There are people on this staff who are mountain climbers. They see a mountain of a challenge and bounce a few times on the balls of their feet, then spring into action. They seem to scramble almost effortlessly to the top. I am not a mountain climber. I see that mountain, feel the weight of it looming over me and decide taking a nap at its base is a much better idea. :)
But when I wake up, I realize the mountain is still there. And I must tackle it. So today as I'm talking to myself possibly more than to anyone reading this, I'm thinking about baby steps. Awkward, staggering, funny little steps that we know will grow stronger but sure do feel silly right now.
Mountains currently in my path include NWEA testing, Data teams, homework issues, an array of acronyms (MTSS, LRE, RTI, PBIS. DOK), a cat who thinks breakfast is at 2:00 a.m. and a cut on my finger that hurt so badly it made me vomit. I want to fix every one of these issues right now. (Mostly the finger because it is hard to type with a Band aid.) I want to be on the mountaintop, arms raised in victory, feeling the breeze on my skin.
But I'm just here. I must remember to take some awkward, drunken-looking baby steps. I feel like I have taken a whole bunch of those already and I should be loping over things like a gazelle, but the world is reminding me that things take time.
So, I'm forging ahead with baby steps. See you at the top!
“Incredible change happens in your life when you decide to take control of what you do have power over instead of craving control over what you don't.”
I don't think I'm alone in noticing an awful lot of frustration around school lately. Yes, there is always frustration at work, but things are almost tangible right now, yes?
In my new role as instructional coach, I have felt a lot of frustration in my responsibilities, but I chose that. I expected it.
What I am troubled by is what I feel around me from teachers that I KNOW are very good and extremely dedicated to what they do. I have seen furrowed brows, clenched jaws and tears this week. I have seen hands thrown up in surrender and heard sighs of defeat. This is truly not who we are as a school. I've been around here long enough to know.
I do not claim to have all the answers but I would like to share with you my plan for coping. It is no surprise that it is in bright yellow up above: Focus on what you can control.
In education especially, there are so many dictates that determine what we do, from when we can use the bathroom to how to administer tests. We cannot control most of this. It exists. Period. We have some level of control through our roles in committees and our political choices but those things impact slow-moving change.
What can we control right now? What can we do at this moment to take charge of our day? There is a short list above, and yes, some of you may roll your eyes at it, but it is true. If we can focus on those things that we can make an immediate impact on, things will get a little bit better. Let's stop wearing ourselves out over things we cannot change and focus on things we can.
Below there are some links to ways to set a good tone for your day, either personally or educationally. If you get 3 minutes to yourself (and you don't need them to go to the bathroom!) maybe click one and have a look. Maybe there will be one little nugget that will change the day - or at least the next moment.
PS - I am building a page about homework at KV. I'm trying to gather strategies that work for people HERE, not in some research world far away. If you have things to add, email me or invite me to come visit; I'd love to see you!
I am finishing up grading the reflection writings about English 11's Civil Rights Projects and I am struck by several things I want to address here:
1. I am proud of the projects. They turned out better than I expected overall Sure, we could improve speaking skills, move things around to be less formulaic, but overall, we did well. Thank you.
2. It is awkward. These topics are touchy. They hit nerves. People have strong opinions about them and that made for some odd and uncomfortable conversations, BUT I feel many people grew and learned from them. There are some who wrote that they feel they changed others and I am crazy proud of those who said that even though others were ignorant or judgmental, they do not hate them or judge THEM. I think some of you really see that someone who is bigoted is afraid and intimidated and feeling uncomfortable. Showing them love is what makes them change their minds, even a little bit.
3. We are a diverse group! I am proud of this too. I know that at first glance, we look similar but we are black, white, hispanic, asian (multicolored American!) in this room. We are gay and straight. We are Christian and agnostic. We are many things but mostly we are human and overall we can accept others, even if we disagree with them.
4. We are not afraid of change. In my years of teaching, acceptance of minorities has grown. I know that it might be hard for many of you to see it but it has changed! We, in Wheatfield, do not get so much exposure to those different from us, but we are not nearly as ethnocentric as we once were.
5. You can learn about yourself at any age. Your reflection showed me that you are willing to take blame when you slack off. You are willing to grow from experiences. I have grown from this too and every one of you helped all of that happen.
I hope you are happy with what you got out of this project. I appreciate your willingness to share about your personal differences and your true opinions. I know you will leave here some day and experience far more than we even touched upon here but I hope that this opened to door to knowing an abundance of really cool people in the world, not to mention BEING one!
As Americans, we seem to have a fascination with fireworks. This weekend I went to a fireworks show in our local park and it was the most endearing thing I have experienced yet this summer, save perhaps the local "parade" for the kickoff of baseball season filled with five floats of little kids pretty darn excited to be throwing candy instead of scampering after it. The park was full of townspeople and we are truly a small, small town so one wonders where everyone came from. Either way, it was a great fireworks display and I found myself looking around at the kids and smiling to myself.
With patriotic music playing and everyone temporarily quiet, I had time to think about this odd tradition. It's sort of like Santa Claus, really. So much a part of our culture that we never really think about it.
Funny how people love destruction and danger...as long as it is really controlled. (Think amusement parks.)
Don't get me wrong, I enjoy a good display of pyrotechnics. But I like to be far away from the lighting and potential ground explosion as possible. Blame Jimmy, a family friend who used to core crab apples and insert fire crackers to toss at me and his sister.
If you think about it, we are using the same supplies as entertainment as we use to make weaponry. Fireworks really do mimic in-air explosions created by war fare, right? Kind of an odd tribute.
Our local fireworks display was followed up with a movie night and I laughed out loud at Lego Movie with my daughter and the rest of our tiny town. Of course, "everything was awesome!"
Ahh, summer. It is finally here and I had better not hear ANYONE from NW Indiana complain that it is too hot! Do you not remember what a horrible winter we had? I love the heat! LOVE IT! Right now I'm enjoying myself by playing in the dirt and taking some runs until sweat is dripping down my nose. Is it weird that I love that? The best feeling ever is a good stretch after a summer run and feeling the shock of cold water on your face.
Getting in a few vacations this summer too. Went to Niagara Falls and if you ever get the chance, GO! It is absolutely breath taking. Not kidding. It really makes you feel wonder for this amazing world.
We also have a fishing cabin on a lake in Missouri and I cannot wait to get there. The lake itself is a wonder - the clearest water I have ever been in. You can see your toe nail polish when you are neck deep! The best thing about the lake, though, is the friends I have there. These people know the real me. They get to see me in the raw - no make up, no done up hair. Just me. They are the same way when they are there so we all really know each other's true selves. THOSE are the friends you want to keep for life.
I hope that your summer is going well too. Whether or not you get to travel, try to find the awesome natural things around you and the friends who you don't have to spiffy up for. Those are the best things about summer. Oh, and sweat a little bit. You'll stink, but it'll be worth it!
Happy Day! Mrs. K.
We are going to try using blogs for our journals in my Creative Writing class and I'm trying to learn how to use them most effectively. You're probably going to see some random stuff on here from me for awhile as I try to use it more often.