Category Archives: teaching



when i went to have my fingerprints redone

as part of a routine teacher employment screening

that happens every few years

i wasn’t really prepared

for the fingerprint tech

with her no-nonsense voice

barking out my name from a backroom

where i was waiting with a random group of people,


walking in

she began talking at me

through her plastic protection shield

telling me to relax

big, scary nails

shaking out my hands

i tried to connect with a bit of small talk

telling me not to tell her anything

not printed on my paperwork

or i’d have to start the process all over again

beginning with making a new appointment

telling me not to ask her to repeat anything

just do what i was told

“are you hearing what i’m telling you?”

“kind of..”

from that point on

she spoke at me using an even louder voice

former military/law enforcement/bad prison experience?

was i going to have to drop and do 100 push-ups?

i feel like she has a story..

almost felt like it was a hazing

or a police sting operation

did they know about my parking ticket from way back in grad school

that may have gone unpaid

when i was hoping for amnesty?

“values are like fingerprints. nobody’s are the same, but you leave ’em all over everything you do.”

-elvis presley

long distance connection.



how exciting for the class (and for me)

to receive a beautiful poster and message

from our penpal friends

led by a blogging friend/teacher i admire, jennie fitzkee

all the way from the aqua room in massachusetts

connections can be made in so many wonderful ways.

jennie with  the letter we sent back to our friends in massachusetts

“with a little paper and ink –

and some help from the postal service –

friendship can span many years and many miles.”

-caroline rose kraft

under the rainbow.


my classroom is chock full of

multi-age kinder (3s-young 5s)

who stay with us for two years.

one of the very best things

is watching the older kinder

who were the younger kinder

just one year before

as they quite naturally and organically grow

to become the leaders/teachers/helpers/mentors

to the new group of younger kinder

who were at home

just one year before.

what a joy it was to watch someone older

spend a very long time

finding all the special markers she needed

to create an easy to see linear rainbow

for someone younger

who wanted to create

her very own rainbow picture

in her very own style

using all the special colors.

judging by their faces

when she finished her very own rainbow

they were both equally proud of the results.


“nine tenths of education is encouragement.”

-anatole france



the little ones came to school

most for the first time ever

 filling our room with emotion and energy

a few minutes into our day

one had me write

an urgent note to her mom

that read:

“bring the car!”

we’re all tired and mostly all happy

tomorrow we begin again.

“be willing to be a beginner every single morning.”

-meister eckhart

a wish for my students on their last day.


“there is nothing wrong with loving the crap out of everything.

negative people find their walls.

so never apologize for your enthusiasm.


-ryan adams


may you all live like this forever. and ever. and ever.

love, your teacher

(who lives like this too)

into the universe.


heading out on a rainy day

to explore, discover things, and learn

in the much larger classroom of the universe. 


“the universe is a great university.”

-sai baba

something special.


not my class or horse, but a tiny bit similar if you squint your eyes.

 the quote below perfectly sums up my vocation.


“if you laugh, you think, and you cry, that’s a full day. that’s a heck of a day.

you do that seven days a week, you’re going to have something special.”

-jim valvano (1950s vintage)

the end in mind.


on the first of three days

of parent-teacher conferences

at the end of just our second family meeting

one of us

(names are unimportant)

closed the conference

with a friendly goodbye –

“have a great weekend!”

only to

glance up


it was actually

tuesday at 10:02am.

almost there….

 “begin with the end in mind.”

-stephen covey