Three Days in a Row

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theschoolmarm.com

theschoolmarm.com

Here she comes. She’s small and she’s a little hunched over. I’ve seen her before, but now it’s been three days in a row.

She shops at Whole Foods, and if she doesn’t have the Whole Foods bag, there’s another in its place.

I imagine she was a teacher. I think it’s because of her short, greyish bob, white blouse and mid-calf length brownish skirts. I wonder if she was mean and carried a ruler in her hand. Or maybe she was kind, and her students always loved her. It’s hard to say, but I find her interesting.

My Phone!

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memegenerator.net

memegenerator.net

I thought it was dead. A goner. When I left home this morning it was fully charged and when I took it out of my laptop bag on the bus to check the time, it was off. I pressed the power button obsessively. Nothing. Held the home button. Nada. Held both together. The screen remained black. Crap!

How would I scan the QR code to know when my transfer bus was coming? Crap! I guess I would just keep turning around to check for the bus as I walked along 86th Street. As I walked, no bus approached. So I started walking through the park.

Now that I was making my way through the beautiful park, how would I capture all the beauty I was seeing? Well… I just looked at it with my eyes, instead of through a phone. Did I really need to capture every flower or tree bud on my phone and post to my Instagram? Of course not. As much as I love sharing photos, it was lovely to enjoy the experience alone.

As I exited the park, I knew I was nearing the school location but couldn’t remember the address. How was I going to confirm the location? Shoot! I crossed Central Park West and walked down 87th Street, where I thought the school was located… but I didn’t see it. Damn! Now what? How did we survive without Google maps? Thankfully there a dude walking toward me with his phone in his hand… so I asked him if he knew where the Dwight School was. He didn’t… Damn. So I asked if he minded checking the address for me… No problem! Turns out I was two blocks away, no big. I thanked him and was on my way.

As I arrived at the school I wondered: how would I tweet photos for EdCamp? Ok now this was getting to me… Once I signed in and found a place to sit in the common area, I plugged my phone into my computer, sure that it would vibrate as soon as I plugged it in. Nope. What the?

So again I obsessively pressed and held the power button. Nothing. I decided to try a wall plug. Nothing. And then another, nothing still. I was convinced my phone was, in fact, dead. So as I sat back at the table, I plugged my phone into my computer one last time, wondering why I’d even bother, but then… it buzzed.

It was alive! And 94% charged.

Post Withdrawal

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I was looking at my post calendar and realized that I haven’t made a post in over a week! Egad! I am having withdrawals!

I came back late from California late on Tuesday night and headed to an awesome leadership event in Virginia the next day soooo I have neglected posting because I’ve been busy!

A few drafts are in the works and will finish those up in the next week. Stay tuned…

 

So Worth It

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This was mentioned a few times at school today during our Dance/Arts Festival – and I’ll say it again.

Despite the head aches, annoyance, frustration and hours spent in dance rehearsals with children … as a teacher, you are always proud when your students perform.

Dancing the Kuku

Dancing the Kuku

Autonomy

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I subscribed to the feeds of Action for Happiness on Facebook. I enjoy following these kinds of non-profits that promote health, happiness and well-being. They offer insight and validity to life when you need it.

The feed below was posted this morning, and it really caught my attention:

Three fundamental needs for human wellbeing: autonomy (feeling in control), competence (feeling capable) and relatedness (feeling connected).

I completely agree and I never really thought that you could capture your well-being in three words (potentially starting with the same letter)…

When I read that post, at that moment I realized why I need a change.

At home, these fundamental needs for well-being are met.

At work, not. I’m missing one of these fundamental needs. I’ve been searching for what what missing. And now it has a name.

I’m missing the A. I don’t have the autonomy I need to feel fulfilled in my job. The “autonomy” isn’t real.

And the sad part is… is has nothing to do with the kids, the teaching, the standards, the curriculum, the professional development, or even the parents. This has to do with micromanagement. And that, I can’t take anymore. It’s time for a new chapter, one the A.

ambulancejunkie.com

ambulancejunkie.com

“Teachers are Gold”

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Those are not my words. Those are the words of one of my eight year boys. He will be a philosopher, no doubt.

