Goal #5 … Feed Your Inspiration

Although I am behind in the #30Goals challenge, I still find setting goals a source of inspiration.  Lately, I have been spending more time on Pinterest … in the Education board … and I recently started a board of “Quotations | Inspirations.”

In addition, my favorite holiday is Thanksgiving – the season to be thankful.  So this goal is one that I love because I get to share what inspires me …

Quotes | http://pinterest.com/sylviaellison/quotations-inspirations/

MLC | My Mentor Learning Community — a group of mentors that meet twice each month to share ideas, grow professionally, and inspire personally!

Family | Always there to support me with sage advice, inspirationals stories, endless opportunities.

As I was working on my Pintrest page … I found a source to focus me for the year …

Books | My One Word http://myoneword.org/ … for 2013 … my word is PEACE!  Peace for me, my family, in the midst of the storms, the muck and the mire.  http://pinterest.com/sylviaellison/my-1-word-2013-peace/ 

Joy Dare | Ann Voskamp … if you have discovered this gifted writer and photographer … she is the definition of inspiration … She is almost like George Bernard Shaw who said … “The power of comedy is to make people laugh, and when they have their mouths open and they least expect it — you slip in the truth.”  Ann makes me laugh and cry, and when I least expect it, her words have spoken to my heart.

What inspires you?  To be a better mentor? A better teacher? A better professional?  A better person …

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10 Ways to Transform Your Mentoring

Shelly Sanchez Terrell is a (I call her at least 🙂 colleague that I have met virtually.  She has pushed me out of my comfort zone many times.  I am always brought back to her when I am considering ways to improve my practice.  So I am using her ideas for “Transforming Your Teaching” to help us possibly get out of the “disallusionment” stage of mentoring. 🙂

Her philosophy, by the way, is that she gives us “permission … to inspire incredible learning this year.”  Her words … “You are the instrument in your [moving classroom] that determines whether your [new teachers] will love [teaching] or hate [teaching].  So how do you begin to implement that power and ensure your [new teachers teach] effectively?”

1.  Ask a question … with many answers or no answer at all.

2.  Give your teacher reign for one conference.  I am considering giving them the CAL to complete … possibly even letting them “mentor” me on how to better meet their needs.

3.  Allow your mentees to choose how they will be observed — which tool they would like for us to use, with what lens (observer? student?), and with what focus (domain 2? questioning?).

4.  Ask mentees what they are really interesting in learning more about.  (I had the most unusual post conference … the new teacher actually wanted to pick my brain regarding teaching grammar authentically rather than discuss her areas of strength … “I can read those later,” she said.)  What if we took some time away from the teaching to the development of content.  With one of my mentees, I am actually working through a book study.  (I hope she has been more successful than me at completing the reading.)

5.  Tell your mentees every day (for a month) that you are glad to be their mentor.  Greet them with a smile, handshake, or high five!  (I’ve often said hello to my mentees, but I need to be better about thanking them!  If it wasn’t for them, I wouldn’t get to have this AWESOME job!)

6.  Conduct a conference in a different environment either by meeting in a different location or in a different way — what about a walking meeting or a location outside?

7.  “Stand for the entire classroom period.  Break students into groups or pairs and move around constantly asking them questions or taking notes about the way they learn.”  How could we translate this one to mentoring???

8.  Provide a fun activity in your conference or leave a fun page on your teacher’s desk.  The form could be one of reflection or one for inspiration.  Consider using the journal pages shared in our MLC … http://www.graceisoverrated.com/p/journal-pages.html

9.  Contact each principal and share with them specific ways your mentees make you proud of them.  We could do this in general talking about different activities and/or assignments without giving names, or we could speak about the professionalism (domain 4) of our mentees in general.

10.  Have your mentees work together to perform an act of kindness — either to a charity, organization, students, or other teachers.  This could be by creating books, collecting winter needs, donating time, or sending out thank you notes.  I think this could be one that could transform the culture of a school.

These ideas were developed from ways to transform your teaching … http://teacherrebootcamp.com/2012/08/26/10-simple-ideas-for-transforming-your-teaching-this-school-year/

I’d love to hear your thoughts! 🙂

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Goal #4 Reveal Their Strengths

So, as in the movies, there is such a thing as “The Perfect Storm.” As I finally arrived at Goal 4, Reveal Their Strengths, I realized I have seen this message many, many times.

