* One Word Photo Challenge: Manual

Jennifer Wells has created a one-word challenge through 2019!  Yikes!  Thankfully, it’s only one word per week.  This week’s challenge is manual.

I got this manual in the mail, a handy reference guide for the state employees health plan UPDATES.  Are they kidding?  Do you think I will ever look at this?  If you guessed “no,” you win a prize!  What if I send you this manual as your reward?  It’s a couple hundred pages by the looks of it, so you are getting a lot for your effort.

manual

Be sure to follow direction and OPEN immediately upon delivery.

 

* 6th grade miracle

Color Your World: Pink Flamingo

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See that pink flamingo-colored balloon?  We celebrated the first day of 6th grade for a student who was never expected to live.  He’s the only known survivor of his condition- in the world.  Every day with him is so precious.  Every day is fraught with peril.

I look forward to sharing his story soon.

* Bluetiful!

It’s time for Jennifer’s Color Your World challenge! This is Jennifer Nichole Wells’ third year hosting the 4-month long CYW challenge.  Today’s color is simply bluetiful.

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This vivid bluetiful carpet is in the governor’s palace ballroom in Williamsburg, Virginia.  Historians were surprised that the colonists of that era used such vivid colors, but items found in rats’ nests don’t lie!

bluetiful

* Keep Your Passion

I am shamelessly borrowing Kendrick Vinar’s message and applying it to a passion for teaching.  The big question is: What drains your teaching battery?    Around here, next Monday is the grand opening!   Best to explore these issues BEFORE the school year starts, right?battery

Kendrick gave six examples of Passion Drains:

  1.  Unaligned priorities.  Ask yourself, “How am I actually spending my time?”  (Not “How do I wish I were spending my time?”)  You might think that you are devoted to parent-teacher relationships, but how much time do you spend talking to parents?  Or perhaps lifelong learning is high on your written list, but do you really devote time for reading and collaborating professionally?
  2.  Unbalanced schedule.  I can provide the perfect example of this, being the only teacher with 40+ years experience who worked at school every weekend.  Uh-oh.
  3.  Unresolved conflict.  This is an emotional drain which may lead to darting into closets to avoid the principal or refusing to make eye contact with another teacher.  For my part, I was actually oblivious to the anger I had stirred up in a colleague.  Yikes.
  4.  Unforgiven sin.  OK, you don’t have to be a Christian to understand that those lies or mean-spirited words can’t truly be ignored or swept under the carpet.  They will come back to bite you unless you make things clean.
  5.  Undernourished soul.  Ever feel like you are running on empty deep inside?  Our spirits need nutrition, just as our bodies do.
  6.  Unclear purpose.  It’s natural to feel some discomfort when vacations end, but do you also feel a genuine excitement about getting to know your new students and families?  Are you excited about all the fun that is to come?  Is it a thrill to inspire others to learn?  Don’t stay in teaching if there’s no passion in your heart.

You owe it to yourself and your students to blaze with the joy of teaching.  

* Long Story, Short

Long Story, Short spells d-o-o-m for my bogging posts.  This is one area where blogging and reality coincide.  I have three versions of any story (or any thought, for that matter):  one for my dearest teaching widower (his preference being 10 words or less), one that struggles to include no more than 4 tangential topics, and the Real Deal, an unscripted, spider-webbing marathon.  The latter version is best shared with family, who are forced to love you, or good friends, who then take a turn with their own Long Story, Short.

Don’t get me wrong.  Some folks can actually tell a Long Story, Short.  Our son and his wife both fall into that rare category.  I’m so glad they are forced to love me.  When I started blogging, my posts were typically 1,000+ words, paralleling my conversational “skills.”  The only people who read them were spammers, but in my naivete, I thought they were similarly challenged folks who enjoyed reading my blog.  When i clicked on their links, I ended up in boat manufacturing and cosmetics, with nary a story to be found.

The key to my success as a blogger?

No, I’m not using a picky definition of ‘success.’

* Sunrise Sermon: Tunnel Vision

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Michelle Malone has written another winner! What’s one thing YOU will do differently today for yourself? I was going to say, “Eat chocolate,” but that’s not different. Perhaps I will go to bed before midnight!

2 R Better Than 1

Are you one of those folks who walks through life looking straight ahead — not looking to your left or to your right — just straight ahead? Perhaps most days you’re looking down at your phone — hurrying to get to work, a meeting, your second job, or your kids’ after school activities. Here’s a question for you (and I hope you pause long enough to read it). Do you ever slow down or simply stop to look at your surroundings and see what you’ve been missing?

Many of us run through life as if we’re on borrowed time, and actually we are. We’re always borrowing time from something to do something else. Do you ever cut into your family time by staying at work a little longer? If so, you’re borrowing time from your family. Will you ever pay them back? Maybe you have to finish typing an important…

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* A-Z Challenge: Q is for Queasy

Do heights make you feel Queasy?  Before I went through cognitive behavior therapy, heights were one of my phobias.  I was still aware of how Queasy I used to feel when I drove past these 2 brave dudes assembling a cell tower on a stormy day.  If I had a decent camera, perhaps you could see them.  I’ve added a snippet to help you out!

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* A-Z Challenge: I

I is for Imaginative.  My nephew, Isaac, has Imagination in spades.  He flew up to me and donned a sad pose, doing his best Luke Skywalker Imitation.   He’s Incredible!

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I just noticed his brother’s shadow in the background.  Dear Christopher, with his finger in his mouth.