Sunday, August 28, 2016

We All Do Better When We All Do Better

This weekend was the weekend to get ready for the first day of school with my new class of third and fourth graders. I feel anxious and this feeling is a familiar feeling. Every year the days and moments before that first day are filled with hope, excitement, worry, preoccupation, and wonder. Then they arrive and it's pure joy mixed with frenzy. This year my hope is to slow down enough to enjoy and SEE EVERY CHILD EVERY DAY. I want them to feel like I see them for exactly the wonderful people they are. There are so many friends I have in this profession who have helped me feel seen and heard and I am forever grateful to them. Susan, Jon, Sonja, Jim, Claudia, Herm, Sandi, Bill, Wendy, Patty, Paula, Sharon Patti, Sarah, Anne, Kristen, Patrick, Allison, Naomi, Sylvia, Natalie, Denise, Amy, Tara, Bridget, Nancy, Deborah. So may more. Thank you all. I see you.

Friday, August 19, 2016

Setting Up For Peace

Setting up my new classroom - I think about the students as I sort through the books, throw away old glue, and clean the sink. Wondering so many things about them: 1) What will they want to learn about? 2) How do they learn best? 3) What will surprise me about them? 4) Will they put the cover tight on the markers? 5) Will they want to do spelling or just have time to read? 6) How tall are they? 7) In what ways will I help them feel loved? 8) What gifts will they share with the classroom and school community? 9) When will we first laugh together? 10) How will this year be special for them? Can't wait!

Thursday, August 18, 2016

It's a New Day - Going Back or Moving Forward.

During the past four years I was a principal and in the last year I made the decision to return to the job I love - teaching. I start next week. Many have asked me why I chose to make the change - often times they ask "Why are you going back to teaching? "Going back" is not a good fit. One cannot "go back" to teaching. The teaching profession is one that requires moving forward always. It is precisely the reason why I left the principalship at a school that did not want to move forward. Learning = moving forward. Schools are places of learning. Get out if you don't want to move. Let's do this!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

The New Year

It can be overwhelming to think of all the things we want to change or accomplish in the coming year. I am at times paralyzed with indecision and anxiety about the future but then I just do a load of laundry or clean the bathroom and I get a move on. Some goals for the new year: 1) Simplify - throw crap away and take advantage of the cool new mixed recycling bin as much as possible. 2) Spend less and save more. 3) Think of ways to get the politicians in DC to do some actual work and encourage them to do so. 4) Be grateful and calm. 5) Encourage rich people to share their wealth to support the poor and disadvantaged.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Rehabilitating Gratefully

Two years ago I became unexpectedly ill and was in the hospital for two weeks - with a colon surgery in the middle of it. After surgery, etc., it took me a few weeks to get back to 100%. That was a time of much contemplation about life and priorities and family and friends. I think back on that time and tears come to my eyes when I think about all of the people who prayed and cared for me. From siblings to complete strangers, I felt the love and support of so many. Two weeks I ago I chose to have both of my knees replaced. Now I am at home recovering and it reminds me of that time two years ago. My friends and family are here with me, checking in, cracking jokes, taking me for walks, complimenting me on my progress, listening to me learn and play the ukulele and loving me up. I have had a couple of rough days when I get impatient because I can't walk or lift my legs on my own. I have pain that cuts through almost anything I try to do to distract myself from it. And I cry. But every day gets better and I have to remind myself that I chose this. In the end, my knees will be better than they were before, right? Better, stronger, faster..... When I am in those darkest depths I remember how lucky I am to have so many people who care about me and to have such a wonderful and full life. I will walk again soon, and I'll be able to lift my legs on my own and bend them to over 90 degrees. It will all come. In the meantime, thank you Dad, for putting in a railing on my back steps and replacing the railing to the basement. Thank you Lucas, for adding the granny bars to my toilet and bathtub. Thank you Diane, for lending me your walker. Thank you Pam for the flowers, books, magazines, and gab fest when you have your own pain. Thank you Margaret and Mary for walking and talking with me. Thank you John and Mary for waking up in the middle of the night to a tearful mom and helping me get to the bathroom. Thank you Greg for the ukulele and to Shawn for the song book and the sage advice. Thank you Kathy for the delicious veggie treats and for organizing my meals for the coming weeks. Thank you all.

Monday, June 4, 2012


People say they believe in equity. They want to make a difference. Drop off food at the food shelf. Give five bucks to the guy with the sign by the freeway. We have schools with 100% brown poor kids. Not okay. It's not fixed by the white schools with 20% brown and poor. That's not equity. Is anyone listening?