May 23, 2017

Today feels like a good news, bad news day.

Daniel passed state testing – good news.

Carlos did not – bad news.

I began a workout program again – good news.

I learned a friend has uterine cancer – bad news.

My principal agreed to buy more books – good news.

The federal budget proposal – bad news.

My peonies bloomed – good news.

Their fragrance makes me sneeze – bad news.

My baby is coming tonight with her baby – good news.

I’ll just leave it at that – good news.


May 9, 2017

“Do you have the patience to wait till your mud settles and the water is clear? Can you remain unmoving till the right action arises by itself?” Lao Tzu

It’s that time of year when life speeds up as tree pollen bursts to ignite the senses. Strange weather changes day by day; hot, then cold; dry, then wet. Heavy rains fill ditches and stream beds. The river is muddy, high and turbulent. Greens of every shade are exploding on tree limbs, vines, and grasses.

It’s the time when kindergarteners and first graders takeĀ giant steps in their learning. They are suddenly taller. It’s time for the fifth grade play, field trips, IEP eligibility meetings, and planning for next year, when this year isn’t quite through. It’s exciting and exhausting. It can get muddy as we try to do so many things at once.

In this space, I’m trying to “hold onto my hat,” listen more, and stress less. I’m letting go a bit, knowing that this is part of the rhythm of school. I want my students to be able to see their own growth this year, so I share my observations of their progress. I tell them to notice what is easy now, when it used to be hard. Their motivation swells like the water-filled soil. When their mud settles, I hope they see clearly all that has been learned and all that is yet to be learned.