Express Yourself

Be who you are and say how you feel because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind.
--Dr. Seuss

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

How Things Change

Driving in from work, I got to thinking about how time has flown by.  Looking at a building where I have worked for so many years, doesn't look that inviting anymore.  In fact, it feels more stoic and dismal than a place of wonder and joy.  Boy how things have changed! But...change happens. As we all know, change is inevitable.  People move on, organizations change.  I must also move on and change. It is definitely the perfect time and I am so happy to oblige myself.  It is funny how what I once thought was my niche, my home away from home, has now become so foreign to me.  I know why. It is not the building that has changed.  It is not the parking that has changed.  It is not even the walls and floors that have changed. The people that I have worked with make it a great place to be. These people that I hold near and dear are gone or will be leaving.  It is the relationships and memories that I cherish the most in this building.  They will stay with me, but I must move on too.

I went into one of my close friend's work area.  In fact, two years back we used to share this small work area.  We had some great conversations, venting sessions, brainstorming blitzes, and shared a few pizzas and Murphy's Deli sandwiches.  Who likes the vegetable pita with Grandma's Peach Iced Tea?  Who keeps the caps of these teas as a souvenir? My friend and colleague.  Oh, the memories.  Now this cherished work space is an unused office with a few leftover posters of the Texans begging for her return.  Being without her and others is just not the same.  Never will be.

As I walk down the hallway and into my ex-boss's office, I get teary-eyed.  The memories of the Monday meetings and cinnamon tea permeate my senses.  I long for the laughter, conversations and intense planning sessions.  It was synergistic!  Never will come my way again.  Never.

As I entered the building, I knew in my heart that this once sacred place had lost its frill and meaning.  Grateful I am to have had such wonderful camaraderie and collegiality for so many years.  It is true what some people say, "You never know what you have until you lose it."  I do know this now, but I never wanted it to end.  I definitely feel blessed to have been a part of such a great team!  Being and working with this team has been nothing short of spectacular.  Maybe in my next job, I will be able to capture some of that teamwork and synergy.  It is possible.  Did I say never?

Change is good and always  inevitable.  This couldn't have lasted forever. I look forward to the next chapter in my life. I know it will be great.  Funny how things change.  Things that looked so desirable, now hold nothing for me.  Bring on the change!

Sunday, February 22, 2015

McFarland USA

Last night I went to see the movie McFarland USA with my daughter.  I went to see the movie because I heard it was a great one.  I also had another interest.  Carlos Pratts, son of one of my colleagues, was starring next to Kevin Costner.  My friend and colleague Vivian Pratts told me months ago that her son Carlos would be one of the actors in the flick. Needless to say, I was very motivated to go see McFarland USA.

Wow was I in for a treat!  I loved this movie. It triggered so many emotions and memories of my Peace Corps experiences, being a bilingual educator, and working with parents at Vivian Pratt's school this fall during the literacy nights.  It brought me back to my roots!

Watching McFarland USA also helped ignite a fire in me.  This fire has been growing year by year. By watching the movie, this fire is no longer an ember, but raging inferno. It cannot be extinguished.  Now, I know, without a shadow of a doubt, that what I have decided to do for the next school year, is the best decision for me.  I have been thinking about doing this for quite a while, but there were things that got in the way.  After much consideration and council, I have decided to go back to the classroom.  I have been working as a staff developer and teacher trainer for quite some time.  Much of my time has been spent in classrooms with teachers and students.  I would like to have more of my time spent with teachers and students, but on a full time basis.  Watching McFarland, has confirmed my belief that the classroom working emerging bilinguals would be the best thing for me to do.  I will be with my bilingual students again and work with parents too.  I am so excited about this opportunity.

