Let’s talk about Charleston


The horrific events in Charleston, South Carolina. I struggle with what to say, what to do. But I can’t wait for clarity before saying something. My heart goes to those families. To the members of that church. To every person who lives in fear, unprotected. Without sanctuary. Not long ago my family watched the movie Selma together. My kids were […]

Advocating for your kid in school when you really want the teacher to like you


I’m no stranger to speaking up for my kids at school.

Both my kids have needed help handling the social and academic expectations of the classroom. At times, this has required me to reach out to their teachers for clarification (“Are you seeing in class what I’m seeing at home?”), or as translator (“When he gets anxious he blurts out answers.”). No problem.

Sometimes, however, I have to take on the role of advocate (“She needs to be able to eat a snack before lunch to help her concentrate.”) and challenger (“I’d like to talk to you about something that’s concerning me.”).

This is hard to do, because I wrestle with something I’ve craved ever since I was a kid: I want the teacher to like me.