We Remember

I have been thinking about the people that we come in contact with on daily basis, and how our interactions with them can change the way they view other people, life and different circumstances. In teaching, I see how teachers impact a child’s life daily. The true saying it takes a village could not be more true. Personally I have had five children of my own, but I can tell you I have dozens of surrogate children who I have love, mentored, and cherished throughout the years. A child’s ability to learn, think, love and grow is based on how they see themselves, and how they view others. A teacher can have a profound impact on their world view. I sat back tonight and thought about the four-year anniversary of Sandy Hook, and the impact on how that one school so tragically affected by an evil tragedy has we view the safety of our nation, the safety and greatest responsibility of not only educating our youth, but their physical well-being, and emotional growth. I recall stories of how the administration, the teachers, the students, the parents, and community evolved and grew that day. Tragedy will always bring growth, for it must occur for one to heal. I don’t want to think about the specific details of that day, for most of us will never know. I want to think about the awesome responsibility that we have to show our children that even through the horrors of the darkness, there is still light; a light that never can be extinguished because we have a God. God was there that day,  He gave the wisdom to the teachers that were at school that day, to hide them, protect them, comfort them, guide and keep them . We can all say we would have handled it differently, but until you have been in a classroom full of first graders, trying to get them to whisper is a heavy burden often impossible to accomplish.

God says if we ask him for wisdom, He will give it to us! ( James 1:5). Deep in my thoughts tonight, I just wanted to share my thoughts.

Gosh, I am so blessed, I came home from school today. My children came home from school today! Social media is putting out a PSA written from the survivors of Sandy Hook, I wanted to share the link here. It is deep, and personal, and I can honestly see I missed most all of the details the first time I watched it. See it, and tell me what you see! What we see could, no would save a life one day.








New Trends in Teaching

time and talent pic

Educators are being challenged by several problems involving the method in which they are teaching children in the 21st Century.  The Information Technology era has inundated the public schools by   tasking them to develop new and improved ways to keep up with all the data and information that has been made available due to the Internet and other media sources.

This generation of students is in a time of rapid learning and exchange of Information and Data, so much faster than even one decade before them. I remember when I was in school if we were assigned a research paper, you went to the local library and used the old card catalog box to look up your books needed and then used the Encyclopedia’s at the library. Research paper writing entailed an all day trip to the library, not anymore!

One thing that has not changed is that “reading is the window to the world.” It is the foundational skill for learning, personal growth, and enjoyment.[1]

“The degree to which students can read and understand text in all formats (e.g., pictures, video, and print) and all contexts is a key indicator of success in school and in life.  As a lifelong learning skill, reading goes beyond decoding and comprehension to interpretation and development of new understandings.”

The problem that we are facing in the education arena is that schools are behind in this learning concept. While this method of teaching is being introduced by the Educators, the individual states and Dept of Education has not changed their curriculum to embrace the needs of our students.

The art of teaching has even changed from “back in the day when teachers could really teach” to the era of standardized testing. We seem to have gotten into the method of “memorize and dump” of data to ensure the passing of the SOL testing. (Standards of Learning)

As a teacher I can tell you teaching is hard work! Due to budget cuts, reduced spending, often teachers are left to teach with restricted resources, limited staffing, and ridiculously low wages.

The positive aspect to all this is that we are aware of the trends and statistics of the changing world of education.   The change from teaching traditional research methods over to the newer Guided Inquiry methods is happening. “The ability of our students to draw on the knowledge and wisdom of the past while using the technology of the present to advance new discoveries for the future are being implanted.”[2]

In conclusion, we have students graduating everyday entering the “real world”, while we are behind for them, we are working to prepare our students to think for themselves, make good decisions, develop expertise and implement lifelong learning skills.

[1] American Association of School Librarians, Standards for the 21st Century Learner.

[2]  Ibis



Are You Making A Child’s Behavior Worse?

Thought I would share an excellent article for teachers and parents:

Are You Making Your Most Difficult Students Worse?

By Michael Linsin

Most teachers are hyperaware of their most difficult students—and well they should be.

It’s smart to know where they are and what they’re doing.

But this awareness can cause you to behave oddly around them.

It can cause you to glare and glower in their direction. It can cause you to hover near the edges of their personal space and tense up in their presence.

It can cause you to label them with your behavior.

Because when you act differently around difficult students than you do the rest of your class, you’re effectively telling them that they’re not like other students, that they’re incapable of being trusted and that you expect them to misbehave.

This is a powerful message you may not even be aware you’re sending. Your most challenging students, however, can see the smoke signals from a mile away.

They know when they’re being surveilled, marked, and followed. They know when they’re disliked and resented—or merely tolerated. They know when you have negative thoughts about them and their future prospects.

And they’re quick to live up to their role as troublemaker, to become the very person you see in them.

