Tag Archives: #SOL18

walking toward





I am beginning to see

she’s not walking away

from the life we have built

but walking toward

the life she is building

for her future…

and she’s not walking alone.



My daughter headed back to college yesterday after her ‘spring’ break.  It is so hard to say goodbye but I am so proud of her. She knows what she wants and she is making it happen. I would not want anything different for her. And so my heart breaks at the same time that it soars.  This is what all those tough parenting moments bring us to…and it is so bittersweet!





Breathe in.
Breathe out.

And in between

lies a peace

conceived of


and surrender.


Continuing my mindful practice this year…

I found that I wanted to be more present and purposeful in my life (even though I thought I had always tried to do that) so I have added some practices to my life that are truly helping. I take a Yin Yoga class each week (mediation infused postures), I have added books to my library (Wherever You Go There You Are, Happy Teachers Change the World, Sitting Still Like a Frog, Mindful Teaching and Teaching Mindfulness, Mindfulness for Teachers, etc) and I use an app called Headspace every day for 3-15 minute meditations as well as one called Calm that also added a classroom app free for teachers this year.

What I am discovering…

No one can stop time, but we can extend each moment with mindful attention.  Each breath is we take is a conduit for life; taking in what we need and releasing what we don’t. With each breath we can invite peace in ,and expel distress. With awareness we can choose our response to each moment, but when we rush through our days focusing on the moments ahead rather than the one we are in, we relinquish that choice.
I hope you take some time today to slow down, breathe, and choose peace.


You poured out your

gratitude and I drank  it inWAIT

like the goblet receives wine,

realizing the gift of

silent consideration

was all you asked of me. 

To talk would

break the spell that

held our hearts as one

in a space of compassion.


Once a year our school district has an amazing day of professional development with a slate of offering that teachers self-select. This year (yesterday)there were several focusing on self-care. I ended my day in a mindfulness session in which we partnered with someone we did not know well. Our task was for one to speak for several minutes on what they are grateful for and the other to listen silently-observing how we respond to their sharing. Many found it difficult not to respond with our “active listening” strategies, but to remain a silent observer. Our facilitator shared the acronym that has helped her be a more mindful listener-WAIT. She reminded us that responding has its place as long as we are aware of why we are talking. Are we truly receiving or making it about us?

Delicious food for thought!


last dance


Wind IMG_2186


a poor

dance partner






#micropoetry    #SOL18

Maine endured a terrific wind storm last fall that left many without power for days on end. We could hear the wind through the forest and the crashing of timber. It wasn’t until this winter, when I could strap on snowshoes and scale the mounds of snow deep into the woods,  that I witnessed evidence of that destructive dance.


face of hope


They rise from their desks
and take to the street
with cries of heartbreak
but not defeat.
With determined fire
they strive to cope
and rise from the ashes,
the face of hope.



At a time when turning on the news generally causes me to cringe with despair, my heart soared at the sight of students across the country walking out of their classrooms yesterday. (My son would have been among them had we not had our millionth snow day).
I feel optimistic for our future watching these young men and women speak truth to power. I am grateful to each and every one of them! This is the face of hope!

snow haiku

snow falls- flake by flake

but rises fast- foot by foot

moves slow- scoop by scoop



Here in Maine, we are in the middle of our third nor’easter in two weeks that has dumped at least a foot each time. This is our 8th snow day (2nd this week) and winter isn’t over.

Fortunately, we’ve had melting in between storms to keep the snow from burying us.
Unfortunately, the timing hasn’t been great for keeping school in session.
Fortunately, I love snow and it’s beauty.
Unfortunately, I also love summer and it’s beauty. I want to have some time away from the classroom to enjoy it before June ends! 

My Zen word for the day is acceptance.




We don’t need
to harden
our schools,
Our students’
are hard enough.
They need
soft places
to pursue

#MicroPoetry #SOL18

There is no Amendment more sacred than this declaration….”We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

I am sickened by the talk of “hardening our schools” It’s a ‘get tough’ soundbite that has disastrous implications for our nation’s public school children. Arming teachers will not deter a suicidal killer; they won’t be scared, but our children will be.  This vision of school looks more like prisons or warzones. Our children need books, not guns…calm, not violence…teachers, not body guards.  There is so much wrong with this thinking that I can barely breathe thinking about it. This Twitter Thread demonstrates how hard it is to put teachers in the position of killing one of their own.






The thing about
is I always
   stumble a bit
      to hit the reset
but after I wipe
    the sleep from my eyes
       the view from here
is spectacular.




#MicroPoetry   #SOL18

The first few moments of Mondays are always the hardest. My bed feels so warm, my weekend was filled with family, my time was my own…the alarm disconnects me from all that. I usually lie in bed for a bit and let the week come into focus, and when it does I am usually eager to greet it. I love my job. I love the students. I love the teachers I work with. My worlds just overlap a bit too abruptly at the crack of dawn on Mondays.

Happy Monday, Slicers.


Don’t mind
Choosing to spend a little time
Away from family in exchange for
Meaningful learning and
Professional connections to
Support our passion and growth as teachers.



#MicroPoetry  #SOL18

Yesterday I attend an EdCamp in rural Maine organized by teachers…for teachers. If you have never attended an EdCamp, I cannot urge you more vociferously.  I always feel so energized after immersing myself in a day of self-directed learning with such passionate, life-long learners. A big thank you to the teachers at Maranacook Community School who put in many long hours to make #EdCamp207–a FREE professional development– so successful.  Thank you also, to every teacher who stepped up to share and collaborate and make this day so meaningful. If you’d like to check out our learning you can click on our Sessions Schedule for links to notes and resources.



you get good news
and no one knows
the private celebration
you are having

no one knew
the private struggle
you were living.


#MicroPoetry   #SOL18

There are many variations on the quote by Wendy Mass, Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about.”  The older I get, the more I find this is true. The students we teach, the colleagues we work with side by side, and the friends we love all face struggles and challenges in life that we know nothing about. Life is filled with joys, but also suffering. When we face our own challenges and stresses we can appreciate joys more sweetly, and hopefully anticipate the silent suffering of others more compassionately.  A recent health scare brought this home to me. I am grateful for good news, but I am reminded it that not everyone does, and we often never know.