Weekend Coffee Share

A Cup of Coffee and a Conversation

Welcome back to the weekend! I am so happy you are joining me for coffee today. This weekend it is really winter again. There is snow falling, and then it rains, and then it freezes. Coffee is necessary — as always. I am having black coffee as normal, but I have lots of add ins for your cup.

If we were having coffee I would tell you this week has been full of frustration and exhilaration.

Monday was a full day at work. I was testing students and attending meetings. Working with students put me in a great mood. I was quite sprightly that day. Tuesday was busy as well and I woke up not feeling right, so I canceled yoga class.

If we were having coffee I would tell you my #100rejectionsproject is going strong. I received an acceptance this week. Actually, I had one writing and one other type of acceptance. More on that second one next week. I wrote every day. I submitted several pieces this weekend and also did some revising and composing.

If we were having coffee I would tell you a friend went to a retreat and she generously shared her learnings and insights. It was exciting to connect with her and our creative group with this experience as the center.

If we were having coffee I would tell you I had a video chat with a writing friend that was awesome! We were pressed for time but I always feel enlightened after I speak with her. We both had good news to share which made it even better.

If we were having coffee I would tell you I listened to great podcasts this week. I am also going to tell you that I am tired of podcasts about 2020 goals. I also am tired of the 2020 vision play on words. Enough already. I listened to a podcast interviewing Erin Morgenstern about The Starless Sea which was magical.

I am also tired of hearing writing podcasts and finding articles about about carving out writing time and creating a writing practice. I understand a lot of people are in that space, but I am not one of them. They are getting deleted immediately.

If we were having coffee I would tell you my writing practice with Sarah Selecky has been wonderful. I used it Saturday morning and it was just what I needed. She suggests doing the “I don’t remember” prompt using your non dominant hand. It was an interesting experience. When I was little I used to practice with my left hand because I was afraid I would break my right arm and not be able to write. The thought of that scenario was devastating and I made a plan “just in case”.

If we were having coffee I would tell you I have many writing friends who have started the NYC Midnight writing challenge. They are given a genre, a character and an object and have to incorporate them into a story. I have participated before. You are able to get feedback from your story when you turn them in as well which is a great benefit to this contest.

I hope this week finds you well! I cannot wait to hear what antics you are all up to! Has anyone read anything really great this week? Let me know!

#IWSG January!

Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!
Posting: The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day. Post your thoughts on your own blog. Talk about your doubts and the fears you have conquered. Discuss your struggles and triumphs. Offer a word of encouragement for others who are struggling. Visit others in the group and connect with your fellow writer – aim for a dozen new people each time – and return comments. This group is all about connecting!

The awesome co-hosts for the The awesome co-hosts for the January 8 posting of the IWSG are T. Powell Coltrin,Victoria Marie Lees,Stephen Tremp,Renee Scattergood, and J.H. Moncrieff!

January 8 question – What started you on your writing journey? Was it a particular book, movie, story, or series? Was it a teacher/coach/spouse/friend/parent? Did you just “know” suddenly you wanted to write?

The compulsion to write began when I was 8 or 9 years old . Writing has always been a constant. At times of transition such as marriage, divorce, remarriage and graduations the words have roused me from sleep and demanded to be recorded. Many pages have been written in a half-
awake trance early in the morning.

Throughout school, my favorite assignments were essays. In third grade, I was chosen for a creative writing group that unfortunately only met a few times. I remember the yellow folders and the special feeling, but it didn’t last. I always worried that I had done something wrong, or didn’t write well enough which caused the cessation. A respected teacher praised my description in a fifth grade essay, but the act of writing was always just a hobby even though I spent a lot of time doing it. If I wasn’t reading, I was writing. It was just something I did.

In high school, I was forced to do an outline for a response to Macbeth. I was praised for the organization of this essay. The little feedback I received was not enough to make me a better writer. I read voraciously but never had anyone really make the connection that I could learn to be
a better writer from reading. I didn’t know how to take what I knew about reading a good story and make actionable steps to transfer to the written word.

#Blogmas Would you Rather?

Photo by VisionPic .net on Pexels.com


Be stuck in a elevator with an elf or reindeer?

The elf would have more interesting stories – unless the reindeer could talk. Then that might change my mind.

Find Olaf in your garden or Jack Frost?

I would prefer Jack Frost for sure. Every since I saw the movie years ago I am fascinated by Jack.

Have ham or turkey for Christmas dinner?

Turkey – I love turkey and all the fixings and can eat that meal every month! I do not but would like to.

Grow a permanent Santa beard or permanent Antlers?

Antlers would be cool.

and lastly

Untangle 700 Christmas lights or Peel 700 Carrots?

I would go with the carrots. Untangling the lights seems like it will never end. I am not sure why anyone would need that many carrots but…I would rather peel.


What would your answers be? I would love to hear!

Snowy Night

Photo by Josh Hild on Pexels.com
Snowy Night by Mary Oliver
Last night, an owl
in the blue dark
tossed an indeterminate number
of carefully shaped sounds into
the world, in which,
a quarter of a mile away, I happened
to be standing.
I couldn’t tell
which one it was –
the barred or the great-horned
ship of the air –
it was that distant. But, anyway,
aren’t there moments
that are better than knowing something,
and sweeter? Snow was falling,
so much like stars
filling the dark trees
that one could easily imagine
its reason for being was nothing more
than prettiness. I suppose
if this were someone else’s story
they would have insisted on knowing
whatever is knowable – would have hurried
over the fields
to name it – the owl, I mean.
But it’s mine, this poem of the night,
and I just stood there, listening and holding out
my hands to the soft glitter
falling through the air. I love this world,
but not for its answers.
And I wish good luck to the owl,
whatever its name –
and I wish great welcome to the snow,
whatever its severe and comfortless
and beautiful meaning.

