Celebrate: Breaks and Colleagues


celebrate link up

It’s Saturday! A day to find moments in our week worth celebrating. Join Ruth Ayers and others  here.

One. Spring Break!  I always think breaks are when I will catch up.
This never happens.
I may finish up and clean up a few things, but I tend to start things too:  projects and thinking that can leave me feeling like I actually got behind!
Strange as this may seem, I celebrate the opportunity breaks give me to find more.

Two. Teachers. One day this week I visited Tim Bedley’s 5th grade classroom.
I follow him on twitter and was intrigued with his work.
I knew he was geographically close, so I contacted him asking if I might observe his class.  He generously opened his room to me.
That act of trust shows so much.
I walked out of his classroom with ideas to process, but more importantly uplifted by his willingness to welcome me into his world.
I celebrate the spirit of educators who share, show, and teach by doing.

Three. Social Media. The other day one of my colleagues mentioned how I seemed more at peace with my teaching, and he wondered might have caused this.
I knew what he meant.
Twitter and blogs I told him. He just looked at me, completely blank.
He has no idea. How could he?
Not being a participant in this world he just can’t understand.
Before social media, the only voices I heard were in my school and mostly at my grade level. Now the voices are from many places and my thinking is pushed, yet at the same time supported. I don’t feel alone anymore.
I celebrate all of you out there who have opened my world of teaching, writing and reading.

Four. My colleague Amy. I am the one at my grade level who tends to push for something more or different. This could be a real pain. But my colleague Amy not only goes with it, she makes it better. Just yesterday (a day off), we met to talk about our next challenge.
I asked her:
Is this the best use of our time?
Is is the best thing for kids?
Should we change it?
Eliminate it?
Difficult to think this way when you only have seven weeks left in the school year.
But we sat down and for the next few hours we wrestled with possibilities. I love this about my colleague Amy.
I celebrate her energy and openness.

Five. #TeacherPoets. This is the first year I’ve really embraced poetry.
Today’s Teacher Poet Google hangout with Chris Lehman was inspirational.
Check out the link, view the videos, and join in on the next two sessions.
My hat’s off to Michelle Haseltine and Betsy Hubbard.
To hear them read and workshop their poems in this virtual writing world was brave and beautiful.
I am honored to be a part of this process and I secretly hope to have a poem workshopped–some day.
I celebrate all of us who work at poetry leaving our emotions on the page, looking closely, living in specifics, and describing things as best as we possibly can.



8 thoughts on “Celebrate: Breaks and Colleagues

  1. Wow, Julieanne! Thank you! First of all, I completely agree with “social media”! You are part of a support system that I hold dear. I feel accepted and supported and I’m SO grateful for that!! I’m so glad you were there this morning for TeacherPoets! It’s such an amazing opportunity! And as for you workshopping a poem…I bet we could arrange something! I’d love to work with you. Maybe we could form a virtual writing group via google hangouts and google docs?!?! Let’s think about it! Thanks for a wonderful post filled with celebrations and thanks for including me.

  2. Love these celebrations. I felt myself nodding in agreement with each of these. Enjoy your long weekend and your new projects.

  3. Love hearing how much you’re enjoying the poetry, Julieanne, and the part about social media and the support. I’m preparing to share Meenoo Rami’s book Thrive with all my colleagues this week, each their own copy, and wonder who might embrace her words about the wider world. I hope some will. Have a great rest of your weekend, and then back to work!

  4. Love what you say about social media. I couldn’t agree more! You really capture that combination of feeling supported while also having my thinking pushed that I so value about my PLN.

  5. I think the interaction with teachers around the world is so powerful. I feel like most of my teaching years were so narrow. Their was no one to talk to about doing lessons differently. My world was opened up when I discovered professional books and my world was rocked when I was allowed to go to a conference. I think it is awesome that your colleague noticed a change in you. Now he needs to learn what is happening outside the school walls. Great celebrations today!

  6. Great celebrations, Julieanne, that are all sparked by your own adoption of Know, Wonder, Yet as you work on “making meaning” of your teaching life. You always push for “more” that lifts you up and carries you beyond the walls of your classroom. What a model for all of us as well!

    Enjoy the rest of your break!

  7. Uplifting celebrations. The learning curve gets so much higher when one enters the virtual world. Yet it is good to have inspirational people in close proximity too. The poetry workshop has made virtual people more real for me. Seeing and hearing Betsy and Michelle read their poems sent shivers down my spine.

  8. I celebrate with you, echo your words about colleagues and those beyond our schools in this cyberspace of friends and supporters. My spring break is here and I am going on a writing retreat. Yes!

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