It's time to CELEBRATE This Week with Ruth Ayres from Discover. Play. Build.  Every Saturday, Ruth invites us all to celebrate (and share our celebrations).  What an amazing way to reflect on the week, rekindle the joy we felt and share our happiness with others!  For more information, visit the Celebrate This Week page.

Life is truly about celebrating - not just the huge moments, but the mundane, every day, ordinary moments that deserve their chance to shine!  

  1. I was a couch potato...and I peer pressured my husband into being one also!  Now this may sound completely awful but...OH.THE.BLISS!  My husband and I are usually running around like lunatics and the first day of relaxing felt...odd.  We felt guilty.  We felt unproductive.  We felt lazy.  But little by little we relaxed into a wonderful rhythm of reading (Sisters Grimm for me), napping and watching an episode of Once Upon A Time.  This was our first break where we haven't traveled and I was worried that we would not be able to relax at home.  But we did!  It was a good reminder for us to just let our bodies and brains unwind once in a while!
  2. I spent time with friends - a dinner here, a lunch date there and I felt rejuvenated.  Besides forcing, I mean allowing me to get out of my pajamas once in a while, reconnecting with friends allowed me to laugh, reminisce and dream.  Sometimes I think that kids seem more carefree (though I know their lives are just as complicated as ours...and without the same power) because they are simply more connected with friends and enjoying the bliss of companionship.
  3. Finally, I cleaned up!  Another really exciting one, I know!  But honestly, I have realized over the past few years that my mood is SERIOUSLY affected by the environment around me.  So I plunged into cleaning my "retreat" which I would like to enjoy more often next year!  The main step was to simply get rid of A LOT of random "stuff" that has accumulated.  I want to start the year by de-cluttering both tangible and intangible extras to make room for all that I love and cherish!

I hope to make this a regular habit and I CAN'T WAIT to get back to my students and share classroom celebrations here as well!
Yesterday, my class had that Magic Moment.

If you're a teacher, you know exactly what that moment is.  

It's the beginning of the day and the kids are coming in as you greet them.  Then suddenly, you have to step out of the room for some reason - to talk with a parent, because some catastrophe is going on down the hall, whatever - and as you are dealing with this you are sweating.  With each passing minute, your heart is pounding because you are wondering what is going on inside your classroom.  What are they getting themselves into at this moment?

And then you walk in.

They have started their routines.  They are doing exactly what they are supposed to be doing.  They are even doing exactly what you are supposed to be doing.  In fact, they don't seem to even notice you are gone.

And that's when you realize that the Magic Moment has happened in your class....and it is beautiful.

My class this year is the most energetic class I have ever had.  They are physically active.  At any given point, I can guarantee you that someone is: doing the "Worm" or contorting themselves into some yoga pose that would make even the most dedicated yogi jealous.  They are also chatty.  And curious.  And intense.  And young.  And rambunctious.  And silly.  

And yet...

When I walked in, they had finished their morning routine and had gathered in a community circle.  They had already chosen "Happy Wednesday" in ASL as their morning greeting, decided who was going to go first and even made room for me in the circle for when I walked in. 

After 5 seconds of confusion followed by 30 seconds of pride I felt...sheepish.  Why have I ever doubted this group?  Why was I surprised that they would have their Magic Moment so early in the year? Was it because I had bought into all the stereotypes about a class full of active boys?  Did I allow their flailing arms and farting jokes to blind me from seeing their creative independent spirits?  

I still need a lot of reflection time to process this but I know that I had a Magic Moment too.  And I will now see my class in a different more magical light...even if that light shines on someone doing the "Worm" or bouncing up and down. 

My heart is definitely a nerdy heart because I couldn't help but get giddy at this challenge!  Goal setting?  Check!  A specific period of time to meet that goal?  Check!  Group support by the most encouraging group of professionals out there (I mean teachers and no I am not biased...)?  Check!  Public shaming (I mean, accountability) to keep me focused?  Check!

So...what the heck am I talking about?  NerdLution (although I secretly call it NerdOlution in my head)!  NerdLution is a (dare I say it?) movement where you pick a resolution and work at it for 50 days.  Oh, and you blog and tweet about it - #NerdLution - to keep everyone motivated.  You can read all about how it started on Franki and Mary Lee's blog - or on Colby Sharp's blog or a zillion other blogs I tend to stalk.  The point is, a lot of amazing teacher-people are doing this and the support will be inspiring, motivating and probably hilarious!

My plan:
  • Write for 30 minutes every day.  Every. Day.  Even on days I claim I have no time...I really do.  I want to balance between personal writing and professional writing but that may be a Round Two decision.  Right now, I just need to write!
  • Move for 30 minutes every day.  I might go the gym, walk, take a dance class, whatever, as long as I am moving and exercising!
  • Read (personal reading) for 30 minutes every day.  I can read a lot of professional reading but I always short change myself when it comes to my personal reading...I think it's because as a teacher, my professional reading is both fascinating and quite personal.  But I do miss my historical mysteries!

Alright, so I have said it!  I am in!  Yes, I know that I am a couple of days late.  The old me would have just waited for Round 2.  But the new NerdLution-inspired me is starting right now!