Friday, July 1, 2016

Five for Friday July 1

I am linking up with Doodle Bugs Teaching for Five for Friday. Happy July 1st! Happy Anniversary to my wonderful  parents!  Thank you for hosting, Kacey! 

It was my first week of summer vacation!  AHHHH!  My two sweet friends (who also teach with me) and I went out to lunch to celebrate on Monday- our first official summer day.  We EACH got one of these special messages delivered to our table from a little sweetheart who was also out having lunch with her family.  What a great way to start the summer!

Have you read this article?  Oh my goodness- you will love it.  New teacher, "old" teacher, not a teacher... it's wonderful.  Here is the overview:
If you plant a marigold beside most any garden vegetable, that vegetable will grow big and strong and healthy, protected and encouraged by its marigold. Marigolds exist in our schools as well – encouraging, supporting and nurturing growing teachers on their way to maturity. If you can find at least one marigold in your school and stay close to them, you will grow. Find more than one and you will positively thrive.

While seeking out your marigolds, you’ll need to take note of the walnut trees. Successful gardeners avoid planting vegetables anywhere near walnut trees, which give off a toxic substance that can inhibit growth, wilt, and ultimately kill nearby vegetable plants. And sadly, if your school is like most, walnut trees will be abundant. 

Her description of "walnut tree variations" is SPOT ON.  I think this article would be great for all teachers to read at the start of every new year.

My husband is a Superintendent of the school district next to mine.  Every  year, I just love his graduation speeches.  This year I begged him to let me share it.  He didn't want me to share his speech- even though it's awesome...  but I can share a couple parts that I especially loved.  Because it's my blog. And it's not the whole speech.  And he doesn't read this. So, #3,4, and 5 are parts of his speech.

Basically, he was tying in all the changes happening in our world today- and encouraging the graduates to hold on to what's real.

In general, people tend to have a natural love-hate relationship with change.  For the most part, we want things to remain the same, yet at the same time, we want things to be better. In 1998, Kodak had 170,000 employees and sold 85% of all the photo paper in the world.  Within a few years, and before these students started kindergarten, Kodak's primary business model had disappeared, and the company went bankrupt.  Who would have thought back in 1998, the year most of these graduates were born, that most of us would never take pictures on rolls of film again?

In a few years, we will see autonomous cars that will change the way we drive, or don't drive.  There will be a medical app on your phone that will scan your retina for illness and disease more accurately than your doctor.  There's already  an app that can scan your feet and order you the perfect fitting pair of sneakers produced on a 3-D printer.  And your phone will be able to analyze a person's body language, their face, and their voice, and tell you if you're being lied to. 

As evolving technologies continue to change our lives, it is important that we remember our values, our priorities, and the "things" that really matter in life. John Naisbitt said, "The most exciting breakthrough of the 21st century will not occur because of technology, but because of a deepening understanding of what it means to be human." 

Just recently, I read about a poetry contest that I found very interesting.  Third prize was a solid silver replica of a rose.  Second prize was a solid gold rose.  First prize was a single, real, long-stemmed, red rose.  How poetic for a poetry contest.  How interesting from a values standpoint, that a real rose, a beautiful marvel of nature, would be first prize above both silver and gold.  (Everyone got a red rose with their diploma. )

At this point, I want to ask you to play along for just a moment.  Suspend everything you know for one minute and let yourself imagine that the stars come out at night, only once every hundred years. Once a century.  One night in a lifetime, if you are lucky.  We would certainly plan for years to stay up all night.  There would be world-wide celebrations, festivals, and parties.  All over the planet we would collectively marvel at the beauty, the mystery, and the majesty of the stars.

But, since the stars come out most nights, we might, occasionally, make a passing comment for conversation, that, "the stars are bright tonight."

As humans, we have a natural tendency to take things for granted, like the stars, like our friends and families, like our freedoms, and even the gift of education.

So tonight, Graduates, as you receive the diploma you have earned over the last 13 years, remember the piece of paper, the diploma, is NOT first prize.  Tonight it may be silver.  It may be gold.  But the real first prize are the experiences you have had, the friends and memories you have made, the love and support of your  families, and most importantly, the person you have become along the way.  Don't take these gifts for granted tonight or any night.  Because, the "things" in life that really matter, aren't really "things" at all.  

Have a wonderful weekend! Thank you for stopping by!


  1. What a very special, special man you married. Thank you for sharing his inspirational words with us. They touched me and I will reflect on them often! You are both lucky to have each other.

  2. Your husband has a gift with words! The marigold article has always been one of my favorites and I agree it should be required reading.

  3. Oh, Carolyn, those graduates received some choice words! I just read snippets to my DH. A special guy is your man... and you make quite a matched couple. Thanks for sharing! Have a great weekend! Kath Kidpeople Classroom


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