solCoaching, to me, is not about the big game. It is not about the big wins, the buzzer beaters and come from behinds. Well, all of those things would be awesome, but I am a realist. Coaching to me is about the relationships. It is about me seeing the girls in a different environment then in the class room and also it is a chance for the girls to see in a different light.

Cases in point.

  1. The girls check in with me about how many steps I have taken in a day. They ask me, maybe because they know I need to walk, but also because they think of me as a person.
    1. Last week we had 3 girls fowl out of a game because of some crazy circumstances (horrible ref-ing) and one student said “Ms. Brown I guess your the next one in. At least you’ll get your steps in.” I laugh because last year the same girl only glared at me all season long. I call this one a win.
  2. The girls feel comfortable with me to ask questions, any time they need to.
    1. Sunday night I was setting in to watch my favorite show, “The Walking Dead” with my babe. At about 8:30pm my phone goes off. I answer to find that it is one of my students (and basketball and track girls) asking about the assignment that was due on Monday. “Yes, dear, it is due on Monday and it needs to be a page long describing your journey through Skagway, Alaska.” She got my number from her sister who had called me once during track season a few years ago and now, well, I have the number labeled to I can decline the call if I need to. But she still feels comfortable calling and I would say in this case it was a buzzer beater- she got her assignment in on time.
  3. The girls believe I am a good teacher. They want my help and value what I say.
    1.  I have a girl on the team who is not my student. She, however, is struggling with our vocabulary program has asked for help on vocabulary a few times. I recently asked if she would like to be in my review group to help with vocabulary strategies, even though she would not be with her class mates. She was actually thrilled and told her dad (who is our head basketball coach) that she was glad I thought of her. I call this a definite come from behind.

These girls are fun to coach, but I think of it more as coaching on how to be good teammates, how to work together and trust each other, and how to look at things differently. We have won 1 game and lost 6 at this point, so our season is not steller, but I would say that we really have had a blast this year and our teacher/student relationship is much stronger for it. This is why I love coaching.


The little things

This is my first year of teaching ELA. I have always said ” You know it is bad when they put me in an English Class.” Fortunately, I  have had an amazing co-worker to help guide me through the year.

Today’s Project: Writing about a cold situation. I set it up just as I was taught at the conference. Have students brain storm, share, and put it away. Then we came back to it today, shared and the just started writing. This was the plan. I was dreading the day. Deeply dreading the day. Would the students enjoy it, would the even do it?

3:00pm today- It was a HIT!!! The kids wrote, asked for more time, shared with neighbors and shared with the class. It was very inspiring. Today, was a great teacher day.4

Ordinary Day


8:08 am- Just an ordinary day. The bell rings and students file into class. The great thing about my Tuesday morning is that I have the first prep. I have 1 hour and 30 minutes of pure work time!! I love block days. I have time to blog, grade papers, prepare for the next set of lessons and I have time to build relationships with my students.

Building relationships with 8th graders is an art which I am no expert. I tend to have the expectations of students that are not fulfilled however the students make me feel that I have set them too high. I also tend to speak my mind and not allow students to speak as freely as they would like. Case in point: Yesterday, we finished watching Disney’s “White Fang.” The students loved the movie. At the end there was information regarding the reintroduction of grey wolves into the US. I had several students speak very adamantly against the topic. The way they expressed themselves, however was very emotional and somewhat offensive. I had to stop the conversation. This was tough as the students felt that I did not value their opinion. This is an ordinary day.

Today, I set out to have a normal day, again trying to build relationships with students. I was pleased to have a one on one conversation with the same student from yesterday, however, this day was much more productive. We were able to discuss our differences and even plan a classroom debate regarding the topic.

Ordinary to me is what we do. We make mistakes, we might offend, we might not see eye to eye, but we pick up and try again the next time. We might hit the mark or we might just take a few steps closer. It is not extraordinary, it is just living and trying to make the best of it. Has it taken my 40 years to figure this out? Maybe I just keep learning from my mistakes. As I wake up every morning, have my coffee and get to school with my 1st hour prep, I realize that every day I get to try again.



Super(bowl) Sunday

Today started like any other day. I finished both of my kids taxes, applied for yet another job, and let the dog out. “Man, it is cold outside,” I said to myself. I knew that it was going to be, WINTER. But I also knew that it was Super Sunday- like every other Sunday. I needed to get in my swim and run before the week really began. I did not want to run. This week is my 42 minute run.

You see, I am training for a half marathon, July 17th and I am, well you could say, not really half marathon fit, I am more like half mile fit. I started a couch to 10K training app 2 weeks ago and want to keep it going, no matter what the weather. I have actually completed this app before, last year, before I ran my first 10K. It was a great plan. Actually is it the reason I decided to run the half marathon. It kept me motivated and kept me focused. But really, who starts a running program in Wisconsin during January???

Well, needless to say, I did go for the run. It was a slow run, with lots of snow on the sidewalks. But I need to get out there, I need to be moving. I ran 3 miles in 43 minutes and it actually felt good. Barney, my 8 year old Boarder Collie loved it. I was so happy to be done. But that is not what makes it Super Sunday. Wait…there’s more. Then I hop into the car and drive to the local aquatic center. Up next, my 1/2 mile (800 meters) swim.

I am really not training for a tri, been there, done that. I just feel like maybe I will lose a few additional pounds if I swim. But the swim feels great! Swimming makes me feel like I am flying. I absolutely love it.

So this is my own Super Sunday. Run, Swim, Relax, Repeat each week. As an Empty Nester, I have to find things that I enjoy and keep me motivated when my kids are done. I think I am on my way to finding my place to be. I really never thought it would be exercise. Stay tune.

But now it is Superbowl time. Broncos vs Panthers. Not sure who to cheer on. I guess I cheer on the commercials.



WSRA Writing Challenge

Top 10 things on my mind…

1.OMG you are making me write!!😳

2. Work, the love, hate relationship.

3.  Weekend plans… They keep changing but I love doing whatever comes my way.

4. DZ 2.0 Here we come. When your daughter decides to join a sorority and you can have the same fun any more.

5.  Newsies- I must know. When your son witnesses the amazing show and all you get is “It was Amazing, I have to go to school mom…”

6. Dog days- I miss him. Barney has been at Larry’s house for a week. Boy do I miss him.

7. Back to work Monday, being gone for 2 days makes for a scary day to get the train back on track.

8. Bye Bye Birdie ideas. It is that time of year to prepare for ticket salesman the show. This is a very exciting times.🎭

9. Halves don’t run themselves. Since I committed myself to a Half Marathon in July, it is time to start training. Seriously, I need to get on it. I have 14 miles in with only 2 weeks of training and a snow storm in between.

10. Wine and Weddings. How am I going to pay for my supposed wedding and still drink and sell my wine. I need to get busy on my business to help pay for the wedding. Goal planning is definitely needed.🍷💍

After writing this list, it makes me realize that I have many things going on in my life that I need to enjoy. Life without my kids driving my actions can be sad and very  depressing, but it is my time to begin my life.

I am hoping this blog can bring out the excitement of life after the kids move on and how I can live when I am stuck with just me.