To Miss with Love

Educator. AmeriCorps '93. Boston native living in Atlanta.

November 19, 2013 3:17 am
Getting kids to read: The 5 key habits of lifelong readers - The Washington Post

Here are the five key habits of lifelong readers that teachers and parents should try to cultivate in young people (and you can read more from Donalyn Miller on her Book Whisperer blog at Education Week Teacher).

By Donalyn Miller

Wild Readers:

o Dedicate time to read. They spend substantial time reading in spite of their hectic lives. Wild readers capitalize on the moments in their days when they are bored or waiting, and rack up significant reading time by stealing it.

o Successfully self-select reading material. Wild readers are confident when selecting books to read and have the experience and skills to choose books successfully that meet their interests, needs, and reading abilities.

o Share books and reading with other readers. Wild readers enjoy talking about books almost as much as they like reading. Reading communities provide a peer group of other readers who challenge and support us. As literacy expert, Stephen Krashen reminds us, “Children read more when they see other people reading.”

o Have reading plans. Wild readers plan to read beyond their current book. They anticipate new books by favorite authors or the next installment in a beloved series. Reading is not a casual, once-in-awhile pursuit.

o Show preferences for genres, authors, and topics. Yes, children need to read widely and experience a wide range of texts as part of their literacy educations. But wild readers express strong preferences in the books they like to read—gravitating toward specific genres, writing styles, topics, and beloved authors.

November 16, 2013 6:57 am
Perspective and grace


I think the thing a lot of us I need to remember is that I’m doing the best I can, and that’s enough. I don’t have to be perfect at my job (and neither do you), I just need to try.

Even with the best intentions, I’ll never have it all together, and there will be times when I make mistakes and…

6:55 am
It's easy to be nice


You know, it’s so easy to be nice to a kid. It takes little or no effort, and is certainly easier than being mean, which, if you’re being pragmatic, is simply more tiring over the long run.

It’s easy to be nice. It’s not a sign of weakness. Being nice doesn’t mean you’re their buddy or lack…

6:52 am
No middle ground for teachers


Another week, another school shooting.

Another unsurprising surprise that still manages to shock and outrage the politicians who scramble for soundbites, but who fail to change the laws to protect the people they claim to serve.

Another teacher who gives his life to protect the children in his care.

Another teacher declared a hero by the very media who last week would have vilified him along with all other in his profession as lazy, incompetent failures who can’t do, so they teach.

It’s impossible to be a teacher. We’re heroes or we’re villains. We’re angels or we’re demons. We’re too shiftless to get “real jobs.” We have weekends and summers off, isn’t that enough?

And we’re expected to take a bullet for the children in our care. Other than the military, what other career asks this of the people who choose to enter its ranks?

It gets tiring, being a media punching bag. We can’t ever seem to get it right.

And yet. We get up early every morning to head into school to grade and mark essays. Getting them turned around quickly means learning can happen efficiently.

And yet. We spend our own money to stock classroom cupboards with extra school supplies and food and pads and tampons for our students who have no where else to get such necessities.

And yet. We answer emails from parents and students over the holidays, over the weekends, over the summer, to make sure they’ve got the information they need for class.

And yet. We do our best to foster independent thought despite pressures to teach to the test.

And yet. We try to instill a love of learning despite being bombarded by mixed messages from administrators and bureaucrats, despite apathetic students, and absentee, yet oppositional, parents.

And yet. Here we are. Day after day. Year after year.

Teachers are human, not heroes. We’re flawed like everyone else. But most of us are here for the right reasons and are dedicated to making a difference.

We shouldn’t have to take a bullet to prove our worth.
6:45 am


I LOVE this part!

(Source: dbvictoria)

6:44 am

Heavenly Post-its


Sometimes I wish God would drop me a note on a Post-it like my mom used to do sometimes in my lunchbox.

6:41 am 6:40 am







November 8, 2013 8:45 pm





Today a bunch of employees from Simon & Schuster, the UK publisher of The Art of Getting Started, decided to submit to Assignment 003 of the project…

Take a selfie (without showing yourself).

Here’s a few of their entries, I’m posting them here to remind you that you can submit to any assignment at any time. It’s never too late.

See the rest of Simon & Schuster’s entires (and submit your own) at…

This is inspiration for a self portrait/still life unit for secondary art students. The students would follow the criteria above and take a photo of objects they believe represent them. They would then use this image as reference for a drawing or painting and treat it like a still life. This unit is a great way to explore identity with secondary students through the familiar practice of taking a “selfie”. Other kinds of self portraits in contemporary and art history could be examined including “selfie” culture. 

Again, future reference

I absolutely love this idea.

August 1, 2013 7:34 pm

Teacher Induction Program

One thing I know for sure is that if I had any doubts or reservations about this upcoming year, this three-day training session has equipped me with the tools I need to be successful.

I am fortunate because this county is able to make TIP a high priority and has clearly made the investment in its new teachers. Not only first-year inductees, but veterans who have transferred from other systems, were in attendance so I had the chance to meet and connect with others who could either identify with me or who could impart great advice during our sessions.

Meeting the head of the county’s ELA department was important because as I facilitate my grade-level meetings in my school, I am able to share the vision of for the county as it applies to the state-mandated standards.

I participated in Ice-Breakers (which I love) that I will definitely be using in my first week of classes. The head of the Professional Standards Commission had a great “What Not to Do” presentation and I was amazed at the examples of ethics violations that had been investigated. Professionalism, of course. Differentiation in the Classroom, which is going to be the cornerstone for me after the standards-driven guidelines. A workshop on Working with Individuals with Special Needs was insightful and after my work over the past year, I had answered most of the questions she asked correctly. How to Use the Model Classroom was a fabulous way to think about the layout in your learning space and get the most out of your instructional time. I mean, the list goes on.

And a point that a veteran from another school system made was the fact that each essential member of the Board of Education was there to facilitate, in other words, no representatives were sent in their place. “I’m just not used to this” she kept repeating.

So when I returned to my school, I was so passionate to get started with my now clear objectives and supportive leadership behind me.

This is further evidence that I am in the right place at the right time.