Monday, March 4, 2013

#Slice2013: 4 of 31 - Cultivating Gratitude

Spring break is just around the corner, and the tension on my campus continues to rise at alarming rates. Kids are edgy. Teachers are cranky. And everyone is generally irritable. We have all reached our proverbial limit, and we've got four more days to go. Yikes!
I am convinced if you plotted staff stress levels on a school calendar, the weeks leading up to an extended holiday would be lit up like a Christmas tree. Although February has only 28 days, it was an excruciatingly long month. Between non-existent snow days, Valentine's parties, STAAR benchmarks, and TELPAS collections, it's amazing any of us have maintained our sanity.
It's times like these I must remember to embrace the power of Gratitude. So today I choose to make a list of things I'm thankful for . . .
1. Sheira noticing personification in a poem and making reflective inferences about Rob's suitcase.
2. The opportunity to share my stories with engaged students who honor my past.
3. Teachers who willingly and cheerfully attended the after-school Family Literacy Night planning meeting.
4. Text messages from kindred spirits who are hungry to reconnect.
5. My cousin Brooke, who made me Ramen Noodles for dinner.
6. A quiet, uneventful Monday night at home.
7. Reading from a Line in the Sand and bringing Texas History alive!
8. Spring break looming on the horizon.
Pinned Image


  1. What is it about an upcoming break that makes everything a little crazier? It sounds like you have found the perfect solution to the "proverbial limit" --- gratitude. Sometimes it's the little things in life that keep us going: Ramen noodles, text messages, and a quiet evening at home.

    BTW, this line made me laugh: "I am convinced if you plotted staff stress levels on a school calendar, the weeks leading up to an extended holiday would be lit up like a Christmas tree."

    You're almost there,

  2. Oh, I know just what you mean about the tension on campus. Like Cathy, I laughed at that Christmas tree line too and I wonder what PET scans of teachers' brains would light up as during those times too. It gets thick on campus and we have to protect ourselves from the drama and the stress in order to stay the course for and with our students.

    I love that you turned to gratitude to help you do that. Did you make the beautiful image?! The hands almost look stamped--I like the layers and the reminder. Here's to the vacation horizon ahead!

    “There was a single blue line of crayon drawn across every wall in the house. What does it mean? I asked. A pirate needs the sight of the sea, he said and then he pulled his eye patch down and turned and sailed away.” - Brian Andreas

  3. Lee Ann & Cathy,

    Thank you both for your kind words of affirmation and encouragement. I'm pretty sure a teacher's brain scan would show signs of trauma this time of year. I snagged the gratitude image off Pinterest after looking for inspiration. I loved the quote you shared Lee Ann. I truly appreciate you taking the time to read my jumbled thoughts and provide feedback.


  4. Our counselor has a theory about the candy bar in her office. She can tell when things in the building are stressful or tense by the frequency with which she needs to refill her candy bowl. There are times when it stays pretty full and times when teachers are literally lined up outside her door hoping for some bite-sized hope.

    Other thoughts: Rob's suitcase is one of my favorite suitcases. That reader is so lucky that you shared it with her. And, I am SO hungry to reconnect. :)