Category Archives: Uncategorized

A Little Chautauqua

Chautauqua is a lake and a place and an institution. There are brick walkways where streets might have been, but there are no cars in Chautauqua. Along the walkways are front porches with white wicker tables that hold vases full … Continue reading

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Begin Here

When I became a teacher, at the age of 22, I knew it was for the long haul. Teaching was how I chose to serve, and I knew it would take a lifetime to develop a practice that would be … Continue reading

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Third Grade is Habit Forming

These days it is hard to pick up a magazine or  listen to a podcast and not encounter the latest thinking about the oldest trick in the book.  Habits. After all, habit formation is the bedrock of cultures that created … Continue reading

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Rounding Grief’s Corner

The people at Hospice take grief seriously. Serious grief?  It sounds comically and tragically redundant, and I didn’t want any part of it.  They told me counseling was offered as a benefit. Grief counseling sounded like being sad on purpose. … Continue reading

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A Life Speaks

Barbara Elliott Hopkins (Sparks) August 16, 1928- October 9, 2017 When my mother asked me to write her eulogy she said, “It is going to be hard to try and figure out the words for what I’ve tried to say … Continue reading

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Flying Without a Net

Trapeze artists fly through the air with the greatest of ease, but not without a net.  No one flies without a net, but it can feel like we do. Teachers are high flying acrobats who fly the highest at the … Continue reading

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My Life at the Improv

 Not too long ago, my mother said, “I can’t see back very far or very well, but the fact that I had four such unique children is proof that I let them raise themselves.” Without trying, she speaks her truth … Continue reading

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At the Heart of Reading

I love… I stood at the blackboard that had been there since the school was built in 1911. Black slate. It was the first day of school and hot sunlight streamed through the large open windows that lined two walls … Continue reading

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In Praise of Summer Reading

I am in West Virginia at a place that has been dear to my family for a long time. The present evokes the past with the familiar: the sound of rain on a tin roof; a rushing stream just outside the … Continue reading

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The Stormy Seas of June

This past month we turned the calendar to a fresh page and entered the stormy seas of June. With the clashing weather patterns of high stakes testing looming, and the happy anticipation of summer beckoning, something else came crashing in … Continue reading

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