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Celebrate #1 With parent/teacher/student conference on Wednesday and Thursday, the beginning teachers I mentor needed time to finish preparing for conferences and then meet with families. Conferences gave me an opportunity to take care of a bit of business with my job that involves being the project manager for my district's Collaboration Grant. I have at least another week of mentoring full time while managing the grant. This week I interview a candidate for the project secretary. Without going into the nitty gritty, I see light at the end of the tunnel. Things are starting to pull together and for that I am appreciative.
Celebrate #2 Two of the teachers I mentor scheduled time with me during breaks in their conference schedules-both for very different reasons. One teacher wants to talk through an idea she has for a grade level PLC. The district we work in is spread out over an area the size of Rhode Island. In most of our schools, there are one or two teachers that make up the team at each school. Pulling teachers together from throughout the district to collaborate is not always easy so I am proud of and appreciative of this beginning teacher's leadership. Another teacher wanted to have me double score some of her math problem solving tasks using our state scoring guide. We used it as an opportunity to calibrate but more important was the conversation about her students' learning needs. I am so proud of these two teachers. They are both talented teachers but I cannot help but be excited that I get to be a part of their development as teachers.
Celebrate #3 Maddie wants to be Dashi, a character from her favorite Disney show, the Octonauts, for Halloween. There are no Dashi costumes for purchase and Maddie has a mom who does not have a stitch of sewing ability. However, I am skilled when it comes to searching Amazon for various pieces of clothing and we have managed to slowly pull a costume of sorts together. Most of the items arrived Friday so as she put them all on her comments to me were, "I love it!" and "I am so excited!" I love the sweetness of her sincere appreciation - I looked at her and just saw a t-shirt, short skirt, tights...typical pieces of clothing. She saw it all as her Dashi costume. Maddie is amazing.
Celebrate #4 I made time to write this week. It wasn't much, but it was still time spent writing. I've been struggling to write stories about my dad to develop into a book for Madeline. I think part of my problem has been that I've been trying to write as if it's the actual book to be published instead of just getting ideas down on paper. For some reason, I randomly remembered a comment that I had heard or read from Donalyn Miller about just writing what you know: your work, your day, your child, whatever. I also had this recollection from my Teachers Write! experience where I did some of my best writing this past summer when I had something visual, tangible to look at. Put the two together and I had this epiphany that my dad stories could come from pictures. I pasted several photos in my journal and started writing. I wouldn't say that this week's writing is publish worthy but it felt good to be writing.
Celebrate #5 Maddie and I both had good book weeks. I finished Al Capone Does My Homework as part of #virtualbookclub and Creepy Carrots and Z is for Moose for #SharpSchu bookclub. All three of these books were not on my book radar (crazy, right?!) and so I'm appreciative of these Twitter book clubs that keep me motivated to read books that I'm otherwise oblivious to. Our schools do not have librarians, rather media assistants who keep the school libraries open and assist with checking out books and managing computer labs), so Twitter book clubs are my lifeline. These book clubs become a lifeline for Maddie, too. Each month, the books that are the featured books for #SharpSchu become the books that she wants read to her repeatedly. Let's just say I can almost quote Creepy Carrots verbatim. :o) Maddie has an affinity for the book bags at the library with the book and CD in them. We've begun checking them out from the library. Kids these days know how to work the electronics with little instruction on how to use. Nothing surprised me more yet made me so happy to hear the sounds of a book on CD playing from her room - when I peeked into her room she was sitting on her bed following along in the book as the CD played.
The events may be small, but for me are reasons to CELEBRATE!
Have a great week!