Monthly Archives: June 2018

Hey Kid

You’ve got to be kidding me.  It simply cannot be this date again…already – June 30th. It has been three years ago since we prayed for a miracle so that he could stay. We prayed for a miracle so that he would peacefully let go.  It was a struggle that we all shared on that last day of June in 2015.  It is a struggle that we continue to share this last day in June of 2018.  It’s a story that we continue to share.  “How can we not talk about family when family is all that we got.” ~Wiz Khalifa  We remain #Carterstrong.

Today’s blog is in memory of Carter Joseph Boerboom; it is written by his sister, Katie Boerboom, for families who are fighting cancer and praying for their own miracles.

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Hey kid,

It’s been a while.

I remember this day, 3 years ago. It was the last day I heard your voice. I remember how tired you looked. I remember holding your hand, and I remember the last time we talked.  You said my name out of nowhere, and told me you loved me. I love you too, and I miss you every second, of every minute, of every day.

There are lots of days that I wonder if things could’ve been different – if there was some magic cure – if there was some possibility that we could be sitting here together today, enjoying the lake. I know how much you loved the lake, and so I try as best as I can to enjoy it enough for both of us; but it’s not the same without you.

There will always be something missing. I miss waking up to the sounds of basketball dribbling in the kitchen. I miss finding new shows to watch with you. I miss your goofy sense of humor; and even more than that, I miss your goofy laugh. I miss driving you around – and I miss letting you drive my car (sorry dad). I miss when you’d play with my hair. I miss the shenanigans you and Sam used to pull. I miss our ice-cream trips. I miss my brother – I miss you.

It’s so hard to believe you’d be a senior this year. I’m certain that if you were here that Coach K would already have a Jersey for you (that’s the Duke coach, right?). You were so special. You are still so special – you endured something that no one your age should ever have to go through – and I hope you know what an inspiration you are to so many people. I think one of the hardest things when you left us – was trying to figure out how to keep going. It was the simple thought of you, my 14 year old little brother –  who showed more strength and grace than any adult I’ve ever known… it was by your example that I was able to keep going. Kid, you’re my hero. I hope someday that I will be as strong as you were that day. I hope someday that I will be able to live the way you did.

For many, stage 4 cancer is a death sentence; but you somehow managed to keep living until the very end. You fought for your life, and you didn’t let cancer win. I’m the proudest sister in the world, and I am so very blessed to be able to call you my brother. I think about this day a lot – and we never really got to say goodbye; I’m glad we didn’t. I’ll see you again someday.


Your big sister

Carter enjoying the ride
Carter enjoyed his ride!


Stay Calm & See You Again Someday!
Profs Dr. Wendy & Dr. V. 

Lessons Gleaned From My 40th Class Reunion

Class Reunion 40

I can remember when I thought 40-year old people were ancient. I guess it’s all in one’s perspective. What are some sayings about time flying by so quickly?

Time sure flies when you’re having fun.

Time keeps on slipping, slipping, slipping into the future.

If I could put time in a bottle.

If I could turn back time.

Time waits for no one.

And, my favorite saying from Andy Rooney… “Life is like a roll of toilet paper. The closer you get to the end, the faster it goes.”

This past weekend, the PHS Class of 1978 celebrated our 40th class reunion. It was a delight to reconnect with so many great people, and I believe everyone had a fantastic time. I sure did.

Thanks to everyone who joined in on the planning, decorating, and clean-up. BIG thanks to everyone who came. We had a phenomenal turnout. Without you showing up, it wouldn’t have happened. It was a team effort and I’d say we were victorious. So high fives for everyone!!

Here are a few lessons I learned from #reunion40…

Social Media Teamwork Works: “Teamwork divides the task & multiplies the success.” Spot on!! Because of Facebook and the private messaging ability, many classmates were able to share their ideas for the reunion. We had a group message going and private messages going. We also had text messages going (because not everyone is on Facebook). Once tasks were completed, we could post pictures of our accomplishments on these messages. It kept classmates in the loop, and it worked well!

Less Is More: From decorating the float to decorating the venue, the motto was ‘keep it simple.’ The reunion didn’t have elaborate decorations. We photo copied pictures from the annual and randomly spread those on white round tables then added a little ribbon of the school colors to each table. We didn’t cater the meal. We had a pot luck and had enough food to last for a week.

Preschool Teachers Have Beautiful Handwriting: If you need anything hand-written when decorating a float or the venue, find the preschool teacher classmate and ask her to do the honors. Permanent black markers do not come with erasers. So trust that teacher’s handwriting (thank you Miss Cindy ❤ ).

