I’ll Be There For You (When the rain starts to pour)

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When I started my journey as principal, I knew it would be lonely at the top. What I wasn’t prepared for was how lonely I was when I got home.  I have wonderful friends, but I inadvertently pushed them away by either talking about my new situation or not saying anything at all. I needed to talk and I needed support, but I didn’t want to burden anyone with the rush of change I was dealing with. Even with my husband, he either gets one-word answers about my day or he ends up listening to me for an hour because I just can’t stop talking. When the floodgates open…watch out.

Fast forward to last Saturday night…

I was at home catching up on Voxes from the Mom Bloggers when the thought occurred to me that these ladies have walked me through the last year and a half of my life. They may know more about my days than my husband does. They know when I’m happy…they know when I’m sad.  We even joke about how we are living parallel lives when we experience similar days or situations.

What is hard to explain to others is how you can be friends with someone you may have only met once or not at all. How do you build a friendship with someone by just dropping voice messages in an app? The only way I can explain this is by sharing some of the things we have encountered as a group:

  •      Illness/Surgery
  •      Successes and struggles at work
  •      Mom fails
  •      Wife fails 
  •      Our children’s personal struggles that have led to feelings of helplessness
  •      Deaths of family or friends

Every day, we go to Voxer to:

  •      Check in with each other
  •      Cheer each other on
  •      Vent, cry, laugh and even talk in hashtags when we are being particularly silly

These ladies have helped me not feel so alone. They tell me the truth. They challenge my thinking. They make me a better mom, wife, and educator. I will forever be thankful for their support and their friendship.

Gems of Wisdom; End of the Year Advice

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Written by: Lindsy Stumpenhorst

Live in the Present
Look to the Future
Learn from the Past

When my daughter was 2-years old I remember her walking over to me and pointing to her nose. I thought maybe she had bumped it so I gave the bridge of her nose a quick “get better kiss” and turned to walk away. At this point my daughter started to cry, and I dropped my gaze just long enough to see a handful of crafting gems in her little fist. You could probably hear the gears aligning in my head when I realized that my intelligent, beautiful, spunky daughter had shoved one of those glittering gems up her nose.

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Live in the Present…

There were so many thoughts going through my mind, and so many things I wanted to say, sternly, to her. There was a moment though when she looked at me that I realized the most important thing I could do in the present, would be to find a safe way to create an unobstructed breathing passage. The situation we were currently in would not change with scolding or consequences.

Look to the Future….

We did successfully dislodge the gem without a doctor visit. In order to prevent future “incidences” I spent time that same day (and in days following) teaching her the many reasons why we have to be able to breath, and not put strange things up our nose.

IMG_2291Learn from the Past…

I struggle to remember the order of my thoughts following this incident, but one was “I never thought MY kid would do something like this”. This was a valuable lesson to me. In learning from the past I was, thankfully, able to have a safe exposure to reality. I was able to see the importance of answering “why” questions and that my children are not invincible from poor decision making or mischievous curiosity.

As I begin to envision how the end of the school year will be for my students and staff, I want to continue to;  

Live in the Present, and not let a moment or conversation be wasted.

Look to the Future, and embrace change and new possibilities.

Learn from the Past, and never miss a teachable moment.

P.S. I’m waiting for the day that my daughter comes to me and mentions that she wants to put more glittering items in her nose, specifically a piercing. You better believe I’ll have this post handy.

ABC Countdown to Summer

ABCs, easy as 123!  Now that we have you tapping your toes and singing along to the song, are you ready for an ABC list to help you finish the year as strong as you started?  Take a look at the following list for some good reminders.  Enjoy the last few weeks and days left in the school year!

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