Tales of a Couple of Fourth Graders

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My fourth-grade school picture

My son is a fourth-grader this year.  He went back to school yesterday.  We had an incredible summer, full of adventures, and laughter, and silliness, and learning.  Because I don’t believe those things are mutually exclusive.

I’m feeling a range of emotions about Ryan being a fourth-grader.  For one, he’s a fourth-grader!  As in, look how fast this is happening!  And secondly, he’s a fourth-grader, and six of my twelve years as a teacher were spent teaching fourth grade.

I didn’t like my fourth grade teacher.  She scared me.  She made me think that making mistakes was bad.  She would hold up my papers and show the class the errors I had made.  She used to have me wait in line at lunch time, to buy her a lunch at the student rate.  (Even though I always brought a lunch from home).  She gave me her home phone number and often asked me to call her and remind her of things to bring to class.  And I never said no.

When I became a fourth grade teacher, I was nervous about the change in curriculum, the larger class size.  But mostly I was scared of doing it wrong.  And that’s what Mrs. E. did teach me — what not to do as a teacher.

But now it’s Ryan’s turn.  And after a summer spent exploring a presidential library and walking onboard Air Force One, after a summer of reading, and bike riding, after a summer of questions and wonderings, I wish for him a school year of adventures, and laughter, and silliness, and learning.

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More publication news! My personal essay, “My Son Is Already Becoming My Caretaker – And It’s Both Heartbreaking and Inspiring,” has recently been published at Mother.ly.  You can click here to read it.

The All-American Transcontinental Total Solar Eclipse

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We’ve got some big days coming up this month.  Los Angeles Unified School District starts the new school year on August 15th!

And the week after that, on August 21st, our whole country will be looking to the sky to witness the All-American Transcontinental Total Solar Eclipse.  Here in Los Angeles, we won’t be able to view the total eclipse, but we’re still fortunate to catch a partial eclipse.  Click here to read my post “Everything You Need to Know About the Total Solar Eclipse” at MomsLA.com.

A Love Letter to Teaching

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My fourth grade classroom, September 2010

The stores are in the middle of their back-to-school sales.  My son is getting ready too; he’s selected a new lunch box and pencil pouch for the new school year.  In two weeks, he’s returning to school as a fourth grader.  And for six years, I was a fourth grade teacher.  (I also spent five years teaching kindergarten and one year teaching fifth grade).

And I miss it.  I miss teaching.  I miss being in a classroom with “my kids” and teaching them.  Encouraging them.  Loving them.

If you click here, you can read my “love letter to teaching” at RoleReboot.org.