Category Archives: education

Broken (?)

How many times can we be broken before we are beyond repair?

How many breaks can we withstand before the lost pieces can no longer be replaced or filled?

That missing piece (that missing peace), where has it gone?

Are we stronger after the repair?

How delicate are we now having been broken and repaired?

Where will the next break occur?

When will it happen again?

Are we ever truly restored?

Who are we now? Who were we before?

Were we ever whole? How do we fill the hole?

Where do we go from here?

What are we talking about?

(Insert your hurt here)

Praying for your healing



What’d U Say ‘Bout My Momma?

The words and phrases we use in our daily lives mean so much more than we are implying.  I mean to say that there’s a hidden connotation in so many American expressions.  We can’t be sure what’s really being said or even why that expression was the best way to get the point across.  

Blessings in disguise

When placed in a uncomfortable situation and I need to explain the unexplainable, I submit that it must an act of God.  Even non-believers accept this as a generic result for unpleasantness.  Loss of an opportunity, a personal relationship, or a wicked case of bitterness from a family member (just to name a few) all lend themselves to disguised blessings.  

Can’t win them all

Nor should we.  After all, losses build character.  No one wants to lose, but most of us agree that winners who aren’t humble deserve no special consideration. How do we measure success?  We grow from unpleasantness and discomfort.  These things drive us to work harder and to overcome adversity.  To win them all means to never grow.  Few things just ARE.  Most things BECOME. 

Don’t burn bridges…

That moment we realize that we’ve had enough–when something that was said or done and cannot be overlooked any longer–is when we are warned not to burn bridges. We might want to come back.  Come back to what?!?  When that moment occurs, we know that there’s no looking back.  “Burn, Baby, burn!”  

I’m sorry

Here’s one that is used too frequently and often misused.  Does this mean that condolences are being offered or is it an apology?  It depends on the context, right?  But when a cheating husband says it, it means he wishes he hadn’t gotten caught.  “I’m sorry, I’m sorry” is merely a plea to stop the badgering–like when a kid breaks a dinner plate due to carelessness.  It’s a personal expression that has little to do with actual sorrow and more to do with one’s feelings about something.  In French, the expression is “Je suis desolé” which means “I feel.”   We don’t feel as often as we act.  And so I suggest: don’t be sorry; be CAREful. 

We speak too quickly and think too slowly. In the wrong company, that behavior can be dangerous. Children make this mistake often enough that elders coined the expression “children should be seen, not heard…”   This may explain why toddlers who are too quiet (and out of sight) cause panic.    

It’s our closeness that enables us to speak so freely.  Stop and think for a moment of the last conversation that you had with a friend or family member.  Aren’t we pretty liberal around our folks.  We say things we shouldn’t, express opinions that are judgemental, and don’t worry too much about the consequences. 

Have you ever had a stranger use a “familiar” expression while approaching you.  Which is more startling?  The expression or the approach?

Ever want to slow someone down?  Ever need them to step back and regroup?  Try this one:

“What’d you say about my momma?!?”

No one EVER takes that liberty.  That would be taking it too far.  Them’s fighting words!  But why?

Lest our losses be in vain

Every bad thing that happens…happens for a reason.  We are supposed to have an optimistic approach to everything(?) Can’t we be mad, angry, or sad?  To waste our energy on anything non-productive is just THAT–wasteful…and in vain–for nothing.   

Good bye

Few fair wells are good.  An abbreviated “so long” is just… “bye” but does that mean it’s not good?  We can’t be certain.  So consider these things when speaking.  

Until we meet again

Today My Superpowers Were Activated

This is Teacher Appeciation Week!

Today was the most important day of the week!  What would have started like any other day where I fantasize about getting to the copier before my colleagues and prepare another awesome lesson AND bask in that elusive “teachable moment” I instead caught myself parking too far away, hopping puddles, and swinging my brief case over tiny heads to elude my watching principal.  Yaaaas! Today was another one of THOSE days!

For me, Teacher Appreciation Day consists of getting through the day knowing that I enlightened someone else (atleast in theory).  Just like yesterday and the week before–sort of like Father’s Day, but without the unwanted ties–I do my best.   No recognition required.


