Work vs. Not-work

Although this was a long time ago, I don’t think I’m exaggerating. I taught all day, planned most weekends, served on three committees, and ran four after-school programs. I split my time between two schools, created an art curriculum for pre-K through 8th grades, floundered with classroom management, and hunted for free or cheap art … More Work vs. Not-work


How do you create something sustainable within a framework of flux and crisis?  I began teaching in Chicago Public Schools in 2005.   Since then, CPS has been led by six different CEOs, each with different initiatives and policies. In that time, CPS has been divided into areas, then networks, then clusters, and finally areas once … More CPS ADHD

Southern Hospitality

When I applied for a Fulbright, I figured three or four months would be plenty of time to see New Zealand. I didn’t plan on being super-pregnant.  I knew pregnancy would put a damper on my adventure travel plans. (Even a laid-back country won’t let me bungee jump.)  But I didn’t realize just how short … More Southern Hospitality

Research vs. Whim

My project has led me to research educational policy.  This surprised me.  I’ve always considered myself a teacher’s teacher.  I believe in the power of an individual teacher and don’t often involve myself in policy.   Education policy is made outside of the schools and reflects the views and values of the culture, or at least … More Research vs. Whim


“Look! It’s got a duck!  This place has everything!”  This was Eliza touring the beach house we rented for the weekend in Herbertville, NZ.  After setting down the wooden duck statue and continuing through the rest of the house, her excitement only increased.   I know how she feels.  Being in a new country lets me … More Herbertville

We Are the World

There are now two times in my life I’ve sung “We Are the World” for an audience.  The first time, I was six years old and sang it with my swim coach, Greg Robinson at our annual banquet.  Despite being a loud, sometimes obnoxious child, I got nervous, choked, and Greg had to pick up … More We Are the World