Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Inspired by Indiana's Riley

The "Little Free Library" in my
neighborhood had this book inside!

I'm not sure if my students have
visited a 
Little Free Library yet or not,
 but hopefully we can get one started in the community 
of Lawrenceville!


The copyright of this book is 1937having been originally published in 1883
In the Preface, Donald Peattie describes Riley 
as a "nature poet," who he saw as unequalled in
his era for creating descriptions of wildlife.
He also lauded Riley's use of dialect, to keep the
essense of his verse alive and meaningful.
One of my favorites in it, I read just today:

A Dream of Autumn
Mellow hazes, lowly  trailing
Over wood and meadow, veiling
Somber skies, with wild fowl sailing
And the north wind overleaping
Summer's brink, and flood-like sweeping
Wrecks of roses where the weeping-
Willows wring their helpless hands.

Children need to have beautiful
poetry read to them, many times over.
Determined to write more
and hone my craft, when reading 
beautiful, thought provoking prose
 from this Indiana author.

Monday, December 30, 2019

Stories to Tell

Gray, voluminous clouds
 spiral and whirl above us
upon this December day. 
Yet these pearls of heaven
are beautifully cut by the
coffee-black branches 
of an aged Indiana Red Oak.
Oh mighty timber we'd revel 
in a glimpse of the humanity
sheltered, stories to tell.

                                           ~Rose West

Sunday, December 29, 2019

Am I Helping or Hindering Students?

                 We read to understand the world.
                     Global Read Aloud @ Parkside!

                     I've decided to keep track of my 
       reading habits, on behalf of my students. 

I ask kids to read books & explore.            Books readily available?
Is there"reading time?"
Promoting only my kind of literature?
Do pupils make personal choices?                  
Am I a "book snob?"
Am I reading various genres?
Is my instruction engaging & fun?
Is "reading" seen as valuable?

                            This book helped me modify,
                    change, and improve my eating habits.

                      This book helped me gather ideas to
               improve my interaction with student readers.
Thank you Donalyn Miller and Coby Sharp for the kickstart! 

              This book helped "feed" my curiosity about
                            Queen Elizabeth the Second.

Sharing short stories from this book with my students has been
great.  I bought it this fall @ the gift shop located in our
George Rogers Clark Memorial National Park
 in Vincennes, Indiana where I live.

                      Christmas gift from "The husband,"
                 who realizes I like....no, I love biographies.

                            When biographies and history
                    are intertwined, I'm beyond excited!
                   "The husband" chooses excellent books for gifts.

Excellent stories included here that I can share with my students, or anyone.  I'm fascinated with Abraham Lincoln.

An interesting and provocative look at Mr. Donald
Trump, prior to his election as the 45th president
of The United States of America.

Just finished Cornelius Minor's book, after purchasing it
@ the 2019 IRC Fall Conference.  Met him and his infectious
personality and message was delightful.  #MakesMeThink
His contribution to my learning will make me a better human.

Going to develop my skill in communicating with ASL
 and teach basic skills to students.  My beloved
husband Jerry is going deaf, so we're both learning 
American Sign Language.  #OngoingReadingAndStudy

During the winter break I've been reading the
poetry of Indiana native James Whitcomb Riley.
It was in the "Little Free Library" a block from our home.
I am memorized by the beauty of his works.

Saturday, December 28, 2019

Let Love Stay

When dressed in your finest 
they say it's quite true
whether choosing denim or fur
in olive green, gold or blue....
you feel "alive."

Many homes at years end are similar, with welcoming lights
or vibrant hues that frame
and safeguard the young. 

So when your finery 
comes off, to be put away
along with the baubles 
that go back in their boxes....
let love "stay."
                                           ~Rose West

Friday, December 27, 2019

Special Days

Red is the perfect
punctuation that "invites"
us to special days.
                                          ~Rose West
Haiku is a very short form of Japanese poetry in three sentences
 going in the order 5 syllables, 7 syllables, and then 5 again. 

Thursday, December 26, 2019

Running Wild

"Essential" magic for  
children I know,
is witnessing beauty each day.
As December ebbs past us, 
we rely on memories?

