Monthly Archives: January 2018

I’m noticing, A Slice

Slice of LIfe Part of Slice of Life by Two Writing Teachers


Tonight, we went to see Kinky Boots. We felt a little guilty putting off our homework until later tonight, but Mary Ehrenworth told us to go out and have fun, so it was like a direction, right?

The theater was beautiful, and the seats were great! There’s nothing like the feeling of a show about to start: the crowd gathers, the excitment mounts, we take turns going to the restroom.

As my friend and I walked into the bathroom, we laughed along with a few others. Like an unpopular amusement park ride, the maze of rope to enter was empty in the uncrowded bathroom. We rushed through it, feeling silly as we twisted and turned around the long maze. On the way out of the bathroom, I laughed again and shook my head because the next few people to come in just walked around the rope.

They walked around the rope. I bet those people would be good at lateral thinking puzzles.

Celebrating A Good Start

celebrate-image So happy to Celebrate with Ruth Ayres this weekend! What are you celebrating


I’m celebrating learning today because I’m at Teachers College’s Coaching of Reading Institute. I always know I’m going to learn so much when I get the chance to come here. I am never disappointed.

I am especially celebrating good starts. There’s so much power in a good start.

This morning started with a new notebook, and a session with a title that made me want to shout, “Amen!”


We started with a few minutes of a Ted Talk, and then the amazing Katy Wishow took us through the Essentials of a Learning Community. These are things we know students need in our Reader’s Workshop. . . but they are true for our own teacher communities too:

  1. Embracing Risk (which means, embracing failure too!)
    Ask for help, be vulnerable
  2. A Shared Spotlight
    Build up your team, turn your spotlight to others
  3. Team Mentality
    Everyone gets what they need
  4. Joy and Celebration
    We celebrate with kids, how can we build this with teachers? 

When you start a day about coaching with a session about how we need communities to learn and grow, about how we need joy and celebration… that’s a good start to the day. That’s a great start to a Coaching Institute. That’s something to celebrate.

Thanks for the great start, TCRWP!

A slice of a Second

Slice of LIfe Part of Slice of Life by Two Writing Teachers

I sit and  look around. I’m still in slow motion, heart racing. I see a woman. She doesn’t seem to have noticed that anything happened. A car drives by, its driver oblivious. My hands are shaking slightly and I pull over, hazards on.

I take a deep breath in, allow my eyes to close for a moment, breathe out.

Before this,

I lived in a slow motion moment. I drove down the street, watchful but relaxed. Listening to Hamilton, almost home. Suddenly, a van cut across the street directly in front of me. (They made the word suddenly specifically for situations like this, I think.) 

I slammed the brake and watched as my car still got closer to the van as the van continued across the street. I braced for impact, eyes squinted. I hoped I wouldn’t hit the van too hard, I pressed the brake. The van kept going, I kept going. Shouldn’t brakes work faster than this? My hands gripped the steering wheel, and I wondered if maybe I would just scrape the back of the van. 

And then it was over. The van went on its merry way, and I watched as cars passed all around me, unconcerned. 

Now safely pulled over, I call Mr. Thought.

“I’m okay,” I start, because I am.

Poetry Friday: This is not my morning

This is not my morning

This is not my morning
My calendar was wrong
So I'm starting the day
Where I thought it would end

My sockless son refused 
To leave on time

In the car I
Grabbed bags and
Jumped out of the car
Seconds passed
Before I noticed my coffee cup tipped --
Coffee spilling out
A skinny stream
But still a stream

This is not my morning. 
And the coffee in some hidden car crevice

Doesn't help
The only magic of iPhone shuffle + bluetooth
Is the skip skip skip skip skip skip skip skip
Joni Mitchell won't work
No, U2
Tori Amos
Skip Skip Skip Skip 
Try Tori again
Precious Things?
Iggy Azalea? Loreena McKennitt? Adele? Eminem? Ed Sheeran?
Skip Skip Skip Skip Skip Skip Skip Skip 

This is not my morning 
Almost there - still in my funk
Maybe a little Hamilton 
Will get my spirits up

"I'm Hercules Mulligan
When you knock me (or my coffee) down
I get 
the ****
back up again." 

There you go. 

This is not my morning. 
but ready.

Thanks Poetry Friday Roundup here