I Dream of Building Such a School One Day, Part III

In this article, I explore questions related to the educators and staff of this dream school. If money were no object, how would a school be staffed?

Photo by charlesdeluvio on Unsplash

The last post focused on the practical needs of the students and the mission statement. I attempted to create an environment in which students are at the center. Our mission is to support students as they learn to think critically, to problem solve and innovate, and to live a life of service.

Here is a link to the reading list. I believe it will update as I publish.


The best way to support that development — which, in my opinion, leads to a full and fulfilling life — is to recruit educators who also value these ideals.

But wait! There’s more. 😀

The educators who would enjoy working at the school would be those who are disruptors of “traditional” education. They yearn to educate in a different way, to explore cross-curricular connections, and to co-teach with others outside their “content area.” They strive to blur the lines between discrete subjects and find the touch-points where “subjects” intersect.

Additionally, educators would have no problem being highly involved in student life. For example, we would need dorm parents. From what I have read, that sounds fascinating and fun, if a bit overwhelming at times.

Who would make the perfect head master? Who would do well in our administration?

I already have the perfect head master in mind, but that is between his wife and me. Please do not read into that a preference for a particular gender. I just happen to know the person I think would be perfect for the job.

That said, the head master would be, above all, student-centered. The HM’s first priority would be the well-being of the students, and he or she would embrace the education of the whole child.

Of course, HMs need to be well-versed in all the other practical matters related to running a school, but more importantly, they must be willing to learn. They must be collaborative with other faculty and staff, as well as peers among those who run schools.

Finally, HMs need to know how to choose the perfect staff to support the HM role, including assistants, administrative assistants (you know they run the school, right?), and disciplinarians. Yes, I intentionally used the term “disciplinarian.” I think it’s unfortunate that the term has fallen into disrepute, even if I understand why. There is no need for a disciplinarian to be unduly harsh with students. Instead, they should be a role model for exemplary behavior and help students learn how to treat others fairly, with respect and dignity. That’s for another post.

Who would make the perfect educational professional?

There are so many professionals we need. Teachers, paraprofessionals (how I wish I could be a para… if only the benefits were there…), counselors, psychologists, and the like.

These educators would be happiest if they believed in disrupting education as we know it, and if they were dedicated to serving the “whole child.”

Who would make the perfect school medical professional?

In our school, there would definitely be more than one. Since money is no object, we could hire an M.D. and several nurses who specialize in youth-oriented medicine. I would also argue that psychologists should be part of the medical staff.

The medical professionals should be involved in several ways with the students, faculty, and staff. For example, they could help teachers with certain lessons. Could you imagine the school psychologist coming to literature class to discuss a novel through a psychological lens? Why not? I can also see doctors and nurses having a lot of fun helping kids learn anatomy and physiology.

Who would make the perfect nutrition specialist and all the other wrap around services a school needs?

We would need a nutrition specialist and staff that could develop meals for teenagers that support their growth and development, preferably from local sources.

We would also need custodial staff that could attend to all the needs of the grounds and buildings. They should also support any students who express interest in any aspect of the buildings, from gardening to engineering.

After all, we are all educators.

One more post…

In the next post, I will address these questions.

  1. What is the overarching teaching and learning philosophy that will guide all of us?
  2. How should the curriculum be organized? What is the purpose of the curriculum?
  3. What would the schedule look like?
  4. How would we explain our curriculum and learning targets to colleges and other post-secondary organizations?

I hope you’ll join me for the next post! Thank you for reading.


I Dream of Building Such a School One Day, Part II

Remember, money is no object.

Photo by Toa Heftiba on Unsplash

In my last article, I listed the following priorities, among others. I will address them one at a time.

View at Medium.com

Why build yet another school? What is the mission statement?

The mission of this school would include statements about what our students should learn, how they should learn, and why the learning is important.

First, we should graduate students who can think critically. So, blah. So what? What does that even mean?

In my opinion, that means students should be able to question everything. They should not accept things at face value, but be able to articulate their acceptance or rejection of an idea or concept after evaluating facts and synthesizing the arguments posed. They should also be able to evaluate the concept by interrogating it using their own experiences. It is our duty to help them learn how to master that, so that it comes automatically.

Second, students should be able to problem solve. Therefore, they should have a solid grounding in math and science, as well as philosophy. Using their knowledge of math, science, and philosophy, supported with history and literature, they should be able to innovate solutions to problems and articulate those solutions in writing and verbally. Our learning process should synthesize these skills and concepts so they seem natural, automatic, and empowering.

Third, they should understand their contributions to service make all the difference. Students should complete service projects to demonstrate this understanding. Our commitment as educators toward service should shine through in everything we do. In the end, service to others is all that matters, which is why we teach.

Critical Thinking. Problem Solving and Innovation. Service. That is why our school exists, and why we want students to join us and learn with us.

