Wednesday, April 29, 2020

What Will You Remember?

Principal Ponderings...
When this is all over what will you remember?  I know we will remember the weird experience of going to the grocery store wearing a mask, following the direction arrows, and standing 6 feet apart in line.  I know you will remember craving time with friends and family that did not involve logging in on the computer.  I am guessing you will remember sitting through Google Meets and Zoom meetings in your pajama pants. 

But what else will you remember?  Will you remember the small moments that happen?  The ones that in our pre-quarantine life we would have been to busy to notice?

I will remember sitting together as a family for dinner, no electronics, talking and laughing.  And my husband always thanking me for making dinner.  I will also remember when my kids starting thanking me before he had a chance to say it.  (They are learning!)

I will remember snuggling with my daughter at bedtime.  Feeling her bury her head in my neck.  I will especially remember the sensation of her little fingers intertwining with mine, falling asleep while holding on.

I will remember listening to tunes while solving a 1,000 piece puzzle with my husband late into the night.

There are a lot of other moments that I don't want to remember, the ones that made me cry, the ones where I was frustrated with my kids and my husband and myself.  But I am going to really try to hold onto the small moment memories that are getting me through this crazy time.  The time when the whole world hit the pause moment.  Slightly ironic that "pause" was my one word for 2020.

What will you choose to remember?

Currently reading:
I am still working my way through Song for a Whale.  I have about 5 more chapters to go.  Still struggling to find time to sit and read, but I know I need to keep trying to do that.  I miss my reading life before COVID-19. 
I find myself reading a lot more articles and blog posts as opposed to actual books.  And I am surrounded in my house by actual books.  I need to try to schedule a regular reading time into my day because I have bookshelves full of books that I need to read and want to read!

Staff Shout Outs!
Just a reminder that you can use this form to submit staff shout outs.

  • Liz Bercume wanted to give a shout out to Darryl V: Darryl has been a lifeline through this whole process. She has taken initiative and spent hours creating assignments and helping her team. Plus, she is really, really funny.
  • Liz Bercume also wanted to give a shout out to Liz H: Liz H is an actual angel. She is the most kind and positive person. She gives so much of herself and truly has a passion for teaching. Our staff and students are so lucky to have her!
  • Big shout out to Meredith Greco.  Julie R shared that Meredith has been so helpful with researching tech tips/videos and sharing resources with how best to support our students on IEPs.
  • Big shout out to Gayle M, Jess A, Deb H, and Sarah S for being brave and recording themselves reading stories so we could share more read alouds with our families.
  • Big shout out to Lynn Wood for connecting with students and families who are struggling and offering support and assistance.  Families are very appreciative! 

Check it out:

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

All the Feels

Principal Ponderings...

I am upset with myself that my weekly blogging, something I have done for years, came to a screeching halt when schools closed down mid-March.  Each week I kept saying, I am going to write a post.  And then it never happened.  I have had the idea for my comeback post for a while.  Feels.  All the feels. 

The picture posted above is the mural that my talented brother painted this past summer.  It is on display on the side of an oceanfront business.  I love the colors.  I love the texture in it.  I love that this is an image that people saw as they drove down 17th Street towards the beach.  And today, while I am writing and thinking about having "all the feels," this image came to mind.

Before the Governor's announcement today, I have gone through a rollercoaster of emotions.  And then as soon as I heard the words "schools will be closed for the remainder of the year," it felt like the rollercoaster came to a complete stop, one that jerked us all forward and then slammed us back, halting us in our tracks, shaking us, rattling us to the core.  I was driving back from dropping the mail at school, listening to the press conference.  And even though I knew what he was going to say before he said it, as soon as it was out there in the world, I cried.  I drove away from school and I cried.  And then I put on my brave face so that my own children would not see my tears.

All the feels.  Been feeling all of the emotions.  Some days I am feeling anxious.  Some days I feel pumped up and ready to take on this challenge.  Some days I am so sad that I cry into my husband's shoulder.  Some days I am angry that people think we should just go back to business as usual while people are sick and dying in hospitals.  Some days I am worried about my parents and my in-laws.  Some days I am accepting of what is happening.  Some days I feel like I want to quit.  All the feels.  Been feeling all of the emotions.

I think it's ok to experience all of these emotions, to ride the rollercoaster that none of us signed up for.  You have to let yourself feel all the feels.  Recognize the feeling, let yourself experience and then move on.  Sometimes you come to a place on the ride like I did the other night.  I was playing a Disney princess matching game with Emerson while the Disney sing-a-long was on in the background.  Cayce was in the other room reading a book on the phone to his mom.  Dave was giving a remote piano lesson in the music room.  Emerson had just helped me set up the game and told me she wasn't that good at matching games.  And then on the first turn, she found a match! Chip from Beauty and the Beast.  She looked up at me with a look of surprise and joy.  In that moment, I of course teared up, but I was so happy.  In life before COVID 19, this moment might not have happened.  Or if it did, it would not have meant as much I think.  For a little bit, I enjoyed riding the emotional rollercoaster and feeling all the feels.

What feelings will you feel on your rollercoaster ride this week?

Currently Reading:
I don't know about you but my reading life has taken a beating during this pandemic.  I am finding it hard to set time aside to simply read.  So I picked up some graphic novels which I knew would be easy to sit and read in one sitting and get that feeling of completing a book.  I read two this past weekend.  The first was Lunch Lady and League of Librarians.  A very funny book, I can see why kids love this series...the play on words with food items is awesome!  And hopefully we can bring the author, Jarrett Krosoczka, to Mayo next year!
I also enjoyed spending a morning sipping my tea and reading Smile.  As a child who had a lot of dental work, way more than normal, I could appreciate the struggles Raina went through! I am excited to read Guts next.
I was very excited to get a new professional development book in the mail, The Interactive Class.  This book is packed with ways to engage students using technology.  Will be sharing what I learn from it with all of you!
Staff Shout Outs!
Normally I have a section on here where I share all the great things I see happening in our school.  I add pictures and celebrate the amazing things you are all doing in your classrooms.  Clearly that's a little tough to do now.  But we can celebrate each other and lift each other up during this tough time.  Click on this survey to submit a staff shout out.
  • For this week, I wanted to give a shout out to the 5th grade team.  I was on a planning call with them yesterday, right after hearing the news from the Governor.  And they managed to make me laugh so hard that I had tears in my eyes. Which was so needed after tearing up for a whole different reason.
  • I also want to give a shout out to Patty Hurley.  She is always willing to get on the phone with a family, reach out and connect, and let them know we are here to help.  It is comforting to know that she is doing this every day.  
Check it Out:
Here is an article about remote learning and the importance of keeping it simple.
Some of us went to the Get Your Teach On Conference in the fall.  That group is offering ELA lessons online everyday.  Here is the calendar to check it out.