Goodbyes and Thank Yous

Teaching-Gratitude (1)

Today is the last day of school for my 10-year old twins. This last day is different from the others. You see, we are moving. So this day is not only the last day of fifth grade for my boys, but also the last day with their friends — many of whom they’ve known since preschool. It’s the last day in a fairly small school district where we are on a first name basis with the administration, and where we know enough parents to feel like someone always has an eye on our kids. There’s lots of comfort here.

And it’s the last day with their teachers. (more…)

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Parents: Take Back Your Power

Parents Take Your Power Back3Driving around, I see lawns plastered with campaign signs. It’s that time of year again: Local elections are just around the corner. While I cherish our ability to vote and choose our leadership, I dread the mudslinging and adult bullying that accompanies it. And some of the most contentious elections in my Wisconsin city involve our local school board.

If you live in my state, you are likely aware that our public school system has taken the political center stage — maybe that’s the case in your state too. Buzz words like Common Core, teacher accountability, standardized testing and performance criteria stir emotions, soothe souls and make blood boil.

And they distract us.  (more…)