That sounds like a good start.

Should the school be a day school or a boarding school?

I would like the school to be a boarding school. I love this idea, and my research into boarding schools has intrigued me. I love the idea of dorm parents (teachers and administrators). I love the idea of helping students learn to live and thrive on their own.

I have watched my son go through college and learn to live on his own. At 21, I could not even have dreamed of living on my own. Yet, there he is, my hero, sharing an apartment all because he has had three years of experience being independent. He knows (as does his wonderful girlfriend) what to do, how to manage, and how to thrive. Why not help younger students discover that so they can go off to college or career confident in their ability to help themselves?

What benefits could each student look forward to (clothing, nutrition, healthcare, wellness services, ed-tech, dormitory, etc.)?

Keeping in mind that money is no object, then each student who attended the school would have access to uniforms for school, sleep clothing, athletic clothing, outerwear, and whatever else they need. They would have to do their own laundry, of course! Remember, they need to be self-sufficient!

Students would have access to all personal hygiene materials they need, according to their needs. For example, if someone has sensitive skin, we’re going to provide what they need. I remember teaching at a residential facility that did not consider those needs and seeing the results. It was heart breaking.

Students would have access to meals and snacks from 5 in the morning until 9 at night. Fluids, of course, would be available around the clock.

Students would have access to healthcare and wellness services around the clock.

Each student would receive a computer, printer, paper, and the office supplies they think necessary. (As a girl who loved the stationery section of every store, I would keep the pantry stocked well with everything they could ever want, even stickers. Kids love stickers. Oh, let’s face it, everyone loves stickers.)

Each student would have a comfortable dorm room. They would have comfortable sheets, comforters, cooling blankets, shag rugs… whatever they need. They would share their room with a roommate, so they could learn to live with someone else. They would learn how to care for their room using appliances provided by the school.

Every student would have clean and sanitary facilities for personal hygiene. I say this because I worked in a residential facility that made residents use portable toilets most of the time. That’s a story for another time.

Upon request, other student needs would be addressed. Almost nothing would be denied.

What age range would be accommodated at this school?

I am a secondary school teacher, so at this time, this school would accomodate students aged 12–19. I would eliminate grade levels, however. That’s for another post.

What are the entrance requirements?

Students need to prove they want to work hard. They can come to this school tuition and board free if they can prove their desire to develop the skills of critical thinking, problem solving and innovation, and service, as stated in the mission statement.

How can they prove that? Well, that would be evaluated on a case-by-case basis, honestly. Here are some quick examples:

  1. Eagle Scouts who applied for dues sponsorship and worked on their project despite personal hardship. (Note: scouting isn’t just for boys anymore, and girls can now become Eagle Scouts, too. It’s thrilling, really.)
  2. Youth who have lived under challenging circumstances and have met their obligations.
  3. Those who can articulate a dream and how they want to fulfill it.
  4. Those who have recommendations from several teachers and community leaders.
  5. Youth who have the drive and determination, and need assistance fulfilling their dreams for whatever reason.

What parental and community obligations should we establish?

Parents and community members should understand that we need them. They will work with their students to ensure that what they learn at the school will translate to sustainable initiatives at home.

For example, if a student shows interest in clinical services in the community, then parents and community members can work with that student to launch a project. We can help the student develop the plan, share it with the parents and community, and then ask the community and parents to find the funding. We can help with that too.

There are so many service projects we could help students develop and parents/community members launch. Imagine the difference these students could make? What a lovely idea.

In the next article, I will address the following questions.

  1. Who would make the perfect head master? Who would do well in our administration?
  2. Who would make the perfect educational professional?
  3. Who would make the perfect school medical professional?
  4. Who would make the perfect nutrition specialist and all the other wrap around services a school needs?

Thank you for reading.

I Dream of Building Such a School One Day

If money were no object, this is the school I would build.

Girard College, Philadelphia. Lithograph by J.C. Wild, 1838, retrieved from Wikimedia Commons

Imagine that one day, I open my banking app and see that I have one billion more dollars than I did the day before.

After regaining consciousness, I call the bank. It’s a legitimate deposit, I’m told. I’m skeptical. Wouldn’t you be?

Another caller interrupts our conversation. When I answer that call, I am told I have been granted that money with no expectations, no strings. I tell the caller I’m skeptical, that this doesn’t happen to MacCorkles. We have always had to scrimp and save.

Nevertheless, it turns out to be mine. Now what do I do with it?

Well, after making sure my family will never want for anything ever again, I decide I’m going to build a school. I’m going to be the next Stephen Girard, in a sense. Instead of only bequeathing millions to the creation of a school upon my death, I will also run it.

I know, I know… How many teachers every year declare they are going to build their own school and do it better than where they teach now? I’m sure there are many. With this post, I add my voice to the cacaphony.