When I worked with Vivian Pratts and Alana Morris on the Family Literacy Project this Fall, I felt completely at home.  As a coordinated effort with the wonderful teachers and staff at Edgewood Elementary, we were able to conduct reading/writing workshops with parents.  I was blessed to be able to work with the Spanish speaking parents. Each time we began our Family Literacy Project called Family, Food and Story, we invited everyone to bring food to share.  The food was off the charts good! I think I gained ten pounds each time we met! The parents took pride in representing their culture with the food that they prepared.  There were pupusas,tamales, tortas, chicken mole, flautas, arroz con leche, flan, gorditas, enchiladas, baleadas, plantains and more. I was in heaven! We had parents represented from my different regions in Mexico, El Salvador, Honduras, Guatemala and other Latin American countries.  The stories of hardship and resilience were nothing short of inspiring.  It was my great pleasure to get to know the parents so well, as we shared our cultures, food, recipes and stories of where we are from and where we want to go.  When I was in these meetings, I transported back to my time in Honduras as a Peace Corp Volunteer. In fact, there was a parent who thought she knew me from back then! It brought tears to my eyes.

Watching McFarland, brought me back to these roots, these memories of the rich Latino culture. It brought me back to Yoro, Yoro, Honduras where I would take the bus to the aldea (small town) and walk a mile to my site to work with teachers and students.  It brought me back to the very generous and giving Hondurans.  Once someone asked me, at the bus stop, if I would like a cup of coffee. I said yes and they brought me cup of coffee from their house to drink. It was not a styrofoam cup, but it was their best china.  I couldn't believe that they would do that for me.  Still another time, I needed a place to stay, while I was trying to figure out my living arrangements, as I was visiting my site for the first time.  A humble lady brought me in her house and let me stay there for a few days.  Once I was in their house, I was family. She didn't have much, but gave me a cot to sleep on and delicious Honduran frijoles(beans) and tortillas to eat daily. She introduced me to her family. I was treated as member of the family and protected as such.  There are so many stories that I can tell about how wonderful the Honduran people are.  Watching McFarland brought me back to this and how much I need to return to the classroom to work with my bilingual family!

I think it was a Godsend that was able to watch the movie, at this pivotal time in my life. While I went to the movie, thinking I would see Carlos Pratts star in this movie, I thought that this would be it. Instead, I gleaned so much more from watching it.  I was brought back to my roots as a Peace Corps Volunteer, some 20 odd years ago,  renewed and invigorated as bilingual educator and advocate, and steadfast in my decision to return to my heart, the classroom.  Thanks to watching McFarland USA, my future dreams will be realized too.  Uno, dos, tres McFarland!

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Left In, Out

Left In, Out
by Maureen Ucles

Left in,
Left out
makes me wanna
yeah you got it
just wanna
out loud

Makes no sense
not in the least
these decisions
 left in
mostly... out

Why me?
What have I done?
Left it all on the floor
blood, sweat and tears
but do you care?
not in the least
no time
can't find a crease
in which to fall
tumbling down
like John Cougar Mellancamp
so far
into the depths

Left in,
Left out,
on this barren black top
baking in the cruel Sun
you won't stop
my thoughts alone
on my last nerve
but why?
What have I done?

Like my dad 
always said
Work hard
put it all out there
things will fall 
into place
not this time
slap in my face
spittle to replace
my feelings, pride, dignity
can't understand
crime scene

Left in...left out
I need to
 let go
forge a new path
burnt to a crisp
left in...thrown out
keep quiet
Not a word
rock this boat
Scapegoat extraordinaire

Not givin' in
about to
rise above
two hands
take it up strong
slam dunk
in your face
as I
run down the court
Look ahead
No problem
 Like Old Man Riverwalk
Timmy Duncan
All business
 I master
the disguise
maybe a little wise
Truth be told
Can't stand to look at you
The utter sight
brings chills down my spine
stomach churns
a polar vortex
not worth
my time

this tired, sorry scene
de este
downgraded from
category five
to a 
tropical wave
or posiblemente
not a cloud
in the bluest

moving forward
got my momentum
groove's on
No looking back 
Left in?
You kidding me, right?
I'm out!
Hasta la vista!
Out of here!
See ya!

