Gotcha! Finally! Hook me up! Connections…

Gotcha! Finally! Hook me up!

These 5 words showed up in my Facebook Messenger window on December 30th at 10:16AM. To my shock and delight, an old friend, Phil, was sending me a message!

My immediate response was to accept his request…


…and then I send him my New Year’s Bitmoji:

…and this one…

…with the caption…

“Can this really be you?”

And then…

A few moments later I receive the following message:


To which I reply:

Is that all I get? Lol????

…and then I receive this text:

I’m all teary eyed…my hubby
is laughing at me!  I’ve missed
you and think of you so often!

Our texting went on for about 35 minutes with lots of funny messages back and forth and then we had to have a real conversation via phone as this mode of communication was too slow for Phil.  The next 1.5 hours flew by and when I hung up the phone I immediately texted Phil again via Messenger:

You know you have a good
friend when you can just pick
up where you left off in an hour
long conversation!  Happy
New Year to you both.

…to which he replied…

Right back atchya kiddo! I’m
still smiling! Love ya! Happy
New Year to you all! XOs

We hadn’t spoken to each other in about 17 years!  Crazy, I know…life happens and time went by.  But here we were…picking up the conversation like it was yesterday…now that is a CONNECTION.

Imagine if our students came back to school after Christmas holidays and connected with one another in such deep ways…a connection to one person in the building be it adult or child!

Take the time to CONNECT with all students:

  • say their name out loud
  • smile
  • look them in the eye
  • pat them on the shoulder
  • high-fives in the hallway
  • greet them at the door
  • let them know that you have missed them
  • tell them you are excited to see them

Do whatever it takes to make that CONNECTION…

I know I am still smiling about mine…and so is Phil and that makes my heart happy!




I finished my #oneword post very late on January 1, 2018.  The beginning of the new year.  The beginning of 2018.  The beginning of my commitment to live out my purpose.  The beginning!

Sitting here at the beginning of January 2nd, I, once again need to trust the magic of beginnings.  You see our son, Oliver, heads back to university for the beginning of his second semester and the feelings of missing him at home each day are beginning to surface.  These past 4 months have been the start of a year of beginnings for Oliver, and for us, his family.  For Oliver these beginnings have included leaving home and living in residence and experiencing the beginning of his university career.  For us, his family, it has been the beginning of letting our eldest child grow up, leave the nest and learn to soar on his own.  Beginnings are both exciting and bittersweet!

As we head back to school on January 8th there will be many beginnings but there will also be an ‘ending’ that will also be a different kind of a beginning.  We have a well-loved teacher retiring on January 15th, and for that particular teacher, retirement is the beginning of something she has worked toward for many years.  Mrs. Oxley wishes to begin her adventures sailing to Alaska with her husband  and completing volunteer work overseas.   Beginnings come from exciting endings!

It is not without tears and lots of emotion that Mrs. Oxley leaves a job she truly loves.
As a Kindergarten teacher she has enriched the ‘beginning’ career of many students who have run through her classroom doors.  She has been the ‘beginning’ teacher for many students. Parents will cherish the memories that their children were fortunate enough to begin school with Mrs. Oxley as their teacher! Beginnings are moments to remember.

As I head into 2018 and as I am becoming more comfortable with my #oneword choice, I look forward to my journey of beginnings…

  • beginning each day with purpose
  • beginning each day with reflection
  • beginning each day with positives
  • beginning each day with relationships
  • beginning each day with intention
  • beginning each day with focus

These are goals that I believe are achievable!  These are goals that will make me accountable!  These are the goals that will guide me toward living my purpose!  I believe I am beginning to like the journey ahead!

Trust the Magic of Beginnings…My #oneword 2018


Start 2018 off right!
Offer Extended!
Last Chance to Save!
Wrap Up your Holidays!

As 2017 drew to a close it seemed like we were being inundated with messages.  Everything from The Best Top 10 Lists to 17 Tweets That Sum Up 2017.  The final days of 2017 felt somewhat familiar…like the final days of the school year.  The excitement gradually building up before Christmas Holidays.

Being educators, we try to recharge over the holidays. It is blessing that we get to have some quiet reflection time before we head into the second half of the school year.

Thinking ahead to 2018, my thoughts naturally go to the students for whom we serve.  Those students who needed us the most and displayed this in the only way they knew how…

  • those students who pushed us a little too much
  • those students who spoke to us a little too harshly
  • those students who kept their distance and pretended that they were okay

I wonder how these same students will view 2018?  Will 2018 feel like a new beginning for them or will they follow a similar script from 2017?  As a leader, I want to be that someone who helps to change the script for these students.  I want to be part of that new script.  A positive script; a script of new beginnings.  I wish for all students to trust the magic of beginnings.

For our students a new or positive script can mean…

  • starting the year off with a clean slate
  • knowing that each day is a fresh start
  • trusting that mistakes made are part of learning and growing
  • being back in a familiar place that feels safe
  • connecting to someone or something

I have been thinking about my #oneword for 2018 and it has proven to be a challenging task.  Through this process I have gone back and forth with what I think my word will be and why.  I have had many conversations in my head about this.  I have reflected on last year’s word and I was happy with it.  The word was believe.  It was and continues to be a word that instills in me, hope.  The word believe keeps the kindness message at the forefront of everything I do because kindness is what I live and model for my school community daily.

As I head into 2018 I have decided  that I, too, need to trust the magic of beginnings.  I, therefore, have chosen the word Beginning as my #oneword.  I am excited to start my journey…

  • beginning each day with a purpose in mind
  • beginning each day with time to put my thoughts into a journal or post
  • beginning each day with positive messages to teachers, students and parents
  • beginning each day working on relationships with all students
  • beginning each day intentionally in classrooms with students and teachers
  • beginning each day with a plan to focus on less and to do it really well

I wish you all a Happy New Year and encourage you to reflect upon the ‘magic of beginnings’ as you make your way through 2018!