MySpace

Remember MySpace, everyone? Wait, are you all old enough to know what MySpace was? I’m so old that I never made a MySpace account because I couldn’t figure it out. Thankfully my friends were cool enough to help usher me into the Facebook world circa 2008ish. And that’s still a current and hip thing, ammiright?

Anywho, here’s the current, I’m a mom who still wishes she had her 8 year old self’s bedroom, space. Basically I kicked my hubby out of his office that he obviously didn’t need as much as me, and carved out a little corner of the world for myself that makes me feel like a kid with a brand new trapper keeper and some fresh Lisa Frank stickers. Truth be told, my boys and I share this room so it serves a dual purpose as an office for all of us. (Chris has his space in a dark corner of the guest room- he’s fine, you guys.)

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I write here. I lesson plan here. I keep all my classroom books here. I display my favorite cheesy/pretty things here. I yoga here. I use all my fancy Flair Pens here. It is the little things in life, folks. Carve out your space. A corner of the closet. Half of your guest room. That awkward space in your kitchen. Just find your happy spot that lets your creative juices flow like they did when you were a kid! MySpace may not be cool anymore, but your space will never go out of style.

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No happy space is complete without your faithful pooch.

Read Across America Day!

You're never too old, too wacky, too wild, to pick up a book and read to a child. -Dr. SeussMarch 2 is Dr. Seuss’s birthday-otherwise known as Read Across America Day. This day was created by the National Education Association as a way to encourage young children to read more and to become excited about books. You may just know this day as the day that you have to dress your kids up in crazy clothes or make a Seuss themed snack for their class, but I promise you, it is so much more than that.

Seuss was fantastic for incorporating rhymes, word families, sight words and silly story lines into his books that generations of children have grown to love. But let’s get honest, his books are, well, long. Even the most seasoned of parents and educators have grown weary while reading Dr. Seuss. If your child’s favorite book happens to be a Seuss one, you’ve no doubt become quite familiar with the lengthiness of his works.

So here’s the thing about reading. It’s not about who can read the fastest. It’s not about who can read the most. And it’s certainly not about only reading one particular author’s books. The point of reading, especially at a young age, should always be enjoyment. The meaning of today’s holiday is to excite children about the fun of reading. Some kids love the predictable pattern of Seuss’s words and feel proud being able to guess which words will come next in the text. Others love his fantastically silly characters. However, if your kid has a limited attention span or just isn’t feeling the Seuss vibes, I encourage you to put down Cat in the Hat and find what works for your little one.

Head to the library. Go to Barnes and Noble. Check out the book section in Target and see what your child gravitates to. (*real books- not audio or digital!) Find new authors or think back to what your favorite book was as a child. Make your read aloud time together be special. Make it fun. And always keep the goal of loving reading as your primary focus. 

Searching for an Education Friendly Politician…

Unless you’ve been hiding in a bunker, you may have noticed that we are in a heated election cycle. Debates, town halls, primaries, caucuses (I can’t be the only one that giggles when I say that word!)…we are fully involved in all things politicians and elections. And while I can’t tell you who I would like to vote for or who I think you should support, I can tell you what I’m looking for in a leader. I’m searching for a candidate that puts education on the forefront.

As far as I’m concerned, the state of our public education has an effect on every other part of our lives. From the future of climate science, to our children’s mental health, to our ability to compete on the world stage, it all comes down to education. And where will our education system be without the backbone of it all- our teachers?

So, this election cycle I’m paying attention. I’m paying attention to how schools will be funded. I’m listening to how politicians talk about our failing and under performing schools. Do they view them as something to avoid or defer money from, or do they have strong plans to repair them? Do they speak as though teachers are deserving of respect and living wages? Will they appoint cabinet members who actually have experience in Public Education? Do they truly get Nelson Mandela’s words, “There can be no keener revelation of a society’s soul than the way in which it treats its children”?

For the sake of our kids, our schools, and our teachers, I’m paying attention. I don’t see any perfect candidate. And some of my favorites have already dropped out. But, there are glimmers that some on the horizon are starting to understand what we in the teaching world have known for a while…our country is nothing without a strong education system.

Respect our teachers like soldiers and pay them like we do doctors. -Pete Buttigieg

Welcome to the Blog!

So I’ve had something on my heart. You know that nagging, won’t let you go, keeps popping in your mind, feeling? The one that God keeps nudging you to do something about? It’s that thing that you try to convince yourself to ignore because life is busy and can’t you see I have other things to focus on?! That thing, for me, is this blog.

It’s no secret that I’ve got some thoughts about the state of the world…specifically the world we are leaving our kids. I’ve given glimpses of my beliefs through social media, our family website, and my posts for our local moms blog, but I have been searching for another (more appropriate) vehicle to share everything that’s on my mind.

From education, to parenting, to the health of our planet and demeanor of our society, I feel the intense urge to bang everyone over the head with my strong opinions which are always on point. Juuuust kidding! I don’t have it all figured out (by a long shot), but what I do have is a deep longing for everyone to be reminded of what really matters. And for me, that’s our children. The ones we are raising, teaching, setting examples for, and in most ways, should be trying to emulate. Because the truth is, the more time I spend with kids, the more I want to be like them. So here’s my vision for this blog…

Consider it a one stop shop for the following:

-Ways to deal with the grown-up world while maintaining a childlike heart & faith

-Big thoughts/questions about the state of our country as it pertains to our children

-Education tips and ideas that are kid tested (hello human guinea pigs in my classroom and home!)

-Embracing small joys, random fun, cute stuff, little adventures, and laugh-out-loud-at-yourself moments (like kids do!)

-Personal anecdotes that I hope fellow women/moms/teachers/humans can relate to (i.e. cheap therapy that writing provides for me!)

I think our kids hold the key to what life is all about. (Cue Whitney Houston singing.) I think if we watch them more closely and live our lives more like they do, then we’ll all be alright. My hope is that this blog will help me (and others) make that happen.

Keep adventuring, and stay not a grown up.

— J. M. Barrie