Pressing PAZ

Today I'm feeling excited about this display;
what do YOU need to hear today?

I have been busily setting up my new classroom and nesting as I awaited meeting my new class family, which happened on Tuesday, when the learners in our district came back to school. As I reflect, the four days we've just finished went amazingly well and I'm having a blast. 

I'm feeling pleased with how the Peace Corner turned out;
I sure hope they'll visit it when they need to press PAZ.

Now, some people cautioned me about being too elementary; you are teaching 8th grade now, they lovingly reminded me. But I kept thinking that they're truly just young kids in bigger bodies, so I pressed on with my planning. I'll stand at the door and greet them like I did when they were little, only now they'll use their Spanish and it'll be an authentic opportunity for them to practice their skills. I'll break out the ukulele when we all sing Feliz Cumpleaños to the birthday kids. We'll start our class with a few Yoga Stretches from Giselle over at Kids Yoga Stories. And if I get really brave, I'll even bring a puppet to class. {Wait, do I even know how to say puppet in Spanish?} And before I could mention my marionetas, one of the boys asked if I'd be bringing them to la clase. Be still my heart!

A friend of mine who words in administration at the school had the pleasure of gathering some informal data for me during her lunch duty, to see how the students think my classes are going. They told her that they're having so much fun (our brain's favorite way to learn!) and one boy added, 
"She likes us!" 💙

I think that's so important, for them to feel welcomed, safe, comfortable and loved; to watch them trying the Jellyfish pose as they prepare to step out of their comfort zones and acquire another language makes my soul sing. I wanted to take pictures, but I'm not sure yet who has releases, so for now you'll have to picture 27 8th-grade bodies on the ground doing the shark with me. It felt magically restorative.

  It's so dreamy to be back doing something
I never thought I'd get to do again.
Teaching Spanish. 
And connecting with kids.

In other news, we found out yesterday that Mr. Quigley's Keys
has been named a Mom's Choice Gold Award Recipient.

We are so grateful and excited to be recognized
for excellence in family friendliness.

Last week, my illustrator and I got to share our story
with some young friends at the local library.

It was fascinating to hear and see how she drew 
the illustrations on her iPad with the Procreate app.

The librarians put together such a fun craft
for their readers to take home and create,
the keys to connection on a chenille strip.

Oh, and we snuck away to Austin to celebrate our Jacob turning 27;
that doesn't even seem possible, but time does march on.
For his birthday, I gave him a signed copy of the book I wrote,
then returned two of the books he wrote in 3rd & 6th grades, 
a treasure for his wife and the future grandchildren.

I surely savor every second of our family time together.

It was so relaxing to hang out and hike and play.

How do you press PAZ?


  1. What book did Jacob write in third grade?

    ~ his third-grade teacher

    1. It was called A Lesson Learned; the students in the GT pullout wrote a book based on a character trait during their SEARCH time with Mrs. Waltenbaugh. He chose trustworthiness as, in order to make friends, the boy in his story lied by claiming his dog knew cool tricks. When the new friends came over to his house, they would find out the truth, that Rover was just a regular dog.


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