Dear future classroom scholars

Dear future classroom scholars, 
I’m so incredibly excited to meet you. I’ve been waiting to meet you ever since I heard you were coming. I’ve prepared the room for you. I hope you like it. I’ve filled it with books that I cannot wait to crack open and read with you. Im so proud I get to watch you learn and grow. Hopefully you can watch me learn and grow too. I wonder what kinds of things you will be interested in? I wonder if you will love learning just as much as I do. I want you to know I will always be here to support you and I care about you a lot. I hope when you step into our room it feels like home. This is going to be the best year ever! Do you know why? Because you’re a part of my life. ❤️

Love, 

Mrs. F 

Advertisements

When it happens, you feel happiness beating from your heart 

My young daughters and I headed out into the dreary weather for our weekly food shopping trip today. It’s not always easy shopping with children, but it is something that has to be done. Per usual, they packed their purses chock full of doodads and brought their baby dolls along for the ride.
Just as we pulled in to the supermarket, it started to sprinkle. I drove about 8 laps around the parking lot searching for a parking spot fairly close to the entrance. No such luck, but we didn’t mind the sprinkles. My girls had a blast jumping through the puddles. 
My youngest insisted on bringing her baby doll into the store. As she squeezed it into the cup holder attached to the carriage, it got dirty. We averted a crisis and quickly cleaned her up. Baby doll was given a front row seat right by momma in the carriage. 
We stopped to visit the lobsters per usual. We talked about their sizes and made pretend voices like they were talking to each other. As we rounded the corner, we heard a loud “Crash!” from the aisle next to us. Two women shouted, “Glad that wasn’t me!” As I peeked around the corner, a young woman and her father had their heads down as they picked up the boxes of pasta that fell from the shelf. I immediately went over to them and helped clean up. I smiled and told them spilling pasta boxes wasn’t as bad as spilling boxes of Lucky Charms cereal (I admit…I love that cereal!) on your head as you try to grab one box from the highest shelf. They both smiled at me and shared a sincere “Thank you!” As we walked away, I explained to my daughter’s that it’s nice to help people in need and help others look on the bright side. 
Our shopping carriage filled quickly, so by the time we got to the milk aisle, baby doll had to go. I gently placed baby doll into my purse along with the half eaten snacks the girls handed me after telling me they were, “Sooooo hungry!” The girls went to look at the various shades of lipstick while I grabbed items from the last two aisles. 
Phew! We made it to checkout! Zero meltdowns this time and I even resisted the caffeine drink that was staring me down from inside the cooler. The woman in front of me smiled and said, “I like your baby doll.” Hmmm…I totally forgot I had a baby doll hanging outside my purse. Embarrassing! “I saw you in a few aisles and I figured you had kids in the store somewhere. You’re a really good mom.” She proceeded to tell the girls how sweet I was and compliment them on their outfits and manners. I wished her a beautiful afternoon and thanked her for making my day. After she left the girls asked, “Mommy, was that your friend from school?” I replied, “No, just an incredibly kind person. There are a lot of kind people in this world.” 
As we loaded groceries into the back of the car, the girls decided to crawl into the back. Yes, I admit I let them dive over the seats into the front of where they are sitting. I laughed and had fun watching them get stuck. Just as I was finishing up, a couple had approached me and asked to take my carriage. They helped me put the rest of my groceries in the car and said, “We’d be happy to take your cart for you so you don’t have to walk it back in the rain.” I thanked them and told them how sweet they were. The girls asked if I knew them and I replied, “No, just some really kind people. You see, when you do kind things and help other people, good things come back to you. When it happens, it makes you smile and you feel happiness beating from your heart.” 
Just as I turned the ignition, it started to downpour….

When you persevere, press repeat and do it again. Just because you CAN!

Feeling completely weightless, 

waves trickle rain onto your face as it’s kissed by the warm sun,

the energy of the ocean pushes you onto the shore,

your board scratches against the sandy bottom as you come to a halt,

Just close your eyes and smile.


It took almost the entire summer for our youngest daughter to boogie board. I was blessed to watch the moments that led up to this awesome event. Believe me….there were MANY moments.

It has taken her years to build up confidence in order to swim in the ocean without clinging to my leg. Her older sister was able to show her the ropes and encouraged her to swim alongside her. She challenged herself to push through moments when the waves slapped her in the face, while (finally) breaking the habit of not screaming for a towel every time water gets in her eyes. Trusting in us every time we would call out “here comes a wave” with her body facing the shore as her 4-year-old fingertips clutched the board and she held it to her chest. I watched a wave crash over her head, and while I’m yelling “hold onto your board!”….she…let…go. As she took a deep breath and flipped under the water, panic filled my heart and I rushed by her side. She nervously looked up at me and I smiled back. “You did it!!!! Woohooo!” I yelled. Her eyes began to twinkle, a big white smile spread across her cheeks, and she said, “Lets do it again! But this time I’m a gonna hold onto the board.” 

