Speak Life

It really upsets me when parents don’t give their children the credit they deserve. I have the most amazing, curious, lovable learners in my class. Your tongue holds life and death in the words you say. What your child hears at home, they will not hear at school, not in my class. I will uphold your curiosity, your love of learning, your ability to work hard, your friendliness to others, your smile and your heart. I will celebrate you when you try and fail and when you pick yourself up and try again. I will celebrate you when you succeed and join the class in making it known, so everyone can celebrate with you. I will speak LIFE into you, words and actions that you can carry throughout your life to live out your Purpose and share with others. I will be your greatest supporter and cheerleader! I am here for you! You don’t have to worry about your future! I got you!đź’— Love, Ms. Brooks!

Love Sucks

There is no way around it.  It just does. Not all the time, but just today in my Teacher life!

I love my kids each year with all my heart.  I give and give and give and give so much of myself to them each day.  I have high expectations for them such as following the rules, being respectful, getting along with others.  Most days they get it. But today, they didn’t. And I felt defeated and unloved and done.

When school was over, I went to find my best friend and get a hug. We talked and prayed and thought of strategies to change their bad behaviors.  I went home drank a chai latte, strong coffee and ate chocolate chips. I began to write my bible lesson for Friday’s Bible Club at school. It’s on the Love Chapter:  1 Corinthians 13:4-7. And I decided to be honest in my blog. Usually for Valentine’s Day, I will write something encouraging and lovely. But this year, this just seemed fitting.  

Worldly Love isn’t always lovely.  It isn’t always joyous. It isn’t always kind.  It is mean and rude. It is sad and relentless. It is disappointing and cruel.  It is of the world, not of God.

God’s Love is very patient and kind, never jealous or envious, never boastful or proud, 5 never haughty or selfish or rude. Love does not demand its own way. It is not irritable or touchy. It does not hold grudges and will hardly even notice when others do it wrong. 6 It is never glad about injustice, but rejoices whenever truth wins out. 7 If you love someone, you will be loyal to him no matter what the cost. You will always believe in him, always expect the best of him, and always stand your ground in defending him. (The Living Bible)

I strive to be like Him, but I always fall short as we all do.  We are not perfect like God, so there is no way we could ever love like God.  We should always strive to do so, though. We shouldn’t give up just because one day sucks or we feel we failed.

I realize that I just gave myself a pep talk and advice.  Which happens a lot, by the way. Sometimes I’m my only cheerleader. I know that I will go back to school tomorrow and love on my kids and many days after that.  I know tomorrow will be different as are all the other days to come. Days will turn into months and months into years and a different crowd of kids will be raised and loved by an awesome Teacher.

But today,.today………….. Love Sucks!

Walk It Out!

Slippers!   The day was not looking good for me! I left my wallet in my daughter’s car early that morning.  I thought I left my phone at home and would not be back until that evening. I didn’t, whew! I had a long meeting at school that morning, had to call a parent about their child’s behavior and write him up.  I met with another person about being the coordinator of a committee at school (my 5th commitment). I had a come to Jesus moment with another student who rolled their eyes at me. I took 10 mins of recess the next day so students in my class could practice how to line up to go out of the room and into the hallway, since they were having such a hard time with it that afternoon.

After school, I had a training so I can be a better teacher and my head was filled with gibbly-garb as I thought about all the things I needed to get done that evening.  I needed to write sub plans for the next day, put students in reading groups, start behavior plans, look at IEP’s and create MTSS plans and tweak lesson plans, grade papers, fill out interims and on and on and on…………….

In the car on the way home, I turned the radio to several different stations.  Finally, I found a head-banger 80’s song, so I turned it up and sang loudly and banged my head to the music.  I found it quite refreshing. Then I remembered what my trainers, Demetrius and Andrea (DFIT Institute for Transformation) told me one day when had a similar day before school started.  They said to go for a walk outside. I thought that would be perfect today.

I got home and immediately changed into my workout wear, grabbed my earbuds and phone (playlist).  I walked in my neighborhood. I walked down my street and up another, up a really big hill and down the really big hill and then home.  As I was walking, I felt the breeze on my face, I looked at the trees, houses, yards, cars, saw a neighbor smile, a big dog (I prayed I wouldn’t be eaten) and all the drama and chaos of that day fell away.  I thought about how much energy I had now and how much I could get done, including writing this blog post!

I still had a lot to do, but I could conquer it now with my extra boost of energy and the fact that the stress of the day had fallen away all because I decided to walk it out!  

Take time for yourself, especially those of us who take work home.  Notice your signs for the need to de-stress and find a way that works for you.  Be intentional, purposeful and creative. Not everything works for everyone.  Make it a healthy choice, make it beneficial for you and your body. Remember it is important for you to be here and do what you do.  So walk it out and find your “ME“ again!

Please Support My Classroom!

