Practicing a bit of what we ask of our students …

First disclaimer, this is tough! Here it goes …Mentored by a 9th grader’s Poetry Anthology, Paula Bourque’s Docu-Poems & well, being a mother and educator.

A mural in downtown Denver in 2017, sponsored by the California-based health system Kaiser Permanente. Seven in 10 American teenagers said that mental health was a big issue among people their age.CreditCreditRJ Sangosti/The Denver Post, via Getty Images



Grows exponentially by the second

Robbing of their youth, well-being, security

Social Media

Instagram, Snapchat, Tumblr

Do I matter? Am I brave? Am I enough?


9/11, Boston Marathon, Orlando

Columbine, Sandy Hook, Parkland

Too many to name, too many to bear


Does not discriminate

Every gender, every race, everyone


Parents, teachers, adults

Listen to our youth

One simple answer,

We will listen, we have your back …

You matter. You are brave. You are enough.


Looking forward to Classroom SOLSC & Tuesday’s SOL

I’m proud of my 4th year participating in TWT SOLSC. I feel grateful for the entire writing community. It was a challenge on some days, but you inspired me to keep going! I will miss the daily Slices, but look forward to Tuesday’s SOL.

In the meantime, I am ramping up for the Classroom SOLSC which begins tomorrow! This year will be unique as I have brought two other 4th grade classes on-board. I will also be hosting an after school workshop for 10 interested and excited budding bloggers! Please connect with our classes, it’ll be so rewarding for our children to take part in a global writing community and SOLSC. We can be found at https://kidblog.org/class/mrs-bransfield-2018-2019-writers/posts

Thank you, writers. Thank you Two Writing Teachers … another wonderful month!

Some much needed R&R…

This was my view earlier today…My hubby & I planned a weekend get-away & it has been just what we needed.

This was mid-way on our hike, a place where we decided to pause & soak it all in.

The beauty of the ocean is like no other…I’ve always loved the salt air & peace it brings to my soul.

Today, I choose to live in this moment. The small moments of fresh air, early spring sun & time alone with my hubby.

Dasani Water Bottle

Funny how something so basic & ordinary can spark an idea for a Slice.

This pint-sized plastic bottle wrapped in blue represents an important part of my week …& well, my career. It was given to me by an interview committee-a small, welcoming gesture that meant so much.

Like most interviewees, the bottle went untouched throughout the interview. I picked it up on my way out & drank it on my way home after taking a deep breath.

This week, my house has been in a complete state of chaos because of work commitments &, well, two important interviews. The Dasani water bottle remained on my counter for the week.

The first interview did not end as I had hoped. Bottom line-you win some & you lose some. This one was a loss, but only temporarily.

The second one-a win! As I got the call from the lead of the committee, I envisioned the Dasani bottle still resting on our kitchen counter.

As silly as it may sound, it’s a keeper! Maybe I’ll use it as a vase on my desk or perhaps add it to the collection of treasures in my bedside drawer.


We recently had an amazing experience practicing Mindfulness with a parent volunteer. Every Tuesday at 11:45, I looked forward to the calm that would take over our classroom. Each session was filled with mindful breathing and ways to acknowledge our emotions. On the last day, she shared a quote from Yoda,

“Try not. Do. Or do not. There is no try.”

I love the power of his words and I quickly jotted down this quote as she shared, thinking about the importance of mindset. Life lessons from an amazing mentor.

I had a tough day today …

Thank you for this reminder …

… BUT, I will overcome. After what has felt like years of hard work to interview for what I believed a position I was truly ready for, I received the very difficult news today that I had not been chosen as a finalist. For the 20 minutes I met with a respected administrator, I felt as if everything around me had come to a standstill. It’s hard to recap all that she said because I was flooded with emotions that led to repeated internal questions like, “Why wasn’t I good enough? What did they have that I don’t? What did I miss?”

After this conversation, I held back tears and headed back to what matters-my children. I’m not going to lie, teaching the craft of persuasion during Writer’s Workshop was a bit of a stretch for me this afternoon. I knew that I had to do it though.

This afternoon, I had a long drive in the car which is always a time for reflection. I initially cranked up the music and cried, but then chose to stop. It’s times like these that we must remind ourselves … I am enough. This is not the end of the road for me. I will continue, I will “always try just one more time.” I do believe things happen for a reason, although sometimes a reason that is hard to understand. This will help me hold my head high and continue on.

That, and my amazing sidekick Gus (my Lab who instinctively knows I’m hurt) who hasn’t left my side this evening.