Thank you Ruth Ayers for your reminder this week about how important it is to celebrate. For me it helps me find my way to gratitude, which is always the best place for me to be. You can read what she and others are celebrating here.
Six things to celebrate from this first week back after winter break:
1. My students agreed to recommit to reading with depth and purpose and energy. We talked about reading preferences, what gets in our way, why we don’t read, and what leads up to those perfect moments of AHA! understandings. I agreed to bring more variety into our classroom library, and to keep it fresh. (Thus I am going in today to reorganize the library!)
2. On Sunday morning I found my way to the Palos Verdes Library book sale, and picked up about eighty almost new books for fifty-one dollars. I was anticipating #1.
3. I participated in a union meeting where we agreed to move three million dollars out of the strike-crisis fund into our general fund so that we can prepare for a strike, should it become necessary. I don’t want to strike. I really don’t. It changes everything- I remember from the 1989 strike when I was a brand new teacher. But I REALLY don’t think it is in any way fair for a district that has received large increases, > 7%, in funding for the past few years to offer their teachers a 2 % raise after seven years of no raises. (Not to mention the furlough days/pay cuts.) Right before the meeting on Wednesday they upped it to 4%. Closer, but not enough. Clearly, they will not do the right thing unless we push back. As much as I would like to sit in my classroom and ignore the noise, this is social justice for me. Children cannot be taught well by demoralized and financially struggling adults.
4. My daughter made some strong moves towards choosing a major, applying for it, and adjusting to her college life. Big mom smile.
5. I tried some new work with science notebooking this week. It was amazing. Keri Porter is a brilliant science teacher and she shared with my students and I how understanding art techniques can lead to powerful and accurate observations in science. We were all excited to continue this work. It was the boost my science class needed. (That is an understatement.)
6. It is a three day weekend. Happy Birthday Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
I am trying to figure out how these six things come together. They don’t really need to, but I need a title. And I want to go for a walk, so I need to finish this… hmmm…my passions are here: my daughter, social justice, books, reading, teaching… and that makes it seem to me that it was a good week indeed. Lucky me.