Monthly Archives: March 2016

Simple Pleasures

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The simple pleasures of today:

Cutting flowers and putting them in vases to place throughout the house.

Cooking a yummy dinner for my family.

Buying a caramel honey latte from Starbuck’s as I did some shopping after school.

Co-teaching with my friend.

The silence created by a class of students listening to a podcast and taking Cornell notes.

Lunch eaten with friends.

Creating something to help a first year teacher.

Meeting with like-minded educators.

Drinking coffee in the morning while it’s still dark outside.

Praying with my husband before I headed to work.

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A Fire Kindled

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The mind is not a vessel to be filled, but a FIRE to be kindled. –Plutarch

As an instructional coach, my natural instinct is to fill brains, fill brains to the brim with strategies, data, ideas, or advice.

But, really, what I want to do is kindle a fire. I want to sow the seeds of excitement and anticipation. I want to spark imaginations and expectations.

Today, a teacher sent me an email of dates that she would like to host a student-centered lab as she uses stations in her social studies classroom. Later, we happened to meet in the hallway, and she excitedly told me about the primary sources she was introducing through rotating stations to help students understand facets of WWII. Her activities using comparing and contrasting, forming opinions on controversial questions, and deep thinking were well-thought out. The primary sources she would be using included print and photographs.

As teachers observe her lesson, I know that the excitement will spread (along with the strategies and ideas).

A spark was ignited with a coaching cycle experimenting with primary sources, an invitation for a visit from the principal, and positive feedback. With time and a little patience, the spark grew…and a fire was kindled.

 

Sandals

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I am a woman. A woman who loves shoes. And today, my day was brighter because of the sandals I wore to school. It’s silly, I know, but true.

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I’ve been watching the weather forecast for several days to choose the perfect day to unveil my new sandals. After watching last evening’s forecast, I knew today was the day.

Last night, I painted my toenails and put lotion on my winter-dried feet. I spent 20 minutes choosing my outfit so that it would bring out the colors in my floral footwear. I made a mental note to purchase a bright pink shirt for the next time I’d wear them.

This morning, my feet were freezing, but that’s a small price to pay to look like a million bucks…at least where my feet are concerned.

I was rewarded with several compliments and a bright feeling of confidence.

Tomorrow, I will wear something warmer and less brightly colored. And my feet will probably thank me. And my vanity will hopefully be back to normal.

But today, my beautifully clad feet were like a garden in spring.

Uncertainties

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The uncertainties of being an instructional coach…

Did I do enough?

Did I ask the right questions?

Did I listen?

What could I suggest?

Should we try something else?

Where can we look?

Will this work?

Did students learn?

Did thinking change?

Do I make an impact?

 

 

 

 

Truths, Beauties, Appreciations

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I saw this organization on a blog today and would like to try it myself.

 

Truths

-Home is where the heart is. I love my home and work hard to make it look pretty, feel cozy, and invite de-stressing. It’s my family’s safe haven from the world and all it entails.

-Prayer changes things. My husband, my parents, and I watched “War Room” Friday night. How important it is to pray for our families and those we love. God is always faithful to answer our prayers.

-Our work is important. What we do in life, eight hours a day, makes a difference. Whether we are educators, bankers, doctors, mechanics, or florists, we can change a day or a life.

Beauties

-Flowers bring beauty for the soul. Whether they are located in a vase or a garden, they bring color and texture to our world. They cost very little, but make a big difference.

-The love between a husband and wife is beautiful. Two people who know almost everything about each other, yet still love each other. A best friend, a constant companion, and sweet encourager, a partner for life. There is nothing in life quite like this union between two people.

-Classical music – intricate, beautiful, and peaceful.

Appreciations

-My husband. He just washed all the dishes and took out the trash, without being asked. Plus, he’s really cute!

-My parents. Besides my husband, they are the first I call when I have a question or need a prayer. Each day, they babysit my dog while I am at work. Diligently, they taught me how to live life, and daily provide encouragement for me.

-My co-workers. This writing challenge is more enjoyable, because they are taking part. I appreciate how they use my services as an instructional coach. Besides being co-workers, they are great listeners and are always good for a laugh!

Today

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The four of us, my husband, daughter, mother-in-law, and myself, piled into my car. We were headed to Crystal Bridges, an art museum with nature trails, in Bentonville, Arkansas. Riding contentedly as my husband drove the hour there, it reminded me of many other times the four of us headed to various locations for weekends of soccer. Piled in the car with chairs, coolers, jackets, blankets, snacks, and pillows, we would visit with each other or ride quietly while we read, napped, or my mother-in-law embroidered.

Today was just a day trip to enjoy beautiful art and the peaceful surroundings as we wandered through the trails near the museum. After lunch, we engaged in a bit of shopping, and ended our day with some ice cream to complement the warm sun on our faces.

In my memories and in the reality of today, we bonded, we laughed, and we talked. Whether we were watching soccer or are gazing at art, something is built between us. It’s more than just the connection of family. It’s the kinship of shared experiences and inside jokes and laughter. It draws us together and holds us there.

Today was a good day.

Dear Time

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Dear Time,

You are precious and fleeting. I try to appreciate every moment you offer, but sometimes I forget. In a hurry for tomorrow, this weekend, next month, I wish you away.

When I look back, I don’t know where you have gone. A decade ago seems like yesterday. I would like more of you. Would you consider slowing down…or maybe even going backwards?

Until I hear from you, I WILL enjoy every minute, hour, and day. I will take a deep breath and listen to the ticking of the clock, thankful for each second I hear.

Because you are fleeting and precious.

Sincerely,

Time to Slow Down