Thankfulness Thursdays

It was definitely hard to get up this morning.

Our Thanksgiving Break begins at 3:15pm sharp tomorrow.

And let me tell you, I can’t wait.

But today, on this Thankfulness Thursday,

I am thankful for my job, because it is a job I love,

even when it’s hard to get up in the morning…

I’m thankful that I have amazing coworkers.

They make me laugh and cheer me on when I need it.

They work hard, which makes me work hard too.

They let me vent when I need to,

and lend a helping hand with no questions asked.

I’m thankful for the flexibility of our curriculum,

which doesn’t force me to teach my lessons in a certain way,

from a certain manual, at a certain time of day.

Today during our Reader’s Workshop,

I looked around and there were so many different types of learning happening!

One group was listening to a chapter book on CD,

another playing Apples to Apples with a parent volunteer.

In another corner of the room, ten students were hard at work on narrative stories,

while I had a few students out of the room in intervention reading groups.

All the while, I sat with another group teaching a word work game,

while also facilitating a few students in choosing a writing topic.

I could never structure my Reading Workshop like this in a public school.

Though sometimes it seems like a lot of work to design

differentiated activities for each of my kids on their reading level,

it’s days like this when I see what all that work is for.

The best part was reflecting with my kiddos afterwards,

discussing how important it is to work quietly during this time.

“I have to admit my body felt sleepy because I was so relaxed

and I was enjoying my book so much,” one student shared.

Though I really hope she wouldn’t fall asleep during class,

it tells me that she loves this time of day as much as I do.

I’m thankful that I have a job to go to,

and I’m not longer on unemployment.

Man, that was a rough time in my life.

I would awake to a ringing phone

offering me a substitute teaching job at an unknown school.

Or, I would awake to the sunshine,

rudely reminding me that I was unemployed

and all the pink-slipped teachers had won the priority for jobs that day.

It was the most frustrating time because all I wanted to do

was feel like I was contributing to society.

I honestly almost looked into volunteering somewhere

just so I could feel like I had a purpose.

Let me tell you, I’m glad those days are over.

My dad always told me that choosing where you work is a big decision.

It’s hard to go to a job when you hate it.

It makes life feel like work.

I’m so glad my job doesn’t feel like work.

Well, most days.

It definitely was hard work waking up this morning,

but I am thankful I have something to wake up for.

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Thankfulness Thursdays – On the Radio

Back again for Thankfulness Thursdays,

inspired by the Domestic Fashionista.

I’ve enjoyed the time each week reflecting on at least one thing

that I am thankful for or that brings me happiness.

And today I am thankful for music.

I am an undercover country music lover.

Two of my go-to radio presets are country music stations.

Which is strange to me,

because I’ve been more of an alternative music listener for most of my life.

But I have to admit, all these political radio ads

forced me to turn the dial more frequently in the last few weeks.

And surprisingly, I think I’ve found a new favorite.

It’s a newer station in Sacramento, 94.7

but it reminds me of a station I used to love years ago.

About three years ago, there was a radio station in Sacramento

known as KWOD 106.5.

In my opinion, this was one of the greatest stations in the city.

Listening to this station created a happy place for me.

I honestly don’t think I appreciated music the way I do today

before I found KWOD.

In fact, I have fond memories of nodding my head to the music on KWOD,

half asleep on a yellow bus to and from my high school.

Not to mention those of my best friend, Jana, and I claiming

that if we heard a Beastie Boys song on the way to school,

it was sure to be a good day.

But if we heard Sublime’s “Bad Fish”

the day was not looking up.

(Why we decided on these rules, I’ll never know.)

KWOD’s DJ’s were always the coolest.

And I’m not lying when I say there was one in particular

that whenever he spoke, I felt like he was speaking to me personally,

like he could read my mind and understood me.

They’d play the best stretches of music,

where after each one ended and another began,

I’d find myself saying to myself “Ahhhh! I love this one too!”

KWOD also held a special place in my heart

because when I was a senior in high school

I got to host my own radio show as a guest DJ one evening.

I remember feeling so cool bringing my CD wallet,

covered in post-its of the order I wanted to play certain songs.

