Tuesday, March 15, 2011


     One of my favorite things about my frogs is their optimism.  Some of my frogs have faced divorce, abuse, neglect, mental illness, and gangs, but they will be the first to tell you, "It's okay. Life is still good.  Things will get better soon."  Then they look at me, smile, and say, "Right?"  For all their bravado, they still want the reassurance that their hopes are valid, that life is good, things always get better, it really will be okay. 
     Frogs are going through one of the toughest times of their lives. They deserve frog kissers who are optimistic.  Frogs pick up on your moods, no matter how well you try and hide it from them.  They are self-centered, so they think your bad mood means you are mad at them.  A few weeks of bad moods translates into the idea you don't like them.  A few months mean you hate teaching.  Very few adults like to be around negative people, and it is no different for frogs.  They don't like teachers who hate frogs, eat frog legs as a delicacy, or are bully-frogs.
     My frogs and I had a class meeting last week.  I asked them what they liked about teachers and what advice they had for the teachers I would meet on Saturday.   One of the frogs quietly said, "I like teachers who are happy...ones who like us...and like being teachers."  I couldn't have said it better myself.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Inspiring Frog Kissers

     A friend of mine asked me this morning why I always volunteer to present at workshops and conferences.  After presenting five times this week on five different topics and staying up until 2 this morning to prepare for the conference today, I looked at her, rolled my eyes, and said, "I have no idea...because I'm crazy I guess."         
     Then I spent the day with teachers from all over the state.  These teachers willingly sacrificed an entire Saturday without any reward except the hope they will be better teachers on Monday.  After spending the day with them, I have a different answer for her.
     The real reason I do this is because I want to make a difference for my frogs.  I love my profession.  I love the kids.  I love the teachers I work with.  By spending the day presenting my meager knowledge of all this job entails, I hope to touch the lives of frogs all over the state.  I hope  life is easier for their teachers on Monday.  If I made a difference for one teacher or one frog today, then it was worth all the time, preparation, and late nights.  I do it because that's what frog kissers do...they inspire new frog kissers.