To watch a child overcome her fears and persevere was truly an experience I tucked into my heart and will always cherish. 

Our 4-year-old taught me a lesson that day:

1. Take risks- You never know how far you’ll go unless you take that risk. Even if you fail, get back up and keep trying!

2. Be confident- If you can’t be confident, find someone who will support you and believes in you. 

3. Smile- Enjoy every single moment. Life is so short so why not enjoy the journey. It’s ok to sit back, close your eyes, and just smile.

4. Have fun- Remember what it’s like to be a kid again. Sometimes childhood memories are the best memories, so get out there and go make some new ones.

5. Repeat- Perseverance is not easy, when you accomplish it…press repeat and do it again! Just because you CAN! 

It’s not my goal, but it’s worth the journey 

As an adult, I like to set attainable goals for myself and my future. One thing that I love to share with our students is my passion for running, more importantly, running races to raise money for local charities. 

Two months ago, I was approached by the trainer at my gym. She had asked me to help her train to run her first 10 mile road race. My first thought was… my trainer was asking me? I’ve run the race a few times and I have to admit, it’s one of my absolute favorites! However, its been a couple years since I’ve raced. I was slightly nervous about time commitments needed for training (some days it can be quite a challenge to get out of the house with two young children.) Since it is summertime and I’m currently on break from school, I jumped at the idea and agreed to help her achieve her goal to run a 10 mile race. I love helping people train to run and I also love talking while I run. Luckily for me, my trainer doesn’t mind my over abundance of energy and chatter. 

Together, we sketched out an idea for our weekly runs gradually building our endurance to 10 miles. For our first run together, we set a goal to run 4 miles. Well…I tricked her into running almost 6 miles that day. She did awesome!!!! As the weeks went by we checked in often and ran a couple long runs together. The night before our big race she texted me. I thought maybe she was excited or nervous, however, she was in tears because her knee was feeling quite sore. I reassured her we would get through it and I promised not to leave her side throughout the entire race.

 I committed to helping her and I promised to help her along the way. 

The very next day we set out to run the 10 mile roadrace. The weather could not have been more perfect for running, cloudy and cool. There were thousands of runners lined up along the street ready to start. We cheered when the race started and listened as the crowd cheer us on with music from the Rocky IV soundtrack blasting in the background. I talked my trainer through her first 10 mile race. I told her how strong and amazing she looked as she ran, I told her how proud I was, and how we would work hard all the way to the finish line. I believed in her 110% and for 10 miles, I encouraged her and checked in often. I grabbed her hand as we ran through the finish line together and we cheered! It was wonderful! The smile on her face was priceless. 

Helping someone else achieve their goal filled my heart so full it almost burst with pride. I truly enjoyed the journey with her every step of the way. That evening, she sent me a text message. It said, “Thank you soooo much for doing this with me. I cannot tell you how much it meant to me that you didn’t give up on me even though i ran so slow … you’re amazing and a wonderful friend.” My heart could not have been more full. I’m pretty sure it was smiling. 

Here are my 7 takeaways to goal set and/or help someone achieve their goal: 

1. Plan it out- Create a plan that works best for you

2. Invest time- Don’t rush, take your time and enjoy every step of the journey 

3. Stay positive and be your best cheerleader- Sit back and appreciate positive encouragement, even if it’s To: You From: You

4. Be realistic- Set realistic goals in a realistic timeframe and don’t sell yourself short. You got this! 

5. Be proud- Celebrate your accomplishments and the accomplishments of others 

6. Encourage someone to set and accomplish a goal- Use your story to help inspire others. We can all get by with a little help from our friends 

7. Don’t be afraid to push yourself beyond your comfort zone- We need to develop a growth mindset approach for our own goals too

Reflect upon your present Blessings  

Sometimes in life, we experience moments that knock the wind right out of our sails. These moments bring out raw emotion and often leave us puzzled and asking “why?” 

I experienced one of those moments and I am still feeling it. A dear family friend of mine, who was my age, passed away unexpectedly this week. She was an amazing teacher who courageously battled cancer and had recently finished her treatments. During the time of her treatments, my girls and I sent her colorful drawings to brighten her day and remind her that she is loved. Her husband told us she adored the pictures we sent each week.

My heart flutters with emotions as each passing day goes by. I hold on tight to my family because the thought of them…well….because I don’t ever want to let them go. I go to work with a smile because each day with our students is a gift. I promise to cherish these last few weeks with our students. I promise to fill each day with kindness, positivity, and love. We must stop and reflect upon each day, because life itself truly is a blessing. 
“Reflect upon your present blessings — of which every man has many — not on your past misfortunes, of which all men have some.” 

