Notes

I found some notes today labeled “Life Writing” Zadie Smith. I read her book Feel Free and these are a few snippets I took from the book.

If you’re going to write a diary, it should be like this, it should be utterly free, honest.”

I realize I don’t want any record of my days. I have the kind of brain that erases everything that passes, almost immediately, like that dust pan and brush dog in Disney’s Alice in Wonderland, sweeping up the path as he progresses along it. I never know what I was doing on what date, or how old I was when this or that happened – and I like it that way.”

I feel like the second quote sometimes.

What quotes are sticking with you today?

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3.2.1 Quote Me – Hope

Thank you to Family Furore for nominating me for the 3.2.1 Quote Challenge.

Rules: 3.2.1 Quote Me!

  • Thank the person who nominated you.
  • Post 2 quotes for the Topic of the Day, which is HOPE.
  • Select 3 bloggers to take part in ‘3.2.1 Quote Me’.

The chosen topic for this challenge is HOPE and these are the two quotes I have chosen:

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A bonus quote:

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Hope is the piece that you sometimes have to look hard for when you are in the middle of despair. If it is dark, the hope is easier to see. There is a lot of pull between light and dark in our lives.

I always try to choose LOVE over FEAR. Everything is temporary and I try to remember that HOPE exists even in the darkest of circumstances.

 

The three bloggers nominated if they choose to accept the challenge are…

Kristyn from The Bibliophile Empress

https://eclipsedwords.com/

Books Inked

 

 

Do You Reread?

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There are few books I reread. The book Essentialism by Greg McKeown comes back onto my radar usually after I have listened to Tsh Oxenreider from THE ART OF SIMPLE talk about it.

This book requires me to think about my actions and why I make the decisions I do especially when it comes to how I spend my time. There is often a gap between what my responsibilities are and what I want to do. There is also a category of the things I should do because someone expects me to. This is the area I am really looking at for the upcoming school year. I have made a big decision about doing what I deem essential and also managing my schedule and time differently.

I have a choice about how I spend my time. At school, I want to spend my time on the actions that I can get the most bang for my buck and make the most impact with my teachers. I cannot do everything even though my TYPE A personality whispers to me in quiet moments that I can.

I stopped celebrating just being busy for busy sake and my stress levels went down.

Over the next couple of days these questions from the book will be on my mind:

  1. What do I feel deeply inspired by?
  2. What am I particularly talented at?
  3. What meets a significant need in the world?

The next right thing for me and my time is on my mind. What are you thinking about for the fall?

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ARC MEANT TO BE BROKEN REVIEW

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For this review, I received an advance copy of this wonderful book. My opinions are my own.

This book is categorized as a YA Romance…not usually my genre and I was not disappointed in this book at all. The characters are well developed and you care about them. I kept reading wanting to know what happened to each of them. There are romance tropes of course, a love triangle and some terrible decisions on the characters part but a great read. The love triangle isn’t introduced right away but there is a build up where you sense it is coming. It was the perfect book to read in my hammock in the summer shade.

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The book is a respectable 450+ pages but went fast. The only reason I didn’t read it two days was because it was so good I didn’t want it to end.

I have been focused on character names lately and the three main were perfectly named in this book. Rayne, Gage,  and Preston.

The banter between Gage and Rayne is super fun to read. The relationships are well written along with the plot.

There are even a few moments where I was surprised by the way the story turned! A few gaspers even! Just when you think you have these lives figured out another curve ball comes in at just the right time. It is a satisfying read and one I highly recommend if you are in the mood for a great book.

Some favorite quotes:

Like we’re stuck in some sort of time warp where everything’s paused, and when we do get a moment, someone’s always crashing it. p.94

He’s walking Prozac to her, the one medicine that religiously calms her anxiety. p. 211

Everytime I speak, Taryn stares at me as if I’m a jigsaw puzzle in pants, some experiment she can pick apart and dissect like the fetal pigs from her medical classes, then bandage up again like-new condition. p. 393

Check this book out! It is a summer read that will suck you in and stick with you after the last page.

Title: Meant To Be Broken

Author: Brandy Woods Snow

Publisher: Filles Vertes Publishing

Publication Date: July 2nd, 2018

Format:

Reviewers in the United States: Paperback

International Reviewers: eBook (format of choice)

Description:

Rayne Davidson is perfectly happy fading into the background. Her mama’s antics garner enough attention in their small Southern town for the both of them, but when Rayne catches the eye of all-star quarterback, Preston Howard, she’s enamored with the possibilities. Too bad Preston doesn’t make her heart thump—his brother does.

Gage Howard doesn’t mind the town’s stares because he doesn’t get them. Growing up in his older brother’s shadow, Gage shrugs off the endless parade of girls Preston brings home—until Rayne.

But there are unwritten rules that shouldn’t be broken, like cheating on your boyfriend or betraying your brother. Rayne and Gage deny their growing attraction, neither willing to hurt Preston—until the town finds out.

They think overcoming the gossip will be the hardest obstacle.

They’re wrong.

