Distance SOL20 DAY 20
Closeness…love and connection.
Our love and connection…
MUST. NOT. BE.
Distance SOL20 DAY 20
Closeness…love and connection.
Our love and connection…
MUST. NOT. BE.
SOL20 Day 19
The rain we’ve been experiencing – and by rain I refer to this unprecented time in our lives right now – has been paused a few times in the past 24 hours. One pause came in the form of laughter. Last night around 10:30ish, thanks to Jimmy Fallon, his sweet little family and his amazing guest, the incredibly talented, Lin-Manuel Miranda, laughter made its way to me and soothed my soul. I happened to be the only one in the room at the time and my laughter could be heard all over our house. It felt so good and I laughed and smiled through his entire little show.
So…during these unsure, uncharted days…laugh. Laugh on your own, laugh with your kids, laugh with your loved one, laugh with your friends, watch funny cat videos and laugh. Your heart and your soul will thank you for it.
If you want to check out Jimmy Fallon and his “Tonight Show – Home Edition”, check out this link:
Sending much ♥️ from Texas!
“Lost” SOLC20 Day 18
Today the word “lost” has been at the forefront of my mind. These past few days I feel like I’ve done a lot of “birdwalking”, meandering around from one thing to the next-wanting, trying, needing to find purpose and trying to be productive during my days at home.
I’ve been getting up, dressed and ready to go (but not going anywhere except from one room to another).
I have been home with my 3 dogs while my husband has been working at his office still. We are in a holding position with what will be needed when online instruction begins. I’ve been diving into books, both professional and for entertainment, checking on family and friends, checking in with my 25-year old daughter and worrying about many things. In my current position, I don’t have my own class of students; I worry about our teachers as I know they’re thinking of their students and missing them like crazy.
Worry is not my purpose…how can I help? how can I serve?
I considered a daily schedule for myself (where worrying about what’s next is not on the schedule as much as it has been) and posting up in the kitchen like many parents have been doing with their kiddos. I brought lots of work home but the work was for our TCRWP “test prep” units and we are no longer having a state test. The work isn’t this at this time.
And in the midst of writing this post tonight, a twitter chat provided some clarity. I will still check on my parents, my daughter, my friends and I feel the purpose in that. The purpose for my professional work is my biggest concern. The chat reminded me that we are “in this together”, we are a community of readers, writers, learners and distances or “holding patterns” don’t need to pause that work. Learning will look different but I do believe it will be learning that brings us closer together as a school community, a professional learning community and reading and writing community. The learning we discussed tonight can fuel ideas once we have a more defined course, an adjusted flight plan. Thank you to our TCRWP community!
I feel like these words from J.R. Tolkien are an appropriate ending to my post:
All that is gold does not glitter,
Not all those who wander are lost;
The old that is strong does not wither,
Deep roots are not reached by the frost.
From the ashes a fire shall be woken,
A light from the shadows shall spring;
Renewed shall be blade that was broken
The crownless again shall be king.
– J.R. Tolkien
Can you see what’s beautiful?
My thoughts today are inspired by author Matt de la Pena. Matt wrote a letter to students today who are at home with family just like him. Matt’s words were for our students but they resonated with me.
Matt shared a quote from his book, Last Stop on Market Street, “Sometimes when you’re surrounded by dirt, you’re a better witness for what’s beautiful.”
Sometimes in the darkest, most chaotic times in life is when we see true beauty. Our feeds are flooded with the latest stats, the lack of…, the climbing rate of …, the falling of the numbers; however, in its midst I’m witnessing so much beauty. Not aesthetic beauty, the beauty of kindness, connection (virtually), togetherness (from a safe distance of 6 feet 😊), collaboration (of thousands), generosity (from thousands) and the list could on.
A few of the beautiful things I’ve witnessed from the comfort of my home these past few days…
The list could go on and on…
As we are surrounded by the “dirt” of these unprecedented days, I hope you stop to notice and witness the beauty that is all around us.
“Hope is being able to see that there is light despite all of the darkness”.
– Desmond Tutu
I didn’t start the day knowing what I would write about and after a day of thinking, “it’s March 1st, Day 1 of the challenge, what I am going write about?” I decided to just let the day be and let my post find me. Joy found me. Not “Joy” , the lady that invented the super cool mop; that JLaw received an Oscar nomination for her role in her movie, just “joy found in a moment that may have seemed inconsequential to passersby.
It started as a walk to the library after school with a colleague to find poetry- after school training was over, things were quieting down and I went in search of poetry written by a poet that visited our school last year remembering how much the boys loved his poems. What I found was JOY. Joy in the search, joy in words, joy in finding new books, new poems, joy in conversation and joy in the excitement we had about about sharing these books and poems with kids. Someone peered over the shelf and said “I heard voices but I didn’t know where they were coming from?”. Others walked in and returned books while we sat on the floor surrounded by books finding joy in our conversation and the treasure we found. I can’t wait to hear what the students think of these poems, the conversations that will happen, the range of emotions that will be felt when we read Love That Dog by Sharon Creech and share the poem “Love That Boy” by Walter Dean Myers.
Joy found me today and made its way here to my first post, March 1st, Day 1, SOLSC 2016. I hope you had many moments of joy today, March 1st, 2016.
I have fallen behind on my posts for SOLC 2015 in the last few days and I realized how much I’ve missed my writing time each night. So I am catching up with some thoughts I’ve had over the last few days.
SOLC Post #5
As I was checking in with Twitter on Wednesday night and I saw many TCRWP #magicalmoment posts, I thought “How is it possible that the day a truly magical moment happened, Twitter was overflowing with magical moment posts?” Magical moments happen frequently with students but this day, it was a BIG moment!
