Posted in 2017, Classroom, Reflection, Slice of Life

#SOL17 What Was Missing

The day began with 40 of us standing on the sidewalk in the bright morning sunshine. Some of us were old friends, some acquaintances, some new faces. But every single one of us knew, as evidenced by the excited chatter and anxious looks on faces, that today was the beginning of something special. Today was our first day together on our journey to become a new family and open the doors of our brand new school.

Our principal stepped to the front of the crowd and explained what was in place and what will be coming. And then, just like that, the doors were opened and we walked into the building for the first time.

To say we were impressed would be an understatement. The smells of fresh paint and newly laid carpet filled the halls. Each classroom was perfect, filled with new, modern furniture and more storage than one can even dream of having. Bright colors filled the halls.

I stood in my new classroom, taking in all of the newness, all of the potential, and all of the excitement. I quickly snapped a few pictures before we moved on, something to hold onto until it’s time to begin moving my own things in.


We toured the whole building that day: the art room filled with light, the enormous gymnasium with its gleaming wood floors, the skeletal framework of a future playground.

But for every single one of the amenities and all of the promises the new school held, I couldn’t shake the feeling that something was missing.

That night, when I told my own kids that I had seen the new school, my son requested to see the pictures of where he will attend kindergarten this fall. I scrolled through my phone, showing them the rug and the tables and the bookshelves.

“But….that’s not a classroom!” my 5-year-old son protested, flipping through the pictures once again.

“Of course it is!” I replied. “See? There are bookshelves, and tables, and a rug…”

“But, Mommy,” he said, “How is it a classroom? It’s missing all the kids!”

And there it was: the truth I couldn’t quite put my finger on. Even with state-of-the art facilities and a staff of teachers who can’t wait to move in and set up our new classrooms, it just isn’t quite a school just yet.

A school doesn’t become a school until it is filled with children. And I can’t wait to be there in August when they arrive!


I’m excited to join other writers every Tuesday (and daily during the month of March) in 2017 to participate in the Slice of Life writing challenge through Two Writing Teachers. Read all about how you can Write. Share. Give. on their website here.

slice-of-life_individual

I’m excited to join other writers every Tuesday (and daily during the month of March) in 2017 to participate in the Slice of Life writing challenge through Two Writing Teachers. Read all about how you can Write. Share. Give. on their website here.

slice-of-life_individual

Posted in 2017, Classroom, Literacy, Reading, Reflection, Slice of Life

#SOL17 It Matters To Be a Teacher Who Reads

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I have been a voracious reader as long as I can remember. My childhood memories are full of long and happy hours spent with Clifford the Big Red Dog, my friends in the Babysitters’ Club, and everyone’s favorite female sleuth in practical pumps, Nancy Drew. Middle school was spent living through the terrors on R.L Stine’s Fear Street, followed by a graduation to the true horror of Stephen King in high school. Quite simply, I can’t remember a time when there hasn’t been a book on my nightstand.

As I started teaching, I would have told you I brought my love for books into the classroom. I filled my classroom library with fantastic reads, both new and classic–or, at least, I was told they were fantastic. Some I read as read alouds; others I skimmed to prepare for working with book clubs. But way too many of the amazing books on my shelves were never opened by me–and, therefore, never opened by my students.

Fast forward to two summers ago. After eight years in the classroom and four years as an instructional coach, I thought I had everything figured out. I loved literacy and everything related to reading and writing. I felt confident in my knowledge of good instructional practices. I had a shelf overflowing with amazing professional books and was regularly leading professional development around literacy.

But then I attended the ILA conference and the world shifted. As I sat there, immersed in literacy for four days, the margins of my notebook quickly filled with title after title of outstanding books. Someone handed me a copy of The One and Only Ivan. And I began to really read for the first time in a long time.

I spent the rest of that summer reading middle grade and YA novels, then continued throughout that school year. Last summer I participated in Donalyn Miller’s summer #Bookaday challenge, the stack of books on my nightstand constantly threatening to tip over. I signed up for the selection committee for our state’s book awards and subscribed to the Nerdy Book Club blog for regular updates of new and upcoming titles. I read books that made me laugh, books that have made me ugly cry, and books that have taken me completely out of my reading comfort zone. I have held my breath as Peter and Pax tried to find their way back to each other and mourned Ms. Bixby. Over the past two years, I have transformed myself into a model of the kind of reader I want my students to become.

And, I learned very quickly, it matters.

