Ms. Rectenwald Retires

After many years teaching at Del Dayo Elementary School in Carmichael, California, my mom Betsy Rectenwald is retiring this year. The picture above features Mom, myself, and my late Grandma Cornelia, who was also a lifetime educator. Just as Mom learned from her mom, so I learned from her. A colleague wrote her of herContinue reading “Ms. Rectenwald Retires”

Loving Brene…

What do I love about Brene Brown? She doesn’t believe in objectivity without the embracing of one’s subjectivity. I think that once we realize that we are embroiled in the controversial topics facing education today rather than casual – or formal – observers of them, we can begin to heal and transform the world. YouContinue reading “Loving Brene…”

A Best Read of 2019: “Ethnographic Thinking: From Method to Mindset,” by Jay Hasbrouck

This book was written for business by a local author and it was at my favorite local bookstore (Three Trees Books in Seahurst, WA) and it really helped me navigate difficult conversations around race, ethnicity and organizational change in 2019 (the book itself was published in 2018). A lot of the challenge for me overContinue reading “A Best Read of 2019: “Ethnographic Thinking: From Method to Mindset,” by Jay Hasbrouck”

Education versus Schooling: Two Sides of the Same Coin – but not the same thing!

I love helping students who do not traditionally fit in in their educational environments. Why? You guessed it! Because I don’t fit in as a student and I believe that that makes me uniquely qualified to help people like me survive school in a way that keeps their callings and self-esteem intact. So that theirContinue reading “Education versus Schooling: Two Sides of the Same Coin – but not the same thing!”

Mentorship of Non-Traditional Students

When working recently with an older college student, I was surprised at the negative messages they received from people in authority positions at their college campus. The student was almost thirty, and was being dissuaded from taking a course as anything but an auditor and was told to consider a different career path from herContinue reading “Mentorship of Non-Traditional Students”

First Impressions of “Culturally Responsive Teaching and the Brain,” by Zaretta Hammond

I am really grateful to have discovered this book several years ago, but I must confess that I did not read it until this weekend, and I am only half way done. I started reading it because a conservative relative of mine was going to be studying it and I thought – why not readContinue reading “First Impressions of “Culturally Responsive Teaching and the Brain,” by Zaretta Hammond”

New Age Teaching or Mere Realism? Merging Growth Mindset with Mechanical Models of Learning

For a while I was into a New Age worldview where things happened spontaneously and one could realize or actualize their goals by merely manifesting them. How do I want to grow my business? Think big and it will happen! How can I earn more money? Don’t earn it, will that money into existence! You’llContinue reading “New Age Teaching or Mere Realism? Merging Growth Mindset with Mechanical Models of Learning”

Storytelling Brings Empathy: Humans are Storytellers and Meaning Makers

It was in watching the beauty of conversation in sign language that I realized that language is first and foremost a vehicle for story. It was a Sunday afternoon and the sun was setting in Roseville, California, when I walked into a packed and yet silent Starbucks. It was eerie to hear the rustle ofContinue reading “Storytelling Brings Empathy: Humans are Storytellers and Meaning Makers”