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Showing posts from 2016

THE DANCE WITH DOUBT (A TEACHER'S LIFE)

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Maybe I'm speaking MOSTLY to the teachers now because their kind is who I know.  They are the life I've grown up in. They are the people I have become. They are the people my heart has learned to beat to, but it may be true, you feel more like a teacher than you know.
Teachers sometimes live in the cesspool of doubt...doubt that they are believed...doubt that they are heard...doubt that they are valued...doubt that they are enough.  
On more than one occasion through my teaching years (and admittedly it has been me on many),  a co-teacher has taken her precious time to come to my room, sighing or maybe crying, seeking grace to erase the sludge of sick thinking about herself that quickly accumulated in the pit of her soul. 
Whether she related a story in fury or declared it in defeat, her eyes showed that vulnerability that comes with over striving and being overwhelmed and overloaded.
Maybe it's the pressure of the expectations of five days for eight hours a day (plus the work…

FIGURING OUT THIS GRANDPARENT LOVE

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"There's nothing like it." "You will love it." "You will fall in love like never before."
Those are words others used to describe grandparenting to me before I became one.

I've been pondering how to describe why this grandparenting is like no other love. It took me a year to be able to pen words that seemed to make sense about this love, this grandparent love.  It is a different glimpse at love.


I can't say it's stronger. I can't say it's fiercer. 
It's all I was for my kids and something more, and yet it's all I couldn't be for my kids. It's the best of me for her: my moments, my thoughts, my inclinations. 
It's the ethereal majestic of life. It's the unexplainable captured by the heart's eye. It's gifts of fast forward moments watching  a world of wonder unfold. It's being renewed to the miracle of the gift of life. 


It's being drawn toward  awe in a simple pleasure.

It's purpose and passion mag…

WHEN WE SPRAY TOXIC!

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THIS WAS A MISTAKE. 

ALL ACROSS THE YARD THERE WAS A RECORDING OF EACH MISSTEP.  EVERY STEP TAKEN, THE TWISTS AND TURNS, ENGRAVED IN DEAD BROWN GRASS. THE POISON TRAIPSED A TRAIL OF SURPRISING DISTANCE.
It was a slow acting herbicide meant to kill the grass but not the surrounding flowers. It seeped invisible into the fertile flower ground. At the spot it was sprayed, the intention was to kill the invading grass. 
We spray toxic each day--spittle of slow acting invasive words and actions meant to seek a sense of control or herald our own agendas, but instead kill invisible dreams, cripple the growth of love, suffer hearts and minds to growth. 
 Creating careless ruin. 
Oh, the heroic potential of humanity.
There really is no standing still; every day is consciously and unconsciously an overwhelming, choice-laden footprint trek.
red marks on the student's page or "good first try" Oh, the heroic potential of humanity.
blaming others for pain or understanding the effects of loss Oh, …

5 THINGS MOM TAUGHT ME

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When you realize your youngest (and only child of three still at home) will turn 21 in weeks and move out in a couple months, you reflect on your mother role. Well, at moments, it's sheer panic or wonder concerning what I have taught them about life.

Endless times through these years of growing my own children,  moments of my childhood replayed in my head, revealing the secrets of my mom's wisdom as she experienced life with us.  There's a lot of life I learned from doing life with my mom that I didn't think I had learned until it began to rattle around in my own mind, mouth, and behaviors as I lived life with my own children.

These are merely five of many lessons I've learned from living life with my mom.

1. LISTEN INTENTIONALLY:

My mom would make us listen to HER music on vacation trips: Harry Chapin, Elvis, Roberta Flack, Diana Ross. I listened to every style of music, but the worst were classical and country.  Hours of highway droned by to the melancholy lyric…

CONFESSIONS FROM A TEACHER TO A GRADUATE

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It's graduation time. I received 5 cards to the same party for 8 kids. I had no clue who sent me two of the invitations because they came with no name, but I was fairly certain who HADN'T invited me because I was pretty sure he could have cared less because of our last exchange.


I know that student behaviors are a form of communication. I know that the  best communication with students is accomplished through mutual respect, those times each person is being seen, heard, and listened to with care.

Here's the tough honesty.  Some days as a teacher,  I understand what students are relating, but some days I do not. Some days, I have the wherewithal to delve deeper, but some days my strength fails me. Some days, I patiently ponder and watch for the non-verbals, and some days I walk right into a power struggle. Some days I choose to bless, and some days I run ahead with my authority.  

And even on those days when I think I've tried my best, the communication can break down. The…

IT'S WHAT I DO

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I witnessed that blank stare, quiet cavern of thought barred behind eyes whose floodgates waterfalled over a heavy heart today.
Walking through a crowded hall of elementary students one student stood zombie still as if lost. I am not sure what made me stop to seek his eyes, but with a tilt I confirmed his lifeless stare at his locker as if it scared him to touch it.  
I knew it to be untrue before I asked, but still I suggested, "What's wrong; are you tired?"   With the shake of his head, he resigned the honest truth as it washed across his face. With a closer whisper "Home?" from my mouth and simple arm around his shoulder, his eyes lifted to mine as if we held a secret.  It felt daring to clarify with more, "Did you have a rough morning at home?  With mom?"  With the nod of his head, I witnessed the tears he guarded behind glassy eyes rain down his face. In a quick exchange, I released this one jailed behind his emotions, "It will be okay; I will…