Teachers plant the seeds of knowledge, but so much more. They are to many the strong root students hold on to as they work to pull themselves up from trauma they experience.

Many will never know how much they meant to students, and some will get an opportunity to understand when students share their stories of how actions, words, and listening saved lives.

Thank you for being there every day for every child in every way you can to meet all of their needs!

We have many days of the year marked as special days to celebrate something. Even months are dedicated to celebrating a particular cause, a point in history, or a reminder to ourselves about the importance of specific detailed information.

Do we need all of these days to remind us to celebrate events, things, people, and essential parts of who we are? We continue to add to our list of celebrations, events, and honors, but do we celebrate all of them?

Do we honor for an entire month a specific topic? If we do, do we ignore it the rest of the time? Sometimes within the month are several items to select from, so do we honor each one simultaneously?

We can make things very complicated for ourselves by trying to remember what to celebrate and when. I saw a very similar tweet this year as I did last year from one of my favorite authors. She shared a tweet from a teacher blacking out names not to identify the teacher. The tweet was straightforward, as the platform does not allow you to expand in depth. She simply made a plea to the author if she had anytime she could pop into her classroom via Zoom to share with her students during black history month. She wanted to make an impression on her students during this month by being able to accomplish anything they could dream of by providing them with an opportunity to hear from an author they admired.

The response was: “They should see us every day, not just during BH month.” In her retweet she stated, Yup, I said what most black authors were thinking.

My heart ached for the teacher; she had already presented her books to the students because she stated she was “an author they admired.” This teacher followed the calendar of the monthly celebrations we are guided to follow in the curriculum and policies to celebrate. I am sure the response embarrassed and crushed the teacher. Although, she should not be. Reaching out to ask for support from others is always a risk worth taking. Please continue to ask; you may get no response or a flat-out no. Just continue to ask, and you will find a yes along the way.

I have stated in many posts about the power in our words and our actions. It is the choices we make which determine if we are part of the solution or part of the problem. If our goals and purpose is to celebrate, then let’s celebrate. When it is a month in which you can contribute to others to help with the celebration, then help. If we do not want to do the celebrations, why do we have so many?

I am a breast cancer survivor, and we have been helping with Breast Cancer before I was diagnosed. We will continue to support this and pray for a cure.

My plans are always to give, and when others ask, I will do all I can to help them. If all of us can support each other, we will continue to be better than we were yesterday.

play-sharp-fill

Nothing is better than loving what you do and the people you are able to do it with each day! Make a point to start each day with finding the joy as a team. Gather around and share your joy as you drink up a cup full of love!

Oh, the beautiful gifts, all wrapped with care with the perfect bow and tag to know where it goes. Well, the gifts I give are usually tucked in a gift bag with some tissue paper or wrapped with no pattern and so much tape! Wrapping gifts is not one of my talents. I am still working to find my hidden talent, and I know it will show up someday!

We had my husband's sibling's birthday and Christmas celebration this past week. Trying to get all the packages out in the pouring rain was a difficult job, and I was soaked by the time I got through the door. So no one cared about how the bags looked as they saw us all coming to the restaurant.


Reflecting on the previous year, it was the same table we were at, in the same restaurant, and doing the same thing only a week sooner than the year before. My mind flashed back for a moment or two as we approached the table, sitting down all of the gifts.

Last year I asked everyone to listen for a moment as I wanted to tell them something we had just been told. Now, before I share the news, I want to explain we will celebrate just the same.

The doctor called just an hour ago. My test results came in, and I had to be told. I have breast cancer, and I will see several doctors as soon as Christmas is over to determine treatments and the level of cancer I have.


This year we began with the birthday celebration of singing, opening gifts, eating dinner, and then Christmas gifts along with Birthday cake. Two of the gifts I have received so far are very thoughtful and meaningful as we continue to move forward with a new year ahead.

In January, I will complete a bone density test to see the progression of the harm to my bones with the current daily medication I take, and then a new mammogram with ultrasounds to look at the other mass to check for any changes. I am sure a biopsy will be part of the plan.

Currently, I am cancer free. It is the best way to be. I plan to stay this way—Celebrating on Christmas Day! I have rung the bell, I believe, and I know all things are possible with faith and prayer.

Look at these two beautiful gifts I received from my “sisters”-in-laws and one more still to come.

A cancer survivor bell ornament for my dinning room tree where all of our family and friends meet.
An angel ornament to remind me to Believe, her favorite and my favorite word to use especially at Christmas. Added to my little pencil tree in the dinning room.

Merry Christmas to All

A story to tell

As we look forward to the gathering of family and friends to celebrate Christmas, many of us can reflect on the year and may find some of our loved ones missing the celebration this year. Others will remember the joy of being thankful for being at the celebration this year by overcoming illness and surviving to see the Christmas tree.

Whatever story you have to tell, remember it is okay to share it with others, as we all care! We grieve those not here this year and celebrate those who can share another blessed Christmas we hold so dear.

When we send the children home for Christmas break, it may be a stressful time for them as they do not all have the same things waiting for them at home as others do. Always send children home with a positive word to hold close to their hearts as their Christmas break starts.

The Gifts

Christmas is never about the gifts we receive but the ones we have already been given. We celebrate the birth of Jesus with a humble heart.

I am so thankful for many things, and I share my thoughts on the ones I have received this week.

Peace, Love, Hope and Joy

I heard someone talk about too much positivity was referenced as “toxic positivity.” “Toxic Positivity” is the excessive and ineffective overgeneralization of happiness. It is the optimistic state across all situations. The process of “toxic positivity” results in the denial, minimization, and invalidation of the authentic human emotional experience. I thought to myself, do I use “toxic positivity?” My vote is no, but I am unsure if I truly understand “toxic positivity.” I will have to read and learn more about it.

