Friday, January 10, 2014

Celebrate This Week - 1/11/14

I’m joining up with Ruth Ayres for her weekly link-up, Celebrate This Week. Check out all of the posts linked up at her blog HERE. Thanks for starting this, Ruth!

Celebrating Snow Days
This week is simple to celebrate – we began with two snow days! I love snow days, but not for the reason some may believe. I love my job, I love teaching, I love my students. What I love about a snow day is the unexpectedness.

I love the gift of waking up and realizing that I don’t have to go to work.
I love the quiet outside when the world is blanketed in snow.
I love going outside, shoveling, feeling the cold to the tips of your toes, heading back in, and having hot chocolate.
I love holding that hot chocolate in my hands as I stand at a window and watch my boys play.

Starting the week with two snow days was to start the week with two unexpected gifts, and the week was all uphill from there.

Celebrating Paulsen

In reading class I shared the first four chapters of Gary Paulsen’s Hatchet. I read this book for the first time over break.

I know, I know.

Reading the first chapters I knew that there were so many lessons I could embed in the teaching of it. I wanted my students to discuss Brian. I wanted them to predict what would happen. I wanted to have them realize the clues Paulsen layers into the story to help us with those predictions. More than that, I wanted them to be with Brian, in that plane, trying desperately to find a way to survive.

And then? I wanted to stop after only four chapters. To look at them, smile, and ask what they thought happened next and then close the book. And when they begged for more? Point them in the direction of the library. That is just what I did and it was awesome.

Celebrating Balance
My One Little Word for this year is balance. I picked it because I knew I was desperately out of balance. Way too much time was devoted to social media and items revolving around teaching. My family, my health, my life outside of my MacBook Pro all took a back seat. My goal is to change that.

This week I have exercised each day –walking or yoga and sometimes both. I can already tell I feel better than I have in some time. Right now I don’t have a set schedule, but I’d like to move to one where I know that I do yoga on a certain day and walking on others, but this works for the time being.

I also have been on the computer less. This is tough. I love social media and can’t cut it completely out of my life. To begin with, I am responsible for tweeting for Choice Literacy each day. Even without it, I get a lot personally and professionally from both Twitter and Facebook, not to mention reading blogs. I have tried hard to limit that time this week and I absolutely did. I've been online less, haven't answered emails as promptly as usual, haven't commented back compulsively, I just stepped away. You know what? It has been fine.

I want to be present. To put down my phone and my laptop. To not worry about capturing everything, but to really experience the moments I am missing in my everyday life. To realize I will miss stuff on Facebook, on Twitter, and that is ok.

By no means am I giving up anything, just cutting back, looking for that balance. It hasn’t been perfect, but I’m getting there and that is reason to celebrate.