The Shoulders of a Teacher

In the beginning it was our dreams and aspirations we carried on our shoulders. We also threw in some hope and optimism just because we were told the road ahead may be rocky. It did not take long for us to experience our first heartbreak. Maybe it was a student who was coming from a … Continue reading The Shoulders of a Teacher

Trust: Why I tell my students I love them every day

I begin the year as every teacher does:  In front of new students who do not know me and are cautious about the idea of ever getting to know me.  Even before the dust of our first acquaintance has settled, I make sure to call each of them by name and say the most important … Continue reading Trust: Why I tell my students I love them every day

First Day of School

I just wrapped up my first week of my 18th year of teaching.  It is kind of crazy because I keep waiting for my “burn out”, but here I am.  I can admit that I am in a state of dread for the days leading up to that first day, but it never fails...Once the … Continue reading First Day of School

Lessons from People with Abilities

I have been working with and for people with disabilities for decades. I have concluded that almost everything of value that I have learned in my life is credited to individuals with disabilities.  I can say without hesitation, I would be an incomplete person had I not chosen to devote my life to special education.  … Continue reading Lessons from People with Abilities

The F Word

A colleague of mine was wiping out an old work computer and found a video clip from years ago.   In the video, students were participating in interviews unaware that their favorite teachers were dancing in the background like fools.  As I watched this clip I was filled with a warm, familiar feeling that resonated … Continue reading The F Word

Fear

Awake & Accelerate

Heart pounding.  Hands sweating. Mind racing.  For many of us, this is what we conjure up when we think of fear.  A freight train of emotion that warrants an immediate and obvious response.  However, the toxic residue that lies behind fear is not always the crushing presence of adrenaline.  In fact, most often it is nothing more than a whisper. A subtle nudge in our minds, pushing us throughout our day without notice.  Fear is a diet of insecurity we put ourselves on thinking it will protect us from the hurt or pain of “not being enough.” 

Five years ago, I was boldly reminded of professional discomfort when I left my elementary school to teach in the depths of adolescent hell, also known as middle school.  This renewed discomfort was a catalyst for indecision and self-talk that was less than flattering. I began mentally spinning out of control, spending…

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Remote Learning: A Glimpse at Student Dependency

Education was thrust into a form of learning that has never been done before as students took to their computers to access their virtual classrooms.  As a special educator for nearly two decades my first thought was, “Oh no! How will our students thrive without a lack of support?” Support looks different for each of … Continue reading Remote Learning: A Glimpse at Student Dependency

Building Community in a Virtual World

A school is filled with so much more than books and children.  The senses can come alive in a building responsible for growing children.  From murals on the walls to the precious noise of children learning pouring from classroom doors, schools bring communities to life.   Building a space where learners can take risks and be … Continue reading Building Community in a Virtual World