The Exploding Mitten, Part 2

Parents and caregivers: I have grown sons, and I’m going to do that annoying thing where an older woman shares an anecdote. I’ve noticed that when young mothers ask for advice they don’t seek me out. I get it. I’m pushy and opinionated. All good. I’ve watched enough episodes of ‘Jane the Virgin’ to understand generational dynamics of motherhood. Here’s my story: when we bought our first home, and the house we still live in today, my older boy was 3 and the baby 3 months. We had been renting a house in Ballard (a neighborhood in Seattle) and I…

The Exploding Mitten, Part 1

I used to have a copy of this book for my sons, and I’m not sure where it is now. Jan Brett is a wonderful illustrator, and I had a few of her picture books. When I saw the viral post about “we can do this” I thought of this Ukrainian folktale: the story is a little mouse finds one mitten and makes a home for herself. Other forest critters come along, in succession of size, and ask to join her in her small home. The thematic topics of sharing until the point of destruction, (looking at you, Giving Tree),…

Shadow Teaching

The lingering, nagging question during our PLC this morning was: “Are you feeling like you’re really teaching during this time?” and my mind flipped to reframe the question: what are students learning? Because that is what the question should be, always. And acknowledging that what we’re teaching is different in other content areas with more strict guidelines and assessment accountability, too. One teacher who runs the local native tribe’s school who is an important voice in our PLC spoke up about how her students are learning many life skills and contributing to the community. She even pushed back on the…

reimaginginginginging

View this post on Instagram Correspondent @michaelsrubens spoke with an all-star panel of experts to learn how this terrifying nightmare pandemic could actually lead to some progress! You know what they say? When life hands you a devastating global pandemic, give people universal healthcare! A post shared by Samantha Bee (@fullfrontalsamb) on May 15, 2020 at 9:00am PDT A moderate teacher often uses the rhetoric of maintaining high standards without interrogating themselves —holding students to high standards of what? As my comrade G.T. Reyes wrote, “Educators …if you’re still asking about how to “hold students accountable,” I would suggest you first…

The luxury of whimsy (part 1)

New routine includes making a daily plan for school replacement with our kindergarten aged child. Here’s today’s plan. Left side of the page will contain schedule. What other good ideas do you have? pic.twitter.com/35EJXcFE7W — Steel Wagstaff (@steelwagstaff) March 16, 2020 Routines of comfort How do I describe the (odd and inappropriate) envy I feel right now when I read colleagues who teach in other schools/districts about the connections they’ve made with students during the COVID19 crisis? Please don’t misunderstand me: I am joyous that students are reaching out to their teachers at this time, that students want to continue…