Flip Flops and Bus Stops

What were you thinking, mom?  They’re so big.  Emma Grace said, and then added, “it will be, like, ten years before they fit.” Although a bit of an exaggeration, she was right. I had done my mom thing on a trip to REI and purchased a pair of flip flops solely because they were on clearance […]

Name that Tune

“Look, I learned to fry an egg.” It was track out and Emma Grace decided she didn’t want to do a camp– she just needed a week at home instead of being at school.  I agreed but let her know that since I had to work, she would have to entertain herself most of the […]

Getting It Wrong

Emma Grace:  “Mom, I’m gonna mess up.  There’s a lot to remember in middle school that I didn’t have to remember in elementary. I’m gonna get it wrong.” Me:  “That’s ok.  That’s what first days are for.” Emma Grace: “Are you kidding?  The first day of school is about getting it wrong?” Me:  “Uh, yeah […]

Teaching Hot Seat

I do what is called a “teaching hot seat” in my teacher preparation work.  Teachers who have pressing concerns, questions, worries, or brags about teaching come up to the “hot seat” and share those with their teaching community.  The community then has the opportunity to provide thoughts, recommendations, support. or simply a pat on the […]

If you do not go through the tough questions; the messy and worrisome parts of teaching–the heart work of teaching–now and continuously throughout your career, I believe you are missing out on the opportunity to grow… to teach, out loud.

–Dr. Deanna P. Dannels 

Eight Essential Questions Teachers Ask: A Guidebook for Communicating with Students (Oxford University Press)


The classroom is a space where magic can happen. Whether it is a coffee shop couch, a 4th grade home room, a boardroom, a play ground, a park bench or a university course; life’s classrooms–and the communication that happens within them– provide possibilities for teaching and learning that can be magical and innovative.  And these […]