Tag Archives: thank you

#SOLSC22: 1

Eager to learn.


We read Joyful Learning in Kindergarten, Transitions, Invitations, The Whole Story to name a few as we learned from Bobbi Fisher, Regie Routman, and Brian Cambourne. Our professional learning as we grew our understanding.

My first introduction to book studies before anyone called them book studies. My first introduction to a student-centered classroom.

It began with a first grade teacher. A teacher who read, reflected, and then made decisions about student learning and her own teaching. A teacher who was a literacy workshop teacher. A teacher who trusted students to learn and grow.

We read. We collected data. We discussed the data. We made changes. We tried again. Action research before we heard that label.

We celebrated ALL students as readers and writers. We celebrated high expectations. We celebrated student growth. We celebrated choice. We celebrated community,

Thank you, Diane Ruyle, for all the lives you touched including mine! You encouraged me to read, write, and think deeply about learning, students, and choice!

Photo by Alexas_Fotos on Unsplash

Who has helped you grow professionally?


Thank you, Two Writing Teachers, for this daily forum during the month of March.

Check out the writers and readers here.

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#SOL20: Appreciation

Ahh. Another cup.

Guessed it. The cup arrived in campus mail with a note attached. “In grateful appreciation . . .”


Be. Grateful.

Say. Thank You. And. Let. It. Go

Why didn’t it feel like “appreciation”?

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Recognition alone is a great beginning.

Recognition alone does NOT always feel like appreciation.

What was missing?

  • The Enjoyment
  • The Valuing
  • The Respect
  • The Cherishing
  • The Treasuring
  • The Good Qualities
  • The Full Understanding

Recognition, even public naming, may fall flat if it feels perfunctory. Forced. Incomplete. A Checkmark of Completion. Forgotten until that one week rolls around next year.

Perhaps a feeling of Non-Appreciation the remaining 51 weeks of the year.

The personalized notes. The post its. The hand-written, unsolicited treasures from students, families, and peers. Treasures to receive. Treasures to revisit. Treasured messages that convey appreciation.

What if the “Appreciation” included a personalized reason, example, or some specific piece of evidence?

What if the ‘Appreciation” was simply words from the heart – whether spoken or written?

What if the “Appreciation” was personalized?

When does appreciation convey true meaning?

When does appreciation miss the mark?

(So many questions . . .)

Thank you, Two Writing Teachers, for this weekly forum. Check out the writers and readers here.

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This post was would have been more positive and upbeat if I had not read tis first. Aye, yi yi!


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#SOL17: Memories



Moments in time


Perhaps captured with a camera flash

Or the stroke of a pen.



Moments in time

Experiences shared

As families, as friends, as spectators, as coaches


Perhaps a story told

Or laughter shared.


Moments in time

Voices murmuring

Beckoning here and there


Shared out loud

Multiplying our love!

How are you storing up each moment?  

How do you capture that smile, that glance, that word, that memory?

Thank you, dear friends, for all your kinds words, support and love these past few weeks,  There.are.no.words.to.express.the.depth.of.my.appreciation.

thank you pic

Thank you, Betsy, Beth, Deb, Kathleen, Lanny, Lisa, Melanie, and Stacey for this weekly forum and the #SOLSC that runs from March 1 to the 31st. Check out the writers, readers and teachers here.

Slice of Life 30: Thank You!

(During March, I am blogging daily as a part of the Slice of Life Story Challenge!)  Special thanks to the hosts of the Slice of Life Challenge:  StaceyTaraDanaBetsyAnna and Beth.   More Slice of Life posts can be found at  Two Writing Teachers .

thank you languages


Kudos to the fabulous team at Two Writing Teachers and all the support that they assembled for this challenge!  Being a part of a community like this makes it “easier” to continue on each day!  Thanks to both Stacey Shubitz, SOLSC14, and Anna Gratz Cockerille, Classroom SOLSC14,  for their great “Be Inspired” ideas!  Thanks to the support team as well.  I had many questions for Elsie and her supportive responses soothed my apprehensions!

I jumped into this challenge because of two twitter friends, Julieanne Harmatz (AKA @jarhartz ) who blogs at “To Read To Write To Be” and  Catherine Flynn (AKA @flynn_catherine who blogs at “Reading to the Core.”   Check out the past slices on the blogs of these two talented ladies!