With Age Comes Wisdom & Forgiveness: For me, this reunion was my favorite. When I think back to high school, I know there were people I hurt with my words or my actions. While most of the time life was good in high school, let’s admit that there were arguments and disagreements and bullying and cattiness. Thank goodness we change. Thank goodness we become wiser. Thank goodness we forgive. At this reunion, we reunited after not seeing each other for a while, decades for some, and we just visited and hugged and laughed and cried together over life.

Memories Are Our Diaries: In 40 years we have lost 14 classmates. That seems like a lot to me. We created a memory table and decorated it with an old PHS graduation gown and hat. We placed photo copies of these classmates around the table with the framed saying “Memory…is the diary we all carry about with us.” Fourteen balloons in school colors sat on the table. After we took our group picture, we let the balloons go in memory of those classmates who have gone before us.

Classmates Are Generous: We had a free will offering bucket setting out on a table. With the donations collected, we were able to pay for the venue. You all rock!

Pic On A Stick: During the parade, we carried our graduation “pic on a stick.” This was a huge success. These made people laugh, and of course the parade goers appreciated it because no one recognized us now that we are 40 years older. 😮 Make an 8 X 10 of your graduation picture, then glue it to a piece of cardboard that has been glued to a paint stick. Thanks to Julie for the fabulous idea and to True Value for donating the sticks.

Friendships = Priceless: Yes they are, Tom! No matter how old we are, friendships will always be a gift from above. Just like marriage, though, it takes effort and commitment to make sure those friendships keep going. My best friend in high school is still a good friend today. Even though we don’t see each other often, we make the effort to visit and get together occasionally. Marilyn…thanks for being there for me all through the years. You’re the best.

The reunion was a blast, and it was so fun to reconnect! Whether we meet again in 5 years at the 45th or in 10 years at the 50th, my prayer for all of you is that the Lord blesses you with fabulous health and much happiness.

(Reunion recap via this video. Video credit goes to classmate and friend, Tom Johnson)

Stay Calm & Reconnect!
Profs Dr. Wendy & Dr. V. 

Co-Teaching: Educators Collaborating for Learners … Two Brains Are Better Than One

BLOG co-teaching
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Once in a while, spending some quality time alone is just plain good for the soul.  Going solo provides an opportunity to be calm and reflect.  It can provide an opportunity to gather one’s wits and plan for what’s next.  During this reflection time, some of us like to make a list.  Some of us like to listen to music.  Some of us like to take a nap and recharge.

While spending time on our own is important, part of our human nature is to be social creatures and be together.  Just as we can alone, we can brainstorm and reflect and prepare for tomorrow together.  As the proverb expresses, “Two heads are better than one” – or something along those lines.  It can be amazing what we can accomplish together with effective collaboration.

With a single head, teaching can be an overwhelming and lonely world if we let it be.  When we join forces with our colleagues, we can move mountains to change the world one mind at a time.  Considering this specifically, co-teaching is a framework that does just that – puts minds together to help other minds.

There are a variety of ways to effectively collaborate with colleagues in co-teaching.  Some of the most identified models of co-teaching include:

  • One Teach, One Assist
  • One Teach, One Observe
  • Station Teaching
  • Parallel Teaching
  • Alternate Teaching
  • Team Teaching
  • Peer Teaching

It is important for co-teachers to find out what works best for their students and their colleague.  Co-teaching is definitely not a one-size-fits-all model, and the models can change to meet the students’ and teachers’ needs.  Check out these videos for more information on co-teaching models:

Martina Wagner with Wagner Educational Consulting points out some benefits and challenges to co-teaching:

-Opportunity to problem solve and collaborate
-Enhanced personal support
-Increased confidence and professional development – two brains are better than one
-Extra support for students
-Absence of stigmatization
-Increased participation rate with lower teacher : student ratio
-Improved classroom management
-More on-task time… for the students and the teachers J
-Additional positive connections with adults

Challenges: Questions to consider…
-Whose students are these?
-Who gives grades? How do we grade?
-Whose classroom management rules do we use?
-What space do I get?
-What do we tell the students? the parents?
-How can we get time to co-plan?

BLOG Co-Teaching 2
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Although there is tranquility in solitude, consider giving co-teaching a try in efforts to increase interaction and student achievement.  After all – two brains are better than one…  just ask my co-blogger. 😉

Stay Calm & Co-Teach ~
Profs Dr. C. & Dr. V.