Thanks to Priscilla Du Preez @priscilladupreez for making this photo available freely on Unsplash 🎁

What Should Our Priorities Be?

In this first article, I will outline the priorities for this dream school. I risk sounding incredibly naive, but that’s fine. Perhaps I can spark some healthy conversation!

  1. Why build yet another school? What is the mission statement?
  2. Should the school be a day school or a boarding school?
  3. What benefits could each student look forward to (clothing, nutrition, healthcare, wellness services, ed-tech, dormitory, etc.)?
  4. What age range would be accommodated at this school?
  5. What are the entrance requirements?
  6. What parental and community obligations should we establish?
  7. Who would make the perfect head master? Who would do well in our administration?
  8. Who would make the perfect educational professional?
  9. Who would make the perfect school medical professional?
  10. Who would make the perfect nutrition specialist and all the other wrap around services a school needs?
  11. What is the overarching teaching and learning philosophy that will guide all of us?
  12. How should the curriculum be organized? What is the purpose of the curriculum?
  13. What would the schedule look like?
  14. How would we explain our curriculum and learning targets to colleges and other post-secondary organizations?
  15. Why are we different from anyone else?

What other questions would you ask?

In the next article, I will work on items 1–6. I hope you will join me.

The Bell Ringers document is coming along, slowly. Feel free to check it out.

View at Medium.comView at Medium.com

Three Things I Can Do to Make This School Year Better

Revisit my classroom management skills. Plan ahead and prepare to change it all. Continue to grow into my best self.

Photo by Laurenz Kleinheider on Unsplash

The summer vacation is coming to an end, and now it is time to plan for the school year to come. So many issues have sabotaged my attempts to plan, including a deep depression that has hit me (and many teachers, I suspect) like a freight train.

I had such high hopes for the vacation. I was going to get started on the novel I’ve wanted to write for years. I was going to continue the counseling that helped me get through pandemic teaching. I was going to resume my maiden name and all the paperwork that entails.

Well, the last one worked out.

Now, before August 1 rolls around (school doesn’t start until August 29 in my district, thank heavens), I am trying to write again. I said on Twitter that it’s nice to feel like I want to be in the thinking business.

I’m telling you, I haven’t even read a book this summer. I have a stack waiting, and have had no interest in them. I keep buying from used bookstores, but I haven’t really cracked one.

The only person who will make this school year better for me is me. There is no knight in shining armor to rescue me, refresh my skills in classroom management, and help me with lesson planning and pacing. Nope, just me. Before I start crying, let’s get this post started.

Classroom Management: It’s Not the Same Anymore

If last year taught me anything, it’s that we aren’t going back to what was normal before the pandemic hit. Student behavior issues seemed more difficult to manage, for example. They were more numerous, too. I wasn’t the only teacher to feel this way. One even said to me, “Heather, I’m ready to tell them all to f-off.”

We’re all tired. This summer was supposed to be about recharging, finding our balance, refilling our toolbox with shiny new tools, and coming back to school with gusto and verve.

I’m worried we will face the same issues this year. Perhaps they will be even worse. So, it’s time to revisit basic classroom management principles.

  1. Establish class rules with the students. Let them help you establish accountability measures.
  2. Create routines for restroom breaks, phone usage/storage, and participation — and stick to them consistently. (That’s a problem for me.)
  3. Show respect and model respectful behavior.
  4. Call parents whenever there is a problem, and after discussing the issue with the student.
  5. Set up a class seating chart before students arrive. Advise the students that the chart is subject to change. Observe and change the seating chart as needed.
  6. If students cannot stay in their seats, they can stand in the back.
  7. Remember: if you yell, you’ll lose them. Breathe. (I’m known for NOT yelling.)

Planning to Succeed While Understanding Everything Is Subject to Change

Rosters are not yet available, so I have no student profiles to examine as I try to plan. This means I can plan all I want, but they may not apply to the students who ultimately join the team.

I like to use Understanding by Design as the basis for my lessons and units, especially the notion that we start our lessons with a simple question: “What do we want the students to understand by the end of the lesson?” It seems so simple, so sensible. However, if we start with standards, it is easy to go down the rabbit hole of unpacking and trying to fulfill all aspects of the standards, losing sight of what the kids need.

I also use a strategy I call POINT. It’s my reflection on other lesson planning methods that helps me focus on what the students need first.

POINT stands for:

  • Purpose (Goals)
  • Objectives (SWBAT/Standards)
  • Indicators of Learning (Diagnostic, Formative, Summative)
  • “Negotiables” for Differentiation
  • Tasks/Steps

I’ve written about this strategy before, and you can read that article by clicking the link below.


The good news is that I’m not starting completely from scratch, but not knowing about the students makes it more difficult to plan alternative routes to understanding.

To be honest with myself, I would probably fret about that anyway.

