Saturday, November 22, 2014

November Blogging Challenge: Traditions!

Day 22

What family traditions are you are most grateful for?

Traditions are indeed how we keep our balance.  And if I am going to re-learn or put into practice the life lesson I'm most grateful for (see this post for that information), I need to experience some balance through tradition this year.

A family tradition I'm grateful for is celebrating the holidays with family.  It's not always the same way or the same place or even the same time, but we spend it together.  I enjoy the time spent cooking, planning, crafting, and sharing.  We eat, we talk, we play games, and we celebrate.  Work schedules or other family vacation conflicts have often meant that we don't do our celebrating on the particular day of the holiday, but we do always have a time we get together.

Friday, November 21, 2014

November Blogging Challenge: A book review

Day 21

Name a book you are thankful to have read and how it has inspired you to be better at what you do.

ISBN 1571103767
As a life-long reader, I have read any number of great books.  As a secondary English teacher, I enjoy teaching my students about the classics, having them read a plethora of various great literature, and trying to build within them a love of reading.

The one thing I don't know how to do, though, is teach my students how to read.  Secondary teachers are not taught how to teach a person to read. It was frustrating for me because I often come across students who are not reading at grade level or who have some gaps in their reading process.  So I began looking for some help.  I found it in this Cris Tovani book: Do I Really Have to Teach Reading?

It includes great strategies the secondary teacher can use right away with any kind of content to help her students to become better readers.  This book doesn't teach me how to teach reading from scratch, but it can--and does--help me to help my students where they are right now in order to help them move forward.  Our school used this book as a book study several years ago to help all of us teachers find ways to help our students.

November Blogging Challenge: Life Lesson

Day 20
What is one life lesson you are grateful to have learned?

One life lesson I am grateful to have learned is that balance is important.  To be honest, I'm still learning this lesson.  During the school year, especially, I tend to get caught up with teaching and grading and lessons--all completely normal--but then I forget that "all work and no play makes [Amy] a dull [girl]."  I fall out of touch with friends, become too busy to hang out with family, and spend way too much time staring at a computer screen instead of sunsets.

Robert Fulgham wrote a great essay about life lessons.  In his essay he tells about how he learned that we need balance in our lives: "Live a balanced life. Learn some and think some 
and draw and paint and sing and dance and play and work every day some."  Ostensibly, I learned that, too, but I need to be reminded of it every once in awhile. So I am grateful to be reminded of this life lesson as we move toward Thanksgiving.  I am going to enjoy taking some time off to celebrate with family, and that will definitely add some much-needed balance to my work-filled life.