Archive for February, 2010
One thing I love about living in Houston is the winter here. We don’t get snow, and there are very limited nights when our temperatures hover near freezing.
But the best thing of all is winter color in the garden! We did have a colder-than-usual spell which prompted having to pull out every bedsheet I own to cover my precious blooms. But it was worth it. The colors are amazing right now! There are pink dianthus, multi-colored cyclamen, white ornamental kale, big-faced pansies, fragrant sweet alyssum, and Swiss chard. Every time I go by my front yard, my flowers make me smile.
How did your week go? I hope it was a peaceful one. Think about starting each day with just a few minutes of peace and quiet, a time to reflect. These minutes will grow exponentially. Try it this weekend. Breathe deeply. Be still for a few minutes.
Have a peaceful weekend,
I am often asked how I got started with writing and consulting. It all began in 1983. I had taught for a while, was pregnant with my first child, and had decided to start my own business. My friend, Pat Smith in CyFair ISD, suggested I contact people she knew at two companies– Continental Press in Elizabethtown, PA (near where I grew up) and Houghton Mifflin (who had an office in Dallas where I had just moved). I made personal contact with folks in both places and began to do free-lance writing.
I recently returned from one of my favorite conferences of all time, the Reading for the Love if It Conference held in Toronto, Canada. I loved meeting all the wonderful teachers I met there! The Canadians turned up in record numbers for sessions on small group reading instruction in K-3 and literacy work stations for the junior grades (gr. 4-6). I snapped a few pics of teachers waiting in line for sessions to open. Interestingly, there was less snow in Toronto than in many places we’ve been trying to visit in the southern U.S. lately!
“Peace and quiet.” These are words we often hear together. I’d just like some peace and quiet. There is much to be said in that three-word combo. It is hard to have peace without quiet time. Each day I begin with just 10 minutes early in the morning to sit quietly and reflect. I often pray during this time. Sometimes I write in a journal. It is in this quiet, still time that I think about what’s most important in life and make choices to direct my day.
Recently, I visited a classroom that began the day with a Morning Meeting. The children greeted each other by name around the circle. They shared news with each other. It was a peaceful start to the school day. The class began as a community of learners. A circle of trust.
Think about how you begin each day—both at home and in the classroom.
Peace be with you,
Do you have a mentor? If not, it may be time to find one. Be mindful of people you meet who have wisdom to share, because they have already been on a path you are now finding yourself on. Look for someone who has wisdom and grace, who conducts himself/herself in a way that you respect.
A mentor can be a peace resource. Just ask. The right one will say, “Yes.” Or perhaps someone has asked you to be their mentor. It may be time for you to say, “Yes” to another who needs your wisdom. Join together as peace partners.
Have a peaceful weekend,
What a great day I had working with language arts teachers at Stehlik Intermediate in Houston, too! These teachers really knew how to tackle the state test in grades 5 and 6 with a creative touch! They had students making up their own questions, working together to analyze and justify answers, and using state test question stems as guides to discussions in literature circles. All great activities that work well at literacy work stations with a test prep twist.