Thursday, December 18, 2014

It's Okay That It's All About You

Teachers spend a lot of time taking care of others.  What do my kids need?  This one really needs to be extended and enriched - how do I do that?  This one is so far behind the others - how will I ever catch him up?  What about the average kiddos - the ones who come in every day and follow directions and turn in their assignments and basically do okay?  Am I giving them what they need?  And how about the parents who call worried, or angry, or confused about what's happening with their children?  When do I squeeze in time to call them back?  How do I phrase bad news in a way that lets them know the issue without making them feel terrible about their child?  And what about teaming?  Cover for this teammate, plan with that one, pass out runoffs, get the books from the library, find that website - don't forget that blog and remember to tweet at least once a week and, oh yeah - it's your turn to do the newsletter.  Sometimes it's okay - in fact necessary - to disconnect and take care of yourself.  The holiday break is upon us, and although there is much to do at home to prepare or travel, it's still a break from the daily routine teachers face.  Take advantage of this time to renew and revitalize yourself.  Be good to yourself. Sleep a little more, do something fun, just relax and do nothing - whatever your mind and body needs.   Merry Christmas to those of you who celebrate this holiday - and happy relaxing to the rest of you.  See you next year.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Owl Moon

Owl Moon by Jane Yolen is one of my favorite books.  It's the story of a little boy who is finally old enough to go owling with his dad in the wintery woods near his home.  It's absolutely loaded with sensory language -  "The trees stood still as giant statues."  "Somewhere behind us a train whistle blew, long and low, like a sad, sad song."  "Our feet crunched over the crisp snow and little gray footprints followed us."  This book creates a melancholy feeling and makes the reader yearn for woolen caps and mufflers and mittens, and deep snow, and hot chocolate, and the snowy woods on a cold, crisp winter night.  It reminds me of another favorite, "Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening" by Robert Frost.  Enjoy:

Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.

My little horse must think it queer
To stop without a farmhouse near
Between the woods and frozen lake
The darkest evening of the year.

He gives his harness bells a shake
To ask if there is some mistake.
The only other sound’s the sweep
Of easy wind and downy flake.

The woods are lovely, dark and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.