Browsing Category "uncategorized"
5 Jun
2017
Posted in: uncategorized
By    No Comments

To Teachers Who Stand in the Gap

siblings walking into elementary school

Saturday night my social media feed exploded with news of an armed standoff and car chase on the Interstate highway through our town. The road was closed by request of law enforcement. All on- and off-ramps were blocked by armed law enforcement with lights blazing on their vehicles — and our son was on a school bus traveling that highway attempting to make it home from a long day in another state.

It was after midnight when our teen called to say the two buses he and his classmates were traveling in were stopped in a town 45 minutes from home. That child downplays almost everything and gives only the details he feels are essential to any situation. He’s not about adding drama, even on a Saturday night when your bus has been stopped because of an armed standoff. He simply said, like it happens everyday and it was on the itinerary, “Our bus is stopped because of something about a gunman. We’ll be late.” They were never in danger, just inconvenienced, but his conversation carried all the excitement of an unscheduled bathroom stop when my social media feed was telling me a different story.

My thoughts Saturday went to the teachers on those buses. That day’s field trip began before 6 a.m. and was going to be a long day from the get-go when extremely poor choices from some individuals had ripple effects, making the day even longer. I’m grateful for the adults that spend their days for nine months with my children. I wasn’t worried about our son because of the adults on that bus.

There have been a few crazy stories in our nine years in public schools that had teachers standing in the gap where we couldn’t. There was a road rage incident involving a gun at drop-off on the last day of middle school. There was a gas leak and evacuation. A violent student who repeatedly caused havoc. Bus breakdowns on field trips. Slurry bombers flying near the school fighting a nearby, raging forest fire. Extreme weather, including a tornado and blizzard. Life seems mundane until it isn’t.

We’re one day away from the beginning of summer. Saturday’s drama is a reminder to not take the job of a teacher for granted. Their days are never the same and hold moments and people they are not specifically trained to encounter. I appreciate the hours spent with the students and those used to plan for the students. I’m grateful for the notes, texts, social media updates and email reminders. I’m thankful for patience with parents as well as students. I’m indebted for the number of bandages, snacks, Kleenex and paper clips my children have required. High-five to those teachers who sprinted through another year with my crew. You don’t go unnoticed.

 


 
By     |    May 18, 2017
Posted in: uncategorized     |    No Comments

How to Not Take a Compliment

It seems I have at least one child who hasn’t a clue on how to take a compliment. I was surrounded by 6th graders at a presentation and heard eight different children qualify compliments they were given. A simple, “You’re painting was lovely,” was met with “Thanks, but it’s trash.” Or “I didn’t work hard enough.” Or “There are better ones.” Not one of the eight children replied with a simple thank you. Even my son replied back to a... [Read More]

Read more
For the Love of Humanities
By     |    Apr 27, 2017
Posted in: uncategorized     |    No Comments

For the Love of Humanities

It was evident early in our parenting journey that our children had an affinity toward sports. They enjoyed playing anything we exposed them to and watching sports was a family activity we rallied around. As a former sports reporter, having children who enjoyed something I loved was an easy way to connect. Early on we decided, as parents, that our children would be exposed to a wide array of experiences. We didn’t want their childhood to solely revolve around fields... [Read More]

Read more
Read Between the Lines
By     |    Apr 17, 2017
Posted in: uncategorized     |    1 Comment

Read Between the Lines

I sat at my aunt’s kitchen table surrounded by various members of my extended family attempting to write my grandpa’s obituary. I started with the bookend dates of his 88 years of life and filled in the years he served in the U.S. Navy and the decades he worked. There’s his wedding and number of children. There are the countless organizations he belonged to giving a glimpse at what he believed was important. I’m rarely at a loss for words... [Read More]

Read more
That Time I Danced in a Competition
By     |    Apr 11, 2017
Posted in: uncategorized     |    No Comments

