Foster Parenting

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Saved by a Book

  You know those nightmares you have before school starts where everyone and everything is out of control?  I had one of those days today.  Ok, it wasn't the whole day.  It was just math class.  But I was ready to throw in the towel by 9:30 AM (and it takes a lot for me to want to throw in the towel).  The math lesson was too hard, I had a child in tears because he was frustrated, and on top of that the document camera kept shutting down as I was trying to walk the kids through our lesson.  I could feel the heat rising in my cheeks, as I struggled with the Elmo camera and heard the following at the same time (I might add that both kids were out of their seats and standing right behind me as I wrestled with the technology):  "Mrs. Johnson, I have to go to the bathroom.  It's an emergency. Mrs. Johnson, my throat is really dry, even though I keep getting drinks.  I told my mom but she didn't say anything."  I wish I knew how to write those two sentences on top of each other, because that's what it sounded like.  The noise level was rising (reminding me of my own classmates talking as the teacher fiddled with the film projector), as was my frustration.  As I imagined leaping into my car and driving far, far away to some sandy beach with blue water, I took a deep breath and stopped.  I didn't finish the lesson. I just stopped and told the kids that we needed to take a break from math.  We all did some deep breathing and I glanced on my desk.  Sitting there was a new title that a colleague had given me, telling me it was hilarious.  I knew it was what we needed.

I gathered my young learners around me and we opened the book.  In this story, Michael loves to collect words, all kinds of words.  Then he hears a bad word that he kind of likes.  His sister warns him that the word is inappropriate, but her pays her no mind.  Before you know it, he's got lots of kids saying the bad word.  My students were laughing out loud as I read the story, piping in with their own stories of bad words.

Before we knew it, it was time for gym - the perfect way to get rid of any extra stress.  We left the classroom in a much better frame of mind.  The Very Inappropriate Word helped us regroup and refocus and get on with our day.  Thank goodness!  I really can't afford an exotic vacation right now, and I really do love my job.  Lucky for us, the rest of the day went on without a problem and we all agreed that we were glad to have that math lesson behind us.

Thank you to Ruth and Stacey for hosting Slice of Life Tuesdays.  You can read more posts on their blog.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

10 for 10

Thank you Cathy Mere of Reflect and Refine and Mandy Robek of Enjoy and Embrace Learning for hosting Picture  Book 10 for 10.  I always look forward to this event.  I'll be reading other posts with  Goodreads  open (and probably Amazon  too).

I was afraid I wasn't going to be able to post today.  On top of getting my classroom ready (which I know lots of people are doing), we are also getting our house ready to sell.  Every single room in the house, except for the family room and kitchen, is a total wreck.  Painters have been here for two weeks and it's all driving me a little bit crazy.  I realized yesterday that 10 for 10 was today and I hadn't given it a thought.  I had resigned myself to the fact that I wasn't going to be able to participate this year.

I was at school most of the day, thinking about what I might be able to eke out.  I quickly perused my shelves and picked out a few of my favorites and a few that I hadn't read yet after working in my classroom all day.  Once I got home, I decided to go through my Goodreads "want to read list" to see if anything jogged my memory and realized that I owned a lot of the books on my list, but hadn't read them.  Hence, my post was born. (I love when that happens).

10 Picture Books On My Goodreads "Want to Read" List, That I've Owned for a Long Time and Still Haven't Read

This book is wordless.  How sad is it that I haven't taken the time to read it?

All images from

My goal is to get these books read before school starts.  No excuses!    Now, I'm off to read some 10 for 10 blogs and see what I want to add to my "want to read" list.  Happy Reading!

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Meeting a Kindred Soul in a Fellow Slicer

I knew last week what my entry would be for today.  You see, last week I sent a message via Twitter to Amy Rudd (aruddteacher100) letting her know that I would be in her area and wondering if we could meet.  We quickly made plans to meet today for lunch at Mike's Place, a quirky restaurant in Kent, Ohio.  It was then that I decided I would be writing about our meeting for today's SOL.

Amy and I had not physically met before today, yet I felt like I've known her for years.  Last summer I wrote a SOL post about eating dinner at Carovillese Italian Club with my uncle.  It was a favorite if his and my aunt's.  Now that my aunt is gone, I like to go there with him for spaghetti and meatballs on Tuesday night if I'm in Akron.  Amy commented on that post, saying that she and her family went there often for spaghetti.  We started commenting on each other's blogs and following each other on Twitter.

As I was leaving my parents' house today, my dad asked me who I was meeting.  I told him it was a friend that I met on my blog and through Twitter, but we hadn't actually met before.  He looked at me a little strangely (like "What are you doing, going to lunch with someone you met on the Internet?")  I guess it might sound a little strange to someone in his generation.

Once we were seated, we chatted like we'd always known each other.  We talked about our kids, school, professional development, books, etc.  There was never a lull in the conversation as we volleyed topics back and forth.  I think we could have talked the whole afternoon if I didn't have to leave to take Annie shopping for an "interview outfit."

Today's lunch reminded me of the significance of the connections we make with others through our blogs and Twitter.  Our virtual communities are just as important as any other community we belong to.  I learn so much from others I am connected to through different online communities and am very thankful to everyone who is always willing to share their great thinking.

I want to thank Amy for being part of my learning community and Stacey and Ruth for providing this space to build those relationships.  To read other Slice of Life posts, please go to Two Writing Teachers and leave a comment.  Who knows, you might begin a new friendship.

You can read Amy's post to read about our lunch together today here.