the garden view outside my windows
first graders with their little fingers
discovering the soil textures
the library, brimming with color, and bright new books
the long hallway from 1918, original wood floors
beneath my comfy, frumpy , teacher clogs
the friendship between myself and my teaching partner
when you move schools, you lose touch, really.
My daughter, below my classroom
thriving in kindergarten
Stealing hugs and kisses at recesses, fire drills, assemblies.
on an overcast spring day.
Gorgeous pink, blue, orange, white
Something whirs by my head and up into the tree
Too bad we are encased in a large glass room
Poor little hummingbird.
In my house we have turned into the Ingalls family.
We have turned the upstairs “rumpus” room into our bedroom of this maddening layout from 1953.
This room has a built in full size bed, plus a little dresser built into the wall. The only built ins that I love are the big cozy bookshelves, bibliofile that I am.
Last January, 2014, my husband went on a long business trip to Asia. I spent the week in bed with the raging flu with both my kids. We stayed up in the rumpus room while we suffered together, missing Daddy. Even the dogs slept close by.
Since that trip, my children make the pilgrimage to what they call “the little bed”every single night.
We don’t even fight them anymore.
I have grown fond of knowing they are safe, nearby. I can hear them snore. Best of all I can watch them, together, sweet curly haired babies, innocently matching each other’s sleep poses- synchronized. They are 3 and 5.
I won’t get away with this for much longer. Living it up like the Ingalls in our one room.
He blinked at me and pointed to his face.
His face was frozen, mouth agape.
Talking to me with his eyes, it took me seconds to realize what he was communicating.
It was a seizure.
A small one, like his mom warned us about.
There was drool parading down his mouth like a little faucet, left on by accident.
I whisked him down the hall, to a more private spot, totally leaving my class to their turn and talks, by themselves. (totally against the law, right?)
But I didn’t care.
I had a life to save… or cushion, or buffer…
It was over in about 2 minutes.
I cried afterwards, in my car, in the lot behind the school, for my whole lunch.
I saw his red rimmed eyes and tears brimming over with humiliation. Oh no.
Kids grabbing backpacks, diving lunchboxes and coats into them before the bell rings.
“I’ll tell you what happened!” Yells a student, all too eagerly.
” Tom and Charles were making fun of Matt, saying we should smell his breath because it’s so bad!” He jeers.
I glance at the culprits. Denying it, eyes dashing, searching for an excuse to run to their mamas.
Well, now- this Mama bear is on the loose. I can’t stand bully behavior. Especially when it happens in the last transition of the day- especially when it happens while we are fully absorbed into a literary essay unit – in which every story addresses bullying and teasing.
I wish they’d made fun of MY stinky coffee breath. Not this new student, new to our school, our state, our country! Oh, give me patience and grace with this tomorrow!
curly chestnut hair
deep belly laughing
twinkling happy eyes
dancing with your sweetheart
ablaze with anticipation
Star Trek theme on your trumpet
great horned owl on your back
Gorgonzola blueberry walnut ice cream
Homemade dim sum for the New Year
Kayaks on the Rogue
in the back of your truck,
rolling through the Alaska wild
Mingus and Sam
Goodbye but not forever
I will miss you Stephen
I can’t believe we are losing you so soon
I believe in saying hello to strangers I pass on the sidewalk
I believe in reading books everyday
I believe in keeping promises
I believe in sleeping in when I can.
I believe in making people laugh.
I believe in coffee for breakfast.
I believe that parenting is the best job in the WHOLE world.
I believe that green is the best color
I believe that breaking my leg was the worst pain I’ve ever overcome
I believe in spontaneous day trips around Seattle
I believe in my marriage and my children
I believe in finding amazing treasures at garage sales
I believe Papa is kicking cancer’s ass
I believe in teaching independence to our children.
I believe in stretching myself as a teacher, never stopping the learning !
I believe I did the best I could with this challenge.
I believe next year I won’t miss a day of slicing !
Faster ! Faster!
blurs of orange, pink, red, purple
curly hair going wild
daring each other to let go
close your eyes
round and round
you are 3 and 5
the perfect age to soak up the first day of spring
On the merry- go- round
In my state, we are freakin’ about the SBAC test. Parents are blogging and emailing and petitioning to opt out of it for their children. I’m getting lots of questions about it as our testing window looms on the calendar for next week.
as a mom, I get it. You don’t want to put your child through 8 hrs of digital confusion and badly structured test questions, as well as the keyboarding. This is torture for students with disabilities like dyslexia.
however, as a teacher, I want the data! I want to know how I can better my teaching, how my students can best achieve with the Common Core Standards. I want that baseline data to reflect our hard work in third grade.
If parents opt out, what message are they truly giving their kids? Will those same children want to persevere the next year?
Some of these children are being coddled and sheltered from things that are ” too hard” already in my class. As a result they have no stamina and they literally break down when things don’t come easy for them.
opting out feels like dropping out- setting a poor example. I feel like if you set up an 8 year old to opt out of a test because it might be too hard, you are setting him/her up to opt out of life challenges.