Although you should always maintain awareness of all your students, if you were to make it a point to behave the same way around your most difficult students as you do everyone else, you would see marked improvement in their behavior.

This includes the same smiles, jokes, and stories. It includes the same nonchalant way you look in their direction or ask about their weekend. It includes the same belief in their ability to listen, learn, and follow rules.

For many teachers, though, this is far easier said than done.

It’s only natural to be cautious and distrustful around students who have repeatedly disrupted your classroom. It’s only natural to linger and eyeball and use proximity to try and stop their misbehavior before it starts.

The solution, however, is simple: From the very first moment of each school day onward, you’re going to pretend that your most difficult students are already well behaved.

You’re going to assume that they will, of their own accord, follow your rules and expectations just like everyone else. And by pretending, by shoving aside any and all negative thoughts you have about them and their previous misdeeds, they’ll respond in wonderful and miraculous ways.

That isn’t to say that they’ll never again misbehave, but they’ll no longer do it to spite you or get under your skin. They’ll no longer do it because they’re fulfilling a prophecy. They’ll no longer do it because it’s expected of them, because it has become part of their identity.

Although improvement can be immediate, in time, and as the rest of your class begins to take up your cue, those ugly labels and beliefs they have about themselves will gently slide off their shoulders.

Their burden will lift. They’ll look you in the eye, unashamed. And for the first time in their school career, they’ll relax into their skin.

They’ll become an integral part of the whole.

A key ingredient in the soufflé.

A certified, accepted, and valued member of your classroom.

Bubbles and Ducktails



I read an interesting article tonight on an education website geared towards teachers. The article spoke of the importance on teaching structure, consistency, and order in the classroom. It spoke of when children start school they must be taught what is expected of them and that expected behavior needed to be modeled. In order for a class to walk down the hall from one class to another it must be modeled for them of the teacher’s expectation of a straight line (3 S line) and “bubbles” in their mouth. (to be silent). So the saying of “Bubbles and Duck tails” teach children that when they walk down the hall they are still,  quiet and orderly.

The reason for the article below is because I was trying to find the study that coincided with what I remembered being taught long ago, that a child is pretty consistent with his behavior and mannerism’s by about the fourth grade. The FBI did a study on children years ago and established that the fourth grade was the turning point for children. I am not saying by any means that any child cannot change bad behavior, but what I am saying is naturally the fourth grade mark is pretty consistent in what I have seen in elementary school education. I will continue to look for that article on that study, and if you find it please send it to me.

Anyways, I am sharing another good article on children from the FBI website.



Do You Think You Would Have This Much Strength?

I often write about people that are in my life who made a tremendous impact in my thoughts or the way that I view life. I have a friend who I met a few years ago when her little girl had cancer. Emily was about four years old and had just recently finished all her treatments, I am happy to say that she is in remission to this day. Monica, the mother a few years later had another little boy named Eric who is now six years old. When Eric was two years old they also found cancer, only he is still battling it and it is a stage four. To catch you up to date on this wonderful mom, she was married to their father but he sadly passed away last year at a very young age of a seizure. It is odd and bizarre, and very unexpected of Eric Sr.’s death, I believe he was in his early or mid thirties when he died.  Little Eric is still in the children’s hospital and the last update that I received from Monica was that he was going to be transferred to another hospital, in hopes that he receives a transplant to save his life. After suffering the loss of my brother twelve years ago, I simply am in awe of Monica’s strength and perseverance. To be honest, what choice does she have, she is alone, and has a total of five children to care after, but one must wonder how and when she does it all. To make matters worse, Monica’s In-laws are in constant battle with her, and are not sadly, very supportive of her.

A few years ago I had Emily in one of my classes at school, and I remember that it was right after her chemo therapy that she would come to school, and the poor child would be completely wiped out! It was exhausting for her little body, and I remember one time carrying her to her school bus at the end of the day so she could go home. Her mom tired so hard for little Emily to continue on, doing what “other kids did, making her life as normal as possible.”

Now Monica battles it again, only this time alone! In a recent posting on Facebook, she wrote that she was explaining to Eric that they would be moving to another hospital in hopes that he would get better. Monica stated that little Eric responded with , “I am never going to get better. Why did Emily get better and not me?” This breaks my heart, what do you say to your child when they ask you that question?  She continued on in her post, that she had recently read to him, “Heaven is For Real”. This absolutely broke my heart, why she asks, “Am I reading this book to my six year old?” Eric’s response was that he would see daddy again.


