Tag Archives: One Little Word

OLW….the quarterly report

20 Oct

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My One Little Word for 2015 was shift.I had three main areas where I planned for shift to happen:

I want to shift the way I think about my job.

We are talking about instructional shifts at school.

I will shift the way I spend my free time.

The new job: You know the old saying  Be careful what you wish for because you just might get it.  Well I got my wish. I moved to middle school and it has been a natural fit. I feel challenged and exhilarated.

Instructional shifts: Middle school is also working through some instructional shifts, specifically around writing. These don’t seem like shifts to me because everything is new to me this year, but some teachers across the district are struggling. We are using the TCRWP Units of Study and all the 6th grade teachers at my school are on board. This is my professional learning community and we are helping each other out with the implementation of Units of Study. You can see why this has been a good shift.

Free time: I’ve read mostly debut YA this year, but as the deadline for our shortlist arrives (Nov. 30 for committee members, public announcement in early December) I’ve been reading more variety. As I anticipated, I haven’t knit much this year, but I picked it back up last week, beginning the first of my Christmas knitting project. I read over 70 books for the Morris Committee, a job I have loved. It will be hard to say goodbye to that commitment, but it does open up some time for me to do other things. Things, like knitting, I’ve put aside.

Will I choose  a new OLW for 2016? I don’t know. This year’s word didn’t guide me, as much as it gave me a focus for my reflection. Maybe that is enough.

The Big Shift

2 Jun

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On New Year’s Eve day, I decided that my OLW would be SHIFT.  My post included this

I want to shift the way I think about my job. I’ve had 4 jobs in 4 years since the library job was eliminated. This is the year I plan to make my final shift. Either I will get a middle school job, or I will shift my thinking about being an elementary school teacher and stay there.

Well, sometimes, shift happens.

It didn’t look promising. I asked for a transfer, but when transfers were announced in late April, I didn’t get one. Although, alter last year’s unsuccessful attempts, I had vowed never to interview again, I decided to look at  job postings and apply if something looked interesting.

Sure enough, something interesting came up right away. My former teaching partner had an 8th grade Humanities position open on her team. I applied, her principal asked mine some questions. But no interview was forthcoming.

The following week, a middles school I was interested in posted three humanities jobs. Although I had interviewed there unsuccessfully last year, I applied to all three.  The posting closed Monday. I was contacted for an interview on Tuesday. They were interviewing Thursday, Friday, Monday and Tuesday after school.  I chose Friday. I didn’t want to stew about it all weekend.

I did all this without telling my teammates. I had informed them last year and it worried them for nothing. This year, figuring my chances were slim, I decided to tell them only if there was something to tell. So I snuck my interview outfit into my classroom and changed in the adult bathroom in a different part of the school before slipping out, unnoticed, on Friday afternoon.

There were ten people on the interview team. There were no outrageous questions. I told them about myself, my philosophy of teaching reading and writing, how I develop class rapport, what I know about teaching the gifted and how I contribute to a collaborative team. I was in and out in 30 minutes, which I took to be a bad sign.

On the drive home, I was convinced I had bombed. Again. I spoke too fast. My answers were too general and not specific enough. I didn’t say some of the brilliant things I had rehearsed in my head.  I would really never interview again.

Wednesday, my principal informed me she’d had a reference call. Could it be?

Thursday I had a message to call Human Resources. HR does everything by e-mail. The fact that a person wanted to talk to me could only be good. I called. no answer. Called again and left a message detailing when I had lunch and plan time. They called back during lunch and offered me a job teaching 6th grade Humanities in their program for the highly gifted.  I guess my interview went better than I thought.

Telling my team was awkward, but it went better than I thought. Last week, I told my class and the news when out in the school newsletter.

We have nine more days of school.  The goodbyes are a few days from now, but I’m not thinking about that yet. At this point, I am still floating on air.

