Monthly Archives: September 2014

#BeBrave and Use Your Teacher Voice


The number one “rule” in my class is to Be Brave.  We talk about how being brave can mean different things.  Brave doesn’t always equate “superhero” brave.  In our class, being brave means doing something, trying something, or saying something – even if we are afraid. More and more, I find myself in a position where I need to practice what I preach with my students.

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Showing I can #bebrave – even though I’m afraid of heights

Many times, teachers are afraid to say things.  Afraid to stand up against a policy.  Afraid to disagree with a colleague.  Afraid to confront a parent. Or, even – afraid to say something that has worked for them. For many teachers, it is difficult to share accomplishments in their classrooms or professional lives.  I am one of those.  I never want to come across as bragging. “Tooting my own horn” is not really my style. Yes – I write this blog, and some could consider this blog as horn tooting.  In my mind though, writing is something that comes naturally to me.  My process isn’t to do something in my classroom to write about.  I write about what I’m doing in my classroom.  There is a huge part of me that takes a deep breath every time I click publish.  A part of me that isn’t sure someone will read it – other than my mom or sister! And then, someone does.  Someone reads it.  They like it or leave a comment or share the post. The validation feels good.  What also feels good is that I can share these things and not feel bad about it. I’m not bragging – I’m sharing.  Thank goodness for others that have shared along the way.  I have learned so much from them.

In my classroom, and perhaps your own, I encourage my students to feel confidence and pride.  To be proud of themselves when they accomplish something. To be proud of yourself = #bebrave.  Be brave and say “I’m proud” or “I worked hard” or “I did it”!

Today, I am choosing to #bebrave and use my teacher voice and say “I’m proud” and “I worked hard”.  Beyond the Stoplight reached out to me regarding my experience doing away with “stoplight” behavior management system in my classroom.  The interview was just published last night.  I am honored – and humbled – and proud to share it with you.

Use your teacher voice and share something you’re proud of!




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Fantasy Draft



It’s that time of year friends – FOOTBALL! On Saturdays (and some Thursdays) you will find my television and attention focused on College Gameday on ESPN.  You may hear me yelling all the way from Charleston while watching my beloved Georgia Bulldogs.

Also during this time, I become the “commercial breaks” for my fiance and his Fantasy Football shenanigans.  The TV on Sundays and Mondays (and sometimes Thursdays) becomes his domain.  He bogarts all the internet bandwidth doing research and preparing his teams for the various leagues he has teams associated with. You may hear him yelling all the the way from Charleston while watching several different games across several different devices.

Yesterday was the first draft of the fantasy season.  Our evening was planned all around it. While I watched him focus on creating the best possible line up from the best possible players, I began to wonder about a different kind of fantasy draft.

If you could draft the ultimate group of people to work with – who would you choose? The available draftees could be anyone from history, literature, or your real everyday life.  Perhaps years experience would be taken into account but, stats would probably be things that cannot be measured with numbers, but with feelings.

So, here is my Fantasy Draft – I encourage you to share your own.

Extraordinary People from my Ordinary Everyday Life: Former and current colleagues that inspire me

The creativity of these three bring joy to school
Laura Bashaw
Crystal Mills
Katie Jones

The professionalism, integrity, and downright grit of these people keep me working hard
Kristi Meeuwse
Adriana Jarrard
Meghan Driggers
Johne Cobb

UGA’s finest mentors and people I strive to be like
JoBeth Allen
Andy Plemmons
Thomas VanSoelen

Characters I Wish Were Real People:   My favorites who serve as reminders of greatness

Atticus Finch – To Kill A Mockingbird
Scout Finch – To Kill A Mockingbird
Fern Arable – Charlotte’s Web
Charlotte A. Cavatica – Charlotte’s Web
Mufasa – The Lion King
Ellie and Miah – If You Come Softly
Professor McGonagall – Harry Potter
Mary Poppins

Authors/Illustrators I Wish I Could Talk to Everyday:  If only I could plan lessons directly with these people!

Mo Willems
Jaqueline Woodson
Frank McCourt
Kevin Henkes
Kadir Nelson
David Catrow
Patricia Polacco

People I Follow on Social Media: People I’d love to actually see each day

Matt B. Gomez
Pernille Ripp
Amy Night
Angela Maiers



Filed under Things That Matter