Thursday Randomness

  1. Books I recently finished:
    1. SIP by: Brian Allen Carr


Image result for sip carr


I liked this book for the idea of the story. The world in this book is constructed where people “drink” shadows as a drug. Halley’s comet is involved and an interesting cast of characters. The story has the hint of science fiction. The writing style was not as pleasing as I would have liked. I also wish the characters would have been more deeply developed. I enjoyed the book and the story, but it isn’t a favorite pick of the year.


2. The Changeling by Victor LaValle

Image result for the changeling

This book was recommended by Liberty from All The Books. It was about a bookseller and a fantasy story about witches. The story is slightly off center in a fantastic way. The ending took a weird turn for me that seemed off. I kept coming back to the book and wanted to finish it. It was worth the time for sure.

2. I really wanted pancakes yesterday…but didn’t get them.

3. I love to go to the library. I live in a town that is close to where I grew up and still have a card at the library I essentially “grew up in”. Yesterday I went to pick up books on hold. Even though the library has been remodeled and doesn’t look anything like I remember, there is always a sense of comfort walking through the doors. Sometimes I wonder if it is because it is the library and I am comforted by books in general,  or if it actually has to do with the fact that it is a familiar book and reading space.  It represents so much of my reading life through my elementary, middle, and high school years.

4. After listening to the Book Riot Annotated Podcast this morning on my run the question of: “How do you feel about the Oxford comma?” was injected into several conversations throughout the day. If you haven’t checked it out – it is completely worth your time!




Revealing Myself

Slice of Life2

I am reflective and always have been, but most of the time I just refer to this trait as “over thinking”. I believe that being reflective professionally makes a better educator. Over the past three years in particular I have acutely evaluated what is truly important to me. I love quizzes, personality tests, and asking questions.

As I cleaned out the clutter of my Pinterest account yesterday I came across a pin of 20 questions that reveal your true self and thought today’s post would be a perfect place to answer 4 of these questions.

  1. What is your life motto?


I believe that reading is the gateway to learning and to pleasure. Stories make the world go ’round! Stories makes us more empathetic and help us cope. Books are my favorite things by far! They are a comfort to me. This motto sometimes comes out as, “I have a book for that!”

“LOVE OVER FEAR” came from Gabrielle Bernstein and I must say it changed some negative thinking to a more positive frame. I try to take action based on love rather than the fear of what will happen, or could happen. Motivation comes from passion or fear. I am intentionally choosing love over the fear. It has made a difference.

2. What is my favorite thing about myself? 

My favorite thing about myself is that I am passionate. I am passionate about my job, my reading, my exercise and running, and my husband and kids. If it is something that I am interested in I will kill myself to learn it or get it done.

3. What did I want to be when I was a kid?

When I was young I always wanted to be a teacher. There was a short time I wanted to be a writer too, but it was always thought of as a secondary career. I am not sure why exactly. I have always written poems and stories since I can remember.

I loved to be in school and loved to cut out lamination. The idea of being in school as my job was an exciting prospect when I was little.

4. What is my biggest accomplishment? (professional)

There was a time period of roughly 2 years that I was involved in writing heavy grant and award paperwork. I was honored to be part of a school that won a National Blue Ribbon School Award, a Title I Distinguished School nomination, and the Indiana Exemplary Reading Program. It was great to be recognized for the work the staff was doing with students. I feel my entire career has been full of small and large accomplishments with individual students.

As part of Workshop Wednesday,  I am utilizing personality tests so my staff can better learn how to collaborate and work together. The conversations after one session have been interesting. There are all new teams in my middle school so I hope this helps people to ease the transition into new working relationships.

Office Clutter

I have moved rooms/offices 5 times in 2 years. This process has resulted in approximately 75% of materials and books being dispensed or discarded. Items were shared with students and teachers. I digitized many files and papers and saved on flash keys or Google drive. I have not found myself searching for documents that “I know I have somewhere.” I only seem to be missing student evidence that accompanied professional development sessions I had created.

I still seem to have an abundance of books and materials that are overwhelming my office space. The books are thrown into the bookcases haphazardly and I stack. I am constantly trying to create and tend to print papers and ideas in bulk. I am constantly thinking about multiple projects at once but need to find a method of being able to see it and not lose it in a file cabinet.

Part of my issue is a past experience. When I moved from teaching fourth grade to first grade I purged many materials I didn’t think I would use again. Then I moved into a reading specialist position and needed many of those materials since I worked with kindergarten through fifth grade. Since then, I am reluctant to get rid of much of anything.

I have used the Konmari method at home with success to clear clutter and purge.  The idea of holding onto only what I love was freeing and worked. Professional resources seem more difficult for me.

These are the Konmari questions to use:

Does it spark joy?

Is it necessary?

Does it work?

Does it have a designated place to live?

I need to evaluate if a resource is necessary or if it was effective. I need to determine if it is a resource I would share, and if not then I need to get rid of it. If it is something to share,  I need to formulate a plan of what type of PD it can be most effectively deployed.

A chart with a time frame for ideas may work for highlighting projects to work on,  or list on a page in the bullet journal. Some projects get snippets of time and not Deep Work scheduled time slots which may push it down the priority list.

Finding the time for this process may also be challenging.

Have you found an effective method of purging your educational resources? If so, please share in the comments.