Sunday, November 26, 2017

Keep Looking Up

Dad, I heard you in the winter wind today
across a crisp November sky
and your timing just may
be a balm that serves my soul.

I doubt that the days gone by
have dimmed your love
or those lessons of "why"
that set me on the right path.

Dad, I heard you in the winter wind today
across a crisp November sky
and your timing just may
be a balm that serves my soul.

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Never Forget

John McCrae was a poet
and physician from 
Guelph, Ontario.
He developed an 
interest in poetry at a
young age and wrote throughout his life.

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

You Are Invited!

Artwork, writing & LOTS of books!

Thanks to the
Lawrence County Arts Council
providing refreshments to our guests on
Thursday November 16th @ the 2017
"Fine Arts and Reading Night."

Book Fair @ our Media  Center
4:30 to 7:00 P.M.

Fun Reading Activities in Each Wing
5:00 to 6:30 P.M.

Tuesday, November 7, 2017


We're all fortunate when
athletes are successful!
Good Luck Red Hill Salukis
as you take the field with
the Athens Warriors
on 11-11-17!

IHSA Class 1A Football

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Create The Way......

"Age wrinkles the body.
Quitting wrinkles the soul."
                            ~General Douglas Macarthur

Thursday, July 20, 2017


I'm not interested
in competing with anyone.
I hope we all make it.

Sunday, May 7, 2017

It's All About Perception

This introduction to autism aims to
raise awareness among young
non-autistic audiences. 

 It's intended to be viewed, discussed
and shared widely by anyone but
especially teachers & parents.

#Awareness       #Patience

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."

Friday, January 20, 2017


"We need to move beyond the idea 
that education is something that is
provided for us and toward the
idea that an education is something
that we create for ourselves."
                                ~Steven Downes

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Mrs. Padgett

When you're young and jumping into the work world with that first full-time position, it's quite a whirlwind.  Juggling people, politics and unfamiliar responsibilities in any job
makes for extremely long days.  
Enthusiasm is essential in those situations, especially
 when you haven't a shred of experience! 

Without a support system but a reservoir of ideas, you simply dive headlong into your "new adventure" with hope and grit.
Such was the start of my teaching career at St. Francisville Elementary School.

It was after one of those long, long days that
I looked up to see the grandparent of one of
pupils standing in the doorway of
second grade classroom.  

As the years went by it wouldn't be the only time that she stepped across the threshold of that room, where countless
numbers of youngsters joined into lessons and learning.  
The reason for her impromptu visits?  Each time Mrs. Padgett wanted to "discuss" a situation with me.

I was pleased but so surprised to see her.  
It was a bitterly cold day; I assumed she wished to talk about her grandson Gabe, one of my students.  He lived with his parents in a home directly across from our school  playground.  I erred about her motivation, for she asked that the visit and conversation remain private.  I soon understood why.

She was concerned about a child in my room that had no boots.  He was a playmate of Gabe's and her grandson had brought this fact to Phyllis' attention.  Gabe reasoned with her that because there was so much snow on the ground, he was willing to give up his own winter boots for a friend.  She had
an entirely different notion, 
pressing money into my hands.

The next day I figured out a way to approximate the size of the little boy's feet by doing a math lesson where each child
traced the outline of their foot and cut it 
out.  We graphed
the results of the entire group.  

The boy had a very small foot but because of
Phyllis, he soon had winter boots.

Over the coming years, she appeared in the doorway of that second grade classroom several times.  Her visits were never 
judgemental and our many conversations were molding me in an important direction.  I was thankful that her intuition about the youngsters or their needs was always in the best interests of the building and the many families within the community.  
She didn't criticize, she acted.

School supplies are a must for kids; she didn't question why they had none.  Money due for a Scholastic book order I was about to submit?  She seemed to know the youngsters who never got to participate, wanting to make sure they got an opportunity to choose a title from our order blank.  
She thought about those pupils in our room who wouldn't be bringing a present to exchange during the annual Christmas party too.  "Please take this and use the money for them," she would insist.  Smiling, she'd stress that the donations were to remain anonymous.  "Remember, please keep this just
between the two of us," were always her parting words.

That smile, how could one dismiss it?  
I never will because that straight forward, caring philosophy she bestowed has remained a loving part of my days.  

Did she realize how our secret visits in that classroom long ago were life changing?  Yes, conversations that translated into "an eye for children," that each of us can commit to.  The wellbeing of the young, a gracious gift and heritage that will always 
sustain me....and should sustain us all beyond the day.  

She loved her husband, children, grandchildren &
great-grandchildren unconditionally.  She told me once
that she felt blessed to be able to help others and be
champion for those who truly needed it.

I think of her with great love when listening to 
Tim McGraw's "Humble and Kind," as if it's her song:

I'm really the lucky one & I thank you Mrs. Padgett.