You Matter by Angela Maiers … probably my introduction to this idea. Angela’s message is to encourage us to “evidence genius” in our students, in our friends, in our families. As people, we were made for relationships – we need to know that we matter to someone. If we are given an opportunity to reveal to others what we are good at, then we are motivated to success.

Winning With People by John Maxwell … I am currently in a book study with other teachers in my district. While reading it, I find myself being reflective about how I need to deal with other people – my colleagues, other leaders in my district, my family members, and my friends. One of the more recent principles I read dealt with making others feel like a “Number 10.” He says that when you believe in others, they will rise to the occasion.

In our district, we teach a course called Discipline in the Secondary Classroom based on the book by Randall Sprick … In this course, Motivation is defined as Expectation times Value — M = E x V.  If a student can expect to do well, then the value of the project will motivate them to succeed.  If the value or expectation of success is zero, though, there is 0 motivation.  So if you reveal their strengths and give students (or people!) an opportunity to shine, if they feel as though they can be successful, and if they believe that there is value in what is being asked, then students (people!) will be motivated to perform.

So how do I fuse all of these ideas?  With PRACTICE!  I must admit as much as I want to be a collector of genius, I find that I don’t know how.  (I really would like a day just to watch Angela do this!)  When I have thought about the principles in Winning with People, though, by just changing how I respond to others, how I believe in others, and how I present myself, I find myself constantly focusing on the positive.  When I am trying to fulfill what I am learning, I find myself noticing the good things people are doing and not dwelling on the not-so-good things.  When observing teachers and students, instead of just noting their success, I am mentioning it to them.

As an educator and a parent, I need to work harder to focus on people’s strengths instead of the other side of the coin.  I guess the one thing I’ve learned is that I may be the only person to say a positive word to that student/person all day.  I would hate for them not to have received one nice word or compliment knowing I walked past them and not taken advantage of that opportunity.  The strength could be in revealing something in them that they did not know existed yet.

Your thoughts on my “perfect storm”?  Maybe there is a lesson I’m missing. 🙂

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Goal #3: Ask a Learner

Once again, Shelly Terrell has astounded me with a goal that aligns with my personal philosophy as well as another site / information I’ve recently found an interest in.  I have 4 children, and I am constantly amazed at their variety of interests and learning styles.

So, how will I accomplish this goal as a mentor? I am choosing to reconsider my own teaching philosophy.  Just yesterday, I found a research project that compared learning philosophies – “Rethinking Learning” by Barbara Bray.  Her research, interesting enough, compares personalization vs. differentiation vs. individualization.  At first glance all 3 of these philosophies seem synonymous.  But with the #30Goals thoughts in mind, Barbara Bray shows that differentiation and individualization are teacher / curriculum centered approaches to learning.  Personalization actually asks for the teacher to listen to the student, to discover their learning interests, and to allow their inquisitive natures to guide their learning.

My only concern is this … how do we recondition students to have an inquisitive nature? How do we foster curiosity again?  I have heard so many teachers claim that “my students don’t want to learn.”  How do we train teachers to believe in curiosity?

We listen.  Harvey Daniels, in his book Comprehension & Collaboration (along with Stephanie Harvey), asks his students to create a list of “I wonder …” statements.  From this list students have ideas to research and learn.  I tried this with my son.  What I forgot was that I also have to teach him how to research.  I have to show him how to find answers.  It’s like teaching writing – assigning essays and writing comments all over them is not teaching.  As Sharon Draper was once told by an African leader, “In Africa, we do not grow an elephant by weighing it every day.  We feed it.”

Consider these resources when attempting to “ask a learner”:

Multiple Intelligence Surveys

– Primary _ http://www.bgfl.org/bgfl/custom/resources_ftp/client_ftp/ks1/ict/multiple_int/questions/questions.cfm

– Secondary _  http://www.bgfl.org/bgfl/custom/resources_ftp/client_ftp/ks3/ict/multiple_int/index.htm

Rethinking Learning

http://barbarabray.net/free-chart/

Disciplinary Literacy by Dr. Tim Shanahan

http://media.kucrl.org/archives/577

Learning Style Inventories

What’s Your Learning Style … http://people.usd.edu/~bwjames/tut/learning-style/

Learning Style Inventory (VAK) … http://www.personal.psu.edu/bxb11/LSI/LSI.htm

KOLB Learning Style Inventory (Converger, Diverger, Accomodator, Assimilator) … http://casa.colorado.edu/~dduncan/teachingseminar/KolbLearningStyleInventoryInfo.pdf

What resources have you found to help you “ask a learner”?

