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Posted by on in General

But could you do it? Could you face a shooter and pull the trigger? Or tackle? And not panic? Tough questions. Easy to say what we would do, but could we do it? Our split second decision lasts forever, with so many ramifications.

As of now eighteen states allow teachers to carry firearms, undoubtedly there will be more. Obvious concerns including insurance companies worrying about liability, teachers questioning the idea, incidents already occurring with teachers making errors with guns, inevitable, and the social dilemma of what to do next about this growing and heinous problem.

In 2017 there were forty-four school shoortings, elementary and high school. The grisly toll was twenty-five lost and sixty injured. Thus far this year statistics are horrid, twenty- eight school shootings, with forty deaths and sixty-six injured. 

Just another day. Another shooting at school. Yesterday's shooting was at a Middle School in Indiana, just a bunch of innocent kids. A class taking a science test in the classroom. Not just any classroom, happened to be Jason Seaman's, former football player, school football coach, most important science teacher. Hired to be a science teacher, not a hero. But hero he is. However unintentionally.

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Posted by on in Social Emotional Learning

Empathy. Can't teach it, surely can model it. "Market Street", 2015, a Newberry, Caldecott and winner of other prestigious prizes, reads as a modern masterpiece for children of all ages. 

Not only does it appear to be a gentle intergenerational love story between a boy and his grandma,  we experience diversity, kindness and empathy throughout this simple story.

And the most lovely descriptions of a beautiful world maybe not so readily apparent until we really look beyond the obvious. Which is what we all certainly need to do.

 Let's take a bus ride, a very special one. Just us, like Nana and CJ, main characters in this heartwarming urban tale. 

Yesterday I went on the bus with Morgan's first grade field trip. She was so excited! I did a sleepover the night before. She woke me up about two hours before time for school, all dressed and lunch sack ready.

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Posted by on in Assessment

standardized test

Don't show Mama Our Nation's Report Card. Not so good. 

Tonight I'm sharing my opinions, not a major statistical treatise, but I will toss some information into the bowl, like Strega Nona, and let's mix it up, and put a little honey on top. 

Tonight I offer heartfelt, plain talk about yesterday's shocking headlines, or not so, really, that our kids have failed. Or at least, didn't show any growth in fourth and eighth grade reading. Goodness. Yet here we are in America, right in the middle of endless standardized testing.

Now this. Drat. Flat scores. The sideways. Up scores, like Florida. Down, like second language learners and special needs labeled students.

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Posted by on in General

crocus3

It's been awhile since I wrote for you and I apologize for that. The good news is I'm still here. I seriously doubted I could get out of the mess I was in, no fault of my own. Life happens.

This is not a blog about my illness, and what happened to me, but it does play a major part in my transformation. Only thing is, I'm not done yet. I remain a work in progress. In fact, I will probably send this blog post out in draft. My hands are still kind of shaky, so the very act of writing this is an act of love.

Being on Twitter and Facebook has been a revelation. After my husband died six years ago, I finished my last book "Reading Champs", a how-to skills guide. Then instead of marketing it, I let it sit on Amazon. I started writing again, left my historic home and property in Northern Calif. to move to Eugene. Unreal, for a nester, I moved three times, volunteered, then taught at the preschool. 

 Family and teaching, the constants in my life. Like breathing. My passion. My gift. Servant leader for more than forty -six years.

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Posted by on in Leadership

goose

I've been hearing geese honking all day. It seemed last night that they were louder than usual. Since moving by the river, I expected to hear the rapids, but I certainly didn't think I would be sitting reading, hearing geese honking. I'm never sure whether they are flying back and forth to the duck ponds across the road, or going home. Wonder where their home is? Are they local geese, Oregon geese, or are they from somewhere else? Do they look the same as the other geese? Do they speak the same goose language?

The other day I read geese fly home each year. I have that instinct too, since moving to Eugene. I wonder where these geese are going? I was used to seeing geese at home in Northern California. I lived forty five minutes from Lake Tahoe, in the middle of nowhere. Mountain life was so different than Eugene. But geese in both places were comforting as my life shifted dramatically.

Have you  ever looked up and simply watched flocks of geese gliding above? We used to have a couple Canadian honkers vacationing on our property from January to May each year. Our 'snowbirds'. We named them Edgar and Matilda. It was really funny. I didn't know geese had a personality and noisy voices. I had never been around that close, before. I knew they had a funny, nasty hiss when they were waiting for the corn bucket, or not getting their way. Just like couples everywhere, pretty much. And teams resolving conflicts, which are inevitable in transforming organizations and schools.

My husband and I put out cracked corn every day, a very big enticement for company and sure enough, all of a sudden, like clockwork we'd hear the pair fly overhead, land gracefully, skimming on our pond. Never was sure how they could spot that the corn was out, then circle back around. They came for their daily visit, creatures of habit, so to speak, in rain, snow, ice, never mattered. Except for us, gingerly wading through snow to get their treat out. 

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