Lost - and found. It's a simple simile, really: our students as small, perfectly cut diamonds, just waiting to be discovered. Each of them bright with promise we might never see, might never find; each day a waiting game, a hope that we might glimpse that flash of light, for just a moment, and - even more - help those lost souls to believe that there is something deep inside worth finding.
Early in my teaching career, I realized that I had to anticipate the trips, falls, and spills my students would no doubt be witnessing by sharing with them, on Day 1, that I was a klutz.
It's pretty safe to say that no one in education is unhappy about the cancellation of state testing due to the pandemic. However, for many years, there was something that my homeroom students looked forward to once the tests were safely back in the administrators' hands and we waited for the all clear and move to lunch: playing cards.
Last year, at just about this time, educators all across New Jersey were reluctantly preparing for our annual state testing. We had grade-level meetings, at the end of which we signed our lives away on forms that said we would protect and defend these tests with our lives. This wasn't just theoretical; in the event … Continue reading #37 – Testing, Testing . . .
Just about a year ago, on the half day preceding spring break, my students came together outside, chalk in hand, to celebrate it all: spring, break, and - yes - poetry. , , , I'm reminded of this in April of 2020, during the present coronavirus pandemic,.as I pass sidewalk scenes in my neighborhood on walks and through photographs I've viewed on social media.
I'm wearing pink today - I can't help it. More than 20 years of Valentine's Day in schools is pretty ingrained in me. I've done all sorts of activities in the classroom over the years - the best being the start of a sonnet-writing unit many years ago - until the curriculum was so overloaded … Continue reading #29 – V Day
This is an area that caused me all sorts of sadness through my years of teaching. For no matter how much I and my fellow educators tried to instill in our students the good vibes of giving in order to care for others - whether through donations of money, items, or time - the collections we held every couple of months always seemed less important, and emptier, than they should have been.
A very long time ago, I received a little bag of something I’d never seen before as a holiday gift. They looked like raisin clusters, but these were covered in white chocolate instead. Some information came with them, I believe - something about being a family recipe called Polar Bears. I tucked them away until … Continue reading #24 – Polar Bears
Over the years, I taught this lesson - creating a timeline of events and emotions in preparation for writing a literary essay - many, many different ways. I've made a change in plans - in this case, how I am putting my blog out there. But this isn't surprising for anyone who teaches, because there … Continue reading #23 – Change in Plans
Every year, around Thanksgiving, I tried to get my students thinking about giving thanks, as many teachers - especially ELA teachers - often do. In many cases in my suburban school district, it is an easy sell, and usually, it is "family and friends" that are most often cited as the objects for this thankfulness. … Continue reading #21 – Thankful?