Periodic Daydreaming

The Occasional Thoughtful Ramblings of a Creative and Caffeinated Science Teacher

For Grandma Ruth

There are three pictures that I remember seeing as a child that capture the essence of my grandmother, Ruth Williams, who passed away earlier this week with 87 (almost 88) years under her belt. While we didn’t always see eye-to-eye on issues related to religion and politics, I now realize I have inherited more from …

The Nature in Education

Periodic Daydream #14 I always begin each school year by having my environmental science students read Aldo Leopold’s Land Ethic. This is a challenging text for anyone but it inspires a deep conversation about the human relationship with the land. This year I took it one step further and asked my students to write their …

This I believe…

I was fortunate enough to join a wonderful groups of writers and educators this summer in the Greater Madison Writing Project. Below is a statement I wrote in response to this experience. Enjoy! This I believe… I believe that we are all two parts. How you divide these two parts depends, but they are often …

Are Your Routines Working?

Periodic Daydream #12 All teachers look forward to summer break as a time to reflect, recharge, and hopefully have a little fun.  However, during this time I feel a bit like my nephew Wyatt when he gets off schedule and misses nap time–irritable and lost.  I end the school year with anticipation that the summer …

Finding Comfort in the Uncomfortable

Periodic Daydream #11 This month Alex Honnold completed what once seemed like an impossible feat. He free-solo climbed Yosemite’s infamous El Capitan, a 3,000 foot peak. This is clearly a unique accomplishment that took several years of preparation and training, and given the challenge of the task he probably didn’t assume it was a sure thing. In …

What We Can Learn From Students

Periodic Daydream #10 The best part of my job is listening to and learning from my students. I teach an advanced class in environmental science, and my students have strong viewpoints politically and are highly creative individuals. From listening to my students, many more are choosing to respond to the many environmental issues facing our …

Why We Should Keep Writing

Periodic Daydream #9 My mom and I were traveling this weekend to a family event in Stillwater, Minnesota. She is a former high school teacher, so we tend to talk about education more than any other topic. There was a point in the conversation when we were talking about the effectiveness of various teachers and …

Collaboration Is Not Always Key (Periodic Daydream #8)

Collaboration is not always key. & iPhones are a beautiful distraction.   These are two ideas I have thought about a lot this week as the school year winds down and everyone is a bit stir crazy. Education and business often place collaboration center stage.  A job description never describes the ideal candidate as someone …

It’s In the Little Things…(Periodic Daydream #7)

I have always been obsessed  with tiny houses and fascinated by the people who choose to live there as a permanent residence.  (Note: A tiny house is a house under 400 square feet, while a small house is a house under 1000 square feet.) The most well-known name linked to tiny houses is probably Jay Shafer …

Ditch False Urgency and Focus on the Moment (Periodic Daydream #6)

Romantic relationships. I’ve never been good at them. A few people have told me that I lack some basic insights in this department….whatever that means. I’ve never had a strong desire to be part of another duo (I’m already a twin) and there’s no ticking clock that’s urging me to contribute to the ever-increasing human …

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