I’ve recently been obsessing over the British pop band One Direction. I just can’t stop listening to their music! Now don’t get me wrong, I haven’t been living under a rock. I’ve known about 1D for some time now, but if I’m being completely honest, I previously only paid attention to their looks (mmm…Zayn), and since Zayn is no longer a member of the band (#7monthswithoutZayn), his departure has given me an opportunity to focus on what really matters: their musicianship and lyrics. From “Perfect” and “Steal My Girl” to “What Makes You Beautiful” and “Moments,” these five (now four) talented guys have devoted five studio albums to serenading their screaming, swooning fans and professing their deep, passionate love. While most of these songs describe a romantic, requited love, “Diana” explores another, more important kind of love—a selfless, unconditional love. A love that promotes self-love.
Every Sunday night, my high school principal sends a beautifully crafted email of encouragement and wisdom to the faculty. Of course there’s pertinent information as well, mostly updates and important dates to remember, but at the heart of her messages are words of inspiration—and this week’s was no different. Just three days ago, I received an email that reminded my colleagues and me of the importance of self-care. We’re one week shy of midterms (insane!!!), and finally halfway through the longest term of the school year. Faculty members have been trucking away like trains on a track, turning our wheels faster and faster, not breaking, not stopping, and not resting since we started orientation and planning week in August. We’re exhausted, sleep-deprived, dehydrated, famished, and probably a hop, skip, and a jump away from falling ill or quitting (whichever comes first, right?). We’re turning into zombies and pod-people—tiny shells of our previous existence. Okay, okay…maybe I’m being a bit dramatic here, but when we stop and take a moment to breathe and reflect deeply, we can start to see and feel what we’ve often been ignoring. And as I sit and consider my own thoughts and feelings, I can’t help but think about yours: how do the students feel?
Happy Fall, friends! Today we’re kicking off a new monthly segment of Kermit Says… called Kermit’s Cup of Tea. This new feature will countdown my top picks of the month, and today we’re talking about FALL! So grab your favorite cup of tea, take a seat, and let the countdown begin!
Leaf piles, cider donuts, and pumpkin EV-ER-Y-THING! Listen, when I tell you I love fall, that’s just a terrible understatement. As I mentioned in my previous post, when fall hits, it’s an opportunity to turn over a new leaf (pun intended). And not only is it a time for a fresh start, it’s also a season filled with the most wonderful (and delicious) things like my personal favorites:
Happy Yom Kippur, friends! For my non-Jewish followers, Yom Kippur is a Jewish holiday that recognizes the importance of atonement and repentance. It is a holy day, and for most, it is the holiest day of the year in Judaism. Now, whether or not you’re Jewish, you have to admit there is something so powerful about having a day devoted to both asking for forgiveness and, in a sense, getting a chance to start over with a clean slate. Similarly, I’m sure it’s no coincidence that today is also the first day of fall! In his 1925 classic novel, The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald writes, “Life starts all over again when it gets crisp in the fall” (118). It may not be “crisp” where you are (yet), but the sentiment remains— today is a day for you to turn over a new leaf, a day for you to get a second chance, and an opportunity for you to start over.
Welcome to the latest feature of Kermit Says… On the first Sunday of every month, Kermit Says… will highlight an individual who is making positive contributions in his or her community. Want to be in the spotlight or nominate someone else? Send a brief email to email@example.com and describe who you are, where you’re from, and why you should be featured! Who knows…you could be next.
In 1995, Courtney Richardson, aka C.Rich, discovered Jason Weaver and all that music had to offer a kid from Chicago’s south side. 20 years later, he’s been busy writing over 200 songs, playing at least 30 shows, working on his upcoming fourth studio project (“Let It Go” is a personal favorite), and, at 28, is showing no signs of stopping anytime soon. In fact, it’s safe to say C.Rich is just getting started, and thank God for that because he’s straight fire!
Despite the difficulty it takes to break into “the biz,” C.Rich—whose R&B tunes are reminiscent of John Legend and Jamie Foxx—explains to Kermit Says… readers what one can do with a little perseverance, a lot of resilience, and a big dream. To check out C.Rich’s music, visit www.crichmusic.com.
A few years ago, my family decided to be more intentional about Thanksgiving and the very act of giving thanks to our loved ones. Everyone has their own 5.5 in. x 4 in. notebook that we spend time writing thoughtful notes to express our gratitude for each family member. And while it’s a bit time consuming, it’s important to take time for the things and–more importantly–the people who matter most. What better way to honor your loved ones than by letting them know you care, how much you care, and why you care?
As a teacher, I face a lot of obstacles that get in the way of productive and positive classroom experiences, one of which is grades. I often have students asking for additional opportunities to improve their grades, not their skills. Or students who bypass marginal comments and flip to the back to see their grade. And in rare cases, students who try to negotiate their grade in an effort to change it. While I would never prevent a student from doing better in class, I’m concerned that, more often than not, a student’s focus and motivation to improve is misplaced.
When did the importance of grades outweigh the importance of learning and growing?