a quote from my favorite author

“The most solid advice, though, for a writer is this, I think: Try to learn to breathe deeply, really to taste food when you eat, and when you sleep, really to sleep. Try as much as possible to be wholly alive, with all your might, and when you laugh, laugh like hell, and when you get angry, get good and angry. Try to be alive. You will be dead soon enough.”

-William Saroyan, The Daring Young Man on the Flying Trapeze

Sunday, May 22, 2016


Have you met Kate?
Kate and I (before we met Rick Yancey)
Kate and I with Donalyn Miller and Sugarbear

Four years ago, Kate became my teaching counterpart when my previous counterpart moved into a leadership role at our district administrative center.  As thrilled as I was to have her voice in a leadership role, I was not happy to see Rachel leave.  I was not happy to have been left out of the interview process for her replacement.  I was not happy.

I am ashamed to admit that for the first few months, I coped with the transition by secretly referring to Kate as "the Kate I hate."  Luckily, I am surrounded by wise women who nudged and coached me to just give her time.

And luckily, Kate is one of those women.  She was wise enough and bold enough to weather my disdainful looks and impatient sighs.  

Before long, her previous nomenclature was replaced with, "That's my Kate!"

For next school year, due to shifting enrollment, Kate was bumped from our middle school to the high school.  

Once again,  I am not happy.  

But this time, I am listening to the wisdom in my own heart.  I am listening to the whispers of joy over having such an amazing colleague and friend to miss.  Here are just a few of the things that make "my Kate" so worthy of celebration:

1| She has a fierce love of books and kids and the magic that happens when they are connected.

2| She turns nuggets of professional development into concrete classroom practice in a matter of minutes. (Okay, minutes might be an exaggeration, but she always beats me to it!)

3| She finds the gem inside each and every student she meets, patiently listens for what their hearts need to hear, and nurtures freely.

4| She. does. not. give. up.

5| Her burps come from all the way down in her toes.  So does her passion for working with readers and writers.

6| She is smart as a whip.  Maybe even smarter.

7| She writes with her students--the kind of words that make me envious of her ability to craft, especially in the presence of middle school students. 

That's my Kate!


  1. Your Kate will be well missed by all of us! I love your list and that you led with her burps on #5.

  2. what else can be said, you've captured her and surely, we're going to miss her. Well done. both of you.

  3. I'm crying. I love you. I can't imagine what life will be like without you just steps away from me to hear me vent, answer my questions, or listen to my burps. I have a feeling your email and I will become fast friends during the days next year.

  4. Ugh, change is not easy, especially when it's someone you love. This is the Kate you hate, to say goodbye to! Lucky to have had her with you!

  5. You are approaching this change with the spirit of celebration and appreciation. A beautiful list about Kate.

  6. It's hard to say good-bye to colleague that are so amazing, like your Kate. She sounds like an incredible teacher, but then so are you.

  7. Sigh. The changing of colleagues - for whatever reason - is upon us. May we all end up with "Our Kates".