Learning Curve

What we're pondering

January 22, 2020

A few months ago, I wrote about a visit to The Avalon School in St. Paul, Minnesota. Avalon is a small, teacher-powered school that has no principal and a fully democratic decision-making structure. It was an inspiring place, one that had “the feeling” as my colleagues and I will jokingly say. “The...

January 8, 2020

I’m writing this on New Year’s Eve, at the close of what has been a heartbreaking year for my family. Earlier this month my cousin Heather died from leukemia, two weeks short of the bone marrow transplant that might have saved her life. She was 54, mother to three beautiful grown girls, and a lifelo...

December 18, 2019

I don’t know how everyone else manages the many pieces of holidays with family, but I make lists.  I’ve been working on a too-elaborate meal plan for soon-to-be visiting relatives for almost six weeks now (with separate spaces for each meal and a place to list out the necessary prep to make it all h...

December 11, 2019

The end of the year is fast approaching (as is my maternity leave, which will likely start just a couple of days into 2020), and I’m proud to say that I successfully completed my fun New Year’s resolution (cooking 52 new recipes over the course of the year).  If you want to read more about why I set...

December 4, 2019

It’s December, the days are short, the school day is long, and everyone feels the impending excitement of vacation.  December can be hectic.  But I always found that the months that evoke craziness (for me, September, December, March, and June) are often the months that I need to lean into the most...

November 20, 2019

We’ve had a few broken bones in our household over the years and one of the interesting things we were told is that when the bone heals, it will be, for a time anyway, stronger than it was before. This was not particularly comforting to my son when he broke his big toe two days before soccer tryouts...

November 13, 2019

When I was teaching, I always appreciated the month of November.  It was the first month that offered any real respite, and I needed it.  Thanksgiving gave the school one big sigh of relief; it allowed everyone the opportunity to take it slower for a few days and get away from the business (and busy...

November 6, 2019

Feeling powerless is frustrating and stressful, William Stixrud and Ned Johnson write in their book, The Self-Driven Child: The Science and Sense of Giving Your Kids More Control Over Their Lives. I’ve been reading different versions of this sentiment all over the place lately (and wrote a related b...

October 30, 2019

A few months ago, I issued myself a cooking challenge: I set out to create my very own recipe and bake my son’s second birthday cake.  Why make my own recipe, you ask? It all started with our cooking series, where we shared what we learned by cooking different dishes.  In my final post of April, “...

October 23, 2019

Last week my wise and compassionate colleague Sara authored a blog post about what educators can do to create positive and respectful relationships with their students’ families. Sara’s blog struck a chord with me because I spent many hours last week in staff-and-family communication around some iss...

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