Monday, August 18, 2014


I love my drive to work!

My school is about 13 miles away. Just about a 16 minute drive. Enough time to "Get my head in the game."

This morning's drive was fabulous! I was jamming to my favorite Mamma Mia! song (When all is said and done), singing my heart out, and knowing that this was going to be a GREAT Monday.

Three miles out--BAMM! A bird crashed into my windshield wiper.

Accckkkkkk. Iiiiiiiiccccccck. Aaaaaaaaaaa!

It would not leave. Oh no--is this my day now?

How in the world am I going to get this bird off my windshield, and by me I mean -- who else will do it for me?

Remember--I have a flaw. I do not like mice. Or other normal farm animals that move rapidly or unexpectedly. This bird was unexpected.

Maybe I could get Mrs. Jones or Mrs. Roux to get it off for me...

But as soon as I set a foot into the school I promptly forgot about the bird. I didn't even remember it when I went out to dismiss the kids at the end of the day.

Until I was headed out at 5 pm. Walking toward the van I started thinking about what it might look like (if I was brave and looked), what it might smell like (it was 95 degrees today--enough to cook that bird), and how was I going to get rid of it.

It was there, I glanced. Left it. Drove home.

Called the menfolk to meet me in the driveway.

Convinced one of them to remove the bird. He got it as far as under the front wheel and left it.

Got a different menfolk to move it to underneath some trees.

Now, who will wash the fluid streak that is on my windshield?

Anyone, anyone???
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Wednesday, August 13, 2014


Last PD day before the start of school today.

Just imagine two hundred educators crowding into a cafeteria, some by choice, others by administrator's choice and learning the first parts of Responsibility-Centered Discipline (RCD).

Classrooms still need to be set up. Lesson plans need to be created. Phone calls and meetings with other stake holders need to be made and kept.

So--who has time for this?

Our presenter suggested that (in not so many words) we have to make time for this. I'm glad I did.

As teachers, if we struggle with knowing curriculum we get support and help. Yes!

If we struggle with assessment and instruction we get support and help. Yes!

But what about real support and help for classroom management? I know I have been talking about it for 20 years.

About 9 years ago I happened on to CD. It shifted my way of thinking. It was hard. I had to own my own "stuff." No more blaming my kids (or my) behavior somewhere else.

Like I said--HARD! Truly a brain shift that continues to evolve for me.

So my background knowledge was crucial for me today. It allowed me to HEAR what the presenter was saying. Process parts of it. Practice parts of it and not feel goofy, because honestly, I've been practicing this for 9 years. Not using his terms, but it's such a similar idea to CD that it is [insert the Oprah voice here] AWESOME!!

I'm amazed (but not really) about how smoothly Conscious Discipline (CD) fits into RCD. 

Many concepts were repeats of what I heard last Friday (and the numerous other CD trainings I have been to). How cool is that?!?!

**I need techniques that stop behaviors and increase the students' effort.

**In all that I do, do not damage the student/teacher relationship. 

**Mirror neurons

**When the brain is under attack, it rallies support and shuts down learning. 

**As a situation gets bigger, I must get smaller. 

**I want to become a Master of Challenging Moments. 

**I am so glad that my student teacher could be there today. (How might this impact her student teaching experience or future jobs?)

And--I've never said this before about ANYTHING--I'm excited about the prospect of being coached in RCD this year.

I'll let you know how that turns out for me...

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Monday, August 11, 2014

Feeling Refreshed

Like many friends I headed to "work" today. 

We've been "working" all summer, but today was Paid Work.

I was in four different large group meetings today. (And that was all we had time for. If there had been more time, there would have been more meetings...)

These are some notes that I jotted down...

1. I miss Billy and Allison. (I wondered what they were doing today and when I would see them again...)

2. How cool that we are teachers. Kids WANT to come see us. (What other profession has kids wanting to see them? Orthodontist? Doctor?)

And I will leave you with three... Three things that I am looking forward to tomorrow...

1. Finishing my word wall and alphabet board.

2. Lunch with my teacher friends.

3. Putting away a counter full of STUFF.

Hope you have something to look forward to tomorrow...

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Friday, August 8, 2014

Five for Friday (August 8, 2014)

Hello weekend!! I started this week by ending my vacation to Indiana and Michigan and jumping head-long into classroom preparation with a mix of doctor appointments for my sons. Busy!

Today was a fantabulous day. My last unpaid day of the summer and I spent it in a training, not getting paid. But it was oh, so worth it.

I bonded with the teaching staff at my school. I reviewed some things and learned some others. I made commitments for my classroom.

This is just a snap shot of the day... Five for Friday style.


My school has decided to get started with conscious discipline. Today all the classroom teachers, our sped teacher, counselor and principal were trained in Skill #1--Composure. It was fantastic!

2. Our presenter started the day by showing us How to Make a Bully From Scratch. It is ten minutes long--but so worth it. Go watch it now.

3. I was reminded that connection with children (and grown ups) will lead to cooperation. When someone isn't doing what I want, I need to ask, have I connected with them lately?

4. As the school year approaches--teach routines. What routines do I need to teach? I kinda do this, but could improve A LOT. 

Model (the routine--using the restroom), Map it, Practice it (daily)

What? I should model, map and practice daily? Even after the first couple of days? Yep, I am so going to do this. :)

5. Music. I love how our presenter showed us (by teaching and modeling) how to use songs. For uniting, giving us a break, and energizing us. I have 3 CDs that I use for this, but I don't have Kindness Counts and I really want it. Perhaps Santa will bring it to me...

We are lucky that we will have ongoing training this year (happy dance). This is the first time EVER that someone else is paying for my CD training and that makes me (and my husband) happy. 

Hop on over to Doodle Bugs and read other Five for Fridays--it's fun!

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Saturday, August 2, 2014


August has swept in on me.

It is time for a CURRENTLY from Farley and time to get ready to go back to school.

Good luck to all my friends who have gone back or are getting ready to head back to school.

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Wednesday, July 30, 2014


Day 30 and The Challenge is ending strong!!

What is on my "someday" list?

Someday I want to travel to Europe with my husband.

Someday I want to be good at playing the guitar.

Someday I want see the Grand Canyon.

Someday I want to have a professional goal.

Do you have a "someday" list? What's on it??

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Tuesday, July 29, 2014

I'm Excited, and I'm Just Gonna Share It

Today I am reflecting on what I am most excited for in the upcoming school year (instead of my best day).

As I've mentioned before, my district adopted Wonders for ELA instruction. I am excited about it, because:
1. Someone has done the work to make a sequence, find stories that appropriate for that time in the year, and prepared some lessons for me to follow/enhance/make my own.
2. I will have a whole class set of books to do the whole class lesson. Each student will have a book to look at.
3. There will be way more "stuff" to teach than I will have time for. Now, instead of hunting for things to teach, I will spend my time weeding out what I want to keep and what to slide over.

So, I think the Wonders materials is top on my list, but there are a few more things I am excited about.

A. Second year of using Engage NY math lessons. I really liked them last year, and look forward to using it again this year.

B. Another year of teaching/collaborating with the wonderful Mrs. Jones.

C. Professional growth through the "evaluation" process. I must look at this positively.

D. Becoming a "Together Teacher." 

What are you excited about for the upcoming year? I would love to hear and celebrate with you!
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