Bonding in Texas

Any time a group of staff members get together and go to training it is a fun learning experience. I returned home from a conference with my work peeps this morning very early.

We started out Sunday morning with a delayed flight. Part of the group got sent another direction which required them to end up renting a car and driving from Houston to Dallas. 

At the conference we learned strategies to become better classroom instructors. We shared ideas with each other and with teachers from all over the west. We supported each other, we shared laughs and tears, and we saw some sights of Dallas. 

Coming home was a long, long process that started at 3:00 Central time yesterday and ended up at 5:00 a.m. this morning when I arrived home. Our bonding experience was just about over. We all gathered together again at 4:30 this afternoon to give full support to our superintendent as the school board was deciding on his contract. People showered the room with praise, touching stories, and strong messages about how we felt about our fellow trip travel member. Our superintendent was hired again. We cheered, shed some tears, shook hands with him and savored our bonding experience.

Garden Tour

 Take a late June garden tour and enjoy the flowers. The combination of rain, cooler weather, soil finally getting enriched, and Everett's TLC has made our gardens outstanding this early summer. Above are the Million Bells in the window box and below some of my favorite roses.
 The "Nearly Wild" rose.

It Takes a Village

Part of what I love about teaching is the adult learning part. Believe me, I learn new things from my students each and every day, but I don't often have time to dig into new adult learning. Today some members of our staff gathered in my classroom for a day of reexamining the teaching of reading. For me it is exciting to read and research best practices in the teaching of reading. When there is a kindergarten teacher at one end of the group and a high school English teacher at the other end and the rest of us in between,  you really get the perspective that it does "take a village to teach a child to read." Each of us plays such an important role in our small school to get a child through twelve years of education. We celebrated our successes and grappled with our opportunities for change. Tomorrow we get to do it again. I feel honored to work with the teachers I do at Inchelium.

To-Do or Not-To-Do List

I always have such high expectations of what I can get done during my break from school between trainings, conferences, quick vacations, camping, writing, and gardening. I am reconsidering my to-do list. The list this summer will be shorter. It will include only the most pressing things that need to be done. I am going to be gentle to myself and realize I don't really have three months off like many think. I do have enough days off though to rest, read, relax, reinvent, and retreat. I see my short list starting.

Thanks for joining me back at "Gathering Around the Table". I like the new format a lot.

Welcome Back to Me!

I am saying good-bye to the website I developed and coming back here to write again at my favorite blog.All my entries are together here again. Please some back and visit and leave comments. I love comments.

Retreating to the Ocean


I had just finished school for the year. I needed a retreat. The Washington coast was the place we found peace, relaxation, and a place to retreat. The weather was beautiful and sunny, then rainy. The cottage was perfect in every way. The dogs loved it. We loved it. Good food, good drinks, good walks, good everything. Perfect in every way.

Let Sleeping Cats Lie.... Except One

Our rainy weather has changed the habits of everyone around the house. My flipflops went back in the closet. Annie wished she hadn't gotten that summer cut . The beautiful first roses have been drooping and covered with lots of rain. We built a fire in the house, which never happens this time of year.  With her short haircut Annie found the fire very comforting. The cats all found places to sleep inside....except Junebug. I found McDuff in the chair.

Grayson was in the former wood basket.

Isabelle found the bar stool cushion a perfect nap spot.

Junebug was still getting wet and hunting mice or a snake by the pond. It was such a blessing to see the sun come out today.