Dear Back to School Teacher

Dear Back to School Teacher,

I know you are frantically thinking about all the things you need to do.  
You have stopped by Dollar Tree, Walmart and Target almost daily.  
You have driven to multiple stores just to make sure you have 24 of each item.  
You have walked through the school supply aisle and admired the fresh new crayons and the awesome smelly markers.  
You have scoured through Pinterest, blogs, Instagram, and Teachers Pay Teachers looking for possible new ideas. 
You have watched many hours of Periscope hoping not to miss one important nugget you can use in your classroom.  
You have participated in Twitter chats and are ready to connect your classroom globally.  
You have spent hours spray painting, cutting, laminating, and decorating your classroom to make it look inviting.  

And although you have done all these, the most important thing you need to do has yet to happen.  

The most important thing you need to do is make sure every child feels welcome, loved, unique, safe, and supported in your room.

Relationships are the most important.  Make them feel and know they MATTER.

Have a wonderful school year!

Living Your One Word

As we have recently passed the half way point of 2015, many individuals who created New Year's Resolutions 194 days ago may have forgotten what they were or were just not able to follow through.  That is okay, and as we always say - Life Happens.

One way I have been able to continue to stay focused during the year is by printing off my one word and having it framed.  It sits in my loft area beside my computer so I look at it every day.  I also keep my PURPOSE 15 in '15 list on my phone so I can look at it regularly. 

This post is about one of the more important items on my list of 15 in '15. 

Continue to provide service of any type.  Be giving of yourself and of your time.  Volunteer when you can.  Donate.  Do RAKs.  Do whatever you can to give back. 

As many of you may remember, I had something similar on my list last year. 

Give the top 5 items needed for the food bank.

I was able to do this and even had the help of my dear friend Stacey (@StaceyLeePhotog).

This year I was able to come across another organization who was in need through a friend on Twitter.  Joveena (@milzofsmilz) posted the picture of the Summer Wish List from the YESS Organization.  I actually had never heard of the YESS organization before and am always looking for new places to donate.  I found they needed supplies to help youth through the summer months.  My own challenge for myself was to fill a backpack and drop it off. 

So I called up my dear friend Dana (@DanaAriss) and asked if she would like to join in the fun.

Dana had also seen the Bissell Centre was in need of water.  She contacted Devin Komarniski and found out how best to donate.

So, today we went on a wonderful mission.  We donated two flats of water to the Bissell Centre and dropped off a full backpack and a few more items at YESS.

I can't fully describe the powerful moments we had today.  But in my heart I knew I was living my one word.

I challenge you this summer to come up with one way you can give.  You may choose to donate or give your time.  It would be fun to think of a way to do it as a family.

I look forward to living my one word for the remainder of 2015.  So many wonderful moments ahead.