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Currently--September 2015


Welcome friends!

Life has been a bit of a TSUNAMI of late what with the start of school fourteen days ago and the work required "after hours" for my online reading endorsement.  Since I don't have time to write or create much "new" content for my beloved blog, I thought I'd start to share past posts that you may enjoy or relate to!  Enjoy this one from September 2015......


The first weeks of the new school year are always the hardest, but finding positivity and perseverance in the things you love will see you through!


Whew!  After surviving  two full weeks plus four days of school, I must say that this three-day weekend is a welcome respite!

This tired teacher plans to take advantage of the following activities....

Time to sleep, time to read, and time to hang out with family and friends are all on my agenda.  I'm looking forward to one last family get-together at the lake on Sunday, and one last lounging time at the pool with friends on Monday.

Today is my time for resting while writing and reflecting though, so here's my September contribution to Farley's monthly CURRENTLY party over at Oh Boy 4th Grade !  

 Farley Currently




The first weeks of the new school year are always the hardest, but finding positivity and perseverance in the things you love will see you through!




The first weeks of the new school year are always the hardest, but finding positivity and perseverance in the things you love will see you through!


This live version of Coming Around Again by Carly Simon is one of my favorites. It was the theme song from the movie based on Nora Ephron's Heartburn. It reminds me to stay positive and hopeful and patient in my daily life.  I especially love that her children join her on stage and sing harmony.  It reminds me of the many times I have sung to or sung with my own son and daughter. Music has always provided a happy, peaceful, and enjoyable place for our trio to retreat and find solace. 

Let The River Run is the anthem from the movie Working Girl staring Melanie Griffith and Joan Cusack.  It's message of self-improvement and moving forward is one that resonates deeply as I approach the anniversary of my 6th year as a single mother and independent woman.

A musical evening of "Zen Jen Unplugged" would not be complete without listening or singing along to a song that is so much more than the soundtrack to a Heinz ketchup commercial for me!  The final verse of Anticipation reminds me to "stay right here" in the moment, not look too far ahead, and not to miss the good times being enjoyed.  



The first weeks of the new school year are always the hardest, but finding positivity and perseverance in the things you love will see you through!



These delicious (and probably not very medicinal) throat lozenges have seen me through almost four days of sickness now, and bring back fond memories of my father.  He used to bring them home from "the five-and-dime store" in downtown Toledo.  If he knew that we were home sick from school, he would take the time to stop on his lunch hour to pick them up and help us feel better. 

Thoughts of his thoughtfulness--and the syrupy cherry flavor of these cough drops--saw me through long school days of coughing, sneezing, and wheezing.  Staying home sick during the third week of school just wasn't an option when my sub folder wasn't updated yet and the crew in Room #2 needed me!



The first weeks of the new school year are always the hardest, but finding positivity and perseverance in the things you love will see you through!



Last February, I had the pleasure of hanging out at the Midwest Blogger Meet-Up in 
French Lick, Indiana with Em from Curious Firsties, Jenny from Luckeyfrog's Lilypad, and Amanda from A Very Curious Class.  

This silly picture captures the fun we had at the TpT and Go Noodle-sponsored Pajama Party!  We hope to have a mini-reunion of sorts soon to celebrate fun and friendship, and are thinking we might attend the November Author/Illustrator Conference at the Mazza Museum in Findlay, Ohio!  We are truly looking forward to just hanging out together and being the 
book nerd-ish, blogger buddies we are!



The first weeks of the new school year are always the hardest, but finding positivity and perseverance in the things you love will see you through!



Does anyone else just want a twin, clone, or personal assistant to take care of all things that are not school-related at the beginning of August and through September?  You know, like that robot maid from The Jetsons?  Someone to do and fold the laundry, shop for groceries, run errands, and remember to run the sweeper and use the Swiffer?  It is always such a struggle.  I often just have to sleep instead of do chores because I am so tired on the weekdays when we first start back.  My brain is mush and my body is exhausted.  When I finally sit down on my couch, I usually doze off there! The struggle to juggle it all is real.  May the "balance" between real-life and school-life find me soon so that I do not look and feel like this....


The first weeks of the new school year are always the hardest, but finding positivity and perseverance in the things you love will see you through!




The first weeks of the new school year are always the hardest, but finding positivity and perseverance in the things you love will see you through!




I am working hard to embrace, accept and appreciate my own talents, as well as my idiosyncracies these days.  I have always been a creative, passionate, strong-willed dreamer.  Sometimes those qualities don't jive well in practical or professional realms.  I've been trying to honor "the way I am made" more though, speaking out candidly for how educational methods and materials need to be developmentally appropriate, and encouraging the children in my care to recognize and appreciate their own unique qualities.  