Flexible Seating Arrangements

My students need wobble chairs and stack stools in our classroom!  Hard, one size fits all chairs are the thing of the past! Our kids sit in these all day! Could you? Help me change that in my class! 6 more days and Donor Choose doubles your donation!

My Students

My students are energetic, insightful and love to learn. They are ambitious, great citizens and lovers of a brain break or two. They love to move throughout the classroom during the day instead of sitting at their desks. Some stand, some sit on the floor, some sit with their feet in their chairs trying to find comfort in the ordinary classroom they are given.

They are eager to learn and will do so much more in a group atmosphere where they can change seating arrangements.

Movement in our classroom is a must for all learners. My students learn best when they can choose where and how to sit.

My Project

Flexible seating is supported by various research studies which indicate that alternative seating increases students development through greater focus and physical strengthening. The use of an alternative form of seating can ensure proper positioning, in turn affecting a student’s ability to focus. Students who are able to focus better and for longer periods of time will be able to learn more efficiently in all academic areas, including reading and language arts.

Through flexible seating in my classroom, I believe student performance in both reading and math will greatly improve over the course of the school year.

I expect that behavior patterns will also decrease with the use of flexible seating. It gives my students the freedom of movement and the proper positioning of their bodies to remain focused on activities that are vital for academic achievement.

Where Your Donation Goes

MATERIALS COST QUANTITY TOTAL
Fat Catalog ALT-SF-325-RD Kids Round Soft Seating Stool, Red• AMAZON BUSINESS $46.15 2 $92.30
Active Kids Chair – Active Chairs for Toddlers, Pre-Schoolers & Children Who Can’t Sit Still – Great 14″ Wobble Chair for Kids with ADD/ADHD – Corrects Posture | Blue – Age range 3-7y• AMAZON BUSINESS $42.99 2 $85.98
ECR4Kids SoftZone Floor Cushions with Handles, 2″ Deluxe Foam, Round, Assorted, (6-Pack) • AMAZON BUSINESS $70.00 1 $70.00
Norwood Commercial Furniture NOR-1101AC-SO Plastic Stack Stools, 17.75″ Height, 11.75″ Width, 11.75″ Length, Assorted Colors (Pack of 5) • AMAZON BUSINESS $50.73 1 $50.73
Bouncy Bands for Elementary School Chair (Blue)• AMAZON BUSINESS $13.95 2 $27.90

This project will reach 23 students.

Ms. Brooks will only receive her materials if this project is fully funded by October 1, 2018.

 

Dear Parents

I’m pouring out my heart at conferences to let you know I’m fighting for your child, pushing them to the next level and loving them with everything I am!  And I’m thankful for your support of my purpose.

Your Child’s Teacher

Unfortunately,  most teachers do not work for the money. (the truth is:  there’s no money in teaching).  Teachers actually teach because they love it!  Most would do it for free, by hey, we gotta pay bills and eat.

The support from parents is very important to us.  Coming to our school conferences allows us to showcase your child’s work and the successes their making.  It also allows us to discuss things that aren’t so great, like behavior.

Let us in!  We should be supporting each other.  Most teachers have 25-30+ students they see everyday.  Your child is one (1) of them.  Let us help you maximize your child’s potential! We love them like our own!

Even When………

Even when I can’t see it,

They are learning.

Even when I can’t feel it,

they are learning.

I know I want it now

But someday, somehow…….

Even when I think I’m failing,

They are learning.

 

I wrote this poem after testing all week and all day.  My brain was tired, my body was tired, and when I saw the growth my students had made.  I was scared!  I worked really hard everyday, every week, everyday off, every holiday to improve my teaching and find ways to reach the hardest students.  I know this, too, is YOU!  

Teacher, you are inspiring, lovable, inspirational, incredible, awesome and a hero!  You put yourself on a front line everyday!  You don’t know from day to day what your students are learning no matter how hard you try teaching it.  But there comes a day, you can actually see your hard work pay off.  You can actually see your student’s hard work pay off.  It will happen!  You are more than what parent’s see.  You are more than what society sees.  You are more than what the world sees.  You are wonderfully and beautifully made for this PURPOSE, your PURPOSE……………. To be a TEACHER!

 

I am proud to stand with you!   Congratulations!!!

Parents Please!

Parents Please take a moment to say,

Thank you to your Teacher today.

They’ve spent all day with your little one,

And need to hear what a great job they’ve done.

 

Remember, please to keep in touch,

We know we’re not asking too much.

We know you want to know how

Your little one is doing right about now.

 

Don’t keep us waiting or we’ll have to conference,

Some things just have to be said.

Whether it’s academic or behavior,

It’s important before the dread-ed…………report card!

 

Don’t hide away, but keep us close,

It’s our job to work together.

To lead your little one toward the future,

In any kind of weather.

 

We love them like our own ,

and treat them like our baby.

But manners are important,

We expect them wholeheartedly.

 

Respect, above all else,

And the way we treat each other.

