The statues are being toppled. The schools are being renamed. Modern works of genius about our Founding Fathers are being questioned. There is a growing cultural norm to look back on every influential leader in history and question their worth based on their beliefs or actions. And why, do you ask? Because we have a… Continue reading Are We Going to Whitewash History or Learn from It?
Every year (except for last year), I’ve written an “end-of-the-year” recap of what I learned as a teacher. It’s a way for me to process and close the year and hold close what set this year apart from the others. And I know what the history books will say set this year apart – obviously… Continue reading Year Six of Teaching: The Year of Vulnerability & Grace
We thought, as teachers, that we had seen it all. We thought we had endured every kind of stress imaginable. We thought we had this adaptability thing down. And then COVID-19 hit. And in the span of a day or two, we had to create a whole new learning environment for our students. We had… Continue reading Teaching in a Strange New Land – Hope for Teachers & Parents
If you live in Washington state, you may (or may not) have been aware that a bill passed this last week to require public schools to teach “comprehensive sexual health education to all K-12 students.” After reading a friend’s well-thought out and well-researched Facebook post on it (which I wholeheartedly agreed with and will reiterate… Continue reading We Do Need to Talk to Our Children About Sex
When I pulled up to the school on that late summer day, there were two familiar faces waiting in front of it. Students I had had two years prior who were now waiting for the bus that would take them to their seventh-grade orientation. I stopped to chat with them, and before I could stop… Continue reading Getting Ready to Share in Their Stories Again
I want to be the kind of person who makes others feel safe. Who brings calm and peace with her wherever she goes. I want to be the kind of person who has the confidence to enjoy being herself and not care what others think of her. I want to be the kind of person… Continue reading I Want to be the Kind of Person Who …
It makes me sick that in one day, 182 teachers across the district lost their jobs because of a budget shortfall – as if they were simply a line item like school supplies or after-school clubs. It makes me sick that the ones who signed up for this unglamorous job of loving kids even when… Continue reading Teachers Are a Necessity, Not a Commodity
I promise to get to know you and care about what’s important to you. I promise to listen to your voice and value your opinion. I promise to believe the best of you, no matter what has happened in previous years or even previous days. I promise to forgive you when your actions have hurt… Continue reading A Pledge to My Students
Research has shown that reading aloud to kids greatly increases their love for literature – but unfortunately, making time for “read-aloud” has been pushed off the table for many teachers. It can be understandable, what with all the demands for other things that have to be taught. But even though I feel this tug myself,… Continue reading Favorite Classroom Read-Alouds
There is a frightening 21st-century predator lurking in the shadows for our children. And it comes in the form of unmonitored access to social media and Internet content. If you’re in your teens or twenties, you might be thinking, “Yeah, yeah – adults have been going on and on about the dangers of the Internet… Continue reading How Many “Reasons Why” Do We Need?