Learning · Reading · Teaching

Monday Minutiae—11.01.2021

For those of you doing NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month), I hope you’re off to an AMAZING start! This year, I decided not to even pretend I was going to do it, although, I’m going to try to at least write every day. Cheers to all of you!

Modeling and Independent Practice

“Don’t be a martyr to grit.”

I loved this mini-documentary about celebrating the courage it takes to quit instead of the past view of it as showing weakness. When I look at my own professional landscape of K-12 education, I see colleagues making choices to leave their position (or leave their career entirely) because they discovered they don’t have to “push through.” Not everyone has this choice, and for the many who don’t, my hope is that we all collectively find a way to provide that choice for them whether it be through laws, social movements, or individual support.

For all else who DO have the choice and need the encouragement: this is your extra support to go for it. Make the change for YOU.

(BTW, remember last week, when I talked about coded language? “Grit” was one of the problematic words. It may not apply to all situations mentioned in this documentary, but it sure stood out to me now that I’ve seen that list.)

 Cross-Curricular Studies 

Y’all, WTF is happening in Texas? First of all, if you are falling for the “stop teaching Critical Race Theory in our K-12 schools,” stop it. It’s nonsense. It’s NOT being taught in our public schools. (And maybe you should read up on it before casting it into the bin of “things that fascists say are bad.”) In my last post, I mentioned the “advice” from one school official to offer “alternative viewpoints” to the Holocaust (man, I have a lot of air quotes in this paragraph so far), and now, this state rep has a list of 850 specific titles to “examine” aka ban. I don’t know how to combat this. I mean, vote, sure, but we’ve been doing that still, things in our country keep getting worse.  Call and write our representatives. Send money to organizations you know are supporting resistance and transformation. Support in any way you can and know how those who are fighting the good fight. To my Texas educator colleagues, I hope you are all finding your individual and collective ways of subverting the strangulation of our schools.

New Student Packets

Have you ever read Alex Gino’s middle grade novel, George? It’s one of the earliest (if not the earliest, I don’t know) breakout novels for middle grade to feature a transgender character. I highly recommend it (and their subsequent novels). Since its publication though, in 2015, though, Gino has realized the title isn’t appropriate–or at least, it’s not fitting for the story and has since re-named it Melissa. Scholastic is on board, and together with Gino, they have provided ways to help everyone change their own copies including new dust jackets and stickers. I love it. Do you want to help? Gino is also checking on interest with potential help with getting stickers to readers. Seems like an easy, worthwhile way to help. Check it out!


If you’re in education, SEL, or Social-Emotional Learning is the top focus for teachers and school counseling departments this year. This tweet thread from a middle school English teacher is an essential read for anyone who might not understand what is happening with our students right now.

Last year during the pandemic was hard for teachers (and everyone, of course); this year is a whole new ball game of Hard. Our children are struggling and the pandemic for schools is still not over. Students are back in the buildings, but they’ve spent a year and a half in flux; some have had little-to-no support; some have food and home insecurity; some have lost family members to Covid; some have family members who still suffer from long-term Covid effects. School staffs have seen a lot of turnover this fall, and I wonder how many more teachers we’ll lose after this school year. If you know a teacher, hug them, yes? If your kids are still in school, please try for grace for your kids’ teachers, your kids’ classmates, and above all that, for your own child, who is probably coping in ways you might still not be aware of.

Currently Reading (print): Yusuf Azeem Is Not a Hero – Saadia Faruqi (MG)

Currently Reading (audio): The Love Hypothesis – Ali Hazelwood (A)

Song of the Week

We all know the mantra “We can do hard things” by now, yes? Here’s a song to hum along with it.

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