Tag Archives: reflection

When the Slice of Life Challenge is Over #sol18

I got this idea from a fellow slicer, and thought it was the perfect way to reflect on the Slice of Life Challenge. In my eighth year, I am a seasoned slicer and deeply cherish this gift of writing and community, and today, the last day of March 2018, I am sad that it’s coming to an end.

When the SOL Challenge is over I will
get back to my normal exercise routine

When the SOL Challenge is over I will
deeply miss the daily interactions with the SOL community

When the SOL Challenge is over I will
spend time planning my summer travels

When the SOL Challenge is over I will
miss writing every day

When the SOL Challenge is over I will
have more time to catch up on the work I’ve put off

When the SOL Challenge is over I will
be a better friend to those I’ve neglected

When the SOL Challenge is over I will
try to find a happy medium with my blogging (it doesn’t have to be all or nothing)

When the SOL Challenge is over I will
finish that puzzle I started

When the SOL Challenge is over I will
spend more time writing in my writer’s notebook

When the SOL Challenge is over I will
focus more on my goals for this year

When the SOL Challenge is over I will
miss reading about what karpenglish, shaggerspicchu, elsie, standingtall47, angelina’sgarden, and tomasevichtales are up to everyday

When the SOL Challenge is over I will
read more books

When the SOL Challenge is over I will
strike a better balance

When the SOL Challenge is over I will
have a hard time letting go

When the SOL Challenge is over I will
look forward to next year’s challenge

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On Photography #sol18

As an avid traveler, photography is one of my budding hobbies. I haven’t taken a class (I probably should ) and I don’t really know what I’m doing, but I try. That’s what counts, right? 🙂 Today, as I swiped through the photos I’ve taken so far on my trip, I’ve been thinking about me as a photographer.

On Photography

At first
center it
point and click
snap, snap, snap
quantity over quality

Through the years
I’ve evolved
no longer
am I satisfied
with mediocre

Now my photos
have to
tell a story
make the viewer
wonder and
question

The focus now
is less
on the famous
or touristy
and more
on the ordinary

Catching glimpses of
everyday life
made interesting
by the angle
the framing
and the focus

Color and
lines
grab my eye
intriguing me
enticing me
to take the shot

The goal to
get the perfect shot
the right angle
subjects in and
out of focus
framing it just so
better than editing later

More concerned with
quality over quantity now
many shots
don’t make the cut
but the ones
that do
are just right

Here are a few of my favorite shots:

A Reading Kinda Day #sol18

Today was a walk around, stop for a while to grab a bite to eat or drink, and read, read, read kind of day. It’s been a long time since I’ve truly gotten lost in a book and spent the majority of the day reading, and I’ve missed it! All too often, I’ll read in short spurts, distracted by technology or something else I have to do. Lately, my reading life has been in a slump, and while I’m always in the middle of a book or two, it’s taking me longer and longer to finish a book.

Today, as I read, I got swept up in the story. I found myself stopping for longer stretches, breaking out my book to read, tuning out the noise around me. And boy was there noise today! I heard cappuccino machines steaming, blenders whirring, spoons clinking, patrons gabbing, music blasting, fans spinning, motorbikes speeding, horns honking, drills drilling, and hawkers yelling. Somehow the noise took a backseat to the story, becoming the soft backdrop, rather than the main event.

I managed to read over half of my book, and I plan on reading more tonight before bed. Of course, reading is on my agenda tomorrow. Frankly, other than trying more delicious food, it’s the only thing on my agenda. By the way, I’m reading Turtles All The Way Down, John Green’s newest book.

Here are a few shots of my day, in between my reading sessions.

Days Like These #sol18

Days Like These

It’s days like these I love
waking up
when I want to
in my own time
easing into the day
no beep-beep-beep
breaking the silence
disrupting
my quiet, peaceful slumber

It’s days like these I love
being alone
no agenda whatsoever
free to do
what I want
when I want
taking my time
or rushing around
it’s up to me

It’s days like these I love
exploring a new city
no map to guide me
no predetermined list
of must-sees and
must-dos
just going where
I’m led
pulled by my desires

It’s days like these I love
resetting me
forgetting my many
responsibilities
and just living
in the moment
reflecting on my own
happiness
on days like these

Life-long Learner #sol18

For the past couple of days, I’ve been attending the IB Global Conference in Singapore. Different than a workshop, where you are focused on one topic the entire time, the conference allows you to dip your toes into many different topics throughout the conference. At the moment, I’m trying to process all that I’ve learned. My thinking has been challenged, and I realize that I need some time to reflect on the new information I’ve gleaned, synthesize it, and decide whether it’s valuable and applicable to my school context.

So far, what’s excited me most is this whole idea of student agency and how we can empower students to take charge of their own learning. I’ve listened to teachers and leaders present their experiences with an entire grade level who co-teaches in an open, student-centered space where students make their own schedule for the day, share their experiments with letting students choose what, how, and when to learn, and heard about how the shifts in the PYP will put student agency at the forefront.

Another idea I’ve been drawn to this weekend and been thinking a lot about is how to differentiate professional learning for teachers. Attending a few sessions centered around PD has given me much to think about. One thing I’ve come to realize is that I need to change my teachers’ perspectives on what PD is. I am energized to unpack the ideas I’ve gathered, pair it with the research I’ve read and my own ideas to come up with a bigger understanding.

Since this week is my Spring Break, I’m looking forward to having some time to really reflect on everything, rather than jump back into school like I usually have to do. I hope to post more of my thinking in the coming days and weeks.

The World Through My Eyes #sol18

Next week is Spring Break, and I’m really looking forward to my trips to Singapore and Penang, Malaysia! I’ll even get to add another country to the list…Singers will make #36! Since I have been thinking about my trip, I started reminiscing about my past travels, which prompted this poem. Rather than write about every country I’ve visited, I decided to limit to places I’ve been in the last two years. In no particular order, here’s my poem, a glimpse of the world through my eyes.

The World Through My Eyes

Indonesia is motorbikes, gado gado, macet, and the call to prayer.

Belgium is waffles, street art, and fruit beer.

Albania is colorfully-painted buildings, a perfect mix of old and new, and all the fresh fruit, veggies, and bread you can eat.

Montenegro is rocky beaches with crystal clear water, road trips, and weekend getaways with the girls.

Hong Kong is dim sum, the mid-levels, lots of hills, and like China, but better.

Mexico is beaches, pina coladas, and tourist traps.

Italy is stunning architecture, gelato, and literally the best homemade pasta of your life.

Canada is water taxis, clean and manicured, and friendly.

Senegal is bright colors, traffic, pushiness, and sand everywhere.

USA is home, comfort food, baseball, and familiarity.

Thailand is the land of smiles, tuktuks, mango sticky rice and kao soi, and three-showers-a-day hot.

The Netherlands is the most amazing cheese you will ever taste, bikes for days, and canals.

France is croissants and crepes, The Lourve, and walking two hours to see the Eiffel Tower sparkle at night.

Morocco is an assault on the senses, mint tea, and getting lost in the medina.

TBAs #sol18

So today, I’m frustrated. I’ve let something someone said get to me. I’ve been stewing over their rude, unprofessional emails for over an hour. I want to let it go, but it’s one of those ‘straw that broke the camel’s back‘ kind of things. The constant negative complaints have piled up, and I’ve had enough. The fact that I’m in a lot of pain in my neck and shoulder because I pulled a muscle this weekend during the classroom makeover is only making me more irritable. But, rather than give this person any more power over me and my emotions, I’m going to write my TBAs.

TBA stands for Truths, Beauties, and Appreciations. It’s a reflective exercise I do when I’m in a funk and need to get some perspective. I learned it from a very wise friend, and it’s served me well in the past. Dwelling on the positives, rather than the negatives, does wonders in releasing the negative energy that’s currently built up. So without further adieu, here are my TBAs today.

Truths

  • I have amazing, supportive friends who love me.
  • I rarely drink soda, but today after work was a Dr. Pepper kinda day. And I don’t feel one bit guilty.
  • I finally booked my Spring Break flights and hotel yesterday, and am so looking forward to some down time in two weeks!
  • I’ve been really good about cutting back on watching TV the last couple weeks, but I vegged out yesterday due my shoulder screaming at me. It was good to get caught up on Grey’s Anatomy, Modern Family, and Scandal.
  • I work hard, but always feel like it isn’t enough. I’ve been reflecting on this a lot lately. It’s made me think about my productivity, whether I could use my time and energy more wisely, and whether I am being a little too hard on myself.

Beauties

  • The plants all over my living room
  • Spencer’s infectious laugh
  • The smiles on the students’ faces today at dismissal
  • The vibrant greenery that surrounds me just outside my window
  • The red dragon fruit juice I drank today- nature is simply beautiful!

Appreciations

  • The huge bear hug and thank you I got from a Year 1 student this morning. She ran up to me, wrapped her arms around me, and said, “Thank you, Ms. Kesler for our new room! I love it!”
  • I appreciate Rohana so much. She keeps my house clean, makes sure I have healthy food in my fridge, and is the sweetest lady ever!
  • Today, I met the man who will potentially be my new boss next year, and he seems really great! I think he’ll be super supportive, and I’ll learn a lot from him. Hope he takes the job!
  • I took a luxurious bath last night in my huge bathtub for the first time since I’ve moved in, and it was so relaxing! I might take another one tonight. 😉
  • The Slice of Life Challenge- it’s truly a gift each year, and I don’t know what I’d do without it. Thank you TWT for hosting this challenge that has become so much of who I am.

I feel much better now, and I will be able to sleep without that gunk clogging up my mind. A good night’s sleep will do me some good and I’m sure I’ll wake up feeling even better tomorrow!

What do you know to be true, find beautiful, and appreciate?