Celebration Saturday: February 1st., 2014

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Celebrate with Ruth Ayres @ ruth ayres writes  …. because, we need to celebrate moments in our lives every chance we get!

Wow…what a week!  Every day was one of those intense teaching days, and I left school exhilarated by  the work my kids were doing…but  exhausted, too.   And, there was so much going on in the world beyond my classroom, of course, that I also felt deeply connected to.  So, here’s to celebrating the week :

1. I celebrated that Malala Yousafzai  was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize.  Let’s hope that this courageous young woman wins the prize this time – for her activism, her bravery, her resilient and forgiving spirit.  

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2.  And I celebrated the life of Pete Seeger, who passed away on Monday.  Another activist, another amazing individual  who believed that each day brought a new opportunity to participate in the endeavor to make this world a better place.

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3.  There is much to celebrate when it comes to these three young ladies: my Olivia (she’s the one in the middle) and her friends Julianne and Rebecca.

They began singing together in their freshman year of  high school, and, when their choir director refused to help them start an a cappella group (although he didn’t have any trouble finding time to help the boys start just such a group!), they took matters into their own hands.  The three of them conducted their own auditions, arranged their own music, and found venues to perform all around town.  As Livy write in her college essay, that “no” became a challenge and a lesson in life – if you want something, work hard to make it happen. And they did.  “The Crazy Pitches” had a great run all through the girls’ high school years.  The original three, though, always kept their little core group alive through vacation jam sessions.  Livy, who would normally sleep late into the afternoon on holiday, would be up and at it with her musical partners amazingly early on practice days.  They love what thy do, they work hard at it…and today they are driving up to Providence Rhode Island at he invitation of America’s Got Talent.  Who knows what will come of today’s audition – but I celebrate three gutsy and talented young women who learned early that someone else’s “no” is often just the start to making your own dreams come true.

4.  We’re halfway through the school year now, and I asked my students to write letters to me: what’s going well with block for you? what do you enjoy? what’s not going well? where can I, your teacher, improve?  Late on Friday evening, once the building had cleared of all students and I had set up our classroom for the week ahead, I made myself a cup of tea and read through these letters.  These lines really stuck with me: “I love that we are a trust based community.  We trust you to be prepared to teach us what we need to know and do.  You trust us to give our best effort.”  At the end of the day, that really sums up my teaching life, and the learning community in room 202.

Happy Celebration Saturday, and now I’m off to enjoy others’ celebrations.

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17 thoughts on “Celebration Saturday: February 1st., 2014

  1. Wonderful celebrations. Your daughter’s group–I love the story and what she learned from it. And to me, that is waaaayyyy more important than anything else. But, they are wonderful!

    “I love that we are a trust based community.” Tara, that is an amazing testimonial to the work you do in your classroom. I love when kids get it…..

  2. I’ll send good luck wishes all day to Livy’s group, Tara. Hoping, hoping! It was a crazy week, didn’t know about the nomination for Malala-wonderful! Pete Seeger has entertained us all week, hasn’t he? And it will continue! Happy to hear the words from your student-not surprised! Have a great weekend!

  3. Oh, that is a lot to celebrate! What wonderful people. I enjoyed the singing of Livy and her friends earlier, and it makes me want to cheer even louder knowing the story of that choir director. Yes, those no’s, while I hate that they still happen to girls, can be inspiring. No matter what happens today, what validation the invitation is. And what your student wrote about trust: I love that so much. What every student deserves, and I’m glad it’s found in your room.

  4. Inspiring celebrations! I missed Malala’s nomination. My students love her; I’ll tell them on Monday. We watched/listened to Pete Seeger on Tuesday night. Still humming. Good luck to Liv. They are beautiful. Thanks for sharing your mid-year celebrations at school. What a lovely quote.

  5. I’d say America’s got talent when I listen to your daughter’s group. I hope they had a super day! Trust, that is absolutely great! How awesome to know that the trust goes both ways.

  6. What great celebrations. I, too, had not heard of Malala’s nomination…a true winner in my book. Good luck to your daughter and her group. I can’t wait to hear about that experience! How fun!

  7. So excited about the girls’ opportunity today. I’ll keep my fingers crossed for them. A trust based community – what a gift you give your students!

  8. This line sends shivers down my spine, “We trust you to be prepared to teach us what we need to know and do. You trust us to give our best effort.”
    That is why we should teach. Your students are very lucky to have you in their lives.

  9. I am pulling for your daughter’s group. I love the back story and the go for it attitude. And the line “trust based community” just wow! Have a wonderful week.

  10. Wow! America’s Got Talent! I’m so impressed and will be watching and cheering for your daughter and her group! Also really impressed with the insightful comments your students made about their year so far. What a wonderful celebration of your classroom community.

  11. I can’t wait to hear about Livy’s group. I hope they do well. What strong young women they are! I’m so glad you shared your students’ comments. One of my professional goals this year is to give and get more feedback. I often ask my students to write to me. I learn so much from them. I hope you have a relaxing rest of the weekend and a great week next week.

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