#celebratelu:Finding my own reasons to say, “It’s all good”


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

This was the week to get back into the rhythms of school life, post-winter break.  Some of us in Room 202 were able to ease back into business by day 2, and others were still making the transition at 3:05 on Friday afternoon (or, in the words of one student, delivered with a shrug: “still working on it”).   “Yes,” I said in return, “I guess we’re all working on it, truth to tell.”

This snowy morning, I read Ruth’s  poignant tribute to her friend Kim.  Her last lines have been rumbling around in my head and my heart:

My ordinary is evolving.
I celebrate that through the hard, we can find good on the other end. I celebrate, like Kim, that

It’s all good.
Outside, a snowy curtain falls over our brown lawns and muddy flower beds: winter’s bleakness is becoming something rather magical.  Inside, I am at my desk surrounded by work to grade and books to read, and the week to sort through: what went well, where to go next.  I think back to these moments, and I feel the power of Kim’s words –It’s all good:
On Tuesday morning, I snipped off the remains of the drooping Christmas poinsettias all around our house and brought them to school.  Their presence allowed holiday memories with our three children to linger just a bit longer…and I celebrate that.

We’ve been peer editing our feature articles all week, and beginning the revision process which my kiddos love to complain about (that, and homework, of course!).  I loved walking around our classroom and eavesdropping as they sought to listen carefully to, clarify, and question their partner’s work.  Best of all, they came around (as they usually do)  to seeing the value of reading their work aloud and having a peer share feedback…I celebrate that!



Inspired by Jess Lifshitz,  we’ve immersed ourselves in our sixth grade version of her Mock Caldecott unit.  It’s been the perfect way to get back into our reading community.  All weeklong, we’ve gloried in discussions about picture books, art work, story telling, and the joy of finding meaning in words, pictures, and their intersections.  It was just what we needed to get back into book love…and I celebrate that.

We left our New Jersey classroom a few times this week for a virtual field trip to Monticello. I’ve done this every year as part of our “Age of Jefferson” unit, and I never tire of wandering through the rooms and grounds, learning about the boundless curiosity of this deeply flawed but brilliant man.   It felt so rewarding to pass along  my love and awe for this special place to another class of sixth graders who will now want to visit it, too…and I celebrate that.

On a personal note, my youngest daughter sought out and secured an internship with The Innocence Project on Friday:

Screen Shot 2017-01-07 at 11.24.31 AM.png

We’ve raised our kids with the values we hold truest, among which is the the call to make a difference in the lives of others.  But, Livy’s altruism runs deeper than existing just because she grew up hearing her parents say that this is an important value to strive for. It’s the center of who she is, and it is so moving to see her now, as an adult, stay true to the causes she she believes in and figure out how she can make an independent life doing altruistic work.   When I picked her up from the train station last night, fresh from her interview and job in hand, I felt a great rush of pride and joy because of her, and for her.  Livy believes that she is on a path to make a life of making a difference in the lives of others…and I celebrate that.

It’s been a week of ups and downs, as it always is.  But, in the greater scheme of things, I agree with Kim: It’s all good.






11 thoughts on “#celebratelu:Finding my own reasons to say, “It’s all good”

  1. Yes it’s all good. Livy has two great role models and her own inner sense of what’s right! And I’m back home after being stranded at Old World Market
    It’s all good 😍

  2. Hooray for Livy! Your word choice paints a picture of your classroom and I wish I could sit in one of your comfortable chairs one day and take in all the learning. Hugs my friend.

  3. It’s wonderful to read about Livy and her mission to make a difference in the lives of others.
    You have done a lot during the first week back at school. I hope that you get to rest over the weekend.

  4. I never tire of reading about life in your classroom, it is a place where intentional learning happens. Congrats to Livy! She is making a difference, just at you do each and every day. I agree, It’s all good.

  5. So much goodness here to celebrate! I’m so excited for Livy and her reaching out to be who she wants to be. Every time I read that you bring flowers on Monday, I think “I should do that.” A wonderful way to brighten the winter days.

  6. Love this post, Tara! I admire and appreciate your determination to stay positive and hopeful. I need that right now, as I’m sure most of us do. Thank you for the reminder to accentuate the positive.

  7. Much to celebrate Tara. Loved hearing about Livvy. Loved looking at the pictures of your kids reading and editing on a rug and in a rocking chair. Finding joy in the ordinary is critical to why we get up in the morning and look forward to another day.

  8. I am happy to hear about Livy and her coming home from the interview, “job in hand”. Having our children make a difference in the world by being people helping others is a great thing. Love that little reference to “reading aloud”, a consistent effort I remember. Glad you have the weekend to renew and that it is “all good”!

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