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Showing posts from February, 2017

Dreams

I celebrate dreams.

I don't have a long term dream that recently came true to talk about here like in Ruth's Dreaming Big post. (Congratulations, Ruth!). Instead, today I celebrate a multitude of dreams, past and present. My dreams have given me hope and kept me going even when they didn't come true or didn't turn out exactly the way I had envisioned them. To give up would have been the beginning of despair and the end of hope. I know this because I've been down that path before. Fortunately, I had the sense to turn around and start again. And again. And again.  

Without dreams, I wouldn't have moved my family from the US to Ecuador then to Canada and back to Ecuador again. Or be thinking of doing it again!

Without dreams, I wouldn't be pursuing my EdD, despite wanting to throw in the towel on more than one occasion. (Shoutout to my daughters, son and husband for believing in me and encouraging me not to give up.)

Without dreams, I wouldn't be contemplating…

Competition vs. Collaboration

As soon as I read that the common topic for our #CompelledTribe blog posts this week would be competition vs. collaboration,  I was on high alert.  I flinched.  I bit my tongue.  I was on the defensive.
Collaboration, yes. Competition, no. This has been my mantra.
Nevertheless, I decided to set aside my gut reactionlong enough to really think about this. 

So, here's the monologue I carried out with myself:

Me:Is there such a thing as healthy competition?
Me: Yes, I think so. For example, team sports are competitive because you're competing against another team. At the same, it's an example of healthy competition because there's a lot of teamwork and collaboration involved in order to win.
Me: So, I can imagine how collaboration can work to make an institution, organization or workplace competitive in its field.
(Pregnant pause right about now.)

Me: And, what about toxic collaboration? Does that exist?
Me: Absolutely! Collaboration that is mandated with little to no planning or incl…

Grateful

Today I've been thinking of that saying, "when one door closes, another one opens". You know the one I'm talking about.

Sometimes a door closes and it's not a surprise. Although you're hopeful, deep down inside you know what the outcome is going to be even before you go down that path. But, even though you hesitate at first, you open that door and go through it. Otherwise you'll always regret not trying. 

So, now I am looking for another door. Or, as my daughter says, another window. A door or a window to slip through and find what I'm looking for. 

Sitting outside in my porch, overlooking some pretty majestic mountains, I am humbled. I am healing. 

Things happen for a reason, don't they? Although my reason is yet to be revealed and my next steps are still tentative, I am grateful. 

I am grateful for my family. 
They've always got my back.

I am grateful for these mountains. 
They help to clear my mind.

I am grateful for the quiet breeze that plays with…

Vocabulary Instruction

Vocabulary, like anything else, is best learned by reading a lot. It's a simple truth that the more we read, the more words we encounter, and the more words we will learn as they appear in different contexts. 

Yet, sometimes this doesn't seem to be enough. We sense that we need to do more for a student who is struggling. Or, maybe we feel internal or external pressure to demonstrate that we are doing more, even if that more does not really help. 

In my school, this conversation surfaces when we have students in the middle grades, or later, who have not had a rich experiences with books or who are learning English as another language. This is compounded if these students do not have a strong literacy background in their native language. They may have few strategies for figuring out new words. They may get stuck on a word they don't know or can't pronounce. They don't understand that reading on is a viable strategy because it places due emphasis on constructing meaning…

Time

Lately I've been thinking a lot about the concept of time.

How fast it goes.
How there's never enough of it.
How little reverence we have for time.
How we take time for granted.

And, I've been thinking about this because my oldest daughter just got married this summer. It seems like just yesterday when she was still a little girl, then an adolescent and, before too long, a freshman in college. So, every day now, I ask myself: where did the time go? Did I take advantage of time when my three children were little? Did I pay attention to what was important? Do I pay attention now?

It's time to make a change. It's never too late, right? We're never too old to take the reins of time (life) in our own hands and steer our own course.

That's what I'm doing when I search for other outlets to grow as an educator and a professional.

That's what I'm doing when I push away my fears and commit myself to writing every day and to making it public.

That's what I'…