Rayne’s mama has a secret, and its revelation could divide the town, the families, and the new couple.

Can love endure if it’s all built on a lie?

#happyreading

Sunday Morning Coffee Talk

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Let’s take our cup out on the porch! The sun is shining and the weather is pleasant and not humid today!

Yesterday I meet with a friend and colleague to talk through the first two chapters of Onward Cultivating Emotional Resilience in Educators by Elena Aguilar. I was introduced to this author and coach by my wonderful coach Lisa Vahey. Elena was recently on the Cult of Pedagogy podcast talking about the new book which sparked new interest.

On the way to work I was listening to the podcast. When I arrived at school my friend Erica had listened to the same podcast the same morning. We decided it was a sign to meet and go through the book together.

The program is designed to progress over the course of a year. As the coach, I plan on using elements of the books (text and workbook) in my PD’s,  but the deep work will be with Erica.

Cover art

 

The first chapter is “Know Yourself”.

I had the teachers do the 16 personalities quiz at the beginning of the school year which changed conversations for the rest of the year. You know something is effective and sticks when the personality letters keep getting brought up in casual conversation and people joke about it. It really started a ripple effect.

I am constantly trying to figure out how to make my coaching “sticky-er” as Vahey would say. Core values is an avenue I want to explore more with my teachers this coming school year and is part of the chapter. Danny “Sunshine” Bauer has a wonderful podcast called The Better Leaders Better Schools. He also has a “mini-podcast” that addresses snippets of great ideas called the School Leadership Series. He has stories attached to his core values. I want to incorporate this idea in my own practice. I will be writing more once the school year starts but you can check out the episodes “Rule 6” “the Big Dominio” and “Honey badger spirit” for the story examples.

Erica and I are old enough and have been teaching long enough to know ourselves pretty well. I am happy to say that there are elements in Auguliar’s book that were new which is always welcome. Sociopolitical identity groups was a new one. Erica and I talked about our personality type (we have almost all the same letters) and white advantage. We talked about how the groups we belong to and culture can affect how we deal with students.

The second chapter is “Understand Emotions”. The beginning paragraph really sums up how I feel about emotions. I take things personally about 4 days out of the year and I will cry because my feelings get hurt. I teach with someone who is the opposite so that is a big joke too.

Elena’s quote sums up this chapter for me and my feelings about emotions:

Whether in response to my own emotions or those I perceived in others, my mindset was, I see that you’re sad, and I’m sorry, but deal with it. Wipe off those tears. Get to work. It wasn’t that I lacked empathy, but I didn’t believe that there was a need to explore the emotions that adults had, or that it was my role. P. 45

I am looking forward to diving more into these books.

In other news…

I am reading an advanced copy of Meant to Be Broken by Brandy Woods Snow and I am so excited. It has started out fantastically and I am looking forward to sharing the review in all the places when I am done reading. Look for that soon!

I finally finished:

I enjoyed it. I would put it in a book flight with Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore Novel by Robin Sloan and Rodrigo Corral.

Questions for us to consider and converse about today:

Do you know what your core values are? I really had to think about it in my conversation with Erica yesterday. I really pondered what situations really bend me out of shape and what I fundamentally have an issue with…Erica and I had a real conversation about the difference between integrity and honesty too. (integrity is one of my core values BTW)

Cannot wait to hear your thoughts to this idea or anything this beautiful Sunday! What do you want to talk about?

Happy Sunday!

My Brain Needs More Oxygen!

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Last month I attended an amazing workshop with Jack Berckemeyer and his colleagues. One of the main components of their presentations is FUN. As I was listening I started a list of funny stories from my teaching career. Every teacher has funny stories of situations with students and I have decided to write some of them down.

Laughter helps you lose weight, live longer, and lower your blood pressure. Bring on the guffaws!

My Brain Needs More Oxygen!

When I was teaching first grade many years ago I was honored to have a professional development coordinator in my district named Rita Brodnax. One of the many programs she brought to the district was Brain Compatible Teaching for Learning. One of the many practices I have adopted over the years is to share some of the learning with my students when I have attended a conference or workshop when I return.  I want the students to know that I am still learning and bringing it into the classroom for them and for me.

One concept I had talked to my students about was the need for the brain to have oxygen when thinking gets difficult. When we are learning new things our heads literally hurt because new dendrites are being formed. When this happens we need to sit up straight so out brain gets more oxygen to aid in the process.

I had a very unique class of cohesive learners that year and we were able to get to mastery levels with grade level material very quickly. They were sponges. We wrote and read every day. The kids were constantly making books. We had our family meetings in the mornings and then wrote a group chart. then the students wrote in their journals and we conferenced. The afternoons were filled with read alouds and math.

It was may and we had reached the end of the math book so I began material from the second grade standards to get them ready for the next grade. It was harder concepts, they knew it was second grade material but I was chunking it and things were going well.

This afternoon we were talking about borrowing in double digit subtraction and the students were working on a problem independently to check their thinking after the model part of the lesson. This was normal practice for our class.