My magical moment was the incredible, thoughtful conversation that occurred during a read aloud of Chapter 1 of I am Malala to 5th graders. Conversations about freedoms we are afforded her in the U.S. and our bill of rights, comparisons of democracy and dictatorships and the great love that parents have for their children. This was all a result of Chapter 1! It truly was magical! It was a breakthrough! I am full of excitement to begin the next chapter and experience the wonderful conversations that I feel await us.
SOLC Post #6
Breaking down walls…
Today was a day where I felt like a few walls came down. I shared my blog with a group of students I’m working with and read my #LOL post as well as the poem I wrote to them- “I Care”. It was a little strange sharing these thoughts out loud to them but I felt compelled to do so. I told them how much I really do care… ABOUT THEM.
SOLC Post #7
It is the day before our Spring Break and I am feeling refreshed which is the how I always feel when I am with my coach colleagues on our professional development days. I was only able to attend the afternoon session today but what a great session it was today. We sketched out plans for our “Curriculum of Talk” (which we learned about from Jennifer Seravallo last week) for Grades K-5. Before we started we watched and debriefed the TCRWP vimeo of the group of 5th graders discussing The Tiger Rising and Bud, Not Buddy. I never tire of this video and I gain something new from watching it. One of my table mates shared what struck her aas she watched was that when you think skills across the bands of text, they were so clearly evident throughout their conversation and the prep work done before the conversation. To me, I saw the results of starting this talk in Kindergarten…evidence of the work started young yet you hear those same phrases and questions just at a much higher level of conversation. “What do you mean by that?”, “I think…because…”, “I agree with you because…”, “This is important because…” That is what is so powerful to me when I watch that video…it was such a huge “A-Ha” for me the first time I saw it and still resonates with me each time I see it. Talking about books is a beautiful thing!
What a powerful word in so many contexts. Today, I was reminded once again of the power of strength we have in our minds, body and soul as we read a biography of Sabriye Tenberken and then shared stories of incredibly strong people we know or have read about with each other. I shared the story of an amazing lady who has been an example to the world of the power of strength – both mentally, physically, spiritually – and what it means to push yourself toward a goal after life has given you a physical challenge that many in the world will never have before them. She exemplifies the mantra that my daughter’s high school swim coach told her swimmers when they set new goals for themselves or facing an incredible challenge in sport or in life… “you have more in you than you think, tell yourself, just keep going”.
The story of Sabriye, the story of Ben Underwood (a student shared with me today) and the story I shared sparked an amazing conversation with students of the strength we all have within us and the power we have to overcome some of life’s most challenging moments.
I am honored to personally know this individual whose story I shared with students – she is an inspiration to me and continues to set and conquer incredible, amazing goals. She is a champion in the truest sense and is currently sharing her own story via her column/blog for Runner’s World.
Another inspiring and strong individual…another champion…Kid President.
Thank you to the everyday champions who walk among us…big or small, young or old….thank you.
Reflecting on the days events and these are the thoughts that came out…
“I care…” Inspired by Miss G.
I want to paint it on every wall
I want to wear a GIANT sign with the letters in bold and ALL CAPS.
I want you to know that “I care.”
I will care about you if you’re angry,
I will care about you when you’re here,
I will care about you when you’re gone,
I will care about you even if you don’t seem to care.
Don’t worry, I will still be here.
And I want you to know that
it’s okay to dream BIG.
it’s okay to take risks.
it’s okay to make mistakes.
But most of all I want you to know
I will NOT give up on you.
As I sat watching a repeat episode of the “Big Bang Theory” tonight, I was reminded how important it is to laugh…to just enjoy the funny moments in life, whether it is a funny selfie taken with your dog, your husband and daughter creating silly, random games (which occurs regularly in my house) or watching your favorite TV show and laughing out loud…it’s important. Laughter truly can be the best medicine often prescribed at the exact moment in time when we need it.
Laughter can break that awkward silence, break through emotional walls, extend a lifeline to a new relationship or repair an old one. Bottom line…we all need it. Every. Single. Day.
Kindergarten = my comfort zone. 5th grade = NOT my comfort zone. I admit I was a bit nervous about my upcoming reading lessons in 5th grade. The cause of my nervousness was NOT that many of these students tower over my 4’11’’ stature OR the fact that I have never taught 5th grade (remember the world of Kindergarten is my comfort zone) but the cause was a question that had been looming over me for a few days, “could I make a difference in their reading lives and get them to offer up some love to reading during my short time with them?” Book Whisperer spirit channeled and books in hand, I entered the classroom and sat down with these children. As I shared the books I am currently reading, I picked up a book I have recently come to treasure and said, “You know guys, books have the power to change your life. In fact, this book in my hand changed mine.” A few seconds later a hand went up . M, with a look of confusion mixed with curiosity, asked, “Mrs. Davies, you said that book changed your life? Well, how?” I shared the storyline with the kids and explained that the book, which I literally found on my way to check out at the bookstore a few days before Christmas, profoundly affected me as a teacher. The story prompted me to want to raise awareness for children who suffer from hunger and for children who age out of the foster care system. When I bought the book I thought it might be a story similar to Wild by Cheryl Strayed and I gravitate toward stories about life journeys and finding yourself but it turned out to be so much more.
M’s response to my answer was “Ohhhh……”.
The book, by the way, is A Walk to Beautiful by Jimmy Wayne. I am growing and learning right along with these students and I hope that my love of reading might rub off on them during our little journey together.