thank you

Thank You, What’s Next?

Thank You, What’s Next?

Sometimes it really is the little things – like finding your favorite Peet’s Coffee kiosk next to your airport gate, or the Lyft driver who graciously carries your book-laden bags down the terminal to the curbside check-in, or the man struggling with his bag in the security line who mumbles ‘thank you’, but it’s loud enough for me to hear.

Or the kind Houstonians who remind you that their city “isn’t a place for walking, especially for a lady.” 

Or the Chronicle Books rep who takes the time to explain what books your middle school readers would like and then launches into a delightful chat about Sheepadoodles and Corgis. It’s the smile and the hug from bad-ass author and humanitarian Laurie Halse Anderson, reminding me that we’re making a difference together.

Read books. Drink coffee. Fight evil with bad-ass writer Laurie Halse Anderson.

You know – the little things in life that just make you happy to be here. And the little things that make you think, OK, Universe, thank you – but what’s next?

Gratitude

It’s gratitude season. We cannot escape the reminders on social media, shouting at us with cornucopia-charged memes about our blessed lives, our bountiful tables, and our beautiful homes.

Except for those who are struggling to find gratitude in the upcoming rain that offers relief from the smoky forest-fired place I call home – grateful for the easement of the flames, but fearful of living in a Walmart parking lot, huddling in a tent they now call home.

For me, it’s not-so-little things like this that keep me from fully falling into gratitude. It makes me wonder what’s next.

thank you

It’s hard for me to know what to do when I’m having a normal day, sitting amongst strangers on a rainy morning in an airport in Houston, Texas, waiting for a plane to take me safely home.

Home to my safe place, soon to be reunited with those who are most dear to me, where my most immediate issue is loading up my refrigerator and the lack of Wi-fi when I get back.

Over my shoulder, CNN flashes the rescuers raking through the rubble of Paradise, searching for bones.

How do we sink into gratitude now?

Should I really be spending this grateful energy on me, or on being aware of what’s around me?

My Lyft driver reminded me I should bring my own masks since I’m flying back into California. I’m not even sure they sell those in Texas. 

I know as soon as I step off the plane I’ll be back with those I love, and aware of those who aren’t. Raking through the rubble of what used to be their safe places, their shelter, their space for gratitude. Where they were just happy to be.

Thank you, Universe

Thank you, Universe, for keeping those I love safe. For bringing us home, and thank you for a weekend full of conversation, thoughtfulness, and invigoration. I’m full and ready to bring it all back to my classroom. Thank you for the bags full of books for children with eager minds and open hands. Thank you for the rain, the help, the time to sit and wonder and think about what we love.

I look around me in awareness of all those traveling with me, trying to get to where they need to be – want to be – for Thanksgiving. It’s raining harder now, drops obscuring my awareness of where I really am.

The strangers next to me are shaking hands, saying ‘thank you’ for sharing chargers and space to be here, now.

I whisper ‘thank you’ to the morning air, thank you to the writers and teachers and strangers who made this NCTE weekend so gratifying. Thank you to my angels, to my husband and to the Universe who reminds me I’m right where I need to be, doing what I need to do. With gratitude, I’ll bring back stories and books for my students, words of inspiration and hugs for my children, and reminders that my life is full of all the little things that make me happy and grateful to be here every single day.

Thank you, Universe. What’s next?

thank you

Jennifer Wolfe

Jennifer Wolfe, a writer-teacher-mom, is dedicated to finding the extraordinary in the ordinary moments of life by thinking deeply, loving fiercely, and teaching audaciously. Jennifer is a Google Certified Educator, Hyperdoc fanatic, and a voracious reader. Read her stories on her blog, mamawolfe, and grab free copies of her teaching and parenting resources.

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NCTE 2018

NCTE 2018: Raising Student Voice Through Blogging, Student Websites, Social Media and Tech Tools

NCTE 2018: Raising Student Voice Through Blogging, Student Websites, Social Media and Tech Tools

I’m super excited to be spending the weekend in Houston at NCTE 2018! It’s like Disneyland, Christmas morning and my birthday all rolled up into one awesome experience! For teachers, professors, writers, publishers…basically any and all book nerds, introverts or people who love sharing their love of reading and writing, NCTE is magical.

Got FOMO? If you missed NCTE 2018 this year, I’m sorry – but you can ease your anxiety by checking out my presentation with Katie Sluiter on Raising Student Voices Through Blogging, Student Websites, Social Media and Tech Tools – just click HERE to make a copy to keep!

NCTE 2018

Katie and I will be sharing what we know about building relevancy and engagement through real-world examples – our own published writing, blogs, websites, social media, and tech tools. Our goal is to help educators give students choice and voice by using technology in authentic ways to publish their work – and share our excitement for our work!

Honestly, the most important part of conferences like NCTE 2018 for me is meeting up with my ‘virtual friends’ like Katie – we met as bloggers years ago, both became writers for The Educator’s Room, and are now presenting together for the second year in a row. Katie blogs at her website, Sluiternation.com. You really should check it out. Katie shares honest, reflective stories about her life as a mom, teacher, and breast cancer survivor. She’s the real deal!

sluiternation.com

If you were able to attend our session, THANK YOU! We hope you have a few takeaways to raise student voices in your classroom – and please, keep in touch! We’d love to see how you use our ideas from NCTE 2018 with your students!

P.S. – if you’d like to see the presentation Katie and I did at NCTE in 2017, click here.

Jennifer Wolfe

Jennifer Wolfe, a writer-teacher-mom, is dedicated to finding the extraordinary in the ordinary moments of life by thinking deeply, loving fiercely, and teaching audaciously. Jennifer is a Google Certified Educator, Hyperdoc fanatic, and a voracious reader. Read her stories on her blog, mamawolfe, and grab free copies of her teaching and parenting resources.

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recapturing the love of teaching NCTE

Recapturing The Love Of Teaching: NCTE17

Greetings from St. Louis! I’m presenting about recapturing the love of teaching at NCTE17 today!

recapturing the love of teaching NCTE

Since starting my blog in 2011, my life is so different!

I’ve been on adventures around the country and the world. I’ve met amazing writers and educators. I’ve been published on websites, in books, and in magazines. I’ve even been on TV!

Today I’m presenting at #NCTE17 with two women I met through blogging – Riina Hirsch and Katie Sluiter. We’ll be presenting on how social media and blogging helped us recapture our love of teaching at 11:00 in St. Louis – if you’re at NCTE, please message me, stop by the presentation, or comment back and connect!

Click HERE to view our Recapturing The Love Of Teaching presentation.

If you’re at home, please take a look at our presentation – we’ll share our blogging stories, some teaching anecdotes, and a bonus presentation on setting up a blog for your classroom and your students – links are included so you can do it from home!

Sending you all my gratitude and thankfulness to my awesome mamawolfe community – you mean the world to me.

~Jennifer

recapturing the love of teaching ncte17

Jennifer Wolfe

Jennifer Wolfe, a writer-teacher-mom, is dedicated to finding the extraordinary in the ordinary moments of life by thinking deeply, loving fiercely, and teaching audaciously. Jennifer is a Google Certified Educator, Hyperdoc fanatic, and a voracious reader. Read her stories on her blog, mamawolfe, and grab free copies of her teaching and parenting resources.

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Follow Me:
TwitterFacebookLinkedInPinterestGoogle PlusYelp