It matters because of the student who had a copy of Raina Telgemeier’s Sisters on her desk whose face lit up when I asked her if she’d also read Smile.

It matters because of the fourth grader who visits my office to chat with me about Charlotte’s Web.

It matters because of the first grader who stopped and talked to me about our favorite Dog Man book in the hallway yesterday afternoon.

It matters because of the fifth grader who raised his hand to get my attention during standardized testing last week because he wanted to tell me he started reading The Honorable Perry T. Cook after I read a chapter aloud in his classroom several weeks ago.

It matters because of the third graders who showed up at my office door to borrow Fenway and Hattie after I shared a chapter with their class.

It matters because of the teacher who asked to borrow Pax for a class read aloud after I used an excerpt in a training.

And it matters for my own children, who I can only hope are someday inspired by teachers who love to read, too.

Note: Just as I prepared to hit publish on this post, this fantastic piece by Pernille Ripp popped up in my inbox with some outstanding ideas on how to be a reading role model!


I’m excited to join other writers every Tuesday (and daily during the month of March) in 2017 to participate in the Slice of Life writing challenge through Two Writing Teachers. Read all about how you can Write. Share. Give. on their website here.

slice-of-life_individual

Posted in 2017, Classroom, Literacy, Reading

My #MustReadin2017 Update

At the beginning of the year, several bloggers I follow started posting their #MustReadin2017 lists, and I was instantly inspired. I traced their posts back to Carrie Gelson’s site There is a Book for That, where she extended an open invitation for readers to create, post, and share their own #MustReadin2017 lists. I combed through my Goodreads list, blogs, and the Nerdy Book Club’s 2016 Middle Grade Nerdies to compile the list I posted here, a total of 30 books I hoped to read by the end of this year.

Since then, a printed copy of this paper has sat on my 
desk, getting shuffled into one pile or another. Occasionally, I take it out, grab my blue marker, and cross another book off the list. Sometimes I refer to it while I’m on the library’s website to request a book when I’m out of inspiration (that doesn’t happen very often). Other times I look through the books I’ve already read and reflect on the ones I want to recommend to other readers.

This week, Carrie invited those of us who decided to participate to check in and share our progress. Much like the work we do sometimes with data, I immediately thought of just sharing my number: I’ve read 23 of the 30 books I challenged myself to read. A few of the remaining titles are on my nightstand currently. I’m waiting for a few more from the library.

But that doesn’t tell the story.

The story is that I love to read and I always have, but I also fall into pretty consistent reading patterns. I frequently get hooked on a particular author or series. I love realistic fiction, especially if it is dramatic. I do love to read middle grade and YA books, but shy away from fantasy and mystery and sports stories.

While this list didn’t completely push me out of my comfort zone, the story behind this check in is that it has done some powerful things for me as a reader:

  • It has pushed me to finish books I would otherwise have tried to abandon. The Inquisitor’s Tale and When the Sea Turned to Silver were amazingly-written books that were both highly recommended, but they were both out of my reading comfort/interest zone. I really had to push myself to not put them down–and I’m glad I didn’t.
  • It has kept me more focused. So often, I see a great book and mark it on Goodreads…and then forget it exists. Having this list in hand has kept some important books front and center for me the past few months.
  • It has helped me connect with other readers. Seeing the same books on someone else’s list automatically makes you feel connected with that person.
  • It has guided me to be a more committed reader. I already read voraciously, but this list has empowered me to become a little more committed to finding and reading particular titles. Knowing there would be check-in points throughout the year has supported me in not forgetting this list.

When I think about all of the benefits of participating in this community, I look forward to offering students the choice to create their own lists when I return to the classroom next fall. I can’t wait to explore the potential of adding this to my toolbox for building a reading community–and I can’t wait to knock out the remaining books on my own list in 2017!

 

Posted in 2017, Classroom, Literacy, Reflection, Slice of Life, Writing

#SOL17 Day 31: 31 Lessons in 31 Days (Part 2)

This is the third year I’ve participated in the March Slice of Life Challenge through the Two Writing Teachers, and I can’t believe what a powerful month it has been each time. As I sit here and reflect on what this month has meant, what I’ve learned, and how I hope it has changed me as a writer and teacher going forward, I’m going to spend the last two days reflecting on the 31 most important things I’ve learned by participating.