Suddenly in the middle of silent work and productive struggle (there were lots of mumblings of process steps) my student Micah stood up abruptly.  It was so sudden it startled everyone. I asked him what was wrong.

(My name was Zack at the time)

Micah said “MS Zack, this is hard! My brain needs more oxygen” and with his missing tooth grin spread across his face his classmates and I laughed. I told him he could stand for as long as he needed to.

He stood for the rest of the lesson.

From then on, it became a thing for students to randomly stand. No one was alarmed when someone stood after Micah’s introduction to the concept in our room.

Sunday Morning Coffee Talk

 

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Photo by Gagan Cambow on Pexels.com

 

Come sit with me and have a cup of coffee and let’s chat!

I am thinking about the question today: What makes me feel most alive? It comes from Emily P. Freeman who I adore as an author and speaker.

After I read this question in her book, A Million Little Pieces I realized I didn’t know the answer automatically.

What I used to think from a couple years ago, and what I think now is gravely different.

Now, writing makes me feel alive. Just the process really. I do enjoy the POWER SURGE from getting published or simply a comment from a reader, but the act of writing is where the joy and life is for me.

I used to say running made me feel alive. Working out does to a certain extent but now it is more of a necessity and tires me more than an elixir.

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Reading always makes me feel alive. Always. I love to think about the way that people think and learn something too. Any recommendations for me today?

Most importantly, my husband and my children make me feel alive. The love I give and receive from them compares to nothing else.

Thanks for sitting with me and helping me work through this question this Sunday morning!

What makes you feel most alive? Let’s make this a conversation…

 

 

3-2-1 With A Twist

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I was tagged by the wonderful and amazing A Guy Called Bloke for 3-2-1 Quote with a twist. This time with an Alice in Wonderland theme which I adore! I love Alice and Wonderland and even had a white rabbit tattoo!

 

Rules: 3.2.1 Quote Me!

Thank the Selector

Post 2 quotes for the dedicated Topic of the Day.

Select 3 bloggers to take part in ‘3.2.1 Quote Me!’

 

Topic For Today: “Through Your Looking Glass”

Inspired by Finding French Charming

Something a little different today, and your quotes will be down to your interpretation of Lewis Caroll’s Alice in Wonderland. They can be from this creation or about it.
My quotes are about madness!

“In that direction,” the Cat said, waving its right paw round, “lives a Hatter: and in that direction,” waving the other paw, “lives a March Hare. Visit either you like: they’re both mad.”
“But I don’t want to go among mad people,” Alice remarked.
“Oh, you can’t help that,” said the Cat: “we’re all mad here. I’m mad. You’re mad.”
“How do you know I’m mad?” said Alice.
“You must be,” said the Cat, “or you wouldn’t have come here.” —Chapter 6, Pig and Pepper
“Really, now you ask me,” said Alice, very much confused, “I don’t think—”
“Then you shouldn’t talk,” said the Hatter. —Chapter 7, A Mad Tea-Party

My Brief Reflections:

We are all mad in our own ways. How we fit together is really how our own type of crazy matches up! We find our tribes by the type of crazy that interlock like puzzle pieces!

I wholeheartedly agree that is you don’t think,  you should definitely not talk.

You’re It! Please post your own 2 quotes about Alice!

Marta

wahooliteracyteacher

Lauryn

#happyquoting

 

 

 

3-2-1 Quote Me!! “Success”

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Thank you to Bitchin’ In The Kitchen for this nomination!

A Guy Named Bloke is responsible for this tag and it is super fun.

Here is how it works:

The rules of the tag are very simple:

• Thank the Selector

• Post 2 quotes for the dedicated Topic of the Day.

• Select 3 bloggers to take part in ‘3.2.1 Quote Me!’

The topic set for me and my tagees is ‘Success’ so a huge thank you again for tagging me Bitchin’!

What does success mean to me?
Honestly if I was to answer this five years ago the answer would be very different than the one then I am writing today.
In my opinion, success is meeting your own goals that align with your personal passions, what you are good at, and your beliefs. It is about the way you make a difference in the world.
It is not what everyone else wants you to do, no matter what social media says.

Goals are dreams with a strategic plan.

Success if feeling peace with your life and how it is constructed is success no matter what that looks like for you. Work life balance is a lie that is created to make people feel guilty for how they live their lives. When people feel inadequate it is much easier to control them. Advertisers prey on this concept.
Success in my career a couple years ago would have meant lots of travel and hours at work.
Now? I would love to work from home and limit travel to mostly family trips. I limit trips from the house as much as possible.

Here are my two SUCCESS quotes:

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All of our experiences make us who we are. Some of these events are within our control, and some are not. There is a point of “before and after” when you realize what is important to YOU and your life, and what is not. Then decisions start to be made, your life looks different, and the people in your life change.

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Perception and mindset are important to how you view success. I love this quote above. Drive and how you approach situations is a big indicator of success. Not really luck.

I tag these FABULOUS bloggers!

Marian

The Cozy Pages

John