Tag Archives: school

Teachers Can and Do

I always hated, and never believed,  that old chestnut that teachers are people who cannot actually do what they teach–nonsense! Teachers are those who share with us the technology (so to speak) of the art or craft  they have fallen in love with. They want to share with us what they love, share the how-to and the mystery of it.

They become educators when they draw out of us our desires to pursue a field to the limit of our ability, usually thanks to their support, inspiration, and ministrations of technique and method.

As a working journalist, story performer and more I want to share with others what I have learned and to inspire others to follow their dreams in whatever field they desire–esp in

writing and story performance. Yep, I talk and write for audiences. It’s that simple!

This month I have had the opportunity to be a teacher and to share my love of these two modes of communication on Donna Washington’s Blog, in Ruby for Women Magazine (writing only in that one. March starts a three-part series for those who want to get started in writing) and here, on this blog by reminding you that I have two new publications out this month–My children’s book, Rosa’s Shell and my book of poems, Languid Lusciousness with Lemon.

PS Today the literative.com site has one of my writings up as the prose winner of their winter contest!


Do check it out!

I’m happy to come and and talk to your school or group about writing (for adults, for children, poetry) story performance (or to give a story performance!)

Please do contact me and let me know if you would like me to come! Those who do, if they are fortunate enough also share what they know by teaching!


School Days

Last night, while going through some old papers I found the brochure (still in the postmarked envelope) my mother requested from Ursuline Academy in Pittsburgh (305 S. Winebiddle Ave, now the WALDORF SCHOOL). The front says, This is the school for your daughter–and indeed it was my shelter from the world, my incubator for talent and ethics for eight wonderful years.

I also found the correspondence between her and the head administrator (my mom kept carbon copies of her typed letters) concerning my first tuition payments and the cab arrangements that would be needed to transport me to and from the school, a long distance from our home, esp since my mom worked, and not that uncommon in those days in the city.

They sent me to a private school hoping I would be taught religion (but I would have had that at the parochial school one block away also) and I am not sure why else. My love for Ursuline began on the first day and continues. I did not go to the high school . By 1961 the high school was so small, my parents and I agreed it was limited academically. The foundation tho had been laid for future confidence and success by the wonderful sisters I had. When you are considering back to school or first school or new school–think and pray about what you want for your child, what the school may or may not provide and how you will balance what the school provides with what you teach and offer at home.

I’ve spoken with many whose elementary school experiences scarred them instead of encouraged them. Where parental involvement was high, the scars are less visible. In my case, a loving tho not involved home, allowed the lessons of the school to sink in and  reinforced them.

First Day of School

If your child goes to a public or private school then he or she is about to face the first day in a new classroom.

New teacher. New friends. Does he or she view it with joyous anticipation or dread? Some of that depends on the personality of the child. We had one of each. We had to find the balance of encouraging the child who dreded the new experience without placing false expectations or diluting the joy of the other child, and what was even harder, never saying “Why can’t you see it as your brother does?”

Your child will have good and bad experiences in school and in life. Be there for him or her with love and support. I remember being upset because I was always chosen last for sports teams–even by my friends.

My mother explained, simply, honestly with no sugar coating for my ego, that I was terrible at sports. Even at age 8 or so I knew she was right. “You have other talents, ” she added. “And besides, all those athletes need someone to cheer them.”

I do have other talents. I’m not sure she knew what they were at the time besides the general idea of being “Smart” which meant good at academics. But she and my Dad supported the idea that I was a worthy, loveable and successful person no matter how many balls I dropped or how often the other team scored against me.

Theater, writing, school newspaper, student government–all of these things were outlets for me as time went on. I learned to do the best I could always, (again my mom) aware that there would always be others more talented, and some less talented–but that my job was to do the best I could with the talent I possessed. My husband and I tried very hard to pass these lessons on to our children. Honesty. No sugar coating.

Work on projects they like at home to build confidence but don’t fabricate better results than they deserve.

Each child , each person truly is special. On the first day of school not all will be sure of it, but remind each one that he or she is loved, pray and be there to listen when the day is done.