school lunch, they’re always still hungry.

This led us to a discussion of how some houses don’t have as much food as ours and how many families depend on the school lunch because of that. He sat back for a moment and took it all in, shaking his head to show he understood.

After a moment or two of quiet, he said “Yeah, I realize I pretty much eat like a king”.

Oh, that boy! ­čÖé