Monday, November 24, 2008

The Sea is So WIde, My Boat is So Small...

A few years ago, I heard the quote, "Dear Lord, be good to me. The sea is so wide and my boat is so small." It is the slogan for the "Children's Defense Fund" which is a child advocacy group. There was a song written to go along with the quote.

Oddly, a few days ago I was thinking about that quote because it described how I was feeling. Sometimes I get a little overwhelmed with things at school....and my boat feels very small. Then, in a strange sense of coincidence, I noticed that Peter H. Reynolds became a fan of the Children's Defense Fund on Facebook. Wow, would I love to see the "Peter H" art to go along with that quote. I decided that this coincidence must be trying to send me a message.

All of these things have me thinking about something I have known for a while now.... I had noticed that a few kids at school wanted to get a little closer or touch me a little more...then it hit me....Not every kid is happy to have time off to spend with their family. Some family time is unpleasant and some is frightening.

The great thing about being a teacher is that we can have a little impact on the sea that kids are navigating. We can be a warm caring person in a kids life. We can never make up for a bad home life, but we can understand that kids have those types of experience and give them skills to get out. We have learned that education is the key to a brighter future.

I feel especially blessed this year to be a part-time member of the FableVision family. Our leader, Peter Reynolds, has given us a glimpse of a different world where kids can be lifted up by capitalizing on their creativity and demonstrating their intelligence in non-paper and pencil ways. Best of all, we have "The North Star" book which helps us teach kids to follow their star!

Every day I have a lot to be thankful for. Today is a day when I will spend a little extra time appreciating. I get to be a force in some wonderful childrens' lives. What other job can you have that you feel so loved? I get to work part time for the most amazing company who has a mission matches my own.

I wouldn't begin to compare myself with the amazing Marion Wright Edelman who founded the Childrens Defense Fund....But we all have a stake in making sure that kids are successful. I do what I can and I know that many of you share that passion.

What are you thankful for? What ways are YOU reaching out to kids and getting them to see their North Star?

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Please come along on my Journey!!!

My request for singers from around the country/world was a bust. SO, I am going to change my request. Would you consider sending me a very short (10-20 second) video of your town and/or school?

I want to have my kids sing the song "Journey" from "The North Star Musical" and then show video from around the world/country to show we are all on a Journey, no matter where we live.


Here is an example from my new BEST FRIEND, Lori Lee:

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

I'm on Facebook??

Well, as an example of the phrase 'never say never,' I am on Facebook. When mentor and pal, Peter H. Reynolds, suggested that I get a Facebook account, I have to admit I was a little skeptical. But, he has never led me astray before, so I jumped in.

After a few days, this is what has happened. I have friend and been friended by over one hundred people. Nice! I have started a group called "Educator Fans of FableVision." Currently, I am the Lead Ambassador for my favorite company, FableVision! How great is that? I started out loving the company and the software they create...then blogging like crazy about programs that inspire me and my students, and I end up with a job about two weeks ago... Best of all, my new part-time job is not in is talking to other educators who LOVE FableVision and are inspired by what great books and programs can do for their students. But, I am off topic.

My friend, the amazing Maribeth whom I blogged about a few days ago, started the "Educator Fans of Stationery Studio" which is one of my all-time favorite software programs. "Stationery Studio" was written by one of my all-time favorite people, Dr. Peggy Healy Stearns (who is also on Facebook). I was the first person to join that group!!!

So, where does that get us? If you are on Facebook, look me up! If you haven't already, join the two groups above. And if, like me, you thought that Facebook was for sixteen year olds....think again! There are a lot of us there now who are.....well, let's just say a few years over sixteen!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Come Along on a Journey...

I was so inspired by a blog post by Karl Fisch, that I want to do the same sort of thing. It was called, "Playing for Change" and it featured singers from around the world.

In the next few days, I want to start working on this. I am hoping for people from all around the world to do it!! Here is what I would like to do....

1- Each school creates a short video showing their town/area

2- Each school/class learns the song, "Journey" from The North Star Musical by Tim Beckman and Peter H. Reynolds. Schools will be provided the music and an .mp3 track to sing along with.

3- I will combine the songs from all schools and the video clips into one incredible compilation!

4- The final video will be shared!

Your kids will love the song (My kids did). The musical is amazing and you might just want to do the whole thing. But, for now, you only need to commit to the one song and recording.

Email me for the song!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Wings of Epoh is a Winner!!!

Wings of Epoh, which I have blogged about before, has won "The Rights of the Child Award" at the Chicago International Children's Film Festival! If you haven't checked it out, you must. It is a beautiful story and a beautiful film. It was cooperative project with SARRC (Southwest Autism Research and Resource Center). The book was written by Gerda Weissmann Klein, famed Holocaust survivor and author. It was lovingly illustrated by Peter H. Reynolds.

The film was produced by FableVision.