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Random Ponderings Before School Starts
August 05, 2011

Random Ponderings

I’m going into my 15th year teaching this month and I’m continually amazed at what I’m learning about myself and others that really has nothing to do with academics, grades, scores and standards.

This is the list of thoughts that I’ve been keeping for a while now. I thought I’d share it with you…

Learn something new, today!

I recently was talking to my Mom about how my Grandpa had tons of canning jars in his basement.

It made me wonder how it worked, what tools were needed, what the procedures were.

Due to this pondering and new found interest, I learned how to can this week.

I feel ‘better’ somehow.

It’s important to learn things for you – not just in your career – not just because someone told you to learn it – but because it’s something you’re passionate about!

The grass isn’t always greener on the other side.

Often the best things in life are the things you have right now. While having more money or supplies might make things easier – sometimes using what you have and making the best of it is most rewarding.

My Mom often tells me that she’s “shopping at home”. I didn’t really know what that meant until recently. Basically it means, make do with what you have… repurpose things, reuse things, reprogram yourself that you don’t need ‘stuff’ to do a great job!

This relates to teaching… I have often said that some of my best lessons were a great book, some paper and a group of kids.

Flashy can be fun – but frugal can be fulfilling.

Hurtful Words Hurt.

When you speak before you think it’s hard to repair those relationships. This is true with kids, teachers, administration and parents. Often times the most powerful, knowledgeable, and kind thing to do is to remain silent.

Yes, I have a hard time with this one sometimes!

What works for you might not work for me.

So many times a new buzz word comes down the pike in education. Engagement, cooperative grouping, differentiation, Response to Intervention, blah, blah, blah…

I used to get so wrapped up in what ‘they’ tell me to do that I would forget that I’m not teaching Standards – I’m teaching children.

So, while my newsletter may be interesting, it might not all work for you. Take every teaching strategy, method, and topic with a grain of salt. Use what works, discard the rest, and go on with your life.

Smile. Don’t stew about things.

We all have good and bad days – the key is to have terrible short term memory and start each day fresh.

I have a prime example of this happening in my life right now. Earlier this summer I found out that I’m moving classrooms and no long sharing a teaching suite with former intern, amazing coworker, shoulder to cry on, rock and best friend.

I was devastated… sad beyond belief. I felt like I was getting a divorce. But, I just can’t dwell in sorrow forever, so I painted on a smile and kept on trucking. I always say, “Fake it ‘til you make it!” Just make yourself smile and the mood will follow!

Give back when you can!

In the past year I’ve made it a point to give back to people who are less fortunate than me.

One easy way to do this was through coupons.

I started a coupon sharing club at school so I could get some multiples and then purchase food for my church’s food pantry. This way my dollar got more ‘bang for the buck’ and I could give more!

No. I’m not a super-couponer like the people on TV, but each little bit does help!

The coupon club was easy to start up: 1) Ask people at school if they cut coupons. Make a list of all the names for each person who wants in. 2) Each week after you cut the coupons you want – send the left over’s to the next person on the list. 3) Watch your coupons pile up, and the savings, too!

Feel free to email me for more info about this. :)

DonorsChoose Opportunity

As I mentioned I’m moving classrooms and don’t have a teaching easel in my room. I have written a DonorsChoose grant to try to get one. If you’d like to help, I’d reward your kindness with one of my eBooks in return.

Here’s the deal-i-o: Go to my DonorsChoose grant and make a donation of $5 (or more).

Then, email me your name, date and time of donation, and the name of the eBook you’d like sent to you.

After I get your email and confirm the donation, I’ll send out the eBook. Many of the books you'd get a $2 or more savings on. That’s it!

Here's the books you can pick ONE from:

I'd be very grateful for any help with this!

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I hope that you have enjoyed this newsletter. Please feel free to email it to friends and family who are teachers or home-school moms!

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me.

See you next month!

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