'There have been so many wonderful moments in the 2016 Olympics, and in particular this seems to be a year in which women’s accomplishments are garnering a lot of well-deserved attention. My Twitter feed has been exploding with news celebrating medals and achievements not just in prime time sports like gymnastics, swimming, track, beach volleyball, and more, but also in wrestling, rugby, boxing, actual volleyball... and more. Every two years, our screens, papers, and magazines fill up with images of strong, confident women achieving at levels most of us can’t even conceive of reaching, and it’s a wonderful, moving, and inspiring sight to see.
by Meghan Lena
When my dad decided to hike from Georgia to Maine along the Appalachian Trail for a second time, I couldn't understand why he felt he needed to lace up his boots and hike 2,300 miles again. So, I decided to find out for myself by hiking the 110 miles from Waynesboro, VA to Front Royal, VA in Shenandoah National Park with him. Unlike my brothers, the longest backpacking trip I had ever endured was approximately 20 miles, when I hiked the Routeburn Track in New Zealand almost 10 years ago. But, feeling strong and fit from my recent half marathon training, and having nothing better to do besides binge-watching Nashville (#summervacation), I gathered up exactly 25 pounds worth of critical belongings in my brand new backpack, and set off with my dad from Rockfish Gap.
Today is the 19th birthday of Malala Yousafzai, and we join millions and millions of people in wishing her a happy birthday and many happy returns. To celebrate her 16th birthday, Ban Ki-Moon, the Secretary General of the United Nations, designated July 12 “Malala Day” and she addressed that assembly with a now-iconic speech, asserting it was not her day but rather the "day of every woman, every boy and every girl who have raised a voice for their rights." (Malala, quoted in Bai).
By all reports, he was a wonderful person, loved by the students in the school where he worked. He would smile at every child every day, and succeeded in making the cafeteria where he worked a happy space for them. One parent described him as “Mr. Rogers with dreadlocks” (Rafowicz, quoted in Lonetree) The J.J. Hill Montessori School PTO wrote, “Because you were a part of our community, we are better. / We will hold you and your family in peace and memoriam.”
Normally, I’m not big on articles with titles like “12 Things That Will Disappear From Classrooms In The Next 12 Years.” But the link had been shared by Leslie Farooq, whom I’ve gotten to know and learned to trust through ongoing interactions and Twitter chats, and she had included an enticing quote - so I decided to click through and read it.
It's funny how empty a house can suddenly get, isn't it? - Steve Martin, from “Father of the Bride”
As Steve Martin and Diane Keaton start dancing and the end credits for “Father of the Bride” roll, I look over at my son Kian, now three. “What do you want to do now?” I ask, already knowing the answer. Soon, we are gathering a collection of stuffed animals and rubber snakes, preparing for a wedding. Sometimes, I am in the wedding party along with him, other times I am asked to focus solely on moving the animals about at their appointed times and delivering the lines of the script that seems to lengthen slightly every day. Whatever else we might do - go down to the stream at the back of our property, read, get lunch, sit out in the front yard and watch trains go by, walk around the neighbourhood, go on play dates with Kian’s friends or cousins, and so on - this is part of our daily ritual.
It never grows old.
Over time, we learned three of their names. Four teenagers playing Monkey in the Middle at the beach had gradually caught our attention. Two pairs of siblings - Justin, Nick, Ryan, and… for some reason, we thought maybe Ashley. The game moved up and down the beach, mostly in the water, but sometimes at the edge. Nick faked to the left and circled right and Ryan’s pass just eluded Ashley’s outstretched arms. An errant pass fell into Justin’s hands as Ryan cheerfully said, “I touched it first,” and moved into the middle as the teams reformed and Justin looked for Nick. Justin’s pass splashed into the water and after a brief scrum, Ashley emerged with the ball. So it went as my wife, my son, and I read our books, soaked up the sun, and periodically smiled at each other or murmured a low comment after a particularly fun moment in the game.
“When the power of love overcomes the love of power, then the world will know peace.” - Jimi Hendrix (quote shared on @teacherMRW’s Twitter feed)
One of the first things I read yesterday morning (Sunday, June 12, 2016) was this great piece by Jennifer Orr celebrating her school board. Having updated their non-discrimination policy to include transgender kids last year, they recently voted to update the school handbook as well, providing the concrete means to enforce the policy. As you may imagine, the decision was somewhat controversial, but in the end, as Ms. Orr said, “As a school system we serve ALL children. We must teach them AND keep them safe.”
Before you keep reading, I’d like to invite you to read a piece my friend Christina Torres wrote for Teaching Tolerance entitled “We Can’t Dismantle What We Can’t See: Teaching Concepts of Masculinity.”
<pause>Done? Good. Thanks.
republished with the kind permission of MiddleWeb
Every spring, we ask our middle schoolers to look at each of their courses as well as other areas of their life, think back to September, and reflect on how far they’ve come and what they’d still like to accomplish before the year’s end.
(read more here)