Friday, May 8, 2009


This is a sneak peek of one of the resources that will be shared at the ASSET Educator Summer Institute June 6. Ken Burns' The National Parks: America's Best Idea will be a highlight session - sharing soon to be on-air programming from National PBS on Eight and online resources for use in the classroom!

Track your summer travels and explore virtually all the places you could go. Map out your own personal history across the United States from the parks you have visited as a child and as an adult. Consider where to plan your next vacation. Be impressed with how much Arizona itself has to offer! I challenge you to get the gadget and play with it yourself. Plot your history with America's National Parks!

Monday, May 4, 2009

We Appreciate You

If you subscribe to WETA's Reading Rockets eNewsletters - then you already received this... you don't... then this is for you!

This is the one time of year - separate from Christmas and last day of school - when we ALL get to really celebrate how much we appreciate teachers. Not those of us who have children in the classroom, but also those of us who work with teachers, and really anyone who wants to thank a teacher who made a difference in their lives.

Recently I have had the opportunity to reconnect with some of my former yearbook staff members through Facebook. Thankfully they were kind enough to accept my friendship offer - or pass my name along to others who they knew I would know. This couldn't be more rewarding! It is a feeling of satisfaction and pride I read through their profiles and find some have become teachers, some have become doctors, some are pursuing additional higher education. They remember my oldest two children from when they were toddlers and get to see where I am at now in education and my work with Eight and ASSET. I am as full of gratitude for them having been my students and teaching me many things about life and fun and writing as I hope they are to have had me as a teacher.

Never under estimate the power and influence you have in a young person's life... whether that person is 3 and exploring all there is about the world and books and messy crafts or whether you are helping that struggling child in 2nd grade really learn how to read despite a learning disability. Even those scary middle school kids come home from school excited about the latest science experiment they did making crystals (yes, my son at 13) and the high school students quietly admit how much they appreciate your help studying for a test (noted by Millenium High School teacher, husband). You are facing very difficult times in education in our state, and yet you are continuing to be just as valuable in the eyes of each of those students you work with, and their parents who count on you in the trenches every day.

Thank you! We appreciate you!