Is the most important part,

Of this school relationship with one another.

 

Let’s stick together this year and beyond,

Don’t be afraid to speak.

Stand side by side; in unison,

Their next grade is what we seek!

 

Lola Brooks

 

I Don’t Like Love

Love is just too hard.  Loving people who don’t care to love you back no matter what you do.  No matter how you pour into the relationship.  No matter how much you tell them.  No matter how much time you spend making sure they know.  It doesn’t matter.  It’s just too hard that you want to give up.

 

This scenario happened today.  Man, it was a hard day to love.  I tried, I pleaded, I begged and just some folks didn’t want it.  How disappointed I felt!  I tried really hard!  It hurt my heart to know that my love could be thrown away, unwanted!  

 

I believe that we should love everyone.  Treat each other with respect.  Lift each other up with positive words.  Support each other’s dreams.  I have high expectations.  I expect a high quality relationship with people.  They just don’t get it, they just don’t get it!

 

I’m a teacher.  This happened today.  Our attitude and our behavior affect our outcome.  I worry my littles don’t get this.  I worry that they don’t know they have the ability to change where they are now as well as in the future.    There are days I feel like I’m in the middle of a war between home and school.  

 

Tomorrow is a new day!  I will again fight for my students.  Love them with everything within me and move them forward toward a brighter future.  I do it because I know one day they will shine like the brightest stars in the sky and everyone will see their beauty; like I do!

What’s your impact?

Today was a great day!  An impact is having a strong effect on someone or something.  I’m a teacher, which, just the thought is an impact in itself.  Take a listen………

 

I teach first grade!  My littles struggle with all of life’s issues, if their parents suffer it, they do too.  During a math lesson, after working out a problem in their math book, I asked for volunteers to come to the board and show their strategies.  Hands went up everywhere in the classroom including one little boy who is very, very shy and soft spoken.  I saw his hand and trying not to attract attention to him, I whispered to my teacher assistant to look.  After the student before him sat down, I told him to go show us his strategy.

 

The class went silent!  He worked his strategy on the board and wrote the correct answer.  We took pictures and a video to send to his parents.  What a proud moment!  

 

When he turned around, the class erupted in celebration.  He went back to his seat with the biggest smile on his face.  It took all I had to hold back tears of joy! While other students presented their strategies, the celebration continued for him.  Students said, “Good job!  I’m proud of you!  You did good!” to him and he just smiled.

 

I knew what “impact” was in that moment and saw first hand what it can accomplish when you take the time to expect great things to happen.  We have very high expectations in our class.  We are 21st century citizens!  We take our studies seriously!   And it shows!   

 

What’s Your Impact?

 

Things I Want My First Graders to Know

I love you!

I believe in you!

You are destined for great things!

After the first week of school and bringing homework home every night and thinking of my little students, I wrote this over the weekend. I wanted them to know how important they are. That you’re not too little to dream, to do great things and to be loved just for being themselves!

I posted it in my classroom and then went over it with them, so they could understand what I was trying to tell them. So they would know who they are and that they are important. So that they would know how I felt about them and that I wasn’t afraid to show it. Then, I read, “You Are Wonderfully and Beautifully Made”, my first authored book. The same words written in that book made a connection to the words I wrote on that poster. That book was written in 2014, three years later I’ve written different words with the same meaning to little ones who deserve to know how special they are.

On Sunday in church while I was worshipping my Heavenly Father,   He reminded me that the words I wrote for my students He wrote for me. I love you! I believe in you! You are destined for great things! And most recently, I’m so proud of you! He created me to be the very person you see today. He purposed me to love, teach and treasure little ones who need to know they are not mistakes or unwanted! They are worthy and highly thought of. They are also purposed to do great things that He created them to be. When they hear they this, their eyes get wide and their mouths open. They look at each other and have the biggest smiles on their faces. Then they know that they are wonderfully and beautifully made.

You are too! You were created on purpose, for a purpose. He knew you way before you were conceived! He wanted you, He needed you! He loves you! He believes in you! He destined you for great things! I know some of you don’t believe in God and that’s ok! It is a choice. But fortunately, you were created by the same Heavenly Father as I! And you too, are wonderfully and beautifully made!

1 You have searched me, Lord, and you know me. 2 You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. 3   You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways. 4 Before a word is on my tongue, you, Lord, know it completely. 5 You hem me in behind and before, and you lay your hand upon me. 6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too lofty for me to attain. 7 Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence?   8 If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. 9 If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea. 10 even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast. 11 If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me and the light become night around me,” 12   even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day,   for darkness is as light to you. 13 For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. 14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful I know that full well. 15 My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place,   when I was woven together in the depths of the earth. 16 Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be. 17 How precious to me are your thoughts,[a] God How vast is the sum of them! 18 Were I to count them, they would outnumber the grains of sand— when I awake, I am still with you. Psalm 139:1-18