I, Joy Kirr, am a middle school teacher, author, and speaker. My 7th grade ELA (English Language Arts) classes are working to improve their lives through student-directed learning - without marks throughout the year. This is a log of my learning experiences... Want to have me speak with your staff or facilitate a workshop? Here is my PORTFOLIO.

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Day 4 - St. Patrick's Day

My 100% Irish dad (or so he's always asserted) forgot it was St. Patrick's Day! Our district had planned this day off of school due to the primary election, so I'm pretending it's a regular "extra" day I have, and Hubby and I are getting a lot done. ☘️

I'm keeping up with my Duolingo lessons. The past few days have been ironic. I'm learning "routines" and "school." Educators and others are talking about the "New Normal." Hah. Today I also watched Penny Kittle and Kelly Gallagher, then responded on the flipgrid they set up for teachers to share. I finished my audio book of Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You by Jason Reynolds and Ibram X. Kendi, and also a fantasy novel Sal & Gabi Break the Universe by Carlos Hernandez. I hope to finish Indistractable by Nir Eyal later today. (I like the one audio, one Hoopla, and one paper book idea - I could get used to this!) I also watched a webinar I recorded last night - on classroom management...

I decided I'm going to learn how to post to Instagram stories. Yesterday I shared with followers (mostly my students - new and former) the tip to get dressed every day and have some routine. It hit me Sunday when I was in what could be considered pajamas all day... I then saw a post shared by Dan Tricarico on Facebook - from a therapist he knows. Her last tip was to get up every day and get showered and dressed. Bam! I was on Day 2 - it was the weekend - and I hadn't dressed. (Yes, I showered and brushed my teeth.) Today my message was to get outside because it's HEALTHY! Bonus - it's SUNNY today here in northeastern Illinois! ☀️

My cracked knuckles (from so much hand washing) aren't as dry anymore now that I'm not at school. I still wash my hands, but only before and after we DO something (like voting today). One knuckle bled Saturday night, so we found the Neutrogena hand cream. Good stuff. They're still really dry, but I keep piling on the Neutrogena.

I saw this quote today, and it's so very true:
We are isolated. We are NOT alone.
I shared it in a Flipgrid I made for my classes - our "Smiles and Frowns / Ups and Downs" will hopefully continue. I literally danced when the first (and only so far) student responded! She was happy her dad had let their cousins come over, and also happy I helped her take so many books home. She was not happy with this "e-learning thing," and said she has lots of questions (but didn't ask them and didn't contact me... maybe because the work is from the district site).

It's so true that we are isolated, but NOT alone. We are so very fortunate for all the people sharing electronically the various things we can learn from home, resources to get food and help, and the kindness that others are sharing. More businesses are delivering, giving breaks to people, offering their services for free... Some tenants renting are given grace on rent... Some adult children are visiting their older parents through windows while on the phone...

On a neighbor's drive on our walk home from voting.

We've got changes in our daily life. Right now, at the Kirr household and extended family, they're not drastic (especially  not for retired Hubby).

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