These last couple of weeks have been an adventure. Tons of winter weather, missed days of school – and a power surge that wiped out our internet for a few days. This past week though, I felt like we finally were able to get back to some semblance of a routine. Though we had off Monday still for the holiday, we were at school the rest of the week. Monday through Thursday we had musical practices. Wednesday we had a faculty meeting, Thursday a career day planning meeting, and Friday a quick department meeting. I was able to get through plans the way I planned them because there is a nice momentum because I got to see my students every day.
Even in a busy week like this, I was noticing all of the little things that I could write into a celebrate post.
- My son knows the way to my heart. He was drawing us pictures last week and scrawled one of a Jellicle Cat for me – a cat on a throne surrounded by books. Oh heavens does he know me! We watched a bit of CATS online last week as a break from listening to “Let It Go” over and over and over again – and he remembered it when he was coming up with the perfect picture for me. This child is a constant amazement and joy to watch grow.
- I think my students – past and present – knew I needed a pick-me-up this week and went out of their way to make me smile. One former student came in to talk about her writing assignments for a college class. Some did it by having fantastic conversations with me about their poems. Some did it by turning in back-work. One did it by coming in and reciting poetry (first the prologue to Romeo and Juliet and then later in the week “The Raven”). Another just by smiling and telling me that I am amazing for being able to find the right book for her on my shelf in a matter of seconds. Another decided to read The Perks of Being a Wallflower and wanted to know if I had a copy – I didn’t have one, but we found it in the school library for him and he read 30+ pages before the end of the school day. Kids stopped in all week to return books and find new ones and I caught several making recommendations to one another. All of this proves that the modeling I have been doing all year is working. Talk about books and poetry and writing made my heart go pitter patter all week long.
- Speaking of books and students, one of the coolest things I get to do is send book love from my student readers to authors. I’m happy to coordinate this and I’m even happier when I get something back that I can share with the student. This week I had just that happen between an enthusiastic student reader and Andrew Smith about his latest book Grasshopper Jungle. (FYI, this book is a wild ride and not one to be missed. You can now find it – and it’s hard to miss in that bright green cover! – at your favorite bookstore or library.)
- I’m looking at a full to-do list for the weekend for the first time in ages and I feel like I can cross it all off. That sounds like a strange thing to count under the things I’m celebrating, but after weeks of feeling lousy, I’m grateful for the fact that I feel up to the challenge of getting stuff done. (I’m still not feeling great, but we at least have managed to get some symptoms dialed down enough with medicine that I can focus on what I want to do. Still waiting for a definitive diagnosis.)
- Some of the fun things on my to-do list are checking out the recreational projects of my students. Two young ladies had enough energy to light whole cities when they told me I had to read what they have written so far. A few of my kids have confided in me that they have been writing a lot of fan fiction and have vibrant online reader/writer communities. Another student told me to check out his YouTube channel – he figured out how to make stop-motion Lego movies and thought I’d get a kick out of it.
- I realized that my book club at school needed some serious revitalization after a nice long thread of discussion on a friend’s Facebook page about starting one of her own. I realized I hadn’t followed much of my own advice of late – and the kids looked thrilled when we talked about what we would start doing. We decided that we would get copies of The Real Boy and Counting by 7s from the Scholastic order for the eight of us.
- I’m grateful to the smart and wonderful teachers in my PLN. I threw a question out for a student who was looking for advice about possibly taking the AP literature exam. Within hours, I had all kinds of messages with resources to look for and pros/cons to consider. A while ago I mentioned that a former student was looking for a copy of Mere Christianity - I was surprised that I couldn’t find a copy in the library or in my dad’s collection to help him out. But Gary Anderson sent one – it showed up at school this week with a note. The student was grateful for the help and I’m grateful to be blessed with such kind and generous colleagues.
I hope your week had plenty to celebrate, too! Check out what others are celebrating in their posts this week – and consider adding your voice to the chorus by writing a post of your own.