 

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Goal 2: “Magical” Moment in Teaching

Today, as I was reading this goal, I thought about a question I was asked recently … “If you were to walk away from this job, what is the greatest experience you would take with you?”  (Of course, I am now paraphrasing 🙂 …

Even though Shelly is talking about teaching – and I have so many wonderful stories about students through the years – I want to share my mentoring magical moments.

I am in my 2nd year as a full-release mentor, and to be asked “what is my greatest ‘take away’?” was such a hard question to answer.  So here is my elaborated response …

In my time as a mentor, my greatest “magical moment,” was understanding the true value of reflection.  In the past, although I did achieve my national board certification, I don’t know that I truly grasped how valuable reflection is until I surrounded myself with reflective teachers / professionals / learners.  Together, we have established a standard of excellence, a professional learning community that truly understands that engaged students are not just hands on, but they are minds on.

When I go back in the classroom, I want each and every day my students to know what we are learning, how we are learning it, and how “I will know I mastered this standard.”  When we get to the end of the lesson, I want to see light bulbs going off all over the room from students grasping … “OH, I see why … I know how … I am excited because …”

I remember one year, a few years ago, a student “Martha” came to me and said, “Mrs. Ellison, it’s all your fault.” (Of course, I had no idea what she was talking about, so I replied …) “What is my fault, Martha?”

“I got in trouble last period.”

“Why?”

“Because I wouldn’t put my book down.  It’s all your fault that I know love to read!”

I want to duplicate this experience with ALL my students.  As a mentor, I want to help my new teachers have these moments based on their ability to plan effective lessons, manage efficient classrooms, create collaborative environments, and guide students through learning outcomes, assessments, and reflection.  When students – through teachers who – can understand the process of learning, then learning becomes exponential.

At least … that’s my thoughts – definition – of “magical.”  Your thoughts?

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Goal 1: Me Manifesto #30Goals

I must admit … I’m SO EXCITED!  Last year, when I discovered Shelly Terrell, her website “Teacher Reboot Camp,” and her #30Goals initiative, I felt like that was exactly what I needed to REBOOT.  So … here we go again … #30Goals in 2012!

 

 

My Manifesto

I believe that all students deserve the opportunity to pursue a future via a variety of options – college, career technical education, and/or vocational apprenticeships.

I believe that all students should be taught in a manner that respects their readiness level, interest, and learning style.

I believe that students should be provided with an education that will prepare them for a global society that treasures problem-solving, creative and critical thinking, and technology.

I believe that all new teachers should be provided with the support needed to meet the educational and professional needs that impact student learning.

I believe that all schools, teachers, and students should have access to the technology necessary to prepare themselves for ethical citizenship in the future.

I hope that my role as a mentor helps teachers fulfill their obligations in the profession, in the classroom, and in their personal lives.

If my dreams were to come true, I would like to see all our students become life-long learners, citizens in a free society, a society that promotes liberty and freedom for all.

If my dreams were to come true, our students would lead the future with scientific endeavors, impressive inventions, and positive words that inspire others to be the best that they can be.

This is My Manifesto.

 

Other Manifestos you should check out …

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Inspiration Part I

Although my days are filled to the brim with conferences, observations, and paperwork, I have spent a great deal of time reflecting on my practice, my job, and my passions.  As I was walking from classroom to classroom, I started to think of the word “inspiration.”  Who inspires me? What inspires me? How does that impact my life?

1.  Goals or Challenges.  I must admit, when Shelly Terrell announces her #30Goals last year, I was hooked.  When I read the tweet challenging people to document their year in pictures (#365 project), I jumped on board.

This year, I am resolved to completing both of these projects.  In fact, I hope to stay current with both projects and feel inspired to do so.

2.  Books, Articles, and other Blogs.  This month, I have read so many wonderful writings from other educators.  In past posts, I have listed many of these.  Using Buffer, I have now been able to tweet some of these throughout my day.  In addition, I am reading several books (there are too many! 🙂 ) that are packed full of wisdom, practical advice, inspiring stories.

Two of my current readings are Teach Like Your Hair’s On Fire by Rafe Esquith.  This elementary school teacher has students learning ideas, skills, concepts that I rarely find in high schools.  He is present every moment of every day in his classroom.  I have some changes to make in my own practice (and I am sharing a lot of these with my new teachers) when I return to the classroom.

