a quote from my favorite author

“The most solid advice, though, for a writer is this, I think: Try to learn to breathe deeply, really to taste food when you eat, and when you sleep, really to sleep. Try as much as possible to be wholly alive, with all your might, and when you laugh, laugh like hell, and when you get angry, get good and angry. Try to be alive. You will be dead soon enough.”

-William Saroyan, The Daring Young Man on the Flying Trapeze

Saturday, May 24, 2014

in which I CELEBRATE the people with whom I spend my days

celebrate every Saturday with Ruth Ayres
colleagues | At the end of the year, teachers in my building {and I suspect we are not alone} are bombarded with last minute events to make happen. We are expected to step up and act professionally without being treated like professionals. And just when I can’t take another last minute administrative demand via e-mail, I run into a colleague whose facial expression matches mine. Almost immediately our tension melts into laughter.  Before I know it, my classroom desks have been pushed together to form a lunch table—a lunch table that doubles as a problem-solving roundtable. I am so lucky to work with people whose focus is truly making things work for students. Occasionally we forget ourselves and lose focus, but we remind each other, we make each other laugh away the stress, we roll up our sleeves and get our hands dirty together to make things happen for students. 

students | One of the best things about teaching 8th grade students in our district is that 8th grade is the last year before high school. As a result, our students tend to become reflective as the end of the year approaches. I have been especially enjoying all the ways this has manifested itself in my students this year. One of my students shared with me this video he made to thank his teachers (and gave me permission to share it with the other teachers mentioned and to link to it here).  Another student has decided to leave his legacy in the form of randomly placed googly eyes.

Mark | My husband loves music.  He plays bass guitar, dabbles in acoustic guitar, collects Native American flutes, and has enough music equipment to fill an entire room in our house.  A few years ago he decided that he would like to add to his collection a few items that would allow him to DJ.  Since then, he has volunteered his time and equipment to DJ every one of the school events where we teach together.  He even jumps at the opportunity to help out the elementary school to which we are attached as well as other schools nearby.  This week, he was DJ at the dance for our 8th graders.  After the dance, he agreed to DJ at a local business, owned by the parent of one of our 8th graders, that was hosting an after-party for the kids. Tonight he will be DJ at yet another party. I love that he is able to do something he enjoys and help other people at the same time.