It's A New Year: Here They Come!

The students are coming into the building tomorrow. This has been a year of many changes. We have two new administrators (a principal and assistant principal), about thirty teachers new to the building, over half of them in their first year, and new standards that have created a huge curriculum shift in English. I don't feel ready, but I don't think I ever feel ready. You're never really ready for the kids until they're in your room, staring you down.  ...more
"I didn't get into education to help the kids who can help themselves." Amen to that!more

Defending Teachers

Today, as I checked my Facebook wall, I came across not one, but two articles vilifying teachers. One was an article on how Tim Pawlenty claimed that schools indoctrinate our children. The second was a video of a teacher emphatically telling people what his job is, which was posted by a homeschooler friend of mine, and her comments were decidely negative towards this man's opinions. And it stuck in my craw. Because my husband is a teacher. A damn good teacher. A patient teacher. A supply buying, breakfast supplying teacher....more

Teacher departure creates a void

I picked up a recent agenda for a school board meeting and searched the list of resignations. There, I see it. My children’s music teacher is leaving. I’m pretty sure this teacher was in her first year at the school, and my kids loved her. She was creative, fun and inventive.If I’m right – and I’m pretty sure I am – she was the second one-year-only music teacher in a row. My son liked the one before her, too. Our school doesn’t have much turnover, so even one departure stands out....more

School Librarians Get the Third Degree

The Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) is having serious budget problems. There is a section on the district web site that shows a chart of how they spend the money. One of the LAUSD solutions is the closing of elementary and middle school libraries. ...more

You have people that really do not understand why we need real people to communicate with ...more

I could wake up Monday morning if...

up Monday morning if ... ...I saw George Michael laying right beside me, singing in his sleep: Wake Me Up Before You Go..."    ...more

Whoever would have thought?

Sometime life takes unexpected twists and turns. Sometimes what you think will be an important event or situation turns into nothing. And then, sometimes, the opposite happens. A minor event, one that you don’t give a second thought to, somehow, takes on a different meaning, and makes an lasting impact on you, or someone else’s life. This is one of those stories.Several months back I was contacted by Megan at Build a Sign to host a bumper sticker give away on my blog....more

There Is No Solace Anywhere, For Anyone Who Dreads To Go Home. . . .

  The title of this post is a quote from an autobiographical novel. Which one, and who said it? (Bonus points if you know!) This post is from an article for teachers and librarians that I wrote many, many years ago. I found it in a box of old papers I was cleaning out, as we are moving in a few weeks and I am throwing out anything and everything I haven't used in the last five minutes.  I’d forgotten about it, and this bothers me, because we should never forget about such things....more

Show and Tell

To read more form BUTTERFLY go to To teach our children the ABC’s, we sing the alphabet song (again and again and again), we read alphabet books, do alphabet puzzles and play alphabet games. We help our children choose what to bring into school for show and tell each week to represent the letters of the alphabet. How awful one of us here at BUTTERFLY felt when she forgot about show and tell. The letter that week was T. Her son showed his tongue. Imagine if the letter of the week had been P. ...more

Excerpt from Chapter Six

As you know if you’ve been following my blog –I haven’t been blogging lately since I took up my new book project. Consequently, this week I decided to share a chapter from my published book, Darkness Overturned. From Chapter Six:...more

What's your class?

One of my favorite movies is Sophia Coppolla's Marie Antoinette. It's so beautifully made, with all the decadent clothing and desserts, I watch it several times every October because it always reminds me of my birthday. It also provides a simple reminder of what happens when the rich have it all (and why teenagers shouldn't have power), and the poor have nothing. What is welfare other than scraps thrown to keep the poor subdued? I don't like putting it in those terms, but it's the hard truth. Many people think others are poor because they didn't work hard, but really?...more