Monthly Archives: February 2020

Our Favorite Things

Blog favorite things

Grrr…I forgot to do my online discussion post.

That math quiz was so hard!

I’m still not feeling well so I can’t get to class.

How do I upload my edTPA video?

When will you have that assignment corrected?

I’m snowed in and can’t make the drive to campus.

How many lesson plans do we have to write?

Where do I put this on Live Text?

 I’m just not sure I can do this!

What do you do when frustration and worry, stress and unhappiness slam against your heart and soul? Do you pull the blankets up over your head and try to hide from the loud thunder?

Some days can feel like a blustery storm, can’t they?  Sometimes the turbulence of day-to-day challenges just makes us want to have a good cry.

Maria, the main character played by Julie Andrews in the movie, The Sound of Music, has some sound advice for us on those turbulent days. She advises…

“When anything bothers me and I’m feeling unhappy, I just try to think of nice things.”

Ahh…nice things. Favorite things. Think about such things. Maria sings about some of her favorite things like raindrops on roses, whiskers on kittens, bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens. Girls in white dresses and blue satin sashes, snowflakes that stay on her nose and eye lashes.

I asked our teacher candidates to share a few of their favorite things with me. Below are their answers along with mine. Let’s sing it together… 🎶

Maddy:                Softball and family, spaghetti and puppies

Tiahna:                 Family and friends, dogs and good movies

Wendy:                Hugs from the grandkids, the joy that this brings

                                These are a few of our favorite things.

Mary:                    Chocolate, alfalfa sprouts, gyros and red wine

Wendy:                 Hugs from the grandkids and morning devotions time

Wendy:                Geese in formation, the porch swing in spring

                                These are a few of our favorite things

All:                         When the work bites, when edTPA stings

                                When we’re feeling sad

                                We simply remember our favorite things

                                And then we don’t feel so bad.

When the lightening in life says something to our thunderous life challenges, and the thunder answers back and it makes us scared and sad…simply remember our favorite things, and we won’t feel so bad. 😊🤗

Stay Calm and Think of Your Favorite Things!
Profs Dr. Wendy. & Dr. V.


“I truly believe that everything that we do and everyone that we meet is put in our path for a purpose. There are no accidents; we’re all teachers – if we’re willing to pay attention to the lessons we learn, trust our positive instincts and not be afraid to take risks or wait for some miracle to come knocking at our door.” ~ Marla Gibbs

Blog everyone

Everyone.  It takes a village, right?  You bet it does. It takes everyone. Every single one of us. Everybody.

In Everybody Always, author Bob Goff shares that we cannot love the people who we do not know.  We need to get to know each other. As educators, our job is to get to know the learners counting on us.  “When joy is a habit, love is the reflex” (p.21). I used to tell my students that they did not need to love everyone, but that they needed to respect and be friendly to everyone.  Maybe it is more than that? Maybe we do need to believe and model for our students to get to know and love everyone.  Can you imagine what this world would be like if we did more than attempt to respect others?  What if we lived in a world where we respected and loved everyone? Everybody.

When we watch a team compete, we see successful teams count on everyone.  Each team member has a role to play no matter how big or small.  Coaches guide team members to work together.  Likewise is true for teachers in the classroom.  We are preparing students for a social world.  We integrate collaborative learning in many lessons, and guide our students to learn the art of collaboration and being part of a team, something bigger than ourselves.  As Babe Ruth once expressed, “The way a team plays as a whole determines its success. You may have the greatest bunch of individual stars in the world, but if they don’t play together, the club won’t be worth a dime.”

Blog Everyeone TEAM

We need to understand and truly believe how we are all important members of a team, our team. As John Maxwell states, “We behave in light of our beliefs. If you don’t like people or don’t believe in them, you won’t be able to fake it…If you desire to add value to people, then you need to value them first” (2004, p.104). We need to be authentic in our relationships with everyone: students who are in general education or students who are in special education, students who are English proficient or students who are English learners, students who are big or students who are small… “Students thrive when they learn together and construct their learning  in an inclusive classroom where everyone’s thoughts are heard, valued, and respected” (Dennis, Holmes, & Smith, 2015, p. 204). We need to add value to people.

Each day… show up… add value to those around us and to the work that we do together. As Thomas Jefferson shared, “A candle loses nothing when it lights another candle.” This is true for us in education.  Be the candle to help light up the world for everyone. Help light the path. Listen and learn about others and their stories.

As humans we are natural storytellers. We weave narrative into nearly every relationship  we build and value. …Regardless of age or status, if you’re not satisfied with the path you’re on, it’s time to rewrite your future. Your life should be a story you are excited to tell. …It requires strength of imagination. It relies on that ability we each possess to suspend belief in the restraints of today to enable the possibilities of tomorrow. Most of all…each morning that we make a choice to bring positivity or negativity into the world, and that with every single person there lies an extraordinary story waiting to unfold. Braun, 2014, p.250-251)

We write our story together.  Are we listening to what we all have to say? How can we start to share our stories and to really listen to one another?

Blog everyone Story

“Unity is strength… when there is teamwork and collaboration, wonderful things can be achieved.” ~Mattie Stepanek

Blog everyone Unity

Stay Calm and Love Everyone!
Profs Dr. Wendy. & Dr. V.

(This is an excerpt from the POWERFUL E Chapter in our book POWERFUL Teaching co-authored by Dr. Wendy Schoolmeester, Dr. Sonya Vierstraete, Dr. Rhonda Bonnstetter, and Dr. Mary Risacher. The book is available at Kendall-Hunt Publishing: