No-buy Christmas rule #4: The candles and calendars of advent.

---Hope--- The present is not so grim that one can only hope that the days to follow are better than today. A warm home. Food on the table. Clothing. Safety. Education. Blessings touch every day in every corner of the world. But such needs are not yet met for everyone. The world holds men and … Continue reading No-buy Christmas rule #4: The candles and calendars of advent.

No-buy Christmas rule #2: Invite friends over to make something beautiful.

My bedroom closet is overflowing with art and craft supplies just waiting for a project. A no-buy Christmas sounds like just the project. To kick off the decorating, I let the kids invite their friends over to string cranberries (Thanksgiving leftovers) and popcorn (a staple snack around here) for our tree. The more kids, the … Continue reading No-buy Christmas rule #2: Invite friends over to make something beautiful.

No-buy Christmas rule #1: Break the no-buy rule and buy a tree.

It's a lame excuse, but it just wouldn't feel quite like Christmas without the tree. Our family's tradition is to go cut our tree down the weekend after Thanksgiving, and we did it again this year, despite our no-buy policy for the year. For the past several years, we've made our tree more responsible, and … Continue reading No-buy Christmas rule #1: Break the no-buy rule and buy a tree.

A no-buy Christmas.

I love Christmas. Every year, as we binge on leftover stuffing and pie, I start to get excited, complete with unstoppable grins and the I-can't-sleep jitters. The smells and the lights and the gatherings and the secrets---there's magic in the holidays. I was raised in an incredibly Catholic family. I attended 12 years of Catholic … Continue reading A no-buy Christmas.

Kids are people, too.

An intern appears in the doorway of what has become my makeshift office during these weeks of theatre camp. Looking frazzled, he holds up a hand, indicating that someone---presumably a student---should wait in the hall, before he crosses to the table I've claimed as my desk. "Susie is here to see you," he says in … Continue reading Kids are people, too.

It shouldn’t be Parents v. Teachers, but…

A facebook friend posted a link to an article penned by Ron Clark, a reputable and award-winning teacher. I started to leave a response in that tiny little comment box under her link, but my response grew and grew until it was a length that is completly unacceptable for a facebook comment: The article is … Continue reading It shouldn’t be Parents v. Teachers, but…

Teaching means meeting the needs of ALL your students

Today's New York Times includes an op-ed piece by Marie Myung-Ok Lee entitled "What I Learned in School." The article is primarily memoir, a self-prescribed journey through two years of Ms. Lee's high school career, a time when two influential English teachers recognized Ms. Lee's love of reading and writing and gave her the space … Continue reading Teaching means meeting the needs of ALL your students