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Higher ground.

No more metaphors. The water is coming. How much, how soon, and for how long is unknown. Here’s what I do know:

I am going to keep my head above water. Keep my powder dry. Build an ark. Have both paddles. Not be caught upstream without one or more said paddles.

Float on.

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Best Quote of the Week: “That was kind of fun!”

Anyone who teaches knows it’s a hard job. There are many things throughout the day that may wear my sense of humor thin. Frayed. Rubbed the wrong way. But, as I’m sitting here thinking about the week, I’m choosing to focus on some of the highlights:

1. A student thought the lesson we did today was “kind of fun.” Big praise from an 8th grade kid. 2. I got a smile, a doughnut, and help from a really nice student today, completely unexpected, and offered with graciousness. 3. I have some really cool students–even some of the ones who seem kind of tough on the outside are probably some of the most loyal and fierce individuals for their friends and families. 4. While talking about what I would be like if I was a teacher in a parallel universe, I said, the other me would be thin, young, single, blonde…and someone piped in “mean.” Read: I am nice (in this universe). 5. I moved, I mingled, and they were okay with that. 6. They are funny, they are shy, they are sweet, they are sour –but they are my students for this year, and I think that’s worth smiling about.

Here’s to a fantastic year!

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Tools of the Trade



Though we started two weeks late due to unprecedented events, things are starting to shape up. My first impressions of my students are glowing — now I know why my colleagues love to teach 8th grade students. They can be engaging, motivated, funny, and charming young people. I have already had two football players ask me for assignments prior to leaving for a game. I have had a student think of connected and interesting questions. Admittedly, I also have the pencil-sharpener-attempters-the bathroom-breakers, and the ukulele carrying minstrels. (Really. But she never plays it in class.)

These first weeks are all about putting in the tools they will need. For example, yesterday they took Cornell Notes on “How to Do a One-Pager.” Today, guess what? They are doing one-pagers. And, a few of them have asked me for directions again. I point them back to their notes.


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Archetype of the Week: Star-Crossed Lovers

While reading the movie review of Bright Star, directed by Jane Campion, I made a connection to another classic Greek tale of Pyramus and Thisbe. As we begin to study ancient mythology from a variety of cultures through modern times, we will learn more about how great writers often take the oldest stories, the stories told throughout time as their inspiration, because the experiences of humanity last throughout time. Why do you think writers use old stories to inspire new ones?