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2016 - Bring It On!

I am a struggling writer. I struggle with topic selection, getting started and a lack of self-confidence. And, although I love to write, I realize that I love the IDEA of being a writer more. The process of writing, with its concomitant failures and less-than-perfect results, is not a selling point for me. In my mind's eye, I can almost see a blank book cover with my name on it, even if I can't envision what the book is about. I can imagine myself a part of an elite group of teacher-writers who are disciplined, serious and have interesting things to say. I tell myself, "That could be you! If only..." And there my thinking trails off and I return to a state of numbness where "if only" becomes a long list of self-pitying excuses for why I will never write well enough so that others can appreciate and learn from what I have to say. Now that I've confessed my deepest feelings of inadequacy, I can let them go. Just like that. I resolve to stop thinking about
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Some late night ramblings about advocating for our students. Thanks to  @margaretsmn for provoking us on #DigiLitSunday. Advocacy -  to speak out for those who may not be able to do so for themselves because they're afraid, they don't know how or they can't. To be the voice of our students. To speak out means to risk being labeled a troublemaker, not a team player, insubordinate just because we advocate for students. There's something wrong with that. There's something wrong when  decisions are made for the benefit  of adults in a school. When we take the easy way out's the easy way out. No confrontation. No risk involved. Staying in the safe zone. Comfort level. But, our students deserve more than that. To have their backs. To be their advocate. Because if not us, then who?

Daily Writing Habit

So, as some of you who have read my recent ruminations may know, I have decided to blog every day. Not because I have so much to say that I need to publish something every day, but because by making my writing public every day, I have made a commitment to a daily writing habit . So, barring any unusual circumstances like no WiFi, family commitments or sheer exhaustion, I am blogging every day. Sometimes I am stuck for a topic to write about. Sometimes I want to write about topics that could get me into trouble if I made them public. Sometimes I forego my instinct and do it anyway. At other times, I walk along a long and narrow path. All this is to say that I am pledging to write at least 100 words a day. Furthermore, I will add 10 or more words to my total goal every day. If I'm going strong, why not keep the momentum going and up the ante? My objective is to eventually write 1,000 words on a daily basis. But, that would now become more than just a blog post.

What Needs to Change...

The concerns addressed in this post have been brewing in my head for a while. I just hadn't sat down to articulate them...until now. Any resemblance to recent or future contexts is purely coincidental. What is depicted here is a generic portrait of institutionalized thinking around professional development.. This post is written as an interrogation between an imaginary reporter (IR) and a teacher (T). IR: What do you learn in school wide teacher workshops? T: What the administration deems important. It's a one size fits all arrangement. Whether or not it is a good fit for teachers is not the point. If everyone did something different, how would the school keep track  of that? It would be too messy. Besides, how would a school make sure that there is consistency from grade to grade? You see, differentiation and choice are not meant for teachers. IR: Who is doing the learning at school wide teacher workshops? Some teachers, I'm sure, but not everyone.

Earth Day

Earth Day is  designated     as the one day during the year to focus  on the environment. A day to honor  Mother Earth. A day to renew our commitment  to the environment by changing habits and activities detrimental to a healthy  Earth. The first Earth Day took place  more than 40 years ago. A lifetime for some, but a second of time  in the history of the Earth. It's ironic,  given the short sojourn  of humans on Earth, that we have done so much   to make the Earth vulnerable    in order to make our lives easier. We never considered  what we might lose  in the process. Until  it was too late. Earth Day was born as a reminder that we are on this beautiful planet for only a short while . So, we must be stewards of our home. We must take care of it. It's really as simple as that.  Every day and not just on April 22nd of any given year. Not only have humans  accelerated climate change caused changes in the ozone layer accelerated polluti

Celebrating Wonderings

Celebrating Wonderings Warning: this post is full of questions. No definitive answers, yet. Maybe never. This is an ongoing process. The answers change. The questions may stay the same. Either way, I'm on a constant search for improvement. I'm currently wondering: How to teach all that I know is important for the students I have this year.  And, how to include my students in these decisions. How to make sure I spend just the right amount of time conferring.  How to listen more and talk less. How to better honor student thinking. To understand without judging so all ideas are respected.   Whether or not I'm making a difference in my students' learning. How can I know for sure? About the myriad ways that literacy and numeracy are connected, and can support and enrich each other. How to be more patient with myself and my students. Less rushed. More in the moment. How to be more efficient and effective with mini lessons. Conferring. Planning. Why I&


Waiting is hard for me to do. I've written about this before. If not, I've thought about this before. A lot. I try to talk myself out of thinking about what I'm waiting for, but I can't. I try to be reasonable. I say things like, "Let go. Let the universe take care of things." But, I can't. I take lots of deep breaths. In. Out. In. Out. In. Out. In. Out. But, I can't. I try not to check my email every 5 minutes, but I can't. I try to do something else. Anything else. I read a book. I watch a movie. Then, I check my email. Nothing. And, the cycle starts all over again. If I could truly let go of what I want, then maybe it would come to me when I'm ready to receive it. Easier said than done. Waiting is hard for me to do.