If you want to teach me to write, first you have to love me. ~AVI

Saturday, March 31, 2012

March in Lines of Six

As I was thinking about possibilities for my final March SOLS, I was reminded of the SIX WORD MEMOIRS. My daughter introduced me to the six work mini memoirs last year. I recently purchased a collection of the one-liners that has been patiently waiting to be one of my mentor texts.  A blogger that I visited last night had a go with the lines of six. Tonight on the last night of March with the clock ticking, here are my six word reflections on SLICE of Life Month.  

Writer for the month of March.
A late night Slice of Lifer.
Looking for more writing time.
Learning more from other March writers.
Reading, savoring, commenting, here and there.
Trying to travel far and wide.
Inspired by this community of writers.
You have touched so many lives!
Frustrated when potential ideas fizzle out.
Practice what you ask of students.
Move on and learn from mistakes.
It’s true practice fosters improvement.
Proud of write-everyday student slicers.
Proud of my thirty one accomplishments> 
Eyes, ears, and heart wide open.
Wondering what April has in store.
A poem a day for thirty.
Let’s give it a go!

Nobody has ever measured, not even poets, how much the heart can hold.

Love ~ SOLS 30

“Love. Fall in love and stay in love.
Write only what you love,
and love what you write.
The key word is love.
You have to get up in the morning
and write something you love,
something to live for.”
-      Ray Bradbury

“Love. Fall in love and stay in love.
Teach only what you love,
and love what you teach.
The key word is love
You have to get up in the morning
and teach something you love,
something to live for.”

While perusing this week’s Poetry Friday offerings, I read this quote on Irene Latham’s blog that reminded me how much I love what I do. In spite of the negativity and nervousness that suck the enthusiasm out of educators, I am trying my best to stay focused on my beliefs and reasons for becoming a teacher.  With changes in the way that principals and teachers will be evaluated and the way the results will be reported to the public, educators are nervous.
I try to practice what I preach and avoid worrying as much as I can, for worrying will not change the outcome. Yes, I am striving to be better informed and supportive of the voices that represent teachers. My energy is best channeled in positive directions, to the loves of my life.
I am blessed – I love what I do…teaching and learning, I love who I do teach and learn with…22 fabulous fourth graders and 60 or so inspiring co-workers and then there is the blog love, the poetry love, the reading love, the writing love that reaches out to an endless number of people.
I cannot imagine what it would be like to do something that I did not love. 

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Fifty and Fabulous ~ SOLS 29

The wise words of our 16th president are timeless.


    Today I am thankful for my dear friends at school,
    for the surprise birthday greeting, 
    for Friday breakfast treats on a Thursday
    to celebrate me! 
    For the love of friends, I so am very thankful.

    Today I am thankful for family,
    for memories I hold deep in my heart,
    for the memories that we continue to make together,
    for the memories that will come later,
    for every second we spend together
    for the life, the love, and the laughter
    Today I am blessed and thankful. 
    Today I am thankful for the love and blessings
    of the people in my life! 

This was a birthday of pampering. I feel very spoiled. They really shouldn’t have fussed like that, but they made my day nonetheless!  

There is always a certain peace in being what one is, in being that completely.
Ugo Betti 

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Looking for Inspiration ~ SOLS 28

Poems and all writing are hiding in the most ordinary and familiar places – if we can only change our way of looking at them.
~ Georgia Heard from Writing Toward Home

10 Places to Find a Poem

Good morning greeting
A jumbled junk drawer
Chirping chickadees perched in the pines
Words from wise wee ones
Playfulness on the playground
Tick tock in the quiet of night
Stitched in a quilt
Jingles of a beloved charm bracelet
Voices chanting in unison
Tucked in with a teddy bear

I am perched on the couch watching a Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band concert, pondering my list places where poems might be hiding. This particular show was performed at Madison Square Garden when Clarence was still alive. It’s three and a half hours of music madness. Bruce leaping on the piano for the start of Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out!
I have started to build a collection of concerts recorded from the Palladia channel. This is one I will never get sick of watching. I have had the opportunity twice to see live Springsteen concerts and hope there are more in my future. Nothing really compares to the energy and passion that Bruce and the band pour into their performances. The crowd is an eclectic mix of equally energetic and passionate swaying-singing-along fans of all ages. "Whoa, whoa, whoa..." Pure poetry!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Why I Write ~ SOLS 27

    Tonight I am thinking about all the reasons that I write. I really started and continue to wrestle with words as a result of my love of books. I love to infect young readers and writers with this passion. I write to dive deeper into the depths of words and the wonderful ways that authors weave them together to tell a story. As a teacher, I write quite simply to be a better writing teacher.

I write
To remember
For I will forget
Big moments,

I write to savor
Small moments
Moments that matter now
Moments that will matter later

I write
To understand
To find my way
To heal

I write
To weave
My teaching together
To celebrate

I write to grow
To improve
To be a better person
To walk in their shoes


Monday, March 26, 2012

Mentors and Poetry ~ SOLS 26

       In less than a week we will bid farewell to March and the write-everyday challenge. It will be time to spring into National Poetry Month. April is a busy school month shortened by our Spring Break week and intensified by testing that begins a couple days after our return to school. It’s the perfect time for some extra perusal of poetry. Even though poetry is not an April houseguest, I like to pamper and fuss over it a bit more during April.
       Since I am pondering some plans for poetry, there are some ideas I would like to try on my own first. I have been thinking about mentor texts that are especially meaningful to me. While I appreciate all that I have learned from my professional reading about excellent mentor texts, I would like to find my own ways to use some of my favorite books and authors. I have heaps of children’s literature that I am connected to already, so I am thinking this may be a project to dabble in now with the bulk of my research coming later. When I can haul piles of picture books  home for the summer, when I have time to linger, to read and reread for potential writing mentors. 
       For now I have a couple in mind. A while back our reading teacher gave us a classroom set of the Imagine books written by Sarah L Thomson with paintings by Rob Gonsalves. These beautiful, thought-provoking picture books are a wonderful gift to be read, reread, and savored.
Tonight I am spending some time with Imagine a Day, imagining the possibilities. Each page starts with imagine a day…followed by a thought written in a poetic, dreamy, yet wise voice. One of my favorites from the book is:
Imagine a day…
when your sand castle
can withstand
even the highest waves.

       One of my attempts:
Imagine a day…
…when the mountains are
a challenge to embrace
with confidence
knowing that life does not
have to be a race.

       Not terribly creative. Perhaps this will be my mantra to greet the angst of stressful days. Surely we can come up with other variations and inspiration from these lovely books. Right now I should do more than imagine what a good night’s sleep would be like. Sweet dreams.