10 Things I Miss About South Dakota: Slice of Life #sol21 8/31

Sunrises and sunsets over the vast rolling prairie Hikes with a free-roaming bison herd in Wind Cave National Park One stoplight towns Deer in my backyard Spring thunderstorms Kitsch: life-sized dinosaur replicas, the world’s largest prairie dog statue Big skies Main streets that look like the set for an old Western Wildlife: pronghorn, coyote, prairie…

If We Were Having Coffee: Slice of Life #sol21 7/31

If we were having coffee, I would have to take a couple of photos of our cups before we begin our conversation. Because in this dream coffee date, we’re not on Zoom, we’re not drinking coffee we made ourselves in our own kitchens. We’re at my favorite coffee shop, the one I haven’t discovered yet.…

Shout Outs: Slice of Life #sol21 6/31

Our weekly staff meeting begins with shout-outs. It’s the one part of the meeting that will never be skipped, never be rushed. It’s raucous and loud–sometimes with actual shouting. Everyone unmutes. The chat fills with emojis and capital letters and exclamation marks. Being invited to notice, name, and appreciate what my colleagues are doing has…

A Room With a View: Slice of Life #sol21 4/31

Yesterday I taught in my new classroom for the first time. It was a quick visit, a low-stakes test run during advisory to prepare for two full days of teaching in the building next week. I was only there for thirty minutes, but it was more than enough time to fall in love with my…

Cats on Zoom: Slice of Life #sol21 3/31

A few things you are guaranteed to experience during any class I teach on Zoom: Poetry. Hearing me say “Ok, I’m going to share my screen now” approximately 12,000 times. Cats. Surely I’m not alone in thinking that pets–more specifically, cats–are the best thing about Zoom school. Only one of my six has never made…

Have Books. Will Deliver. #sol20

Normally by November, independent reading would be well established in my classroom. I’d still be working with a few students to find that just right book, but most students would have finished a couple of books by now and pleasure reading–in class at least–would be part of our predictable routine. But with the upheaval of…