My classroom is not a quiet, orderly place.
Students are constantly moving, thinking, talking, reading and writing.
I do my best to help my students find success.

July 2, 2013


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Two Writing Teachers
Tomorrow the baby of our family turns 15.  Wow. I don't know where the time has gone!

Allison is enjoying a busy summer full of classes, poms camp, hanging out with friends, dance, volunteering at swim lessons, and --most importantly -- driver's education!  Ask her when she is able to test for her permit, and I'm pretty sure she can tell you, down to the number of hours! As my second child in the driver's seat, I'm pretty calm about the process.  I even traded in my old SUV for a new crossover with better mileage and smaller frame.  It's new, but I'm not worried about dents or crashes.  As Allison reminds me all the time, she is an excellent lawn-tractor-driver at my parents' house.

I had the pleasure of watching Allison on stage last weekend as she performed in her 11th recital.  She's been taking dance classes since she was nearly 5 years old.  Back in the early days, she was extremely shy and didn't dance if it was observation day during class.  During the first performance of her first recital, she stood stock still on the stage, as her classmates "danced" next to her.  As I stood backstage in the wings, pushed right up to the curtain by the studio director, my heart ached for Allison.  I wondered what kind of mother puts her shy, wary preschooler on a stage in front of hundreds of strangers.  I was convinced she would be scarred for life.

Then something amazing happened.  Allison made eye contact with Nicole, a sweet girl in her class.  Nicole smiled and Allison smiled back.  They began to dance together.  I was astounded!  After the recital, two different moms came up to us to share that they had been rooting for Allison to begin dancing, and when she started dancing with her class, both moms had begun to cry.

Fast forward to last weekend.  My nearly 15 year old daughter confidently performed ballet, hip hop and contemporary numbers. She took care of her own hair, makeup and costumes.  She helped her friends prepare for their numbers.  My shy, wary dancer is now a teen with drive and ambition.  On Sunday night, after all the performances were finished, Allison shared that the stage and the dance studio are her "homes away from home."

Happy birthday, Alli!  You make us proud (and make us laugh) every day!


  1. Happy birthday Alli!! What a sweet slice for her tonight. I wonder if she remembers those early years . . . so she wouldn't go on stage, but she had no problem standing on a chair to get the teacher's attention in kindergarten?!? Only teasing - you were just trying to give us something to laugh about. I hope she has a great day - that new car will be fun to drive!!

  2. I loved this slice and it took us on a wonderful journey. You set the seeds for Allison and then she moved onto her stage on the way to coming into her own, creatively, collaboratively in friendship.
    She is fortunate to have you and I hope we as educators and hold firm to the need for all kids to have the creative opportunities as they grow up in our public schools!
    Happy 4th Chris,

  3. Happy Birthday to Allison! I look at our 3 year olds and think how quickly they have grown and can only imagine how they will be in 10 years. Time passes us by and children grow and mature - they go from shyness to outgoing and beyond. (Ask Michelle how she was in her earlier years!). Congrats to you for being that Mom who stood behind her daughter with encouragement and love!

  4. Happy birthday Allison! It's so amazing to watch them grow up, almost overnight it seems! Amazing how they change!

  5. Sweet memories! They do grow so fast. Good luck with the driving!

  6. Chris - your Allison sounds like my oldest daughter. Her life was dance, but in the beginning, getting her to perform in front of people was painful. I will always treasure the gift of dance for her and know that the myriad of hours she put into all of her company dances were well worth it.
    Happy 15th birthday to Allison. Enjoy your new car and your new soon-to-be driver!