3+ Ideas about Hope

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

The word hope has come up several times this week. I have learned that if a concept keeps showing itself in different venues then I need to pay attention.

Yesterday was my last session with Jim Knight for instructional coaching training and the topic was being a Better Leader. One of the main concepts was …you guessed it…HOPE.

Shane J. Lopez is a psychologist who has written about hope extensively. His definition is “the belief that the future will be better than the present, along with the belief that you have the power to make it so.”

Part of Knight’s training session yesterday was asking the question: How are you living your life? Are you spending time on the things you are passionate about? This idea is how we keep hope alive and partly how we teach ourselves to be hopeful.

At this time of the school year it is easy to dip into the valley of despair and lose hope. I have to keep reminding myself I do the work I do to provide an environment of inspiration and learning for what is best for kids. When you are worried about schedules, state testing, and getting through the day sometimes you forget.

Part of this process is to do the next right thing. If you know where you are going, this isn’t as hard as it seems. Action is what needs to happen.

Knight asked us to think of someone who we thought of as a hope mentor. A person that emanates hope who we can learn from. Having a hope mentor is partly how we can teach ourselves to be hopeful. My person is Maya Angelou. She was open, intelligent, overcame obstacles, and can command a room. She was an amazing woman and I am thankful I was able to hear her speak before she passed away.

What are you most excited about?

Hope is doing more of what makes you happy.

Hope is allowing other people to teach you being hopeful.

Hope is having a hope mentor.

Three Things about Hope

Having hope means you have a preferred future vision. You can visualize it. You have goals.

Having hope means you have the belief you can get here. There is magic here.

Having hope means you have multiple pathways to get to that preferred future.

Some questions to consider and reflect on today:

What gives you energy and therefore hope?

What is your purpose? How do you make a difference?

Am I doing what I really want to do with my time?

What is working and what do I need to modify?

What is your next right thing?

This past week was busy for me. My sleep suffered and I was starting to crash. I was not taking care of myself.

Part of what helped me was 12 hours of sleep and the life giving conversation I had yesterday with my fellow coaches. We made plans to support each other in our hope. These questions are still with me today. I will do some more journaling and thinking as the day moves forward.

I would love to hear your thoughts on HOPE! Comment below…

Advertisements

3 Question Wednesday

1. Given the choice of anyone in the world, whom would you want as a dinner guest?

I would want to have dinner with my Oma and Opa and my husband’s grandparents, Frank and Gert. No question!

Neil Gaiman would be my choice if I had to choose someone alive.

Photo by rawpixel.com on Pexels.com

2. Would you like to be famous? In what way?

No. I want my writing to be famous, but not personally famous. I wouldn’t want paparazzi to follow me around.

3. Before making a phone call, do you ever rehearse what you’re going to say? Why?

Yes. I am afraid to be caught without knowing what to say. I will plan and rehearse for hours for a 10 minute or less phone call.

Feel free to answer the questions in the comments!

4 Things

Photo by rawpixel.com on Pexels.com

Todd Henry is the author of several books and is also known as the Accidental Creative. He has a podcast by that name. I receive his newsletter which is interesting and full of creative thought.

The most recent newsletter is about 4 things which has inspired this post today.

1:A THING TO CONSIDER

Disappearing is not the same as being lost.

When something is lost it is accidental. When you disappear it is intentional. I must admit one of my coping mechanisms is to withdraw. I am learning this is partly because I find people draining if I spend too much time with them – even people I like.

I have been reading a fascinating How to Disappear: Notes on Invisibility in a Time of Transparency by Akiko Busch. I heard about it on the Secret Library Podcast by Caroline Donahue. The latest part of the book I was reading was about invisibility and how children have imaginary friends and why. Really interesting stuff.

1:A THING TO READ

How to Be An Idea Machine by James Altucher

I came to find this book through Shaunta Grimes. Part of her daily process is to come up with 10 ideas for writing, which I have adopted myself. Usually my list consists of random thoughts that might make their way into a story or overhead dialogue ,etc. After reading one her Medium posts yesterday I remembered I had Altucher’s book on my kindle.

The question I worked with was: Which 10 people would you choose as mentors and what question you would ask them? It was really difficult! I am curious you would choose as mentors for yourself. The specific questions stumped me as well. I really had to consider why I wanted that person as a mentor first.

1:A THING TO WATCH

Black Mirror Bandersnatch on Netflix – This episode is like a choose your own adventure book from my youth but in movie form. I had heard of Black Mirrors but had not watched it up til this past week. As the consumer, you actually make choices on the screen for how the story will progress. It was fascinating. If you like the Matrix I believe you would like this episode.