I shared Patty Lovell and David Catrow's Mollie Lou Mellon picture books with my little ones this past week, and had to grin knowingly when one of them made this observation...

 "Mrs. Reynolds, I bet you were a lot like her when you were a little girl!"  

My response was......

"Yessiree!  I continue to "walk proud, smile big, and sing loud!"




The first weeks of the new school year are always the hardest, but finding positivity and perseverance in the things you love will see you through!




The first weeks of the new school year are always the hardest, but finding positivity and perseverance in the things you love will see you through!



I will close this post now with a list of my goals for this long weekend and coming week.....

*To complete some of the classroom projects I lugged home.  I need to make lots of "call cards" and "call sticks" for my 28 students so that I am sure that they are all getting a fair opportunity to participate in our class discussions and activities.  I own stock in craft sticks and binder rings this year!

*To finish laminating and cutting my classroom library labels so that my students can find their "just right books" easily when it is time to book shop every morning!  It warms my heart to see them flocking to the "teacher favorites" shelf, but we need to learn to put our selections back in the right bins!

*To finish reading Lynda Mullaly Hunt's Fish In A Tree, and then share it with all of the other teachers in my building.  It is a haunting and heartfelt story of a dyslexic girl named Ally who finally finds a champion in a teacher named Mr. Daniels.  HE, IS, MY, NEW, HERO.  I am only half-way through the story, and am already inspired to be more like him. He and Mr. Browne from R.J. Palaccio's Wonder are stellar examples of educators who celebrate their students' individual talents, strengths, and interests.

If you have not read Fish In A Tree, please do.  Think Patricia Polacco's Thank You, Mr. Falker and Junkyard Wonders without the fabulous illustrations--but with the same rich language and empathy-- and you've got the right idea.

As always, thanks so much for sharing my story.  Continue to keep calm, carry on,  hold a song in your heart, and teach your children well.

Peace out,


























Jennifer Reynolds
9 Comments
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9 comments:

  1. I am so glad I've found your blog! I love your colorful, visual way of explaining yourself! And, as a sixth grade teacher, I'm reading Fish in a Tree to one of my classes (I have three classes, so three different books so that I don't get bored. This year it's Fish in a Tree, Yankee Girl, and The War that Saved My Life - all great books!)

    I also get the near faceplants that come with the first weeks of teaching. Oh my! I forget what exhaustion feels like over the summer, and it hits hard in those first few weeks of school!

    Marion

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  2. I just read Molly Lou Mellon to my students this past week! It's one of my favorite books to read at the beginning of the year. I get what you mean though. I feel as if I walk to the beat of a different drum. I'm also working on embracing that my differences are alright and I'm finding my tribe of other like-minded thinkers...which does help. Good luck and better health wishes to you this school year!

    Melissa Williams
    First Grade Frame of Mind

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Keep moving and grooving to the rhythms of what inspires you and makes you happy, Melissa! Let it influence your teaching and benefit your students! You won't regret it! Thanks for stopping by my blog!
      ~Jennifer

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  3. Amazing that a second grader recognized the similarities between you and Molly Lou! You must have already established a strong sense of community! Hope you have a great year!

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    Replies
    1. We spend a LOT of time getting to know each other very well in Room #2, Deb! I make myself the first "Star of the Week" and bring in lots of pictures, artifacts, and "stuff" from my real life so that they know me as both their teacher and a real person. Establishing strong relationships and earning their trust is a key factor in my teacher for the first month of school!
      ~Jennifer

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  4. Looking forward to reading Molly Lou Lemon and Fish In A Tree. :) Thank you for stopping by my blog and leaving such an encouraging message! Wishing you a fabulous year!

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    Replies
    1. You are most welcome! I hope you enjoy both books!
      ~Jennifer

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  5. FIsh in a Tree is on my shelf but I haven't read it yet. One of my goals is to read more this year, so I definitely gotta finish that one. And I totally know what you mean about getting it all done. Luckily now, without the bf I have a lot more time on my hands, but that leaves me sad for other reasons, but hey, my laundry is done and groceries are stocked. I guess we need to appreciate all the good stuff, right? Like the really nice note you left me on my blog, thank you :-)
    Have a great week!
    Michelle

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    Replies
    1. You are most welcome for the really nice note! I am going to leave another one as soon as I finish my Sunday Letters post!
      Warm Regards,
      ~Jennifer

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