Dear Friends,
Happy Teacher Appreciation Week!
In the spirit of specificity, nobody here is going to thank you “for all you do.” Nope. 
We’re going to thank you for:
Noticing the kid who had a rough night
Seeing gleams of talent through bad kid handwriting and saying so
Expecting your students to be silent during the moment of silence
Smiling (maybe not all the time, but SO OFTEN when you’d rather grit your teeth and growl)
Breathing
Teaching students how to breathe
Bringing so many boxes of tissues
Sharing with students your sadness
Sharing with students your joy
Letting students share a heartbreak
Getting excited for a student’s victories
Cloaking yourself with enthusiasm, “It’s your birthday!”
Not being afraid to pat students on the back
Being huggable most of the time
NOT saying “we don’t have time for a question” even when you don’t have time for a question
Letting the kids see you get a lump in your throat when you read their work
Showing those sparkling sentences to everyone
Changing your lesson plans because you just have to
Telling students what good you see in them
Saying no (and withstanding the consequences)
Letting kids know they are loved, even after saying no
Letting kids know they are noticed, every day
Showing the students how to act when you really don’t know an answer
Missing someone who isn’t there
Letting them know they were missed when they come back
Never seeming in a hurry (okay, maybe almost never)
Reading to them
Laughing with them
Stopping everything when you see someone hurt someone’s feelings and tending to it
Letting kids who make bad mistakes back into your good graces
Going to the soccer game, volleyball game, track meet, choir contest, play contest, band concert, 
Calling mom with a compliment about their kid
Listening to mom
Calling mom to alert her about a low-level conflict before it becomes electric
Calling mom after a conflict to follow up with restored harmony
Bringing the extra taco for the kid who comes to tutoring before school
Bringing all those pencils, pens, markers, and highlighters, crayons, colored pencils, and dry-erase markers
Bringing all those extra stars, stickers, rubber stamps, washi tapes, duct tapes, staplers, papers
Keeping your palms up when you greet kids
Your eye contact
Teaching them manners
Washing your hands hundreds of times each week to keep yourself healthy
Wiping down the desks with disinfectant, day after day
Showing them how to watch out for kids eating alone
Showing them how to make sure the room is cleaned up after work time
Sharing the leadership with them in a thousand ways
Asking them questions and giving them time to answer
Listening to their answers
Making memories for them
Loving our children.
As our friend Jim Burke says, you are the characters in the stories they will tell. Here’s to you, for creating the best of stories.
Love,
Gretchen
Calling All Poems:
Thank you for sending us poems! We still need some. This link will take you to the lessons that don’t have enough student pieces. 

How to get chosen for publication:

If your students are proud of their poems, please display them in your room, send them home to parents, and celebrate the work (whether or not they are selected for our book). But if you’d like to increase the chances of being published, here are a few tips:

Tip #1 

We’re mostly looking for poems that convey something specific: specific images, specific moments in time, specific people with specific looks. Most of the poems that we’re not using have in common that they are very general: I love everything all the time, or you make me so happy, or the colors were amazing, and the flowers were pretty. The same zooming-in that works in writing essays and stories is also true in poetry. 

Some of our heart-stopping favorites, written mostly by young students in grades 4-11, are about:

Watching another kid who turn his eyelids inside out
Finding a bullet casing on the school grounds
Watching a dad grill meat
Walking into a smelly restaurant
A Texas bull-nettle
Last words a student said to her parent
The beauty of a jack pump in the landscape

Tip #2

Shy away from rhymes. Or ask your students NOT to rhyme. Too often beautiful thoughts and images are sacrificed to a strained rhyme. None of our student poems need to rhyme. Of course, they can, but rhyming is way down on the list of priorities. (Way below real situations, real people, real feelings, true stories with visualizable, concrete details.)

Would you like to browse through the structures to help choose poems to teach? 
Here is a list:

Registration is open for summer workshops. The four-day New Braunfels workshop has some (limited) space left (Gretchen and multiple trainers), and the one-day Richardson workshop for writing and grammar (Andale Ya! With Gretchen and Maureen Ucles) has room also. We’ll see you in New Braunfels and Richardson!

Andale Ya! Writing and Grammar in the Spanish with Maureen Ucles


June 11, 2019 – Richardson


Training of Trainers/Intensive Four-Day Session with Gretchen Bernabei

July 8-11, 2019 – New Braunfels
Would you like more information, resources, and updates from Gretchen and the Trail of Breadcrumbs team? Are you interested in connecting with other teachers who use Gretchen’s writing strategies in their classrooms? You’ll find all that and more on the  Trail of Breadcrumbs Facebook Page .

Please be sure to follow the page for updates and   join the teacher group  to collaborate with colleagues.