Saturday, April 22, 2017

Worth Every Effort

Just how do you make
judgements upon when or where 
to act in the best interests of a child?

Is it ever too soon or too late
for someone to take action
to benefit the life of a youngster?
Within this group of kindergarteners
can you identify the one who'll develop into
an inventor, musician, parent, or member of
 the clergy?  
Can you determine which child  
may someday become a business owner an
addict, writer, or perhaps an amazing athlete?

Can you partner 
alongside others to
support the skills and dreams
of a child?  

Does your decision to act in the best interest of a youngster depend upon who'll be the
smartest or the weakest pupil?
Does it even matter?
Is it possible to support
a school community where you 
discover what interests a young person?
Education is a right.
 Success requires "cumulative" energy
from the learner, the family, 
and the teacher.

Be willing to invest in the
futures of 
children, all children.  

#Believe    #Connect     #Uphold

Friday, April 14, 2017

Great Advice

I travel throughout the hallways between classrooms, to work with my
 customers.  Coming into a room quietly
 is important.  Nine times out of ten the professional is in the midst of his or her lesson.  

Interrupting a flow of that give-and-take
 is distracting; I attempt to be as
 inconspicuous as possible. 

Forgive me for "outing" a third grader, really.
In his lap was that book.  

It was a math lesson and
 he was attending to the discussion.    
He truly was listening and following along
that first day.  The problem had something
to do with reading a chart and recording
the appropriate information.

His eyes would stray away from the board, down to the book, and then up again.
 A tussle to respond to the questions
 being posed by an adult and continue
 reading  was quite real!

I loved witnessing this.

The next day it happened again.
The math lesson was in full swing and while
the group worked through a different set of
questions; the boy had the same book
resting out of sight, in his lap.

Oh, he didn't skip a beat. 
He participated fully in the conversation
swirling around the room, answering 
correctly when called upon by the teacher.
Trust me, he wasn't being disrespectful.
The book just seemed to have 
taken his his fancy and
his concentration.

After the third day of witnessing such
infatuation with a tale during a math
lesson, I wanted to discover what
  title he was unable to put down.

It does the heart good to see
youngsters so involved with
reading, at least it does so
with my heart.

It turns out that getting the idea
for your "next great read" can
come from a nine year old.

Our conversation was brief; he shyly
pulled the copy from his desk and
explained that he's just finished it.
I eyed the paperback, one from the
collection his teacher had in her classroom
and wondered why it was so hard to put down.

So he went onto to explain, 
to actually recommend to me that is
 was a book worth my while to check out
 from the library.  What a smart kid!

Later in the evening, I was recounting
this conversation with my husband.  He
smiled and quietly ordered a copy of
it for me to read.  What a smart man!
Somehow, I missed this wonderful story
while growing up.  What a beautiful tale it
 is and yes, I wept like a baby at the end. 

The boy told me I'd probably cry over
  the book. I did but it was worth every tear.

The moral of this story?
Get book recommendations from anyone
willing to give you one.  Then, freely 
offer your own suggestions to others.  
Influencing children to read, think,
and dream is so important.  

I can't wait to tell him about
finishing the book, when we see
one another after spring break is over.

Latest Reading Adventures

"There are worse crimes than burning books.  One of them is not reading them."
                                                                        ~Ray Bradbury

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Their Wings Are Open

After a busy day with pupils and tutoring the after-school crowd, my school day was nearly complete.  After wiping tables in the cafeteria,
I returned to my office to check E-mail.
It was nearly time to head home.  

Nearby a colleague was working
to prepare our lab for the upcoming
PARCC tests and her daughter
was completing some homework.
I smiled at the pair, and teased,
"Only crazy people are here this late!"
We all laughed but my curiosity soon 
had me rereading the rough draft of
this sixth grader's homework.

My take away was quite simple:
Youngsters pay attention to things
that interest them.  They dream, so
pay attention to what you say and do.

Kids and dreaming.   
It's like a bird spreading its wings
before taking flight.  The destination
may not be certain, but the
beauty is that their
wings are open!  

The essay she was finishing contained a
description about her "dream team,"
that group of athletes that would be
unstoppable.  Scanning the description
 of her choices, I noticed that 
Tyra Bus was first on her list.

"That's Buss with a second s.  You'll
need to add another." Hearing my 
comment the girl smiled, editing 
the copy.   I noticed that Tyra 
was placed on her team roster 
ahead of Michael Jordan.
            Hopefully M.J. will understand.        
Good luck to the Indiana
Women's Basketball Team
as they face SMU!

Sunday, January 29, 2017

That Child

Blond hair that's matted but if it's
would give the air of "little
 girl," rather than a waif. 

 She's not a stray, nor is she lost......not yet.

 Yet her needy gaze haunts me.

Shy at school because reading
 is so difficult now,
an elusive link to learning.

Building trusses 
to open wide her world is a challenge,
a right, and a need. 

Brush aside uncomfortable feelings
and find ways to reach her and teach her.

More than we dare to dream
beyond the dim days of struggle, 
children around us
deserve a dose of "possibility."