Two Views of the Moon

At night
The almost-full moon
Golden cream
Glows with warmth above

Early morning
Same almost-full moon
Shiny white
Shouts its glad greeting

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Celebrating My Fall Break Trip

For three days this past week, I was on a “working” trip with four others from my school. We are a Paideia magnet school in Indianapolis, and we went to visit Providence Spring Elementary, a Paideia school in Charlotte, North Carolina. It was a wonderful time! Here are some snippets to celebrate:

* sunshiny, touch of fall weather
* opportunities to observe in many classrooms and insightful follow-up discussions
* many take-aways to share with our staff and new ideas to implement to improve our school
* warm Southern hospitality
* fun time getting to know colleagues in a different, relaxed setting
* great food and a little shopping and sightseeing
* shaking hands with Jesse Jackson, who shared one of our flights

I am truly grateful I got to be part of this trip. I think it will have an impact on our school because of the relationships strengthened and the infusion of new ideas and enthusiasm.

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They’re Here Again

I drove over to spend a little time with my sister today. Later this week, she is going on vacation with her daughter and son-in-law and two grandsons- a first trip to the beach and to Disney World for the boys- a dream of a vacation for all of them. I am on fall break for two weeks, and I will be going on a trip for a few days with a team from my school.

It was an ordinary visit. We did a little shopping. We had dinner at a steakhouse (got in on the early diner discount!). We watched a movie back at her house. I hugged her goodbye, wished her a happy vacation, and opened the door to head home.

As I stepped out on the porch, I happened to look up in a tree. There was a bright red cardinal sitting on a high branch. I opened the door and stuck my head back in to announce it, and said ‘bye again. I looked back up and this time, along with the red cardinal, I saw its mate hidden in another branch. I opened the door again. “It’s partner is there, too,” I reported.

“Of course it is,” my sister said. Since our parents both passed away, it seems like a little visit from them every time we see a pair of cardinals. Guess they came by to wish us both good travels.

Posted in home and family | 3 Comments

School Moments to Celebrate

My ESL newcomer has talked to me a lot in Spanish. He has repeated a lot of English. It was a GREAT moment this week when he shared his first independent communication in English- as he left my classroom, heading back to his grade-level classroom, he glanced back and said, flawlessly and meaningfully, “Thank you!”

(I was not the one who taught him this. I am sure he learned it because when I co-teach in his classroom, the teacher always prompts the class to say thank you when I leave after the lesson. I celebrate my colleague who seeks to teach values and good manners along with academics!)

A third grade project we have been working on this month began with reading Kate Messner’s book, How to Read a Story. We listed the kinds of books we like to read, where we like to get books (the school library rated high!), our favorite reading buddies (most admitted to reading to a pet or stuffed animal) and reading spots (under the covers was popular, but treehouse- probably just a dream, I don’t think many of these city dwellers actually have one- was the winning place). We reread the book and reread just the steps- practically shouting “The End.” (If you know the book, you will know why.) Then we made the plans for our own books. Everyone listed their own top five steps for reading. The day we used the plans to create our books was exciting. The room was quiet with concentration. The authors were so serious, working diligently and carefully to publish their books. It was a beautiful sight!

(Again, I celebrate the colleague in whose classroom I am co-teaching. She had created an environment where students are engaged and ready to learn.)

Posted in celebrations, school, Uncategorized | 7 Comments

A Happy Birthday

My daughter pleased as punch
that she found
“the gift that keeps giving”
a bracelet with charms
to be added on
every special occasion-
she should know just being
remembered by her is
the gift that keeps giving

City BBQ with a friend,
Cheering our Colts to a win
and a perfect gift-
a writing journal

Great-nephew popping out
from his hiding place
and bursting into the
Happy Birthday song
then making cracks
about my old age

Hibachi dinner with
my sister,
talking and laughing
and a gift card for movies-
more fun to come
A birthday cupcake
with frosting piled high
and topped with sprinkles
One candle for a wish

Greetings from many-
All touch my heart
And make me feel loved

Posted in celebrations, home and family, Uncategorized | 7 Comments

Haunting My Thoughts

I heard it on the news this morning, and it is haunting my thoughts. A gas station/convenience store owner telling the story of what is going on in his business. The accompanying video showing escalating violence. This man, his store, and his customers are being victimized by high school boys who come to the store in a group of five or six. One holds the door open while the others rush in to steal whatever they can quickly grab. Then they run off. While the owner calls 911, the boys are long gone before help arrives. This robbery is troubling enough, especially since it has occurred repeatedly. But their most recent spree included a new and terrifying tactic. One of the boys wielded a sock to attack bystanders. Sound amusing? Inside the sock there was a glass bottle.

This story is haunting my thoughts today…

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Across the street from our school is a church, which not too long ago was purchased by a new congregation, a group of African refugees. The building had fallen into a state of disrepair. The church members began working diligently, rebuilding the front steps, painting the trim, creating a new sign. The men were there working day after day, very devoted to their task. Once the work was finished, though, we didn’t see groups gathering during the week for church programs. A couple of teachers who live near the school reported seeing a big crowd on Sunday.

Recently, there has been more activity during the week. One afternoon as I was leaving school, a man in white robes was pacing in front of the church. He was practicing his sermon. He was very devoted to his preparation. I recognized that pacing, having seen my husband do that same kind of pacing many times during his sermon preparation.

A few days later, as I drove down the street approaching school a little after 7, a woman in white robes and a white cap was on the steps of the church. Her hands were clasped in prayer. She was devoted to her prayers so early in the morning. I was inspired.

Except as I got closer I could see her hands were clasped around a cell phone, not clasped in prayer. Very devoted.

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