* 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!

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.

* Sharing my world

Cee’s weekly Share Your World challenge comes courtesy of Ribbonr.com this week.  So glad I don’t have to think of these every week!  Here are the fun questions.

What’s something you like to do the old-fashioned way?  Stay married and faithful.  I don’t take any credit for this.  When my dearest teaching widower met me, I was a total basket case.  I suffered from severe depression and anxiety, not to mention serious character flaws.  Instead of social skills, I had social anxiety and the mouth of a sailor. Without my husband’s tender love and the grace of God, we would not be together.

What’s your favorite genre of book or movie?  I have been reading lawyer and criminal thrillers for the past year.  I have a bunch to review!  I also love science fiction, but that genre seems more difficult to write; I often ditch a book after a few chapters.

How often do you people watch?  Not so much.  I guess it goes back to my social weaknesses.  I bird watch, tree watch, flower watch. cloud watch, and deer watch (grrrr).

What have you only recently formed an opinion about?  Algebra!  I’m sharpening my skills as I prepare to teach middle school next year.  I’m much better than I thought, which is a relief (and which isn’t saying toooo much).  However, knowing a subject is not the same as teaching it.  I really need more tools in my math repertoire.  I’m taking an excellent online course to help in that arena:  Teaching Mathematics With Technology.  It’s not too late to join!

Friday Institute

* Color your world desert sand…

… And have fun with programming at the same time!  This is the game board for a ThinkFun game for preschoolers called Robot Turtles.

Robot TurtlesIt’s never too early to play logic (aka coding) games and if you are trying to steer clear of screens with your younger ones or even introduce the joys of hands-on games to older kiddos, ThinkFun is a terrific resource.  A local toy store keeps us supplied with some of their classics, but you’ll probably have to go online to check out their wealth of problem- solving games.  The availability of non-screen games is shrinking, so it’s ironic that you need your screen to purchase hands-on fun.

I highly recommend ThinkFun as a source of individual and group entertainment, with brain challenges galore.  Does your kiddo have social skill challenges?  The structure of a group game can provide a satisfying, well-defined opportunity to engage with others.  Try Escape the Room mystery game (ages 10+). where you are transported back to 1869 to save a local astronomer.  These games are terrific for parties as well as family night fun.  Have a long car trip in your future?  ThinkFun has a number of fascinating 1 player games, too.

Thanks, Jennifer Nicole Wells, for your Color Your World challenge featuring desert sand.

* Color your world denim

I have this tune running through my head: “Dem deer, dem deer, dem demin deer.”  Don’t know it?  Think of “dem dry bones.”

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Mama, when do I get denim?  When you can carry a tune, dear.  

Thanks, Jennifer Nichole Wells, for your Color Your World challenge, which has officially joined The Twilight Zone.

 

* Three Things Thursday- this weekend

Thanks, Nerd in the Brain (NitB), for your reminder to slow down and smell the fluffbutts.  Wait, that’s not what you said, although your photo of the tipsy fluffbutt IS hilarious.  NitB volunteers at a cat shelter and those little critters are soooo cute.

Here are my Three Things Thursday for this weekend, a time to appreciate the goodness in my life.

First, my foot situation has improved considerably with this no-pain boot.  What do you think, Steph?  Could you make this into a fashion statement?  When she was fastening me in, a nurse commented that there was really no way to put it on backwards, but I’ve managed to do just that a couple of times.  I have been called a Motor Moron.

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Second, we enjoyed a movie night with our home group on Friday.  One sweet member cooked an entire St. Patrick’s Day meal AND another friend sent me this photo of her adorable lass.  I am in love with this dog!  Look at those eyes!

St patricks day dog

 

Third, a dear family sent me a video of something that touched my heart.  I can’t share it, but the love they have for their son, the joy they share with that kiddo, their brilliant minds and their sense of humor- no way can I adequately express what they add to my life!  I will share a photo of a classroom “pet” I am boarding for a while.  I tried to feed it an ant, but I think “Vance” is too young for solids.  I took a 10 minute video of an ant exploring Vance’s pink caves and then wandering off to find some crumbs.  If you ever have difficulty sleeping, just ask to borrow that video.

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