From Every Book…. Learning the Pleasures of Being Literate {Slice of Life}

I wonder:    Who taught you the pleasures of reading and writing?  Did you discover them in high school? Earlier? Later? In my high school Intensive Reading/Critical Thinking class, it takes a while to get students to 'buy into' reading for pleasure.  It's not uncommon to hear, "You want us to read???" followed by:  Do we get a grade??... Continue Reading →

When Dads Walk Away…. {Slice of Life}

  What happens when dads walk away? As a 'dad-less' daughter, I know kids are left behind to wonder why. Why did he go? Why didn't he want me? What did I do wrong? Why didn't he want to be around? What could I have done differently to make him stay? Or, worse yet, kids left behind think mom pushed dad away,... Continue Reading →

Dear Teacher… {Six-Word Wednesday}

I recently shared six-word stories, one of my favorite writing forms, with my high school students, on a day we could actually breathe a little.  Any more, these days are few and far between.  No observers.  No guests.  No testing.  Just time to write. Creatively. Makes me miss (even more!) the days when Reading/Writing Workshop was... Continue Reading →

Creative Chaos?!?!

I took this picture yesterday .... I'd love to tell you it was a few minutes of messiness, but that would be a BIG, FAT, l.i.e. Can you relate? Or, are you shrieking as you look at the cacophony that threatens to swallow my desk in its discord? One day last week, as 1st period was getting underway, one... Continue Reading →

Why I Teach: Ten (Important) Reasons

Students Students Students Students Students Students Students Students Students Students   Oftentimes, when I tell people I'm a high school teacher, I get this response (or a slight variation), "Oh, wow!  I could never do that! Teenagers these days...." Truth is, the teenagers have been the only reason I keep coming back to the K-12 classroom.  Let's be clear... Continue Reading →

Helping Teens Handle Life. And Death.

Being a high school teacher affords me many opportunities to help teens handle life. And loss.  It is at once:  enlightening, encouraging, painful, and honest. Emotions are raw, understanding often limited, and nearly all experiences are 'firsts.' Sadly, some, like birth and death, become second- and third-time experiences for a few.  Being there, with a shoulder, a safe place to cry,... Continue Reading →

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