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Sunday, July 3, 2016

Summer Bucket List....

Today is day three of the daily blogging challenge from Big Time Literacy (BTL). Today it's suggested that we write about our summer bucket list! Read everyone's list and join in if you want to!
Summer Bucket List 2016

1. Read!!!! Read for pleasure, read to become a better teacher, read to become a better person.....
Books I've completed thus far include:
  • Takedown Twenty by Janet Evanovich. It's a Stephanie Plum novel and they are super easy/fast to read. 
  • 14th Deadly Sin by James Patterson and Maxine Paetro. My cousin got me started on this series when we were visiting him in 2009. I'm waiting anxiously for our library to get the newest book in! 
Those are the two I have completed. Now, I have a plethora of books I am currently reading! The books that actually have meat to them take longer to read and they are also overwhelming at times and I have to put them down and move to something else for awhile. I am currently reading the following:
  • Guided Math: A Framework for Mathematics Instruction by Laney Sammons. I am in charge of a book study for this book this summer and I'm trying to stay faithful. But this is one of those old school books where the chapters are LONG and intense and I'm generally overwhelmed long before I complete the chapter. Plus, I'm trying to be studious and take notes. I bought this on my Kindle. The nice thing about doing this is that you have the book immediately. But downside, you have to write notes in a notebook, not the margins. 
  • Fostering Resilient Learners: Strategies for Creating a Trauma-Sensitive Classroom by Kristin Souers with Pete Hall. I am taking a book study on this. I am one of three general education classroom teacher in the study, everyone else is SPED or counseling of some sort. This is an easy read. I can read it almost as quickly as a novel. But it has a lot of good stuff in it and I get overwhelmed. I teach in a high poverty district and there is so much more I want to say, but I won't say it here. I believe that kids and parents who've been affected significantly by trauma are everywhere, not just in high poverty areas. But I also believe that we have a very high percentage of these families. The focus is to help teachers become aware that trauma indeed affects the brain and the child's ability to learn and we have to address the behaviors exhibited first before we can address academics. Then it gives us strategies to avoid the behaviors and address the behaviors. 
  • Easy to Love, Difficult to Discipline by Becky Bailey. Somehow, somewhere, I got off track in my parenting. I was a very consistent parent at one time. And I have known for a great long time that it is important to be direct and not speak in metaphors or generalities. One of the hardest things for me growing up was when my Dad would say, "you know the difference between right and wrong and I expect you to do the right thing." This might be okay for a teen who had been taught what the household expectations were, but it was overwhelming and confusing for me as a child. So I KNOW this. Anyway.... this book complements the Fostering Resilient Learners book and talks about ways to stay in the thinking part of your brain and get out of the limbic part. I am only in chapter 3. And it has been a strange trip with the tween already. I am determined to get my life back, so I am determined to do something different in regards to parenting. Her therapist and I discussed how things will likely get worse before they get better. So true. So true.Yesterday I cleaned and rearranged my bedroom and made it into a place I will enjoy spending time. Today I am trading doorknobs so I have a place to take a time out and to help enforce the boundaries I am setting. The biggie is bedtime. I NEED some time to myself and bedtime rituals seem to stretch out later and later and later, some nights as late as 11:30. The boundary is that I'm willing to say goodnights and pray with her as late as 10 pm (in the summer) and she doesn't have to go to sleep at that time, but she has to stay in her room after that. Not being willing to do this will be a major challenge behavior for my child and I anticipate some meltdowns, crying and violence. So that's why I'm getting myself a lock. I KNOW how to shut her down and shut her up, but I don't choose to parent that way anymore. 
So reading a chunk at a time takes a great deal of time and energy this summer! My goal is finish all of these books and some more "just for fun and pleasure" books.

Self care is a biggie and really important as a teacher. So "little things" are high on the list. Gardening. I have not cleaned out my flower garden for two years. Depression just took over. Gardening is life giving to me. And last year my dad made me a really nice garden on the south side of my porch and I just gave up on it halfway through the summer. Anywho.... my summer bucket list self-care includes yardwork, gardening and making the outside of my house look like a home again and not like an abandoned shack. My Dad and I have discussed making a patio on the North side of my house and it has been a goal for a couple years already.

PORTLAND!!! I have never been to the west coast or a west coast state at all! But July 18 and 19 I will be in Portland, Oregon with our new school counselor (and principal) for Safe and Civil Schools training with Dr. Randy Sprick. My principal approached me about going to this and it seemed like a fantastic opportunity! I can't wait!

Teacher Tribe! My teaching tribe is on my bucket list. We went to the teacher store in Wichita at the end of May and it was so much fun! We are planning a trip to Lindsborg (little Sweden) next week. This is a town just a few miles from me (about 15 minutes) and it's quaint and super fun. There's a fun mexican restaurant there and unique shopping opportunities. But connecting with other teachers and sharing life, talking about teaching ambitions and classroom do's and don't's.... priceless.

Along the lines of self care I really want to start getting healthier. I have been more active this summer than I have been the last few years. But I have not gotten into a healthy routine of foods that are good for me and exercise of any kind. I would like to establish an exercise routine of some kind before school starts in August. So I better get busy.

My bucket list for beyond this summer includes a meet up with Michelle. But I don't think it is in my financial realm this year. But I would LOVE to meet face-to-face. My life is richer because of my blogging friends!


  1. Such a great list, and I think you've knocked out tomorrow's post which is the shelfie list! :-)
    Portland sounds amazing, I've never been there!
    Yes, we will figure out a meet up. I thought for sure I'd be at the TpT conference this summer, but I've refocused my goals now with Arbonne, which also gets me a little healthier and well-ier (trying to craft a word out of wellness there, not sure if it worked!) :-) The school year balance is always a struggle and takes so much time and effort!
    See ya manana! :-)

    1. Well,not to expose my ignorance, but I wasn't sure if Shelfie Life was about books or not. I suspected but wasn't sure. But I have a book bucket list I can add. :)