Heart Beats! News from the Heart November 2022

Welcome to my blog post — a gathering place for poetry, teaching, heart maps, and tips on living our lives as Brene Brown says as “wholehearted human beings.”

I’m very excited to share with you not only this blog post but also my new Heart Maps® Toolkit for Teachers. Many thanks to all of you who have already become members and for those still mulling it over I’m offering a special fall discount. Click on the link to learn more: https://heartmaps.com

I always think of fall as the time of the heart. A threshold from the long flourishing days of summer to a season where the world starts to close up, where animals and trees begin their long sleep, the last of the crickets sing their songs, and days grow shorter and nights longer. To me fall is a gift – it’s a time when we can go inside (both literally and figuratively) and tend to our hearts by reading a book that’s been on our nightstand for months, writing thoughts and ideas in a daily journal, and maybe simmering a hearty soup on the stove for hours. We can also take time to create a heart map for ourselves and with our students. One of November’s heart maps in the teacher toolkit is a Gratitude Heart Map a place to reflect not just on our blessings but also what our lives would be like in the absence of these blessings. Just like all the other heart maps, a Gratitude Heart Map is a reflection tool to linger over and not a “one and done” activity.

A few years ago, a friend gifted me a small heart-shaped patch (like the kind I sewed onto my Girl Scout sash when I was young) with the words Heart Tender stitched on it. I cherish this gift because I think of my work as a poet and a teacher as someone who tends the hearts of my students (both young and grown-up).

So, let’s open our hearts, make a heart map, read a poem to our students not for any reason except that poetry is a gift – and it can carry us away to new worlds.

Here is one of my favorite poems about being open to poetry and the journey that it can take us on:

The Last Word by Nikki Grimes

I am a door of metaphor

waiting to be opened.

You’ll find no lock, no key.

All are free to enter, at will.

Simply step over the threshold.

Remember to dress for travel, though.

Visitors have been known

to get carried away.

If you have any questions, comments or topic suggestions, please feel free to contact me. I look forward to hearing from you.

HEART RESOURCES (Each month I’ll share a few Heart Resources)

Heart Maps® Toolkit for Teachers Join our growing community of educators who use this powerful tool not just once but throughout the school year to really get to know our students.

Atlas of the Heart by Brene Brown takes us on a journey through eighty-seven emotions and experiences that define what it means to be human. It’s a thick hard cover book with lots of graphics and helpful when we’re working with students and SEL to try and name emotions.

My Thoughts Are Clouds: Poems for Mindfulness (Georgia Heard) which is my newest poetry collection for children that encourages young, growing minds to be mindful and present.

A Field Guide to the Heart: Poems of Love, Comfort & Hope (Georgia Heard & Rebecca Kai Dotlich) Poems to inspire and journal pages for your reflections.

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