1:A THING TO USE

Pretty composition notebooks. I really love these notebooks and have been filling them with my daily writing, reflections, and writing exercises.

https://www.walmart.com/ip/Studio-C-Dragonfly-Dreams-Lay-Flat-Composition-Book-FSC/691089325

Feel free to tell me your 4 things, a mentor and or a question you would ask a mentor! I am curious.

Henry’s Questions #SOL18

I often use Todd Henry’s questions when I am coaching and when I am reflecting with fellow writers. Here are my answers for today.

What are you working on?

I am working on my novel in progress for NANOWRIMO (National Novel Writing Month). I am 45, 000 words in. I can see the finish line of 50,000 by Friday. It has been so much easier this year with the support of my Storyaday group of writers.

What is inspiring me?

I have been reading Kathy Fish’s flash fiction. I really would like to get into one of her flash fiction workshops. I will try when she offers it again. It fills up quickly.

My husband and I watched a documentary about Bill Murray and how he starts random acts of fun. It was inspiring to keep myself open and available.

My Storyaday writer group is inspiring me.

Two Writing Teachers is always inspiring for teacher blogs and prose.

Where do I need prodding?

Right now, I don’t need any external motivation. I am internally motivated for the moment. 

Workshop Wednesday: Questioning

black and blue plastic pen non top of black covered notebook
Photo by rawpixel.com on Pexels.com

Questioning

 

DOK (Depth of Knowledge) is a scale for questioning I utilize with teachers and students.

Level 3: Strategic Thinking Characteristics

  • Requires deep knowledge
  • Students encouraged to go beyond text
  • Students asked to explain, generalize, or connect ideas
  • Students must be able to support their thinking, citing references from the text or other sources
  • Items may involve abstract theme identification, inferences between or across passages, application of prior knowledge, or text support for analytical judgment about a text

 

2 Strategies for increasing the rigor and use of questioning

  1. Have students write their own questions relevant to the content of the class using DOK question stems.

Not only is this a great creation exercise for students but it also hyper focuses their attention on the content and what is important to know. The students find out quickly that higher level questions are not always the easiest item to write!

DOK 3 Sentence Stems

  • How is ____ related to ____?
  • What conclusions can you draw _____?
  • How would you adapt____to create a 
different____?
  • How would you test____?
  • Can you predict the outcome if____?
  • What is the best answer? Why?
  • What conclusion can be drawn from 
these three texts?
  • What is your interpretation of this text? 
Support your rationale.
  • How would you describe the sequence 
of____?
  • What facts would you select to 
support____?
  • Can you elaborate on the reason____?
  • What would happen if___?
  • Can you formulate a theory for___?
  • How would you test___?
  • Can you elaborate on the reason___?

 

Questions and ideas should be the ax that breaks open the frozen sea within us.

-Kafka

 

2. Plan your questions ahead of time and WRITE THEM DOWN

No matter how many years you have been teaching this is a strategy worth trying. If you formulate several questions before the lesson using the higher levels then your mindset is changed and you will move forward from the higher level questioning rather than go back to more knowledge or surface level questioning. When we meet students where they are we sometimes rely too heavily on the knowledge-based questions or DOK 1 that only have one answer.

 

My teachers are working on this concept today! I hope that you find it helpful or at least a reminder of a practice you haven’t thought about in a while! As a coach, I have offered to visit classrooms and script just the questions the teachers are asking so we can analyze them later. We often don’t realize the questions we are actually asking!

 

Happy Teaching!

26 Questions

Thank you to This, That, and the Other for posting these questions on his blog!

analysis blackboard board bubble
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

1. Share your profile pic:

2. Who are you named after?

Debbie Reynold’s movie character Tammy

3. Do you like your handwriting?

Sometimes. I write differently with different pens. I get compliments on my handwriting which makes me snicker.

4. What’s Your Favorite Lunchmeat?

Butterball Deli turkey –  thickly sliced

5. Longest relationship?

It will be with my husband.

6. Do you still have your tonsils?

No, they were removed when I was 4 because I couldn’t eat because they had grown so large.

7. Would you bungee jump?

Nope.

8. Do you untie your shoes when you take them off?

Nope.

9. Favorite ice cream?

Coconut without nuts

10. What’s the first thing you notice about people?

Their shoes! ha ha Usually their smile – or lack there of.

11. Football or Baseball?

White Sox!!!

12. What color pants are you wearing?

You all lucked out! Usually, I am in a dress – today my pants are army green.

13. Last thing you ate?

Pork tacos from a little family owned Mexican place

14. If you were a crayon, what color would you be?

Periwinkle

15. Favorite smell?

Bleach – it’s very clean!

16. Who is the last person you spoke to on the phone?

Husband

17. Hair color?

Dark blonde -all natural

18. Eye color?

Blue or green depending on my mood

19. Favorite food to eat?

Pizza or bread

20. Scary movies or happy endings?

Scary

21. Last movie you watched?

Hereditary

22. Favorite holiday?

Hands down – Thanksgiving

23. Beer or wine?

Both, but usually Jack.

