You have heard Thought not Often enough That what you Do every day Matters Teaching little minds Touching little hearts Guiding little souls Influencing the next Generation for The better- But today I want to say It is you who matters Your mind Your heart Your soul Whether shouted From the rooftops Or whispered On the breeze My hope is that On this day This truth Covers your Every fear Every hope And renews Your heart
Yesterday was my last day at school. My heart is overflowing. So many sweet notes and hugs. There remains much to reflect on after teaching these many years. Time…
I wrote this as a goodbye and an encouragement for my school friends and colleagues. Maybe someone else needs to hear the same message. ❤️
There are so many factors currently affecting morale among educators. It is easy to feel weighed down. Challenges are real, as are celebrations. I remind myself often to look for the good. And the funny. Knowing they will help balance the frustrating and the heart-breaking.
Scenes from school are intended to show just a tiny glimpse of the moments that brought a smile. ❤️Hope you enjoy! Think I’ll go take a nap!
First music lesson objectives for kindergarten: Rules help us. Music is a treasure.
During kindergarten last week, I asked if they had rules at home. Several yelled out No! But then there were answers such as-Don’t jump on the furniture! Don’t jump on the bed! Don’t jump off the balcony! And the final answer-Don’t smoke in the house!
First graders were practicing keeping a steady beat. But end-of-the-day restlessness set in. The kiddos and me. One little friend sensed my frustration.
Come on, Mrs. Morris! Let’s find that steady beat in our hearts!
I was greeting fourth-grade students at the door. Good morning! Have a seat around the circle. As one little boy passed by, he said You look beautiful today.
I know that face It’s a year older But, still, the face Of a child The smile A bit more Confident You were one of my favorites that year Yes I remember Kind Hard-working Friendly Artistic Your face Why could I not remember your name? Hours later And miles away My mind clears A name appears That’s it! Remembering Makes me smile
Last night was meet the teacher time at school. Former students often return with their younger siblings to say hello. One stopped by my table. I was so glad to see him. We talked about the previous school year. I asked if he was taking an art class. Yes! He smiled.
Tomorrow is the first day of this school year. There will be so many faces, old and new. And though it may take a while to remember their names, connections will begin with their smiles.
I love Colorado! Our family has taken many vacations to this beautiful state. We are currently here with our adult children. We have been relaxing and enjoying the cooler temps and beautiful surroundings.
Today was a family hike. And it affected me in a way I had not expected.
I knew this hike would be challenging. 6.2 miles with an elevation gain of 941.6 ft., beginning at an elevation of 8,913 ft. But the thought of family time witnessing mountain scenery, wildflowers, and a waterfall was motivating. The views did not disappoint! But that was not what consumed my thoughts as we trekked up and back down this mountain trail.
No doubt, my hiking pace would be the slowest of the group. All the kids are in their twenties. And Gart is in a little better shape, stronger. This truth was quickly realized as we headed down, or should I say, up the trail.
I am at a disadvantage, I thought.
I was bringing up the rear. Keeping my own pace. Telling myself that was ok. But also falling behind. And we were just getting started. And then this thought popped into my head.
Is this how some students feel at school? Ones facing a disadvantage? Whether in ability, family support, or resources. How do they feel when they sense they are falling behind? Are they, like I was, afraid of not reaching their goal?
My family slowed down and waited for me to catch up. After a short break, I was placed in the middle of the pack. No one seemed to mind the slower pace. They encouraged me.
You can do this, mom! Remember, take smaller steps. Breathe and relax your shoulders.
And even though still afraid, I kept going. Even picked up my pace just a little. At our next stop, Gart suggested I take the lead. They would follow me. Of course, he remained close behind. Constantly saying I was doing great. Reminding me that I am strong.
I still had doubts, but my determination was growing. I wanted to reach the top of the trail and gaze at that majestic waterfall with my family.
We told the kids to go on ahead. They needed to move a little faster. We would see them at the top! It felt good to let them go ahead of us. Gave me even more reason to keep going. Even though my body hurt. It was hard to catch my breath. And it would take every drop of energy and willpower I could muster.
Gart and I continued together. I asked him to take a picture of an unusual flower for me. We walked over log bridges across the flowing creek several times. The water flowed underneath from the waterfall that would soon be in sight.
I was going to make it! I struggled not to cry. Needed to keep breathing. As we rounded the last corner, I saw our daughter, Rachel. Smiling, hands up in the air. You made it! A big hug and tears came. I felt so proud.
Our son, Robert, and his wife, Erin, had hiked above the falls. They waved and smiled. Ryan, our youngest, was sitting nearby on a rock and soon walked over. You made it!
The waterfall was mesmerizing. A roaring cascade of water flowed over the edge to the stream below. I sat and had a snack and some water. We took pictures. And then the inevitable. We had to go back down.
Yes, most of it was downhill, but my body was exhausted. Some spots required careful steps. But thanks to the continuing encouragement of my husband and some light, cooling rain showers, I made it back to the car.
I can’t believe I did it! Pretty sure I said that at least ten times.
In all my relief at completing this six-mile hike, I couldn’t shake those earlier thoughts about students who are at a disadvantage.