Ahhhh, those were the days of good radio.

It’s funny.  As I was driving to work this morning,

I heard “Sabotage” on 94.7,

and out of habit, I thought to myself

Beastie Boys! Today’s going to be a good day.

Perhaps the “good radio” is back in Sac.

For now, anyway.

Thankfulness Thursdays

Back for week 3 of Thankfulness Thursdays

thanks to the Domestic Fashionista.

This week was the start to one of my favorite parts of Fall:

NBA Basketball.

Though I have been posting an awful lot

about my love for the San Francisco Giants

my heart will always belong to the Sacramento Kings first.

Basketball season means time spent beside my family

cheering, laughing, and stat trading

in front of a game I love to watch.

It means a little less sleep a few nights a week

because you better believe I don’t miss a game without an incredible excuse.

There’s nothing I love more than blaming my exhaustion

on staying up past my bedtime just so I could see the end of the game.

I won’t lie… Basketball season is the reason

I recently upgraded my cable service just so I wouldn’t miss a game.

Last year I even kept the Kings schedule in my car,

so that if I was in the car during game time,

at least I could listen to the play call on the radio.

A little extreme…I know.

But this is coming from the girl

who called her Daddy at 7am the day of the “last” Kings game

crying because I had tickets to the game and he didn’t.

I was feeling guilty.  How could I not watch this last game with him?

(Luckily, that wasn’t the last game.)

Sounds a little silly, but really, it’s the reason I’m thankful today.

Because to me, this game stands for family time.

Whether it be on the couch in front of the television for TNT Thursdays,

or sitting in our season ticket seats at Sleep Train Arena,

I am so very thankful for basketball season!

Thankfulness Thursday

Many of my students do not have the childhood that I had long ago.

Some do not come home to two parents

nor do they come home to ones that drive them to soccer practice

or nag them to clean their room.

They might come home to McDonalds for dinner

or a screaming match between mom and her boyfriend.

Some don’t have a bedtime,

and some don’t have their own room.

As a teacher, I try to bring any kind of version of “normalcy”

and try to stick to any kind of promises I make.

I try to give them stability.

I am thankful today for my dad.

My amazing, generous, thoughtful father.

Who today, gave an hour of his time

just to read and bond with a few of my students

over a book about one of his all-time favorite baseball players.

Roberto Clemente.

He started a “Boys Book Club” that he’ll be hosting for a month

with four boys in my class.

I felt so proud listening to him tell them about

this legendary player, someone these boys had never heard of.

When Dad and I spoke prior to plan the book club meeting,

I was wagering it’d take about 15-20 minutes.

I was wrong.

Today my dad sat and read with these four boys for 40 minutes.

When they finished, I took the time to go and ask each one,

“How’d it go?”

My heart melted watching their faces turn to smiles

as they told me all the new things they learned

and what a great time they had.

I felt so proud.

That’s my dad!

How lucky I am to have a dad who’d want to come in

and spend time with my students.

Who’d want to come in and actually try to make an impact

teaching and sharing lessons of the world.

Thats my dad!

Today I’m thankful for Dad!

Thankfulness Thursdays

I’ve been a little MIA lately.

I guess you could say I’ve been a little uninspired.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve sat in front of my computer screen

and waited for words to come.

Or sometimes they’d arrive, only for me to quickly erase them and log out.

I thrive on positivity and I don’t do well with negativity.

When surrounded by grumpiness, it starts to take over me.

And the last thing I wanted to do was taint my own blog with negative ideas.

But I’m back!  And with such a great reason

Thankfulness Thursdays

brought to you by the Domestic Fashionista and my good friend Olivia.

Today I am thankful for inspiration.

Today I saw “Won’t Back Down” with Maggie Gyllenhaal .

 Teaching was meant for me.

In college, I tried to steer away from it.

 My family is full of teachers, and I was determined to be my own person.  Do my own thing.

But it’s something I’m good at, something I love.

And I found myself realizing that wasn’t something I could deny any longer.

After watching that movie, though sometimes the future of education seems like a mess,

I felt proud.  I felt inspired.

And I’m thankful for that.

Because even on the toughest days, its that feeling that keeps me going.