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Hit the Pause Button

Today I am stuck in my car with a few minutes to spare.  I could have just hunkered down and returned to my two reads When Kids Can’t Read by Kylene Beers and Donalyn Miller’s Reading in the Wild.  I decided instead to go ahead and write. I cannot get wifi where I am so, why let these thoughts escape me never to return. Not doing it.  Instead, I am sitting here in 30 degree weather cranking out a post to be read later. Time to write, reflect and place my life on pause.

I have decided that I need to try to post daily on my blog and other places.  Why?  Because it is just plain good for my soul.  Writing causes me to sit down and be introspective.  That, at times, is hard because of the pace of my life.  Sometimes I cannot remember what I did the previous day.  Everything is a blur.  Why is that?  Too many things going on.  Too much drama for your mama, to be quite frank.  The thoughts in my head are endless.  Being stuck in traffic allows me to mull over conversations and happenings that day, along with my to do list. I never have the opportunity to write them down. So as a result, they become stagnant or lost.

Allowing myself some down time, through writing, helps me keep things straight.  I do happen to love to write and that helps.  My problem is that I sometimes do not know just what I want to write about. If only, I could take those traffic moments and capture them immediately in a blog.  That would be a great use of my time. If only, if only...time to stop wondering and put this train on the tracks!
Here I sit in my car, typing away.  I am sipping on my hot coffee and thinking about my day to come.  Who will I meet?  What conversations will I strike up?  Will they be deep conversations or shallow ones?  I prefer the meaningful type being that I am an introvert.  Will my day end peacefully or full of craziness? That remains to be experienced.  Vamos a ver lo que pasa.  We will see what happens today.

Today is Ash Wednesday. It is a kick off for Lent.  Lent is a time for introspection and change. For this Lent, I will try to take the time to be more introspective and slow my life down.  I would like to let things go and let the drama pass me by for some other fool.  I want to learn to exhale and enjoy the time that I do have.  We will see how it goes. Quite possibly reflecting through writing, will be an instrument that I need to make sense of things and bring greater joy into my life. So there it is, my Lenten journey will include writing every day in some type of way.  It is, after all, the journey that counts, not the destination.  I may never get to the final destination, but the journey will show me much how I need to be a better human being in a world that won’t stop moving! Writing, my way of slowing down and pausing.  Life on pause…not mute.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Two Good Reads

I am reading two professional books right now.  Both are excellent and compliment each other.  Both I am reading in conjunction with a Face Book private online book study.  I am glad that I am able to post out what I think of each chapter, as it occurs to me.  This helps me connect with the book and with my colleagues.  I also get to hear and see their thoughts.  Many share their work in the classroom with me by snapping  quick photos or by sharing a reading victory.

I think that it is easy to do this when the book are high quality and high interest.  The two books that I am reading are Reading in the Wild by Donalyn Miller and When Kids Can't Read by Kylene Beers. Donalyn Miller's Reading in the Wild offers many strategies to develop yourself as a wild or avid reader, as well as tips on how to promote wild reading in the classroom.  Kylene Beers offers great ideas of how to help our dependent readers by giving the teachers and students tools to be come independent readers.  The many chapters focus on specific strategies that you could use the next day in the classroom from frontloading anticipatory sets, to teaching comprehension before, during and after reading, to  word study and fluency.  There is so much more. I haven't even scratched the surface.

These books are full of classroom research.  You can trust them because they are born from classroom research and the authors are very honest about their work.  When I read through their accounts, I feel as if they are these teachers that I eat lunch with or plan with daily.  They are down to earth and have lots to share with me.

I will post later what I am getting out of each book.  You just might want to give them a try.  My next reads will be The Book Whisperer (which I had started last year) and Kylene's new one Notice and Note about closer reading.  They must be great reads too!

