Before and After

Meg Rosoff’s novel How I Live Now has a definite before and after. It is so definite, in fact, that the page that separates the two sections has simply a dot on it, and the chapters begin again at one. There’s much to talk about with this novel, and unfortunately, some things might be spoiled.

Posted in Coming of Age

I Wish Those Days

I think everyone has had at least one time in their life where they would like to have a wish granted. When I turned 40, I wanted a chance to stop “adulting” for a day. So that’s what we did. My (at the time) soon-to-be husband and I hopped on a train and headed into NYC. Our first stop was the NY Public Library’s main branch on Fifth Avenue—the branch with those iconic lions out front. Walking through the front doors always causes me to stop and take pause. It’s a building full of possibility. On this day, I had to pause and figure out how to get to the children’s room. Yep, I was taking this non-adulting thing seriously. Actually, I was on my way to see the original Winnie the Pooh (and the gang). We spent some time there looking at that “silly old bear;” I recounted my favorite Pooh tales and explained how one plays Pooh Sticks, and then we headed off down Fifth Avenue.

Posted in Words/Language | Tagged as: , , , , , , , , ,

Just Call Out My Name

September 1 marks the start of my 25th year teaching middle school. In two different districts and three different middle schools, highly qualified ceritification, standards, benchmarking, and state testing, one thing has been constant: work family. Each school I’ve been in has focused on creating a work family. Sometimes, the family is more dysfunctional than others, but through it all, we’re there supporting each other. We celebrate the good times, we mourn losses, we hold each other up.

Posted in Coming of Age | Tagged as: , , , , ,

Known to Friends Whom I Knew Not

Because I’ve been reading a lot about classroom libraries, I’ve been making a conscious effort to add books to my room that represent all of my students. I’ll be honest, teaching in a predominantly white, middle/upper-middle class school, I wasn’t sure how students would respond, but not all of my students were white, upper-middle class, Christian, heterosexual people. Not all of my students had families that were “normal.” And so, I started listening more closely to students talk about books like Out of My Mind by Sharon Draper, Rules by Cynthia Lord , or Wonder by RJ Palacio. I began to have conversations with my students when I thought about adding a book like Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the UniverseBenjamin and Aristotle Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz to the class library. I took their suggestions when they recommended books to me. I asked them about favorite characters, especially when the books they were reading had characters who were no cis-gendered, mainstream people.

Posted in Empathy | Tagged as: , , , , , ,

The Problem We All Live With

As I’ve watched the events in Charlottesville unfold, I’ve been struggling to process it. I first read about what was happening yesterday morning via Pantsuit Nation. A law student at UVA recounted her experience arriving on campus Friday (8/11/17) evening to a procession of white men carrying torches and chanting, “You will not replace us” and “White lives matter.” The student, identified as Elizabeth Ann, felt that she and her friend needed to document what was happening. They kept their distance and videoed the procession. The video is chilling to watch. She then recounts that there were about 10 students holding signs reading “UVA Students Against White Supremecy.” The white terrorists surrounded the students and then began to attack them. Elizabeth Ann goes on to talk about how frightened she was and despite her fear, she planned to protest the rally on Saturday. She states, “These nazi groups are emboldened when met with little opposition. We need as many protestors here tomorrow as possible; there is strength in numbers, as well as safety. I’m scared, of course I am, but I will be there tomorrow because I have a duty to be. As a white person, I know it is easier for me to occupy this space safely than persons of color. I’m going to show up for all of the people who cannot.”

Posted in Read the World | Tagged as: , , , , , ,
  • November 2017
    M T W T F S S
    « Sep    
     12345
    6789101112
    13141516171819
    20212223242526
    27282930  
  • Pages

  • Archives

  • Categories

  • Meta

  • YA Fest Affiliate Blogger

    http://www.yafestpa.com
  • Guess who’s coming to YA Fest 2018

    Can you figure out who's coming to #YAFest2018? Try to guess starting October 1 at 8:30pm EST on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram!