Category Archives: Books

First Day Jitters! 

It’s official! 

First day back to school! Who knew first day of school will forever be a day that I am excited for. 

So my second year of teaching starts and I’m pretty sure I’m more nervous this year than I was last year. New curriculum, new rules, new people, new students. So much change! 

Times like today make me think of this great book I once read to students: First Day Jitters by Julie Danneberg. 

( yes I am writing a blog post before 7 am and yes that is amazon because let’s be real amazon is life) 
Now I don’t want to spoil the ending if you haven’t read it quite yet but I do recommend you pick it up and read it to your kids and even for yourself. It has great illustrations, simple but effective language and a great message. Everyone has things they are scared of or are nervous about and it’s ok. Feelings are meant to be felt and acknowledging this is important as a role model to children. 

So feel scared and nervous and excited about this new start and let me know how your first day back to school went 😊 

-Z 

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Rules are not just for kids

In our classroom we are reading Rules written by Cynthia Lord as a read aloud. 


I read it on my own just because I wanted to see how it would end and I have to say it’s an amazing book that kinda reminds me of the book Wonder, that I’ve mentioned before. 

It is written from the point of view of a young girl who has an autistic brother. The main character, Catherine, makes up rules for her brother to follow throughout the book and some of them are as silly as “no toys in the fish tank” while others are deeper in meaning like ” when someone is upset it’s not a good time to bring up your own problems”. 


I find myself in awe of some of the things that this author has written. While it is written for kids in middle school, I find myself relating and being deeply affected by some of the things she wrote. Here’s some quotes that have stayed with me: 

“Mom says I have to deal with what is and not to get my hopes up, but how else can hopes go but up?”

“Some people think they know who you are, when really they don’t.” 

“Looking closer can make something beautiful.”

“It hurts how life goes on, unknowing.”

“…choosing words is harder than I thought.” 

That last quote, is very relevant to me as of late. Sometimes it’s just hard to find the words to accurately describe how you feel and what you want to say. And I was an English major so take it from me, it’s a thing. 

Well anyway, check out this awesome book when you get a chance, it’s a quick read but it’s definitely worth reading. 

And with that, one last quote: 


Happy Tuesday! 

-Z 

Judgement (some rants, some book review, all my thoughts) 

“The ability to make considered decisions or come to sensible conclusions.”

That’s the definition. Considered decisions and sensible conclusions. 

I don’t know about you but walking around feeling superior and judging people around you does not fall under sensible. 

Feeling like your opinion is the end all is not sensible. 

Everyone goes through struggles that are invisible to the majority. Everyone deals with things in their own way and time. What makes you the expert on everything? Did I ask your opinion? Was it necessary to judge me based on a small moment of a larger life? 

*small break in rant*

I read a book this weekend that completely destroyed me. I’m talking about real tears for fictional characters. That alone is a feat that any author should be proud of. 

The book was titled Me Before You by Jojo Moyes. It should sound familiar since they are making a movie based on this book very soon. 


It’s about a young women who takes care of a man who is in a wheelchair. (That’s if you look just on the surface) *side note: it makes me so happy that this trend of writing about people with “disabilities” is becoming popular. I think it’s so important for us as a society to include all sorts of people and characters into popular culture* 

This book may be seen as a romance or something traditionally for women. But let me tell you what I saw: 

Yes, there is a romance. 

Yes, there is sexual tension. 

But there is also a story of an amazingly adventurous man who lost everything he ever treasured. 

It’s also about the struggle for a young woman to find herself amongst the pressures of her family. 

It’s about the life of someone who was raped and had to move on with their life. 

It’s about the life of someone who has no control over any aspect of their life. 

It’s about superficial assumptions and judgments vs the reality.

It’s about putting your own opinions aside and listening to what the other person is saying. 

It’s about how loving someone means allowing them to make their own choices. 

(I may have given a few things away…whoops! You should still totally read this heartbreaking book!) 

*back to the rant* 

Reading this book, I saw how one small assumption of judgment could be detrimental to someone’s wellbeing. I saw how no matter the level of empathy or sympathy, you will never truly know how any one feels or thinks. I learned you will never know, until you stop judging and take a moment to listen. Until you put away your own biases and see things through someone else’s eyes. 

While my own current life experiences may have influenced what I saw in this book, I feel that’s what literature is about. That’s what writing is about. It’s a way for the author to express themselves and it’s a way for the reader to take away something that is needed to make their mind a little calmer. 

I hope one day, my writing will have that affect on people. I hope one day, my teaching will have that affect on children. But for now, I am learning myself. I am learning to take what the universe gives me and be grateful. 

Keep an open mind and accept the differences. 

I have always had a love for reading. As a child, I struggled with language and I was a shy kid. Reading allowed me to better my English and to go on adventures within the comfort of my own home. I honestly learned so much from reading and I love my parents for encouraging me to read. 

As an adult, as a teacher to be, things get a little crazy so I always treasure the free time I have to read. I have recently read three books that give me hope that children will be more accepting of people who may be different from them. 

Whether it is a mental, physical or emotional difference, I know it’s hard for them to feel welcome. I was lucky enough to grow up without any major differences but I have been living with anxiety my whole life and it has definitely made me feel out of place on multiple occasions. 

Three books I read, have discussed disabilities in various ways and I appreciate the way they present it. It is talked about casually and in an accepting way. It is a part of life and we just have to accept that. We have to support that. We have to be aware and kind about that. 

If you’re interested, read one or all these books and it will open your mind. It will allow you to self reflect and be better for them and for you. 

  
   
 
I have mentioned the first book in a previous post, but Wonder is a great book for so many reasons and should definitely be something to check out. 

The second book was recommended to me and it has recently become very popular and I believe has been turned into a play. It’s written from the narrator’s point of view who happens to be an autistic boy. He tries to figure out who killed the dog and shows the audience the thoughts and contemplations of someone with autism.

The last book I read this week ( since I was on bathroom duty during the state test). I picked up randomly and rather enjoyed it. It’s about a Japanese family that lives in America. They work during harvesting season to help farmers cut down wheat. The main character has a brother who is described as “intense” and gives a small insight into how difficult it is for someone who is different to do things we do carelessly. 

If you have the time, and are interested in learning something new definitely check these books out. They are an easy read but they have so much depth. 

Happy Friday lovelies! 

Congrats on surviving the ELA testing week 🙂 

-Z