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A List That Actually Matters

I sort of wanted to give this post a cutesy title, like "My Edu-Valentines," but I'm incredibly serious about this. Yesterday, two of my favorite people on the planet, people I like and admire, were included in an exceedingly disappointing list of inspirational educators. (excuse me, "educationists.") They were both livid.

As they should have been.

The list was lily white and lacking women. Most of the people were not actually teachers - which you know, makes them a lot less inspirational to those of us who spend our days surrounded with the bright future of the world. AND THEN, after being called out for the poor quality of the list, the author - who is not a teacher, but a "blogger and digital marketing biz" person and moderator of #GuruChats - about branding (of which I have many thoughts) - asked for suggestions to improve it.

Okay, the first one is do your homework, don't run an algorithm.

But then I took a couple of moments to scribble some …
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I Am a Tyrant

I read an article this morning that made me swear aloud in the lobby of a conference.
It wasn't my finest moment, but I was angry.
I still am.
The article, bestowed with the inflammatory title "The Tyranny of Being On Task" seeks to remind us that science says brain breaks are good and that it's okay if your kids don't look engaged because they might be processing differently. I have thoughts about that - that are generally positive - but we need to talk about this title. I understand that it did just what it was supposed to: make me click. But I had my mind made up about this article before the page loaded. (Never mind my aversion to the particular hashtags in the retweet.) The "tyranny" of being "on task." Really?
It's cruel and unreasonable, nay, oppressive to teach our students to expand their attention spans? I truly believe that it is part of my job to teach students how to do things that they are not doing outside of my classroom, …

Word of the Year

I've been doing this word of the year thing for practically ever - like, *adjusts glasses and ironic t-shirt* since before it was the Thing to do. So I was thinking of a word for 2018, and the one that my brain and gut hit me with was "fortitude."

Whoa, whoa, whoa. What am I trying to tell myself about 2018? Courage in pain or adversity? Effing GRIT?

No, thanks. I had enough of that in 2017, thank you very much.

And come to think of it, the last few words have been so similar: Intrepid. Sovereign. Catalyst. It's like I'm trying to hold up my badass-osity like a shield. Protect me from the world, plucky personality! Keep away! I'm a Strong Female Character! I climb mountains and publish books and I don't need you.


Those are all true statements. I am those things. But maybe this year, the word to focus on should be softer. Should melt. Be snuggly. I wear this carapace and feel my squishy feelings inside. I don't hide from them, but maybe I hide the…

The Silence in My Mind is Deafening

Write until something comes out starts making sense just put the  words on the page
I'm enraged because I can't they won't come so reluctant like I used them for my gain pinned them down made them tame
Seeking fame, but I'm not -  the mere thought makes me shake shiver people proud and reading? I'd maybe rather die bleeding blood not ink
Never once did I think the words wouldn't come
Writer's block.
Want the book that stole all my words (for now)? Buy it at 

That time it was right to be wrong

Last night I had a discussion on Twitter which - as is often the case - led to some reflection.

Travel with me in my Way-Back Machine - we're going to college.

Specifically to my Philosophies of Music Education class (Which, spoiler, was the only music class I ever received a C in. More on that later.) - I'm sure, if you're a teacher you had a Philosophy of Ed class - I had to take that one too - so you know that the purpose of a class like this is to study different schools of thought on pedagogy and student learning to help you develop your own ideas of what teachers do.

As I'm sure you can imagine, I was a very opinionated student in this class. My instructor didn't much care for me and my ideas, and honestly, that feeling was mutual. He was of the thought that music instruction was a privilege and that the most talented students deserved the most attention. Now, before you clutch your pearls about this, I want you to know that among performance majors, this is …

Love in a Modern Classroom*

Earlier this year, I had a student "teachersplained" to me.

I'd spoken with the girl about inappropriate behavior, just like I would any other student, only the next morning, her classroom teacher came to me to tell me about the student's homelife and family, about how important it was for her to stay in school, and basically (though, I truly believe it was out of care for the student and because I was new to the school) to giver her a bit more leeway than I would others.

This conversation has bothered me ever since.

It bothered me in a professional way - "Don't tell me how to run my classroom."
It bothered me in a parental way - "I'd want my kid treated the same as everyone else."
It bothered me in a personal way - "Who are we to speak of families like this?"

Where I live, I don't encounter racism daily. I know it exists intellectually. I see it happening to people I interact with online and in the media, but around here, th…

I can't say #MeToo

The #MeToo hashtag hurts.

So many women around me have been harassed. So many women I respect and admire have been attacked. So many women I don't even know have shared harrowing stories, both of one-time events and daily occurrences. My heart hurts for these women and for our culture as a whole. My heart hurts for my son, who is little and learning confusing things - from us, about respect, and from others about degradation. My heart hurts for the good men I know who have either made mistakes, or not stopped their friends, or who were honestly oblivious to the scope of harassment going on around them.

As wrong as it is, it hurts me in another way too. And maybe you won't understand. You might judge. But I want to you to listen.

I can't say #MeToo.

I've never been a victim of someone's malicious sexual advances. No one has ever made me feel unsafe in this way. I've gone back over my formative years with curiosity - am I repressing something? Did I consider it n…