Category Archives: lessons

Intertextualizing five-year olds

I visited Monkey Man’s class yesterday, and his teachers shared with me his story dictation (parent helpers and teachers take dictation while the kids tell stories, and then later the class acts out the stories as they are read aloud). … Continue reading

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“Một con vịt”: what “sisters” teach

When Monkey Man and Gorilla Girl were three, we visited an older Vietnamese woman, Nu, who taught them a little Vietnamese–counting from one to ten, the words for airplane, dog and duck. Nu also was a surrogate grandmother who fed … Continue reading

Posted in adoption, connection, corn, family, food, identity, language, lessons, teaching, Tet, tradition | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

Why 7th graders are awesome

On the way to my classroom yesterday, my eager, energetic, and curious 7th grade student came rushing up to me, exclaiming, “Ms. D, I need to borrow a book from your class!  I was annotating my book so hard (her … Continue reading

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Silly putty induced mania

Too bad today isn’t Monday, I’d have the perfect soundtrack for the day — The Bangles, “Manic Monday.” It started with silly putty.  Gorilla Girl loves the stuff, but in her adoration, leaves the neon putty attached to furniture, rugs, … Continue reading

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Mid-life and mixing metaphors

I teach and work closely with two 30-something year olds. And I envy their solidity, their self-assurance, their knowledge of themselves. I remember when I was a 30-something teacher; I knew that I had all the answers, that I had … Continue reading

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Miss communication

My students are studying “Encounters” between Columbus and the Taino, between the Aztecs and Cortes, between the English at Jamestown and the Powhatan. We’ve spent quite a bit of time investigating the miscommunication between the groups founded upon each group’s … Continue reading

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When inspiration fails

Ironically, my good friend, fellow blogger, and novelist, Deb Hanrahan, bestowed upon me a Liebster Award. I hardly deserve such awards, especially since I have been so uninspired that I’ve written not a single word since early September. Perhaps this … Continue reading

Posted in coaching, community, connection, experience, food, friends, friendship, lessons, unexpected gifts, writing | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

Patience

Gorilla Girl corrects my of my behavior almost as much as I remind her of our expectations for her behavior. I suppose if she continues to reprimand me, it could become a point of contention — my own parents would … Continue reading

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Class matters

School has started and with all the excitement of the new school year also comes some anxiety — from kids about homework, getting good grades, preparing for high school (and some of them for college).  Parents, too, have anxieties about … Continue reading

Posted in affluence, class, community, connection, education, identity, lessons, race, teaching | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

Tooth fairy

Gorilla Girl lost her first tooth.  This physical signal of her development took me a bit by surprise. Though I was a little worried that Gorilla Girl lost her tooth too soon, our dentist assured me that even though she … Continue reading

Posted in experience, fairy tales, family, growth, lessons, motherhood | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments