Tag Archives: Laughter

Week 36: Dear Fourth Graders

I had a guest teacher on Monday so I could visit my mom in Mount Shasta without having to rush back and forth. One of the assignments I left was for students to write a letter to my incoming fourth graders. I asked the students to offer advice from their two years with me. To my delight, the notes were both thoughtful and funny.

Proper anger management and my weakness for laughter were reoccurring themes, even from some of my toughest students. This gave me hope that maybe I really have gotten through to them, even if it does not always feel like it. Just three weeks and two days left. It’s going to be hard to say good-bye.

This week we're finishing up our trifolds for our ROPES projects, a rite of passage before middle school. Activities ranged from fundraising for WEAVE to books on anger management. I have an amazing group of kids.

This week we’re finishing up our trifolds for our ROPES projects, a rite of passage before middle school. Activities ranged from fundraising for WEAVE to books on anger management. I have an amazing group of kids.

"Don't get mad in the morning and don't take it out on Mrs. Mackey."

From my dear fourth graders collection: “Don’t get mad in the morning and don’t take it out on Mrs. Mackey.”

"When you get her mad you just have to cheer her up." So true.

“When you get her mad you just have to cheer her up.” So true. One day I told them it was their job to cheer me up. Whenever I get in a funk, I try to make it into an opportunity to model healthy approaches to mood management.

"Don't get mad at her, just ask for a time out." (THEY LISTEN!)

“Don’t get mad at her, just ask for a time out.” (THEY LISTEN!)

"She'll let you laugh when she's laughing." My favorite line of all.

And, “She’ll let you laugh when she’s laughing.” My favorite line of all.

PS. One last disjointed note. Today we watched this 50 state song and the kids swayed and clapped and sang along. Youtube has made the world of teaching infinitely cooler than back in my day of Schoolhouse Rock… They loved it so much we had to watch it twice, and I have to admit, it’s pretty cool, regardless of how old you are… Made me realize how badly my students need an actual music program at our school.

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Lessons Learned from Three Teachers in a Prius

When I was first invited on a road trip to Olympia and back with three other teachers on my team, I was hesitant.  As much as I hate to admit it, I am particular.  I like to be in charge of trips, I like to control my own time.  Knowing that my travel companions can be more boisterous and free-spirited than I normally am, I worried I might feel out of place.  Thankfully, I pushed myself outside my comfort zone.  Here is what I learned from my adventure:

1.  We all need to get out of our boxes from time to time.  It’s so easy to surround ourselves with people that are like us, which are undoubtedly wonderful people, but it is also important to get out there in this big world and meet others who are different.  Not only did I bond with my team of teachers in an entirely new way, but I also met a lot of travelers whose stories will stick with me.  A woman from Wisconsin with her two dogs and a cat stuffed into her station wagon, the old man by the sea, a transplanted waitress from Placerville now living in Reedsport, a starving young artist selling t-shirts in Portland…  The list goes on, you get the point.  I met a lot of really friendly people wanting to talk.  Some I met because I traveled with a car full of extroverts, some I met just being me.  Their stories were fascinating, my notebook now full of characters.  Nothing sparks the imagination like the half-told stories of strangers.

2.  Sometimes you have to go in circles to get where you’re going.  My mom likes to say I’m a type 3 personality, insinuating that type A isn’t enough to describe me.  Accordingly, I’m usually very impatient with being off-schedule because I try to stuff so many experiences into each day.  However, on this trip, since I was not in charge, I just sat back and let things happen.  Sure we got lost and time disappeared sitting in the car, but that time going in circles ended up holding its own adventures.  At the end of the day, we always ended up where we were trying to go.

3. Laugh, a lot.  Four women in a car for five days makes everything funny.  Never in my life have I laughed so hard or so frequently.  More than anything else from my adventure, I will remember the distinct laughters of my travel companions and the fun we had in every moment, whether it was stuck on a bridge in Portland or waiting for coffee at a Dutch Brothers.  After all, anything in life is better if you keep a good sense of humor.

Our little road family in Waldport, Oregon.

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Partners in Crime

For me, the biggest key to marital bliss is a shared sense of humor.   If Alex didn’t laugh at my jokes, the world would be very lonely.  After all, we all want to feel like someone else understands us.  Part of being married for me is knowing that Alex will be there to laugh at my jokes even when no one else does, (and mean it, too!).  When I’m a little old lady and people ask me for the secret to a long marriage, I’m certain that my answer will be laughter.

In the spirit of this shared laughter, I want to wish happy birthday to my favorite partner in crime!  I am so grateful that we share the same quirky sense of humor, (even when other people just stare at us in silence!).  Here’s to many, many more years of post-dinner track suit purchases and hysterical laughter.  We will definitely be the most interesting couple in the retirement community.  Do you think that they’ll let us in early?  In these outfits, it’s either that or GTL and fist pumping…

I love you, welcome to 28 years of age.  It certainly does not mean that we are always grown ups, as is evidenced from the pictures below.

I would like to add that part of the beauty of these pictures is that they’re 100% sober.  The best laughter doesn’t need help!
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