In the meantime, I will continue to enjoy peace, love, hope, and joy in a world where we need to focus on finding more of it. The best time of year to find it, feel it, and share it is now.

So when my friend asked if I would go with her for her mammogram, I said yes. I am back where I was when my breast cancer was discovered, my treatments began, and where my doctors all are who helped me say today, “I am cancer free.”

While sitting in the lobby, I was able to hear the ringing of the bell. Someone has just completed their last treatment. I started clapping as people started looking at me. It is a celebration!

Then when she came through the doors in her wheelchair, the clapping began again, and as she passed me, I said, “It feels great to have those treatments complete.” Through our masks, I could tell she was smiling, and she could tell I was too! She said, “Yes, it is!”

What a great day to be able to share with a stranger the blessings today of completing the treatments and knowing my friend is being checked out as well to make sure she is keeping an eye out for early detection.

If you have not been checked, please get it checked if you are being checked regularly, great! Support all that you know who are suffering from cancer! When you ring the bell, you are so excited, but we all know there is always a chance for us to return. However, we are survivors and continue to fight to keep cancer in check.

I know so many who have lost their battles, and I know how much they fought. Cancer is horrible. Please continue to support the research. One day we will be able to say our world is Cancer Free.

Leading, Teaching and Learning

The season has changed to Fall, and it is time to fall into our focus of education. I have been working hard to connect with others to learn more, explore more, and find more resources. Growing in all areas of schooling helps all when we can share with others. So exciting to hear from others about what they are doing and their impact on those they serve.

Executive Functioning Skills

Many skills are taught in school, and prioritizing what is needed for our children to learn has been in the spotlight for the past two years. I have stated for several decades education is a political nightmare at times. Education is the most prominent chess piece in a game no one wants to play or lose, and one everyone wants to win. However, the ones in this game are the children who are missing out because of the moves of those in power.

It is time to focus on the skills needed so children can continue to grow no matter what path they decide to pursue. We have various needs to support the future of our world.

Tune in and sharpen up

There are a wide variety of podcasts to select from to tune in and to help you sharpen up the areas you want to grow. Listening to podcasts is a great way to spend time driving to and from work, doing your chores at home, and taking a walk. Finding the one you want to follow or checking out the wide variety of the ones out there takes a great deal of time, or you can begin with those someone recommends beginning your journey.

Framework

To map out a successful plan to implement an improvement plan, growth plan, or any change, you need a framework to build. In the design stages, you can see the vision of what is required to reach the destination. When we start on a drive to a vacation spot, we always type in the address to see the different routes that can be taken. How long will it take? What unique places are along the way we may want to stop to notice? Are there any areas we would like to spend more time? Do we see great places to eat and rest? There are many choices to make when mapping out your framework to plan anything you want to implement involving action steps.

Who me? Yes, you!

News media platforms report staff shortages in many different areas across the country. Education is one of those areas where we see issues with deficiencies in many different positions and levels. Looking at the college enrollments also tells us students are not interested in entering into the field of education either. Soon we will see an increased level of shortages in principals as well.

How can we work to eliminate these shortages and begin to attract more people to the area of education? Education is a vital part of every country and the future of who we are as well. We need to build it up and not tear it down. If not you, then who can begin to help address this vital issue? We need you and every individual with children or not to be a voice in helping to build education back up. Who me? Yes, you!

Celebrate, Motivate, Inspire and Encourage

I started my writing campaign with my grandchildren. I included their parents for the first week as well. This month we celebrate Principals, and I am looking forward to helping the Illinois Principal Association again this year with their annual conference. They sent me several emails, and they are so organized. I have always been impressed with this organization, am proud to be part of it, and look forward to seeing all the leaders!

I bought all of these little cards you could pass out to others like the one I am holding above. I think these would be fun to have as a Principal to give out when you are doing walkthroughs in the hallway and see amazing things happening at the moment. Encouragement, validation, and those teachable moments happen, and it is great to be prepared when they do!

August brings us fresh vegetables from the garden, smells from the kitchen from canning, back-to-school shopping, and the beautiful garden walks full of flowers beginning to fade as a reminder fall is on the way.

The last super moon of 2022 will be August 11 at 8:36 p.m. central time. August is also the best time to see the Perseid Meteor Shower. It can be viewed now until August 13th. The best time is August 11th-13th, but the bright, super moon will prevent seeing the falling stars.

Celebrate National Watermelon Day on August 3rd! If you are not able to celebrate on this day, make a plan to celebrate with others as a family event maybe. There is nothing like having a slice of an ice-cold piece of watermelon as you enjoy family time, a ball game, a picnic, or any time you choose.

You know fall is coming when you begin to talk about S’mores. National S’mores Day is August 10th. My grandchildren love anything sweet, but we enjoy making S’mores. Gathering around to roast marshmellos is a fun time as you tell stories. Take the warm or burnt marshmallows, place them between two graham crackers with a square of Hershey's chocolate, and you will see them melt together; it immediately warms your heart and brings a smile to your face.

Another unique day to celebrate is August 13th International Left-Handers Day! Do you know anyone who is left-handed? My husband is left-handed! When we go out to eat, we have to try to remember to sit so, we are not hitting each other as we try to eat.

The United States celebrates National Honeybee Day on August 20th. It will be a buzz that day! Okay, that was not a good joke. Every third Saturday of August is celebrated as National Honey Bee Awareness Day. The role of honey bees in pollination and the importance of their products as honey and honey wax are recognized.

To learn more about the month of August, recipes, unique facts and interesting things to know this website is full of things to know.

"I only have 2 rules!"
© 2023 Brenda Yoho
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