SOLC- Day 1- March 1, 2016
Yesterday a colleague (and the mom of one of my current students) brought me in a belated birthday gift. I have long talked about my desire for a purple super hero-type cape. When I held the gift bag I knew that one would be inside and I was so excited. Kim is the queen of design- she is a creative person who loves to make things. The cape was more than I could have hoped for. She took in a lot of what she and her son know about me. The tie had purple polka dots (polka dots always make me cheerful). Purple is my favorite color, so win- win. On the back, there was a glitter bedecked open book (yes, I am that book crazy person always pushing books on people and sharing my love for them) with a capital “V” (for Victor- my last name) in purple and violet on the open pages. I LOVE it! It was just what I needed after a challenging few weeks. It was great to know that some people “get” what it is all about for me- spreading a love of learning while having fun in our learning community. It definitely gave me some extra pep in my step and the students loved seeing it too. It was hard to take it off at the end of the day.
We had a visiting author (Julia Cook– an amazing speaker and former school counselor- look for her books, they are great for addressing so many issues) yesterday speaking to 3-5th grade. Last week we had a different author and because it was World Read Aloud Day we had an author Skype and several special read-aloud experiences. When the email came this weekend (while I was at a professional development weekend workshop) about this unplanned author visit opportunity I wavered. First I said yes, then I looked at my schedule and saw parent conferences looming Thursday and Friday. So I said no. Then Monday morning came and several of us were talking about how motivating she was and I realized that I did not want to deprive my students of hearing her speak. The EAL coteacher was okay with this (it was her lesson we would miss going hear Julia speak), so off we went. One of the first things she did was to tell the students to thank their teachers “for being Gumby”- a cultural reference that many may have missed. She said that she knew that this came up at the last minute but that she was glad that so many were able to come hear her speak, as she had stories to share and tips about being a writer. She talked about the importance of sharing your stories- no matter how young or old you are. She also talked about the need for teachers to keep one toe in childhood (I may have caressed my cape at this point). For an hour, we were all captivated by her.
Later in the day, I met with the “slicers” in my class. We started meeting last week and will meet once a week throughout the challenge. We shared some ideas for slicing in the days ahead and I was energized by their enthusiasm. I showed them the virtual badges that Kathleen and Stacey had created and they agreed that they were “cool”. Last night I wanted to draft my first slice, but instead I spent longer than it should have taken me changing the images of badges into badges that I could post on their Blogger accounts and this morning I woke up feeling excited for their first day. Students from my last year’s class have shared the SOLCC with their new teachers and more students are getting involved.
My cape reminded me of my super power. I get to share my work days with kids who I love. I am able to pass on my love of reading, writing, and more which in turn gives me the will to keep learning and continue the cycle. I am glad to have this physical representation of so much that I love and, in fact, I wore it again this afternoon in my after school activity, Book Love.