Saturday, November 7, 2015

Celebrate This Week

Thanks to Ruth Ayres for the weekly reminder to slow down and celebrate. Check out her blog for more celebrations. 

November. I greet it with both open arms, excited to see one of my favorite months, and an incredulous look. How can it already be November? I would love for time to slow down so I can appreciate each moment just a bit more, but I realize that I'm wishing for the impossible. 

Some moments to celebrate from this week...

Luke's basketball season began this week with a tournament. Three games in four days. I've watched these boys play together since fifth grade. Heck, many of them were in my fifth grade class. I know these kids. I cannot describe how proud I was to see them begin to grow, to play like a team. I cannot wait to watch the rest of the season with this group. What a great start. 

Just One Chapter
Liam's path to reading was not easy, but it is something he loves now. Last night he was close to the end of Kate Messner's upcoming book (out next spring/summer) called The Seventh Wish. I read it and loved it. I told both of my boys I wanted them to read it so we could discuss it, then I'd take it into my classroom. Kate does a beautiful job detailing what addiction can do to a person, to a family, in this book. I needed them to read it. I can't miss a chance to have that discussion as many times as possible.

It was late last night when Liam came up for bed, but he begged to read. Just one chapter. Then he looked up. He had one chapter left. It was 10:40, later than he ever stays up. Please, mom. I have to finish. What else can you say but yes?

Hot Chocolate
It's hot chocolate season again. Nothing more needs to be said except that this makes me so happy. 

I don't think I've cried in front of my class yet this year. There have been some moments I thought the tears were coming, but they didn't escape. Until reading Finding Winnie. Something about that book. Man! Each of my three classes. Each time a tear or two snuck out. I just love sharing books with my crew. 

Author in Residence
We were blessed (thanks to our district, school, and PTO) to have author Marianne Malone visit our class three times in the past two weeks. My students are inspired to try new things in their writing. I cannot wait to see what happens with their NaNoWriMo pieces. What fun! 

Small Moments
When Marianne spent time with my students for the past week, she talked about the benefits of living your life in awe. Of finding joy in the small things. I realized that is one thing I do well. Whether it is Chris helping Luke with his tie Friday morning, the way the fog rolls across the ground as I have a morning walk, or the beauty of the geese beginning to their journey south, I live in awe on a daily basis. What an amazing place this is. 

Journal Check
Every 2-3 weeks I collect my students' journals. They have an assignment each night to write for ten minutes. I really don't care that they do, but long ago I figured out that they wouldn't do things when they don't see a value for them. Eventually they will write because they want to write, the desire will be there, but for now, I check them. I don't read each entry, many are private, I just ask them to stick a sticky note on one entry from the previous 2-3 weeks that they want me to see. On the note they need to tell me why they've selected this entry. I absolutely love what I end up discovering. So amazing. 

Ugh. My writing is not going great. I'm writing along with my students this November, but I'm trying my hand at non-fiction. I said to myself that this is not a book. This doesn't have to be a book. This will never be a book. But of course I've put that pressure on myself anyway. And at first, it was great. Rocked. Flowing along for two to three days and loving it. Then day four hit. And I read it over and thought, this is crap. What makes me think I can write? What makes me think that this would benefit anyone? 

So, I shared that feeling with my students. I saw heads nod. Some of them are there too. And we talked about it. We decided we have to move forwards because stopping is not an option we are choosing. I have no idea what this will become. Right now it looks like great material for the trash can. But I will write.