Question of the Day: “Am I the Fox or the Cat?”

Aesop’s Fables are a staple of reading for many children. One of my favorites is the story about the Fox and the Cat. Fox and Cat were arguing about what each would do when the hunters arrived with their murderous dogs. The Fox related the multiple things he was going to do when the hunters…

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Moving & Literary Throwbacks: “We are sliding through to fiction”

So what do you think of the new house? Not bad for someone who left her ex with two boys, a few boxes and a dream of a something better someday. Part of me wants to investigate this idea further. The thought that my ramblings about how far I have come might inspire someone, but…

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Moving & Literary Throwbacks: “The Last Lecture”

After Erma, we have Randy Pausch. This is a slim volume of text containing so many valuable words and lessons. To say that these two books are diametrically opposed is a bit of an over-statement. But they do share an easy narrative style, and I chuckle when I think about these two authors being in…

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Question of the Day: “Are we all teachers?”

I have always wanted to be a teacher. When I was young, I propped up my stuffed animals and created imperfect spelling tests. I enjoyed grading them with my red marker. Stickers were placed on the outstanding ones. The methodical grading felt peaceful. A good teacher must believe in the ideas he teaches, but he…

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Question of the Day: “Why do I prefer not to?”

Melville wrote a story about a non-conformist scrivener who decides one day to stop working. It is not my favorite short story, but if I am being honest, Melville is not my favorite author. Moby Dick took me three months, ten headaches, and the stamina of a champion to read cover to cover. But I…

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Teaching 101: A true story from the pandemic

Thirteen students in front of me. Ten student icons blinking back. I am teaching a lesson on identifying signposts in fiction. An important skill as one reads for comprehension with the hope of developing critical thinking skills. Since the class is so packed, it is actually pretty easy to find students to participate and answer…

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Teaching 101: A throwback story from before the pandemic…

Thoughts from the past: I used to think that it is much harder for female teachers to get respect than male teachers, but this is not necessarily true.  All teachers, regardless of gender, need certain qualities to be successful and gain respect. It is possible to screw this up as a man or woman. In…

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Teaching 101: A lesson during a pandemic

In today’s lesson, you need to imagine you are in front of 13 teens. You have three computer screens. Each separate screen has its own function. One is connected to the whiteboard. One has the tabs for the students at home. One has assignments and notes. It is easier to toggle between three screens than…

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Question of the Day: “Why does teaching feel like drowning?”

Everyday feels the same with the constant potential to be vastly different. Hybrid, virtual, sudden lockdown, sudden dismissal due to bomb threat or fast moving snow storm. COVID sick, COVID cancelled…yes, the one in my fourth desk, third row, no, I’m not sure if it was more than 15 minutes. He couldn’t find the screen…

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