Tag Archives: Mya

#DigiLitSunday: Balancing Goals & Needs

balance digilit.jpg

When teaching, goals and needs often become blurred due to perspective.  Whose goals and needs are the basis for planning, instructing and assessing?  When are student voices heard?  When are parent voices heard?  When does the community have input?

Today’s topic seemed like an easy one:

Balancing Goals and Needs


This morning I had a lengthy conversation with Mya over coffee.  Her needs seem simple:  food, water, shelter, hugs and kisses, time to play.  How many of those do I define?  How many of those does she define?  I laughed last week as she went nose to nose with an opossum and it was not playing.  As Mya barked, the opossum snarled back.  Not the quiet, placid Mya who walks among the deer without a sound.  Not the quiet Mya who allows Harry the cat to tell her what to do.  So I’ve been wondering what are Mya’s needs and what are her goals?

On this foggy Sunday morning Mya has no need to head outside.  She’s curled up on the love seat napping.  She’s already had her breakfast, her treat, a bit of conversation and she’s now in her own little world.

Are her needs met?  Are her goals met?

Conversation with Mya about basic needs is quite simple.  If either her food bowl or water bowl are empty, she comes and tells me.  Her nose on me is quite telling.  No words are needed.

And when she’s ready to play. OMG!  YES!  She’s bouncing. Or she’s patiently waiting.  That stare.  Those eyes!

And of course, I’m well trained.  When she’s standing, nose against the door, tail wagging, it’s time to open the door for her!

Are her needs met?  Are her goals met?

Because we live in the country, Mya has a LOT of unsupervised, unstructured time outside.  No pen, no fences, no boundary fencing. I like to think that her time outside gives her the opportunity to be an independent free spirit.  (Mya is a Lab and loves recognition for her skills.)

What about balancing my goals and my needs?

My initial draft of this post included a list of goals and a list of needs.  As fast as I listed something in either category, I was deleting it and moving it to the other side.  And then . . . . there were the list items that HAD to be in BOTH categories!  Ay, yi, yi – not productive!  Way too much thinking!

Last week I had the pleasure of learning with and from Cassie Erkens (@cerkens) author of Collaborative Common Assessments:  Teamwork. Instruction. Results. One important point she made was that we must understand the DNA (Desires, Needs, and Assets) of ALL students.

Do we even “know” that information about our students?

So that long conversation with Mya led me to realize this morning over coffee that it doesn’t really matter whether I can specifically IDENTIFY all my goals and needs.  Instead living my life so that I BALANCE my goals and needs in service of being brave and remaining a life-long learner is important.

At home:

Family, Comfort, Love, Peace, Fun, Faith, Joy, Reading and Writing

At work:

Fun, Learning, Collaborating, Equity, Joy, Reading and Writing

In life:

Fun, Family, Reading, Writing, Joy, Faith and Brave Support for a Better World


Can you tell what I am working to “Balance”?

How do you balance your Goals and Needs?  

How do you make sure that all voices are included?

Check out the posts at Margaret Simon’s “Reflections on the Teche” for more ideas / thinking about balance!

#SOL16: March Challenge Day 9 – Stormy

The weather every five minutes! The meteorologist on the TV stands in front of a green screen and points to the radar picture to show where and how soon the weather will change.  Fancy gadgets, big words, and timed intervals display the details about where, when and how much precipitation is expected.


But I have my own personal meteorologist.  Gadget-free. Screen-free.

Her nose is pressed quietly against my knee.  Her body lays across my feet.  If I recline my chair, she is totally under it. All. Thirty-five pounds.  Quiet. Hidden.

Three minutes after nose touching and I hear the first clap of thunder.  I could have counted the seconds.  She is that accurate.  Mya is the second black lab, who has had us as her people, who is absolutely terrified of storms.  But 100% accurate.  She should be paid for her career in meteorology.

The rain is soft and gentle, a cleansing spring March rain.  But the thunder continues and Mya huddles under my chair. Unseen, unheard, sheltered from the thunder.



Mya as a meteorologist was on my list of possible slices.  The thunder as I fell asleep last night, sealed the topic.  This morning I drafted in WordPress and then looked for a picture, (Mya has not given her permission for pictures to be posted), previewed, revised, tagged and posted. (35 minutes)

slice of life 2016

Thank you, Anna, Betsy, Beth, Dana, Deb, Kathleen, Stacey, and Tara. Check out the writers, readers and teachers here.  It’s the March Slice of Life Challenge so be ready to read DAILY posts!


