04 May 2016

Love is

Love is a desire.

A genuine, conscious, consistent, active desire.

I have decided that love is a genuine desire, not only for someone else's happiness, but the desire to actively help that someone achieve that happiness long term. And it's not just the desire, it's acting on that desire.

Love is a verb, right?

image via Pinterest

I love my husband. I love my children. I love my friends.

I love my students.

But sometimes I don't pause and let myself feel that desire enough, though. Sometimes I could spend more time acting on that desire.

Because love is not a wish.

Sometimes, after they leave my class, after they graduate, I just wish my students well. I hope they will find something that keeps them moving, that makes them really get how much they are worth.

That's enough for some of them.

But everyone--EVERYONE--needs and deserves someone who loves them--consciously, actively loves them. I am convinced that those who may not seem like they deserve it have experiences or hard wiring that make the "deserving" harder--but not impossible. If every. single. child. had just a handful of adults who were willing and able to consciously, actively love them--consistently--I have a hard time imagining a personal problem that cannot be overcome.

image via Wisconsin Media Lab

Perhaps if I'm going to define love, though, I also need to define happiness. Love is acting on the desire for long-term happiness. An ice cream cone is not love. I mean, feel free to take me to Cold Stone any day of the week, but love is more than getting someone to smile, or forget the pain with something sweet and temporary.

And love is not a quick fix that leads to more harm.

Kind of image via Indulgy

I'm not saying we should spoil our spouses or offspring or students. We don't give them what they want because they want it. We give them what we know they need in order to maintain their mental, emotional, and physical health, so they can be happy. (Sidenote: this may also require actually researching what they actually do need).

And as we love them, we make sure they know what love is, what it looks like, so they can recognize it and repeat it, and in that way never run out of it.

Love is why I'm glad I'm at an early college.

I mean, I will preach to anyone who will listen that colleges as we know them will and should die out within the next 20 years. Not a great stance for my long-term job security, but there it is.

Colleges cannot be ivory towers to isolate the elite. They must serve, and they must serve everyone and help them equip themselves to accomplish the Purpose that they pull from deep inside themselves. Being right there where the courses they need for the beginning of just about any kind of career makes making a plan for students' long-term happiness so much more do-able. There's no reason to just wish at them here. And even if they don't find their long-term careers yet, we can make damned sure they know where to start to find who and what they need down the line.

It's been a hard week for a few reasons. But I have decided something else too.

From this point forward, my students will not leave me with a wish.

They will leave with a plan that will help them find long-term happiness.

They will leave with LOVE.

29 April 2016

"Secret Posts"

It's true that I have over 200 blog post drafts that may never see the light of day. Some of them, well, they certainly reflect how far I've come. Some are actually pretty good ideas, though I haven't gotten around to developing them.

So I went back in time and collected the titles from 2011-2014 (which still leaves about 100 recent posts that I may or may not resurrect).

Some of them are kind of bitter. Some of them hurt (WHY do I collect students' bad reviews about me?) Some were from grad school reading, some from lessons that went well, some from lessons that never went at all. There was even a four-year-old draft with 10 potential post topics...of which I'd only actually posted one.

I wanted to share these post titles for a few reasons:
  1. Just to share with you, my online amigos, kind of how my brain works.
  2. Maybe someone will see something they've been looking for or that just piques their curiosity and give me the push I need to finish fleshing an idea out.
  3. I mostly hope it'll help someone who's struggling see that someone who may SEEM like they know what they're doing A) didn't always and B) probably just SEEMS that way.

I would love to hear your reactions to the "secret post" titles, if there are any you would like to hear more about (if I can remember what I was thinking at all), or maybe if any give you hope or just give you a giggle.


Ah, to be simple-minded2/6/2011
The difference2/13/2011
#Langchat to try:2/17/2011
7 hours at school on a Sunday3/11/2011
Things I could not have done without my colleagues3/15/2011
Skype about getting serious3/29/2011
Ultimate Goals5/17/2011
My greatest sins as a Spanish teacher5/20/2011
White privilege and teacher education.6/2/2011
I am my students7/28/2011
What I Know About Race8/10/2011
More than I can chew9/20/2011
Reflexive Reflections: A complete P.A.C.E. experience10/24/2011
Let me be clear11/17/2011
National Boards is a humiliating process for language teachers11/20/2011
Weather tweets12/11/2011


Swim team and small ponds2/15/2012
Classroom Skype: Small Group Do's & Don'ts5/17/2012
For next year6/13/2012
Buck Institute: Day 16/25/2012
To bring to the table6/25/2012
Buck Institute: Day 26/28/2012
Buck Institute: Day 37/2/2012
More PBL for Spanish ideas7/16/2012
Suis-je bothered?8/12/2012
Day 1 Checklist8/20/2012
My first Entry Events8/24/2012
Día del Niño9/1/2012
Teaching philosophy9/5/2012
Instrucciones Importantes10/2/2012
Co-Construction Reconstruction10/10/2012
FLANC takeaway10/15/2012
Parent Conferences10/19/2012
Experiencia Afrolatina, Part 2: Colombia11/15/2012


