Anyone who works in a school knows that — from the custodian to the school nurse to the principal to the teacher. Especially the teacher. My hall pass never rested on its hook by the whiteboard. It traveled to the nurse with Keshia to get her insulin shot right after lunch, to the counselor with... Continue Reading →
My first memory is one of hiding. Crouching low, trying to keep from being seen. When you grow up in the chaos wrought by addiction, hiding becomes a survival skill. All that disappearing caused a deep dislocation in my sense of self, as if I were watching myself on our scratched up Curtis Mathes television.... Continue Reading →
Shall we play a game? This is the question a computer asks the teenaged hacker in the 1983 movie “War Games,” as it begins to launch “Global Thermonuclear War.” The hero saves the day with a simple, elegant hack of forcing the computer to play Tic Tac Toe against itself, which shuts down the missile... Continue Reading →
My first week of teaching was disastrous: I cried every day driving home and grabbed the phone to call my editor to beg for my job back more than once. The only job opening at the time was for a 7th grade writing teacher, and I took it with the kind of hubris that only... Continue Reading →
I've added a Poem of the Week page with links to multimedia and lesson plans for the poetry. Also, I've updated the Resources page to include monthly topical links, links to children's book reviews, teacher pages, and other ideas.
Does it matter if a fact or two gets messed up? I mean, does anyone really care if their name is misspelled or their business gets called by another name. It’s not that big a deal, right? It was a big deal to get everything right - down to how we used numbers and spelled... Continue Reading →
The story of Hansel and Gretel has long been my guide, but only recently have I consciously been aware of it. It seemed to describe my life so well: adults who couldn’t be trusted, or adults who abandoned you, or adults who would, given the chance, eat you up whole. Teaching it to bored, jittery... Continue Reading →
Storytellers are a threat. They threaten all champions of control, they frighten usurpers of the right-to-freedom of the human spirit -- in state, in church or mosque, in a party, congress, in the university or whatever. That's why. - Chinua Achebe Stories have a unique power. They entertain even as they reveal truth. Joan Didion... Continue Reading →