It’s hard to be tired, Friends.

If only I could make the adults charged with the care of this little human understand that he needs more sleep than he gets each night.

Turn off the video games.

Turn off the TV.

Get a warm bath and a small snack.

Grab some books, curl up and to read to him.

Let him be little.

If only.

Today he fell asleep to my reading aloud ‘Little House in the Big Woods’. I let the kids have their coats, etc to lay on as I am reading aloud.  We turn off the lights and just relax. Kids BEG for this to happen each day.  It’s 20 minutes of our day–and quite frankly it’s one of my favorite parts of our day. They miss it when we don’t do it.

Today he slept for an hour in that position. 60 minutes. He did not move. I checked to make sure he was still breathing.

The other kids were so so so kind. They cleared the area and just let him sleep.  They used their soft voices to continue doing our math block. When he awakened, they checked to see if he felt better after he rested. (he also had carpet imprint on his little face)

He was a new man.

Tomorrow is a new day. I can bet you that given the chance he will nap again tomorrow and the day after that.

If only. Just sayin’.




What Are You Thinking?

Do you ever ask yourself  ‘what did I learn? How do I feel about what I learned? What else could I do?’ ‘What am I thinking?’

Nobody gives me a grade for my work. As an adult who teaches kids nobody says to me ‘that was A work, Mrs. Hays’ or ‘Wow. You’re grounded. That was a C and we don’t get C’s!’

I don’t have to stay inside or stand on the wall at recess because I didn’t understand what I was supposed to do the first time. The principal doesn’t put my name on the board in the lounge when I haven’t turned in my report on time. My mom doesn’t get an email detailing every single transgression I have made during the day.

Why do we do these kinds of things to kids?

I am an over-reflector. An over-thinker. An over-questioner. I annoy people with my opinions.

We gotta make some changes, people.

Start asking kids, ‘what did you learn? How do you feel about it?’ Start talking with kids about their thoughts.  Ask ‘what is confusing to you?’ and listen.  REALLY hear what that kid is saying.

Time, people. We gotta take time.

Scrap the worksheet.  Get rid of the grade. See the kid as a human. We are intelligent adults.  We know the right things to do with kids.

Let’s do them.  Just Sayin’.

Least Favorite Phrase

‘What module do you teach money in?’

‘We don’t. It’s not in our standards. It was moved to second grade.’

Eyeball rolls.

‘What about time? What exactly do you have to teach about time?’

‘Well our standard is to identify time to the half-hour and hour. Why?’

‘They don’t know it.’

‘All of them? How many are we talking? Also, keep in mind that there aren’t many analog clocks in their worlds. Many kids are using phones to check the time, a microwave or some other digital clock. Experiences with analog clocks is limited for many of them.’


As I sat in the discussion, I realized that many of my colleagues, including myself, were implying that our discussion topic ‘wasn’t their job’.

How did we get here?

Later, I heard the words come out of a colleagues mouth–‘that’s not my job’ as we were discussing how clean her room was now that her wing had changed custodians. I was heartbroken to discover that we have come to the place in our lives that helping others, doing some extra and offering grace have become ‘that’s not my job’.

How did we get here?

It’s my least favorite phrase in every aspect of my life. At home with my family, at school with my kids, at school with colleagues, and as a board member on a local board–it’s my least favorite phrase.

How did we get here?

I find myself thinking ‘that’s not my job’ when I am tired. Or frustrated. Or when I really want to stick it to The Man.

Then I remember how I felt when I helped someone because it was the right thing to do.  When I paid for the car behind me line at a fast food restaurant, when I picked up trash in the hallway, when I vacuumed my room because the custodian had been scooping snow for 3 hours and when I offered to make someone else’s day easier by helping them. I feel amazing–I smile more. I laugh. I find the joy when I help others. Sure it seems it’s about them but in all seriousness–it’s about ME.

My attitude. It’s the one thing I get to choose and change.  Just sayin’.



He showed up in my room.

I knew he was bummed.

And I knew why. Because I was bummed.

I assured him that it will be OK.

I assured him that he could be proud.

People knew that he would still love us no matter what the outcome was.

I assured him that it wasn’t a no–it was a ‘not yet’.

Be patient–I assured him.

We’ll be OK. Just sayin’.






No Secrets

‘I tooted’ as she teehee’d and looked at me.

I gave my standard response, ‘Thank you for letting me know.’

‘And it smells!’

Yep. I got that one all on my own.

There are no secrets. Just sayin’.

Out of Commission

End of the 3rd nine weeks.

Early morning meetings.

IEP season.

Ear pain.

Trip to urgent care.

Diagnosis: ear infection AND sinus infection.

I do not have time to be out of commission.

Just sayin’.


Each day we have a journal prompt that kids write about.  I put it up at the end of each day before they head home.  I think it gives them time to think through what they might want to share in their journal.  Recently, I began sharing the weeks prompts in my parent newsletter as well.

As one of my friends hit the door Monday morning, she told the greeter (who happens to be my offspring) ‘that I finally did something exciting over the weekend and wouldn’t you just know it the journal entry is WHAT WOULD I DO WITH A MAGIC CAR!’

To which my offspring replied, ‘your teacher is the WORST!!’ Laughter ensued and she held her weekend fun until today’s entry.

She and her family were able to attend a men’s basketball game, buy new underwear, eat at a restaurant and purchase new shoes. She had a really, really big time!

After she was done writing, we visited about her weekend. In particular, the basketball game. She was concerned that the fans were poor sports because they read newspapers while the opposing team was being introduced.  She also said they booed players and that was very wrong.  But the best part of the game??…..

‘Mrs. Hays, have you ever been to the KSU basketball game?’

‘I have.’


‘I have. Were your mom and dad on the kiss cam?’

(insert the best giggles you have ever heard right here) ‘NOOOOOO. That would have been terrible!’

Oh girl. You have my heart. Just sayin’.



Tonight was my Old Lady Book Club.

Great book. Amazing conversation surrounding the book.  Lots of laughter.  Lots of stories. More connections to the book and lots of questions about other cultures. And questions. So many questions.

Such an unexpected evening of joyous connections with women who are all in different stages of life coming together over a book.

This is the life, friends. Just sayin’.


Frugal or Nah?

As I stood in the aisle looking at the mega packages of paper towels, I noticed that my favorite brand wasn’t on sale this week.  And we were OUT of paper towels.  I mean OUT.  Not one to be found in any room anywhere in my house.

Ugh.  What to do?

I compared the prices, I compared how many were on each roll.  I tried to ‘feel’ the towels through the plasticky outside.

Ugh. What to do?

Do I buy my favorite brand that wasn’t on sale? Do I buy another brand that was on sale? Do I hop to the next store hoping that my favorite was on sale there?

My #OLW is frugal.

Ugh. What to do?

As I stood there burning daylight over paper towels, I scolded myself.  Just buy the durn towels and get on with it. Quit overthinking paper towels.  I was simply task avoiding by overthinking the paper towels.

After another round of comparison, and obviously more task avoiding, I finally bought the on sale towels.

They. Are. The.Worst. Towels. EVER.

It takes twice as many to do a job as my favorite brand.  Thankfully we are using them at a rapid rate and I will be able to return to the store to purchase my favorite brand.

In an effort to be frugal with my money, I wasn’t frugal with my time.  Now I am not frugal with these terrible towels.

Someday I will get it–balance is best.  Just sayin’.