What if they had someone to pull them from behind to the middle of the pack? What if their confidence grew enough to take the lead? What if they fluctuated back and forth, working hard, supported, and encouraged until reaching their goal?
I guess today’s hike made me focus on the beauty of humanity over nature. Realizing the ability each of us has to make a difference in the lives of others. Grateful that today, I was on the receiving end. ❤️
There are times we all need to hear-You can do it! Don’t give up! You will not be disappointed when you look back at the journey and see how far you’ve traveled.
I wish I knew the whole story. How your life began. The circumstances surrounding your birth. How your big sister played with you. What you were like as a toddler.
When we first met, you were bossy and tall for your age. But you had a big smile and beautiful long, dark hair. You loved flying high on the playground swings. I’m glad for those moments of joy in your life.
Schoolwork did not come easy. You worked so hard. No matter what we tried, letters and numbers couldn’t find their way into your memory banks. Not long-term, anyway.
You enjoyed listening to stories and spending time playing pretend with your friends. Somehow, unphased by the lack of remembering academic details.
Traveling between Mexico and Oklahoma seemed to be the pattern. You, your mother, and your older sister. That must have been stressful and scary. Not knowing how long you would stay in one place or where you belonged.
I wish I knew the whole story. Why the older you grew, the less care you seemed to receive. Understanding there must have been challenges in raising a child with disabilities. But still, you deserved to be cared for and loved.
What love there was somehow faded with the birth of a new baby. Slowly turning to neglect and abuse. My heart breaks over what I do know.
You are unable to tell me your whole story. Only bits and pieces. Maybe I shouldn’t wish to know it. One thing I do know is you will always wear the scars. Yet, you still manage to smile. You give and receive love. And just maybe, that is the whole story. ❤️
I have a storage closet inside my music classroom. Shelves lining both walls hold musical instruments. There are stacks of chairs in one corner and drums in the other.
At various times in the year, certain sets come out.
There is a narrow walkway between the shelving.
More than once this school year, I’ve glanced in there with the following thought: would I be able to fit an entire class of students in here? I’m not sure. If I quickly moved some things out. But would there be enough time?
That is where I stop my spiraling thoughts. Any further, and they’d be unbearable.
Every day, I stand on the sidewalk outside my school. Along with colleagues and student volunteers, make sure kids get safely to their cars.
Several times during the year, I almost left my phone inside the building. But then one thought would invade-what if something happens? An emergency? And quickly, I’d put my phone in my back pocket.
I’m not the only one carrying the weight of such thoughts. But we rarely talk about them. Until another tragedy occurs and we realize it could have been our school, our students, or our friends.
I see the sweet faces of the Uvalde, TX victims in photos shared by loved ones. I see the desperation in the sobs of those left to mourn and question.
My heart breaks.
But my sadness quickly turns to anger as I listen to sound bites. As I hear political figures speak of rights instead of solutions, perpetrators instead of victims.
There are solutions. And please don’t tell me there are no laws or policy changes that would affect this epidemic of gun violence in our country. There are. And they are logical. Why do we refuse to take a stand in their favor? Well, that’s a matter of the heart.
Fresh air Sunshine Running Jumping Spinning Friends Playing Getting ready For summer- Next year Some will return Some will move up Some will move away But today is not about that! There will be Scrapes and tears Fusses and squabbles Maybe even A few rocks Thrown Yet, at the end of the day What will they remember? Playing with Their friends Being silly with Their teachers And, of course Eating popsicles- Because Super Kids Day Is all about super kids
A flash Wings Aflutter An audible Gasp! One might Think I had Never seen A cardinal Before
Why so curious a reaction?
Marveling Over a new Perspective Beauty on Full display Feathers Unfurled In-flight Observed From above
The school year is quickly winding down. Today was fifth-grade graduation! This group of kiddos can be challenging, but they also can surprise. Today, they rose to the occasion and sang My Shot from the musical Hamilton for their graduation ceremony.
Our district photographer captured a shot of me leading them. This tired teacher, ready for summer, was full of energy. Perhaps, like with the cardinal, it was all in my perspective. ❤️
Twenty to one. Twenty-five to one. Thirty to one. No, not betting odds, teacher-student ratios. What happens when that one is changed to a two?
First-grade music class had a visitor today. My teacher friend, Mrs. Eakes. Angela, a former classroom teacher, is now an EL coach, passionate about all-things literacy and education.
Angela recently shared some articles with me about the benefit of echo songs. Particularly in helping students strengthen literacy skills. Echo is a big part of teaching music, and I was excited to incorporate the specific songs shared in the articles.
My kindergarten, first grade, and second grade classes have been singing the songs over the past few weeks. Some with motions, all a little silly. All a lot of fun! Most of the time…
Confession…even with our current curriculum and these engaging songs, sometimes I struggle.
It is challenging to simultaneously stay calm, focused, and energized. Keeping students engaged while also settling disagreements or drying tears. I know I’m not the only teacher who sometimes feels this way…outnumbered.
When Mrs. Eakes joined our class, the difference was immediate. Not only for me but also for the students. Yes, one plus one equals two. But in music class, today, one plus one equaled ten!