1 Week as English Teachers in Germany

Our experience teaching English in Germany was quite an adventure. We signed up through Diverbo, a volunteer program that has immersion schools in Germany and Spain.At first, we both were pretty nervous about participating in this program for a few reasons. We aren’t teachers, and picturing a room full of students staring blankly at us, plus the idea being stuck in a German forest for a week with strangers who spoke little to no English, was pretty intimidating....more
Love the castle!more

The Kindergarten Defense

A few days ago something happened that made me laugh and gasp all in the same breath. A kindergarten-teacher in Ankeny, Iowa got arrested at school for being drunk. According to the reports, a parent helping with the Valentine’s Day hoopla saw her with a can of beer. She was removed from the classroom and given a breathalyzer by police. Upon searching her classroom a bag with 2 empty beer cans and 4 full cans were found....more

An introvert in the classroom

 Stock photo used with permission.Last night when I rolled in near 9:30, it ...more

Great Quotes About Raising a Child to Inspire You

I recently gave birth to my second child, and it has caused me to think seriously about the ways in which I want to raise my children and the type of childhood that I want them to have. I've reflected on the philosophies that guide my thinking about children, and I've chosen five quotes that I love which best define my own personal philosophy about teaching and raising children. ...more
These are wonderful quotes! I'll begin homeschooling my daughter this fall so these quotes are ...more

Home from another semester in Africa

We are back from another semester teaching in a Tanzanian seminary in East Africa. No way to do blog posts from there. I taught Bible and American History, Life and Culture. Wonderful, eager students. I preached in villages and went to a village parish most Sundays. I loved it. The color, the drumming and dancing in worship, the people.  I encouraged twelve step recovery for a family member of an alcoholic. It is good to be one of a very few white people in an African culture. Changes the dynamic of race. Eternal summer. Africa rules!...more

Cranky Broads

Upon learning of my career as a teacher of writing, a former college professor wryly noted, "Composition is the armpit of the university." As had also been the case when he commended Wallace Stegner as the United States' greatest author, the former professor's judgment was keen....more

On Being a Stranger

Having settled into The Toolshed in Paris, I started teaching and taking classes at the local Lycée. Every Friday I would take the thirty minute uphill ride on what quickly came to be known as the Death Bike: a heavy cream coloured Dutch bike inherited from a parent of my employer. “She used to ride it on the cobbles of Amsterdam” “She took it on holiday to Bruges” “It walked her down the aisle at her wedding” , etc. It was possessed of neither gears nor working brakes and its back wheel shook like a dog on bonfire night....more

Breaking up with teenagers sucks

Today, I broke up with my students.A few weeks ago, my supervisor asked me to take over a college-level writing course when another teacher leaves to teach abroad in the new year.  The catch is that I'll be trading two of my periods for the two periods of this class.I had to wait for different approvals to go through, and for different red tape to be crossed, but, at the end of last week, the change became officially approved.I knew it was coming, but that didn't stop me from crying in my car the entire commute home....more

Clicking

I walked down the empty corridor, the modest heels of my pumps clicking satisfyingly on the tiles. After a three-hour night class, I couldn’t wait to get home for dinner and an icy drink, so the clicks echoed quickly, pertly....more