Best Book I Have Not Read

Writing, Reading, Teaching, Life, Attempting to Balance it All

Preparing for August July 27, 2009

Filed under: school,TCRWP,writing conferences,writing workshop — bestbookihavenotread @ 3:54 pm
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Depending on which side of the pendulum you ride, hearing the words Back to School can either strike dread and form a pit in your stomach or produce euphoria! 

I go back to work full-time August 3rd, part-time this week.

I should figure out a way to word it better. It doesn’t sound nearly dramatic enough that way.

I have been working full-time this summer as the mother of two young children, but August 3rd sees the recombination of full-time work outside the home with full-time work inside the home.

My children don’t care for what that means for them.

Neither does my husband.

Me? I’m most worried about keeping my house ready for a showing at a moment’s notice. I will get this thing sold! I will admit I had a spring in my step as I headed into school office on my way to work. 

It is the last week of July and I am preparing for the class I will be teaching next week as well as trying to get my head wrapped around another week out-of-town for work-all sandwiched around picking up my daughter from camp in Michigan, and her 10th birthday.

I’m not afraid to admit that life does get easier for me when the kids go back to school in 3 weeks because that at least reduces my mom-guilt and need to be in too many places at once. I am not a mom who has ever cried or thought about crying when school starts. I actually feel kind of bad for those moms who feel that Back to School equals loss or a tear-worthy event. Mom-guilt makes me wonder if it means I’m not as dedicated of a mother as they are. Common sense tells me that I LOVE school and have a hard time imagining anyone not LOVING school. School is such a part of childhood, like losing a tooth or falling off your bike, that it has always just been part of the rhythm of my children growing up. I find it fascinating that there are moms who have parties to celebrate their children going back to school and others who have parties to mourn the same thing. I’m going to be at school having a great time with their children, no judgement attached.


Here’s what August has in store for me:

The first week of August I am teaching a class for Teachers on Writing Workshop and conferring with writers.

The second week of August I am back at Columbia’s TCRWP for a week of intense training in Writer’s Workshop.

The third week has me in consulting meetings throughout buildings and with teachers who have willingly given up one of their last free days to meet and plan with me for this upcoming year.

What does the year have in store? Everyday Math version 3 adoption in full swing; a Writing Units of Study Calendar that has each grade level having a dedicated 4 and half days to meet before each new unit of study in writing commences; further training of staff in reading assessments; Response to Intervention work-working to get the buildings in-sync and not falling into a cart-before-the-horse trap; Professional Learning Communities throughout the district; Book Studies.  And of course all the emergencies that can’t be planned for that crop in the day, week, life of a school. 


It’s going to be a great ride.


Laughter is the best sanity saver September 25, 2008

Filed under: motherhood — bestbookihavenotread @ 2:37 am

P: Mom do you have a plain earring?

M: What?

P: A plain earring?

M: No, why?

P: I want to wear an earring to school today

M: WHAT?! Why? 

P: I want to wear an earring to school today so I look like a home-y

M: WHAT?! What is a home-y? And anyway 6 year old boys don’t wear earrings!

P: Um

M: You can tell me I won’t get mad

P: Just a home-y

M: Are there other home-ys in your class at school?

P: No, not really 

M: Ok, you can be a home-y for Halloween but not a regular day at school – and where did you hear about home-ys?

P: I just figured it out…

M: Well, it is time to get on the bus

P: I know a 6 year old girl that wears earrings to school

M: That’s different, enough now!


More crazy mom stories September 10, 2008

Filed under: moms — bestbookihavenotread @ 10:17 pm
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Ok here you go!  We have just started to allow P to walk home from the corner (at the end of our cul de sac) alone after school (well he’s not that alone 4 other children are walking this way and his mother is standing in the driveway.)
M: Peter, let’s review what you should do if someone you don’t know comes up to you in their car when you are walking home.
P: Run away?
M: Yes, even if they offer you candy or tell you that their dog is lost?
P: Run away and tell you?
M: Yes, please name some adults that it would be safe to get in the car with…
P: Miss Beth, Mrs. L, S and his mom…
M: Yes, great!
P: If there was an ASSASSIN, I would definitely run away!
M: An assassin?
P: Yes, are there assassins in G-ville?
M: No, absolutely not!!!!
P: Could you name places in the world where there are assassins?
M: No, they are just made up….eat your breakfast!

Moms trying to get by…first day traumas and successes August 21, 2008

Filed under: moms,motherhood,school — bestbookihavenotread @ 9:22 pm
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 NOW I think I have this right.  Here is what I thought I sent this morning and tried (unsuccessfully) to resend twice this afternoon (link to Oriental Trading Company).  If it  doesn’t work this time I am giving up and calling each of you!

We got back after midnight last night (this morning?) and combined with the two hour time difference and the fact that Jessen, my mom and I  were all sick during our trip the level of (adult) exhaustion here is beyond what I can describe.
 Here’s hoping Nicholas will be affected just enough the first few  days of school to lack the energy to get himself in trouble!!! Ok, I am officially too tired to live my life!!


P.S.-Do you think it is safe for me to DRIVE to Meet the Teacher?


Ooh, that stinks that you all were sick on vacation!  Kinda funny though, how delicately you worded it re: Nicholas.  A little touch of the bug might be an OK thing for that first impression for the teacher, huh?



OH too funny- you need a GREAT night’s sleep my dear…

Warmly- Susan



 Hope you all had a good meet the teacher. Happy baby news Susan-yucky 
sick vacation news Beth–have LOGOS rec books from Janice now Diane. 

