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

The Things We Do For Students

Kermit and Steve were our classroom frogs. I purchased them mid January and created several weeks’ worth of differentiated, multidisciplinary lessons based on these amphibians. Our class desperately needed something to help us bond and get us through the long, dreaded stretch between winter break and spring. Since we weren’t allowed any classroom pets with

Is Special Ed Forever?

In November, I sent my first student to a general education class. It was for math only, fifty minutes a day, in a fourth-grade classroom—one grade level lower than the student’s actual age. I initiated and pursued this placement because the student was out-performing the other students in my self-contained class, and I had a

The Weave

We were waiting for the bus when Tanisha approached me in her puffy pink jacket with tears streaming down her face. I asked her what was wrong and her mouth opened and closed several times in silent sobs before she finally spoke. “Joshua said I have a weave,” she said. Joshua, who was right behind

Answering Tough Questions

Ms. Carroll’s first graders were coloring pictures of Harriet Tubman and Robert E. Lee. I was amazed at the details they included-Tubman’s red bandana and Lee on horseback carrying the confederate flag. Wandering around the clusters of desks, I noticed Daniel’s raised hand, summoning me to the other side of the room. He looked ready

A Student Died

A boy from my school died. His name was David. He was sixteen, and I’m told, a notorious gang member. He was Edgar’s cousin. He was Alberto’s friend. David was run over by a car of opposing gang members, crushed up against a gate and beat to death. To my knowledge, no one has been

Beyond the Flashcards

Today we wrote about Godzilla. Godzilla fought King Kong at the Sears Tower and army troops had to be called in to break it up. Yesterday, it was anacondas in the jungle eating jaguars, giraffes and lions. I’m a little worried about what the principal might think of our topics if she happened to walked