Reading is Complex

Reading is such a complex skill.  It is a set of behaviors that work together to help a person gain meaning from text.  Decoding, fluency, comprehension, connections to prior knowledge, predictions, evaluations…. all these are a part of reading.  Sometimes we...

Happy & Healthy in the Teaching Profession

Teaching can be such a burn-out job.  So much is expected of us.  And if we don’t prepare adequately, we face the consequences the next day! Haven’t we all heard, “Oh it must be nice to go home at 3 and have summers off!”  The general public has no idea what we really...

Class Plays – Drama or Trauma?

It was a warm spring night and my 5th grade class was excitedly shuffling and whispering back stage as they prepared for our performance of Charlotte’s Web.  We’d been rehearsing for weeks and, though I knew they were ready to perform for their families, I was still...

Classrooms Need Books!

The elementary classroom needs access to thousands of books at many different levels of difficulty for children to read.  The class needs fiction in many genres and non-fiction on a variety of topics. If we’re lucky our school may have an extensive library from...

August- The Month of Boundless Potential

Here in Santa Cruz the belladonna lilies (also known as “Pink Ladies”) are blooming.  Their pink blossoms, borne on bare stems, pop up in the most surprising places.  They poke through other vegetation in the garden, beautify vacant lots, and even the packed earth...

Retirement or Reboot?

June was a flurry of retirement celebrations.  The district’s annual retirement party was held on the rooftop patio of the Community Foundation in Aptos.  It was a chilly foggy evening (of course it was, it’s Aptos!) and many of retired teachers came to celebrate with...

Flattery Will Get you Nowhere

As word of my retirement has spread among the adults in the school community many of them have reminisced with me about my longevity in the district.  I was recently reminded that I had an undergraduate work-study job at Santa Cruz Gardens a few years before my 1986...

Children’s Perspectives on Retirement

Last week I told my students I was retiring.   Some of the responses were pretty amusing: “Why are you retiring?” asked one second grader. “Because she’s old,” explained the next. A third grader asked  “What will you do when you retire?” “She’ll take a nap.” answered...