And those words of his, made me feel like gold. Love days like this, when I hear words of wisdom from my kids.

ccbreakroom.com

ccbreakroom.com

There are no words of mine that can match his.

Wordless Wednesday #7

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Working is Ruining my Running Career

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Ok well I’m not making running a career, but running after work this week just wasn’t on my agenda. I made it to yoga on Monday but that’s it. Teaching is just way too time consuming. And exhausting. Actually it’s unreasonably time consuming and exhausting.

However, I also blame the darkness. When I get home from work, I feel like I’m supposed to go to bed. I eat, sit down, and it’s dark, and I just want to sleep…

I know, I know, mental blockage. I’m making excuses. But sometimes I want to be the one making excuses because I hear excuses all day long from 8 year olds. Can’t it be my turn for once?

Alright, I’m done. I’ll go running tomorrow. I mean Saturday.

Muslim City Councilman Pleased As Candidates Back School Holidays

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CBS New York

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — With both mayoral candidates supporting the addition of two Muslim holidays to the New York City public school calendar, one city councilman may finally get his wish.

As WCBS 880’s Jim Smith reported Sunday, Councilman Robert Jackson (D-7th) is the only Muslim on the City Council. He has been pushing days off in the school calendar for Muslim holidays for years, sponsoring a resolution that passed the City Council unanimously back in 2009.

[cbs-audio url=”http://cbsnewyork.files.wordpress.com/2013/10/muslimholidays.mp3″ size=”340″ download=”false” name=”Muslim City Councilman Pleased As Candidates Back School Holidays” artist=”WCBS 880’s Jim Smith reports”]

He has called for adding Eid al-Fitr at the end of Ramadan, and Eid al-Adha, which honors the willingness of the prophet Ibrahim to sacrifice his first-born son Ismail, according to published reports.

“If this is the melting pot of our great society, it has to be flexible enough in order to move in a…

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Is This Sustainable?

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This post is a bit of a scatter between scenarios, but I know you’ll get what I’m saying and you will probably agree.

Because my school is environmentally themed, we work with an Education for Sustainability (EfS) consultant.

When we first began our work together aligning our curriculum to EfS in 2010, I really wasn’t sure what this whole thing was going to look like. While I thought the purpose and the content were definitely important and necessary, how were we going to fit these ideas, this language and all this content into daily teaching practices.

We learned a lot of theory and models of thinking. Ok interesting but with the little time we have as teachers to plan and grade and teach and plan and plan and plan, I really just wanted to get to the nitty-gritty of this EfS and plug it into my plans. But there was a reason why we didn’t just jump right in – we wouldn’t have been putting this into practice in a way that would be sustainable for our current practices or our mental models. We needed the time and knowledge for our own mental models to shift to this way of thinking before we can teach it and sustain it in our practices.

This couple of years’ work with the consultant has been productive. Now I deeply understand the purpose of the approach to learning and teaching EfS. Not that I didn’t understand it before, or didn’t think about sustainability before… but now that I can look back on the progression of the work that we’ve done and now knowing some theory is internalized, it is the fabric of how we should be thinking, speaking, teaching, living, etc.

The beauty of our conversations and time together is that our consultant has a way of making sustainability connections to almost anything that we talk about: food, communities, garbage, animals, wedding plans, life lessons, work, cooking. And as she speaks, I listen intently. I am her kool-aid drinker.

So funnily enough, as I was running in Prospect Park for my Rock n’ Roll Brooklyn 10k yesterday morning, I found myself thinking about our conversations from our meeting last week. I noticed I could ask myself the title question at any moment, whatever I am doing, in practically any circumstance:

Can I sustain this pace the entire race?

Will that banana sustain my energy for an hour?

How much longer can I sustain my current career?

How do long-distance runners sustain their bodies when they are worked so hard?

Would I be able to sustain my mental state if I ran a whole marathon?

Will water sustain my need for liquid or should I grab a Gatorade?

While my internal questions in the midst of my run seem silly now, they were important at the time and may contribute to the failure or success of my next running adventure!

But seriously, sustainable thinking and living practices require a lot of attention initially, but become habit over time. A positive habit. A habit that could sustain your happiness, your longevity, your life.