Lately, we have spent countless hours talking about how we can help our classroom communities remain intact.  It is so important for our children to still feel connected to each other, and I am thankful we live in a world where we can connect with the click of a button.  But it is also important for us to remember to keep the adults connected.  I miss my staff as much as I miss being in a building full of my Dragons.

I have thought a lot about how to keep my staff connected and support each other during this time.  While I still don’t feel like it is enough, I wanted to share two things we are doing to stay connected.

Facebook: One of my staff members created a closed Facebook group where people can post needs during this time.  It can be a simple prayer request or help getting groceries.  It has been nice to talk about how we are staying active, and how we are taking care of our needs as well as the needs of our families.  I think a Biggest Loser contest and recipe swap started today.  We all feel helpless, and this simple page is giving us the power of human connection.

Zoom:  Last night we had our first staff book talk party.  We all met up on Zoom and shared books we love with each other.  I kept a list and then created a Google doc sharing the titles with everyone.  We are also holding book clubs with each other on Zoom.  Our first chat is Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng.  We are also watching the series on Hulu and will compare the two with each other.  My plans are to host a book club once a week and one other “meet up” with the staff.

I am trying to think of other ways we can stay connected as a staff.  If you have any ideas, please share.  Together, we will get through this! 



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Last night I started to write this blog, and I all could find were the reasons why I was so angry at what this virus is doing to our world.  I could only think of all the things we were missing out on instead of what we still get to do.  I had to walk away.  Today I came back with a new attitude focused on gratitude and made a list of 10 things I am thankful I still get to do.

  1. I get to walk up every morning in my home that contains my precious family.
  2. I get to hang out with my 3 boys, husband, and 2 dogs.
  3. I get to say all the people I care about can say they are healthy.
  4. I get to remind myself about what is really important.
  5. I get to do my part to help our community…even if that means staying in my house.
  6. I get to stay connected and/or have time to reconnect with people through technology.
  7. I get to pray.
  8. I get to read and watch mindless TV.
  9. I get to help others in this time of need.
  10. I get to take the time to practice some self-care.

I could honestly go on.  The bottom line is these are unprecedented times, and we are all hurting. But I believe that in the face of struggle is often when we show our capacity to love and care for those around us.  I can’t remember a time when we needed this more.

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Back in Action!

I have been MIA for the last week or so, but I am thrilled to rejoin the SOL community today.  I decided to take a real Spring Break this year.  I took a break from work and technology (for the most part), and I just enjoyed some down time with my family.  The last few months have been incredibly challenging (honestly the hardest I have had in a long time), and I needed to refocus myself mentally and physically.  To be honest, I feel as though I have started to climb out of the dark place in which I have been hiding out. I am not ready to write about it, but I will get there. And that knowledge feels good.

I look forward to resuming my slicing tomorrow, and I am always thankful for this community that remains welcoming and supportive. You add a bit of sunshine to my day!




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SOL Day 9…Mommy, I Am A Star

Today I became the mom of a YouTube star…at least that is what he told me.  Evan was beyond excited to find out when you Google Gerful, his video is the first one to come up.

“Mommy, everyone will know who I am now!  I am finally a famous YouTuber! I am going to be the next Stampy or DanTDM!” he exclaimed when I picked him up from school today.  He was beaming from the tip of his toes through the top of his head.  I love to see this level of excitement.

I smiled at him and said, “I am beyond proud of you Evan.  I can’t wait to see what you come up with next!”

His Gerful has been an important part of the GT Brain unit currently in progress. Evan suggested that I share his video with you all in case you are interested in learning more about the power of a Gerful.

He has started writing scripts for his next set of YouTube movies.  Be on the lookout…Evan is coming to a screen near you!



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SOL Day 8…Strengths Finder





Over the last year, the different leadership teams have done a great deal of work with Strengths Finders.  We have all completed the assessment, looked at the dynamics of our teams, and looked inward to reflect on how we can develop and use our strengths.  One of the fascinating things for me has been the idea of understanding the “balconies” and “basements” of each strength and how working in one or the other impacts our work as individuals as well as a team.  For example, my number one strength is learner.  When I am working in the balcony of this strength, I am pushing myself to grow in my knowledge and understanding of the world around me.  When I am in the basement of this strength, I can be perceived as a know it all or get lost in the learning and become unproductive.  It is important to have others around you that will help to keep you out of the basements!

While I have grown as a person through this work, it is the impact this work has had on my team that has been invaluable.  Understanding the strengths each person has helped our team to work as a more cohesive unit.  We have come to appreciate the aspects of each other that once drove us crazy.  I have also come to appreciate the importance of a well rounded team better than I ever have before.  In fact, a well rounded team is more important than a well rounded indvidual.