~Charles Dickens

Lean In 

“The heart is a bloom

Shoots up through the stony ground   

There’s no room      

No space to rent in this town”

I have days where my goals and ambitions get the best of me. I give myself an internal pep talk, hoping it seals the cracks and puts the pep back into my step. Many times…it does! Having a positive outlook and giving to others are my roadmap to happiness. I feel that my time on this earth is so precious, I must do everything I can to make a difference for others. Yet, somedays my goals and ambitions are not yet met.

“You’re out of luck

And the reason that you had to care

The traffic is stuck

And you’re not moving anywhere”

Do I seek out support? Do I revise my goals & ambitions? What would I want my students to do if they were in this situation?

Monday after school, those exact thoughts rolled through my mind like waves crashing in the ocean. I decided to take a step back from thinking about not yet meeting my goals and visit the gym. I didn’t feel like going, but I know I always feel better after a solid workout. 
The trainer explained the workout and told us to split into groups. I split into what I thought was a group only to realize I was the only one. Everyone else had joined another group. My heart sank into my chest for a second, but I gave myself another internal positive pep talk. Just as I began lifting, someone walked over to me with a big smile and said, “I’ll be your moral support.” This kind stranger had no idea just how much her presence had meant to me. I was tired of giving myself another pep talk. What I truly needed was moral support. 

“You thought you’d found a friend

To take you out of this place

Someone you could lend a hand

In return for grace”

We cheered each other on as we worked out side-by-side. At the end of the workout I thanked her for being my moral support and appreciated how she joined my group. She looked at me with that same smile and said, “No, thank you for your moral support. It was just what I needed.” 

Wait…what? She needed support too? 


“It’s a beautiful day

Sky falls, you feel like

It’s a beautiful day

Don’t let it get away”

I’ve learned that it’s important to lean in. 

  • Lean in so you can be in tune with the beauty that surrounds you. 
  • Lean in and embrace the “not so beautiful” parts of a beautiful day. 
  • Lean in to others because even though they might not tell you, we can sense when they may need you and you may need them the most…even if it’s a complete stranger. 

“It was a beautiful day

Don’t let it get away

Beautiful day”

Beautiful Day: U2 

U2 live at Slane Castle: https://youtu.be/mSZv9KKf0g0

 

Let your light shine like a firework 

I had a #momfail moment this past weekend. It wasn’t a moment that I could have predicted nor could I have planned for. I guess that’s why it still stings when I think about it.
This past Sunday was a gorgeous warm sunny day. I was excited to teach Sunday School with my edubestie at our local church. My daughters and I stopped to use the bathroom before heading into the classroom. As we left, I held the door open for my daughters. I started talking to them as we were heading out the door. As I let go of the door, my three-year-old cried out, “My fingers! My fingers!” Oblivious to her screams at that exact moment, I’m looking up at friends in church and smiling at them. I absorbed the panicked looks on their faces and looked back at my daughters. I think time froze for a few seconds. Ok, it probably didn’t, but I felt like it did. I heard my daughter’s panicked cry for help this time and quickly opened the door so she could pull her crushed teensy tiny fingers out of the tiny space between the door hinge. She was shaking, crying, and her fingers had already become swollen and purple.

“Do you ever feel like a plastic bag

Drifting through the wind wanting to start again

Do you ever feel, feel so paper-thin

Like a house of cards one blow from caving in”

 My immediate reaction was to leave and seek the comfort of home. My second reaction was to pray as I questioned what to do next. I held onto my daughter with comfort and grace and sang to her. We walked into the classroom and my edubestie helped comfort “us.” She gave my daughter a stuffed animal to squeeze and I helped her put ice on her fingers. We ended up staying until the very end. I had a wonderful Sunday school lesson, and we got through the bump in our road together.

“Do you know that there’s still a chance for you

Cause there’s a spark in you

You just gotta ignite the light

And let it shine

Just own the night

Like the Fourth of July”

As a teacher…and a mom…my mind has preset lesson plans for each day. Sometimes I wish I could change the way I mentally pre-plan. I am flexible within those plans when it comes to extending time, modifying, making accommodations, and even setting goals. However, when something occurs that I did not predict…it takes my brain (and my level of anxiety) longer to calibrate and adapt to change. It makes me wonder do some students also feel this way? Do I have a fixed mindset? Will I always have that mom/teacher way of thinking? 

No matter how much we plan, prepare, practice, and protect, we cannot control everything and mistakes WILL happen. It is incredibly hard to accept sometimes. However, once accepted, we are able to reflect, revise our thinking, and continue to let the light shine within us. 

“Cause baby, you’re a firework

Come on, show ’em what you’re worth

Make ’em go, “Aah, aah, aah”

As you shoot across the sky-y-y

Baby, you’re a firework

Come on, let your colors burst

Make ’em go, “Aah, aah, aah”

You’re gonna leave them all in awe, awe, awe”

-Katy Perry “Firework”