Revisiting my one little word #SOL15

23 Mar

Unknown

The lab results from my annual physical are in. There’s mostly good news. but, there are small problems. Despite eating healthy green the week before I went for the physical, my blood sugar and cholesterol were a bit above where they would be. Not so high we need to intervene medically, but high enough that I have to do something.

My OLW for 2015 is Shift, and my doctor’s prescription is more exercise and healthier eating.

I used to be obsessed with making soup. Every weekend, I would make a pot of soup, divide it into  bowls for the week and freeze the extra. When I did that, I had good labs. So, here it is my first day of spring break and I will be leafing through my favorite soup recipe books looking for things I can make this week so I can stock up and go back to work prepared to be a healthier eater.

Wondering at my two favorite soup cookbooks? Here they are

Twelve Months of Monastery Soups by Brother Victor D’Avila-Latourrette and The Soup Bible by Debra Mayhew.

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Happy New Year’s Eve!

31 Dec

No New year’s resolutions for me.This is the first year, though, that I am taking up the idea of One Little Word. My OLW for 2015 is

Screen Shot 2014-12-30 at 3.48.49 PM.

Shift can be a noun and a verb, so there will be actions and consequences.

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Here are the main reasons why I chose this word:

A shift can be a small change or seismic.

I want to shift the way I think about my job. I’ve had 4 jobs in 4 years since the library job was eliminated. This is the year I plan to make my final shift. Either I will get a middle school job, or I will shift my thinking about being an elementary school teacher and stay there.

We are talking about instructional shifts at school. There’s been some resistance. I’m going to do my best as we go down this road and shift my thoughts away from the negativity I hear from colleagues who are less excited about these changes.

I will shift the way I spend my free time.  My spare time has been full of reading,  knitting and dog rescue, but some committee work I’ll be part of this year will require changes (shifts) in how I spend my spare time.

Starting tomorrow, I will be a Cybils Round 2 judge. This committee meets virtually until mid February.

Cybils-Logo-2014-Rnd2

Even more exciting than that, I have been selected to sit on the 2016 William C. Morris YA Debut Committee.This is a commitment that runs from Feb 1,  2015 tho Feb 1, 2016.

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 This means I will be reading A LOT of YA debut fiction. I might not have time to knit. OMG! According to everything I’ve been told so far, this might become an all-consuming extra-curricular activity. But I’m excited about it. I will have to go to ALA meetings in June 2015 (San Francisco) and January 2016 (Boston).  I’m willing to shift some priorities to make this happen.

Favorite words: a Slice of Life Story

30 Dec

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I love words. That is not really surprising to those who know me. I read and write a lot. I speak English and Spanish well, have taught French and learned Danish while living in Denmark for a year. I’ve been trying to think of my One Little Word (OLW) and I think I’ve been overthinking it. So, instead of writing about my OLW, I will just write about some words I really like.

Bungalow: I just love the way this words roll out of my mouth. I think this was the first word I fell in love with. I first came across it when we moved to Abitibi Canyon, when I was in grade 2. It was a company town set up around the hydro-electric dam.  The houses were set up in 2 circles: the old colony and the new colony. We lived in the old colony, first in a 2 story green house, then in a pink bungalow where I had my own room for the first time ever.

Hygge, hyggelig: These are 2 Danish words that are hard to translate. The first is the verb; the second the adjective. They are usually translated into some form of cozy or coziness, but that doesn’t really capture the essence of these words. Here are Danes explaining it

Se demander: this French verb is generally translated as to wonder, to ask oneself. I fell in love with this word in  French class at the University of Toronto, where my instructor, a middle-aged French woman had the cutest way of saying “I wonder” in English. It is a verb of self-reflection and curiosity.

Moist:  Moist sound like what it is. A perfect word, really.

Bubble: This is just a funny word. try saying it when you are angry.

Behoove:  A nice verb to use when you want someone to do something, but don’t want to sound preachy or bossy, though that is what you are being.

What are your favorite words?

Randy Ribay

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