Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Just Plain Weird

The new school year is definitely underway. Weekly meetings, mini-conferences with interventionists, a new math curriculum to read and figure out, and yeah, the kids. I have 25 this year. It's not a huge number, but it is a little more than "ideal". Nevertheless, it provides ample personality, creativity, ideas, background knowledge, smiles, and brains. We can never get enough of those things in first grade!

All of these nuances and many more are running a sprint around the track inside my mind. And then I remember, I have been hired to do more. Yes, I am to teach, plan, differentiate, manage, inspire, motivate, remediate, encourage, love, and learn. Yet, there's more.

I was hired to be a Mentor Teacher this year in my school. This comes with responsibility and leadership that I have never had before. I sought after and accepted the position to learn to be a leader and to strengthen my own skills by the sharpening of other teachers. One of the aspects of my job is to observe other teachers and help them strengthen their craft. Sounds fairly simple, right? In theory it sounds nice and tidy. However, in practice it can get pretty messy.

Last week I had my first opportunity to briefly observe another teacher. This is a very informal setting where I pop in and pop out, looking for only a few things. Today was another day I chose to pop in on a teacher and observe the environment she has helped create with her new class. I can't describe the feeling I get when I go into these classrooms. I am excited to be there. I want to get to know these other teachers that I have been working with for several years. However, it feels... just plain weird. I feel like I don't belong. Sometimes I might not be welcome? I feel unprepared. Uneasy. Weird.

I don't think the teachers on the other side of the situation realize how I feel. I hope I can learn to be a better leader and help them realize that together we can make it just plain helpful.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

"You say Goodbye, I say Hello"

The time has come to say goodbye
...to sleeping in and staying up late
...to reading until noon
...to lounging around the house in pjs
...to wet hair thrown back with a headband
...to afternoons lounging by the pool with a book and a friend
...to whimsical errands and coffee meetings
...to jetsetting off on a trip with friends

The time has come to say hello
...to 25 new sets of eyes and ears
...to hair and makeup at 6am
...to wearing a real bra
...to having a plan and sticking to it
...to going to bed early and not sleeping in
...to new learning, laughing, and love
...to being stretched and stretching others
...to working together and seeing growth
...to being surprised and amazed by the minds of the young
...to a new start.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011


Every day is fresh. I am so glad that it is. There are days when I wake and feel joy, pain, shame, hope. No matter which, the day is new. clean. ready to be painted with life's possibilities.

Today the idea of newness is even greater. Baby Josiah has come home. L and J have waited many years for this little guy. No, he isn't biologically theirs, but they have given them their heart. love. life.

As he laid on top of me this evening, I couldn't help but think how lucky this little one is. He has birth parents who loved him to nurture him through nine months in the womb. They loved him enough to plan for him. Care for him. Want for him. He has adoptive parents who sought him, pray for him, yearn for him. He has family and friends all over the world who have waited with breath baited for his arrival, traveled across country to welcome him home, and two aunties who get to spoil him rotten daily.

Yes, new is...
...a blessing
...full of possibilities.

May God bless you with all of his wonderful possibilities, little Josiah!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011


Before school let out in May, I sat down one afternoon and drafted a list (go figure!) about things I would like to do this summer. Some were more serious and time demanding, and others were purely for kicks and giggles. One of the things on that list was to learn to make piña coladas. I am not really into coconutty drinks, but it is alwasy refreshing, sweet, and really fun with an umbrella straw!

As the summer has gone on I have had to let go of some of the things on my list. Some of them were just pipe dreams- things that I knew probably would never happen- but I had to keep hope alive. For some reason, August 1st was the "end" to my summer- at least in my mind. I had given up hope yesterday that any fun or sun or relaxing could happen after that looming date. I even went in to school today for a work day with a pretty bad attitude. I was grumpy. irritable. heartbroken. I was just beginning to feel like summer was coming alive, only to have it ripped away like a sudden death.

Tonight I was proven wrong! Summer, fun, frivolity, and fruity drinks can happen after August 1st! While L and I were at the store I went ahead and got the supplies needed for our new drink. It was a whim! And I loved every heart beating second of it!

 With a fantastic dinner, we enjoyed my very first piña coladas! So yes, I got to put a "check" mark next to that dream on my summer list.

Monday, August 1, 2011


I feel the itch...

The nagging bite of school.
It creeps up my leg.
It demands my acknowledgement.
It wants my attention.

I might be ready.
I should be ready.
I think I'm ready.

I feel the need to scratch.