A Message from a Furious Teacher

This country is out of its damn mind if the only solution we can come up with to gun violence in schools is “arm the teachers.”

I became a teacher for a reason: to educate. To nurture. To inspire. To take care of your kids, and yes, jump in front of a bullet if I have to. But I shouldn’t have to.

I did not choose to become a cop or a soldier or a security guard. I am not a fighter. I am not a killer. I don’t want that on my hands.

You cling to your right to own guns but you have NO RIGHT to require me to take up arms that I don’t believe in.

I already have given up any chance at wealth to teach your kids. I have given up my free time and half my sanity. I come home exhausted every day, sometimes sobbing over somebody’s kid being abused or neglected or trapped in poverty or bullied because even though I know I’m doing the best I can, I can’t protect your kid from everything.

But now you want me to wield a gun? You want me to put aside my personal beliefs and have that responsibility forced on me too?

You want to ask that of me so I can keep YOUR kids safe?

I’m not the one failing your kids. YOU ARE. If you believe more guns are the solution to school shootings, go buy a gun and keep your kids home. Teach them your damn self. YOU be the one ready to stand in front of a bullet and stop demanding other people do it.

Many teachers already HAVE done it. Teachers lay dead right now from defending your kids. Has that stopped anything? If I kill an active shooter, does that do anything to prevent the next one? You think school shooters will be dissuaded by the chance that they will be killed? They’re suicidal. THEY DON’T CARE.

So don’t expect me to lay down my life for your kids when all you’re gonna say when I’m dead is “she should’ve had a gun.”

No, YOU should’ve done more to make sure YOUR kids weren’t at risk and asked yourself why OUR government doesn’t give a shit enough to do anything, and is content to let TEACHERS continue taking the bullets.


Day 14 – Waking Up Early For School

After thirteen years
and four more
there was no escape from school
for me.

I walked right back into that fire.

It has its perks but
I’ll never get used to knowing
I’ll be waking up early for school
for the rest of my life.

At least
there’ll always be
to teach me.

Year 2: Day 110 – The Fourth Grade Class

Love is in the air for the fourth grade class,
though it’s always in the air for grown-ups,
and it’s permeating something fierce
for single teachers.

It’s permeating something fierce
for single teachers who must be
set up with firemen, lawyers,
lumberjacks, cowboys,
and football players.

Lumberjacks, cowboys, and football players,
if single, don’t get this much guff, I bet,
because love is only so simple
in the fourth grade class.

Love is only so simple in the fourth grade class
’cause it gets pretty sticky from there-
you have people with baggage and hang-ups
and teachers who insist they won’t be
set up.

Teachers who insist they won’t be set up
don’t make sense in the playground logic world
because clearly the fun of life is in love
is in the air for the fourth grade class.

Year 2: Day 107 – Too Old

Wut is this,
back muscles?
Oh hey, ow.

Reaching to the shelf,
this isn’t supposed
to hurt.

Wut did I do,
oh wut have I done
to get sore?

Kiddin’ me,
two days ago-
tried to get across
the monkey bars.

Come on now.

Year 2: Day 89 – Shoelaces

I may be good at spelling
or teaching math
or making plans
but what I’m really best at doing
is tying shoelaces.

What do twenty forlorn faces want
with my knowledge of homonyms,
presidents, and bacteria,
at recess when their laces
come undone?

Who is more a hero
in the middle of a game of tag
than the only one in the bunch
who can solve the threat
of trips and scrapes?

My nimble hands and bended knee
are wasted in the grown-up world-
I’m never more useful or more valued
than when stooping low
to tie a child’s shoes.

Radio Interview with The Magic Happens on Blog Talk Radio

I hope everyone had a great Christmas holiday yesterday- I know I did, and am now looking forward to a great new start in 2015!

I had a lovely chat today with blog reader Annette Rochelle Aben on her radio show The Magic Happens, chit-chatting about my book, Candy Pizza, this blog, and my perspective on writing, education, my job as a librarian, kids, my upcoming projects, etc. It was a lot of fun and, since I’ve never been on a radio show before, a check on my bucket list!

If you’ve got some extra time today while you’re relaxing off your Christmas-cookie coma, check out my interview and some of the other cool stuff at The Magic Happens.


Thanks to Annette for inviting me onto the show!

Blessings and happy reading,

Day 209 – Have You Ever Used A Swear Word?

Well the truth is, yes,
though other teachers might not tell you that.
They might not want you to know yet
that there will be times when you need to,
just to get by,
when screaming a big fat f-bomb
is your best chance to survive.

They may not want you to know yet
that for every foul dirty-mouth name you’ve heard
(and some you haven’t heard yet)
you will meet a person who deserves it
and you will play Adam in the garden
giving each of your beasts its proper adjective.

And sometimes you’ll see very bad things
covered up with more acceptable terms
like it’s alright that they exist,
but they are worse than the curse words you know-
words like discrimination, blasphemy, genocide-
words that we use to talk politely about
so much that is wrong in our world.

But words are not just words, my friends,
they are power
and worse than any swear word you could ever say
is using them lightly.

Don’t balk from your bad words
but hold them for when they’re necessary,
save them for the times when they’re required
so that when you are grown and have to face
unspeakable pains, nameless, formless enemies
you will have pockets full of power
and by defining the name of the monsters
will have half your battles already won.