I have been wondering about really good gifts this year. I want to make sure we give something now that has real meaning. I gave bowls from Serve Kindness and a portion of all sales in donated to a selected charity. And bowls message too — about serving kindness in the form of sustenance and kindness.

Then I realized all the children who haven’t been in school and may not be getting many presentsw Then I thought about the parents who want and can afford to give to their children and their children’s teachers. …

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Let me begin here: I write a children’s book series titled Lady Lucy’s Quest about a feisty multi-racial heroine who becomes a knight in the Middle Ages. With her team of trusty helpers (Dillon the Dragon; Tapestry the Unicorn; and Quincy the Belgian Shepherd), she goes on a myriad of quests that call for creativity, ingenuity, tenacity, endurance, strength and courage to reach resolution. And, when faced with inevitable and seemingly intractable problems, Lady Lucy and her team find solutions where none appeared to exist.

The most recent book in this series, Lady Lucy’s Dinosaur Quest (the cover of which…

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Holidays are hard for many generally and now specifically. So, here’s something to try whether you are near or far, in person or remote: Tongue twisters!

Yes, really. They have a long educational history. They promote learning and enunciation. They build vocabulary. They showcase mistake making and trying again. They enable laughter among young and old. They are plain fun.

Try this downloadable right priced PDF — it can be ordered by several families and the tongue twisters tried (they are listed alphabetically). There are other word games in the book and one can also create one’s own tongue twister.

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We need to help children (and adults) process the election for President. Here are a set of strategies/activities that educators can adapt and use for students at all ages and stages. More will be added as time progresses in the transition but this will be beneficial now!

Classroom Strategies and Activities:

1. Consider games that involve rules and rule-making and then changing the rules mid-stream or arbitrarily picking a winner or having too many rules. Here’s an example. Suppose that students each have separate piles of an item, ideally identical (paperclips; spaghetti; marbles; countable items). Then say: Let’s play the…

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Worried about the election and possible violence? Me too, regardless of outcome. This creates anxiety and tension and possible trauma. This isn’t good for anyone. Our autonomic nervous systems are on high alert and likely the absence of a definitive outcome on election night will cause more issues in our minds and bodies.

Can you hear a wee yipes?

Consider making trauma toolboxes for adults and children, teachers and students and families and communities. Be prepared. Order this how-to guide and there is time to both vote and create trauma toolboxes.


Teachers need our help more than ever. With the absence of a teachers lounge, they are not able to connect and engage as they could before the Pandemic. The need for interaction with fellow educators is key.

That is why four educators (Sakina McGruder, Pat Neil, Ed Wang and I) agreed to pilot a Virtual Teachers Lounge with facilitated conversations starting March 13. We are not being compensated for our efforts but educators participating will get something for their time and willingness to engage! See below.

Interested in participating in the Pilot Virtual Teachers Lounge? If you are an educator…

When Amanda Gorman read her poem The Hill We Climb (or did Spoken Word in a sense) at the Inauguration of Joe Biden, a nation stopped and listened. Well, at least most people did. Poetry at an Inauguration is not something extraordinary (although this young poet is). I still remember Robert Frost reciting a poem at John F. Kennedy’s Inauguration.

But, when Amanda Gorman read a poem about the 3 honorary captains appearing and being celebrated at the Super Bowl, the reaction was very different. First, some people noted this was the first time there was poetry at the Super…

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Just as a reminder: Join us for a panel discussion sponsored by TC Press on January 27th (Wednesday) at 5:00 p.m. on Zoom. RSVP is on the flyer above or at: https://teacherscollege.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_OAVd3MexS32a9xv5Gg92JQ.

The short answer to the question is: Yes, schools can be a place for healing trauma. The vastly harder question is how. What steps must be taken to make this happen and soon.

Book discount too! Critical Question for our times. Distinguished panelists …..

“See” you there, even if you are zoomed out!

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Last night, with simple but profound words and 400 candles, we honored the 400,000 plus Americans who died from the Pandemic. During the preceding months, we never honored those whom COVID attacked; we failed them — until now. And moving forward, our work is before us.

Today, at the Inauguration, we saw a simple ceremony filled with poetry, music, emotion and authentic rhetoric. It was historic and stood in sharp contrast to the self-promotion and fiery language of the last four years. Rhetoric, we observed, can be used for good.

Stark contrasts all. And, I could not help but think…

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A Nation Divided

As I listen to the hearings today, I am more worried than I was before the hearings began. We are, without question, a nation divided and the hearings show in neon lights how different political figures see the events of last Wednesday and the legacy of our President. The quivering voices of some of the elected officials is telling.

There are lots of things about which we can disagree and upon which we can legitimately have differing views. But there are some values which we hold dear as a nation and as individuals. We cannot trample those…

Karen Gross

Author, Educator & Commentator; Former President, Southern Vermont College; Former Senior Policy Advisor, US Dept. of Education; Former Law Professor

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