The other book that I am reading alongside a new teacher is No More Molasses Classes by Ron Clark.  In my communication with her, my thoughts were …

3 – Define your expectations and then raise the bar; the more you expect, the better the results will be?

I was simply amazed at this man’s attitude. Yet I was humbled by his level of expectation and his determination to make it work. Maybe it was a “flaw” in the system that pushed him to complete his goal (“we don’t lower standards at RCA once they are determined), and still he refused to back down. 

I think the most profound part of this section was the idea that schools and teachers often say they have “high expectations,” we even tell students they should have “high expectations,” but the HIGH is never truly defined or stated for the students. Is it enough that we want 50% of our students to pass FCAT? Why are we afraid of saying 100%? Could it be because, as he says, “[we] can’t just set the bar, sit back, and say, ‘Get there.'”?

I believe if every teacher taught with the same passion and expectation that he had, we could change the culture of a school. We would see students becoming empassioned to learn – yes, even Algebra! Every class would become important; students would hate to miss class. What happened to our schools, teachers, curriculums, that allow students to learn more from YouTube that they learn from our teachers?

Next week, I’ll post Part II … Visuals and Sounds.

What inspires you to write? to learn? to inspire others?

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Happy New Year – Reflections and Resolutions

My thoughts these days feel so scattered … 2011 began and ended in a whirlwind of responsibilities, aspirations, and wonders.  I cannot believe all that I have accomplished this year.  Yet there is so much I want to do in 2012, I don’t quite know where to begin … except here!

Reflections …

1.  A circle is the reflection of eternity. It has no beginning and it has no end – and if you put several circles over each other, then you get a spiral.  Maynard James Keenan  This year began with a remarkable find … Coach G’s Blog led me to #RSCON2 with Shelly Terrell et al.  Little did I know that one weekend could change my technology life.  From that point, I began a twitter account, a blog, and district technology trainings.  I’ve always enjoyed technology, and I am still discovering all the wonders that exist.  I still find it amazing how many educators are able and willing to share free technology and teaching tips.  When a teacher willing steps outside those four walls, he/she can find so many resources to help students learn more.

2.  A little reflection will show us that every belief, even the simplest and most fundamental, goes beyond experience when regarded as a guide to our actions.  William Kingdon Clifford  Since our district has adopted the Charlotte Danielson teacher effectiveness rubric, I have re-discovered the value of reflection in education.  In addition, I have discovered people around the globe who also appreciate the true value of reflection.  This past year, I have grown as a leader and educator through my role as teacher mentor and as a result of my PLN.  As I was enjoying my Winter holiday (aka Christmas break!), I was able to read several posts that reflected on 2011 – which set me to my own thoughts.  Some that I have truly enjoyed …

There are so many more to list … just follow these folks on Twitter and they will guide you as well.

3.  A #2 pencil and a dream can take you anywhere. Joyce A. Myers This past year, I am not sure what I expected, but I definitely achieved more than I could ever dream.  A few years back, I was forced into “change.”  I remember thinking (after it was done), “now, that wasn’t so bad.”  The risk I took then led to a positive experience, which in my thinking, was purposeful … it taught me that “change may not only be good, but it can also be fulfilling.” Since then, I have been rewarded with various opportunities that would never have come my way without my taking risks — in my district and online.  As the new year approaches, I hope to dream bigger so that I can reap even greater rewards.

Resolutions for this Teacher Mentor …

1.  I think in terms of the day’s resolutions, not the years’Henry Moore  For now, I want to think of daily and weekly goals.  So here are some projects I am pursuing …

  • #365 Shuttercal – I’m going to document various areas of my life each month with a photo calendar.  Since I purchased my iPhone, I have been able to accomplish so much while “on the go.”  This is one more step that could be fun and create positive habits.
  • Bi-weekly blog – It’s been 6-8 weeks since my last post … I find that the more I blog the easier it is.  I like the #30Goals that Shelly Terrell creates at the start of each year.  Along with those posts, I hope to blog every other week (every week if possible – just trying to keep my goals reasonable 🙂 ) – at least 1 post that in inspired based on what I have learned in my life.
  • One Twitter chat per month – I have really enjoyed #engchat on Monday nights.  Yet this semester, I am teaching on Monday nights, so I am going to stretch my Twitter experiences by finding other chats to participate in.  If I can attend at least 1 chat each month, that is an increase from 2011.
  • Be a Presenter at #RSCON4 or #RSCON5 – I am not sure what I would talk about – but it is definitely a goal.  This past year, I was privileged to moderate for so many talented people from across the globe.  I hope to continue in this pursuit – #RSCON2, I participated; #RSCON3, I moderated; #RSCON4, I ????