Thanks to all “Slicers” who read and commented on my blog during the “Slice of Life Challenge.”  Special thanks to those who commented a LOT including:   Julieanne, Tara, Catherine, Anna, Elsie, Stacey and Carol.

Writing every day for a month has helped me continue to work on my own writing.  I will reflect on forms and topics tomorrow in my final post for the month.  It’s possible that I will join “Slice of Life Tuesday” or another regular weekly posting.  I must do some work on my calendar to determine feasibility over the next couple of months as I modify an online graduate course and also plan for summer work.  This month has shown me, again, how important it is to both respond to other bloggers and/or tweet out their links.  The connections in the community are THE BEST!

But most importantly, this Slice of Life Challenge has confirmed my belief that teachers of writing must also be writers!

Again, Thanks!  This has been fun!  This has been great learning!  This has fueled my writing soul!

Slice of Life 18: Support Systems

(During March, I am blogging daily as a part of the Slice of Life Story Challenge!)  Special thanks to the hosts of the Slice of Life Challenge:  StaceyTaraDanaBetsyAnna and Beth.   More Slice of Life posts can be found at  Two Writing Teachers .


Exactly how big are the roots that are needed for a healthy tree?

Of course, it will depend on the tree.  What about this image?  The “invisible to the eye” root system of the tree is bigger than the visible part of the tree.  Is that possible in other “root” or “support” systems?

How big is the “support system” or root of a family with a member deployed overseas?

It’s huge!  And the sole purpose of this post is to say:


In our family, the system is amazing.  Everyone that attended Evan’s wedding last year is a part of that support system.  From the quilts (Aunts Pat Mary and Grandma) to the Kolaches (Aunt Mary again) and even Grandma Twilah who pitched a hand to help out!  The little kids were entertaining at the rehearsal dinner, the wedding, reception and dance!  What a celebration to begin a new life as a couple!

While deployed, there were boxes, cards and thoughtful remembrances that kept the family tree standing despite the distance and the long, lonely days. Thanks to Mom and my brothers and sisters and their families who contributed to those efforts!  To my family who welcomed Julie with open arms to the Marek and Ruth Christmas, “Thanks!” is just one little word with millions of thoughts attached!  You are all greatly appreciated.

To the teacher of my great nephew Benen, “You are amazing!”  His class sent cards for Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Valentine’s Day.  Evan and Julie recorded a “thank you” which became a part of the school celebration for Veteran’s Day starring Benen!  You’ve never met Evan but yet took the time to honor and recognize a soldier away from home and from a community half-way across the state! Priceless!

To my friends and co-workers, thanks for asking about and listening to my stories about Evan and Julie.  It made the 248 days more bearable.

To Allison, thanks for searching for soldiers to support!  Also thank you for your continued contact and support of both Julie and me as well!

To my fellow “Slicers” who I have YET to meet – special thanks for your comments and thank you’s for Evan’s service.  Simply taking the time to comment is/was greatly appreciated!


It’s hard to find words to say “Thank You” to my son for his service, sacrifice and patriotism, but there are many others that I also need to thank!

The real hero who must be recognized is Evan’s wife, Julie.  What a trooper!  Not fun to have a husband of two months shipped overseas.  Lots of love, laughter and tears did help you through those long months of an overseas deployment! (and frequent conversations with the dogs, Toby Ryan and Millie Ann!) Julie won the prize for the best “duct tape” and decorated boxes!

And then the shining stars behind Julie every step of the way – her parents, John and Debbie; and her sisters, Melissa and Keri and all their families.  Julie’s parents were there to see Evan off and to see him safely home.  Keri, Alma and Melissa also were there for the celebratory homecoming.  Aunt Lisa, Andy and Matthew were also there for the homecoming dinner and tons of support.  Your love is visible in all your actions and words.

Like the tree roots there are many invisible supports as well: the FRG groups, the prayers at churches across the country and many other community groups that routinely support  deployed service member’s families.

With my deepest gratitude!


and my sincerest apologies for anyone that I left out!  (I blame “my increasing age” and “failing memory”!)  As well as my thanks to any readers who are at present or who in the past have been part of a soldier’s support systems!

With this metaphor, is it possible for a person to be both a branch on the tree and a part of the root or support system?  What do you think?  (Add your thoughts to the comments!)
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