Gaggle of Girls

“You know someone might think you’re our mom!” one of the sixth graders I was walking with exclaimed. “No creo,” I answered. I don’t think anyone can have this many kids all the same age. In my walks to the bus this year, a little gaggle of girls have decided to adopt me. Three of…

Back to the Bus

Yesterday I rode my bike to work. It was supposedly in the mid thirties but it felt much colder, the wind piercing my coats and numbing my gloved hands. Yet instead of feeling resentful of the wind, I found myself feeling grateful. This is the start of bus season. The seed for so many of…

Bus Sounds

Disclaimer: While I listen to a ton of podcasts I do not know how to create one. No sound editing knowledge at all. But I grew up listening to the radio. In the car on the way to ballet class, while setting the table, while eating my morning cereal. I don’t have a radio but…

Riding Bikes

It is finally spring and we’re all reveling in the sunny skies and 50 degree weather. I’ve been back on my bike more, but luckily this hasn’t prevented me from chatting with students. On Tuesday, one of my favorite seventh graders (who wanted to share his music the other day) eyed me as I walked…

“Debemos hablar español”

A couple of days ago I was waiting for the bus when a trio of kids sped past, backpacks bouncing. They whipped around the light post and practically slammed into the snowdrift. Chattering among themselves they didn’t seem to be paying any attention to me. Until I heard a “Hi, Ms.” “Hi! What bus are…

“But it was boring, Ms!”

Day 3 post-snow-cation: “So what did you learn about today?” I queried the trio of students who were walking to the bus with me. They shared their answers but the 7th grade boy whose name I don’t know made me do a double-take. “I learned about Ebola!” he said excitedly. “Oh yeah? That’s cool!” “But…

First Day Back

Today was the first day back after what felt like months of snow days. But also somehow felt like not enough time off. You probably know the feeling? I was out of practice. My students were out of practice. We were a mess. I couldn’t quite remember when to take them to snack. They couldn’t…

“No it don’t.”

January 23rd In front of me, the mom handed the middle-aged black man next to her a dollar bill and I glimpsed a cigarette pass between them. The realization that he could get killed for this poured over me. My second thought was to say hello. “Hi,” he replied, eyeing me. “How’s it goin?” I responded. “Oh, alright,”…

Waiting for the Bus: K, A, and the Pot Pit Bull

“There’s a dog in there! Ms! Look at that dog!” “Oh you’re right…let’s leave him alone, ok? He looks…tired,” I stumbled. Just don’t go in there, I thought. Just be satisfied with a view through the window. And just hurry up, bus! Last week I was waiting for the bus when two sixth grade boys,…

The Self-Advocate

“Ms.” Not a question. Not a whine. A declarative beginning. “Yes, E?” I responded, “What’s goin’ on?” Pause. And then a launch into a string of words full of accented pauses and almost-nervous hand gestures as one of the handful eighth-grade boys who is taller than me leaned forward and made his pitch. This wasn’t our first…