A student I’ve had for the last two years told me today that she and her peers have grown accustomed to their birthday candy and birthday cards, and she’s not sure how they’ll handle it next year.

“I’ve kept my birthday cards from both years,” she said.

I can’t explain how sacred the space between us felt in that moment.

When we say, “What you did lifted me up,” we anoint both the work and the relationship as holy. We say, “Your fight is seen and is important to me because you belong to me.”

And so the tables flip: the one who was doing the lifting and the pouring is now the one being lifted and being poured into.

It’s upside down.

It’s the great reversal.

It’s one of the most humbling and rewarding parts of working with students.

And our world needs more of it.


Tonight I’m grateful for this email from a parent. I’m clinging to their prayer over me…

We appreciate your email and we are beyond grateful for the time you have spent with them this year and the time you have taken to teach the necessary skills that they will need to ensure a successful future! We are truly grateful to you and all the teachers at Union.
God bless you and may he keep using your talents and abilities to impact all the students you come in contact with. Have a great weekend!

When a family sees all we try to do as a district and then says, “We see you, and we’re grateful…” my hear overflows…

Clothesline Math Again

We did it today! We did the clothesline math about linear measurement that I had made. We had some great conversations about how big things would actually be. 3 centimeters is still pretty darn tiny. We connected 12 inches to a foot and 3 feet to a yard. We read some measurements on rulers. It went well, especially for a Friday afternoon after recess!


I’ll blog via pictures today:

Precalc mathematician spotlight; her answer to #3 (“Why does the quote speak to you?”) gave me goosebumps.
More mathematician spotlight—gorgeous!
The cutest little puffy cat stickers I found at the dollar store that I put on all the A tests (I didn’t have enough—good problem to have)
I stayed after school to decorate my work BFF’s rooms for her 49.999…th birthday tomorrow! I cannot wait to celebrate her!

Clothesline Math

I only discovered clothesline math this year and I absolutely love it. We’ve had some great conversations through this math routine. Right now we’re studying linear measurement and I couldn’t find a clothesline math for that. So I created one. My first one! I’m so proud of myself. (Its a little ridiculous.)

We’ll give it a try tomorrow. So if I don’t share one good thing then that’ll be a bad sign…


Somehow the stars aligned today and I had work days in all my classes. The planets must have aligned as well because everyone seemed to be in the mood to be quiet and work.

I will always be a proponent of every kid hearing me say their name every day. I believe it’s important to check in every day—even on work days.

But I checked in, I answered the questions they had and then they and I worked quietly All. Day. Long. I graded all precalc projects and all calc progress checks and check ups. It felt good.

One of the best comments I heard was in first hour (which was shortened slightly due to drills). “You’re done already?!”

“We’ve been grindin!” was the immediate defense.

Yep. All day long.

Sometimes those quiet days of reflecting and practicing and doing your own work are just as important as the fun group activity days.

We need them both. Whether we’re introverts or extroverts or something in between, we all need days of togetherness and days of solitude.

So let’s provide both. And not worry our little heads over it when we don’t have the coolest, most exciting lesson planned for the day.

It’s ok.

It’s better than ok.

It’s needed.


Lots of good today but it’s late so I’ll just leave this picture of Unicorn Racing we did in calculus.

You can’t see it here, but the winning team’s name was “Mrs. Peterson’s #1 Fans.”

This may or may not have secured their victory.

I love my people.