I’m thankful that I decided to share my writing, even though it sometimes makes me nervous to hit the “Publish” button knowing that people will be reading my thoughts. I once compared sharing writing to trying on bath suiting publicly; all of your flaws are visible for all to see. However, I’ve received such a positive response, letting me know that maybe I do have something to say or offer to the world
Yesterday, I ran to the mall to return a pair of boots. Searching for a replacement for my six-year-old riding boots is the epitome of a first-world problem. I thought I had a pair to fit my calves, only to discover they were far too tall and hit the back of my calves when I walked. The customer at the register was an older woman, apparently confused about the sale flyer and asking numerous questions about items throughout the store. I was slightly annoyed because I paying for Liam’s afterschool care and waiting for ten minutes to return the boots. While the lady behind me sighed loudly due to the wait, the cashier happily answered all of the questions. At this moment, my attitude changed. Instead of being annoyed at the delay, I was pleased to see a woman with so much patience helping someone purchase Christmas gifts. After (finally) making my return, I found a manager to report the heartwarming account of exceptional customer service.
I love Liam’s second-grade teacher! She is the perfect mixture of kind and strict. She had Liam redo his homework because he put it in his backpack instead of his folder. When he added his lunchbox and hat, it crumbled and ripped his paper. He came home grumbling that he already did it and it wasn’t fair. It led to a short conversation about responsibility and taking pride in his work. I love that, in addition to academics, she is teaching him essential life skills. She is reinforcing life skills that will make school easier for Liam as he gets older. Words cannot describe how happy I am that she is his second-grade teacher!
My school loops students through the grades. Because of this arrangement, I am able to teach my students throughout their high school years. We develop relationships and don’t have to spend the first half of year trying figuring each other out. I know how they work and what makes them successful. After three years of using the Summit Learning Platform, everything seems to really click. They’re growing and becoming self-directed learners. They’re flourishing during Socratic Seminars. When we first held Socratic Seminars, they were awkward, with students simply asking and answering prepared questions. Now, they’re using I Am Malala as a starting point for engaging conversations, such as whether the United States should be invading other countries, even in the name of stopping the Taliban. While discussing the inequalities of women in Pakistan, students connected the book to the wage gap, Harvey Weinstein, and the sexual abuse scandals currently in the news. I love that my students demonstrate the ability to think critically, not just regurgitate facts.
Harvest Kitchen Corner Store and Cafe opened next to my school. They sell a variety of locally made foods, including the best applesauce you’ll ever eat! During the summer, my husband requests trips to our local farmer’s market just to stock up on the sauce. The program provides job-training to youths involved in the Juvenile Corrections Services. The products are a delicious way to support the local community. I was able to pick up a few stocking stuffers and great a cup of mint tea on a chilly Friday morning.
Liam often dances in the kitchen. Our Echo is there, so he asks it to play music and “rocks out!” He was dancing to Imagine Dragons when it became quiet. Any mother knows that silence is not always golden. When I checked on him, he was sitting on the kitchen floor with his notebook in his lap. He told me he was writing a story. Liam has so much of Mike in him; it made me happy to see a little bit of me shine through!
(The kitchen floor is old. Believe me when I tell you it is clean, just worn!)