Friday, February 13, 2015

On Posting from Everyday is Special

I just posted to the blog by Angelique Moulton called Everyday is Special.  She invited me to be a contributor.  I liked what I posted, so I brought it over to my home blog.  If you are interested in reading her blog go to or go to this link:

Everyday Is Special

You know if you post, they will read!  That is true. If you are consistent in posting very frequently, more people will come back to read. I am trying to encourage myself to be more consistent in my posts and to also encourage other fellow bloggers too.  Here are my thoughts about blogging:

  1. It is a cathartic action.  You get to write to find yourself.  You get to write to let some feelings out and vent.  
  2. You can be creative.  It is your blog.  You decide what you want to post and when you want to post. You are the boss of your own destiny.
  3. Someone will eventually read it.  They may like it or hate it.  It really doesn't matter because people you may not know are reading it.
  4. You can make your writing grow along with your ideas.  Ideas come from experience and contemplation.  Sometimes you don't even know your message or idea until your flesh it out in writing.  Ideas are born through writing.
  5. Writing is a social act.  You may get some comments from time to time. It is such a unique idea to know that you are possibly connecting with people all over the world.  Through Google stats you can pinpoint your audience.  It will tell you how many page views you have by day, week, month and all time.  You can also see how many people are viewing certain posts.  This way you can see what people are paying attention to.  That may narrow your focus on certain types of posts.  It is nice to know that your audience is global!
  6. Writing digitally is fun!  Getting your idea out there is thrilling and worth the effort. It doesn't have to be perfect, just out there.
These are my thoughts about blogging and posting. I am sure I have more, but I haven't thought of them yet because I haven't written them down. Happy blogging!  Get your blogging on!  POST! POST! POST!

Get My Blogging On!

This past week I have been around people who appreciate blogging and communicating digitally.  It is certainly nice to be around people like that. I know that next year I will be working with these people and it will be great to explore more digital ideas with them.  I cannot wait to walk in those doors everyday to positive attitudes about the joys of technology. To that end, I would like to try to post weekly, if not daily.  When I was driving home today, I wish that I had some dragon software in my car so I could have recorded my thoughts.  For now, this will have to do.

by Maureen Ucles

more days
more weeks
Eighteen weeks 
and two days

Or was it eighteen minutes?
Eighteen hours?
in a twenty-four hour day
Eighteen seconds?

 the number
I contemplate
Might go irate
if I have to wait--
wait any longer

Eighteen minus two
Eighteen 'til were through
'til I am done
stick a fork in me


Will not
No way
No how
Stop me
from closing
this door
this window
this cell
pad lock
want to 
any semblance
of you
not even
a hint
nor hue
will do
Enough said

Eighteen hours

Eighteen weeks
two days
I run
catatonic state
never to be

Just eighteen
sound the horn
pull the alarm
two if by night
one if by me
You ain't got
what it takes
you lost me
 clear as day
in the night
never had me
no completion
just an utter
act of deletion

and so on
can't wait
clear the way
no more hurt
no more tears
just blue skies
without you
and your
disfigured ways
grotesque character
breaking away
I am
one last word
gotta say
here it comes

Thursday, February 12, 2015

The Virtual Book Club

I previously posted this on Just Write Baby! last night. It contains my reflections about being in a virtual book club.

I am involved with promoting, participating, and organizing a Face Book private book club. The idea came to me to organize such a book study from being in a private Face Book weightloss challenge last year.  I really enjoyed being a part of a virtual group.  Some of the members meet face to face too. Having the virtual postings and responding to each other's posts have allowed us to develop a rapport and sense of a reading community. In one of the book clubs, I missed the first meeting due to a horrid stomach virus. My colleague and I worked on this together, so she went ahead and held the meeting. I wasn't able to meet some of the member face to face. I meet them on Face Book. We responded to each other's posts. I got to know them this way first and then when I met them face to face, it was a rather cool thing.  I felt as if I had gotten to know them better. Of course, I had in a risk free environment where people share their thoughts about what we are reading.

