Sunday, October 19, 2014

A Celebration Post: 50th Post and 5,000 Pageviews!!

Principal ponderings...

I am very excited to be typing this post knowing that it is my 50th blog post on this site and I have also just reached 5,000 pageviews!  I am celebrating the fact that I have been able to share my thoughts with so many of you, both the staff at my school and people outside of our school who have checked out this blog.  I'm even more excited that over the past year and a half, what I write on this page sparks conversations in our hallways, offices and classrooms about various education topics, best practice, books, math lessons, basically anything related to how we can impact student learning.

I want to thank all of my readers!  Thank you for taking the time to read what I write here.  I still have a lot to say and share so I hope you will continue to read these posts.  Writing this blog has become something that I look forward to and something that continually reminds me why I love my job.  I love being part of a profession that is constantly learning, growing and impacting others.

Here's a short video clip that I may have posted before, but it seems to sum up the difficult and wonderful job that we have as educators:

And I will leave you with this great poem that I came across this weekend, called "The Invitation."  The poet is reminding us that we can't be small in the universe; she is inviting us to not only show up in the universe, but, more importantly, make the most out of our lives.  I plan on accepting her invitation.  How about you?

The Invitation

It doesn't interest me
what you do for a living.
I want to know
what you ache for
and if you dare to dream
of meeting your heart's longing.

It doesn't interest me
how old you are.
I want to know
if you will risk
looking like a fool
for love
for your dream
for the adventure of being alive.

It doesn't interest me
what planets are
squaring your moon...
I want to know
if you have touched
the centre of your own sorrow
if have been opened
by life's betrayals
or have become shrivelled and closed
from fear of further pain.

I want to know
if you can sit with pain
mine or your own
without moving to hide it
or fade it
or fix it.

I want to know
if you can be with joy
mine or your own
if you can dance with wildness
and let the ecstasy fill you
to the tips of your fingers and toes
without cautioning us
to be careful
to be realistic
to remember the limitations
of being human.

It doesn't interest me
if the story you are telling me
is true.
I want to know if you can
disappoint another
to be true to yourself.
If you can bear
the accusation of betrayal
and not betray your own soul.
If you can be faithless
and therefore trustworthy.

I want to know if you can see Beauty
even when it is not pretty
every day.
And if you can source your own life
from its presence.

I want to know
if you can live with failure
yours and mine
and still stand at the edge of the lake
and shout to the silver of the full moon,

It doesn’t interest me
to know where you live
or how much money you have.
I want to know if you can get up
after the night of grief and despair
weary and bruised to the bone
and do what needs to be done
to feed the children.

It doesn’t interest me
who you know
or how you came to be here.
I want to know if you will stand
in the centre of the fire
with me
and not shrink back.

It doesn’t interest me
where or what or with whom
you have studied.
I want to know
what sustains you
from the inside
when all else falls away.

I want to know
if you can be alone
with yourself
and if you truly like
the company you keep
in the empty moments.

--Oriah Mountain Dreamer

Currently reading:
I started reading Kate DiCamillo's new book, Flora and Ulysses.  What a great book!  Even love the description on the book jacket: "a laugh-out-loud story of friendship, hope, love and seal blubber."  The characters that Kate develops in this book are fabulous, and she uses some truly unique descriptions and vocabulary.  I think this would make a great read aloud for 2nd, 3rd or 4th grade.  I have a few copies of this book, so let me know if you want to borrow it.
I'm also just starting to read Kate Messner's book, Capture the Flag.  This is another book on the MCBA list this year.

Events this week:
Monday - Happy National Day on Writing!, Latin Class @ 3:30
Tuesday - Latin Class @ 3:30, Spanish Class @ 3:30
Wednesday - Grade 2 chorus practice @ 2:25 in the gym
Thursday - Curriculum half day, dismissal at 12:15, Teachers will be spending the afternoon
at SU, 1:30-4:30
Friday - Liz and Dianna at SLT meeting at Prescott in the am

Great things I noticed last week:
  • On our curriculum day we all learned from the very important suicide prevention training.  Then Dr. Novak shared a great presentation with us about text based writing.
  • We had several great breakout sessions at our Wednesday staff meeting: reader's workshop discussion, childhood trauma presentation, talking with the SPED dept, and social skills discussion with guidance.

  • Two of Mrs. Roundtree's 4th graders led the pledge at School Committee meeting Wednesday night, and then they shared their favorite subjects with the committee...writing and science!
  • I spent time in each 4th grade classroom talking to the students about our new Student Council.  They are all excited to apply to be a member of the council.
  • Mrs. Clark's class was eager to try out come challenging math problems!

Check it out:
I like this blog post about what kindergartners know about being a writer.  I would love to ask our students what they know about being a reader and record their answers.
Great article about "teaching between desks", a practice in Japan known as kikan-shido.

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