A good day into a great day… Blessings

It is the second week of school and I am pretty excited about it.  I have to admit, the first week is not my favourite.  I feel like I do most of the talking, setting the routines and procedures, showing and telling how I like things done and run in my class, and even being a bit on the “mean” side about it.  It has served me well over the years, with well behaved and well run classrooms.  However, I much prefer the second and third weeks when we get to start learning together, sharing, exploring, asking questions and finding answers. 

So, I was looking forward to today.  As per usual, when I am looking forward to something, I didn’t sleep very well last night.  I went to work feeling tired and sluggish, but still looking forward to getting going.  The day went well.  It was a good day.  My kids were engaged, and sharing, and learning…  There were no tears with my first math diagnostic like there were last year…  The kids were up and using the SMARTBoard…  It was a good day.

But, three things happened today to turn it into a great day.  The first is that at least four different people told me that I looked good today and that I had really nice legs.  It kept me smiling all day!  Then, the second thing that happened: in the last hour of the day, my principal called me into her office and asked if she could share some of my work with another teacher because it was so well layed out, and spent 20 minutes asking about how I planned and asked for advice to share with another teacher on staff.  I felt just peachy keen!  Wow, to be asked to share my stuff by my principal, what an honour.  Then, this evening, I got home to find a message from my former intern from 4 years ago.  She said that when things don’t go well with her class, she often things of me and the encouragement that I gave her.  She thanked me and wanted me to know that I made a difference…  Wow.  Another great honour to hear.

So, I started thinking about other good things that have happened this year already in such a short time…  First, the director of my school division shared the story about me that I blogged about here in his first Communique of the year.  So, I have been congratulated many times over.  Then, I developed a French writing unit about Narrative Texts that I shared with some other teachers.  I received very good feedback from it.  In fact, our Learning Resource teacher said that she loved it so much that she would love to team teach it with me! 

I have felt so blessed in my job so far this year!  What has made you feel blessed?

Passing It On

I have been blessed with a great life.  I have never wanted for anything, really.  I have been taught the value of hard work and of earning things for myself, but I have also always been able to work for and get what I wanted (for the most part.)  I have had the opportunity to get a good education, I have been able to travel, I have a great job that I love, a husband, a car, a house, and even a dog that I love dearly.  I work in a school where some of the families are like me, middle-upper class families who work hard and are able to provide for all the essentials and some of the frills.  However, there are many families in our school community who cannot provide for the even the essentials. 

Both sets of parents, my parents and my in-laws, have taught me to give back some of what we have by living the example.  My mother volunteered for years through our public library, teaching English for ESL men and women and helping High School drop outs to earn their GEDs and bends over backwards to provide for friends and family that are struggling.  My father was a member of the service group Rotary International for many years and now, both my dad and my father-in-law are active members of the Shriners, doing many things to raise money to help sick children.  Recently, my mother-in-law helped start DFSR, a local chapter of Dress for Success (R) that helps women get into or back into the workforce by providing them with an interview outfit, and if successful, a week’s worth of work attire.  Although not part of their mandate, they also like to provide these women with some aesthetic supplies like shampoo, conditioner, lotion, toothbrush, toothpaste, brush, etc because many of these women don’t have the money or access to these things until they get some income.

Every year at the end of the year, I get many cards, letters and gifts from my students’ parents thanking me for the work that I have done with their children.  Many of the gifts, although lovely and appreciated, get regifted because I just don’t have room for 20 gifts a year to come into my home.  Inspired by the giving that my parents (all of them) do, I decided to ask my parents to consider purchasing these extra items for DFSR instead of gifts for me.  They responded wholeheartedly!  DFSR wrote the following article in their newsletter about this:

DFSR_article

I happily collected these items, but it still did feel good to be recognized for it!

I’m published! (Sort of)

A few months ago, Tess Alfonsin (@ReadingCountess)wrote a blog post that really touched a nerve with me. It was about the value of our school counselors and the fact that they are being stretched beyond their time.  They are no longer able to provide counseling because they so stretched with testing.  I left a comment because I felt exactly the same way about our counselors.  That being said, her blog post was subsequently published in publication (here) by the Texas School Counselor Association along with all the comments that followed. 

Congratulations on the publication Tess, and thanks for helping me get published!  Keep speaking out for those we value in our schools!