Author Archives: wahooteacher

Rocketbook #sol19

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I discovered a new writing tool just before Christmas when shopping on Amazon and I’ve found that it is working well for me.  The new tool is called a Rocketbook Everlast and it’s an erasable notebook.  I can write in the notebook and enjoy a traditional paper/pen experience before scanning the pages.  I can email the pages or send them to Google Drive for later reference (you can also send pages to Evernote, Dropbox, and other cloud-based destinations).  Then, with a damp cloth, I can erase the pages and begin again.  

I think that this tool has helped me as a writer.  I’ve written quite a bit in the past couple of weeks and I’ve noticed a lack of inhibition when writing in the Rocketbook.  While I love brand new blank notebooks that are more traditional, I sometimes feel intimidated.  What if my words aren’t worthy of the notebook? Sometimes I hesitate to sully the pristine pages of a new notebook.  I didn’t feel this way the first time I used the Rocketbook.  I think there’s freedom in knowing that I can scan those pages, erase the pages, and start writing again.  I also like having a digital copy of my handwritten pages because I can’t second-guess what I’ve written.  The words have been saved, even when I’m not sure if they’re the right words or the best words.  I’m looking forward to many more writing days with the Rocketbook!

 

                      Rocketbook notebooks are designed to be used with Frixion erasable pens.

 

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Impostor Syndrome #sol19

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Impostor syndrome.  Two little words.  Five syllables.  Sixteen letters.  That’s all.  So why do I sometimes allow these two little words to become dominant? 

I signed up for Teach Write’s Time to Write virtual writing workshop and we met for the first time last week.  It was during that workshop that I acknowledged the power of impostor syndrome.  I had danced around the idea that impostor syndrome was negatively affecting my writing life, but actually saying the words aloud was powerful.  I had a couple of professional pieces of writing that were stagnating in Google Drive.  Every time I opened one of the documents and tried to work on them, I questioned everything from my ideas to my word choices to the sources I’d cited.  I asked myself if anyone would really be interested in my thoughts on the subjects before closing the documents with frustration. 

Sharing my experience with impostor syndrome with Jennifer and the others in the workshop group was incredibly freeing.  I recognized that I had folks who understood exactly what I meant and who were ready to encourage me to cast out those thoughts of being an impostor and to put my words out there for others to read.  I’m not saying that I’ve completely eradicated all thoughts of impostor syndrome.  I’m sure that it will try to creep back in as I write.  But I know that I’m not alone as a writer and that feeling is priceless.

 

 

My Happy List #sol19

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It’s the first day of the new year and I’ve been staring at a blank page for nearly an hour.  I wrote a little, scratched out a little, and wrote again.  I tried out a few ideas, but nothing felt right, at least not for today.  So, I did some digging and rediscovered an idea from a fellow slicer, Leigh Ann Eck.  Leigh Ann wrote a post about her happy list and I realized that this was a perfect prompt for the first day of this new year.  You can click here to read Leigh Ann’s post.

My Happy List

  • Spending time with my family
  • New books to read
  • A slice of my Mom’s coconut cake
  • Family photos, especially of those family members no longer with us
  • InkJoy gel pens
  • A fully charged Kindle loaded with books
  • Not having to set an alarm during break
  • A cup of hot tea
  • Watching UVa’s sports teams
  • Listening to my students’ stories
  • Hallmark Christmas movies and a bowl of popcorn
  • Cortisone shots that are helping conquer the pain in my knees
  • Getting that email from the library that a book on hold is now available

What’s on your happy list as we begin this new year?

 

 

 

 

 

One digit makes all the difference #sol18

I recently upgraded my smartphone, but experienced some issues with transferring my contacts. As a result, I ended up having to manually enter each number. Thankfully, I had a record of the numbers. Apparently, though, I wasn’t careful enough during the process, as I discovered last night😊

My cousin hosted the Christmas Eve dinner last night and I snapped photographs throughout the evening. Later, I sent him several of the pictures via text message. However, the response that I received perplexed me. The first message was simply a series of question marks. My cousin is a jokester, so I figured he was just being funny. I sent additional pictures and received the following text in response.

Again, I figured he was messing with me. I started to send another picture, but something caused me to pause and look closely at the number. I realized that one digit was incorrect. T never received any of the messages! I’d sent the pictures to a stranger!

I composed and sent a brief message of apology to the person who’d mistakenly received my texts and pictures. Then, I corrected T’s phone number and resent all of the evening’s photos.

I learned an important lesson from this experience. One digit really does make all the difference!

“You did a good job!” #sol18

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This year, I have a part in my school’s winter music program. Students in grades 3-5 are performing, along with faculty and staff members. We’ve put a lot of work into the show and we had our dress rehearsal yesterday in preparation for two shows today.  The first show, this morning, was for the whole school and folks from the local nursing home.  The second show, this evening, is for families and members of the community. 

As one of the fifth graders walked to his bus yesterday, he stopped and said, “You did a good job, Ms. Floyd!” Then he headed on to his bus.  Today, he stopped me in the hall to chat about the show.  I had to hide a laugh when he said, “We only get to give it two times after all this work!”

This student is not one I serve, so we usually have limited interactions.  I think that opportunities to connect with all of the students is one of the best things about being involved in these programs because students see us in a different light.  I’m normally the reading specialist who works with the kids who need support, but when preparing for the program, I’m also one of their fellow performers and there are common experiences that we all share.  They see their and principal and teachers learning lines (and flubbing them!).  They see us all laughing, joking and teasing each other and they experience the incredible sense of camaraderie that grows during the rehearsals and performances.  So, it’s only natural to chat in the hallways or the cafeteria or the bus line.

So, as I wait to go on stage, I’m sad that it is the almost the end of the journey for this show.  We’ve had so much fun and we’ve made some wonderful memories.  We’ve also gotten know each other even better through this shared experience!

 

 

Program 12-18-18

 

 

 

 

Thinking like a character #sol18

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My principal I recently presented a session a conference held at Disney World and had the opportunity to spend some time at the different parks.  My principal is a seasoned Disney visitor, so I felt as though I had my own personal tour guide.  She knew so many ins-and-outs and made sure that I had a phenomenal Disney experience!

One afternoon, we spent some time at Disney’s Animal Kingdom and we did the Kilimanjaro Safari.  While we enjoyed the ride and snapped a lot of photos of some amazing animals, one thought caught me off guard.  As we paused because several animals had camped out in the middle of the road ahead of us, I found myself thinking of a character from a book.  This particular character is a zoologist and for some reason, I found myself considering what this character would think about this experience.  How would this character critique the experience? What would he think about the presentation of the animals? I could imagine this particular character giving monologues describing each animal like he often did in the books.  I could envision this character taking the microphone away from the tour guide and giving his own tour.

I snapped back to reality as we began to bounce over the trail again.  I must really be a book nerd to think about a book character in the middle of a Disney ride!

 

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Learning my lines #sol18

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Every year, we have two major programs at my school. The December program includes students in grades three through five while kindergarten through second grade students perform in the spring.  In addition to songs performed by the students, faculty members, including the principal, typically play a variety of roles in each production. For example, I played a clown in the program last spring. This year, our holiday program has a country music theme and over the past couple of weeks I’ve been trying to learn my lines. Today we had a rehearsal and I discovered that I still need to do a lot of work because I don’t quite have my lines down yet.  This is a little worrisome given that the show is next Tuesday night. So, as I work on laundry and spend some much-needed time in my exercise bike, I’ve been repeating my lines over and over, hoping that they finally stick!