I write this post 12 hours before March 1 will arrive, seated in a hotel conference room, on lunch break. I am here to learn about the best children's books and to discuss creative and powerful strategies to use these books in the classroom. Deborah Ford Salyer is the presenter and the room is filled with librarians, teachers, coaches, curriculum coordinators, and so. many. books!
My heart is happy here. The books, and specifically, the stories- they always help me find my way.
It is easy to get lost.
I've been a little worried about March and the SOLSC. My personal blogging has been harder to do this past year. I'm more guarded. Some stories dominate my mind and heart but are not to be publicly shared. What else can I say when what I want to say is choking me? But some stories are meant to be told in their own time, in their own place, perhaps with a trusted friend, over a cup of coffee.
Today, with the abundance of books, and the abundance of stories, and the heartbreaks and rebounds that come from different character's journeys....today reminds me there is always a story I can share. And sharing my stories is a worthwhile endeavor. In a busy life, we must make time for what matters.
Time is my #OLW2019 and this month I will take some time each day to share a story from my life. I look forward to reading so many stories from fellow Slicers on this journey. We are in this together! And we will be better after sharing and reading stories for 31 days.
Cheers to the SOLSC! May we write what matters. May we write what brings us peace. May we read with a generous spirit and may our comments be the encouragement each other needs to keep going.
"What's the matter with your life?
Why you gotta mess with mine?
Don't keep sweatin' what I do
'Cause I'm gonna be just fine check it out"
-"None of Your Business" by Salt-N-Pepa
Chopping peppers, Oprah's Super Soul Conversations podcast streamed through my hearing aids, keeping me company while I prepared dinner. (Lest you think hearing aids aren't cool- c'mon people! You can steam podcasts through them! And music! And Voxer! Oh, the joys of finally addressing your hearing loss. But I digress...)
This week's episode was with Byron Katie who is new to me. The show notes say she is a best-selling author, speaker and teacher. If I'm keeping it real, she lost me many times and I kind of think she lost Oprah too, because of those clarifying questions Oprah kept throwing out there. One thing she said really struck me- there are 3 kinds of business: God's business, my business and everyone else's business. My job is to worry about my business and my business only.
It made me think about my decisions as a teacher. I'm most unhappy at work when I'm thinking of things I cannot control- when I'm railing against curricular calendars or state tests or the required hours teachers are in front of students vs. other countries where teachers get more time to plan, assess, etc. I'm happiest when I'm staying in my lane, so to speak, doing the actual work of teaching real children, making decisions and planning lessons that will affect my students.
"What concrete steps can I take to be a more thoughtful, intentional teacher?" is the question I must ask instead of trying to solve the broken parts of the education system. What are the things I can directly control and thus improve about my teaching and the learning experience of my students? There is where I will make an impact and there is where I will find more happiness again as a teacher.
What are your thoughts on Byron Katie's view of three businesses?
I've made a move.
My four year blogging anniversary is here and I've been feeling the itch to make some changes. In 2015, I became a blogger and swiftly jumped into the Two Writing Teachers March Slice of Life Challenge, where I blogged each day for 31 days.
Blogging is a passion but for the past year it's been a challenge. Things on my mind weren't necessarily things I could publicly share in a blog post. Having two elementary school aged children now who have homework, activities, and require active parenting has also meant less time to think about and pursue my writing. It's been harder to get in my weekly Slice of Life posts and I've missed writing but haven't been able to carve out the time.
As our 2019 March SOLSC gets closer, I've been thinking about ways to reignite my love for blogging and make it feel new again. Blogger is not my favorite platform anymore. I have issues with commenting and receiving comments. I already have two weebly sites and thought, maybe it's time to make a new blog on a different platform!
So....same name, new address! My previous posts can all still be found on my blogger site, Courage Doesn't Always Roar. I tweaked the name just a bit to show that it's not only a teacher's quest to get better each day- it's my all around quest as a person to improve in all areas of my life.
Change can be good for the soul and hopefully a blogger, too.
Kathleen Neagle Sokolowski