I hate bridges that I have to cross in a car. I hate blue mini-vans that wind gusts control. I hate coming home from Michigan every summer to start the routine over….and I hate it when my kids want me to referee their petty little squabbles. I was scratching away the last remnant of my […]
I’m doing Smartboard Bootcamp….again!!! Why again? I guess it is because I sometimes don’t get things the first time around or the second and I guess ‘I’m not a spring chicken’ any longer. But really, I’m not counting that I have just two years to go. I still want to know and still need to know… and I’m hoping so hard that I will get a Smartboard in one of the bookrooms next year. I’m crossing my fingers and my toes that my leaders will feel there is a need for every room to be accesorized in the latest and greatest. After all, don’t all my little poochies deserve to manipulate their word work and to circle, find and rhyme? So I’m going to the camp tomorrow.
I hope my leader will be patient with me…so I don’t start banging the keys like I did so long ago when learning on the first Apple IIe’s something mystical called word processing. I was a bad girl that day. I was as lost as a kinder who doesn’t know all the sounds for ‘c’ and ‘a’ and ‘g’. But, I will try to be good tomorrow. It might be helpful if I write it down, what comes first, second and third. Or it might be good to practice each morning, in the open room that has a board… my new skills. Practice does not always make perfect, at least in my case- but practice might make me better than I was before.
I need to tape this message to my mirror in the morning, or make my computer beep at one hour intervals, “Do you want to get better at this, Nancy…then spend some time daily creating the practice habit.”
I tell my students, about the same thing just about every day.
Readers who want to read better…practice.
Writers who want to write better…practice.
I need to take my own advice.
PS Did I tell you ever that I had to take ‘behind the wheel’ twice and American Red Cross lifesaving twice and the Constitution test twice? There are just so many things I didn’t get the first time…oh…cheerleading too and learning the 12 man dolphin in water ballet (it took me about twelve times). Yikes….I’m feeling like I’m getting more patient with my kinders by the minute.
PSS Okay…this would be such a fun site on the smart board:
PSSS I found this one this morning that generates random names…pretty high tech- you won’t have to pick a popsicle ever again…http://bit.ly/IwQPhf
“Nancy, when will you remember this- be the job, great or small, do it right or not at all !” I’m sure he was thinking that he had taught the hospital corner to me himself. After this reprimand, I would retort…
“okay, then I choose NOT AT ALL, I choose that part of the poem.” I knew all the bed making stuff was really cutting into my cartoon watching time.
Today it was Dave assigning the task before he went to work, “okay, Nanc- you do the upstairs, I’ll do the downstairs.”
Grudgingly, as I was pushing vacuum upstairs, I thought about those Saturday mornings as I was growing up. I pushed the vacuum harder- I even put on my glasses so I could see those now silver strands on the bathroom floor and suck them up. Dave and I had just done this last week, and I was thinking- it is only us now, and we only live in 3 rooms, “Why can’t we just clean up those three?” I was irritated because I had my day laid out before me….write a little, read a little, plan a little, listen to music a little…get distracted a little.. walk a little…write a little.
Ahhh…I know what my friends are thinking. Nancy, likes things her own way- that is the bottom line. And you would be very right, I hate cleaning, I hate following a ‘honey do list’ kind of reversed from the norm in our house and what I absolutely value is my choice…my way or the proverbial ‘highway’. I do value personal choice…in writing and reading workshop and in my free time and how I spend money. I like to choose the groceries and plan the meals just like Dave loves to choose the plants and the trees and all things that are growing in our yard. But each week he has to mow the lawn and each week he has to balance my receipts from shopping, also.
Now to the school thing- wow, we all have many things that we love to do with students.
I love: listening to them, talking to them, having them read to me (at their independent level), and unbelievable as it is, assessing them to figure out part of their puzzle.
Things I do but I don’t choose to do- organizing them, or helping them to learn how to organize, finding new things that will motivate them to read and write, phonics, phonics, more phonics, talking to them every day about why they need to read, read, every night read.
These are my short lists…my long lists deal with the other parts of my job some of which seem very far away from the heart of being a teacher . We all have our very long lists of what we need to do, the non- negotiable list and also the list that is part of our life as a teacher and as a learner. I know some days I’m still screaming…NOT AT ALL, I don’t choose this. But then there are those days when we get a hug around the middle or we feel a tear on our cheek because one of those fledgling birds have made an inference from a story that far surpasses one that you could have made yourself. And you know it, that you chose the right profession and even though your hospital corners on your sheets are sometimes rugged, the hard work of loving children is very worth it.
May you have moments like this, and notice them, in the next few weeks as we “do it right”, as teachers. Yep, even when the birds are singing our song outside, and the new novel hasn’t been cracked, and our blog hopping gets shoved aside. I will make the deliberate choice to lead and love.
‘Have a great day!’ is a trite expression for me. I used it in every intervention group I saw and used to say it always to my children before they took their short walk to the babysitter each day. It was always my way of saying good- bye and it would cheer me if anyone ever remembered to say ‘you too mom’ back to me.
This year my beloved friend DeWanna chided me.
“Don’t say, “Have a great day, Nanc…say instead, Make it a great Day. We are always in control of our own attitudes.”
Perspective, is what my friend DeWanna has . She worked in our school system for many years and has technically retired to do missionary work with her husband all over the globe. She’s done many long-term substitute jobs to help fund their trips, and is now back to do a job at the end of our school year. I do miss her in big and small ways when she isn’t with us.
Today her morning thought of the day was this….
“This is our Father’s world, Nancy, I am right in the spot today where he wants me to be…I am so sure of it.”
I looked at her and said, “I’m sure of it too….I’m just so glad you said that to me!” Just when I need her, she is here; God places her near.
Just an aside: Since I was a little girl I’ve loved the hymn, This is my Father’s World and it was pretty awesome to me reminded of it this morning after Easter Sunday. When I was young, I know that I thought mostly about the beauty of our natural world. Now it mean so much more. It is stanza 3 that really makes me think.
This is my Father’s world.
O let me ne’er forget
that though the wrong seems oft so strong,
God is the ruler yet.
This is my Father’s world:
why should my heart be sad?
The Lord is King; let the heavens ring!
God reigns; let the earth be glad!
Here is an artist that I love, singing it. Make it a great day, slicers !
It was mystical, waiting for them to appear from the deep. The whales are plentiful at this time of the year as they migrate back to the cooler waters for the summer. They travel in groups, protecting their young as they go. It was a bit hard to make them out because of the chop of the Pacific. But then we saw our first whale together. Amazing, “There she blows…we cry in unison”. The breathing whale takes in air through her blowhole and then breathes out like a human being. Looking at a distance, the moisture forms a quick heart and then disappears. I am still in awe, remembering. I will be back… God’s largest creature on planet earth…magnificent and inspiring !
Hi everyone…I hope everyone had some fun and more fun over vacation. I know that many of you know that April is poetry month. I remember some of you’ve had so much fun with poems that you had a poetry coffee house one year. A few things…one of my favorite poets…Shel (now in heaven) has had a new release of a book of unpublished poems. I did check it out and it is a goody….especially fun to do his poems in a Reader’s Theater format. Also here are a few great sites….and now so many of you are lucky to be able to project big !
here is a word game that I thought was fun for word work…used on smart board or computer
Also….remember Wonderopolis…the best site out there for intermediate non-fiction
http://wonderopolis.org/ still free and no commercials ! Yeah !
PS I finished my 30 day challenge…writing. This week they are doing prizes…I hope I win…but in the writing every day I learned so much about myself- it was really an experience I’ll never forget.