#SOL16: March Challenge Day 6 – Sounds

She sighs.  Her head is resting on the arm of the love seat and she faces me as I sit here working on my post for today. Her eyes are closed and yet she sighs AGAIN.  As the coffee pot stops gurgling, I leave the recliner for that first jolt of caffeine.  Her eyes follow me.  I hear one foot hit the carpet and then another while filling my mug.  I hear her stretch. And then another sigh. Today she sighs, “When will she be done? When will she pay attention to me?  When will it be my turn?”

It’s early morning.  I am not yet ready for conversation. Please, just one cup of coffee. Is that too much to ask?  Yes, I am a morning person.  But I am a peaceful, quiet morning person with rituals and routines that begin the day calmly and quietly and without any fuss and especially so on a Sunday!

Here I sit with my coffee and I’m rewarded with her sweet, gentle kiss.  And then she races to the door, tail wagging and snuffling – quietly letting me know that she is ready to head outside.  She is ready to begin the day with her first outside excursion.

What sounds does Mya make?

The answer seems so simple.  When she is in the house, she barks to herald arrivals. She barks and barks as a vehicle pulls into the driveway, as a driver exits the car, and until that knock on the door is answered.  When she is outside,  Mya barks to share her excitement with me when she finds something outside that I need to see.  She barks when another critter (but not the familiar deer) invades her space.  But she also hums when I rub her belly, or cries out when dreaming, or that bit of an attention-getting sigh when ignored too long.

However, this morning Mya quietly goes outside to check out the sunshine and someone who is not working on a computer.


Peak into Process:  

I read Dana’s “Be Inspired” and followed the link to inmanlilysaad’s “The Sound of Plates” (site is no longer available). I opened up my word document where I am drafting slices and put the title “Sounds” and then jotted 4 ideas:  Traffic, Mya, Early Morning Sounds, It’s the News but what does it sound like?  I sipped my coffee and considered each idea.  Thinking mode/no writing until that first cup of coffee was drained and refilled.  I picked up the laptop and began writing about Mya. I typed a draft that began with describing Mya’s barking.  I stopped and drank my second cup of coffee. And then I began to revise.  I began with her sighing because it was the first sound I heard TODAY from Mya. (Another day could definitely be different.)

Drafting/Revision, Process, Tagging, Previewing: 40 minutes from beginning to publication

Which is your focus?  Product / Process / or both?

When does the priority of your focus shift?  Or does it?

Check out Margaret’s comparison of writing to watercolor painting in her post “Technique” !

Please use this button on your site for DigiLit Sunday posts DigiLit Sunday and Slice of Life!


Thank you, Anna, Betsy, Beth, Dana, Deb, Kathleen, Stacey, and Tara. Check out the writers, readers and teachers here.  It’s the March Slice of Life Challenge so be ready to read DAILY posts!


My Zorro Circle

it is what it is

Steph Scrap Quilts

"Our lives are connected by a thousand invisible threads..."


A meeting place for a world of reflective writers.

Tim's Teaching Thoughts

Ideas and Reflections on Teaching

Hands Down, Speak Out

Listening and Talking Across Literacy and Math

Teachers | Books | Readers

Literacy Leaders Connecting Students and Books

Dr. Carla Michelle Brown * Speaker * author * Educator

We have the perfect words. Write when you need them. www.carlambrown.com

Curriculum Coffee

A Written Shot of Espresso

Mrs. Palmer Ponders

Noticing and celebrating life's moments of any size.


Seeking Ways to Grow Proficient, Motivated, Lifelong Readers & Writers

Doing The Work That Matters

a journey of growing readers & writers


adventures in multiple tenses

The Blue Heron (Then Sings My Soul)

The oft bemused (or quite simply amused) musings of Krista Marx -- a self-professed HOPE pursuing Pollyanna

Middle English

Life as an English teacher leader

steps in the literacy journey

Walking the Path to Literacy Together


Smile! You’re at the best WordPress.com site ever

Resource - Full

Sharing Ideas, Strategies and Tools