A ruby poinsettia for mother
and baking fruitcakes with dad,
unboxing tissue wrapped 
oh, sweet times to be had.

Classes at school were over, 
till January winds did blow
but our old toboggan stood 
to tackle the ice and snow.

Honor an essence of goodness
to benefit every child
by sharing pathways to joy,
of sweet love running wild. 
                                                         ~Rose West


Wednesday, December 25, 2019


On such a balmy sunny day,
dogs raced across the field and back
excited leaps, come what may
the afternoon of Christmas.

Leashes unlatched, they were free
barking and racing while 
the humans like me
marveled at their loveliness.

True beauty lies around us
not in holiday madness
or making a harried fuss,
lest we miss our time with loved ones.
                                                                                                ~Rose West

Sunday, November 24, 2019

Nightly Gold

May the glimpse of each
sunset guide us toward joy in
in the coming of dawn.
                                                             ~Rose West

Thursday, November 7, 2019


While on a walk, 
amid a crisp breeze,
when the "perfect" aim
of the neighborhood squirrel
turned my stroll into a crazy game.
May your days be those of unexpected delights!

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Someone Needs You

We're sometimes in a place where everything is  moving along smoothly and it's a glorious feeling.  You might note that the pace is
brisk, yet comfortable. 

There's nothing quite like "owning" those moments. When I'm contented with the people around me or circumstances seem to turn from confusion to possibility, it's devine. 

Somewhere however, things are dark and torturous.  Pain and uncertainty rob
your  senses, dull hopes, and crush
dreams you've held so dear.

Give up then if the strength for forgiveness, patience to love, and a realization that
time may never allow you to heal

due to circumstances beyond
your control, are in place.  

Trust me; the time to lie down, slip away
from the sunshine, from the care of
strangers or 
prayers, from your pain
not today; it's never that time.

Look up and get up.
Someone needs
That someone might be a child.

Saturday, October 26, 2019


We see the flames of autumn
beneath a pewter sky
those glistening rubies 
and caramels,
vivid to the eye.

Is it true earth shares her beauty
very near the end of life?
This moment let us capture the hues,
begging them to stay! 
                                                                           ~Rose West

Monday, September 2, 2019

My Job

Choose to show children how they can be successful.  It's the most important
of learning, everyday.

"Small steps" forward turn into
confidence and we can 
celebrate that. 


Sunday, August 25, 2019

"Always the Learner"

My Mission Statement
Big tree, little tree
standing side by side
both in the perfect place
and by this we will abide.

Valuing curiosity, enthusiasm, kindness and love,
we’ll grow together
alongside one another
much like a hand in a glove.
                                              ~Mrs. West

Sunday, August 11, 2019

Miss Asparagus Aethiopicus

A "new" year begins long before day number
 one commences in any school. 
Summer is in
  reality a very busy time  of the year for folks in the
 business of caring for 
the community of kids they serve.

 Supplies are ordered, grants prepared, schedules created, rooms painted, buildings cleaned, potential staff are interviewed, teachers do professional development, the
grounds around buildings are cared for, registration occurs,
 and the inevitable last minute surprises are dealt with.
A final flurry of preparation on the part of many is
upon us, a predictable ritual as August "breathes her last." 

My penchant for filling learning spaces with something green and beautiful leads me to care for plants over summer breaks, returning them when classes at Parkside resume.  Last week
one colleague made the returning greenery feel right at home.  
He moved an empty desk to a nearby window, a
 fortunate move because this beauty will need the sunlight.

He smiled and then prepared a name tag as well.  I can see
that she's a Chicago Bears fan; the kids will love it!

Schools are made strong and safe places of learning for kids when we support them in all ways possible.  Developing routines and rituals that sustain a human connection
for youth and adults alike, is what gives a school 
community the ingredients for success.  

I hope Fern has a great school year, along with her
teacher, classmates, and the many people who make
Parkside a valuable part of the path we call "life."  
May that be so for all those who are heading back
 to the classroom, wherever that may be.  

Thursday, June 20, 2019

Thursday in June

The wind rustling through
Indiana trees plays a
woodland symphony.