My dear friend, Hippie, recently bequeathed a lovely blog award to me.  Okay, it really wasn’t that recently and I’m shamefully overdue in passing it along.  Truly my tardiness is inversely proportional to how touched I am to receive the Liebster Award.  The Liebster Award is an award for blogs tipping the scales at under 200 followers.  That’s Pedals and Pencils for sure, an intimate space where I write about my little ones and some of my biggish adventures.

Liebster is German for ‘dear’ or beloved.  Liebster makes me think of  liebchen, a term of endearment my mom occasionally let slip from her lips when I was a kid.  Liebchen means “little love”.  My mom lavished pet names upon her children, but most often the term she used for me was Pumpkin Doodle, a name I fondly bestow upon my little ones.  So on the occasion that I was called Liebchen, I’d let the beauty of the word sink down deep.  It sounded so elegant and when she said it to me, I filled with the warmth of my mother’s love.

Daily life teaching my little ones is filled with little things.  I sit in little chairs.  I hold little hands.  I hug little bodies.  I wipe little tears.

Our classroom meetings consist of milestones that feel very big at the ripe old age of six.  We celebrate lost teeth and first home runs and mastering the complexities of shoe tying.  We talk about riding sans training wheels, sleeping in the top bunk without falling off and we ponder the potential inside a brand new box of crayons.

I love my time with my little ones, my little loves.  This year I’ve had to go to bat for them in ways I never thought I’d have to.  I’m happy to kick the dirt off my cleats and step up to the plate, but because I speak out for my little ones, my job has become increasingly difficult.

Fortunately, I walk in the footsteps of great educators who taught with passion and inspired me with their legacy.  Doing what is right is so often incongruent with doing what is expected.

I have the good fortune of being friends with a teacher who continues to be reflective in her practice in the face of the push for one size fits all education, a woman who seeks out creativity in a time of standardized testing.  It’s my pleasure to introduce you to that friend today.  Her name is Lynn and her blog inspires me in a time when I’m sorely in need of encouragement to learn more, do better and be fearless in my pursuit of meaningful instruction.  This particular post, Watering the Grass, resonated with me at the beginning of the year.  It continues to remind me to approach each day expecting great things of myself and of my liebchens.