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Does money matter for teachers?

People used to ask me, “What do you do?” I’d say, “I’m a Publications Specialist.” Before that I’d say, “I’m an editor, writer, graphic artist, or copy editor.” They’d nod and smile in approval and ask more questions about it. I felt respected. Now, when people ask that question, I say, “I’m a teacher.” TheirContinue reading “Does money matter for teachers?”

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Common Core in Florida

If you ask an educator or even a well-informed parent who lives in Florida about the New Florida Standards, there will probably be a very intentional groan of frustration followed by a rant or its opposite—dead silence and a mournful shaking of the head. One of the many reasons I’ve stopped writing so much stemsContinue reading “Common Core in Florida”

Everyone should have to teach middle school.

The uncertainty and shock of feeling as if I’d entered a distorted dimension, splintered and shapeshifting, grew into a full-time stint as a middle school teacher. Everyone should have to teach middle school. I’ve said this ever since I realized I wasn’t going to quit teaching after all, ever since I got through those first fewContinue reading “Everyone should have to teach middle school.”

The Colors of To Kill A Mockingbird

Every year since I began teaching, my students and I read To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee together. They reluctantly open it and groan because after the first page, they almost unanimously claim confusion and therefore annoyance. By the third chapter, they’re excited, irritated, laughing out loud, and angry. They love reading with aContinue reading “The Colors of To Kill A Mockingbird”

Our Education God: The Test

Teachers often share many similarities with the students they admonish, chastise, chase, change, and ultimately love like a mother who spends her days doing the same. Because we’re together so much of the time and essentially trapped in the same environment, teachers want to escape just as much as students do, especially at this timeContinue reading “Our Education God: The Test”

Desire Meets Talent

They broke into my sea of problems rushing through my brain as I cleaned the house. There was a slow pounding to them as if sorrow was leaving the body and finding it’s own center. I hadn’t heard any music, at least not from the piano for two months. A half-smile split my thoughts apart.Continue reading “Desire Meets Talent”

Heroes vs. Guns vs. Monsters

Over every meal, during car conversations, or over coffee breaks, guns appear. No one seems able to turn away from them. Guns are everywhere. They killed the King of Civil Rights. They killed Hope over and over again. They killed children, parents, and teachers. But, we still love them—these guns we’re so proud of. AContinue reading “Heroes vs. Guns vs. Monsters”

A Killer Stops the Heart of a Nation Bleeding Inside Itself

Walk in someone else’s shoes and you might see things very differently. We play a lot. We play with thoughts, ideas, ideals. Do we really think? Or, is thinking the problem? The last time I really thought about something, it felt like my mind was running ahead of my body. I had to stop it.Continue reading “A Killer Stops the Heart of a Nation Bleeding Inside Itself”

Wild Women and Mad Men: Bite the Change

Since Saturday, I’ve been upset and I didn’t want to write about it because I knew it would’ve been unfocused. I also don’t want this to be a place for readers to have to endure endless rants. So, I’ve been reading fellow writers’ posts while attempting to sedate the anger I still feel. But, asContinue reading “Wild Women and Mad Men: Bite the Change”

Then I See Red

Purple seems a state of grace. Cloaked in it, the world around you bleeds with creativity and honor. A smile isn’t just a smile, it’s a perspective. I see myself as someone I am. A struggle becomes a path, an enemy, a friend. Then I see red. Nothing in between. Just red. My goal has alwaysContinue reading “Then I See Red”