Buried Under The Weight

I’ve been gone for a few weeks on my blog… I’ve been buried! Buried under:

– buying a house

-raising two boys

-teaching.grading, evaluating, encouraging, motivating 100 8th graders

-unit planning of “Midsummer Night’s Dream”

-batch cooking with my friends

-working on improving my marriage

-celebrating one of my best friend’s birthday

-mourning my other best friend’s grandmother’s death

-nursing a baby throughout the night

-holding another friends new baby

-keeping up with email

-taking two graduate school classes

-coordinating a career shadowing day

-managing a yearbook

-planning Easter celebrations

-being the Easter bunny

Next week is Spring break and I want to dig out. Dig out of the piles of to-do’s, should-do’s, should-have-done’s. I want to be in the moment, connecting with my family, my kids, & my friends, and get refreshed to live out my passion for educational excellence, equality, and building a community of learners.


Some Old Friendships Never Fade

Slice.of.Life.logoTonight, Jon and I had our old college pal, Andrew Anderson over for dinner. He is going to be a guest poet in my classroom tomorrow and we wanted to discuss what he would be reading and practice our rusty (I guess I should say MY) rusty Skype skills.

Andy walked in during a flood. Yup, our washing machine flooded because Jon overloaded it,and it was gushing water. Under some circumstances I would have been freaking out that our house was a cluttered-toy-tornado zone and there were wet towels all over the front walk, the floors, and puddles everywhere! But, I wasn’t freaking out — when Andy walked in, I felt like he had just been there the day before and nothing was going to shock him. Except, he has never been to our house, and we probably haven’t seen him but maybe three times since college, which was 11 years ago.

When he walked in the door, we greeted each other and Joey immediately jumped into his lap. “Andy Anderson!” “Andy Anderson!” “Will you read me a story and play car ramps with me??” Those who have met Joey will know that for him to behave this way towards someone he has only seen once before for perhaps five minutes, was strange. Except, it wasn’t. It was like Joey and Enzo had always known Andy, because Andy is where Jon and I are from. He was with us in our formative college years, was Jon’s roommate, worked at Camp Wanake with me, and part of our very close-knit faith community. Hanging out with Andy was refreshing, like going home. Thanks for coming over, friend. Let’s not let it be eleven more years before we have dinner together again!

The smartest man in my world

Slice.of.Life.logoT0day is my papa’s birthday. He is an amazing dad. He’s hard-working, loving, humble, intelligent, thoughtful, honest, and super smart. I remember thinking that there was not a single thing that my dad didn’t know at least something about! I think he has read about everything- he is the definition of erudite.

Papa has hundreds of amazing stories that you will probably never hear unless you ask the right question, because he is too humble to talk about all of the amazing things he has experienced and done in his life. He has grown the environmental movement in my hometown and built up an incredible nature center that will be a place of life, discovery, and serenity long after he retires. He has been our small tdadown’s “Citizen of the Year,”
his University’s “Faculty of the Year.”  and the best dad I could imagine. He is an incredible husband to my mom, an amazing dad for my sister and me, and a rockstar grandpa to my son’s, Enzo & Josiah.

After my recent traumatic birth experience with Enzo, he pushed me in my wheelchair to the NICU to visit Enzo. Safety and a sense of calmness surrounded me as we travelled down the hall. His presence is a gift to all, especially me. As I watched him hold Enzo for the first time, I felt a deep sense of gratitude that my little guys will, God-willing, get to experience my amazing dad.

Happy Birthday, Papa. We all love you so very much and are incredibly thankful for the way that you live your life each day.

You can check out his blog here: http://www.ohnature.net/ You will really enjoy the beautiful photos and capitative nature stories!

Slice of Life March 6, 2015

Slice.of.Life.logo  I started kidblog with my classes today. I am a terrible tech teacher because I have no patience for kids who need repeated directions, lack computer skills, and are generally slower than I want them to be with technology. Hopefully I’ll get their slices up on the link soon. My impatience for their lack of mastery  is ironic, because one of the main reasons that I use technology with my students is to increase their skills with the devices and platforms.

Middle school teachers should be the most patient people in the world… that and kindergarten teachers. I am not… I want excellence, and I want it now. Is that too much to ask?
After just finishing two weeks of administering PARCC assessments, amidst snow-days, no-sun days, and kids-do-crazy-stuff days… and I think I’m just worn down.

Patience is a virtue that I lack… but luckily some of my students are much calmer, kinder people and so I use them to be student experts and coach their peers.

I am hopeful that as my experience with the technology tools increases, I will become a more patient expert too.




love my students

Slice.of.Life.logo When my students gave me the last Oreo from the tray, I was honored. When they call me Mama Coz and smile when I pass by, my heart sings.

I knew I had found my place at my current school, when the leadership, my colleagues, and even the messages on the walls  talked about the primary importance of relationships.

I could tell you something that I love about every single one of my hundred students. I call almost all of them my favorites, because somehow nearly all of them hold that place in my heart.

One of my favorite students messed up today, and I feel a heaviness like part of me experienced the consequence of his choices. I want it to fade as quickly as it came, leaving the relationship stronger in the long run.

A teacher has such a hard job: love the kids, discipline the kids, teach the kids, then send the kids on. I never really send any of my kids away from me. Once they are mine, it’s for always.