On Finding a Writing Community

Sometimes my lessons are OK, but no great shakes. Sometimes they crash and burn – sometimes sadly and softly, others in a great fiery blaze of glory. But sometimes. Sometimes I have an idea for a lesson that’s a GREAT ONE. And it WORKS. I’ve been trying to be deliberate this year about writing workshopContinue reading “On Finding a Writing Community”

Little Folks, Big Ideas

My third graders have been delving into philosophy, of all things. Because if little minds deserve ANYTHING, it’s the ability to wrestle with BIG ideas. I’ve been using resources from The Prindle Institute to support our work. Our questions lately have focused on: what is alive? what is real? After an AMAZING webinar with myContinue reading “Little Folks, Big Ideas”

A Thing of Wonder

Today I saw an owl. It glided over and lit in my next-door neighbor’s tree just as I was returning from a walk at dusk. There it sat, easily a foot tall and several inches across. It was a thing of wonder. It sat long enough for me to walk through the front door ofContinue reading “A Thing of Wonder”

Upon Re-Entry

I’ve been here. I’ve returned to school after a devastating loss before, and I did it again today. Days like these are strange, tiring and full of uncertainty. Will I be able to hold myself together? Can I make it through? Do I have it in me to accept the “we missed you’s,” the knowingContinue reading “Upon Re-Entry”

Encouraging Signs

It all started with a super-cute dog video. (Go ahead and watch. it’s only about a minute long.) And then a question. “Is this language?” Boy oh boy, did THAT ever stir up conversation. For me, as a teacher, this could not POSSIBLY have gone any better. I wanted students to be engaged from theContinue reading “Encouraging Signs”

On College Education

Well. Looks like I’m stepping back up on to my soapbox. What’s got me so fired up this time? My college son called me to chat about one of his professors. Things have gotten so bad that students banded together and complained to university higher-ups, so much so that the department issued its course evaluationContinue reading “On College Education”

Teacher Life, Exhibit P

Scene: Indiana Dunes State Park. I’m hiking with my husband. It’s a cool, crisp early autumn day, the wind is at our backs, and we have the place to ourselves. The only sounds in my ears are the crashing of waves, the crush of hiking boots on sand, and the echo of my thoughts. It’sContinue reading “Teacher Life, Exhibit P”

Long Day

Today was hard. It was long, and it felt heavy in my hand and in my heart. It was full of colleagues, and students, and friends, and family members, who are struggling in one direction or another, and who needed time and love and attention and compassion. And I gave it, in one direction orContinue reading “Long Day”

Stepping Back Up to the Soapbox

I have a lot of soapboxes to stand on when it comes to education. I mean…c’mon. Just look at the name of my site. It’s easy to get riled up about things when you feel as passionately I do about teaching, when you have as much faith in public schooling as I do. One ofContinue reading “Stepping Back Up to the Soapbox”

Joy in the Time of COVID

So many moments of wonder,Of joyTo hold high and to honor – A real live letter from a student pen palColleagues who find strength in one anotherThe college son who just feels like a chatBlue skies, uninterruptedA new recipe that worksWalks with friendsWatching people you love do what they love All these moments of wonder,OfContinue reading “Joy in the Time of COVID”