Teachers Write 7.9.18 Another Point of View

When thinking about the possible characters and points of view in the story of the escaped cobra, the kids who had to stay in for recess jumped out at me. I imagined them getting an assignment to research cobras and write about them. And maybe a snake-lover in the bunch wrote a poem:


Cobras don’t belong in Florida houses
Hiding behind dryers
They should be free in Asian forests

Cobras shouldn’t hiss at housewives
Scaring them to death
They should spread their hoods in front of prey

Cobras shouldn’t be hunted by police officers
In the city
They should slither away from the enemy mongoose

Cobras are not pets
They are wild
They are kings

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Waking with the Birds

It’s the time of year when the early morning is filled with birdsong as I wake. Some trill a joyful song. Some seem to be trying to settle a trivial dispute as their sharp tweets go back and forth. Others exclaim their delight over a treasure they’ve discovered. As light dawns and I look out the window, I see a robin perched in an evergreen tree, the brightest red cardinal flying from tree to tree, and a tiny brown bird with a white neck hopping on the patio. I can’t hear, only imagine, the hum of a hummingbird, flitting from branch to branch in a bush. All these lovely little creatures! What a happy way to start a day!

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Celebrating Friends and Words


My friend sent me a card. Look closely. Can you see the words she wrote? She wrote in Portuguese, her native language. The language of her heart!

Do I speak Portuguese? No. My friend and I usually speak English, and, occasionally, our other shared language, Spanish.

Do I understand the words my friend wrote? Yes, every one. And I treasure them and celebrate what a gift she gave from her heart.

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Views from the Recliner

Right now from the recliner, I can look up and watch the ceiling fan go round and round- on this mild, sunny day it provides a pleasing breeze

Right now from the recliner, I see the vase of peonies a friend brought- they have offered beauty and comfort all week

Right now from the recliner, I see the tree branches swaying in the early evening breeze outside the window

Right now from the recliner, I watch the sky darkening- thunderstorms expected- even though the sunshine has been beaming in through the windows all day

Right now from the recliner, I see the walker and cane ready for service- I smile to think of the transition underway from one to the other and the coming independence

Right now from the recliner, I look up on the mantel and see cards with good wishes from friends

Right now from my recliner, I get a text from my daughter with pictures of puppies she went to visit- and I pray for her will power (she already has 2 cats and a dog!)

Right now from my recliner, I look at an empty room, but remember and anticipate visits with family and friends that fill the room with talk and laughter

Right now in my recliner, I close my eyes and imagine days of rest and recovery this summer and picture myself, healthier and stronger, heading back to my classroom, students and colleagues in the new school year

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Celebrating Getting Better

Friday morning I had hip replacement surgery. That morning as I was getting ready, I pulled up the page on my page-a-day small things to celebrate to reveal this:


Couldn’t have been more perfect! My daughter was already with me, having come over the night before to stay overnight since we had to check in at the hospital at 5:30 a.m. My sister met us at the hospital, as well as a long time family friend who is also my deacon from church. Of course, there was a whole medical team in place for the surgery.

There were some rough moments when I woke up after the surgery, but it has been a smooth uphill road toward recovery from there. I had such nice nurses, who patiently helped me with everything. I got up out of the bed that afternoon to sit in a recliner… that was a huge accomplishment!

In the evening my friend came by and visited for awhile. She brought a great card, too:


The morning after surgery I was up for a bath (of sorts), then breakfast and physical therapy- the therapist was a real comedian. And we had an ice cream treat, so it was easy! A nap, lunch, an education about home care meeting, and another physical therapy session, and we were on the way home!

I came home to the new chair my brother and sister-in-law went shopping for and set up while I was at the hospital:


A friend brought some yummy comfort food- chicken and noodles and brownies. She gave me a funny card and a book with some wisdom:



So I am celebrating because I am already getting better. Much better!

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Comic Writing Fun

This week the writers in several classes and I shared a mentor text from Epic Books (a website/app with hundreds of books free to educators and to students at school- check it out if you haven’t seen it yet)-Doggie Dreams– written in cartoon/comic style with fun wordplay. We shared some good laughs while reading. Then we went on to write our own comic “doggie… and kitty, horsey, teddy bear, etc.” dreams. Some writers wrote 16 panel stories. There were dogs who dreamed of spy adventures, underwater exploration, and getting rich. One dog dreamed of coming to school and becoming a math dog! There was a snake named Slime. Imaginations went wild. And writers worked, totally focused, for longer than ever before. I was amazed, especially with one squirrelly 2-3 split class. Classroom teachers were impressed and gave the writers compliments. And writers were eager to share with each other. Such fun! One reluctant (usually) writer drew illustrations with meticulous detail and filled speech bubbles in every panel of his comic. A real celebration!

Isn’t it the best when we can have fun writing together?

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What Are You Reading?

I was at an appointment. As usual, I was reading to redeem the wait time. The nurse asked what I was reading. I had just started The Wild Robot Escapes. I explained I read a lot of children’s literature, both for school and because I enjoy it. Then I said the “grown-up” book I recently finished was The Husband’s Secret. She asked what I thought. I said, “Oh, my gosh!” She said, “My mom just read it, and that’s exactly what she said!”

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