Tag Archives: Toms

Start Something That Matters

I will put it out there. I love TOMS shoes. I have two pairs, I bought Alex a pair for Christmas, (he just doesn’t know which pair…), and I will continue to buy these shoes into the future. They are comfortable, versatile, stylish, and matter. The company has created a brand loyalty for me that is unmatched by anything else I own.

Maybe it's the good karma, maybe it's because they're cute, but days I wear my TOMS are good days.

Maybe it’s the good karma, maybe it’s because they’re cute, but days I wear my TOMS are good days.

For those of you who don’t know, TOMS gives a pair of shoes to a child in need for every pair purchased. I have heard some criticism in the world of philanthropy that TOMS is not teaching anyone to fish, that it’s just giving out shoes as a capitalistic ploy to sell more overpriced shoes, that if people really cared they should just give the money directly to a cause instead of buying themselves a pair of shoes in the process.

I say, so what? If I am going to pay $40+ for a pair of shoes, I would rather a kid with bare feet receive a pair too. I’m going to spend the $40 either way. Shoes are something I prefer to buy new. It’s about time the fashion world be revolutionized. TOMS does this while also telling a story, a story about a guy who went to Argentina and returned with a dream to put shoes on the feet of needy kids. More than a million kids now have a pair of shoes because of his dream.

With Alex’s Christmas present came a bonus, Blake Mycoskie’s book about his entrepreneurial journey to found TOMS, Start Something That Matters. Easy to read, humorous, and inspiring, I recommend the book. I’d say buy it, but even better, buy a pair of TOMS online and get it for free this month, as well as a pair of shoes for a kid somewhere. I love success stories that combine entrepreneurism, passion, and a good cause.

A great read.

A great read.

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A Little Sunshine on My Shoulder

Earlier this week, I shared my disappointment over a hard day at school.  Since then, I’ve recovered, although really, things aren’t that different.  Today I made three behavior calls after school and sent one kid to the office, which while improved from the six calls on Monday, still is not the place I want to be in the second week of school… I thought the honeymoon was supposed to last longer!

Even so, I feel much better than I did Monday, mostly because I’ve consciously forced myself to stay positive.  Today, for example, when any kid started complaining or pouting or grumbling or what have you, I sent him or her outside to come back in with a positive attitude.  I told the class negativity is contagious, and I meant it.

Mostly, it worked.  Even my students that got in trouble today were fairly calm and took responsibility for their actions.  What a nice improvement from Monday!  It is easy to forget how much of a difference a deep breath and smile can make in a stressful situation, especially when thirty kids want your attention for different reasons after lunch while you’re also trying to set-up your lesson and give reading assessments…  Wait, did someone say teaching is easy?

Thankfully, today brought a lot of little happy pick-me-ups to keep the positive momentum going.  Here are a few worth sharing:

Where to begin… The birthday committee at school honored August birthdays with these lovely Flat Stanley versions of ourselves… Let’s just say it developed out of a joke on the 4/5 road trip. My little sunshine, after school helper got a big kick out of taking this picture for me.

Happy August birthdays!  Really, this little happy joke made my day.  Teachers are such quirky, funny, creative people.  Love it (and them).

I couldn’t resist posing the Flat Stanley version of myself in my classroom.  I debated showing it to the kids this afternoon, but I think it will have to be more of a morning treat, when they’re still focused enough to pull themselves back together afterward.

Then for some good old-fashioned, shallow happiness– got home to a very exciting box of birthday presents in the mail. Who says retail therapy isn’t worthwhile?

If you’ve followed my blog for awhile, you know I have a lucky pair of sparkly Toms. No joke, they cheer me up with their whimsy.  Hoping their new, blue-soled cousins do the same trick.

And, last but not least, hard not to be content with this guy cuddling up to me while I type.  Here’s wishing everyone an equally positive Friday tomorrow.

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