I pray for Monica and her kids, I am a Christian, and I know that God certainly is in control and has a purpose in all of this. I am thankful that we have a God who understands questions like, “God, how much do you think one person can take?”. I know the grief, and I can only imagine her struggles. I ask you to pray for her and her family. I do not know what God has in store for this family. I am praying that little Eric is healed, and goes on to have a normal life. I am praying for strength for Monica, and healing for her family. Her other children are probably middle school age now. Please join me in prayer and holding this family close to your heart. I do not believe she is working, I do not know how she possibly could really, hold down a job in addition to all of this. She has an account on http://www.gofundme.com  (or something like that) Imagethat people donate to her, but other than that I simply do not know. So again, join me in prayer for her financial stability as well.


How Well Can You Explain Who God Is?


I received an email from my dad this morning and I was so taken by the post that he forwarded me, that I want to share with you all. Unfortunately, I do not know the source who published it, other than the name of the child who wrote it for his teacher, so author for this article is unknown. I never thought in a million years that I would become and love so passionately teaching Elementary School. Through the eyes and hearts of children, I have learned more about life and myself than any other time period. I wanted to share this email with you here.

It was written by an eight year old boy  named Danny Dutton, who lives in Chula  Vista , CA . He wrote it for his third grade homework assignment, to “Explain God.”


“One of God’s main jobs is making people. He makes them to replace the
ones that die, so there will be enough people to take care of things
on earth. He doesn’t make grownups, just babies. I think because they
are smaller and easier to make. That way he doesn’t have to take up
his valuable time teaching them to talk and walk. He can just leave
that to mothers and fathers.’

‘God’s second most important job is listening to prayers. An awful lot
of this goes on, since some people, like preachers and things, pray at
times beside bedtime. God doesn’t have time to listen to the radio or
TV because of this. Because he hears everything, there must be a
terrible lot of noise in his ears, unless he has thought of a way to turn it

‘God sees everything and hears everything and is everywhere which
keeps Him pretty busy. So you shouldn’t go wasting his time by going
over your mom and dad’s head asking for something they said you couldn’t

‘Atheists are people who don’t believe in God. I don’t think there are
any in Chula Vista … At least there aren’t any who come to our church.’
‘Jesus is God’s Son. He used to do all the hard work, like walking on
water and performing miracles and trying to teach the people who
didn’t want to learn about God.. They finally got tired of him
preaching to them and they crucified him But he was good and kind,
like his father, and he told his father that they didn’t know what
they were doing and to forgive them and God said O.K.’
‘His dad (God) appreciated everything that he had done and all his
hard work on earth so he told him he didn’t have to go out on the road

He could stay in heaven. So he did. And now he helps his dad out by
listening to prayers and seeing things which are important for God to
take care of and which ones he can take care of himself without having
to bother God. Like a secretary, only more important.’
‘You can pray anytime you want and they are sure to help you because
they got it worked out so one of them is on duty all the time.’
‘You should always go to church on Sunday because it makes God happy,
and if there’s anybody you want to make happy, it’s God!
Don’t skip church to do something you think will be more fun like
going to the beach. This is wrong. And besides the sun doesn’t come
out at the beach until noon anyway.’

‘If you don’t believe in God, besides being an atheist, you will be
very lonely, because your parents can’t go everywhere with you, like
to camp, but God can. It is good to know He’s around you when you’re
scared, in the dark or when you can’t swim and you get thrown into
real deep water by big kids.’

‘But…..you shouldn’t just always think of what God can do for you. I
figure God put me here and he can take me back anytime he pleases.
And…that’s why I believe in God.”


Keeping Jesus in Public Schools


I remember when I was a little girl going to school, saying the Pledge of Allegiance, and opening up the school day with a Prayer. Times have changed so drastically since then, and not for the better. We have successfully kicked Jesus out of so many institutions, but the scariest is taking him out of the schools! If you want to be honest, school has changed so much since I was a kid, the Principal when we got in trouble had a wooden paddle, and you could expect if need be, that you would get a lick or two and your parents called. Not today, we have successfully taken discipline, and Jesus out of the Public schools, and we wonder why the kids are blowing up the schools and shooting one another. Long ago, the worst thing you had to worry about was getting beat up after school on the way home, a fight one on one.

As a Public School Teacher, we are no longer allowed to talk about Jesus in class. We must respect various religions, and gods that are worshipped other than GOD! Personally, I do not shy away from talking about Jesus with my kids. There have been numerous times that He was in our conversations. I remember one time I was sitting at the table cutting out patterns, and a little five-year old girl came up to me and asked me, “Do you believe in God?” I answered her, “Yes I do, do you?” she happily replied that she did too, and ran off.

Recently in class another student came up to me and said that she was sad because her Grandfather had passed away. Having experienced grief before, I told her that I was very sorry to hear about him not being her with her, but that He was with Jesus. She replied that she knew that, and that it made her feel better.

It may come back to me later, in some words or letter format, but I do not care. I am who I am, because of a living, loving God. He has carried me through so much, and It is with honor and happiness in my heart that I share about Him!

I look forward to my “God moments” in school, how about you?