Monday, July 28

Take Action!

I'll write a real post soon, but for now I want to get this up here.

If you are able and interested in helping me help my students this year donate to my Donors Choose proposal to get a document camera in my classroom this year!

Definitions: is a very awesome website where teachers write proposals for what they need/want in their classrooms and nice people who want to help schools and kids can go on and choose a project to donate to.
A document camera, in case you are not familiar, is just about the coolest thing ever. It's kinda like an overhead projector, only it takes a digital image of whatever item or document you put under it and projects it through an LCD projector onto the screen. I had the opportunity to borrow one to use in my classroom last spring and it totally changed the dynamic and engagement level in my classroom- this is not just flashy attention getting technology. It's useful, practical, time saving, and facilitates real learning.

Wednesday, July 9

Recent Travels, distilled

Somewhere, somehow in the last two weeks on my travels to Washington DC, Houston, and back to Minnesota, I started experiencing a strange sensation- I think, maybe, possibly... I miss South Dakota. Maybe it was on a crowded metro in DC that I suddenly craved open spaces; or when I saw the eagerness, anxiety, and naive confidence in the eyes of new corps members at institute; or while I was waiting for the sun to set on the 4th of July and I realized that sunsets will never be the same anywhere else; or sitting in a classroom full of English teachers in Minneapolis when I felt I had things to contribute, and even teach. I'm not sure exactly where and when it started, but somewhere deep down I'm feeling the first pricks of excitement to return to Rosebud and especially to my classroom. I admit, I'm a little relieved. Not that I wouldn't have gone back either way, but excitement is a much better feeling than dread!

A Poem

The Drum

The Drum in the high school commons,

Every morning at 8:20 a.m..

A heartbeat for this day.

The heartbeat of warriors and soldiers,

Of eagle feathers and full regalia.

The heartbeat of jingle dresses, fancy shawls,

and ghost dancers.

The blood of brown people, buffalo people.

From deep inside the earth and time,

A circle, the center of a tribe.

Now, the drum sees me:

White, young, idealist.

Unsure if bending my knees

to the beat is appropriate,

but unable to stop myself.

I watch students,

baggy jeans and hooded sweatshirts.

They line the walls.

Leaning, not dancing.

I count them.

Where are they all?

Why aren’t they all here?

I’m afraid for them.

Afraid they will not make it through this day

without a heartbeat.

Who are you?

The drum asks me,

bending your knees to my beat?

You do not belong here.

My beat cannot refill your bleeding heart.

White skin rejects brown blood.