The year is off to a great start. Mr. Prebles had a wonderful opening morning for the teachers (yeah)!




 Oh, wake me up when they’re all on the bus, in cute little outfits (not yet picked out) and with healthy lunches in hand (gotta buy something for that tonight too.)
 Is school starting too soon, or is it just me???




Wait a minute- shouldn’t you be doing the happy dance- all 3 in school all day- congrats!! Will you be teaching more classes? No-  you’ll be doing more LOGOS- yeah, yeah, yeah…..

Warmly- Susan



You guys were all up past my bedtime!  I think GNO after curriculum  next week is an excellent idea.  I have the supplies and the lunch  (I think – we’ll see what comes back today) but the one thing I  don’t know about is, what am I going to do all day without Peter?  



 OH my- As I sat waiting for the bus to come back….I realized the kids have no idea what bus number they ride…I don’t even know…I  didn’t think I’d be this kind of parent…..oh well I have all the  faith in the world they’ll make it back to me some how, some way……
 You know the past two years I’ve gotten on my bike and been there to make sure all goes okay- not this year….kind of ready to get cleaning…



 Nicholas has a great day, hope the same is true for everyone at your  houses.  Our drop off bus came over 30 minutes late so we will have to see what time they really end up getting here.
 Biggest news from Nicholas:  “Guess what?  We have recess *EVERY* day!”
P.S. Diane, I have folders for Kay if you need them!


Hi all –
Crazy day here.  It’s 4:51p and Jenna still isn’t here.  (Kay arrived late — but no Jenna on that bus.)  Anyway, the school has located now.  (I guess I’m not the only one having a crazy day!)
Beth — thanks so much for the folder!!!!!!!!  That was so sweet of you, and I’m sorry I haven’t called you yet.
Jenna’s gonna need a beer when she gets home.  (Oh, maybe that’s me.  She’ll have the ice water.  Just kidding, it’s a little early for my beer…)



Oh my..Sally and I just hung out on the stoop- I did a lot of that today- did the same thing this am watching for their bus to come back…they say they go to Park Trails? Feels far and long.I’ll time it again tomorrow. But I’m picking up my kids tomorrow as Peter has a violin lesson.

By the way I had a scotch at 5:45- bus wait, plus sad news about Mona- she has a very aggressive bone cancer. Joe had done the research and we sort of thought that- glad they’re not recommending surgery/amputation..we’ll keep her comfortable for awhile. Kids know some of it, but didn’t want to drop it on all of them on this happy day..I also had an ice cream sundae and am headed to a hot bath and bed with my new book- thank you Kristine for the young adult vampire stuff.2nd book!!




I should have know when the day started at 6:00am with (dog) poop on the floor. (Sorry all you non-pet people — I swear this NEVER happens.  That’s how I knew I was in trouble today…)
Our morning bus came 10 min. early.  Kids were ready but lunches weren’t.  Lunches caught up with them at a later stop.
Jenna took last year’s bus after school.  Trouble is, last year’s bus now goes out to Granview Rd.  Jenna spent half her (90 min.) bus ride worried about Kay.  Kay, who was on the correct bus, didn’t seem a bit concerned about her older sister.
Here’s what I’ve learned about 7th grade:
Thank goodness that Susan T tipped me off to that last week (Nancy R confirmed) before I sent Jack into that locker room.
I thought I was fine with all this first day hub-bub, and promptly burst into tears as I pulled into the middle school parking lot.  Jack took one look at me and said,” Oh, no, Mom,  you are NOT gonna cry!!!!  Just stop it Mom…Really!”
Oh well, here’s to a smoother tomorrow!!!  Cheers everyone!



I think the dogs are launching a revolt!  Ours barfed on the kitchen floor during the morning madness.  My 6 ½ year old – going on 16 told me very matter-of-factly this morning (I let him sleep an extra 10 minutes which made for total chaos) that  I am to wake him precisely at 7:30 – he doesn’t need extra sleep he gets enough in the night.  Then he proceeded to “style” his hair for school into a “shark” (faux hawk)  help me……




Oh Diane-you just made me laugh so hard I cried. I am so sorry that your day went like that today! I would have had no idea about the underwear, so that is a good heads-up!

Our morning today started with tears (not from me-Maggie), dog poop, Guy swearing, and new dog freaking out when I left and Guy tried to kennel him (guess I shouldn’t have taken him with me everywhere this summer, but he doesn’t talk back and thinks I’m great!-who can resist that?) and more bus confusion.

Ah, well at least there wasn’t a tornado during bus dismissal like there was for the kids who are seniors were fourth graders.




I knew there is a reason we don’t have dogs…on the other hand the cat made three messes in the garage yesterday so maybe there is no way to win!

Here is hoping for a smoother day all around!!
hmmm….maybe dogs (cats too, Beth?) have that 6th sense…
Oh Janice, I hope that Peter sticks with the shark ‘do for a few weeks so I get a chance to see him at LOGOS!  What a confidant little guy — he knows what looks good on him!  I bet no one will have to tip you off that he needs to switch to boxers in 7th grade — he’ll be at the head of the class with that one!
Sorry Guy doesn’t share your enthusiasm about your new little dog.  It took David nearly a year to bond with my boston with no eyes.  (That dog WORSHIPS me!! I have never had a bigger fan!)  Maybe Guy needs a little bonding with the pup — I don’t know, a camping trip or something?
Anyway, next time I will surely see it as a sign when I wake up to something evil and rotten that my dog did on the floor.  If/when it happens again, all alarms are shut off and I’m going back to bed.
Have a good day everyone!