That Time I Danced in a Competition

I collapsed under friendly peer pressure and danced in a Spotlight Dance Cup Regional competition last weekend…on a stage…with an audience and judges. Gulp. It all started last summer when I took an adult ballet class to better understand my daughter and her passion for dance. I heard rumors that our studio director wanted to do a moms and dads dance for this season. Not happening. I enjoyed class but was not going on stage. I repeat, I was not... [Read More]

Read more
Joy in a Staycation
By     |    Mar 27, 2017
Posted in: uncategorized     |    No Comments

Joy in a Staycation

My preference is to leave town whenever possible. I like to explore and discover new places. We’re on a staycation this spring break, and I was dreading it. I longed to spend our five school-free weekdays somewhere other than here. We’re stockpiling vacation days for an upcoming summer road trip, so home is where we are for the week. Technically we have small getaways planned for the weekends buffering spring break week and a small excursion mid-week. We’re only partially on... [Read More]

Read more
That Time Elton John Saved My Sanity
By     |    Mar 16, 2017
Posted in: uncategorized     |    No Comments

That Time Elton John Saved My Sanity

I know I sound melodramatic, but Elton John may have saved my sanity. We’re awful at setting time aside for just the two of us. We have dinner dates at home after kids are in bed with takeout and a movie but are pros at having a litany of excuses for not leaving the house on dates. There’s not enough time. There are other ways to spend money. Quite frankly, we’re tired. Craig enters contests regularly and has won some... [Read More]

Read more
Genius Hour and Growing Lifelong Learners
By     |    Mar 6, 2017
Posted in: uncategorized     |    No Comments

Genius Hour and Growing Lifelong Learners

I want my kids to love learning for the sake of learning and to hunger for knowledge. School projects that actively enforce those principles  are my favorite. Genius Hour is a prime example. The idea behind Genius Hour has been utilized in corporations to increase productivity. Employees are given a set amount of time each week to work on pet projects in their field. Google has seen success with this route. Gmail anyone? I’m more motivated to apply myself to... [Read More]

Read more
40
By     |    Feb 20, 2017
Posted in: uncategorized     |    No Comments

40

Forty years…that seems like a lot of life and yet not much at all. I won’t shed tears over this milestone. I’ve been celebrating this birthday since last month when we visited California. We spent my birthday weekend snowshoeing in Grand Teton National Park. I said goodbye to my 30s and hello to this new decade with multiple adventures. Growing older has taught me to make experiences happen, and I’m abundantly grateful to have another year of living written in... [Read More]

Read more
Favorite Family-Friendly Card Games
By     |    Jan 9, 2017
Posted in: uncategorized     |    No Comments

Favorite Family-Friendly Card Games

There isn’t a whole lot I enjoy about winter, but a family game night at home because the weather is too frightful to be outside in is one of the positives of cold-weather living. We’re experiencing a winter with intense winds which makes the safety and warmth of home a giant blessing. Our wind is soul-sucking at times. More than once in the last month I’ve asked myself (and my husband) why we continue to live here. Thankfully our summer... [Read More]

Read more
Finding Solid Footing this Christmas Season
By     |    Dec 16, 2016
Posted in: uncategorized     |    1 Comment

Finding Solid Footing this Christmas Season

I was sprawled at the bottom of the stairs to our basement two weeks ago, my foot on fire with pain, thinking that I did not just do that. I had slipped and fell down the last four stairs. It was late at night, and thankfully, my husband was home and awake. He helped me upstairs where I passed out for a few minutes and suffered a mild case of shock with uncontrollable shivering. I have given birth to four... [Read More]

Read more
Coaching and Expectations
By     |    Oct 19, 2016
Posted in: uncategorized     |    1 Comment

Coaching and Expectations

Three years ago when our oldest son started youth tackle football, people told me to be prepared. Tackle football was not for the faint of heart. There was the physical nature of football, but there was also the nature of football coaches for these 5th and 6th grade-age boys. By the third football game of our son’s first season, it was apparent that football coaches were different than any coaches our athletic children had ever been acquainted. Our oldest son’s... [Read More]

Read more