Monday, January 28, 2013


Today I woke up to news that school is cancelled for today! Yipppeee, a SNOW DAY! You never get too old for a snow day, but what's even better is my writing has been published on the Nerdy Book Club blog. As an aspiring writer, I have my first taste to understand what it's like to have my writing read by many. It's exciting! It's motivating! It reminds me how to get the writing of my students out into the world for more real audience opportunities. There's nothing like writing something and having it affect someone you've never met. I hope that lots of people read my post. I hope that I see some comments. I'm happy with submitting it and getting it published. Take a moment and visit my post! Leave me a few's much appreciated!

Reading and Where It All Began

Monday, January 21, 2013


Have you ever seen the movie Hope Floats? There's a quote in the movie that's stuck with me ever since I saw it.
"...beginnings are scary, endings are usually sad, but it's the middle that counts the most. Try to remember that when you find yourself at a new beginning. Just give hope a chance to float up. And it will, too..."

Beginnings are scary...that moment just as the race is about to begin...I hate it. Finding the joy in anticipation is something I've never mastered. Whenever I start something new, I want to be in the middle of it, with some knowledge behind me and more to gather. I realize as I think about this how much this impacts my everyday life. "...beginnings are scary..."  Yes, but I 'd never taken the time to think about it before.  There are days when I feel like I could live my life in the middle, without the scary or the sad. Intellectually, I know that's wrong, but emotionally, it's what I want until I think about WHY.  The lessons, the really good lessons, are usually in the beginning or the the scary or the sad. Learning, good & meaningful learning, is scary. It's uncomfortable and it requires risk taking and trying new things. It requires failure. I don't like failure. I resist that. There.

That's my confession for the day.

I am a teacher and I'm scared of failing. 

Ha! It's true! You just saw a light bulb. Writing about this and thinking about things I'm struggling with at school and on my own, I just figured out that I'm scared of some of these new things. Resisting and resisting loudly has shown me that there's something good there and I have to keep digging to discover what I'm afraid of. I'm afraid of failing. I'm afraid of losing control. I'm afraid of not being good enough. I prefer to fail in private, but there's no risk in that...and no payoff. How often do I learn something alone? Learning requires failure. I'm going to repeat that (for myself, mostly): learning requires failure. I tell my students all the time, "That's a great wrong answer, it means you're almost there." If I expect that of them, what about me? I work to make a safe environment for my students to learn and fail and learn...I need to make my environment safe to learn and fail and learn.

My life is full of beginnings right much so that I almost want to change my word of the year. Beginning new ways of teaching and collaborating & beginning new professional development relationships & beginning a new path in my personal life. Beginnings follow endings. Some of the endings I've recently lived through have been deeply SAD, but I need to begin. Get up! Begin! Fail! Learn! Fail!Learn! I expect that of my students everyday. It's my turn.

How do I keep up?

There's been this question floating around in my head for do I keep up? There are my normal teaching duties...planning, grading, etc and to that I've added a graduate class that I co-facilitate and plan. I try to stay current with my YA reading and recently, since I attended NCTE, I've been active on twitter for professional development purposes. And this is where my question pops do I keep up? Blogging has been something else that I've wanted to make a priority this year. I've done pretty well although lately, I feel like I've failed miserably. My school blog has not been updated in weeks and I haven't been here since the beginning of January. do I keep up?  And it isn't a rhetorical question...I really want to know HOW do people fit it all in and make it look so effortless? I'll continue to plod along and make improvements along the way, but any tips or suggestions are greatly welcome!

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Word of the Year reminder

For every word of the year I've picked, I get a reminder. This year I have a necklace...OK, two necklaces and a ring is on the way.  I also used Anne Lamott's words to make a wordle about writing. These physical reminders help focus me.

Back to School

Only have a minute before I need to get ready for my day, but I wanted to blog first. During this new year, I'm going to try and write and read everyday. That's what I tell my students.  

If you want to be a better writer, write. And read, read, read!

How lucky am I? I get to do those things all day long with students around me. Hoping your first day back is wonderful. Time to start the day. I'll be back later. Just want to say that I'm happy to have this place to write and share.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Starting off with honesty

I'm in a strange place in my life. A week and a half ago, my life was headed in a completely different direction. It's the cliche, life can change in an instant, well, it's a cliche for a reason. I feel disingenuous by not owning up to the pain that I'm feeling. Working to move on from the pain is kind of like ignoring it. I don't want to ignore it, but I don't want to wallow and I certainly don't want to talk about it. Move on. That's what I want to do. An adoption was supposed to happen and now it's not going to. That's my story today. Just below the surface is pain and I'm waiting for it to sink deeper and deeper so it won't bubble up suddenly. Once it becomes part of me, I feel like I'll be able to forge ahead with my life.

We all have stories of joy, pain, growth, learning, change...this is mine right now. I need another focus while I heal...writing. Writing has always been a salve for me and my pain. Writing through things help me figure them out, but that's not what I'm talking about. I want to write. Writing is freedom to me. Escaping into a world of my own creation. Perhaps that's one reason why author is such an attractive word to me.

I received many comments (and THANK YOU for the comments, by the way) wondering where this word will take me. I'm imagining a new life for me than the one I had planned. Becoming an author. Now, I just need to find my story. 

112 to go...

Just finished reading my first book of 2013. Check out my review on Goodreads.

Welcome to 2013

What a way to start the new year...

Musings and thoughts...