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Pausing for Renewal Throughout the Day

Self-care means giving yourself permission to pause.                                                                       —Cecilia Tran The buzz of everyday school life can easily have us running around without much focus. In my role as a...

Doing the Writing in a Unit

It may seem simple to you, but every time I look at that shelf, I am filled with pride. The shelf hangs—perfectly straight at eye level in my bedroom. On...

Flipping Negative Teacher Emotions

I am generally a happy person. I am content in my home and work life, I usually look on the bright side, and I try to find the humor in...

Three-Word Meditation

Meditation is the clearing of the mind so you can proceed at your best. Many years ago, I was in my car listening to public radio on the way to...

Recharging with My Tribe

Being able to express myself is a huge part of my self-care routine.                                                                                       Cleo Wade When I reach the final days of the school year, I know I’m not...

Creating a Manifesto

The better you know yourself, the better your relationship with the rest of the world.                                                                                         —Toni Collette The words rattled around my ears and tapped the low beat of...

A Place to Belong

It is early spring, and like all teachers, I am gearing up for the wild ride of school days that race like two-track roller coasters starting in April through the...

Channeling Monet

She wanted to come into my class to “volunteer and observe.” I understood the desire to volunteer, but I struggled to make sense of her purpose in observing. Usually when...

New Words for the New Year

The clean slate of January 1 refreshes our visions of our higher selves. The potential of the New Year gives us energy and inspires newness: new diets, new interests, new...

Making Space: Entering Lessons Mindfully

If you enter a physical space, such as your home, with your right foot (literally), the act of pausing, deliberating, focusing—even if just for a few seconds—helps you focus on...

Giving Up Television

I try to be a super teacher. I really do. I’ll take every child with every alphabet soup of labels, your “nonreaders,” your “I’m not a writer!,” your class clown,...

Before and After Pictures: Documenting Progress

“Aww….,” groaned Nina’s third graders. She had just given the signal to end literature circle discussions. I completely understand why the third graders were so reluctant to stop. I had...

A Case of the Perennial Annuals

There is a flower Within my heart, Daisy, Daisy! Planted one day By a glancing dart, Planted by Daisy Bell! From “Daisy Bell” (“A Bicycle Built for Two”) written by...

Love the One(s) You’re With

Not long ago, I had the privilege of attending an awesome conference with a whole host of inquisitive, reflective, and energized English Language Arts educators. During our “down” time (we’re...

Finding Meaning and Joy in Teaching: A Podcast with Meenoo Rami

Franki Sibberson talks about finding meaning and joy in teaching with Meenoo Rami, the author of Thrive: 5 Ways to (Re)Invigorate Your Teaching.

Keep Going

If you have a positive attitude and constantly strive to give your best effort, eventually you will overcome your immediate problems and find you are ready for greater challenges.                                                                               ...

Why Write?

 I went through a period of time when I didn’t want to write. For more than five years, I’d established and maintained a daily writing habit. Then I found myself...

Laundry Line Luxuries

One bulb at a time. There was no other way to do it. No shortcuts — simply loving the slow process of planting. Loving the work as it unfolded. Loving...

SPREAD: Teaching and a Balanced Life

Franklin planners. To do lists. Electronic calendars. Books describing how to delegate . . . or prioritize  . . . or simplify abound. I have tried most of them, inching...

Teachers’ Night Out: Reclaiming Our Fearlessness

The performer dangled high above the stage, wavy blonde hair cascading down her back as she skillfully wove her feet from one section of suspended white sash to the next,...

Teacher Vulnerability

Dear Mrs. Johnson, This has been just a wonderful year of school for Molly.  You have reignited her love of learning and I can’t thank you enough for that. This...