Sunday, February 27, 2022

Just to See Them Smile

Teaching middle schoolers is always a challenge. Their emotions run high, hormones explode, and day-to-day problems escalate at a rapid pace. Add a pandemic with regular routines constantly changing and top it with mask wearing, and teaching middle schoolers enters a new level.

Last week we had a welcomed change. Our district and our state lifted COVID restrictions. A feeling of relief and excitement was felt, but I was most excited about seeing their smiles.

Smiles are broadcasters. When I can see students' faces, I know who is having a good day. I know who just got braces. I know who enjoys walking down the hall with new friends. I know who enjoyed my class or the other classes in the wing. I know who told a funny joke. I know who has a new crush. I even know who farted. (Remember, it's middle school!)

Students have been hidden behind masks, leaving teachers to decipher what they are thinking and feeling and what is going on with their I-don't-know-how-to-handle-this middle school life.

Yes, it was nice just to see them smile.

I’m joining an open community of writers over at Sharing Our Stories: Magic in a Blog. If you write (or want to write) just for the magic of it, consider this your invitation to join us. #sosmagic

Monday, February 21, 2022

The kind of writer...


The kind of writer I want to be. This question has been swirling around in my mind since Ruth posted it last week. If I were to be honest, this prompt lead to my thinking about who I write for. "Do I write for myself or do I write for others?"

The answer to this question is directly linked to the kind of writer I want to be.

Writing for myself is a path to discovery of who I am and who I want to become. It's a way to sort through the emotions of living in this big and complicated world. Writing for myself is a way to reflect and solve problems that seem so much bigger than I am. 

I want to be the kind of writer who writes for myself.

Writing for others is a way to share my story. Sometimes, when I read others' words, they are just what I needed. It may be words that cause me to reflect, to learn, to dream, to cry, and to laugh. I want to do the same for others. I love sharing my teaching practices, my literacy life, and my life in my classroom. I never know when I share a story just how much someone else needed to know they are not alone.

I want to be the kind of writer who writes for others.

Today, I read a poem by Fran Haley on her blog, Lit Bits and Pieces. It was inspired by Kobe Bryant's poem, "Dear Basketball". Fran wrote about writing and her life as a writer. The whole poem is beautiful, but these words lingered just a little longer in my heart.

You will outlive me. 
You are my record.
You are what I leave behind.

Let it be the best of me.

So, what kind of writer do I want to be? I want my words to be a record of my life and a discovery for others. I want my words to bring hope, to show love, and to share my story. I want to be the kind of writer that is the best of me whether that is for myself or for others.

Because I don't know if the two can be truly separate.

Friday, February 4, 2022

The Blessing of a Snow Memory

We had our first snow day of the school year this week. My husband took the day off to spend it with my daughter and me. Before the day started its descent, they decided to take a walk.

As they shut the door, I sneaked to the window to watch them. Dad was several steps ahead while Megan fell behind by walking in the drifts.

How did the time slip by so quickly?

They returned in about an hour, stomping the snow off their boots before opening the door. Prior to that I heard them out in the front yard, laughing just like they did 25 years ago.

Where did the time go?

This morning as I made my way to the mailbox, I saw the footprints spelling out her name at the end of the driveway. And I heard the laughter again. 

I pictured that four-year old out with her dad in the first snow of the year,  

her red snow paints swishing as she walked,

her red and navy Land's End coat with the elastic hood that kissed her head and only exposed her almost-frozen bangs,

her feet double-socked and stuffed into her black snow boots stomping her way through the snowdrifts so high that her boots could hardly be seen,

her eyes squinting from the brightness of the snow and staring with complete admiration of the most important man in her four-year old life...

hollering, "Wait for me, Daddy!"

Isn't that the blessing of a snow memory?

I’m joining an open community of writers over at Sharing Our Stories: Magic in a Blog. If you write (or want to write) just for the magic of it, consider this your invitation to join us. #sosmagic