Writing a book was time-consuming. Counseling students is tiring. But I love them both! What do I not love? Marketing my own materials! I keep trying to remind myself that the goal of writing a book was to be able to reach educators and students outside of my bubble, but we are not in the business we are in because we like the spotlight on US…we like to give it to our work babies and work fams! …so, what do I do?? Hire my daughter who knows all about social media and the art of marketing!
Are you on Facebook for networking? Follow and share my new author page for updates on Responding to Student Trauma, webinars, Free Spirit Publishing , and resources for educators!
As much as this year has been trying, there have no doubt been some diamonds in the rough. One of those diamonds has been my flexibility in popping in and out of virtual classes, and my reduced office drop-ins have allowed me to spend more quality time with classroom lessons! I have had so much fun with my most recent lesson related to diversity that I decided to make a Loom of it so that others could use it as well.
I wanted to find a way to connect a little extra with the kids, because I am not getting my usual hallway time with them. I felt like sharing more of my own personal experiences might be the best way to go! One of the biggest influences in my life has been my Aunt Chatsy. She was a fierce force, and advocated for herself on a daily basis because she lived with Spastic Cerebral Palsy. My buddy taught me so much about how we treat others and how we can live our lives to the fullest, and I have always wished my students could have met my Aunt Chatsy to also be inspired.
After losing Chatsy a couple of years ago, I have come to a place where sharing her message with others is very therapeutic. It has been such an amazing journey to hear my students call her Aunt Chatsy when they ask questions, and to hear their amazingly empathetic ideas on how to treat others with disabilities. In an effort to get Aunt Chatsy’s message out to even more kids, I created a lesson and Loom that you can show your classes as well! Feel free to share!
My quarantine baby is finally coming along! I have had the pleasure of working with Free Spirit Publishing, who has helped me make one of my dreams come true! Read, reach out, and let me know what you think!
We have very little control these days. This can feel a bit claustrophobic, and makes a scary pandemic situation even scarier! One way you can help students feel more in control is by arming them with information about biology and the ways that our bodies work for us without us even knowing. I’m looking forward to finding a way to embed these videos into a lesson for students to learn more about immunology so I figured I’d share! (how cool is this chick by the way??!)
Clink the link above for some amazing student comments on race and the classroom. These kids are also working with another teacher and I and developing a professional development opportunity for our school. I WANT TO BE THEM WHEN I GROW UP!!!
Ok, the verdict is in for my city. We will begin the year virtually, and see where the virus takes us. I know that the emotional fallout from not getting to be with kids will happen in due time, but for now, I’m obsessing my brain is in overdrive trying to think about how I will establish my presence and connection with my new 6th grade babies this year!
Because we rotate with our students, 6th grade is so important for me to be able to build strong rapport with my kids so I can set my tone, expectations, and norms to ride us out through 8th grade. Luckily, my mouth (and hair btw) is big enough to reach them even through my computer screen!
One thing I have wanted to do is set up one of those fancy Google Bitmoji virtual classrooms I’ve been seeing. I’m still trying to figure out how I will get it to them, but the fun part is in the design by far! I started with these two resources and they have provided everything I have needed to create my room:
Take a look at my virtual classroom below and let me know what you think! Click on some of the little images for an interactive experience.
During Winter Break I got to regroup with family and become re-energized by searching out new books and resources for good information that I can return to school with and hit the ground running. This break I was delighted to find a series called “What Were You Thinking?” on the Audible audio platform. If you haven’t listened to it yet, you HAVE TO. It was just what I needed to be able to take a step back and get my head back in the crazy mind of my middle school kids.
In every language and for many generations parents have been asking their children, “what were you thinking?!”. I know I heard this repeatedly in my own teen years, and now instinctively say it to my 12 and 7 year olds. Spoiler alert: they’re not thinking.
It really got me thinking about just how much technology and sleep deprivation plays in the decision making of students. Every generation has it’s own level of knuckleheadedness, but with the advent of accessible and constant internet (think: smartphones, tablet, gaming consoles, Google Docs, social media, oh my!) has added a whole new layer, and we’re not even close to being in control.
I started thinking about all of the educators who have said “I can’t do this forever” burnt out from constant 504 meetings, student apathy with assignments, and unfiltered student communication. How much more can we handle?! But alas! We are only in the infancy of seeing the ramifications of putting an iphone in the hands of a toddler, and as we learn more about that, we may also learn more about how to curtail these hazy side-effects and rise our kids up to their true potential.
More to come on this, as I was so inspired I had to write it out. I submitted a blog post to my beloved Free Spirit Publishing and can’t wait to hash out the details!
Hello hello! It is still feeling like Summer here, but the bags under my eyes are a giveaway for September! What a great year start it has been too. A new school, New challenges, new kids, New team- and I have loved every second. I’m still missing my lovely and homey old school, but the change has helped me get over the ABANDONMENT of my newly high schooled babies. They are thriving, of course, but I still look for them in the hallways.