However, today was the day that I was called upon to activate my super powers.  To understand what I mean, I should take you back to the first day of school.  I wore a cape.  Dressed like Zorro (without the sword), I broke the ice by inviting each of my new students to choose a super power.  If they could posses any talent, what would it be? 

My first student told me she’d be invisible.  How revealing?  So I gave her a laminated illustration of Invisible Girl.  Another student said he’d protect the environment.  I offered him a Captain Planet photograph. 

Our first morning meeting was exciting. Every student identified with a super hero unique to their own talents and inhibitions.  

But one student stood out.  He was included on my original roster but was retrieved early in the lesson to join another class.  Before he had a chance to participate, he had to leave.  He cried.  He wanted to be a super hero too.  I kneeled down and whispered in his ear that he will always be apart of our class, and that he could still be a hero.  

In a moment of spontenanity I offered him the option of being a super spy–a secret double agent–which quickly evolved into a “class ambassador” who could report back to our Justice League at a later date.  He accepted, and his tears began to dry.  I explained that any time our paths met in the hallway, I’d signal him with a modest thumbs up.  If everything was copetectic, he’d respond in kind.  We had a plan! 🕵🏼

Months later, he rose to the top of his class. I knew that I had nothing to do with his success.  Infact, I revelled in the knowledge that he was getting a great education in my colleague’s class. Without my shinanegans slowing him, he was making great progress.  

Frequently, we’d catch up with each other in the hallway. I’d greet him with a thumbs up.  “Hey Zorro,” he’d whisper.  

But as the year progressed, the super hero gimmick faded in the wake of more important subject matter.  Vocabulary competitions, math challenges, and writing workshops became daily routine.  Now we’ve mastered second grade content and are progressing towards promotion.  Thirty days and counting!   The school is still quiet from standardized testing.  The weather outside fluctuates from hour to hour.  Occasional field trips arrouse the student excitement while the chance of running wild for recess builds anticipation. 

Today when I arrived, the administrative assistant alerted me to my newest arrival.  My secret agent was going to rejoin my class!  Although unanticipated, change is exciting and met accordingly.  Thumbs up and off to class.  But when he arrived, he wasn’t so happy.  He enjoyed the comfort of his other class and was in no mood for gimmicks.  

He had tears in his eyes.  He did NOT want anything to do with a new environment.  I tried to reconnect with him.  He wasn’t interested.  And then it hit me!  

I asked him if he recalled his super power.  He nodded.  “I’m a secret agent,” he said.  

“You’re other class is way ahead of mine,” I declared.  “We could sure use your help…”  He cried harder.  🙃

I was at a loss, and then it hit me.  I too needed to activate my super power.  I am a teacher!  I’m a counselor. I am a role model and a friend. 

I recalled Peter Parker! Clark Kent!  Bruce Wayne!  They all were super in their own rite.  But there came a day that they had to activate their super power.  They had to put aside their alter ego in leui of their super identity.  

There comes a time in our lives that we all do this.  The day I became a father; the night I was called to fight my first house fire;  or the day I chased down a shoplifter–today was my day (again)!  

I kneeled down and whispered, “today is your day…”   He stopped sniffling.  He wiped away the tears.  He had to make a choice.  

I’d like to tell you that he took my hand and walked with me into our class.  I can’t because lying is NOT my super power.  Instead I can honestly tell you that with much pleading and bargaining, cojoling and convincing, my “special agent” opted out.  

Something was learned today.  I can’t tell you what he learned, but I can tell you about THIS super teacher.  Not every lesson is a successful one.  

Just like other adults, my day is filled with compromise.  I try. I learn. I help.  I receive help.  With some support from my colleagues, my secret agent returned to his other class.  He was happy.  My other students had an opportunity to exercise their developing talents, and no one had homework today.   

Alas, (sigh)…

Today was Teacher Appreciation Day!  I appreciate my students and my colleagues.  I think they appreciate me.  Tomorrow will come.  And we will learn some more…

Fellow educators, thank you for not giving up. You’re SUPER!