Wally pics

Posted by on 23 Jun 2017 | Tagged as: critters, Gardens and Life, good things

No need for words, but this is Wally, now settled in and enjoying life with us after four months.
He is now four months away from being two!

Not-quite-summer vacation

Posted by on 17 Jun 2017 | Tagged as: 3rd Grade, caring, education, Education Professional, Vacations

It’s not-quite summer in our part of the world.

My students finished their last day of the year this past Wednesday. Like all endings, it was a bittersweet day for me. I handed out their report cards, we talked about how they can keep up with all the progress they made — and how if they spend their vacation NOT reading and NOT thinking about math the entrance to fourth grade won’t be as easy as it could be; and how if they just read for an hour a day and keep practicing their math facts they will find fourth grade a lot more manageable. I sent them home with worksheets, and a little toy, a rainbow crayon and fancy pencil and a little journal for writing and drawing in. We played some games…

Then they were dismissed, and I walked the few who weren’t being picked up by doting families to the buses, and waited with the other teachers for the signal for the buses to leave. One fifth grader (from my first crop of third graders) was in tears as her bus left the lot and we waved them on.

And then back to the room to pick up the pieces of my heart that the kids left all strewn about.

Yes, their summer vacation has started, but it’s still not-quite summer.

I am moving rooms this vacation — the new teacher in our grade will have my old room, a nice, secure location right in the middle of all the other third grade teachers. I get a room that has some advantages over the other but also some potential pitfalls. We are working to figure out ways to minimize some of the potential disruptions to my class’s learning environment. I spent several hours Thursday and Friday working in the two rooms — emptying out one and filling the other. Thankfully, I have help from unexpected places, but it’s still a gargantuan task.

So, for me, it’s not-quite summer.

I am getting some lovely new tables for the students to sit at, smaller than normal school tables but I am going to provide something called “flexible seating” where the kids get to decide the best locations to work (after some training!). I will have a smaller class, and this is the year to try a change. If it doesn’t work, we can go back to the old desks in nice, neat rows… I don’t think the kids would prefer that! We’ll have some open space to sit on the floor when I am doing whole-group teaching, and there will be space for some tables at the sides and back for group work. I have a couple of very small “teacher desks” that this year will be side-by-side because that’s the best layout for the room. I don’t really believe in carving out a large slice of the room just for my use, so I try to find ways that I can move among the children and teach from several spots.

It’s not-quite summer.

On the first day of summer, I am playing in a concert with the local orchestra. Then it will be summer — a concert with only three actual rehearsals. I would have been panicked at the thought only two years ago, but here I am — able to pretend to know what I am doing at least part of the time…

And so, as it’s not-quite summer I am sitting here with a blanket on my lap and a dog on my feet relaxing in the evening and not-quite planning lessons for the class that I don’t have quite yet…

Just dreaming. Dreaming of summer.

We. Are. Here.

Posted by on 03 May 2017 | Tagged as: Gardens and Life, hope, musings

The universe is changing,
but we are here.
The stars break forth, coalesce, dissolve, and reform
and we are here.
Species come and go, diversify and disappear…
while we are here.
The weather changes, and everywhere
we are here.
We. Are. Here.
Despite change, despite struggle, despite fear…

We go on.

NaPoWriMo Thirtieth Post

Posted by on 01 May 2017 | Tagged as: NaPoWriMo, poetry, Poetry Month

A day late?
No dollars are short, long, or to be seen
When the sun is shining
it is better to be outside with your hands deep
in the soil
than to be inside
with your head in a book.

Spring has finally arrived.

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NaPoWriMo Twenty-ninth Post

Posted by on 29 Apr 2017 | Tagged as: NaPoWriMo, poetry, Poetry Month

The penultimate day
promised clear
but delivered gray

and lingering cold
from a week of toil
I wash and fold

the laundry piles shrink
and my pen on paper
applies the ink

rendering thoughts
unworthy of publication

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NaPoWriMo Twenty-eighth Post

Posted by on 28 Apr 2017 | Tagged as: Gardens and Life, good things, NaPoWriMo, poetry, Poetry Month, rain

The rain gently washing the new-bought gravel
ready for the paths and the patios
gray as clouds and varied as the blooms
on springtime trees.

The rain, gently falling
anoints the geriatric maples
the fecund lilacs
and all the ornamental filigree.

The rain, again and again
first rainbow then shadow
and shade with golden edges.

Rain, then rain,
the musical patter
– drumbeat of life.

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NaPoWriMo Twenty-Seventh Post

Posted by on 27 Apr 2017 | Tagged as: NaPoWriMo, poetry, Poetry Month, Politics and War

The light
at the end of the tunnel
may be salvation
or an oncoming train
but
at least
it’s not dark any more.

Not all change is welcome
Not all change is kind
Not all change is
but
at least
it’s something different.

I don’t believe that one person’s hell is any better
or worse than another’s
but
at least I know
it’s an illusion to be challenged.

Don’t believe what you hear
or see
unless you can touch it with your own hands
it’s just a passing memory.

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NaPoWriMo Twenty-sixth Post

Posted by on 26 Apr 2017 | Tagged as: NaPoWriMo, poetry, Poetry Month, rain, weather

Rain
last month
last week
yesterday and
last night.

Rain as I drove onto the road.
Rain as I passed the town
and turned onto the lane
and into the driveway
to work.

Rain in the afternoon,
under, behind, and after
the rainbow
as I scurried from the shelter of the overhang
to my car and
gratefully drove home.

In the rain.

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NaPoWriMo Twenty-fifth Post

Posted by on 26 Apr 2017 | Tagged as: 3rd Grade, 3rd grade, NaPoWriMo, poetry, Poetry Month

25 cents in a quarter dollar
25 is a quarter of 100 pennies
25 a half of a half-dollar
25 pennies
but
somehow
100 divided in 4 parts
is mysterious and
wonderfully strange —
and 100 divided in 25?
Practically impossible.

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NaPoWriMo Twenty-fourth Post

Posted by on 24 Apr 2017 | Tagged as: NaPoWriMo, poetry, Poetry Month

Whether we walk
through sun or shadow
we walk with those
who preceded and follow
we join our fellows
in an unending unfading unwavering
statement:
We
Are.

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