“‘…I asked you to draw the drapes,’ said Mrs. Rogers.

‘I did! I did! See,’ said Ameila Bedelia. She held up her picture” (page 48).*

First published in 1963, many of us have had the pleasure of reading at least one book in Peggy Parish’s Amelia Bedelia series. We giggled at the constant mix-ups and waited to see the look on Mrs. Rogers’ face when she discovered them. (My personal favorite was the dressing of the chicken. You have to hand it to Amelia; those overalls looked posh).

This post is dedicated to all of the educators who continue to be there for their families — at home and at school.

Thank you, from the bottom of my heart.

The Window

It’s 6:40am when the alarm goes off. Reaching for the phone, I check my morning emails and get my bearings by looking at the calendar. Within a few minutes the text comes in, “Shower,” and I know that means my sister is awake and will be ready for our morning walk soon (300 miles apart). There’s only a small window of time when this walk is possible. …

Image from Adobe

There it was, shouting up at me from the column labeled, “Student Engagement”. DEVELOPING.

Of course, my immediate reaction was to defend myself, frantically scanning the rest of the rubric, grasping for any 3s or 4s I could get my hands on. But no matter what I found, the 2 shouted louder. Had it been in a different area, like “Classroom Management”, I don’t think it would have rattled me as much, but Student Engagement?!

How could I, a teacher who spent hours each night planning my lessons, receive a “2” in ‘Student Engagement’?

Little did I know, this tiny…

Image from Canva

It’s June and everyone around you is wrapping up the year. Each day, students leave with armfuls of old projects and crinkled notebooks. Teachers are reorganizing the shelves and packing up books to prepare for a thorough room cleaning. It’s an exciting time for all…except maybe you.

As a school leader, you are thinking ahead to the start of next year. In fact, you’ve been doing so for months, making sure everything is lined up — from Chromebook repairs, to purchase orders, to faculty. It’s that last piece that has you feeling on edge. …

The Pasta Principle

I was on the phone with my Mom the other day and she was in the middle of a “trial run”, making homemade pasta. While we had experimented with this particular recipe a few years back, she was getting ready to share the process with a friend the next day and “…didn’t want to go in cold.” My phone buzzed an hour later with a picture of the drying linguine, hanging from the rack.

East Williamsburg Academy Scholars

These 9th grade students weren’t making pasta, or cooking anything for that matter, but their experience was similar. At the start of the year, Ms. Candidato…

Adobe Stock image

The test goes out and the hands go up. It’s almost immediate, as if the two are somehow connected by string. The teacher quietly tiptoes over to the student’s desk and crouches, so as not to disturb the others. “What’s up?”

I don’t get it.

This test wasn’t a surprise and it isn’t full of new information either. Some of the questions are directly pulled from the previous lessons, while others require students to apply what they have learned to similar situations. …

Image from Canva

“You talk too much.”

There are moments as a teacher that will always stick out in your memory — the time that 4th grader, “James” impersonated Michael Jackson at the Halloween party and the girls giggled wildly; the time that “Nick’s” mother shared with you during conferences that it was the first year he actually enjoyed school; the time when your principal told you talked too much…

“You’re working too hard,” he shared with me. I stared back, unsure of how to respond — Working too hard? Isn’t that a good thing?

It wasn’t until many months later (maybe the better part of the…

Robyn slipped her textbook between the pillow and the mattress, one hand resting on its hard cover. It wasn’t exactly comfortable and she didn’t really believe what Sarah had told her, but she wasn’t going to take the chance. She needed that B+ and if it had to happen through osmosis, then so be it.

Robyn isn’t real and neither is her story, but it represents something that’s happening in our classrooms every day.

The “textbook under the pillow” trick was a silly superstition that kids used to practice the night before a big test. I like to think of…

Did you hear about the first artificial intelligence (AI) news anchor in China? It can mimic facial expressions, has a voice with intonation of a human anchor, and can broadcast the news all day long. It doesn’t collect an income or take breaks. In fact, it will probably generate income for the company. As an educator, what struck me when I heard this news was one less career opportunity for our students. Automation like this is increasing, along with the demands in the job market, so how are we preparing our students for this inevitable change? Well, let me share…

I spent the last three years teaching in Fairfax County, Virginia, where we participated in an initiative to promote authentic learning through a project based model of instruction. The goal was for students to solve a big problem by making connections between five different projects. They would collect artifacts throughout the projects and compile them into one collection to be shared with the community at the end of the year. Our 5th grade team was one of the first groups of elementary students in the county to pilot the Project Based Learning initiative.

In order to kick things off, we…


I am an Instructional Technology Coach and Client Succcess Manager at Educate LLC. I believe in the power of communities to fight for equity and access for all.

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