The idea also emanated from my experience of responding on Blackboard when I attended the Sam Houston State Writing Project.  Most of the teachers involved in this class couldn't meet face to face the first week of June because some were still teaching in their classrooms. So as to not lose any time, our professor Dr. Nancy Votteler had us respond on Blackboard to each other's introductory posts.  We had to respond at least once or more, if we wanted. I found this to be a great ice breaker. When I met them face to face, it took less time to build rapport with each other. 

That's when I the idea hit me to fuse the two ideas of the virtual with Face Book. I did this same style of face to face interactions and Face Book with Jeff Anderson's books Mechanically Inclined and Everyday Editing.  I conducted a full day video study of Jeff Anderson with a group of 4th grade teachers and instructional coaches.  I asked them if they wanted to continue the journey with me in a face to face and Face Book kind of way. They agreed and we had this three month journey. I asked Jeff to join us and he agreed. It was so fun to have him join us.  We had some great discussions and teachers were thrilled to get to meet the author virtually.

I carried the idea over to this book study. I asked both authors to join us as we are joining in the research of these authors.  They graciously have accepted the offer. It has been great.  Many of the teachers who joined me on the last Face Book adventure with Jeff Anderson also were enthusiasticaly ready to participate again.  Still others heard about it and joined up. I also have been recruiting with little one on one conversations. 

Today, I advertised a new book study with a campus and administration. It was during a staff development when I plugged the book, the contents, and modeled some of the strategies.  I then shared with them the possibility of a book study.  17 out of 20 third through fifth gradet teachers want to join! I am so pumped about this.

I think this is where we could be going.  Bring the virtual to face to face.  Some teachers cannot come due to after school commitments. In the past, we would have not been able to continue with them. Now with both options on the table, more can contribute and get the benefits of shared understand and thought!  We can negociate meaning face to face and virtually. Virtually works in a world that is very busy with Houston traffic and time constraints.  You can have a book study with your morning coffee or at midnight with some popcorn in your pjs.  The only thing that matters is that it going on and it is meaningful!  Amazing!

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Edublog-Digital Literacy Club Website

If you are interested, come visit my first Edublog called the Digital Literacy Club website.

Click on the link below.
Digital Literacy Club

Edublogs-Taking the Plunge

I am trying out a new blog that I plan on using next year with students.  It is called Edublogs.  My blog is called The Digital Literacy Club.  I will post the link to my resources very soon.  In the meantime, there is my first post.

My first Edublog-Digital Literacy Club post

Boxed Inn-Poem revisited by Maureen Ucles from Just Write Baby

I wrote this last January when I was feeling a little boxed in about some things going on in my life.  Wow!  What a difference a year makes.  I am free now baby!  Free!  It is always nice to look back and move on.

Boxed Inn

By Maureen Ucles

You've got me
Boxed In
Cornered in all directions
This place
Reeks of moldy cardboard
Peanuts and puffy plastic pillows
or was that your ego?
Inflating my brain
Withering to rust
Oxidation in
this stinking, stifling, stagnant
Boxed INN

Where do  I reside?
In your embrace?
No more like
a chide
slap across my face
'cause I can't find
in this dastardly, dilapidated
incarcerated --
cruel and unusual

Feels like
 I am banished
with my original sin
Adam and Eve
out of paradise
into depths of darkness
abyss to abysmal
Get me outta of this
horrible, hellacious, horrendous
Boxed Inn

 Hotel California
Checking in
No out in sight
Tear down these wailing walls
piece by piece
inch by inch

onto me...

 I  now
reach beyond reach
try to
a glimpse
a spark
light eternal
the heavens
the tangible
my being

without you--
outside this cruel confinement
into solemn serenity

Boxed in
No more

Getting Back To It!

Getting Back To It!

