My classroom is not a quiet, orderly place.
Students are constantly moving, thinking, talking, reading and writing.
I do my best to help my students find success.

May 28, 2013


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Encouragement - that's the word I'm focusing on this week!

Encouraging my teens:
It's the last full week of classes for my teen daughters.

The freshman is covered in papers from the past few weeks of classes, haphazardly thrown in a folder.  We discuss the importance of getting organized for finals. That's too big an idea for my youngest, the right-brained creative-type.  We talk specifics.. sorting papers, writing notes, filling out study guides.
"Thank you for NOT calling me LAZY like some of my teachers!" she exclaims.
She's her worst enemy when it comes to self-talk... she needs encouragement.

The junior has a few quizzes, essays, and reading to do.  Two AP tests are out of the way, so those classes have started showing movies.  Many of her friends are seniors and their last day is this week.  Prom is on Friday.  She needs encouragement to stay focused on school, even with all the fun activities and friends with "senioritis" surrounding her.  Junior year is the toughest, especially at the end!

Encouraging my husband:
I'm on family leave, helping my husband recover from heart surgery, so it's another week of slowwww healing for him.  He needs encouragement in a sly way.  I can't remind him that he can't lift the pot on the stove after he boils pasta.  He doesn't want me to offer to help him find a comfortable position for sleeping.  He needs encouragement to keep positive and not be frustrated by his tight chest muscles and sore back.

Encouraging myself:
Since I'm not working, it's hard not to think about what I could and should be doing at school, with my students, in these last days of school.  I thought about making them an iMovie to remind them to read over summer vacation.  I'm going to start organizing the hundreds of books I have at home.  I hope to scan them into an app and sort them into categories so I can have an awesome classroom library in the fall.

In addition to balancing hubby care with book projects and making meals, I need encouragement to stay out of the fridge and snack cabinet.  It's much easier to eat lots of yummy stuff when I'm at home.  I must encourage myself to keep walking and riding my bike.

I hope you will share some encouragement with someone who needs it this week!

May 14, 2013

Thankful for nurses

Yesterday, my husband had heart surgery to repair a genetic defect.  The surgery was successful, and I'm thankful for all the awesome people who decided to make their career nursing.

Kind and Caring
The pre-op nurses were calming and funny.  They soothed our anxious nerves as they prepped my husband for his procedure.  They shared stories about their pets (the female cat named Jeffrey) and their families.  All of them had great bedside manner, even at such an early hour.  

Informed and Efficient
The communication nurses balanced their pagers, phones and notebooks.  They gave precise information -in minute increments - about the status of the surgery.  They scurried between waiting areas to find families and delivered messages in a clear language.

Essential and Confident
The nurses in the ICU were able to welcome us into a maze of intimidating machines, scared to see our loved one in such a vulnerable condition.  They gave clear status updates as we stared with large eyes and my knees buckled.  They assured us that we could leave, eat and rest, and they would keep a vigilant watch.

Tireless and Patient
The recovery nurses have the hardest job.  They get to work through the pain, nausea and meals.  They support and walk with my husband when he doesn't really want to.  They deal with family visitors who are in the way in a room that barely fits the patient and his equipment.  They will see the most improvement, but they will work the hardest.

I am so very thankful for the incredible nurses who have helped us navigate this very intense experience.  May they get the thanks they deserve on a regular basis.