Skip to main content

SOL Tuesday: Perfectly Imperfect

This blog post is part of the Slice of Life Challenge by TwoWriting Teachers. Dedicate time to your own writing life and join us!

The holidays are coming. And I LOVE the holidays. I love the atmosphere, the music, the lights and decorations, the joy on loved ones faces and the wonderful holiday traditions. This weekend, we decorated our house with outdoor Christmas lights. One of my favorite holiday traditions with my children is to pile in the car with a steaming cup of hot chocolate and drive around town admiring the beautifully decorated houses. We decorate our house with the wonderful anticipation of knowing others might enjoy the same. The kids were excited and lugged all of the lights and decorations to the front yard, urging us to start decorating as early as possible. So we did. And within just a short time, I was reminded that with beautiful holiday traditions, comes frustration. Frustration over tangled lights. Frustration over broken lights. Frustration over sibling rivalry. Frustration over cold fingers not working properly. What started out as a beautifully cold, yet sunny day of merry-making became a frustrating afternoon of trying to hold together a family tradition.

Trying to recover, we moved inside to begin another Affinito family tradition: decorating a tree to donate to the Annual Festival of Trees event in our town. I was gathering the candy needed to assemble the chocolate mice and Santa sleighs and it happened. My son walked haltingly into the kitchen with a look of terror on his face, trying to say ‘Mom’ and grasping his chest. He was choking on a peppermint candy. Terrified, I yelled for my husband who acted swiftly and gave him the Heimlich Maneuver successfully. My tears were instant and I hugged my son with everything I had.

As I hugged my son, I was reminded of what was most important this holiday season: family. I will take the frustration over tangled and broken lights. I will take the frustration of sibling rivalry and less-than-perfect-listening. Because frustration over sharing these events with those I love means they are here to share in them with me. I would take days and days of frustration over things not going right together than things going perfectly alone. As I gear up for the holiday season, I will hold onto this memory as a reminder of what is most important and savor the moments to come, however perfectly imperfect.


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

An Instructional Coaching Toolkit!

I have a thing for notebooks. And colorful markers. And sticky notes. I use them in all aspects of my literacy teaching and coaching. During coaching conversations, I often find myself providing on-the-spot demonstrations with these tools. I might engage teachers in a brief lesson on phonemic awareness and ask them to sort sounds. I might walk teachers through word building activities so they experience a new way of engaging students. I might introduce books to teachers to model how they might do the same for their students. I might even create game boards on sticky notes as visuals for teachers to support instructional planning. These demonstrations and notes act as instant and tangible tools to further teacher learning.
Over the years, I’ve compiled these artifacts to create coaching toolkits for the teachers I work with. My toolkit for ‘word work’ might include a picture of an anchor chart created with students, a list of words appropriate to the alphabetic feature students are wor…

Focus on Coaching Cycles

At this point in the school year, many of us are deep into our classroom coaching and engaging in coaching cycles with teachers. Just as coaching can look unique from building to building, our coaching cycles are often unique to our coaching context, our purpose for partnering and the goals and needs of each individual teacher: 1:1 coaching cycles, small group coaching cycles, student-centered coaching cycles and more. Each cycle typically has a pre-coaching conversation, classroom coaching/co-teaching/observation and then follow-up conversations as well.You can find theforms and templates I tend to use for classroom coaching here.
For me, my coaching cycles right now are in the context of my graduate education courses. Each week, I engage in a single coaching cycle with each of my students: lesson planning, observing lessons and coaching conversations. We repeat this for ten weeks of the course and the focus of our cycles shift and change over time. We also meet for small-group coac…

Leading By Learning

This summer, I vowed to be intentional in how I spent my time so that when the new school year arrived, I would feel refreshed and renewed. Admittedly, the summer seemed to fly by, but I did carve out time for my own professional learning. I read every day, I wrote in my notebook (almost) daily, tried my hand at gardening, spent time with my kids and just tried to get better at being me. Some days, I killed it. And other days, well….you know. So, as I head into another school year, I know that I need to be incredibly intentional in how I spend my time and ensure that I focus on my own learning as an educator. It is this learning that fuels my work: it lifts my reading spirits, fuels my writing heart and reminds me that leading the learning of others requires that I remain a continual learner myself.
It is this core belief that drives my teaching, coaching and leading this year. I am even more committed to my own professional learning to fuel my work and lead by example. I have purpose…