Quick Takes

Friday, February 6, 2015

Every Thursday Avalon and Lainey have dance class after school and then -if they have listened to the teacher and worked hard- we walk to the little cookie shop nearby for a treat. Two cookies cost all of seventy cents, but it's something they look forward to all week. I love, love, love these tiny rituals of childhood. I suspect that they matter more than we remember as grownups.

Our last district game was on Tuesday, and we are the district champions! Play-offs start next week, I think, and  I'm so excited for my guys, and so proud of their hard work and dedication. Aaron's coaching style is unique - no yelling or berating or even really expressing frustration openly. He has insane amounts of patience and calm during games, and he almost always waits to address problems one-on-one later when there can be a real conversation. It's not always what people expect to see, but the proof is in the pudding, I guess, since they are undefeated in our district this year! A group of talented young men playing for a coach they trust and respect? That's a force to be reckoned with, even if they DO practice in a parking lot.

Avalon continues to be in a very Charlotte's Web place since their field trip to the play. I give you Exhibit A:

It's a hermit crab because they were studying crustaceans in class this week, not pigs.

Every once in a while it strikes me how lucky I am as a teacher. I think it's easy for me to get complacent and forget how different things would be at pretty much any other school in the world. I changed up my course reading list again this week, and was fully supported in doing so by Dr. Flint, even though the most articulate explanation I could offer was, "It's a wonderful book and I love it, but...I don't know... It just doesn't FEEL like the right book for this group." It's a rare principal indeed who doesn't bat an eyelash at such a thing, but gives teachers the freedom and trust to follow their instincts.

One of my students was being disrespectful yesterday and one of the older boys heard it as he was putting some papers on my desk. I had barely finished handling the situation and meting out a consequence when I turned around to see half the varsity in my room. "We heard someone was getting an attitude with you, Mama H?"
While I can deal with attitude just fine on my own, I do think it's awfully valuable for the younger boys to see that acting badly doesn't endear them to the big guys, that disrespecting women doesn't make them cool.

Relatedly, Lord help the first boy that says something ugly to one of my daughters. There's going to be a whole host of avenging big brothers just waiting in the wings and I'm going to have to hold them all back. I use this sometimes if I (heaven forbid) overhear one of my guys make a rude comment about a girl. Finishing off a scathing lecture with, "How would you feel if some creep said that about Lainey in a few years? Or Phoebe?" is wonderfully effective when a boy has been speaking as if a young lady is a less-than-human object rather than someone's sweet, tender-hearted little sister.

I haven't blogged since last Friday, largely because I spent a ridiculous part of the weekend trying to figure out and sign up for health insurance. That. Was. Frustrating. And I didn't get it figured out and signed up, so anytime I so much as looked at my laptop afterwards I was COMPELLED to try to take care of it. I very much dislike having unsolved problems hanging over me. It's going down this weekend!


  1. 1. That drawing is the best. 2. I love your little cookie tradition. 3. Seeing your boys and girls together seriously melts my heart every time <3

  2. I am a coaches wife in small town Texas. I am so happy to have found your blog! Thank you for what you and your husband are doing for so many young men. I can't wait to follow along on yall's journey. Good Luck in the Playoffs!

  3. I know I say this all the time, but I can't believe how big the girls are! I love what you are doing with the boys and teaching them.

  4. I hope you got the insurance taken care of, what a pain in the butt! You know what I absolutely love about reading your posts (besides, of course, your sass and spunk and humor) is seeing that glimpse of real community that is so lacking in our current culture, but that you have cultivated in your own family and that you have at your school. I love seeing people still finding ways to do things differently (and awesomely!) rather than just accepting the norms and thinking that things aren't perfect, but it is what it is. It doesn't have to be perfect to be better than the norm and wonderful!

  5. I think that it is beautiful that you take your daughters for cookies if they have been good, I am sure this will be the type of memory they cherish forever and try to recreate with their children!


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