Perfect Workshop – SOL Day 20

Day back after Spring Break.

Note to self:  Remember today.  Take the positive that swirled around you today:

  • silent writing for 15 solid minutes for Writing Time, despite having to pull curriculum
  • talk – before an entry, after an entry – after productive search through their Notebooks for ideas

Then the kicker:  one student saying to another:  “You didn’t write over the Break?  What do you mean you didn’t write?!  How could you not write?”

Don’t forget — rest throughout the week so you can be as calm and thoughtful as you were today, enjoying that swirl of good conversation in the classroom.

Remember it turned out better than you could have ever expected..  because of the agency you give them.  That classroom is ready to run on it’s own.

Let it go.  And above all, write so you can keep teaching your kids.  🙂


Changing Brain – SOL Day 19

I’ve been trying to pull myself out of a fog I’ve been in for a year, maybe more — writing has helped so much.  It’s because I stopped writing that I went into this funk.. or the funk came because I stopped writing, I haven’t sat with myself long enough to figure out which.

There’s a part of me that just wants to believe my brain has changed as I enter my mid-40s.  I don’t remember things.  Things that didn’t bother me before send me into a tizzy, when I considered myself an easy going mom, wife, friend.  Just a person.  Is it me who’s changing?  Or was it just Trump and all that political horror of these past few years that just have me .. where?

But.. I visited Travel in Ma today, and for all my trying to dramatize and obsess over what’s missing in my personality, who I am, who I was (mid-life crisis??), I see what peace has serenely blanketed itself over different parts of my life.

  • I genuinely care for my husband more.. I know I had harbored things over the years… and now, I just don’t see them. Or, I know what they were, but I don’t care.  I really don’t care..
  • I accept where my children are going, as long as they’re happy. My eldest son is finding his way.  Before, it would have been death for me for him not to follow “the plan.”  All I care about is the who decides he wants to define himself as, if he is at peace with himself, and what I can do to help him be there. .. which is just a peaceful, calm parent who supports and loves, no matter what. Anything else.. I really don’t care.
  • I’m okay with my weight.  All my life, I’ve had to outsource my battle with pounds.  I want to get in this dress for this thing.. I want to look this way, like I saw this person.. Now, I just want to be healthy.  I’ve been changing my lifestyle for over a year now, with diet and exercise.  I feel strong … and solid.  The rest, I really don’t care…

.. that’s all I can think about for right now.

Because the rest depends on whether or not I get enough sleep for tomorrow. First day back after Spring Break.

I guess I can add:

  • I am more realistic about stuff.  I know my limits and can now speak for myself. When I say no, it’s no.  The rest.. will be okay.


Calling it a night.. – SOL Day 8

Surely, mine will be the shortest post you’ve read. I’m exhausted.  .. because I didn’t stand on my feel and teach at all today.  Test day.  The tiredest I’ve been all year.

… and I’m afraid.  Because I’m going to tease what I think it my natural sleep cycle:  8p bedtime, Central Time (oh no!). .. I might like it..

I wish you all the best sleep tonight and the most peaceful dreams.  🙂

Marry the Dog – SOL Day 7

I forgot my Notebook at school, so here’s a quick write over something that happened at dinner.  Planted this one in another Notebook, too, before bringing it here.  This year for SOL, I’m committing to notebooking first, before bringing anything to this blog.. 

Kids seem to have memories that last longer than the years they’ve been alive..

We chomp over dinner, and eldest-middle child says she once thought she’d marry her younger brother and that older brother would marry older sister.  Younger brother says, “And I thought that the Baby would marry the dog.”

… because when his two-year-oldish reasoning (at the time) figured there was no one left.

I depend on my children’s memories to get me through.  I’ve told you.. my memory faults me for so many reasons.  Know God is the keeper of my memory has let me drift into more important things — priorities, the present moment.  But, even so, every time they tell me some miraculous memory from another life (That happened to us?  Really?  Mama doesn’t remember.. ), I want to tell them with urgency to Write it down, Write it down, Write it down!!

But the teacher part of me wants to rest once I get home, and barely, just barely, I’m beginning to overcome my hesitation to impart what I know are best practices with my own children.  We play, you see.  And I believe in letting the mind rest for the few hours we have before we have to do it all over again.

It’s their viewpoints I want to remember, what I want to keep.  It’s those memories and viewpoints I want them to value over time by putting down those little meaningful details somewhere permanent.  I want them to believe, understand and commit to the importance of reflecting on a meaningful life.. among other things…

I’m telling myself now, so I won’t forget:  it’s not too late to bring the Notebook habit of mind to my children.



Digital Writing – Trying to Know What I’m Doing

So, here I am, writing crazy.


Language Teachers have it tough. If you take the English route, you’re trained on Shakespeare and Chaucer, Morrison and Cisneros, but when you’re in the classroom, your reality is brief passages from pre-selected work or even random non-fiction articles with a nameless byline.  Random.

It’s hard to bring to life what students see as dead weight (irrelevant, dead authors), so I am constantly trying to bridge the connection between breathing body and canned curriculum. Continue reading