Archive | January, 2023

Slow and steady

17 Jan

I needed my OLW today.

When I walked into school this morning, I should have felt refreshed after a long weekend. Alas, it had been a busy weekend and I awoke this morning at three, things swirling in my head. As I entered my room, I felt a little overwhelmed by all the things I needed to do today.

 I chose steady as my word for 2023.  When I feel overwhelmed or as though there is too much to do, I often recite the moral from Aesop’s The Hare and the Tortoise: slow and steady wins the race.

I remember seeing a saying on the wall in someone’s house when I was a kid. It said, “The hurrier I go, the behinder I get.” I thought it funny as a kid – I knew the grammar was wrong and this might be one of my earliest memories of word play. Now, decades later, I appreciate the sentiment to the saying.

My room felt warm this morning. As I felt myself getting wound up by the needs of the day, I looked over at the bulletin board where I had posted my word, and the words of my students. They too had chosen a word of the year. When we made them the first week back, I told that that when they felt stressed or overwhelmed, they could look at their word on the wall and get themselves back on track. Mine got me there this morning.

The Art of Tidying

3 Jan

I hate tidying. I am a stacker of paper and piler of stuff. It’s my ethos.

And yet, every once in a while, I hit a critical mass and tidying happens. It’s really just reorganization. Sometimes, it is just repiling. And so it was in the days after Christmas.

I am serving on the 2023 Sibert Award Committee, and my 500ish square foot condominium has been housing a growing number of books. If our shared spreadsheet is accurate, I have over 400 nonfiction books.

I had a fantastic system, organizing them in 11 boxes, in alphabetical order. Thank goodness I kept all those boxes from Scholastic Book Fair. They’ve seen me through several moves and are perfect for organizing the books. But they started taking over my home.

The resort started with pulling out the chapter books that will become part of my classroom library and boxing them together in two boxes. They will move to my classroom this week. The rest were reorganized into seven boxes that have been redeployed around my home, opening up some spaces that had been filled with stacked boxes. I had hoped to donate these to the Children’s Book Bank over the break, but, like schools, they were closed until today. I will make a call this week to be sure they want the books. I have a “Plan B” in case they don’t.

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