I am looking forward to digging into this work a little more.  I guess that is me, a learner, living in my balacony!



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SOL Day 7…Goodbye


Today my heart is heavy, and I simply want to tuck under the covers and cry.  Early this morning, before the sun broke the darkness, one of my Instructional Coaches said goodbye to her husband.  She said goodbye to her best friend, her soulmate, her partner.  She said goodbye to half of her heart.  It is a crippling feeling to know someone you care for in agony and know you can’t take away their pain.  I have been searching and searching for the “right” thing to say, even though I know there are no magic words.  Then I came across this quote Winnie the Pooh, and for a moment, I smiled.

How lucky Melissa has been to share her life with a man she adored and who adored her also.  Where many spend their lives guarded behind walls, Melissa invited Sam into her heart knowing that with love comes sorrow.  And as he fought for his life for the last 77 days, she was by his side loving him more and more each day.  Even though she is heartbroken right now, I think she is one of the lucky ones.   She has loved someone she never wanted to say goodbye to.  What more can a girl ask for?




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SOL Day 6…Football for Dummies

My 13-year-old has become obsessed with football.  He spends hours pouring over his football cards, reading material online, and watching clips of games.  He has become a walking encyclopedia of facts, figures, and stats.  I love to see his passion and enthusiasm, and I love to see his endless quest for knowledge.  I also love that he wants to share this knowledge with me.  He can talk for hours about players, positions, and plays.  However, as hard as I try, I can’t keep it all straight.  I feel like his is speaking to me in Greek.  He quizzes me, draws pictures, and I just can’t make heads or tails of anything he says.  As patient as he is trying to be, most lessons end with him shaking his head at me like I am a lost cause.  And then he made me an offer I could not refuse.

I am forever asking Andrew to be in a mother/son book club with me, and he has ever so politely told me no.  I have even told him he can select the book…and still the answer is always no.  He believes talking about books is not the best use of his time.  Well, you can imagine my surprise when he comes to me with a package from Amazon and tells me he is going to take me up on my offer us to have a mother/son book club. He has even picked out our first book. He hands me the package, and  I rip it open like a kid on Christmas morning.  Standing there with the book in my hand, I can only shake my head and laugh.

Our first book club title will be…

He then pulls a pack of post-it notes from his pocket and says, “Be sure to record your thinking as you read.  You must be prepared to talk about the first two chapters by Wednesday.”  He then turned and walk away.  I could imagine the smirk on his face as he did, and I admit I was a proud mom.



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SOL Day 4…Champions

My 6-year-old Adam helped with today’s post. We were inspired by Evan’s win tonight.


Teamwork, sportsmanship

Dribbling, shooting, scoring

10 boys coming together to become





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SOL Day 3 Inspired by Fran…Since Last March

I was inspired to write this poem by Fran McVeigh.  Fran shared her beautiful post Since Last March today, and I had to write one of my own.  This is Fran’s structure, and I have added some of my own words.  Thank you, Fran for being my writing mentor today!

Since Last March

Since last March, I have been to the beach.11061943_10207095303759429_2021288096116916251_n

Beach for sand crabs,

beach for laughing, splashing, surfing, 

beach for waves gentling lapping at my feet and a good book in hand,

beach in three countries.

Since last March, I have become mom to a teenager.

Teenager and shaving,

teenager and playing football,

teenager becoming a young man,

teenager that still calls me mommy.



Since last March, I’ve said good-bye.

Good-bye to sweet friends moving far away,

good-bye to baby teeth,

good-bye to negativity.




Since last March, I’ve said hello.

hello to new adventures,11822448_10207287078913688_581437647310368652_n

hello to new friends,

hello to the amazing people my boys are becoming,

hello to possibilities.




Hello, March.

It’s time to write!




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Just a Slice

I have spent the last week or so thinking about my “topic” for this post. Last night it hit me.  My problem is not what to write about.  I have endless ideas rolling around in my head. My problem is serving a slice not the entire pie.   I started going through the folder I have on my desktop titled Under Construction, and I found over 26 “pies” waiting for me.  Here is a taste:

  • The Power of No
  • What Do You Stand For?
  • Congeniality or Collegiately?
  • Coaching to Independence
  • Uncovering the  Genius Within
  • Has Parallel Teaching Become the Norm?
  • Cycles of Professional Development
  • A New Way to PD
  • Talk Matters
  • Growing Leaders
  • Teachers Matter

My goal this month is to slice up the pies waiting patiently and serve up one slice a day.  While the thought of publishing a slice a day still brings on a small panic attack, I am getting excited about starting SOL16.  I think it is going to be a great month in the kitchen!




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