Sunday, September 20, 2015

Celebrate 100!


Dear Friends, You can celebrate too!  Link up at www.ruthayres.com.  I thank Ruth for sharing her space with us. 

At the pace of life, I promised myself I would blog today!  (It's still today--celebration #1!Almost-then a handsome 10 year old showed up and wanted to watch "our show" together. Once Upon A Time. I say, "yes" to all of his requests for time together.)

This is such a gentle space, a place to reflect and see the good that is in life, in the classroom, everywhere.  

I was inspired to use Ruth's top ten list as mentor text to connect to the quiet celebrations.  The ones that are worth having.  The ones without fanfare.

1.   A lightened load when my husband returned home from Connecticut to Iowa via Atlanta.  Phew!  This time his absence was really felt, and it was hard.  I'm sure I said 40,000 words on the way home from the airport last night.  

2.  Simplicity.  
The kids in the front row?  Some of my students.  Singing in the choir on an open house night.  This captures them simply as who they are.  And man do I love them.  

3.  To unwind.  It's been a long week.  As I write tonight, I have a small plate of nachos and honey chamomile tea by my side.  (Weird combo?  Yes.  But if you know me, this is a little bit of perfection for me.)

4.  Unhurried.  Funny.  Last night I was reading this article from Relevant Magazine.  I marked it for later to return to and reflect on.  These reminders to slow down keep showing up.  Hmmmmm.  I'm learning that people in ministry don't do that very well, which is interesting to me.  Because it's what everyone is called to do.

5.  My story is NOT hard even at my worst.  I am still given much to celebrate.  My heart is still heavy over the loss of a former student.  He was 13.  Cancer is Mean.  His beautiful Mama writes here.  http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/samlemar/journal/view/id/55f9952ba589b4c75173ebaa
It's worth logging in for the read.  It's heart wrenching and completely honest.  It reminds me, even today, that we were made to be Joyful.  I'll keep aiming for that joy everyday.

6.  Rewriting my story?  I don't know exactly what to celebrate yet.  I am in this new position, and don't feel settled yet.  I'm in the middle of the story.  But I know it's being rewritten and think I'll hang around to see what happens.  :)

7.  I celebrate Hope.  When stories are being rewritten, when purposeful celebration is taking place, when the celebration is a whisper.  There is Hope.  

8.  I celebrate the connections I've made through blogging.  I love hearing your ideas.  You are brilliant, reflective educators who are making a difference!  That is worth celebrating always.

9.  We've been called out of darkness into this marvelous light!  We can celebrate because we are called to! That pulls us to celebrate.  I find myself looking for the joyful pieces in all situations.  Sometimes it is natural.  Sometimes it is purposeful.  

10.  Celebration makes a difference.  You dear friends have made a difference in my life!  I reflect on your words often, and it has changed who I am as an educator and as a person.  Thanks for that.  You matter!

Joy!
Kendra

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Dusting off the Blog...Again...And a Brain Dump with Missing Juju.



Link up at www.twowritingteachers.wordpress.com.  We are so grateful for this community. 


1.  I miss blogging.  I'm writing a lot for graduate class, but it's just hard to manage both.  I'm so happy for December 9th to come quickly.  (I'll have a Master's Degree then.)  :)  I miss letting the ideas come and then taking time to blog them out.  (Still keeping lists and notebooks.)

2.  Who has changed jobs before?  A wise friend told me a year before I feel like I have my "Juju" in my new place.  That seems very far away.  I need my "juju" back.  :)  I feel like I have no idea what is going on. It's really unnerving.  Everyone is nice and lovely, and I Adore the work and the place I'm at.  Growing pains?  Missing Juju?  Who knows.  I just feel out of sorts.  What is that?

3.  I've been playing the piano a ton.  I play for Chapel tomorrow for the first time.  I haven't played in front of anyone for 15 years.  Whoa.

4.  My class LOVES books.  Loves them.  I adore this.  They are learning what is awesome about Elephant and Piggie this week.

5.  My class is small.  12 kids small.  They make just as much noise as my class of 26 did last year.  I kind of like it, but I'm not sure that kind of noise is welcome where I'm at.  (You know, like where's my juju?  Last year noise wouldn't have even been an issue!)

6.  My family is playing a crazy amount of soccer this fall.  All my kids are scoring goals and that's just really fun to watch.  :)

7.  I had a run last weekend that made me feel like I had my running juju back!  Certainly more minutes to tick off, but we are getting there finally!  I've learned that if I'm going to run with a running app-there is a certain split I need to achieve to feel good about the run.  Misguided?  Probably.  True?  Yes.

8.  I'm messing with math again.  Stay tuned.

Alright friends, let's have a discussion.  What's on your mind?  Is your Juju okay?  :)

Joy!  (And I can't stop saying juju...sorry about that...)
Kendra

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Celebrating Teachers, Students, Awkward Moments, and Faith.


Dear Friends, You can celebrate too!  Link up at www.ruthayres.com.  I thank Ruth for sharing her space with us.  

This blank screen keeps staring at me.  

I know there should be words.  But there aren't really.  

I attended a visitation for a former student Friday evening.  Yes, student.  

My heart is broken in such a weird way, I can't even say more about this experience to do it justice.   Except that Cancer is Mean.   

He was awesome.  When I read picture books to the class, he would laugh at the truly funny parts that first graders don't usually pick up on. From the beginning he was funny.  If you weren't paying attention, you would miss it.  He loved superheroes.  He was a superhero.  I celebrate his life and family.  You can read more about his journey here:  www.eyesteve.com.  The article is entitled, "What A Child With Cancer Taught His Doctor About Superheros."   His beautiful mama writes here:  http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/samlemar

Like I do, when I attend visitations, at that moment I could tell his parents what I thought, my introverted, weird self took over.  His beautiful parents fixed that in an instant. 

And I learned something:  Teachers, you make a difference.  We exchanged memories.  They were so gracious and kind.  The story they shared, I must confess I didn't remember!  But my dear friend who was by my side last night reminded me this is what we celebrate about our jobs.  You can make an impact and not know it.  But you do.  Keep doing that.  Last night I resolved to share more with parents about how beautiful their children are.  We need to keep sharing these stories.  

This week, we've been praying in my classroom a piece of Psalm 35.  It has stayed on my heart.  I don't know why, but God does.  (Because honestly, I'm not feeling the singing and shouting for joy...)  I'm learning to sit and wait when these things happen.  Here's the Beginning Bible Version.  :)

"May my friends sing and shout for joy!  
May they always say, Praise the greatness of the Lord.  
He loves to see his servants do well.
I will tell of your goodness. 
I will praise you everyday. "

Kendra