  1. You have to be forgiving of yourself when you don’t write. Just like any good habit, it Image result for finish line beginning of whole new racewon’t always happen. Life gets busy. I’m committing to continuing my writing, but I also know that I will only stick with this commitment if I learn to forgive myself during the busy times when I can’t always squeeze it in. Each day is a new opportunity to write–even if you didn’t yesterday.
  2. Writing is always a work in progressFor years we have used the Units of Study mantra “When you think you’re done, you’ve just begun.” Living as a writer has shown me just how true this is.
  3. Technology has taken writing to a whole new level. Without blogging and Twitter and Two Writing Teachers, I might never have found the right tools and forum to have the courage to write and share my work. Technology connects us in powerful ways. We can’t forget that.
  4. Incentives are great, but the prize is the writing. I love how TWT includes little challenges along the way to push our thinking and help us connect even more. But there’s no disappointment or discouragement if a prize isn’t part of the experience. My reward is the work I’ve done and the things I’ve learned along the way.
  5. Writing makes you a better reader. We know, of course, that the opposite is true–the more you read, the better you write. But I have also begun to notice over the past few weeks that I’m noticing the craft of the writing in the books I’m reading more than ever before. (This makes me think about cooking–how much better things taste when you know the effort and love that went into creating them.)
  6. Writing captures who we are, where we’ve been, and where we’re hoping to go. My writing this year isn’t like the writing I did last year. My writing next year will not be the same as the writing I’m doing now. Our lives change, we grow, and our writing lives on as a snapshot of our current reality.
  7. Developing myself as a writer will make me a better teacher of writing. I look forward to sharing with my students the power of being a writer myself, the challenges, and how I work to overcome struggles.
  8. Writing isn’t just something you do, it’s something you areI’ve always considered myself a teacher who gets to teach reading and writing. Now I love thinking about myself as a writer who gets to teach children how to write, too.
  9. Each new piece of writing is a blank slate. It doesn’t matter if the last piece of writing was prolific or if it was a tremendous flop. Every time I click the ‘Write’ button to start a new piece is a fresh beginning with endless options.
  10. Powerful messages aren’t always told with words. Some of my favorite posts this month that I have read have included powerful images. I have to constantly remind myself of the power of visual media and work on thinking of ways to incorporate this more into my own work.
  11. Writers support each other. Even more than just an audience, the other writers this month have formed a support system. I can’t forget that in my classroom–there is just something so powerful about knowing there are people out there who are waiting to read your work and willing to be your cheerleaders.
  12. Goals don’t have to be shared to be transformative. I’ve kept pretty quiet about this challenge to my family and friends. I haven’t talked a lot about making myself write every day for 31 days. At one time I think I kept it to myself because I was afraid of not making it to the end, but I really think it’s because this goal was so personal that I didn’t need a push from anyone else to help me achieve it. I completely owned this goal.
  13. It is so important to share the power of writing. For the past two years, I have tried this challenge alone and have been afraid to share with the people around me that I was doing it. Part of me was a little intimidated that someone I know might read my work, and part of me was worried that the people I shared it with would think I was crazy for wanting to take something like this on. This year, however, two of my teaching friends–a classroom teacher and our instructional technology coach–have tried the challenge with me, and I have loved sharing this experience with them. I can only hope that more people will join us next year!
  14. Sometimes you have to take the time to look back at how far you have come as a writer. Participating in this challenge for three years means that I have hit publish 63 times (plus a few here and there as I’ve done the Tuesday challenge). As I sit back and reread my very first post from 2015, I can see how much more confident I am, how much more committed I am, and how much writing has come to mean to me.
  15. I am a writer. I could easily say I’m too busy to write. I have two small children and a husband at home. I’m finishing my doctorate. I’m returning to the classroom. I lead PD after school. My kids have activities almost every afternoon and on the weekends. But in spite of all of that, I have made writing every day for the past month work somehow. And there’s no reason at all to think I can’t continue to write regularly. After all, not only am I a mother and a wife and a student and a teacher . . . I’m a writer.

I’m excited to join other writers every Tuesday (and daily during the month of March) in 2017 to participate in the Slice of Life writing challenge through Two Writing Teachers. Read all about how you can Write. Share. Give. on their website here.
    slice-of-life_individual     

Posted in 2017, Classroom, Reflection, Slice of Life

#SOL17 Day 28: Maps

I first noticed it at the Field Museum last Monday–our 5-year-old son insisted on carrying the map the attendant handed us as we purchased our admission at the door. This map became a permanent accessory that day as he consulted it at each new exhibit and fought to keep it out of his little sister’s hands. By the end of the day, the map was torn and tattered, but even accompanied us back to our hotel.