Copyright © 2019

Day 12

Welcome to Day 12

The day where I plan my outfits for the week and the time I start making massive to do lists for the week. This week is full of teaching, yoga, and meetings. All with the spirit of St Nick swirling around making everyone high on sugar and anticipation!

Today I want you to reflect on your energy –

What is something that fueled you today?
What is something that drained you?
What did you learn ?

Image result for education quotes

Until tomorrow!


Writing Prompt

“Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.”

 -Barack Obama

You can read this post here and support my writing.

Photo by Miguel Á. Padriñán on Pexels.com

Writing Activity #1: Senses writing….a little different based on an idea from David Greenberg

Push for the detail……..

Use the sentence stem: I know

Choose a place to start with for brainstorming.

For example:

I know shopping at the mall. Write all the smells you have encountered at the mall.

The smell of cinnamon
Scented candles
Buttery popcorn.

Then continue the listing process with the other senses.

I know shopping at the mall: (sounds)

Plastic bags rustling
Elevator chain squeaking
Escalator purring

I know shopping at the mall: (statements/phrases heard)

May I help you?
Are we done yet?

After you write the lists a story will emerge and you will have a dynamic list of senses and dialogue to use.

Other sentences to play with:

I know our school.

I know Thanksgiving.

I know vacation in __________.

I know (name of character)

Writing well is about playing with language. I always like writing prompts because they allow the writer to think about something from a different angle.

Happy writing!

Day 7 Energy Challenge

Welcome to Day 7

Welcome to Llama Tuesday! This is a silly tradition I started last year. I am drawn to llamas which makes no sense – it is just pure fun. There are two toy llamas looking at me from the bookshelf this morning too!

What is something that delights you?

Yesterday I taught a 2 hour workshop in the morning that I can only describe as magical. The teachers were amazing and shared. There was a lot of learning packed into those 2 hours. I wish I would have videotaped it.

The workshop topic was EL education protocols and CREW which are fundamental pieces to increase student talk in the classroom. We participated in over 6 protocols during the workshop duration but was calm and fun not pressed for time.

Here is a quote for today to think about:

Q & A Collections: Teaching Social Studies -- all my Ed Week posts from the past three years on teaching social studies -- all in one place!

Today I want you to reflect on your energy –

What is something that fueled your students’ learning today?
What is something that drained your students in the classroom?
What did you learn about your students?

Until tomorrow!
I send you warmth and laughter!


Consider This

I delight in the breakfast that is made for me with love including rye toast, sausage links, and perfectly over easy eggs.

A writing friend tells me about a Goldberg book I don’t know and the rush is immediate as I read the description of it being Zen and the little sister of Bones. I wonder why I also name the friend with writing as a label. Do I believe it matters?

The pottery mug used every morning for coffee is a comfort and a pattern.

Podcasts in my ears as drive make the hum of the tires go away for more energizing thoughts.

I drive past the old water park now overgrown and abandoned with a for sale sign on the corner. And as creepy as it looks like a horror movie set I remember the joyous times we had there when it was Enchanted Forest. A tiny theme park with the Mousetrap roller coaster, boats, the octopus ride I almost fell out, Skeeball, and the ski lift umbrellas.

The tall brown grass grows between the curves of the snake water slide hiding the phantom laughter.

The man-made lake in the tiny Town was my introduction to the workforce when I was 17 years old. Many rainy days I spent playing Dodge pong more than Ping. I had thigh welts to prove it.

A look alike Santa’s open sleigh on wheels chugs past me with a huge billowy White cloud like Santa’s beard behind it.

I wake up at 6:30 from a dream I don’t remember and I don’t go back to sleep.

A 4 mile run in the cold drizzle.

The blankets move and cold air seeps in between our bodies and I shudder.

The coffee pot gurgles alerting completion of process.

Energy Challenge – Day 4

Welcome to day 4

Today is Saturday! Some teacher lives are just as busy on the weekends as it is during the week. The schedule is a lighter for me this weekend. How about for you?

Today you are likely to not be with students. How has the end of the week gone? Are there situations or feelings that will cause you to react differently next week? Positive or negative? Do thoughts of school fuel you or drain you with the idea of all you have to do?

Yesterday, I taught 3rd graders and was able to share one of my favorite picture books: Saturdays and Teacakes by Lester Laminack. 

Today I want you to reflect on your energy –

What is something that fueled you today?
What is something that drained you?
What did you learn about yourself and your reactions?

Here is a quote to think about today:
 “The classroom was a jail of other people’s interests. The library was open, unending, free.” 
Ta-Nehisi CoatesBetween the World and Me

A quick question:
Do you refer to teaching as work or school when you talk to others?
I notice I refer to it as work when things are not going like I want them to and school when I am pleased! I would love to hear your thoughts!

Until tomorrow!
I send you sparkles and sunshine!


Day 2 Teacher Energy Challenge

Welcome to Day 2!

Waht amazing and awesome sharing from Day 1! I loved reading about your day.

Do you choose a word for the year? Are you considering one for 2020?

Today I ask you to record:

-one energizing thing that happened to you personally
-one thing that drained your energy
-something you learned about yourself, your teaching, or your students.

Three sentences — that is all!

You can share it on your own blog
You can share it here!
or  email me directly at tammybreitweiser@gmail.com 

Here is a quote to think about:

“Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.”
Arthur Ashe

Until tomorrow!