By Maureen Ucles

I am getting back to it!
Getting into the groove
Going back to where
I belong

Getting back to  it!
Returning to my love
Seeing possibilities
Infinity and beyond

Getting back to it!
Excitement is in the air!
No more dragging my feet
Making excuses
Fleeing from the scene
Moving, grooving,
Back where I belong
Back to it

Getting back to  it!
Cannot wait to breathe
Breathe it in!

Fresh air
clear my thoughts
emotions running wild
Home again
Life's my friend
Getting back
Back into the groove!

Getting back to it!

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Getting Back To It!

Getting Back To It!

By Maureen Ucles

I am getting back to it!
Getting into the groove
Going back to where 
I belong

Getting back to  it!
Returning to my love
Seeing possibilities
Infinity and beyond

Getting back to it!
Excitement is in the air!
No more dragging my feet
Making excuses
Fleeing from the scene
Moving, grooving,
Back where I belong
Back to it

Getting back to  it!
Cannot wait to breath
Breath it in!

Fresh air
clear my thoughts
emotions running wild
Home again
Life's my friend
Getting back
Back into the groove!

Getting back to it!

Gretchen Bernabei's Grammar Keepers-A Must Read!

Receiving a text from Amazon this morning, brought a smile to my face as I sipped my last bit of coffee and prepared myself to go into Westwood Elementary to work with students.  I looked down to see the notification that Grammar Keepers, the newest book from one of my favorite writing gurus, had been delivered to my doorstep.  "Yes!" I said to myself.  "What I wouldn't give to be able to open the package right now and give it a gander, " I thought.  Nope I had to wait 9 hours later, fighting horrible traffic on 290, to open my package.  I opened it feeling quite lucky.  Gretchen Bernabei's book is selling out like Tom Brady jerseys after the Super Bowl.  I bought it on Wednesday of last week and Amazon said that there were only 4 left in stock.  I alerted a friend of mine yesterday. We want to do a book and classroom study with it.  She told me this morning that it sold out and there was a waiting list.  She then had to go to Corwin, the publisher, to buy it. I am lucky to have it in my possession.

I haven't read it all the way through.  I did, however, read the introduction and explanation of the book's inspiration and purpose.  Gretchen also allowed those who attended her workshop last Summer to be privy to see some of it electronically. I have used some of it with students with whom I work.  I have also shared it with some teacher friends.  They love it!  I perused the rest of it and thought about what other lessons that I would use.  It is very up front, user  and kid friendly.  I can't wait to use the sentence wringer, the homophones, and other lessons with students and teachers. I will post more, when I try more of it out.  

One thing is certain, I am a huge fan of Gretchen Bernabei's work.  I think everyone who knows me well will attest to that.  You can trust her work because she gets it.  She has thoroughly researched these great ideas that have a great stick factor of 100%.  She knows Bruner.  She studied Jerome Bruner and actually met him this past year in New York.  She has studied Vygostky.  I could add more great reading and writing research and name after name. This is so important.  Having said all of that, nothing compares to the classroom research that has wheels.  She is not into theory alone.  Gretchen's theory is grounded in all the research above, but also in many, many years of clinical classroom practice.  She has been there and done it all with writing.  She still stays in the classroom and continues to work with students everyday.  That, my dear friends, is something you can take to the bank!  That is why I trust her and believe in her work. No diggety, no doubt!  Besides all the rationale, I have used much of her work in classrooms.  I see the light bulb go off in students' and teachers eyes and minds.  Students writers become more confident and begin to love to read, write and share the works of their hands.  The teachers feel the same way that I do.  I highly recommend this book and I look forward to writing more about it in the my upcoming posts.

What is next?  I need to dig into Revision Decisions by Jeff Anderson.  I cannot wait to see what this great book has in store for my teaching and thinking. For sure, both Revisions Decisions, are complimentary.  Must reads!