2.  A man who wants to lead the orchestra must turn his back on the crowd.  Max Lucado  I have always been a fan of Max Lucado.  This year, I want to lead others to the global community that I have discovered.  I have so many friends and colleagues who would not only learn from them, but they also have so much they could contribute.  Through my leadership, I hope to guide them along this path that I have chosen.  In addition, I want to forge ahead and strengthen the virtual relationships that I have made this past year.  A new position that I have been granted might give me that opportunity.  As I increase my knowledge in the field of education and technology, hopefully I can lead others successfully.

3.  Be faithful in small things because it is in them that your strength lies. Mother Teresa  In all things, I want to live an authentic life – in my face-to-face relationships and my online communications.  May my word be my bond, and may my words be true to myself and my beliefs.  So many times, what we say or write can be misinterpreted – only 7% of our message is communicated in our words.  If I am to be authentic in my writings, I must be true in my life.  So I finish with this prayer from Philipians 4:8 …  8 Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.”

May your 2012 be filled with joy and prosperity.  May you achieve all your goals, resolutions, and dreams.  May you be blessed with peace and grace.  Happy New Year! ♥♥♥♥

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Lead, Follow, or Get Out of the Way

As you can see, I have had very little time to blog this month.  (I haven’t even posted my top 5 blog posts due to my lack of time.)  So, today, I must admit I was inspired by Lisa DabbsMentoring Mondays.”

As a full-release mentor, I find myself put in a position often where I must ask myself … am I leading? am I following? or do I need to get out of the way?  How do you know the difference?  How can you tell?

Leaders

Stephen R. Covey says, “I am personally convinced that one person can be a change catalyst, a “transformer” in any situation, any organization. Such an individual is yeast that can leaven an entire loaf. It requires vision, initiative, patience, respect, persistence, courage, and faith to be a transforming leader.” Last year, the motto in our professional learning community was “We are sailing on a ship we are still building.”  As leaders, we were asked to be uncomfortable, to forge the path not yet travelled.  In our discovery, we learned that moving forward sometimes required speaking up for what we believed and other times being silent in the midst of the storm.  Our goal was to accelerate the learning of new teachers, to support them in the professional we call teaching, to help them recognize the value of their position despite the financial pitfalls.  As leaders, we had to be willing to strive forward not knowing fully what we would find, how we would survive, or what the results might be defined as.  We worked together, however, to define what learning could be when new teachers received the support they needed to not just survive their first 3 years – but to THRIVE.  Leaders not only see, but they also do.

Followers

As leaders, though, there is always a time to follow.  In our district, mentors had to quickly accept that we were not creating “mini-me’s.”  It was not about how “I” would teach, manage, plan … it was about how the “new teacher” would teach, manage, plan.  We all recognize the need and value of best practices, but there are multiple ways of finding success.  Facilitating conferences and gathering data help guide new teachers to discovering their own style of best practices.

In addition to following the new teachers’ lead, as mentors we also had to be willing to follow the lead of our district – in all parts.  (In my opinion, this was easier to do than following the lead of my new teachers.)  An amazing transformation occurs when you move to a multi-site, itinerant position.  In addition to the responsibility required to be trusted with this position, our leaders provided us an insight (which is provided to anyone willing to view it) into the thoughts and procedures of district decision-making.  Now, I was able to see the why’s and when’s of tough choices.  In my classroom, it was always about the “black and white” decisions.  WOW! There are so many shades of gray … and various colors (perspectives) that must be considered.

Getting Out of the Way

When you have the opportunity to not only witness, but also understand, different perspectives, please take it.  Often, those in leadership make difficult choices with quite a bit of personal sacrifice.  It may not appear that way to the average viewer (especially those that look strictly at dollar signs), but our leaders were not promoted because they could not handle a previous job.  Peter Parker’s uncle in the movie Spiderman proclaimed a great truth … “With great power comes great responsibility.”  Our leaders are willing to put their reputation and character in the public light to under the scrutiny of those who have never “walked in their shoes.”  It’s amazing how we are all experts until we are asked to serve or lead.  Why is that?  Probably because we speak, when we should listen; we react, when we should respond; we proclaim, when we should think; we criticize, when we should applaud. 

