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I’m a language teacher at heart, a lover of French and Spanish. Hoping to grow in my profession, and love it even more.

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unshakeable book

Unshakeable Book – my thoughts on Going the extra mile for families; podcasts discovered!

Here are a few more of my reactions to this excellent teaching book, Unshakeable, by Angela Watson, which you can check out here.

Day 5 – Go the extra mile for families (but don’t take forever to get there) :

  • I like to try to send a positive email out early in the year before I have to make contact for a negative reason.  Doesn’t always happen, but it pays big dividends later when I can get this done early on.
  • I live where I teach, so I am at most of the community events.  As I’ve said previously, it is usually a wonderful relationship-builder seeing my MS & HS students and families out and about.  And even when I didn’t live where I teach–I made it a point to go to holiday concerts and townwide festivals.  Parents want to know you are invested in the community where they are raising their children.

Forget Game of Thrones, or Orange is the New Black, I have been “binge-listening” to Angela Watson’s Truth for Teachers podcast.  I am just about through “Season 1,” and it has prompted me to seek out other positive podcasts, like Every Classroom Matters with Cool Cat Teacher Vicki Davis.  I’m hunting for more…

I appreciate filling my head and heart with good vibes and constructive strategies for working smarter and more passionately!

Participating in my first “teaching book” study

I found out about it via Twitter.  This is the first book I’ve read by Angela Watson, and I am impressed with her positive voice.  Here are my thoughts for each day so far:

Day 1 – Ch. 1 – Share your authentic self to bring passion and energy to your teaching – Early in my career I swore I would never live where I teach.  But then life happened and now I live in the small town where I teach.  I run into students  and parents every day.  They see that we’re all pretty much just people, and this shows in the rapport we develop in school.  Swore I’d never do it, but 99% of the time I am grateful that I live and work here.

Day 2 – Ch. 2 – Allocate your time and energy wisely through productive routines – I have gained ideas from my book study peers have ideas that will help shave time off some tasks:) I see from our online discussions that I am not alone in looking for strategies to work smarter.

Day 3 – Ch. 3 – Establish healthy habits for bringing work home and decompressing – With two children that need frequent taxi service to sports, scouts, clubs, etc., I always complete as much as I can at school, because once I’m done chauffeuring, it’s late, and my tank is running close to empty.

Day 4 – Ch. 4 – Determine how to do what matters most and let go of the rest -I want to DO ALL THE THINGS.  I am active in my community and I have begun in the last few years to SAY NO.  I’m still working on this one.

Why start this blog?

I am not a “mover and a shaker” or an “influencer.”  For the past 8 years I’ve been concentrating on keeping my head above the waters of unabating changes at school, all while caring for ailing parents and young family.  As it usually does, life has moved on, on both fronts.

In the last year, especially the past few months, so many positives at school have transpired that make next year one I eagerly look forward to:

  • An upcoming, first-time-in-years, spring break school Europe trip
  • A new, simpler school schedule, which begets…
  • …a simplification of my teaching schedule–no more rotations!  Fewer classes meeting more frequently (every day now), in all one language (been teaching two languages for many years)
  • The peace of mind of more reliable routines now that classes that meet every day (“Ziquemu Mardi,” or “Tuesday Tunes,” and “Verbathon Vendredi” here we come)!

So the WHY?  This blog has been bubbling for months to explore, experiment with, reflect on and share what the Twittersphere has been opening up to me and my students.  I’ve been wanting to blog with students for years, I see the benefits for kids of writing for an audience (real or perceived), but never made the leap with my kids or myself. Can’t expect kids to do it if I don’t!  The UNSHAKEABLE book study, hosted by Angela Watson, has prompted me to start.  So voilà, I’m leaping!

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