Blogging Won’t Kill You & Summer Reading List

If it doesn’t kill you, blogging will make you stronger. I just wanna be a betta righter!
I decided to blog, blog, blog to become a more fluid writer. So what’s wrong with that? Well, it is about finding interesting things to write about. When I first started, the writing was fun and somewhat pithy. Now? Not so much. Oh well, I will only become a betta righter if I write! So for you, skip the drivel and enjoy the great nuggets that are sure to fall out occasionally. After all, if it doesn’t kill us, it makes us stronger!

First of all, my summer reading list has grown to million books! If you know some of these and I need to take them off the list, please comment and let me know.
The Twin’s Daughter
With or without you
The Bosnia list
Behind the scenes at the museum
Three souls
The secret keeper
The daring ladies of Lowell
And then she was gone
The Kingmaker’s Daughter
The Tenth Son
Flight Behavior
Red Rising
The milk of birds
Random Violence
The Whole Golden World
Gang Leader for a Day
Adam and Eve
Family Pictures
Forgotten Garden
Restless
The Light of Ruins
Maya’s Notebook
I am Mahala
A Far Piece of Canaan
Brothers
The woman who lost her soul
And the mountains echoed
Wise Men
Tapestry of Fortune
Over a 1000 hills I walk with you

Comment on any of the books, please!
Blogging will make you stronger!

The Invention of Wings & The Songs of Willow Frost

The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd is the most lyrical and poetically written non-poetry, book I have ever read.  The story is about two sisters who become abolitionists and 2 slaves who finally escape.  (No, not giving anything away.)  It is based in fact and set in Charleston, SC.  The writing is so beautiful that I would not allow myself to read too much each day so that I could savor the book.  Usually I read and do other things at the same time… NOT with this book!  

The characters are so ALIVE they actually breathe!  The women are not your typical mealy-mouths that were the women of the time period, but outspoken women who are able to stand up to injustice and espouse it to the world while handling the negative fall-out from others.

Not intentionally meaning to lessen the impact of slavery or even make a comment on it, but I was a bit put off with the topic and said, “Really another book on slavery?”  BUT it isn’t.  It is about so much more and the research on the treatment of slaves is critical. 

It is on Oprah’s book list and no telling how many other awards that it will win.  Sue Monk Kidd is our modern day equivalent to Margaret Mitchell or dare I say Harper Lee.  She has outdone herself with this book.  The Secret Life of Bees. was an exceptional book, too.

This will go into my favorites list!  Incredible book, well-written, A MUST READ!

Another MUST READ is The Songs of Willow Frost by Jamie Ford, which is another book that I wouldn’t let myself read too many pages a day… I love his writing! The characters are completely whole. He must get Divine inspiration from the Universe. I love Jamie Ford’s artistic writing abilities! His first novel called Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet was an excellent must-read. This book is about American-Japanese interment camps and the lives of the people including the American-Chinese who were thrown into the camps. Both of these stories will linger with you. Jamie Ford can’t write books fast enough for me.
I must say that this was so eloquently written in my head right before I fell asleep and forgot all those beautiful words! Aw, hell!

Teachers change the school environment

The very thing that upsets teachers about the classroom is something they created by turning a blind eye and saying “It’s not my problem.” When a building is so full of people, it is hard to even know faces much less names; it becomes easier for a teacher to say, “That’s not my problem!” The “personal touch” is no longer effective. Without personal touch – student learning is difficult.

To make an experience personal is the only way to make a caring atmosphere. When rules are sensitively enforced, people feel loved and safe. Without safety, no learning can occur.

The only way to ensure student learning is to make it “my” problem. The heart of the school means: we all care, we all work hard for student success. We are all responsible. Students feel loved and safe – how do they many of them even get to school with the odds so against them? They come back because they are well-liked and cared for by all of the school’s family. Not just a few, not just a couple – we all have to work for the benefit of the student. I BELIEVE and that makes students trust that I have their learning and welfare in my heart. Because where I work – It’s Just Better!

Notes to a new teacher

Dear Fledgling New Teacher,

It doesn’t help you to know that all teachers were first year or new teachers, so let’s just get to it! Here’s some advice:

For your personal growth and well-being as an educator:
1.) Get a journal and write down the good things that happen in your classroom – even if you write sporadically. It is really nice to look at on those days when you wonder why the hell you thought you wanted to be a teacher anyway!
2.)Keep a folder of kudos; again this will cheer you when you are deep in despair. Place cards, notes, anything that applauds your hard work in it. It is nice validation. We all need to be validated once in a while. We tend to remember the crappy days and forget the really great days in education and life as well.
3.)Don’t listen to the negative things that go on in the lounge. It is really easy to get caught up in that mess. If you can’t rise above the negative, stay outta the lounge!

For your ability to be a good teacher:
Next, you must plan, plan and plan and then be really flexible. Over plan so that you always have something for your students to do. Down time only gets you and students in trouble!
Believe that everyone who comes through your door didn’t get there easily and they will HEAR and REMEMBER everything you say to them, so pretend you are being recorded every second of the day, because you probably are.

Next, you must let the child win or “save face.” This is the most important advice that you will ever hear! Let it go in class and deal one on one with students. Don’t overly reprimand a student in class unless he is a danger to others. Ask him to step out in the hall. Never get into a showdown because you will not win!

If you don’t like the classroom, get out and find a new job. You have to love your students… it isn’t a vocation; it isn’t a job; it is a LIFE.
Good Luck! And now you will be an excellent teacher! May the Force be with you!