Venspired

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Better Than Good

My journey through education has been filled with contrast. Urban, rural, tiny private, and now? Independent. I can only say one word about independent schools. Home. I’m grateful for the 11 years of experiences, twists, and turns that led me here, because each bit of it helped define what I believe about learning and what I believe about life. It seems like almost every day now I read blog posts from teachers writing about quitting public education, fleeing the job they waited a whole life for, because education is just not was it could be.  From a distance, I see...

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Blessings and Locksmiths

After the hub-bub of holiday week at school, I’m left with a pile of things to take care of to get our home ready for the holidays.  The tree is far from perfect, the light up holiday hedgehog I put in the yard got wet in the floods of Houston’s December rain, and blew a fuse, and yes, THAT locked up our garage resulting in a locksmith call.   I could only laugh.  It’s almost like a scene from Christmas Vacation.  I prefer not to comment on which of us, my husband or me, is Clark Griswold. And if I’ve...

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Right This Moment

 I still remember the shine of the wax on the freshly refinished floor of my new classroom that year. I can still smell the new paint, and see the old surfaces recovered. I could look out my classroom window and see the Mississippi River, from my 3rd floor view in South City St. Louis. I hadn’t met my students yet. But I already loved them. This empty classroom? It. Was. Mine. It’s almost hard for me to believe all the time that has passed. Gifs are no longer cool on websites and blogging has become a thing. I’ve learned what...

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Learning Unleashed

It’s easy to schedule a page to read about inventors.  It’s easy to know what kids have read about inventors. It’s not easy to toss a pile of materials onto the table and predict what kids will design, create, and invent. It’s not easy to circulate the room, with kids brainstorming, struggling, and you must resist the urge to rescue them in the midst. They don’t need to be rescued. That’s hard.  We are trained to be rescuers. It’s easy to give kids a pattern, the exact materials, cut to the exact specifications, and help them make that.  It’s easy...