A Teacher’s Perspective on Wonder

Last night, my family went to see the movie Wonder. I hoped my two, young sons would watch the movie and leave with a renewed understanding of what it means to be kind, but I wasn’t prepared for the lesson it had for me. It is November. The season of darkness and paperwork. By November,

Our Summer Selves

My husband is married to two women. Contrary to what you might expect, this is not a secret. Both wives know about each other, and my husband knows we know. Yours might too. Currently, my husband is living with his preferred wife. His preferred wife arrives in June and spends roughly three months each year

Shout Out to the School-Moms (and Dads)

Today was my son’s last day of first grade. He came home with a backpack bursting with school supplies, an uncontainable smile, and a letter from his teacher, his school-mom. I was a school-mom, long before I had children of my own.  Day after day, month after month I encouraged, nurtured and loved other peoples’

A Case of the Shoulds

I have been battling a sickness. It has zapped my patience. It has left me exhausted. It is weighing down on my already weary body. I have a case of the shoulds. I don’t know about you, but the end of this school year has hit me hard. Honestly, I am hanging on by a

Three Tips for Surviving Until the End of the School Year

This weekend, temperatures reached seventy degrees for the first time since the fall. Saturday, I ventured into our backyard, and discovered several items that been hiding for months beneath the snow. I found one of my sons’ footballs. The football, which previously smelled of expensive, new, soft leather, was covered in mud and pine needles.

When Life Is Not Fair

Today we received a 10-day Foreclosure Notice on our home. We purchased our home on a friendly cul-de-sac, six-and-a-half years ago. We have never missed a mortgage payment. Never even paid late. This summer, we refinanced our home. We cashed out just enough money to finish our basement, a project we had planned and saved

Do You Have to Love Your Students To Teach Them?

“Do you have to love your students in order to teach them?” This question was posed to me during an interview for admission to the Master’s program at Roosevelt University. The man asking the question looked like Santa Claus in a tan sport coat. He held a clipboard to his chest, blocking his notes from

Why I Stopped Allowing Cell Phones in My Classroom

Imagine you are a thirteen-year-old boy. In front of you sits your five closest friends, all your favorite video games, a library filled with your favorite music, and a Playboy. All this, inside the palm-size, rectangular, metal device sitting on the corner of your desk. It’s beckoning you. Tempting you. Sure, the device is turned

Three Things I’ve Learned as a Teacher-Mom

Before having kids, I was sure becoming a mom would make me a more competent teacher.  There is something about conducting parent-teacher conferences and IEP meetings as a single, childless, twenty-something, that made me feel slightly unqualified offering parents advice about their children. Now, I have two children of my own, and “more qualified” isn’t

Why Can’t We Throw Things Away?

I have moved in and out of many classrooms during my teaching career. Some were spacious, full-size classrooms, others were no bigger than a closet. These rooms were in different schools, different districts, even different states, yet they all shared one thing in common. They could have been featured on an episode of Hoarders. Teachers,