 

As we arrived at the Museum of Science and Industry on Wednesday, he immediately made a beeline to pick up two maps from the kiosk–one for himself and one for his sister. Again, he consulted it throughout the day. Although he couldn’t read the words, he was quickly picking up on the pictures to help figure out where we were and where we might want to visit next.

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Yesterday we ended Spring Break with a visit to the zoo, and again both kids insisted on having maps in hand. This time our son relied on the color-coding system and the pictures of the animals to help us travel through the exhibits, pointing out where all of his favorite animals were. On the way home he even requested a pen so he could draw a picture of himself on the map. (Of course, his sister had to do the same.)

We frequently hear the question “What’s our plan?” at our house. (They’re a lot like their mother.) They want to know where we’re going, what we’re doing, and when each event will take place.

But this new fascination with maps has made me stop and think: What is so significant about a map?

And then I realized–an itinerary only tells you what’s going to happen next. A map helps you navigate. Maps show you the big picture and allow you to choose a path based on your preferences, your resources, and your priorities. Maps show you where you are, where you’ve been, and where you might go next. Maps give you control and options.

As I think about the learners in our classrooms, I know we’re quick to give them itineraries. We tell them the daily schedule, upcoming assignments, and our objectives for each lesson or unit.

But how often do we give them maps? How do we create opportunities to show them the big picture of their learning and allow them to control how they navigate through a unit? When do we set aside time to support them in exploring the big ideas and seeing how everything connects? How do we support them in considering their own paths for learning?

Are we putting maps in our students’ hands each day, or are we simply handing them itineraries?

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I’m excited to join other writers every Tuesday (and daily during the month of March) in 2017 to participate in the Slice of Life writing challenge through Two Writing Teachers. Read all about how you can Write. Share. Give. on their website here.
    slice-of-life_individual     

Posted in 2017, Classroom, Literacy, Reflection, Slice of Life

#SOL17 Day 22: Five Things About Fifth Grade (Part Two)

Yesterday I wrote about how excited I am to begin teaching fifth grade in the fall. This excitement isn’t without some anxiety, though. Here are five things I’m worried about as I think about these upcoming changes:

  1. Trying too many new things at once. I’ve learned so much over the past six years and my core philosophy has changed so drastically that I’m worried about “biting off more than I can chew.” (Hopefully my level-headed team will keep me sane and help me decide what I can reasonably take on!)
  2. Social drama. I taught fourth grade for a long time and have worked in a lot of intermediate classrooms, so I’m no stranger to the conflicts that arise between kids. However, I don’t look forward to the drama that seems to escalate in fifth grade, especially the ways it’s fueled now by social media. I really don’t like seeing kids I care about hurt each other.
  3. Adjusting to less flexibility than I’ve had for the past several years. I’ve been able to do a lot of unique and interesting things because my job hasn’t fit into a perfect little daily schedule. I have been able to go to the bathroom when I need to and eat when I’m hungry. While I welcome having a routine again, it will be a big shift.
  4. Judgment. I’ve spent the past six years coaching and mentoring new teachers. Many people have been so supportive of this position, but there have always been a few who didn’t understand my role (and even a few of those few who haven’t always been nice about it). I’m afraid that when (not if) I make a mistake, those few will be waiting to judge. (Yes, they don’t really matter, but I think I worry too much about being viewed as “different” because of my time out of the classroom when I’ve never really viewed myself as anything other than a teacher who got to teach other teachers.)
  5. Balancing all of the responsibilities in my life. Since leaving the classroom, I took on the most important job I’ve ever had: Mom (I found out I was expecting my son the day before my last day as a classroom teacher). I also decided last spring to return to school for my doctorate in Teacher Leadership and will graduate at the end of next school year. My National Board certification is up for renewal next year, too. I will have a lot on my plate (and I’m going to have to be very smart about managing it all)! Again, this is where those level-headed teams (my home one and my school one) get to help me stay sane!