24. Favorite day of the week?

Sunday – usually a slower pace

25 Three favorite bloggers you want to learn more about?

HubCity Girl

The Introverted Christian

Chuck Wendig

26. Added info you didn’t know you wanted

I like the random little lines of text that are added in books or articles. The footnotes if you will! It is the reason I liked Abundance of Katherines by John Green.

 

How would you answer these questions?

Pick them all! Pick one! Pick three!

Happy writing!

Fusing My Life Bubbles

brick brickwall brickwork cement
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

I was supposed to be moving to a new house this weekend.

Now I am not.

The circumstances are out of my control, BUT I cannot get past the fact that THIS move was supposed to be smooth. It was supposed to be an easy transition with little strife and stress.

I have moved too many times in the last 4 years. With those moves and life changes comes reflection. I love freewriting and use it as a technique often when I am stuck or just don’t know what I want to write for that day’s writing session.

Two the freewrites I keep coming back to are:

“What do I value in my life?”

and

“What are the critical attributes of a good life?”

Coupled with those questions are the ideas of what I value in a place to live. The thought that occurred to me is: Why do I keep coming back to this topic of life and home?

I keep writing about living and what I value but why?  Do I keep revisiting this topic because I think my answers or beliefs are in a state of flux and the answers will be different than last time? Do I deep down think that my ideas are somehow wrong?

I think the real culprit is I keep hoping there is an attribute I am missing. That there is something on the edge of my understanding that I cannot see yet and will be revealed to me when my mind is racing and the ink is flowing from my pen. There are many things that I do not understand about life. This fact has become abundantly clear especially the last few years.

Now I must find a new place to live. What do I want? The list seems simple enough:

Openness

A nice kitchen with a full-size gas stove

Some wood floors

Lots of light

Laundry

Trees and a lake

At least 3 bedrooms

2 bathrooms

Fireplace

 

What is in your ideal living space?

Quotes I am Pondering Today

choices decision doors doorway
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

“We can count on so few people to go that hard way with us”  Adrienne Rich

 

“You are only free when you realize you belong no place-you belong every place” 

Maya Angelou

 

Nicola Davies from his book: King of the Sky

“It rained and rained and rained.

Little houses huddled on the humpbacked hills

Chimneys smoked and metal towers clanked.

The streets smelled of mutton soup and coal dust.

And no one spoke my language.

All of it told me This is not where you belong.”

 

“Things take the time they take. Don’t worry” – Mary Oliver

 

10 Questions and the Answer!

analysis blackboard board bubble
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

10 questions from Tsh Oxendrieder and my answers

Morning person or night owl?

Morning Person hands down. Although the last two nights I have gone to sleep after 1 a.m.

How do you drink coffee?

Black and strong

Beach or mountains?

Mountains

What was your favorite thing to play as a child?

Anything by myself – reading a lot. I did play mermaid in the pool

What is on your nightstand right now?

A coffee cup, sour gummy worms and 3 books and a kindle

What smell do you love?

Bread baking

What is your favorite season?

Winter – I enjoy the cold and the snow.

Do you prefer e-readers or paper books?

Either – it is all reading and that means it is all good

If you could travel anywhere in the world next, where would it be?

Germany for Oktoberfest

If you could learn to do anything, what would it be?

Read faster

 

What are your answers to any and all of these questions??

It’s Your Story #SOL18

sols_6

 

“It’s Your Story”

This was the statement repeated over and over at my writer’s group last Thursday. It reminded me writers are writers whether they are 5 or 50 and some of the rules apply no matter the age.

I tell students all the time the writing is theirs and they can listen to the advice in the form of GLOWS and GROWS from their peers and teachers or they can choose not to. They are the author and have the choice whether they want to change the story.

Connecting with other writers is the most important factor of this group for me. The connections are part of the story and the critique is secondary. These fellow adult writers have become part of my life story now.

As I start to think about the new school year and my coaching I am keenly aware of the connection piece. I think that we can foster a much stronger community if we focus on the connectors that are not obvious. We are all part of each other’s School Story at least but the personal factors we find most important are the way we can become a tighter knit community. This is the theory I am working with right now anyway.

In order to gather some data I sent out a goal sheet for my teachers last week. Some of my people have longer processing times and I wanted to give them the opportunity to marinate on their answers if they so wished. (We don’t officially start til the 13th). Instead of just the academic goals and conversation about how we can work together to strengthen their teaching I also included a self care question. I want to be able to facilitate some nourishment so my fellow teachers do not burn out. The profession is hard and I want to nurture the teachers in the way they feel renewed. This document is also only between the teacher and I – no one else.

So my question to you is: What is the biggest influencer of your story right now?