Tag Archives: development

Reflections From A Former Elementary School Teacher

28 Aug

It’s three weeks into this school year, and I’m settling into this new role as an elementary school parent. I have to say, being on this side of the classroom door has been a tremendous eye-opener. This time of year typically elicits nostalgic feelings for my days in the classroom, but now that I’m in the school environment on a daily basis, I am constantly reflecting on my time as a teacher.

image credit: MS Office Clip Art

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He’s not my boyfriend, he’s my buddy.

12 Jun

There was a struggle at bedtime at my house the other night, but it didn’t involve the usual “one more story,” stalling or “can I have a glass of water?” Nope. The struggle went a little like this:

“Mommy, Lucy’s boyfriend Noah is going to Kindergarten with me. He doesn’t even know me, but I know who he is because she showed me a picture of him.”

“You know, there are no boyfriends in Kindergarten, right? Everyone gets to be buddies.” Continue reading

Lawn Chairs, Dirt Bikes, Good and Bad Ideas: Friends as Influences

20 Mar

Headed out of our neighborhood last weekend with both kids, my husband rounded a corner and came to an abrupt stop. Four boys around the age of 11 sat in lawn chairs placed strategically across the road. They remained there with their heads down, giggling, but you could tell a couple of them were nervous. Eventually one boy stood and moved his chair to let us through, but only after I rolled down the window and insisted that he do so. Continue reading

“Be Impeccable With Your Words”

26 Jan

No Name-Calling Week: January 23-27, 2012

It’s No Name-Calling Week, a week dedicated to bringing national attention to the problem of name-calling in our schools. Inspired by James Howe’s young adult novel, The Misfits, GLSEN (the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network) and Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing created the No Name-Calling Week Coalition in hopes of starting an on-going dialogue about ways to eliminate bullying.

Since hearing about this initiative at the beginning of the month, name-calling has been on my mind. That was just code for; No Name-Calling Week has triggered my obsessive thoughts. Continue reading

10 Reasons Girls & Boys Should Play Together

18 Jan

The following statement is neither profound nor surprising, but here it is anyway: Boys and girls don’t spend a whole lot of time with each other.

There’s no doubt that same-gender peer groups are great, but here are ten reasons why boys and girls would also benefit from playing TOGETHER. Continue reading

Lego Friends Misses the Mark on Friendships

12 Jan

I hold my memories of working at Gray Elementary School very close to my heart. It was (and still is) a fabulous Chicago Public School, with passionate and innovative teachers and supportive and forward-thinking administrators. While the learning happening inside the school was quite progressive, the school structure itself dated back to 1911. Remodeling and updating took place over the years, but certain elements of the original facade were preserved – namely, the separate boys’ and girls’ entrances.

Set on opposite ends of the building with words etched in stone above, these doors had long since brought boys and girls into school separately. And the sight of this historical signage never elicited any type of negative feelings from me. In fact, I appreciated the history it represented. If anything, it was a reminder of how far we’ve come (in education and as a culture), and an incentive for continuing to push for change and improvement. Separate entrances for boys and girls – a thing of the past, ancient history, olden times, distant memories….  It’s 2012 now for goodness sakes. It’s a time of inclusion, progressive thinking, and ingenuity.

So could someone please explain to me why an industry that has the resources to be all of this and more has created the likes of Legos Friends? Continue reading

Kindergarten Round-Up

8 Dec

I’ve come to realize that I don’t do well with infinite choices. I can’t stand restaurants with huge, long menus. Picking paint colors for the house has always given me anxiety. And I would never be able to handle satellite TV – way too many channels!! I don’t think I’m bad at making decisions; I just like things to be narrowed down for me.

Knowing this about myself, I realize that I may be in some trouble here with my oldest daughter heading to kindergarten next year. All of a sudden I’m responsible for choosing a school from a very large inventory – a situation I was not entirely prepared for. Continue reading

The Kind of Help We All Can Do Without

3 Nov

We have reached a turning point at my house. I am beginning to realize that my kids’ attempts at asserting their independence are producing some positive results. Well….at least some of the time, but hey – I’ll take it! 

Why didn’t anyone tell me what a life-changer it would be when my child could get into her own car seat and buckle herself in?! Underrated Milestone!!! Continue reading

Norms and Expectation (Solutions 7 & 8)

26 Oct

Whether it’s in school, the workplace, within the community as a whole or at home in a marriage, the world is coed, and boys and girls would benefit from strengthening their skills to work and communicate together. But because boys and girls socialize each other in such different ways, we face a challenge in enhancing these skills. We must figure out ways to bring them together and confront the norms they have come to accept. Which brings me to today’s solutions (yep – it’s a combo again. It may be a cop out, but it really was difficult to separate the two)….Solution 7: Normalize the Boy-Girl Friendship and Solution 8: Communicate Expectations. 

What do our kids think about friendships between boys and girls? Do they view these relationships in the same way they do those between their same-sex friends? Continue reading

Classroom Environment (Solutions 5 and 6)

24 Oct

We’ve hit the halfway mark on the top-ten list! When I started thinking about writing-up this next solution, it made some sense to me to combine it with another. Both have to do with the classroom and the classroom environment. I know many of you aren’t teachers, but as parents involved in your child’s school, I think much of the following may be of interest. So today’s post is a two for one…..Solution 5: Adjust Physical Environment & Solution 6: Creating a Sense of Community. Continue reading

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