    I’m excited to join other writers every Tuesday (and daily during the month of March) in 2017 to participate in the Slice of Life writing challenge through Two Writing Teachers. Read all about how you can Write. Share. Give. on their website here.
        slice-of-life_individual     

    Posted in 2017, Classroom, Collaboration, Literacy, Reading, Reflection, Slice of Life

    #SOL17 Day 21: Five Things About Fifth Grade (Part 1)

    As I’ve been thinking about my upcoming return to the classroom and placement in fifth grade next year, millions of thoughts have been running through my head. Here are five things that make me excited about this next adventure:

    1. Working to create lifelong readers. I can’t wait to put the right books in the right kids’ hands. I can’t wait to participate in the Global Read Aloud. I can’t wait to work with reluctant readers and (hopefully) reach as many of them as possible.
    2. Teaching writing every day. I’ve had many opportunities to model lessons over the past several years, but there’s something magical about taking a group of kids from the beginning to the end of a unit. (I also can’t wait to participate in the Classroom Slice of Life challenge next March for the first time!)
    3. Creating a classroom that is truly student-centered. I’m so excited to give kids a voice in their own learning and to get to know them as we build a community together.
    4. Implementing and applying all of the learning I have done over the past six years as a mentor. I’ve had so many incredible experiences, worked with some absolutely amazing people, and observed countless classrooms. I hope I can put all of my growth together to create a fantastic learning experience for my students!
    5. My new team! Each of them has fifth grade experience, and not only are all of them fantastic teachers, but all are also genuinely wonderful people. I can’t wait to see what we will accomplish together!

    I’m excited to join other writers every Tuesday (and daily during the month of March) in 2017 to participate in the Slice of Life writing challenge through Two Writing Teachers. Read all about how you can Write. Share. Give. on their website here.

    1.     slice-of-life_individual     
    Posted in 2017, Classroom, Collaboration, Innovation, Slice of Life, STEM

    #SOL17 Day 19: “Breaking Out” Something New in Kindergarten

    I first heard of Breakout Edu back in the fall when my building principal and one of our teachers developed and led a session at an early release PD. As a staff, we formed teams and solved clues and unlocked locks to achieve the ultimate goal of opening our Breakout Box. The best part: there was a surprise inside (jeans/dress down passes!). We collaborated, we problem-solved, and we used the strengths of each individual team member to try to beat the clock and the other teams. It was a fun afternoon in which we not only learned a new “tool” for our classrooms, but also developed some new strategies for working with each another.

    However, I have been coaching in only kindergarten and first grade this year and, since I work with primarily first year teachers, I wrote it off as something that wouldn’t really fit into the work I’m doing right now.

    But several weeks ago my assistant principal came to me full of excitement. She had seen kindergarten classrooms trying Breakout activities on Twitter and was anxious to implement it in our building–and wanted me to work with my mentee to make it happen.

    We began collaborating–my kindergarten teacher, my assistant principal, our instructional technology coach, and myself–and determined that St. Patrick’s Day would be the perfect day. It was a half day of school, we had a fun theme, and if things didn’t go as planned, we were sending the kids off to Spring Break immediately after it ended and knew they would forgive and forget any disasters during the week off.

    The day arrived and we were set–plans in place (you can see them here if you’re interested), boxes locked, clues hidden, kids dressed in team colors, and How to Catch a Leprechaun read aloud. An excited buzz filled the air as the kids entered the room and took their places on the carpet. The teacher introduced the lesson by explaining the locked boxes and the clues they would find, and asked, “Are you ready to try to catch a leprechaun?”

    Immediately, a little boy at the front of the carpet jumped up and shouted, “I see him! He was just out the window, but he flew up to heaven to be with God!” Oh, boy. I love kindergartners.

    The teacher calmed the kids down and we broke out into our teams. Just like the adults at our PD, the kids searched for clues, problem-solved, and worked together to open each lock. Every face had a grin that stretched from ear to ear, and the room erupted into cheers more times than I could count when each group successfully removed another lock. As each box was opened, the kids were thrilled to find a pile of gold coins–and were even more excited when my principal walked in the room dressed from head-to-toe as a leprechaun.

    One student worked to unlock the directional lock while two others listened carefully to see if they could hear a leprechaun moving around inside the box. They were 100% convinced they could hear him squirming around in there!
    Not only was this a fun morning, it was a meaningful experience for both the kids and the adults in the room. Here are a few of the lessons I’m taking forward:

    1. Advance planning is everything, especially with kindergarten. Having every clue in place, every lock checked, and every coin counted was absolutely essential.
    2. It took a village. We had five different groups of kids and each group had an adult with them.
    3. This is a fantastic first step for getting kids to work with each other doing structured problem-solving. This group is used to having unstructured play workshop time, but this activity built upon that and required them to work through frustrations and conflicts in new ways.
    4. Students were incredibly engaged and each child had a chance to shine. Everyone got a turn to use their strengths to help open the box.
    5. Even when a new idea seems like it won’t “fit” what you’re doing or might be too difficult, it’s always worth it to step back and think about it differently. You never know what a great learning experience it might turn out to be–for you and the kids!