Write Guy-Jeff Anderson's Website

Monday, February 9, 2015

Geico Commercial Favorites

I wanted to post my favorite Geico commercials.  I especially like the one about the camel and hump day and the newer follow-up-to-the camel-commercial.  Hey, guess what day it is?  Mike, Mike, Mike, Mike!  Guess what day it is?  It is Monday!  Oh, darn!  That will not work. No one gets excited about Mondays.  Mondays are the worst day of the week. It is back to work day.  It is get back to normal day.  It is sleep deprivation day.  Lastly, it is the day after Sunday and the NFL games.  Nope, no one likes Mondays.

Me?  I like Wednesdays, The camel gets is it right.  Guess what day it is?  Wednesdays are in the middle of the week days.  When Wednesday is here we are almost on the other side of the bell curve and to the weekend. Guess what day it is?
Wednesday are adjacent to Thursdays. I like Thursdays because they are next to Friday. Fridays are relief days because the next day I can rest, relax and catch up on all the things I didn't have the energy to do! Saturday is a chill day. It is a-do-whatever-I-want-to-day without any particular schedule or traffic!

 Hump days, wonderful Wednesdays help me get through the week. I can take a breath and know that I am almost there.  Guess what day it is?  Mike!  Mike! Mike! Mike!  Guess what day it is!

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Back To the Classroom I Go!

I have been given this a lot of thought. I have gone back and forth and back and forth for about 2 years now.  Honestly, for the past eleven years it has been a battle to go or stay.  When I left the classroom to become a literacy and Science coach 11 years ago, it was something that I thought about doing, but never expected it would happen so soon.  A friend of mine, moved onto a district position and there was a position open in my school. I thought that it might have been something that I was interested in trying, but I thought I would have more time. I became a literacy/Science coach.  I worked for 4 years with teachers and students.  I put on numerous workshops, worked with teachers and students in classroom, organized and taught some very fun Saturday Science, Writing and Reading camps. I had a great crew to work along side. It was a complete blast.  Then a district position came open where I could work with both of my loves-Literacy and Science in the elementary and middle school realm.  I got to work with numerous campuses, put on district workshops, work with teachers and students in classrooms.  After a little of an adjustment period, I was thriving!  I loved it.  I had a great team to work with and I got to work with the world's best boss ever.  There were district cuts and then I moved onto a similar role where I am now.  I love working with the different campuses, my team, the teachers and students.  After attending Abydos Reading Week and becoming a Reading Week Trainer, along with attending the Abydos Literacy Institute and Grammar Week, I really had this urge to become more involved in the classroom. I also have so much to continue to try out and work on within the classroom on a day by day basis.  My heart has been torn because I absolutely love to work side by side teachers and campuses providing staff developments and any kind of support in the classroom, including planning and curriculum. I also have this gigantic desire to be more involved in the campus level and be more in the trenches. I want to be more, do more. What do I do?  How can I help teachers in staff developments, in the classroom and work with students on a daily basis?  I have decided that the classroom will be the best opportunity for me for the next school year.  I can work with my team, hold staff developments after school and possibly work on Saturdays.  At the same time, I can try out all of these wonderful strategies and get into deeper educational research. I am an avid reader of books, especially professional books. I read them with enthusiasm and sometimes I get to try things out in classrooms, but not the depth that I want to conduct my research. Now I have the opportunity to do so. I hope to be joining a fantabulous campus, team, with great leadership to boot!  I am so very excited about this decision to return and am making preparations for all the things that I want to do and accomplish with the my next class! Things are coming into focus and are clearer to me. I hope to solidify these plans in the next few months.

Books!  Books! Books!  Now I will be able to bring all of my books from home, from the trunk of my car and now into my classroom. I cannot wait!

I will continue this blog and try to post as much as possible about my work, research and reflections. In the years past, in the other blog (, most of my posts had to do with what I was researching with teachers and students in the classroom.  My reflection came directly from these experiences. That will continue, but on a more consistent basis.  I will post more later!