My mom, who I must admit after all these years, was right when she said over and over again … “If you can’t say anything nice, then don’t say anything at all.” 

So what does this all mean?  If you are called to lead, then lead with honesty and truth.  If you are called to follow, then follow with submissiveness and support.  If you can’t support the movement or leadership, then maybe it’s just time to get out of the way.

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5 Things About Me: Truth or Hyperbole?

As I was attempting to catch up on my blog-reading … trying to close all the tabs in my browser  … I came across this blog challenge continued by David Dodgson, and as the saying goes, “better late than never”?  I like blog-challenges because they help focus my attention.  I realize that lately I have been a bit dry in my posts.  So maybe I’ll take a run at my literary ability to exaggerate the truth. 🙂

1.  I travel regularly.

True and False. 🙂  If you are talking “passport” and “airport security,” then false.  If you are talking time and space through the pages of an awesome book … true, although not as regular as I would like.  I believe that vacations and travels can be endless when looking through the pages of a good book.

But kids often say, “I hate to read.” One of my colleagues had an excellent response … “No one hates to read … they either cannot read or they have not found a good book to read.”  As teachers, we need to be in the moment all the time in an effort to help students discover the joy of reading that can help them travel the world and beyond.

2.  I am native of Florida, USA.

Very true … so true, in fact, that I can say that I have never lived outside of Florida.  I was born in Tampa, lived 2 years (after college) in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, then married and moved back to Tampa.  I actually live 1/2 mile from the home that I grew up in – where my parents still live.

A lot of our students have not traveled outside the county in which I teach.  I am a product of Hillsborough County Public Schools – the same district in which I teach.  My first trip out of the country was in college – Theatre Tour in London, England, with my college … bet you can guess which one … the University of Tampa. 🙂

3.  My achievement scores in math were higher than those in verbal / written skills.

True!  On my SAT (college entrance exam in the USA), I scored a 700 out of 800 in mathematics and a 330 out of 800 in verbal skills.  Yes, I did begin college as a math major, but I was quickly bored (Calculus II).  So how did I become an English teacher?

During my 2nd semester of college, I had an awesome American Literature professor, Dr. Mendelson … during one of my “worried” days, I told him that I could not afford to stay at UT.  He helped me find and apply for scholarships that not only helped me stay in the university, but he recognized my potential as a teacher and helped me pursue that future career.

Now, I use that story to show my students that ANYONE can do ANYTHING if they want to.

4.  I am a classically trained pianist and recording vocalist.

True.  I began piano at the age of 5 and continued through college – privately.  Although I did not pursue any music through college (unlike my brother who has a BA in Vocal Performance), I did volunteer at my high school alma mater for 4 years (during my college days) as their rehearsal and performance pianist.  In my prime, I could sight read 4 stanzas on the piano while sight-singing 1 part in solfege (do, re, mi …)

After college, I sang with a variety of worship teams.  Under the guidance of one director, we recorded an album.  I had a solo on that album.  There are only a limited copies, but I did record on an album.

This past year, though, I did experience one of the greatest thrills of my life — I accompanied my older daughter for her solo & ensemble competition.  She played clarinet while I supported her on piano.  What an amazing experience!  (BTW … she received a superior rating – the highest rating possible!)

5.  I am a bona fide beauty queen.

HAHAHA!! Only in my dreams.  BUT, I am a beauty queen magnet, as my husband and I joke.  I have 3 friends who are beauty queens – Miss Oklahoma, Miss Runner-up Kentucky, and Miss Largo (top 10 Miss Florida as a teenager).  These ladies are kind-hearted and gorgeous.  They have beauty from the inside out.  At one point, 3 of us (plus Miss Teen Tampa) sang a quartet together. At the time, we laughed at the odds of that many beauty queens on stage at the same time while not in a pageant.

Although time and lives and moved us apart and around, we still seem to find that are friendship transcends those factors.  Some friends are for life, others for a season.  Then there are friends who it seems as though time never passes (you know, when you meet up again, it’s as though you never were apart).  I am blessed to have such wonderful friends (and beautiful as well!).

So what are 5 things about you?  Check out some of these … I wasn’t as brave about video blogging … yet … maybe one day. 🙂

Let the Truth Be Known by Chiew

The Truth About (5 Things About) Me by David Dodgson

Truth and Lies by Sandy Millin

Are you up to the challenge?

 

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