My Name was Supposed to be Elizabeth Ann

— Stories from the Roads (Not) Taken

No teacher training ever covered teaching during a pandemic.  Since Covid closed schools mid-March 2020, we’ve had to adapt on the fly. Overnight. Constantly. Repeatedly. My district’s students and staff endured nearly a dozen “first” days of school as our schedules continuously changed, gradually increasing remote instruction time, gradually welcoming more student cohorts into the …

Continue reading

(second in a series on teaching media literacy in high schools) So I’m glad you’re here today. Have a seat. Cameras on, if you don’t mind. Thanks.   You may be wondering why I invited you here.  Good question. I’ll get to that.  But first I want to tell you a story: My daughter is an …

Continue reading

(First in a series on teaching media literacy…) I’ve been told I’m weird. I love teaching writing. (Grading writing, not so much. But that’s a topic for another post.) I particularly love teaching research writing. Forget all the formatting and college prep stuff–though that’s part of it, yes, and important–what I love about it is …

Continue reading

…And my feet are killing me. First thing I did when I got home was kick them off. Second thing, exchange my big girl clothes for sweatpants, a fat, fluffy sweatshirt and socks. Fuzzy socks. See, I’ve been teaching remotely since before Thanksgiving, meaning at home in my family room, thirteen steps and two hallways …

Continue reading

Sometime mid-spring 2020, administration allowed faculty and staff to return to our building to retrieve personal belongings and teacher resources abandoned so abruptly when Covid forced school closures March 13. The four large totes I carried home contained the books and binders I needed to carry my classes through June, as well as two items …

Continue reading

So I love showing up early to my own classroom Google Meets because, well, I like to be prepared for things–the early bird and all that–but also because some of my kids show up early and I chat with them about non-class topics like, Is that a Squirtle poster? (Yes). And, What’s your parakeet’s name? …

Continue reading

September 8, I returned to my classroom for only the second time since Covid closed my district mid-March. The first time occurred early June, when my colleagues and I returned to help empty student lockers and reunite their contents with the kids who’d been abruptly forced to abandon them. Administration allowed us a few minutes …

Continue reading

I hate to dream.  I dream in color and minute detail. In patterns of setting, plot, and genre. Their characters are archetypes, not familiars. Their conflicts encoded metaphors for my waking life.  Vivid dreams, in other words.  Subconscious manifestations of external turmoil, they are a nightly phenomena with which I have been intimately acquainted even …

Continue reading