Student blogs in Spanish: what, why, and how1/2/2013
Ultimate Spanish Playlist project1/7/2013
Hit the ground...stretching1/7/2013
SMART rubric2/5/2013
Art Club every day4/19/2013
Exploring new countries, Abuela5/14/2013
Interpersonal Presentations: Interacting while peers present5/23/2013
Create your own version of 100 Mexicanos Dijeron for SMARTboard!5/31/2013
DIY Linguafolio e-portfolio on Google Sites & Blogger6/12/2013
Why Don't Students Like School?7/4/2013
Obstacles to PBL in the World Language Classroom7/14/2013
Feedback for Improvement: Two Personal Examples7/26/2013
Vision: Spanish is where we do things that matter7/26/2013
General Literacy Skills and L28/8/2013
Elements of Dia del Nino project8/22/2013
PBL Troubleshooting: Narrowing the Choices8/28/2013
RAFT for Novice Spanish9/16/2013
Divide and Conquer: Trust Your Students9/26/2013
Top 3 mistakes in "Top 3 mistakes teachers of novices make"10/17/2013
Cooking with Kiddies: Vocabulary We Needed11/14/2013
#ACTFL13 Storify Summaries: Saturday12/7/2013
Creative Writing reflection12/16/2013
Procedures to Keep Genius Hour in the TL12/16/2013
Vocabulary for Any Demonstration12/17/2013
Personal Vocabulary12/21/2013
Group Input12/24/2013


Is a PIRATE's Life for me?1/1/2014
PBL and the Writing Process1/1/2014
Genius Hour Agenda1/9/2014
Study visit at Caldwell Early College High School1/28/2014
#LangChat Methodology Extravaganza: PBL1/30/2014
Lesson Design2/1/2014
Creative Writing, Service Learning2/11/2014
Celebrity Look-Alike2/20/2014
Creative Writing Cures2/22/2014
Genius Hour Agenda 5: Contacts3/6/2014
Dual Language School in Catawba County3/11/2014
Team Compound vs Team Complex3/20/2014
Writers Workshop3/21/2014
Learning Is Learning3/30/2014
Langchat App4/21/2014
Genre Story Starters4/23/2014
School Supply Budget4/30/2014
Keep and Kick5/16/2014
Más americano5/16/2014
Self-Publishing Ebooks for Students5/16/2014
Keep and Kick5/16/2014
Spanish Accomplishments5/19/2014
VIF Professional developmen5/22/2014
Letter to my senator6/1/2014
Unsung Essential Standards, Part 1: Cognates and Loan Words6/11/2014
ASW narratives Spanish III WL.IL.CLL.3.46/16/2014
Genius Hour Problems7/13/2014
Stormboard Templates in the World Language Classroom7/24/2014
8 Years a Failure7/28/2014
Genius Hour for All8/5/2014
Communication-Based Interactive Language Notebook8/7/2014
#TLC14 Genius Hour for All8/8/2014
Stormboard seemed like the perfect tool8/22/2014
Concept Blogs for Film & Literature8/26/2014
Technology and the TL9/10/2014
Reader's Theatre Director's Notes9/10/2014
#ReflectiveTeacher Blogging Challenge Day 19: Student reflection9/16/2014
The Last Word: Collaborative Communication Strategy9/17/2014
Storyasking for Project-Based Learning9/21/2014
Going Green Unit: Spanish I/II9/21/2014
Plan Verde: PBL Entry Event + TPRS/TCI9/29/2014
#ReflectiveTeacher Blogging Challenge Day 26: Go-to sites10/11/2014
#ReflectiveTeacher Blogging Challenge Day 25: Collaboration ideal10/11/2014
#ReflectiveTeacher Blogging Challenge Day 29 & 30: I'm still changing10/11/2014
#ReflectiveTeacher Blogging Challenge Day 28: Curriculum & Technology10/11/2014
#ReflectiveTeacher Blogging Challenge Day 27: Weekends & holidays10/11/2014
Video Back Channels10/14/2014
Storyasking: "Mucha basura" Week 310/14/2014
#ReflectiveTeacher Blogging Challenge Day 24 & 23: PBL is life10/20/2014
Keeping PBL Groups in the Target Language10/22/2014
Verbs in a PBL Spanish Class10/30/2014
¡Llame ya! An Inventive Interdisciplinary Project11/3/2014
I AM the Parent11/12/2014
Independent Brain Breaks11/17/2014
Voice Commenting on Google Docs11/17/2014
Personalized Homework Goals11/18/2014
Reframing Frustration11/18/2014
Adapting to ACTFL I-cans11/27/2014
App Smash12/4/2014