SOL #14 The Challengers, The Favorites

You can’t say which ones are your favorites, although you know you do-have them, I mean. For me, it’s the tricky ones. The, you can’t figure me out, I’m too tough for you, sneaky-sly ones that get me.

The ones that say, “Want a challenge? I’m here! COME AND GET IT.”

I have one like that this  year. As defiant as they come, as resistant to work as possible.

Yet, somehow, this student has put up bulletin boards, collected school-wide incentive papers, organized library materials, held in-depth book discussions, and most importantly completed subject tasks–on the good days.

So I wanted to write a letter to those Challengers because you are my favorites and you DESERVE it, but when I began, it was a start, but it wasn’t enough. And, because you are so important, friends, I wait to write tomorrow, where my mind is new and my writing is crisp.

Until then…






SOL #13 The Day’s Say

Head down, bent over.
Hands rake it, gather it together.

Up it goes.
Time for business.

Each bounce is a new reminder of to-dos on the list.
Each sway is another check on done.

Pull it, not so snug, an inch away.
Little parts linger and stray.

Not so busy, little boxes checked.
Daring to be free, down fingers glide.

And loosely it hangs.
Work’s crease is left from the day.

Tug on the ends and off it springs.
Free at last.

Daring to be
No longer
The Day’s Say.

SOL #12 Our Home

I saw it in your eyes.

Our almost home. When we opened up the doorway and let the sunlight leak in onto the hardwood floors. We were there, just moments away from everything we’ve wanted for a decade.

I jumped at the opportunity. I grabbed your hand and saw that sparkle in your eyes. I knew we were there.

I held it in. That burst of, “Oh my god. It’s going to happen.”

It might. It just might. If not today, then tomorrow.

And, when it does, I’m going to put that moment in my heart. It’ll stay there for eternity.

SOL #11 Our Didn’t Do Day

Today we didn’t shower.

We didn’t get out of bed before eleven.

We didn’t drive our cars.

We didn’t go outside, except to let our dog go potty.

We didn’t wash our clothes.

We didn’t vacuum the floors.

We didn’t clean the litter box-sorry kitties!

We didn’t do the chores.

We didn’t do our work or prepare for the week ahead.

Today, we just didn’t. And it was perfect spending my didn’t do day with you.

SOL #10 Moments of Mindfulness

As I mentioned in an earlier post, our school is focusing on Mindfulness. Today we did our second round of practicing mindfulness through awareness. Our awareness focused on our breathing. Feeling the movement in our bodies, where the air comes in and releases out from our bodies.

For our second day, students did a very nice job. And a very nice job for third graders, considering there were much fewer giggles than yesterday.

As we finished our last breath and returned to our seats, I asked students to share their thoughts on their experience and what mindfulness meant to them now.

What students shared was something profound.

One student said she felt the good air come in and the bad air come out. Another said it helped them to focus and stay calm.

Even my most geared-up student, my feisty student, my student that likes to start fights with others just sat there with his hands on tops of his legs, his eyes closed, his body resting.

Another student showed up today, with this sign…


Best part about it, is that she asked us to make a copy for each of us (my co-teacher and myself) and my other colleague.

What a lovely gift this has been to give students small moments of mindfulness during March. ❤


It is very seldom that I take time for me.

So last night, when I went to Walgreens, as I was walking past the Red Box Kiosk, I saw it…


blaring it’s bright colors, calling my name.

I hadn’t seen it, but I knew ALL the songs. In fact, I’d listened to them on repeat while getting ready for work and working out and teaching down-time with my students.


So today, when I finally got some free time, I watched it and enjoyed it..singing all the songs to a movie I had never seen. That’s a first for me. 😛

So I went over my time and, technically, I don’t make the count because although it’s not midnight here, I’m in Illinois and it’s about 30 minutes past time.

I’m feeling guilty, but it’s okay. I’m telling myself. Amanda, YOU ARE WRITING. Even after it’s time, I’m still writing and that’s really what this challenge is about.


So, TROLLS all the way. “Cause if you knock knock me over knock knock me over


SOL #7 Non-Sunday Sundays, Word Babble

Blah blah blah blah blah goes my brain.

This is what happens when I try to do things early. When I try to be punctual or proactive or early…MUSH.

My brain goes MUSH.

I can’t think of anything to write although it seemed as if words were a continuously flowing scroll earlier today. During moments when I conveniently didn’t have a pencil or time.

Okay, so maybe I had the time and maybe I had a phone, so I could have taken notes or recorded.
So maybe I was lazy and actually enjoying the little free-time of my Non-Sunday, Sunday day. I didn’t have school, so my normal Sunday filled with the stresses of preparing for the week didn’t exist.
But I still get the Sunday feelings of Monday is around the corner.

Today is Tuesday.

Maybe that’s what I should write about.

I don’t know. This is a jumble of words and thoughts and feelings about Non-Sunday Sundays.

And that’s all you’re going to get out of me for today.

File. Note. Save. Let’s come back later.

SOL #6 Call 8-1-1!

Time to talk to parents, the dreaded phone call. They didn’t show up to Parent-Teacher Conferences, they didn’t respond to emails…it’s time.

I’m coaching my first year co-teacher on what to say. I implore her, “You need to call!”

“I know,” she says, reluctantly picking up the phone and in a hurry, she dials quickly. Let’s get it over with, thoughts that consume both her and my mind.

Suddenly her eyes go wide and mine do too in response…it was only seconds into the call, What’s happening? I thought, worry spreading, speeding up my heart rate.

She slams down the phone.


“YOU WHAT?!” I scream back.

Both of us burst into laughs. So, that’s a definitely a win for calling parents for the first time ever… WHOOPS!
But you know what? Apparently she wasn’t the only one because I got this text from her today…


So now, all first year teachers won’t be stunned into the same mistake of calling 9-1-1. They won’t have to spot police officers outside the school, even though it was “after school” hours and we didn’t get a call back. They won’t have to shamefully tell their principal. AND they won’t have to bashfully call the police department to clarify their simple mistake because people don’t call 8-1-1!
Haha! Love you, Britt! 🙂


My co-teacher wrote her Slice of Life about this incident too! I can’t wait to hear her perspective, but chose to write BEFORE I took a peek…I’ll edit and add link here!

SOL #5 World Reminders

I have two extra days off and I spend it working. Working on my final presentation, my summative. My list of artifacts that somehow prove I am the “good” teacher I always wanted to be.

I couldn’t think of anything more stressful.

This month, as a school, we are focusing on being more Mindful. I am the PBIS Co-Universal Coach (Positive Behavior Intervention System) at my school, so I’m one of the leaders of this newest focus.

At first I just shrugged it off. Thought it was a very neat idea. Really interested, but you know, for my personal life, I have things to do…summative artifacts to complete. But today, when I paused, I thought it might be nice to take a walk.


As soon as we stepped outside, my dog and I, we felt the warm breeze with a few dancing rays of sunlight left. We sped up excitedly at the thought of nature in our lungs and light on our skins. And we just kept walking.

We got to the reservoir and the clouds were moving ever so slightly. The trees were swaying in the strengthening wind and the sky was lit up in get-ready-for-nighttime colors of reds and blues and deep purples.


I was reminded that I need mindfulness too.

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Then, later, I went to the store searching for air freshener sprays. I don’t really know what else I was searching the isles for, but I looked anyway.

I strolled up and down the rows of goods, yet nothing beckoned my way. And then at the self check-out line, just when it was my turn I saw it.


I think the world is whispering something to me and it’s about time I’d listen.

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