I was also nominated by my real-life friend and fellow blogger Betsy from Two Writing Teachers, ithinkinpoems and Teaching Young Writers. She is an amazing friend who has always encouraged me to grow and stretch my wings. In fact, she's the one who encouraged me to start a blog in the first place! Thank you Betsy for the nomination!
Here's a little info on the Sunshine Award:
This is a way for bloggers to get to know each other and one of the cool things about it is that there are limitless "winners"! The Sunshine award gives others an opportunity to learn more about me as a blogger and then, in turn, I will send sunshine the way of 11 other amazing bloggers for you to get to know! Here are the "official" rules:
- Acknowledge the nominating blogger.
- Share 11 random facts about yourself.
- Answer the 11 questions the nominating blogger has created for you.
- List 11 bloggers. They should be bloggers you believe deserve some recognition and a little blogging love!
- Post 11 questions for the bloggers you nominate to answer and let all the bloggers know they have been nominated. (You cannot nominate the blogger who nominated you.)
Ok, so...on to the questions!
1. If you could eat any dessert, what would it be?
This one is easy...cheesecake! I love it even more with some sort of chocolate in it/on it/with it!
2. Are you an avid reader? What is the influence that led you to be one?
I love to read but with a full time job as a teacher, wife, and mom to four, I don't read as much as I would like to. I recently read the Divergent series and LOVED THEM ALL! I also just read The Book Theif and loved it. I'm currently reading Looking for Alaska by John Green...I'm not far enough in to know what I think yet. I received the new Mitch Albom book for Christmas so that's the next one on my list. As a child, my mom was probably the biggest reading influence on me. She was always reading something and I was always in awe of how quickly she could read a stack of books from the library. We went weekly or at least every other week, sometimes more often during the summer.
3. What is your favorite season? Why?
My favorite season...is all of them! I live in Michigan where I honestly think we get the best of every season. I love the fall with it's crisp, clean air and the beautiful colors all around. I love the winter with it's beautiful white snow...there is really nothing prettier than seeing the snow-covered trees. I also love spring with the feeling of renewal and freshness that is all around, seeing flowers bloom and green buds on the trees. I also love summer! I enjoy a blue sky full of sunshine, but I prefer the warm, dry days to the muggy, hot days.
4. Tell about a mentor in your teaching, or in your job?
I have been fortunate to work with Geri Williams, a literacy coach and lover of writing and words. She taught me about teaching writing, living as a writer and believing in myself. She is the reason I have the courage to have a blog and the reason I am confident in my teaching ideas, even in the face of adversity.
5. What is a favorite book from childhood? Why do you believe it's a favorite?
6. Where would you most like to be found on a Sunday afternoon? What are you doing?
On a Sunday afternoon, I can usually be found putting away the groceries I just bought or at my kitchen table planning for the following week at school (and helping with homework or the laundry).
And from Betsy...
7. Where did you grow up?
I grew up in mid-Michigan but also in northern Michigan where we had a cottage on a little lake in the woods. Both places hold good memories!
8. Who was the most influential teacher in your life?
My most influential teacher was my orchestra teacher. I had the same teacher for orchestra from fourth grade thru twelfth so we knew each other well! He set his expectations high and demanded that we put the time into practicing but he also encouraged us to be our best every day and work hard to reach our goals. He taught me how to manage a classroom...our orchestra was anywhere from 12 kids in elementary school to 50+ in high school and he managed both with a quiet, relaxed manner.
9. What is the best thing you've ever written? What was it about?
It's funny to say that they best thing I've every written isn't finished yet, but it's true! I'm working on a novel (I still can't believe that one!) that is about a wife who passes away but leaves behind a year's worth of letters to her best friend and her husband. Through these letters, the two become close and are able to move on with their lives together.
10.What do you want to be when you "grow up?"
I have no idea! I would love to be more of a writer. I would love to still be teaching. I am interested in teaching teachers in some way...I've loved having student teachers, so maybe something along this route? I am interested in literacy...maybe a coaching position some day? Who knows...time will tell, I guess.
11. When was the last time you wrote someone a letter?
Before Christmas I wrote my children's babysitter a letter to try to tell her just how much we appreciate her and the WONDERFUL care our children get every day because of her. She's been such a blessing to our family in so many ways. I guess you could also count the Christmas letter I wrote at the end of December. I write one each year...it goes out to our families each year in the Christmas cards (or via Facebook this year because I was a little too slow with the writing!).
12. Did you ever learn to play an instrument?
Remember #8? I know how to play the violin. I also dabbled in the piano and the viola a little bit. I started out taking piano lessons in early elementary but never really made it past learning how to play the right hand. In high school, I taught elementary and middle school kids violin lessons. My orchestra teacher would arrange a handful of students who wanted private lessons each year and I would happily meet with them after school each week. One year, there was a viola player who wanted to take lessons and there was no one to teach her. So, he approached me about it. I was very hesitant - I'd never played viola before! He gave me an early music book and a loaner instrument and said, "Here, practice a little bit...you start giving lessons in three weeks." And so, I began to dabble in the viola! But, my one true love is my violin...even though I rarely play it anymore.
Now on to my questions!
1. What quality do you value most in a good teacher?
2. What is your favorite song and why?
3. Do you have any classroom traditions? Things you do every year with your students without fail?
4. What are you most proud of in your career?
5. What is your favorite color and what do you think it says about you?
6. What is your best snow day story OR what do you like to do on a snow day?
7. My OLW for 2014 is light. Tell about something that brings light into your life?
8. You sit down at your computer. What is the first thing you are likely to do? (Turning it on does not count!)
9. As a teacher, what part of the school year do you enjoy most?
10. What is your favorite quote?
11. What are your top three favorite movies and why?
Ok, I realize I am supposed to nominate 11 people for the Sunshine Award. However, many of the people I would nominate have already been nominated! So, I'm going with 5 and one has already answered but maybe will reply to my questions anyway? :)
Ruth Ayres from Ruth Ayres Writes because she's been a tremendous influence on my teaching and writing.
Betsy at Teaching Young Writers because I want to see her answers to my questions...I'm nominating you again!
Elsie at Elsie Tries Writing because she is a faithful reader and commenter on my Slice of Life posts.
And because I faithfully stalk their blogs, whether they know it or not...
Maria at Kinder-Craze
Greg at Kindergarten Smorgasboard
Marsha at A Differentiated Kindergarten
Two of these great kindergarten bloggers and teachers are fellow Michiganders! I have learned so much from reading your blogs and using your creations from TpT in my classroom. I just had to nominate you three as well.