I'm Exhausted

Friday, January 15, 2016

I'm exhausted.
I am.

I could tell you about the massive cold I started the week off with.
I could tell you about how I thought I lost my wallet at Chuck E Cheese and spent a whole day worried about it.
I could tell you it was because I had to drive to CCD in the snowstorm.  I hate driving in snow.
Or, I could tell you about the skin biopsies that my husband and I both had this week, and required me to walk around with a giant bandaid on my head for most of the week.  That was awesome.
I could tell you about the dental cleaning for my kids that required serious mom bribery and a PlayPlace mid week, and ended with a busted lip.  I'm sure the slide was clean.  :(
I could tell you about the multiple traffic problems that made my already long commutes even longer.
I could tell you that now that my son is over his cold, my daughter is starting the weekend coming down with something.

I could.  It was a loooooong week personally.  But, it's not why I'm exhausted.  I did a #g2great Twitter chat with Kari Yates on Thursday night, and something she said spoke to me.

Instead, let me just describe my Friday at Hiawatha.

I'll tell you that I started my day with a second grade team that has done some serious unpacking of Standard 3.  We had a thoughtful conversation about how we interpret the standard, and their goals for instruction and assessment.

I'll tell you about the writing sample that I saw a 5th grader produce after their field trip to MSI yesterday, and writing is a struggle for him.  He had an experience that motivated him to WRITE!

I'll tell you about the conversation I had with a teacher about books for his next unit.  We shared titles and thought about the bigger ideas across texts that his students could explore.

I'll tell you that I went to a 4th grade class to watch reading workshop in action, and I got to watch children taking notes and sharing their learning with their classmates.  They even taught me a few things.

I'll tell you that I got to see our ESL teacher return students after ACCESS testing, and how proud they were to have finished the big test, doing their very best.

I'll tell you that I got to observe a mini lesson by the wonderful +Meg Hanisch using some strategies that I have not yet had time to explore.

I'll tell you that I got to spend lunch working with a 3rd grade team who was so flexible with me that they rescheduled their ELA time because I couldn't meet with them the day before.  They gave up their Friday lunch to plan for their students, and talk with each other about #d100bloggerPD and #D100chat.

I'll tell you that I got to stop into a 4th grade room and see how their literary essays were going in the drafting stage, after stopping in a few days before.  I was able to see the changes the teachers put in place, and the effect it had on students!

I'll tell you that a teacher showed me her plan to tie visual literacy into her weather unit, using close reading of images, articles, and videos to explore their 4 research topics.  I made her promise to invite me in.

I'll tell you that I met with a teacher to talk about visiting classrooms to see Passion Time in action, and then we discussed her own next steps unrolling it in her room.

I'll tell you that I set up some observations for new teachers to visit classrooms across our district.

I'll tell you that I talked with my AP and my principal about "optimism" as our first building wide mindset for learning, and then talked to a few teachers about it before sending out the information on our "slow chat" on #hiawathapride to highlight "optimism" across our building.

I'll tell you that a teacher and I finally got a chance to talk about her own reflections of herself as a teacher this year, and last year.  We have been trying to do that in person for a few days!

I'll tell you that my principal and I discussed standards, and goals setting, and SBR.

I'll tell you that I met with a teaching team to figure out how to get science research clubs going in their room next week, and how to merge that with guided reading.  We also talked about mini lessons, and lessons, and how to balance the two.

I'll tell you that I went into a classroom to see their first Passion Time research in action!

I'll tell you that I talked to our secretary about the books that we need for Battle of the Books, which I am so excited about doing with our fantastic librarian.

I'll tell you that I didn't even get to talk to the three people who wanted to talk to me about things that I just couldn't fit in today.  Sorry about that...  I'll have to "stop, collaborate and listen" with them next week (or this weekend perhaps...)

I'll tell you that, after the bell rang, I talked with some teachers about some next steps they can have in reading, and in their next unit.  We also may have teared up over the passing of Snape this week.  Well, 2 of us teared up while the other one worked on Guided Reading plans.

I'll tell you that 2 teachers wanted to talk SMART goals at 4:30 on a FRIDAY, and another stopped in to see if I had had time to read the excerpt of the book she had reflected on and texted me.

I am exhausted, because that all happened TODAY.

I am exhausted, because I am a literacy coach in a building that is on fire.  Our teachers are just out of this world, and I get to spend all my days helping them do whatever it is that will move them along.

Thank you everyday for planning with me, creating with me, reflecting with me, teaching in front of me, teaching with me, reading with me, and being an educator with me.

Man, am I blessed to be a Hiawathan.  

Much #HiawathaPride

(This post was inspired by Theresa Carrillo.  Happy Birthday!  I thought I'd honor you by writing in your style!  Read her post here: http://learnteachgr0w.blogspot.com/2016/01/im-exhausted.html)


  1. Love it! Every word so very true! Thanks Leah! :)

  2. That was great! Nice work! Now relax!

  3. Absolutely incredible!!!! Hiawatha is truly a great place to be and we are so lucky to have you as a guide for everyone!

  4. Whew! Take a breath...and a nap this weekend. We all ❤️ you Leah O 'Donnell, lit coach extraordinaire!!

  5. Love it! All of this flutter of activity on a Friday, before a 3-day weekend! Just another above-average day at Hiawatha. Never a dull moment. Proud to be a fellow Hiawathan.

  6. Love! Hope you are relaxing now. We love you for everything you do, from content to moral support! xo