    If you’re interested in learning more about Breakout Edu, you can visit their site here. For this activity, we used the purchased kits (boxes and locks) and created our own St. Patrick’s Day themed experience for the kids based on our kindergarten standards. (Note: I’m not trying to sell any products. Our school was lucky enough to have funds to purchase a set of their boxes and through their online resources I have learned a lot about how Breakout Edu works in classrooms.)


    I’m excited to join other writers every Tuesday (and daily during the month of March) in 2017 to participate in the Slice of Life writing challenge through Two Writing Teachers. Read all about how you can Write. Share. Give. on their website here.
        slice-of-life_individual     

    Posted in 2017, Classroom, One Little Word, Reflection, Slice of Life

    #SOL17 Day 18: The Announcement

    Today my district announced staff moves and assignments for the next school year in response to the opening of a new school and redistricting. You can read more about this in a previous post here.

    Before the announcement:

    • Our parent group generously provided breakfast for us as the kindest of gestures after a long week of conferences, counting down to Spring Break, and waiting. We nervously shuffled in and tried to make small talk. Some people hid their nerves, while others could talk of nothing else.
    • We all tried to keep our mornings fun and busy with our kids as we counted down the moments to Spring Break. We did Breakout Edu, novel engineering, and a variety of other hands-on STEM activities to keep the kids engaged and teachers busy. I worked with my kindergarten mentee and several other people from the district to implement our first trial of Breakout Edu with kindergarteners–a fabulous way to lose track of an hour and a half having fun (I’ll have to share that experience in a future post).
    • We honored St. Patrick’s Day. My principal popped in and out of classrooms dressed as a leprechaun from head to toe. Each of us wore something green and kept the spirit of the day fun and lighthearted with leprechaun read alouds, gold coins, and festive outfits.
    • Our cell phones buzzed all morning with messages from friends and colleagues in other buildings who had already been told of their movement and placements (my building was the most impacted, so we had to be told as a whole staff at once because our administrators didn’t have time to reach all of us in a half day of school). News spread like wildfire. Anxiety began to increase.
    • A few brave souls asked my principal for the time of the announcement. He told them 12:20. It didn’t really matter what time he said–any more time spent waiting seemed like too much at that point.
    • We packed the kids up, wished them well on the break, and dismissed them to buses and parents as quickly as possible.
    • I ate all of the chocolate that was left in my office. It wasn’t enough.
    • We began gathering in small groups around the building. Some people wanted to be alone. Some wanted anything but solitude. Everyone began refreshing their email obsessively.

    At 12:17, each of us received an email welcoming us to to our 2017-18 teaching assignment.

    After the announcement:

    • I teared up before I even opened the email and read the words I’d been hoping to see.
    • It slowly sank in that I will be going to open the new school with my principal (who I absolutely love working for) and several of my colleagues. I will be teaching fifth grade along with another mentor who will be returning to the classroom, too.
    • I realized the names that were missing on the roster for the new school, friends who have been chosen to stay behind to continue making my current school as amazing as it always has been. My heart ached over the fact that we can’t all stay together.
    • People around me began to react. Silence. Some in tears. Some in shock. Much disbelief. A few wondering who would fill out their new team, as we only saw a roster with names of our current staff and blanks where transfers from other buildings fit.
    • We slowly dispersed, Spring Break beginning. Some people left right away, needing some time alone. Some people stayed and processed together.
    • I reached out to my new teammates, telling them each how excited I am to work with them. They responded to share their excitement, too.
    • Eventually, I left school, torn between hope and excitement for the changes to come and sadness for those who didn’t receive the placement they hoped they would get.

    I don’t know what will happen next. Spring Break will give all of us a week to process, to think, to prepare ourselves for change. We have several months of transitions ahead of us. Though they will be difficult months, my only hope is that they will also be months filled with hope, optimism, and peace as we build our new reality together. Above all, my One Little Word for 2017 will continue guiding me though the changes ahead: Embrace.

    Image result for new beginnings quotes


    I’m excited to join other writers every Tuesday (and daily during the month of March) in 2017 to participate in the Slice of Life writing challenge through Two Writing Teachers. Read all about how you can Write. Share. Give. on their website here.
        slice-of-life_individual