No matter what school district I have been in, there is always this certain block of time on the school calendar. It's not recorded, you won't find it listed on any district calendar, but I know it's there. I can always sense when it's about to start...usually right before Thanksgiving. And typically it doesn't end until sometime in February. Not sure what to call it, maybe 'every little thing is stressing me out' time or 'will I ever accomplish all that needs to be done' time or 'work stress, home stress, life stress, oh my!' time. Whatever you want to call it, it happens every year in schools. It's the combination of the excitement of the beginning of the school year wearing off, the weather changing, the holidays and all the craziness that goes along with them, and everyone letting themselves get a little run down. Educators work so hard trying to keep everything in balance and provide the best for students, but sometimes they forget about the most important person...themselves!
So this will probably be the first of many blog entries during this time period where I remind everyone about making sure to plan for some 'me time'. Like the quote above says, if you remember to take some time for yourself, then "you will have the right energy for everyone and everything else." Trust me, I don't always take my own advice! But I do try to make sure that I have some nights where I shut my laptop and choose to do anything but work. Or on Saturdays, I make sure to schedule an acupuncture session and turn my mind off for the hour that I am there. Or I go get a pedicure. Or I crawl back into bed on a weekend day and read a good book. My 'me time' may not look like yours, but the important thing is that you remember to take care of you. So what have you done for yourself lately? If you can't think of anything, then make sure you plan a little 'me time' this week. After all, how can you take care of all the young minds in our school, if you don't first take care of yourself?
This weekend I read the book The Real Boy by Anne Ursu. This is a fantasy book that certainly reminded me of the Harry Potter books because there is some magic as well as wizards in the book. You can also make a connection to the classic tale of Pinnochio, a boy made out of wood. The main character, Oscar, has many characteristics of a child on the spectrum. After I finished the book and researched the author, I found it interesting that she has a son with Asperger's. My guess is that he provided a lot of inspiration for Oscar's character. I have also been continuing to read Donalyn Miller's book, Reading in the Wild.
Events this week:
iPass grades open all this week for teachers to record report card information
Monday - 4th grade field trip to Lowell Mills, after school Latin program
Tuesday - 4th grade field trip to Lowell Mills, after school Latin program
Wednesday - 4th grade field trip to Lowell Mills, Grade 2 and multi-age chorus @ 2:25, staff meeting @ 3:30
Thursday - Genius Bar, 3:15 @ Boutwell
Great things I noticed last week:
- I had a really great conversation with Mrs. Nissi about all the amazing chats and discoveries that came out in her 4th grade class after she read The One and Only Ivan to them. The conversation spilled into other conversations about the book and the characters with Mrs Roundtree and Mrs. Mills. I love it when a book can have such a strong impact on adults and kids!
- Mrs. Clark shared a story with me that made me smile. A student who struggles with math and participates in the math group in Mr. Coronis's class with Mrs. Smith, was waiting to transition to math class. She saw another student struggling with a math problem and she went up to the other student and told her she could help her. And then she asked Mrs. Clark if she could get her multiplication chart because that was a strategy that worked for her. Kudos to Mr. Coronis, Mrs. Smith and Mrs. Bugbee for creating an environment where students who have always struggled with math are now gaining confidence and have started to believe in themselves!
- Students in Mrs. Guernsey's class were totally engaged in Mrs. Wynn's 15 minute lesson on learning the 9's facts for multiplication. They were all identifying lots of patterns that they noticed happening in the ones and tens place in the products. If you see a student from her class, quiz them with a fact like 9x6 and if you could see what was going on in their brains, you would probably see them thinking 'minus one, get to nine!'
Check it out:
Donalyn Miller shares 10 ways to spark a love for reading:
Love this blog entry about taking the time to notice those around us. Let someone know how much you value them!