‘Twas the Night Before…

It’s Tuesday and I’m joining the writing community over at Two Writing Teachers. Take a peek and consider joining in!

Two Perspectives

‘Twas the Night Before…

“What is that sound?” I mumbled to myself while rolling over in bed this morning, searching for the source of the noise.  As I turned toward my night table I realized the sound was growing in intensity.  It was then that I realized the noise was my gentle alarm playing sweet sounds to awake me on this first morning of school.  The alarm sounded foreign to me because it was the first time I had heard that melody since the last day of school in June.   I had tossed and turned most of the evening checking the time fearing that my alarm clock would fail me on this important day, first at 2:33 a.m., then at 3:45 a.m., and finally at 4:42 a.m. So when I was in a deep slumber at 5:32 when the alarm rang I realized my first day jitters were at work creating havoc with my sleep once again.  These first day jitters are nothing new to me causing loss of sleep since my earliest recollection.

When I was younger these jitters manifested itself in nightmares about missing the bus.  I still recall waking in a heavy sweat after dreaming about my unfruitful chases after the bus flying past my house and down the hill as I frantically waved my arms and yelled “Hey! I’m right here!”  As I grew into middle, high school and even into college, the first day of school dreams changed to losing my locker combination, struggling with the numbers in the dial, either not recalling my combination order or forgetting the numbers all together, leaving me unable to open that metal door to access my much needed supplies.

I am grateful those nightmares no longer keep me from sleeping these first anxious nights before school begins. However apparently my first day jitters manifest themselves in other ways causing me sleeplessness as the big day approaches. Despite these night before jitters, I always managed to succeed in catching my bus, opening my locker, and waking on time to make that first day one of great success.

As I begin this year filled with new challenges to grow, stretch, and learn, I feel hopeful that regardless of these first day jitters, and lack of sleep,  everything will turn out just fine!

Pumpkin Spice and Everything Nice

It’s Tuesday and I’m posting alongside some really great writers over at Two Writing Teachers.  Take a peek!

Pumpkin Spice and Everything Nice

It’s August 21st and according to Starbucks the Pumpkin Spice Latte will be made available next Tuesday, August 28th.  The news story went on to say that this is the earliest date they have released the fall flavored treat.  Coincidentally on that same day that those fall beverages arrive, our district greet all staff members for the traditional teacher report back day, marking our official start of fall routines.  I say official because we all know we have been hard at work getting ready for weeks now prepping classrooms and materials.  For me, summer is a time to catch up on all those great summer reads that begin to stack up over the school year.

I had the opportunity to read several professional texts this summer filled with great advice and insight so much so that I decided to go back to the books to capture a few quotes that might help set the tone for the year. Here are the most powerful quotes I hope will fill me with energy in my work this year – with the help of a latte or two!

Kids First From Day 1 by Christine Hertz and Kristi Mraz:  “The relationships you form with your students provide the safe and sturdy foundation for all other learning to come, and the empathy you model sends a powerful message about how we treat each other in the world.” p.8

Enticing Hard to Reach Writers by Ruth Ayres: “Every single student has an important story to offer the world.” p. 31

Being the Change by Sara K. Ahmed: “Kids mirror the language and behaviors adults exhibit.  So it is up to the adults in their lives to model compassion for them.  We have to take it head on. I consider it a responsibility.” p. xxiii

It’s All About the Books by Tammy Mulligan, Clare Landrigan : “There is nothing more powerful that taking the time to simply talk with our students about books.  When we base our conversations on the interests, questions, passions, and responses of the reader, we ensure that our focus will be on the reader and not the reading. ” p. 102

Engaging Children by Ellin Oliver Keene: – “If we believe students can think and learn and engage at high level, they will.” p.58

A Guide to Reading Workshop, Intermediate Grades, by Lucy Calkins: “…the single most important condition for literacy learning is that a person needs mentors who are joyful literate people, who demonstrate what it means to live joyfully literate lives.” p. 18

As I look at these words I realize I have my work cut out for me.  I am looking forward to the challenge of:

  • modeling compassion and empathy
  • talking AND truly listening to my students and readers
  • setting high standards for thinking and learning
  • sharing my joy for literacy

This certainly will be no small task.  It’s a good thing those pumpkin spice lattes are coming out early this year.  I think I might need one after all!






Questions for an Eagle : Poetry Friday

I’m trying a new writing challenge and sharing a bird related poem over at Poetry Friday hosted today by Christie over at Wondering and Wandering.  Thanks for the gentle nudge Christie!

poetry Friday

Questions for an Eagle


Dear Mr. or Mrs. Eagle

Why don’t you get along?spread-wings.jpg

The seagulls sit nicely with the heron.

The ducks swim along side the geese.

But you?

You come by and everyone takes to the skies.


You monopolize the rocks

Eating your fish dinner in solitude.eating fish

Maybe they are fearful of your sharp talons

or possibly your gripping beak

worried that they will be your next meal.

And your call:

Kwit, kwit, kwit, kwit

Kee, kee, kee. kee, ker

Seems to say

Get out of my way

Like you are the king,

or the queen,

I don’t quite know

because your coloring is the same.

Despite it all

I gawk at your beauty

and wonder at your size.

Oh dear eagle

stay close by.


Letter Day

It’s Slice of Life Tuesday over at Two Writing Teachers and I’m joining in with my slice of life story. Won’t you consider joining in?

Letter Day

The day was dark and damp with a fog so thick you could cut it with a knife.  I had spent the better portion of the morning working on curriculum writing, a task that I had procrastinated several times over the course of the summer due to the lake waters calling my name.  But today was the perfect gloomy day for working. And with it being August 13th, I knew I had to get moving and slowly ease myself back into school mode because I still had plenty of time left to enjoy the warmth of the late summer lake.  Until the mail arrived…

I dodged the raindrops and puddles and opened the mailbox door and peeked in.  My heart sunk. There it sat at the bottom of the silver box damp, limp, alone, and foreboding: my back to school letter.

It was expected, but then again not quite expected, at least not today.  It arrives this time every year, and each time it surprises me with it’s seemingly early arrival.  And while I love everything about being back in school: the return to routines, the crispness of the air, the smiles of the staff, the sharing of books read with friends,  the promise of plans made, and the freshness of new ideas to try out, all of this and more, the letter still signifies the end of summer fun.  It still comes as a surprise, like a thief in the night stealing away the last remaining days of freedom.  Oh well… I’m glad it came today on this yucky weather day!