Like many Saturday mornings, I lay in bed wondering IF I had anything to Celebrate, this week! I've got worries and concerns about family and friends. The pouring rain had put a damper on my planned walk and meditation at the Pond. I've spent many, many hours this week helping my elderly relatives with financial, health and logistical issues. I did not exercise and was compelled to consume those holiday goodies left behind by the "guests."
Yet, as I lay there, listening to the rain, wondering and pondering, I was reminded that even during the rainy and gloomy moments, if you look closely, there are many things to celebrate, including:
1) That early morning group of students who not too long ago found reading and writing very frustrating, now want to be WRITERS! It started when I did NOT find an appropriate, beginning reader tractor book for a student after some looking at all the appropriate places (such as the Tractor Supply store). The student suggested that I should write a book about tractors; however, I said I was not an expert on tractors. So, that student decided HE should write the book about tractors. His classmates decided they wanted to write about topics that they are personally passionate about, such as trains and princesses. I could almost see Donald Graves smiling down on us.
2) As I prepared documents for Annual Reviews and for my own APPR evidence binders, the reading growth of my students made me smile again, and again, and yet again. I should know that focused, differentiated, assessment driven instruction combined with guided practice, motivation, encouragement, mentoring, and targeted reinforcement makes a difference every time. I am certain Brain Cambourne was smiling down on me at that moment!
3) I missed several groups this week due those meetings I mentioned above, and some field trips caused students to be otherwise engaged. After a week-long spring break, the kids wanted to come to Reading Club and learn. They really did. As M said to me in the hallway, "I really miss Reading Club when you get stuck in meetings!" I smiled and replied, "So do I, buddy!" I am pretty certain we were both smiling at that moment!
4) This weekend, I am headed into the big city, the one with the big stores, big restaurants, big ideas and big crowds of people to celebrate love. A member of our contingent will be looking at some special occasion dresses, those kinds that you wear just once on a special day. I will be thinking about exercising more and eating less so that some day, in the not too distant future, I can look for special occasion dress for that same day! I am sure there will be smiles and happy tears this weekend.