Monthly Archives: March 2015

What I will miss next fall

the garden view  outside my windows

first graders  with their little fingers

discovering the soil textures

and critters

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.



Walking through

desert climates

on an overcast spring day.

Gorgeous pink, blue, orange, white


Carnivorous plants

Something whirs by my head and up into the tree

Too bad we are encased in a large glass room

Poor little hummingbird.

Rumpus Room

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.

lunch break

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.

bad breath

I saw his red rimmed eyes and tears brimming over with humiliation.  Oh no.

“What’s wrong?”

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

sinewy arms

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


Son Volt

Julia Child

Mingus and Sam

Goodbye but not forever

I will miss you Stephen

I can’t believe we are losing you so soon

I believe –inspired by j morales

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 !

opting out

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.