TGIF! Week of July 27

Given the fact that we’re quarantined in the midst of a pandemic, I know sometimes my TGIF can overlap and cover the same ideas with varying angles. Teacher training started the last two days of this week, so my mind is all over the place – in a good way, I think!

A reminder of Brené Brown’s framing of weekly gratitude using TGIF:

T – I’m Trusting
G – Grateful for this week
I – Inspiring me
F – having Fun doing

I’m TRUSTING that I will cultivate an effective system to teach 100% online from my home space. My worries include: information overload; not being able to build true community with students; feeling guilty about having to “ignore” Elías at points; forsaking physical book reading love; not recognizing student trauma via virtual environment. Honestly, the worries could be an endless list. But I cannot allow myself to go to that place. For my students, for my son, for my husband/office mate, and for myself – I have to trust that I am capable of solutions. If the solutions flop, start from the top.

I’m GRATEFUL for MY MAMI! I don’t know how many times in a row I can thank my mom, but we seriously could not do anything without her. As they say, “it takes a village” to raise a kid. Our return to training has forced us to be glued to the computer and our chairs, so our sweet boy is… Actually, he’s living his best life with his grandmother!

*ignore my weird kissy face*
Is having this much fun in the Tupperware cabinet even allowed?!

I’m INSPIRED by this professional book (pictured below) I just started reading. I honestly can’t remember where I first heard about it, but as soon as I read the title, I purchased it on Amazon. Then when the book arrived in early July, a quick scan led me to believe it was directed toward elementary bilingual and/or dual language program teachers. Since I teach high school English to majority Latino students, I was disappointed I hadn’t researched more before making the purchase.

BUT!!! Even though I committed to looking through it at some point because the topic is still important to me, I moved it to the bottom of my never-ending to-be-read list. I was then randomly poking at it earlier this week, and my oh my. I have not even finished Chapter 1, and I am already incredibly inspired. There is not much to review just yet since I’m barely digging into the book, but the pedagogical implications are already convicting me so intensely that I cannot wait to begin the school year.

“You’ll notice as you read that Spanish words are not italicized and that we do not consistently provide English translations. These are intentional choices: we are not working from the assumption that English is the default language.”

Over the summer, I engaged in hours and hours of professional development and professional reading and writing. Of course, research leads to more questions than answers. For example, the quote above led me to wonder how I participate in linguistic elitism in the classroom. What part of student identity am I suppressing that I should actually be nourshing and celebrating?

Nevertheless, here I am – ready to change, ready to renew, ready to do right by kids. [Discussion about this text to be posted later…]

I’m having FUN pushing my writing boundaries! Thanks to Michelle Haseltine, I engaged in Notebooking BINGO this month and finished the entire board. It was incredibly satisfying to color the boxes, too, ha! Admittedly, some of the prompts made me feel weird, but I pushed through my comfort zone and loved it. As I recommit to my writing identity this summer, taking “risks” like this encourages me to push past my fears and self-consciousness. I look forward to maintaining my writing momentum during the month of August!

The weeks don’t always simultaneously coincide with the end of a month, so it feels like closure today. Tomorrow begins a new and exciting month, as well as the month I most associate with school. I feel I am closing the chapter of summer, and beginning to wade into the waters of unknown learning…

It’s ALSO the last day for my One Little Word, so I will be reflecting on that early next week and committing to a new word for August. Happy Friday!

What are you trusting? For whom or what are you grateful? What’s inspiring you? How are you having fun?

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