Friday, January 29, 2016

Oh, those classroom teachers....

We need to talk about those classroom teachers at my school.
We just really, really do.
So, here's the thing...those teachers at my school?  Um yeah....awesome.

But really, I should say...

I have taught many places throughout my career--both as a classroom teacher and as a teacher-librarian, and I have been blessed to work with some fabulous folks at every spot.  In all that time (25 years!) I had never worked with high school folks, though, so moving up to the high school I just really didn't know exactly what to expect. 

Those teachers at my school are

First, they know their stuff, man.  They KNOW their stuff AND they are excited to pass that knowledge on.  These high school teachers are always looking for new and innovative ways to reach our students.  They don't just rest on their laurels---they want our kids to WANT to learn. 

They enjoy teaching teenagers.  Teenagers are an interesting lot.  If you don't enjoy their quirky selves, you truly need to find a different vocation.  I love the way our teachers enjoy time with the students.  Do we all have those days? Of course, but on the whole, they really enjoy working with the teens.

Those teachers at the high school have welcomed me into the fold.  Like the teens we teach, I can be a quirky mixed-bag.  I am passionate about the library, but not everyone gets the vision (we aren't typically a quiet library. kids eat lunch in there, too. I LIKE that it is a hangout/haven as well as a studious place.  I'm cool with cell phones.  I am not a quiet person) These folks have amazed me. They have supported me and the direction the library is headed. They give their all EVERY DANG DAY to teach our children, and they allow me to be a part of that.  They are open to booktalks and inviting me into their classrooms, and collaboration of various sorts. As a friend recently wrote, "success is not a singular accomplishment." How very true.  
Those classroom teachers at NHS?  They are, simply, ROCK STARS and I am blessed to call them my tribe. 

(post inspired by THIS post on a lovely blog you should also follow, More Books Than Time!)

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Mid-January Blues

We've reached that point in January that typically brings on the mid-January blues for me.  I struggle, as many of us do, with balance in my life, particularly between the striving-for-greatness side of myself and the be-still-and-create/think/dream side of myself.   With the excitement of the new year no longer fresh, my ability to fulfill my own expectations set for myself have become like week-old city snow. It is so easy to become stressed out!

If you are also going through this funk, as well remember:

This is a prime time to remind yourself to breathe.
Nurture yourself.
Know that your goals do not have to be reached immediately.  Progress, not perfection, right?
You are enough.
Let go of the idea of perfection.
Give yourself permission to hibernate for a weekend if you need to!
Soup is awesome comfort food.
Watch a feel-good movie that you love.
Take a hot bath.
Learn to say no without guilt.
Give the grace & mercy to others that you wish for yourself.

I'm reminding myself of these things, too.
It is hard to feel like I am enough sometimes.
It can be difficult for some of us to put ourselves on the priority list.
Sometimes we need to hear it, so I'm telling you (and myself) now...
YOU are important.
YOU are enough,
YOU, just as you are.

Monday, January 11, 2016


I have been completely awed by the number of librarians out there who have joined me for this 30 Day Happy Librarian Challenge!  Thank y'all!  I am excited for us to add some happiness to our lives & libraries as we encourage each other and cheer each other one. 

I was so excited for this challenge, that I wasn't quite sure which item I was going to start with, but today I decided to actually water my plants.  Poor guys!  These fellows are thirsty far more often than I'd like to admit.  I have 3 real plants in my library office--all ivy.  I've had them for years.  Honestly, one of them was given to me as a gift when I moved from my past town to Nacogdoches--and that was over 14 years ago!  When I walked into my office this morning I noticed they were all a bit droopy and sad so my decision was made.

Today was a Monday, and minutes after waking, via FB, I learned of the death of rock star David Bowie. Basically, I needed some happy today.  I'll close with a throwback fave and encourage you to put on your red shoes & dance the blues.  

Thank you again for joining me on this journey--and now I'd LOVE to hear from you about how YOUR challenge is going! Comment and/or post to Twitter & Instagram using the hashtag #happylibchallenge


p.s. Just found this AMAZING list of bookish Bowie's favorite reads.  Check it out!

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Inspired Happy Librarian

I am SO excited to share this with you guys!

I read Amber Teamann's Love, Lead, Learn blog regularly.  I love her positivity and her willingness to grow. She has created a Happy Administrator Challenge, inspired by a Happy Teacher Challenge, and this inspired me to create a Happy Librarian Challenge.

Maybe it is a small case of the winter doldrums, but I've found myself doing a lot of thinking without the follow-up of actually doing lately, and I'd like to change that.

Please check out the 30 Day Happy Librarian Challenge I've created to help me in this endeavor. Feel free to download & print & share to your heart's content. I plan to print one and mark them off as I do them and then start again with a fresh sheet!

I would absolutely love to connect with you guys as we work through this challenge together.  Use the hashtag #happylibchallenge (and also #txlchat!) on Twitter and Instagram as we share our accomplishments, challenges, and new learning on our journey.

Who couldn't use a bit more happiness in their life, right? Here's to an amazing 2016 that overflows with happiness!


Tuesday, January 5, 2016

And so it goes

Tuesdays are generally my favorite days.
Tuesday means:
 I've made it through Monday,
#txlchat at 8:00
Slice of Life writing day for Two Writing Teachers.

Today Tuesday meant:
A not-great update on a friend in the midst of a mighty battle.
A student confiding a shake-your-life-to-the-ground secret to me with tears welling up in his eyes.
Too much caffeine just to make it through the day.

I was ready to come home; to cook dinner and just relax.
I came home to a daughter who has decided to become a pescatarian, a husband who wants to go Paleo and no one who can agree on dinner.
(I'm cool with however they want to eat, but am not a short-order cook!)

Dinner is done (salmon-cooking lessons and all).
I've done all I can do for everyone I love at this very moment in time.
Now I will sit and breathe and be for a while.
I will drink my sweet tea (non-caffeinated!)
I will sit in my favorite chair for a bit.

Just the act of writing all this down has eased me in a way nothing else does.
Words have power.

In the words of Kevin Henkes, "Today was difficult.  Tomorrow will be better."
INVICTUS, indeed.