Stand still. The trees ahead and bushes beside you
Are not lost. Wherever you are is called Here,
And you must treat it as a powerful stranger,
Must ask permission to know it and be known.
The forest breathes. Listen. It answers,
I have made this place around you,
If you leave it you may come back again, saying Here.
No two trees are the same to Raven.
No two branches are the same to Wren.
If what a tree or a bush does is lost on you,
You are surely lost. Stand still. The forest knows
Where you are. You must let it find you.
I was one of those struggling readers. I didn’t become a reader until fifth grade. That puts me in league with two twenty-five-year-old single mothers whom Julie Pangrac of Project READ introduced me to. They told me their story Continue reading →
Look who isn’t.
For months before his first trip
All eyes and ears, Dana gathered data, Taking statistics
Like a data vacuum cleaner.
Six weeks ago he tested his new apparatus for the first time.
Now, all systems GO, he’s on his journey.
Let the games begin.
Imagination is more important than knowledge –Albert Einstein
Art teacher Merry Lanker moved around the room reacting, commenting, helping fourth graders with their drawings, and drawing out the creativity in her students. On the smartboard in the front of the room was a photo of the Edvard Munch’s painting “The Scream” (1893). Continue reading →
At dinner one evening in the fall of her high school sophomore year my daughter Lizzie said, “The new science teacher is not a good teacher. He just isn’t teaching right. I can’t understand what he is trying to do.” Continue reading →
Chloe went to the large urban grade school, and her parents were very engaged in her “education.” In fourth grade when Chloe’s homework was too easy, her parents sent notes to the teacher. When she came home from school to report that the work was stupid, the parents set up a parent-teacher conference. Finally, in fifth grade they sent her to a school for gifted and talented kids that focused exclusively on making sure that each student was challenged academically.
Chloe’s social skills (never her strong point) became weaker and weaker, Continue reading →
Marty Dutcher, a colleague whose first career was early childhood education, told me about a guy named Tom he used to hang out with in his twenties. Tom especially liked to listen to Marty play the guitar.
On one day when Marty asked him to sing along, he said “I can’t. I’m tone deaf.”
“Who told you that,” asked Marty,
“My first grade teacher,” his friend replied.
“She was wrong. She shouldn’t have said that,” said Marty.
“No, really, I am.”
“No, really you are not. If you were tone deaf, you wouldn’t enjoy my music,” said Marty, who then proved to him that he wasn’t. Continue reading →
Thirty-four years ago Brian and several of his first grade classmates were “put on the bleachers” after gym class for what Ms. Tough, the P.E. teacher, felt was some ‘inappropriate’ behavior. Then, it seems, she forgot they were there. Recess came and went, and still they sat and waited as they were told. But after 20 minutes or so, Brian decided this had gone on long enough, went to the bathroom, and slipped out the back door of the gym unnoticed. Continue reading →