• Classroom Life,  Life,  Process

    Right Turn Ahead…{Slice of Life}

      Funny how a summer can put things in perspective. Paradigm shift.   Bells ring. Students arrive. Nine weeks come and go. Ten. Eleven. Twelve. Thirteen. Biding my time. Fourteen. Fifteen. Sixteen. Seventeen. Biding my time.   Then ….   Don’t get excited, but….       Too late.   Excited! Even for Maybe.   Right turn ahead? Maybe.   Emptying cabinets. Sorting supplies. Boxing books.   Am ready.   Mixed feelings about leaving mid-year. But… not mixed feelings about leaving.   Am ready.   Waiting. Hopeful.   If not now, soon.    

  • Life,  Process

    Please Don’t Come to My School When You’re Bald, Mommy: Helping Wee Ones Understand Cancer {Slice of Life}

    I have two sisters. I am the oldest. And the bossiest, they would tell you. Whatever.  I adore them. More than they will ever know. I adore their children even more. Their respective other halves are pretty awesome, too, but this post isn’t about the adults.  Mostly. It’s about wee ones. And cancer. And understanding. And strength. Here goes…..   Recently, just two weeks into #BabySister’s chemotherapy, she sent me a text message that broke my heart. To be clear, there have been many since this journey began, but this one was particularly difficult: Yes, our sister is a fighter. Her strength is her shield.  She’ll tell you, “She’s Got This” ~ loud.and.clear.  Let there be no doubt.  But sometimes, I believe, being vulnerable…

  • Classroom Life,  Instruction,  Life,  Students' Words,  Writing

    When Dads Walk Away…. {Slice of Life}

      What happens when dads walk away? As a ‘dad-less’ daughter, I know kids are left behind to wonder why. Why did he go? Why didn’t he want me? What did I do wrong? Why didn’t he want to be around? What could I have done differently to make him stay? Or, worse yet, kids left behind think mom pushed dad away, and surely, if mom had done things differently, then dad would’ve stayed. It’s her fault. As a teacher, I see the fall-out, too. Sometimes it’s subtle, sometimes blatant. Always painful. Last month, I asked my juniors and seniors to develop a written piece for National Day On Writing (#NDOW).  I provided three photos and asked students to choose one (or more) and write…

  • Life,  Process,  Writing

    29 Years Ago: Slice of Life

      I can’t believe it’s been 29 years. The fear is still palpable, a lifetime later. Board the bus. Board the plane. Sit quietly, nervously. Waiting. Short flight ~ Miami to Orlando. Plane lands. Board the bus. Recruit Training Center, Orlando.  My new life begins. Uniform issue, hair cut, shots, ushered to barracks. Midnight? 1:00 AM? The air was cool that November. The night was still and quiet, punctuated by the barking orders coming from left and right. Didn’t matter how cool it was.  I was sweating.  Teeth chattered. Scared out of my mind. Eyes straight, recruit! Heels to toes, recruit! No talking, recruit! No crying, recruit! You belong to Uncle Sam, now.  There’s no…