Off Topic: a plan for the future to have a future

As a retired educator I often run across items that give me hope for the children in our school system.  This video raises some very important questions about the influences in children’s learning capability.

Surprisingly, it is not only the child, or the teacher who are responsible for their success.

It is the parent…

With that in mind I share with you a video that was introduced to me on Angela Grant’s blog site, she calls: Failure to Listen.  The video is entitled:

Plan for the Future to have a Future | A Theory of Change (video from Harvard)

After watching , you may agree or disagree with the theory and the recommendations posited.  However, I urge everyone to watch, to think, and to consider, that the children in our current system are our future.  Children learn what they see at home, they emulate their parents, for good or ill, and the lifestyle modeled is often self-perpetuating.

My questions to you are:

  • Can we break the cycle?
  • Is it society’s job to step up and step in?
  • Do you believe that interventions of this type will even work?
  • If not, do you have a different idea about what to do?

Speak up, speak out, and share your thoughts.

Once Upon a Time in the West: the bookmobile

A friend of mine, Cindy,  recently posted a vintage photo of an early Bookmobile.  Seeing it brought back a cherished memory of the second grade at Howard Elementary…

I loved going in and finding books on archeology and stories about historical Peoples.  The first time I tried to check out one of these fascinating tomes the lady in charge challenged me saying, “You’re too young to read that book!  That’s for the big boys and girls in High School.”

“I can read it!”  I boasted.  Whereupon she sat me down and made me read a few pages to her.  I think I surprised her.

“OK” she said, “Now tell me about what just happened in the story.”

When I had finished explaining about what the little cliff dweller boy in the story had been doing and thinking, she let me have the book, and any others I wanted after that.

I was eight.


Yes, I remember the Bookmobile, though maybe not this far back!

Photo Credit:  via Cindy’s post at

Thank you Cindy for helping me find my voice today! 🙂

The state of things.

Yesterday I took a few lovely books over to my neighbor for her to share with her grandson.  Upon receiving them he began hugging me.

Grandma:  “He’s a hugger.”

I just stood there like a post…

Grandson:  “I was born real close to Valentines day and that’s why I love everyone so much.”  (paraphrased because I honestly can’t remember exactly what he said.)

It took me an embarrassingly long time to respond to his loving and normal display of gratitude on receiving my gift.

So what was that all about? 

Well you see, when I taught in California there were so many lawsuits going on involving teachers and inappropriate touch (more than one is too many!!!) that we were instructed NOT TO TOUCH OUR STUDENTS.  Those who did only touched the top of their little head, or their hands for proper instruction and help with holding a pencil.

This is all wrong.  Little kids need hugs and an appropriate show of affection from caregivers.  (And whether you know it or not your child’s teacher is a caregiver/stand in mother, protector, parapsychologist, as well as educator for your little darling)  😉  We do try to do it all and more each day and all without touching them for fear of being accused of inappropriate behavior.

It saddens me to realize how programmed I had become, and that the programming has persisted even into my retirement.

It makes me wonder is it just me?


Do all teachers feel/react like this nowadays?

Do parents worry about this kind of thing?

Do the students?

How has it come to this?

It makes me sad for the children.