Monthly Archives: November 2014

2nd Place Isn’t So Bad

winnign-and-losing-quote

Last night we stood outside shivering in the cold as we watched Drew’s soccer team play in the finals.  Dave has been coaching these boys for years and they are good.  They are the epitome of team.  Each of those boys knows their position, they know how to be adaptable, they know how to work together and this type of playing is what got them all the way to the finals.

The temperatures had dropped down to the thirties and those boys were tenacious and they played through it.  They didn’t give up.  Even when they were a few goals down, they played hard.  They played the full game with determination and drive.  In the end, they wound up losing but truthfully they are all still winners.  They did their best and I think they may have even learned that once you accept that as long as you did the best that you could do, you are a winner.

Plus….they all got a second place trophy, and to twelve and thirteen year old boys, that trophy is still a pretty awesome prize.

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Who Was Kind to You Today?

something kind

A few days ago my friend Tammy, who was my biggest inspiration when starting my blog, shared this with me, writing, “I think this would make a great prompt for a blog post! How wonderful to have people share these acts of kindness with you!” I love the idea!  I love hearing about kindness shared.  Whether it is something big or a small gesture, a simple act of kindness can affect you.

I was touched by kindness today by the parent of a former student of mine.  She was cleaning out her sons’ bookshelves and wanted to donate them to my classroom.  I went to her house and went through them finding appropriate ones.  As I went through the books I was able to find ones that were fitting to share with another teacher in our school who is new and is in need of books for her classroom library.

That’s mine. Tell me something kind someone did for you today.  Keep the chain of kindness going. Kindness is contagious!  I hope you catch it!

World Diabetes Day

diabetes day

Today is World Diabetes Day.  The day was created to increase an awareness of the effects of diabetes and its complications among the general population.  The day was established in 2006.  Healthy living with diabetes is the theme for the next three years.

I did not know much about diabetes before this school year.  I am quickly learning. In nearly 20 years of teaching, I have never had a student with Diabetes. This year in my Kindergarten class, I have two students with Juvenile Diabetes. When administration knew that there were going to be two children with diabetes in the grade, it was decided that they’d be placed in the same class.  We have a full time nurse in our room to monitor them.  I have permission from their parents to share this.  They want to promote awareness.

I did not know today was even a “celebrated” day until one of the boys’ alarms went off in class this morning.  Fortunately, he was fine and it was just an alert, but the rest of the class was curious and we were able to turn it into a teachable moment.  All of the children in our class know that both boys wear a CGM, (continuous glucose monitoring device) and insulin pumps. The nurse checks them multiple times a day and they get their finger pricked often.  For the boys it is all just routine.  For the rest of the class, it has become the norm as well.  This is a good thing.  The boys told their classmates why the alarm sounded.  They told them why they needed to wear the pump.

It just so happened that the first time we all heard the alarm was today, on World Diabetes Day.  Our whole class became more aware today. These little boys educated us. None of the kids were phased by it.  They took it in stride and I am proud of all of them.  It is such a great thing when children may notice each others differences, but don’t make a big deal about it.  Kids are colorblind, they are accepting of each other.  There are no biases when they are young.  If only we could all see through the eyes of a child.

Stuck

laugh

Writer’s block.  I have it tonight.  My body is ready for bed -not for writing.  I waited all day for inspiration to write and although it was a good day, nothing really gave me that spark I needed.  I think that a day of teaching, followed by evening parent/teacher conferences put my brain on overload.  Now it just wants to sleep.

It was a good day overall. I was even able to squeeze in an impromptu lunch date with Dave in the middle of the day.  Conferences went smoothly too.  There was just nothing exciting enough to write and blog about so on these days I rely on quotes.  This one is a good one to think about.  A great reminder for us all. Do something everyday to make yourself laugh.  Laughter is infectious, priceless and free!  Don’t waste another day!  Get laughing!!

Furry Hearts Rescue

rescue pet

On Monday evening, I had the opportunity to take photographs of a really great event, the 1st Annual Broadway Furry Hearts Rescue Ball.

Furry Hearts Rescue is a 510(c)3 non-profit organization based in my town.  With the support of the local township they have implemented a TNVY (Trap, Neuter, Vaccinate, Return) program to reduce the town’s feral cat population.  Furry hearts also provides medical care to abandoned and homeless cats and dogs and has found foster and permanent homes for neglected animals. They rely solely on donations and the generous support of its volunteers and take donations from crates, pet food, litter or monetary gifts.

Our town is filled with Broadway stars and many of them came out for the evening to sing for the benefit. Each one of them sang a song that they either wrote for their pet or sing to their pet.
Everything for the event was donated and from what I have heard, it raised close to $11,000!  It is now the hope that this will become an annual event.
This is a link about the event and some of the talented performers who donated their time to help raise money for the organization.

On Veterans Day

veterans

I can think of nothing better to write about today than to offer a thank you to all of those serving our country and those who have served in the past.  I am grateful to all of them.

Not A Drill

mr rogers not my problem

This afternoon, around 1:45 during my lunch, I received an email from the Superintendent of our schools.  I teach in the same district that I live in, so my boys go to school in the district.  The email was a voice message stating that a code red lock-down had been ordered at the high school where DJ goes to school.  According to the email, it was a precautionary lock-down.  I took it rather nonchalantly since we regularly practice these at school.  A few minutes later, I received an email from the school principal with the same message.  It concerned me a bit, so I sent DJ a message asking if he was okay but didn’t hear from him.

I went back to my classroom and was hearing sirens.  Our school is less than a mile from the high school.  That is when I started getting more concerned.  I finally got a text from DJ that read, “I am fine but I am not okay.”  It was just about dismissal time and I sent a quick note asking him what happened and he told me it was too much to text.

By now, the rumors were flying.  Gunshots?  Knives? Brass knuckles? I told DJ I’d come home right after school and he should meet me there.  I left right after dismissal and came home and found DJ in his room laying on his bed.

Since I probably shouldn’t write too much since we really don’t know the whole story, I am just retelling what DJ witnessed.  He saw police with guns drawn pass his classroom several times.  They entered his room, guns in the air screaming out a child’s name.  That child was in his class and DJ and the rest of the class witnessed him get arrested and carried out in front of all of them.

I still am hearing stories, texts and online sites are filled with what people witnessed or heard.  I don’t know exactly what happened.  I do know that DJ, who is one of the most laid back people I know, is a wreck.

I will not put blame on anyone right now.  I am grateful for all of the lock-down practices we have had.  I am grateful to his teacher who stayed calm and in charge.  I am grateful to the police officers who took action and stopped a dangerous situation before something tragic happened.  I have already had a call from the principal who is calling everyone who was in DJ’s class to speak with them and to us as parents.  She asked if we had questions or concerns and I thanked her for their handling of the situation. She said that counselors will be on hand tomorrow for any students who need to talk about what they witnessed.

Sadly, we live in a time hat we have to we have to practice these drills.  We always think it won’t happen where we live.  Obviously we were wrong.