Please.

I look under rocks so you don’t have to. If you saw what some Libertarians, White Supremacists, Trolls, write about teachers–that their jobs are ridiculous, outdated, and students can learn everything they need to know from Khan Academy and YouTube, and that our professional expertise and ability to find relevancy and context with our students, help them understand and apply the process of critical thinking skills, weigh facts, opinions, truth and biases to draw their own conclusions based on logic and personal values. When we do this well, it’s powerful. And perhaps it is that expertise and knowledge that frightens…

Ring Light

There were more than a few times when I told students that I was not a television, video, or YouTube star, I was a human, talking in real time, and to actively listen and practice solid metacognitive thinking, having a dialogue/exchange is one of the ways we learn from each other. Face to face. In person. Well. I joked with my students (we started school on September 9) that now I am a YouTube star. One student said WHAT IF YOU DID MRS. LOVE?! What if I did indeed. My chubby face, grandma-wave-bye-bye-arms, and extremely warm workspace (yes, that’s the…

Good Ideas

Trying to take one breath, one moment, and capture some of the good ideas out there, either from my own noggin or others. And the thing is, many of these ideas I feel I should have been doing all along — not just greeting kids and doing community building activities at the beginning of the year, but more before school connections. (Oh, wait, yeah, at a previous school the admin didn’t have schedules finalized until October, so there’s that…) Sending invites and RSVPs to my students Making Bitmoji classrooms: not because I love Bitmoji, but because it gave me a…

not so nice

This reporting deserves a Pulitzer. Now that’s out of the way, Chana Joffe-Walt and the Serial podcast is a must-listen. While I sit in my rage, my fear of personal hypocrisy, and memories of my own education and the parallel worlds of Black and brown children alongside mine and my sons’ I cannot help but feel this odd sense of inevitability, hopelessness, and also drastic change and revolutionary, explosive change. But maybe that’s just life now; maybe many of us waver between hope and despair. But if we don’t get this right, if we don’t solve this, it is my…

Squirrel Guardian, of the House of Procrastination and Random Mischief

A huge shout-out of gratitude to Angela Stockman: read this first: Ah, the synergy and serendipity of collaboration and conversation. I’m sitting in my writing shed, something I wanted forever, am very grateful to have, and am still paying off. And the barn-style door does not stay propped open on its own (does anything?). Returning from a walk, I go back to the shed to see what kinds of inspiration can be gleaned from a sunny, anxious depressing, cortisol-filled day. Now, mind you, the garden statuary of the squirrel has a long story, and not sure I’m going to write…

the case for historical fiction

John Oliver’s recent episode about history in the United States summed up what many of us have been thinking, saying, and advocating for for a long time. (Language warning. It is HBO, after all.) We teachers must do a much better job at making sure our ELA, History, Science, Math and electives reflect and provide more than dates and events, and especially the racism of omission. Some teachers don’t know where to start with this process, so I’ll offer a few suggestions and resources, and overall, this is a case made for adding accurate and representational historical fiction to your…

getting unstuck; change gears

Christina Torres is an excellent writer. And like all excellent writers, know when she gets stuck, and seeks advice on how to get unstuck: Any tips for how to get my brain back in order to write? Mind feels foggy, keep mistyping, struggling to focus. Trying not to run/bike bc it historically doesn’t help and I’m really sore/physically burnt out. Would also take how to induce panic attack so this finally stops 🤣 — Christina Torres (@biblio_phile) August 2, 2020 One of the dispiriting aspects about the quarantine for me personally, and this is coming from a place of privilege….

Abolitionist: Heroes and Sidekicks

A dear friend posted this yesterday. One of our friends said ‘change the ‘but’ to ‘and’, and I also responded everyone needs to show up. And I was told as a “gringa” to be real careful. Okay. I will be. I am. Since a comment on Facebook is about as useful as, well, a fortune cookie strip, writing further to seek clarification may ease some of my defensiveness and fragility. Because that’s what it is. A reflection on Portland, Seattle, abolitionists, and next steps. via GIPHY Portland’s history of white supremacy goes back decades. Some of us like to imagine…