Conversations With Racists Like Me – Indoctrination

Recently, our local paper had an article detailing a letter some concerned community members sent to the school district. They don’t like a “Black Lives Matter” banner hanging on the tennis court in front of the high school. Under the words “Black Lives Matter,” the banner reads, “Vision: Every student is a lifelong learner who…

Conversations With Racists Like Me – Teaching Our Children

If I could go back in time, as a preschool teacher, in addition to talking about kindness, I would also talk about advantages. What they look like, what kinds there are and how we can use them to be helpers. In addition to talking about listening, I would also talk about and notice differences. We would talk about where ideas come from and how to know if an idea is worth keeping. I would spend less time reading books about naughty cats or curious dogs and more time reading books about children and families which broaden our window into the world

Shake, Shake, Shake Your …

  “Shake Dem Halloween Bones” by Mike Reed is a children’s book that combines colorful illustrations of children dressed in fairy tale costumes with a catchy chorus. “Shake, shake, shake dem bones now.  Shake, shake, shake dem bones now.  Shake, shake, shake dem bones at the hip hop Halloween Ball”. We read the book and sing…

Building Bravery

Sam had both arms wrapped tightly around his mother as she opened the door on his first day of preschool.  He took a quick peek at the classroom before seeking refuge behind her again.  Sam knew his mom was going to leave.  She’d been telling him for weeks how much fun he would have at…

Waiting for the Grown Ups

I rarely question the value of teaching.  It’s something I have devoted my life to.  Teaching hasn’t made me rich, because our society values money over kindness and power over people.  I know this.  I had merely forgotten.  I guess I should be thankful I have been reminded. If you are happy with this past…

I See You

“Mom, come watch this video that’s going viral,” my daughter said.  I watched the video of Chris Ulmer, an enthusiastic teacher, speaking directly to each student in his class.  He had the youthful energy of a teacher still fresh with the notion that teachers can change lives. “You are funny.”  “You are an amazing student,”…

My Proper Raincoat

My raincoat makes a swishing sound when sliding it over my arms and onto my shoulders.  Each time I put it on some part of me whispers, “Thank you.” I have lived in rainy Washington over thirty years and this is my first proper raincoat.  I’ve had second hand, make-do coats faded in color.   I’ve…

A is for Acceptance

Stephan flung open the door in his usual grand entrance style.  The huge grin on his face couldn’t have been any wider.  Each day he came ready to rock his preschool day.  It wasn’t until I looked down at his feet that I noticed something different.  On one foot Stephan was wearing an almost knee…

Rainbow-Colored Santa

I don’t remember a time I didn’t want to teach. Teaching is woven into every part of my being. I was a young girl before the invention of the internet, smart phones and video games so I had to figure out how to entertain myself.  Summers were spent gathering my seven brothers and sisters and…