Tag Archives: teaching

Be Retiring and Releasing

Do you know when you have been holding onto something for too long?

It just sits in the back of your brain, popping up in your head like an annoying old boyfriend.   As these thoughts roll through your mind like a movie, you have to decide to continue to let them float on by or to let them go.

Often if you sit with these thoughts, you just know when it is time to let things go!

For over six years, I have been fortunate to have a leave of absence from a teaching job.  And it was an amazing teaching job, which makes it hard to let go of.  I hold no regrets.  Only fabulous memories with inspiring people surrounding me.

I taught in towns and villages all through the school district.

I had students get picked up via dogsled and horseback.  I had students create the most amazing projects and share the most incredible stories.

I had a custodian that inspired me daily, saran wrapped my entire classroom and help me survive my first classroom teaching experience.

I had families that I was fortunate to know well and even teach many of their children.

I had the very best CEA’s (Teacher’s Assistants).  These women were the best teammates you could ever ask for when teaching children. They were even willing to dress up with me in PJ’s to help teach the children a lesson on responsibility. Oh that was a fun day!  The tolerated my math lessons as Grandma Cann and cried with me when students were having a hard time.

My colleagues were superior and they continue to inspire me living their lives on Facebook and Strava or when I head back to VCity and run into them on the street.  These colleagues are the ones creating amazing drama productions, music performances, coaching teams, creating community schools, teaching en francais and so many other incredible educational feats during this season of teaching children.

And oh my Principals, they were bar none the best.  Servant-hearted, caring Principals.  People that Sexy Neck and I often talk about and ask, “What would Linda or Jim or Tom or ________ do?  I was so fortunate to have the best leaders.

So as I let go, I am fully awake and completely saddened.  The ebb and flow of life, I am realizing.   A chapter in my teaching story is complete!  I am releasing and allowing new space for things in my mind, in my life and in my wildest dreams.  I am grateful to be alive!

My resignation letter is in:

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Be Doing What You Don’t Normally Do

I never go to “The Mall”.

Sorry folks, this is just not a place that brings me energy nor life.

The fluorescent lights.

Air conditioning.

And all those choices.

Whew!

Not my thing!

BUT, today I decided to do what I don’t normally do.

I WENT TO THE MALL!

Yup, all six foot of me, walked in and through the mall for a whole ten minutes.

I had not idea what I was doing.

Until, I ran into these two:

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Linda and Lil.  

Linda my good friend, mentor and Principal in Vtown.  And Lil, her friend from Saskatoon.

The craziest thing is that Linda is wearing a coat that my mom had given me as a teacher, that I had passed on to Linda when I gave birth to JC and didn’t think I would return to teaching.

My heart overflows.

My time with these two lovely women was amazing.

The reminder of my mom was a lovely moment.

Heartfelt.

Wonderful.

Women.

I think I may need to go to the mall more often.

Nah!  I think I just need to keep doing things I don’t normally do!

Be Having a Throwback Thursday

Throwback Thursday?

Who ever thought of that?

It’s brilliant and I am jumping in with this little ditty from my very first year of teaching in the classroom.

I was inspired by my boys getting their class photos this week.

Ahhh class photos.

Staff photos.

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Colleagues.

Friends.

What an amazing group of people at a little country school.

Beginnings.

Throwing it back!

Be Starting a New Teaching Gig

As my colleagues in the public sector walk the picket line, I dive head first into a new teaching job supporting families that are schooling at home.

First, I learn about each students passions and interests. I ponder curriculum. I write up a learning plan and then I spend many hours at my computer getting ‘er done! Sexy Neck has told me in my family of origin we like to get ‘er done!

Students.

Education.

Learning Plans.

Pondering.

Passions.

Resources.

Ordering online.

Staff meetings.

At home.

Pondering.

Questions… Checkout this desk: 20140825-213203-77523763.jpg
(The non-urgent questions are under the keyboard for now!)

Using my teacher brain.

Sharing my gifts.

Following God’s leading.

Energized.

Blessed.

Living the presence of God.

Watching my interwoven life.

Woven with others.

Peace.

Joy.

Love.

Holy time!

Be Really Real (no juice here!)

I am finding it difficult to write. I deeply desire to be positive, uplifting, encouraging, but I feel none of these things.

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(Me and my journal!)
I really want to string some pretty words together but my heart is swearing! My mind is screaming. My body is weary with grief.

I feel hurt.

I feel despair.

I feel anger.

I feel frustration.

I have become aware that my words on this blog evoke emotions. My photos, especially the one of my lying on my laundry room floor in January, are difficult for some readers.

I have to admit that this blogging thing started off anonymously with twenty people I didn’t know reading my blog daily. One year after starting and during the height of my mom’s cancer journey, there were over eight hundred people checking my blog daily!. This is a strange sensation knowing that the audience I now have before me knows me and uses this blog to ‘see how I am doing’!

Now the second thing I will admit as I sit in my red chair, the rain pounding down, as I reflect on this blogging journey is that I have been serving you juice.

Good old apple juice.

Showing you a side of me that I think you want and need to see.

Keeping the information rated G for the general audience.

Tonight, I am giving you a good old gulp of red wine on the eve of the remembrance of Jesus’ crucifixion.

The night before Jesus died he washed his disciples feet, served them bread and wine, symbolizing his body and blood.

