Pockets Of Peace

Happy Labor Day; it has been a month since I've posted
and we already have three weeks of school behind us.

You might remember how much I used to LOVE doing bulletin boards, so this year during our work-in-your-room time, I created this visual on the wall just outside of my classroom. I purposefully left room for another row of blue hearts, so that as I get to know my 8th graders better, I can find out from them what they think that Mustang Mindset means and what's missing on the wall. And then we'll add it.

You might also remember that August 25th marked the one-year anniversary of the sudden passing of our baby brother, Mipps, so I've been reflecting, relaxing, restoring and remembering. It still doesn't seem real, of course, that he's not going to call me or come for a visit, that he's not going to text me or post about his latest adventure on Facebook. But I'm coming around to acceptance and resolution after lots of profound grieving this year. Though a very unlikely traveling companion, grief has become a friend as I've learned to lean into all of the confusing and uncomfortable feelings that have come my way during this raw and vulnerable season of missing Mipps.

It's a long and winding road to navigate, but I've learned to welcome what's around the next bend and explore what's there for me to process, find meaning in and make sense of while savoring what I need to learn. And I'm grateful to share that I have been finding some pockets of peace.

When we went to Wimberley last weekend, I found this scenic spot and appreciated the metaphor from Mother Nature: A hurting heart can be armored up to protect itself and still bear beautiful fruit to share with and nourish others. Nourish. My #oneword for 2022. And a whole lot of power in that one little word and. I am grateful for the momentary respites from grief at school and through prayers and check-ins.

Bring on year two; I think we're ready.

Speaking of peace, here's this year's Peace Corner.

The coolest thing is that our class family is actually
using the calming resources already!

It's our reset spot when we need to press PAZ.

Recently, Elizabeth from Applied EQ Group talked with me
about the SEL strategies we integrate into our room;
click {here} if you'd like to read the post she wrote.

At the end of last year, my almost-9th graders scripted letters to the incoming 8th graders; as this year's learners read them to one another, they picked out common themes and took to the white board to share the words of wisdom from their predecessors.

From what stood out to them as important, we crafted
this year's class-family agreements: Los Acuerdos.

Then we all committed to these guidelines by signing our names. 💜

Don't I have such a fantastic job?

Today, I've been busily signing books, a labor of love on this Labor Day, for some local school districts to put in their libraries for checkout from a grant that a group of retired teachers wrote.

Life is good and kindness is key.

May you enjoy many pockets of peace in the
upcoming days, weeks, months, and new {school} year.

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