I sent home a flipped math video for students to watch for homework tonight. An hour later I received an email from a parent explaining the errors I made in the video. A couple of years ago, I would have gotten defensive and embarrassed. Today, I was thankful for another person’s point of view that helped push my thinking. The video for tomorrow is better because of the feedback I received today. While finding humility is not always easy for me, I find it the gifts I receive from it are worth the effort.

Plan B again

This afternoon, I loaded the rice cooker and headed out to play with the kids. We came in, starving, the kids ready at the table. As I lifted the lid to the cooker, I discovered wet, raw rice. It took all the restraint in the world not to simultaneously cry and eat my insides in sheer hunger and desperation. After a deep breath and a box of pasta, plan B was on its way. By the time the spirals were served, all the not-so-favorite veggies had been devoured. Perhaps plan B wasn’t so bad after all.

When has your plan B turned out to be a future plan A?


I found myself with two sad babies at three a.m.. Snuggling them in on both sides of me, we rocked back and forth, passing the last hour of their first year, together. Dowan is walking now, Greta is not far behind. The Dolch babyhood era is numbered in days. While I am looking forward to the day of diaper bag-free excursions, leaving babyhood behind is bittersweet. In the meantime, I will try to soak in each three a.m. vigil.

Where is the bittersweet in your life?

Something’s got to give

With a full time job, four kids, private consulting, church leadership roles and an art show coming in November, something’s got to give. Today, that meant skipping the all school meeting in favor of restructuring my math lesson. Sometimes it is accepting a really dirty floor or piles of laundry. Tomorrow? Time will tell.

What do you let “give”?

Playgrounds, bridges and head switches

Yesterday when I was out for a walk with those exceptional teens, I saw quite a few kids hide behind their parents as we wheeled by. Today we headed to the school playground in an effort to build bridges between the girls and the community so that in the future, kids could greet them by name instead of shy away. As soon as we arrived to the playground, we were swarmed by curious kids that knew me as their teacher and felt comfortable enough to ask questions. The kids seemed excited to learn about alternative communication and before we left, the kids were taking turns programming the girls’ switches and looking forward to seeing them at this weekend’s neighborhood festival.

What are other ways to become familiar with the unknown?

Community switches

I have recently begun working with two exceptional teenagers both of whom are just learning how to use head switches to communicate basic ideas. Today we went for a walk around the neighborhood. At first I had programmed the switches to say “yes” and “no” but every time their wheelchairs went over a bump, their heads would hit the “no” button. Even though the comment was unintentional, it seemed like a downer. Halfway through the walk, I reprogrammed the switches to say “hello” and “Yes”. The neighborhood adventure immediately became a happier experience for us all.
What “switches” do you use when you are in the community?