On this night I feel like I want to die. I am listening to the rain pound down hoping it will clean me up. I want to curl up. I don’t eat nor drink. I burst into tears during a children’s storybook, at the lack of communication, through this pouring rain. I HATE RAIN!

I cry out about the missed moments. Why didn’t I stand closer and notice how mom made her jam, lasagna, apple pie crust…

I am overwhelmed by the differences between men and women as I sit surrounded by males including Sexy Neck, my boys and my father. Oh mama, where are you?

I have so many questions rattling around in my head that I want to ask my mom. I can’t breathe as tears streak my face.

My mom, my first teacher and the teacher I modelled my love of my students after. The women who showed me how to spend weekends preparing for the week, lunch hours to meet the needs of the students less socially inclined and going above and beyond in many ways. To be watching my son’s teacher with her systems, testing and explanations that end in ‘I could show you the research!’ ,my legs want to run straight to my mom for a chat in her garden. My mom had such insight about schooling. But I am alone to figure this one out. Utterly alone.

I feel sick to my stomach when I see the sad faces of my friends when I talk about my mom. I see what an impact her life and death had on them I want to talk about her but their faces make me stop.

I have never felt so lonely in my life.

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Deeply missing the times I took for granted.

Tearfully desiring all the times my mom was so beautifully present, unassuming, supportive and there.

Mom cannot be replaced. Absolutely nothing in the world can fill this gaping hole. I will continue to sit in my grief as this is my season. There is nothing another human being can do to erase my pain. Don’t feel sad for me. I am not drinking my feelings away nor shopping or eating them away.

I am sitting.

I am noticing.

I am hoping.

I am waiting.

For the rain to go away.

For a glimmer of sun.

To create a new way.

A new life.

Without my mom.

Damn this hurt.

So, if you don’t hear from me for awhile it has nothing to do with you. If I don’t know the answers nor want to organize things remember I am building new neuron brain pathways. Many of my pathways led to my mom!

I am exhausted.

Overwhelmed by waves.

I am doing my work.

Rowing my boat.

Staying afloat.

On the ocean of grief.

Waiting for Jesus to walk on water.

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Be Thinking/Reading in French

We are one year and two months into our first child in school.
We decided to put him into French Immersion due to our life before children living in Europe, class compositions in French Immersion and the brain/future benefit of learning another language. The only language that is offered is French, otherwise we may have preferred Spanish or perhaps even German.

As parents, we question many of our decisions that we have made for our boys. Today, we were given a small pat on the back that for our oldest French Immersion is the right track for him.

Today, we were in the car.
JC yelled out, “Seven cars. There were seven cars lined up at the light!”
I had a light bulb moment and asked, “Did you count that in your head in French or English?”
JC responded, “French of course Mama!”
My first thought was: thanks for translating to English for me and then I was surprised he was counting in French.

Here’s our Grade Oner reading his home reading tonight:
JC reading in French

Be Going to PT Conferences/Orientation

Today was Parent-Teacher Interviews/Orientation at JC’s elementary school.

We loved it! It was not the usual whip in, whip out for a ten minute conference with the teacher.

Today was a leisurely hour where the teacher made a presentation to a group of parents. Then JC got to guide us through different areas of the class: his desk, reading bin, artwork, dictee word stations etc. Lastly, each parent talked with the teacher about their child’s goals.

JC’s were:
1. Ignore his teacher. He has his antennae tuned to her.
2. Work more slowly and he could be exceeding expectations. Oh, JC lives being first.

Here are a few samples of his work: yes, he is taking French Immersion.

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This self-evaluation JC did with his teacher was brilliantly insightful. A self-evaluation where the student coloured in yellow highlighter and the teacher was in blue. Anytime the student and teacher were in agreement the highlighter turned green. Brilliant!

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My personal favourite. I cried!

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Be Buying Your Teacher Shoes?

Sunday afternoon, JC and I went to do a few errands for Nana and Papa here in the big city.

I find these one-on-one times with the boys are incredibly insightful and lead me down paths that sometimes I don’t understand.

Here is our story from Sunday:

JC and I were walking through a store looking at the Halloween and Thanksgiving decorations. We were talking about thanksgiving, then being thankful, next was school then we moved on to his teacher. We finished the conversation by trying to think of some way we could show his teacher we are thankful.

JC emphatically answered, “Shoes! Mom, we need to get her some shoes!”

In my mind I started rolling through the options – does she talk a lot about shoes, does she wear different shoes everyday (my high school VP wore a different tie every day), does she wear ‘funny’ shoes or ? I was confused.

He insisted we buy his teacher shoes, but we started talking about how much we wanted to spend or was there something we could do instead. We settled on a sweet treat and a note where I told his teacher the story of the shoes.

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I just received an email from his teacher and here was her response:

I may know why Jackson wanted to buy me shoes!! I have several single shoes at school for an up-coming lesson on selecting ‘good fit’ books. The idea of the lesson is that choosing a book is like choosing shoes to buy: they need to be the right size AND they need to fit your purpose. For example, you wouldn’t wear heels to go hiking. This is just like not choosing a story book about frogs if you want to learn about frogs. All this to say that I have many single shoes at school, and I have not yet explained why. Might he have thought that my shoes don’t have mates? Or is he insinuating that my gym runners are out of style!?!

This is hilarious! My poor organized , empathetic first born noticed all these single shoes and wanted to correct the ‘problem’ for his teacher.

Hahahaha. This made my whole month. I love creative teachers.