This Summer required extra Weekend Therapy to unpack everything we went through the last two years. When it started, I was still feeling floored that we had shut down the year prior, let alone the ups and downs of the most recent school year.
So I took pictures, traveled a bit, walked around aimlessly, rode my bike, binged TV, obsessed over listened to true crime podcasts, hung out with the kids, talked to my counselor, and watercolored. I think it accomplished the goal of coming to terms with all of the transitions, and I felt ready to finally start to hope and plan for the year ahead…however unpredictable it might prove to be.
My own counselor is helping me realize that we often think of self-care like we can put rest in some reserve for later when our lives explode again. But alas, it’s not so easy! Self- care is an ongoing process, and in the down-time of summer I’m learning to use my energy to process the past, and develop sustainable self-care habits for the busy future.
Anywho, at the end of the day (or summer) I have a cautiously optimistic readiness for the school year and a big ol’ pile of photographic and art prints! I went the summer taking pictures of my watercolors and then gifting them to people who will find them meaningful. And after ordering some magical giclee prints, I’ve decided to motivate my self- care practice by starting to sell them!
More to come on this if I can ever for the life of me figure out the interwebs, but if the site looks a little different it will be a sign I’ve figured it out!
So here’s the deal: when your 19-year-old kid asks you to do some plant-related business with her, you don’t ask questions. As is true for many parents, we are in a new phase of kin bliss following the tumultuous years in which I thought my teen might be a sociopath my child was claiming her independence. After years of careful grooming, my daughter is in her first new place and has embraced my love of all things houseplants.
Being that making is my therapy, it has actually be a really awesome outlet for me to have a reason to craft plant-related things for our little endeavor. While I am the middle-born-flower-child, she is the first-born-rule-follower-turned-rule-maker, making us the perfect pair for a little entrepreneurship!
You can check us out on Facebook or Instagram if you’d like, under Plant Plug 757! In the meantime, I’m crafting up new plant-related goods with rope planter covers for the last few days of my Spring Break!
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!
Needed a little reminder card to slow down the phases of anger in some stressed kids today. We talked about the process and how slowing down in the moment will help to figure out when to reach out for help or a cool-down.
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??!)
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.