Posted in being a better colleague, Being a better teacher, Relationship Building

The luxury of whimsy (part 1)

Routines of comfort

How do I describe the (odd and inappropriate) envy I feel right now when I read colleagues who teach in other schools/districts about the connections they’ve made with students during the COVID19 crisis? Please don’t misunderstand me: I am joyous that students are reaching out to their teachers at this time, that students want to continue learning and keep connecting with their teachers. At least five of my friends have posted ways their students have connected with them. They instilled a love of learning before the pandemic.

My students this year know I love them, and want the best for them. But they were already on the academic fringes of school, and my concern is that they will be forced to levels of stress that will send them to places, emotionally and physically, where I won’t be able to reach them. I teach in an alternative high school, whose mission is to provide credit recovery as its first priority, and other experiences or creative endeavors may have been a luxury. I love my teaching assignment and district this year –and my colleagues. I am new to the building in many ways, including being the first ELL teacher. They’ve never had a full-time ELL teacher, and it’s difficult to assess how many of my colleagues have delved into SIOP work, but the wonderful part is it doesn’t matter: they are loving, caring, open-minded and seek collaboration. My heart is full. But that is during “normalcy.”

And things are far from normal.*

Time for some magic. And emails. And magical emails.

But now: what to do for my students who many not reach out and connect?

Resources: what my students are currently doing now…


I have a Google Classroom set up, along with other ELA teachers in my building. I sent them all home with books of their choices, notebooks, a letter, pens, pencils, etc. And yes, a consumable workbook. It nearly broke my heart when one girl asked if she had to do the work on paper and not in the workbook. Think about that for a second: we expect our students to learn but as practice don’t give them the resources?

My Youtube Channel:




The US History teacher has a comprehensive Google Classroom set up, with weekly notes and Power Points. I wish we had more time during my ELL Study Skills class to dive into topics more deeply, but alas, we don’t.

Family and Consumer Sciences

Art & Jewelry

There are many artists such as Mo Willems who are providing interactive doodle time and art lessons. I may need to do a separate post about this.

*Except for President Trump’s continued and overt racism.

Posted in Summer Series of Saves

Saving Summer: A dog's life


This is a picture I took this morning of our dog, Mia:

Mia’s morning routine includes naps on my husband’s chair. His nightly routine is cleaning the hair off of it.

Mia is two years old. We have an older dog, Snickers, who is a mutt, and also very sweet, albeit he is in the old, stinky phase of his years.

If you use Twitter, I highly recommend following @XplodingUnicorn. His tweets about his children are charming and deeply funny. This particular tweet produced many commenters saying yes, dogs do have jobs–Mia herself is a “working” breed, and when we take our walks around the neighborhood we are on patrol–she is calm, focused on us, and very well trained. However, when she’s in the backyard all bets are off, and she does what she wants. In fact, she does what she wants most of the time. She’s having a pretty great life. And here is the thing: the other working dogs are having pretty great lives, too. They are truly engaged, happy, and feel purpose–they want to do their jobs and get the occasional belly rub.

How would you frame this for students? To show that yes, there is work in life, but it can be joyful? We all want this– we can learn a lot from dogs.

Cats– well, we can learn how to not give a darn. There’s time for that, too.