Friday, March 29, 2013

Where do I blog?

I'm confused. Where do I blog? I mean on which blog do I write? 

I love blogging with my's been a highlight of my year. Reading their responses and sharing their journey!! But, there are times that I want to talk about, write about, things that wouldn't interest them. Professional topics or personal I blog here, but then I miss my other blog. What do I do? How do other people manage this?

Suggestions are welcome! 

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

I'm over here....

When I comment on blogs, I often have to login with my google account. This is my blog over here, but I primarily blog at 

Please come and visit me over there!

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Why I love authors

The celebrity obsession culture is something that I don't understand. It seems we (as a culture) worship people for things like beauty or acting or athletic ability. Not me. My celebrity obsession includes authors. I'm a reader. I've always been a reader, from the earliest age I can remember books have always been important to me. Packing for a weekend at grammy's? My sister brought stuffed animals and dolls. I brought books.

Naturally, I became an English teacher. I get paid to read and write and encourage and guide my students to read and write. Wow!

Recently, I've been exploring the world of social media...more and more: Twitter and goodreads, pinterest and blogging and of course facebook. The focus of this exploration has been professional development. An amazing world has opened up to me. I have interacted with more authors than I can list. Today provides me with yet another example of how connected I feel to these authors! One of my students asked about Adriana Trigiani's young adult books about a character named Viola. She read the two that are out and she wanted to know if more were coming out. I couldn't find the information, so I posted the question on facebook and twitter to the author. Within a few hours, we got an answer...

Wow! I can't wait to go to school and share this with my student! Authors, we LOVE you! This will be so exciting for us. I hope someday when I'm an author, I can be this generous with my time and attention. We so appreciate it!

Sunday, February 17, 2013

A school that needs help...

Crestline Elementary School in Vancouver, Washington was destroyed by fire a couple of weeks ago. The entire school and everything in it is gone. I think about our classroom and what it would be like if everything was burned in a fire. There is a call to help the teachers and students of Crestline Elementary School. As the school rebuilds, they need books. A wishlist for books from Amazon:

Please consider donating a book to their school to help out. If you do, I'd love to know what you've donated. Let us know in the comments. Happy Reading!

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!

Crayons & Pencils

Musings and thoughts...