Elbow, knees, dreams

a blog about preschool, public schools, and what it's really like to be a teacher

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my brain is overloaded

On the one hand, spending a morning with preschoolers can be lovely and simple. Read stories, play, follow routines, talk, play outside, learn about interesting things. On the other hand, spending a morning with preschoolers can be made frustrating and Read More...

thinking big

Our children are away at camp, so last night my husband and I had a Wednesday date for dinner and a movie (“Crazy, Stupid, Love” — highly recommended). At dinner, he said, “Do you have any goals for this coming school year?” And with that, I was off. Read More...

Mrs. Mimi has a new blog

It’s called Mrs. Mimi Teaches , and is going to be full of ideas to help teachers in their classrooms. I say “going to be” because as yet, it’s pretty spare on content. However, as Mrs. Mimi is a fellow lover of books, school supplies, and being organized, Read More...

but what I really want to do is act

Okay, no. Joking. What I really want to do is teach teachers. I don’t want to get a PhD, however. I’d totally suck at writing a dissertation (I could never get an A in college on any paper that was longer than 12 pages — I lost control of the form at Read More...

how much time do teachers actually teach?

Inefficiency in education drives me nuts. Long pointless meetings, or staff development that is inane and worthless — these things make my blood boil. We have so many more important things to be doing. Sometimes, however, we waste our students’ time and Read More...

What shall we learn?, continued

This is the first card I’ve got posted above my meeting area blackboard. Here’s what I do to help the children meet these goals: Copy/print own name: The children are expected to sign in every day. Some of them could write their names already, but others Read More...

Mapping the year

Miss Mellow and I met at a coffee shop on Saturday morning to plan out our year. We worked for an hour and a half and could have easily gone for another hour. We were in the “flow” and having a great time discussing curriculum, how to balance all our Read More...

ants! and other thoughts

*A child from the afternoon class accidentally left the ant farm he’d brought in to show his class at school. My class got to see the ants crawling around, and they were so excited. The science table was the most popular spot during centers time. *Our Read More...

teachers and time

So I’m reading this Atlantic Monthly article about “What Makes a Good Teacher,” and thinking about the finding that good teachers spend a lot of time preparing for their classes. And each morning lately I have had trouble getting through everything I Read More...

flying with one engine burned out

I mentioned that I have been sick. The last few weeks have been difficult; I’ve been overcome with a bone-deep fatigue and had difficulty coping with….well, everything. I was so tired I couldn’t even think straight about how weird this was and how maybe Read More...

glad I’m not a first year teacher

On Monday Miss Slinger called before work to say that she was not feeling well, and wouldn’t be in. I said that was fine, and was on my way to work before I remembered that my Monday help (a special ed teacher and a Spanish speaking aide) had both emailed Read More...

Lesson plans, again

Today in our leadership team meeting we discussed lesson plans again, and looked at the samples I copied — a lesson plan I wrote before we had the big discussion about what makes a good lesson plan, and one from after, with lots of detail, that references Read More...

tools of the mind

An article in this morning’s New York Times magazine has set my brain on fire. It’s about a curriculum called Tools of the Mind that seeks to teach preschoolers self-control and executive function. I remember reading this article from NPR on it earlier Read More...