I have been reading about the "emotional brain" in a recent National Geographic magazine; and I can't help but think about how the word emotion contains the word motion in it. Over the past few days we have all experienced a rollercoaster ride of extreme emotions. On Friday, we learned of yet another school shooting. And a Washington Post article shared this unsettling statistic: There have been more people killed at schools this year than have been killed while serving in the military. Across the country, we were all filled with feelings of sadness, anger, uneasiness.
Like most rollercoasters, there are the downs and then very quickly, there are the ups. On Saturday, tons of people watched as Prince Harry and Princess Meghan got married. For a little bit, everyone forgot about the sadness, anger, uneasiness of the day before, and people were happy, smiling, and focused on love. Bishop Michael Curry certainly stirred up some emotional responses from the wedding attendants with his passionate sermon. It was clear on many of the faces, the British attendees did not quite know what to make of Curry and his emotionally charged sermon on love:
I wonder if the people who were present for the ceremony really truly listened to the sermon? I came across a post from The Washington Post that led me to a man who has spent time focusing on listening to kids across the country. Here is the post:
He put together a movie based off of interviews that he conducted in schools across the country. The movie is called "Listen." I plan on watching it, but in the meantime, I found this Ted talk that Erahm Christopher gave. It's about half an hour, but it is something that we should all take the time to listen to. His message is an important one, one that we need to hear.
Mr. Christopher shares in his post and in the Ted talk about where the word "listen" comes from. The root of the word listen comes from an Old English word, "hylsnan," which means 'to pay attention to.'
Are we really listening to our children? Are we really paying attention to them? Like the bishop said in his sermon, "when someone cares for you and you know it...it actually feels right," Do all of our students feel right because they know that we care about them and are listening to them? In Mr. Christopher's post, he shares some research about how people communicate. Our communication relies more on body language than on what we actually say. Research shows that 55% of the value comes our actions and 38% comes from our sounds, whereas only 7% of the value comes from our actual words.
Will you spend these next few weeks really listening to each of our students? And will you think about how to teach them the value of listening and how to truly listen to each other?
Currently reading:I read some great picture books this weekend. I love Lester Laminack's new book called The King of Bees. I bought it at the MRA Conference this year after I heard him do a reading from it. It is a great story about a boy and his fascination with honeybees.
"You get to choose what kind of life you want to live. Every day. But it doesn’t always seem that way. When challenges arise and throw you off course, life can feel frustrating, maddening . . . heartbreaking. Even in those moments, you have the choice to find the gift. Through tragedy and triumph—and even in the many mundane moments in between—life offers love, wisdom, and self-discovery. The best gift of all is the freedom to choose who you want to be and what kind of life you want to live. The Path to Serendipity by education leader Allyson Apsey is a funny, genuine, and clever look at the fortunes we can gain from even our worst experiences. Through her personal, relatable stories, you will learn strategies for living a meaningful life regardless of the craziness happening around you. Don’t miss the gift."
Events this week:
Monday - 4th grade math MCAS
Tuesday - Wendy Lochner will be visiting FloRo to observe co-teaching
Wednesday - Wendy Lochner will be visiting FloRo to observe co-teaching, Elementary Leadership Meeting @ 2:15, 3rd grade chorus practice @ 2:20
Thursday - Dr. Chesson visits FloRo in the afternoon, High School Spring Concert in the PAC @ 7:00 pm
Friday - Liz and Melissa at SLT from 8:30-11:00
Great things I noticed last week:
Some sort of bug took over the Garden house so I was out sick and then we had a half day on Friday. When I looked back over the week...I realized I never took any pictures! But I can still tell you about some great thingsI noticed.
- On one of the days, we were short staffed so I was lucky enough to be a substitute in several classrooms. I was rather impressed with Mrs. Olson's kindergarteners. They were busy bees working on some math skills that involved addition problems with 10s.
- On that same day I subbed in Mr. Smith's room for a little bit. We had an interesting conversation about the Tesla sports car that is orbiting the Earth which we read about in Scholastic News.
- Mrs. Kavanagh's students invited me into their classroom to share some persuasive letters with me. They requested everything from a pet alligator for the school to a playground that is twice as big as the one we have.
- I was able to help be a 1:1 during a first grade music class and had fun trying out different drums in the music room. We also followed along with Mr. Wiesner as he led us through the disappearing beats game.
- I popped into Mrs. Guernsey's class and heard several students reciting some poems that they had practiced reading. I shared with the class that I studied poetry in college; I promised them that I would come back in and share some of my poems that I have written.
- Be sure and check out the new furniture in the library! There is a new couch and some comfy new rocking chairs. Thanks to the PTA for continuing to support improvements to our library.
Check out this post by Doreen Rappaport who wrote Martin's Big Words and Lady Liberty. Love her discussion about writing biographies and how her goal is to "illuminate the meaning in someone's life." https://twowritingteachers.org/2018/05/20/doreenrappaport/#comment-148519
Love the thought of students talking about and writing their reading memoirs: https://pernillesripp.com/2018/05/14/who-i-am-as-a-reader-a-reading-memoir-writing-project/
A friend of mine who is a principal in Bellingham posted this great reminder about dealing with end of year stress: http://bmauraolearningandleading.blogspot.com/2018/05/end-of-year-stress.html