Continue to Grow into My Best Self

This is going to be the hardest. As I mentioned at the top of this post, the pandemic has adversely affected me professionally and personally. It exacerbated my issues, especially my feelings of competence, capability, and value. I struggled, sometimes mightily.

After a month of rest and reflection, it’s time to plot my own path, manage the classroom in my head, and make sure I’m prepared for things that come my way.

Thank you for reading this post. I am grateful.

Dear School Boards: You Need to Professionalize the Substitute Teacher Role

Teacher shortages at every level demand a new response to what has always been a problem, namely the lack of available substitute teachers.

Photo by Kenny Eliason for Unsplash

I recently interviewed for a position with UP Education in Massachusetts. One of the roles is “Cluster Substitute Teacher,” otherwise known as a building sub. I applaud them for creating such a role and making it a full-time teaching position. That makes it attractive to teachers like me, who are experienced and have been in teaching positions, but might be looking for a change. In my case, I was also attracted by the organization’s mission.

This position comes with benefits and a competitive starting salary. When the teacher is not needed to cover a class, then a co-teaching assignment might be available. Otherwise, the principal will assign other duties as needed. We all know that schools need everyone to wear several hats, as staffing levels are lean. It seems to me this organization knows how to use its human resources well.

What should we do?

I have several suggestions.

  1. Create a professional, full-time role for substitutes that includes a competitive salary and benefits (medical, PTO, etc.).
  2. Structure the role so that when a sub is not needed to cover a classroom, that sub is engaged in other student-centered activities, such as co-teaching, performing paraprofessional tasks, or helping in the office.
  3. Ensure the position is eligible for union membership, professional development opportunities, tuition reimbursement, “years of service” counts, etc.
  4. Consider induction programs for these teachers with mentors and action-research projects, and offer them continuing education opportunities at little to no cost.
  5. Ensure the person holding the position is protected by establishing a rigorous disciplinary system to mitigate unwanted behaviors.

Who would be best suited for this role?

  1. New teachers. Teachers just entering the profession would benefit from substitute teaching. It wasn’t that long ago that I was a student teacher, and while my experience was excellent and I learned so much, I learned a lot more about classroom management while I was a substitute, out there on the “line” without a “net” (a supervising teacher) to protect me. Personally, I think every new teacher should be required to substitute for at least a year before getting a classroom, and a program like this would make that requirement possible.
  2. Teachers looking for a change. Suppose a high school teacher would like to explore elementary education. While they would probably have to take a pay cut, perhaps they would think it worth their time.

What would be required?

  1. Certification to teach in the state.
  2. Clear background checks and fingerprints.
  3. Letters of reference from professors and/or supervisors.
  4. Successful interviews and demo lessons.

Well, what do you think?

If I were offered this job, I’d take it. I’d buy a rolling cart and off I’d go to a new adventure every day. What do you think?

Thank you, as always, for reading.

Ideas for Bell Ringers, Part II

If you would like to follow along with my progress on this project, please see the Google Slides deck linked below.

Click this link to see the entire slide deck.


As I update the deck, this link should update as well.

If you would like to make a copy of this deck, I believe you can as a viewer. If you are having any trouble with that, I can be reached by leaving a comment on this post.

To read the post which inspired this one, please see below.

View at Medium.com

Thank you!

A Letter to Tutoring Organizations from a Loyal Tutor

If I could tutor full time, I would.

Photo by sofatutor on Unsplash

Tonight, I had the pleasure to work with a rising 6th grader. After working on paragraph revision for about 10 minutes, he asked, “Can I ask you something?”

“Of course,” I responded. It’s one of his tactics to stop working for a moment, but I almost always respond the same way. I expected him to ask me if I had seen a Marvel movie yet, but then he asked me if I prefer to work with young students or older students in high school.

I responded immediately: “If I could tutor kids your age full time and make a livelihood out of it, I would in a heart beat. This work has brought light to my life in ways I cannot describe.”

He’s a precocious 6th grader. He started to tear up. Then, he thanked me. I thanked him back.

I have been tutoring online for almost a year. In that time, I have worked with students in grades 3–11. I told my director that I love working with the “little ones.” I really do. It’s more difficult for me because I am a secondary English teacher, but I love the challenge, and it has taught me so much about learning progressions.

I keep thinking that if only I had known my struggling readers and writers in elementary school, perhaps I could have done something to help them. I have also used some skills practice from middle school with my juniors and seniors who need reinforcement. I’m always looking for new ways to teach ELA.

While I am a loyal tutor and believe in the value of tutoring, I do have a few recommendations for tutoring companies everywhere, based on my examination of several such services.

Show tutors how much you value them

Pay them what they are worth

My organization is good at showing how much they value their tutors. They have been kind, flexible, and encouraging. If I have one complaint, it would be the pay rate.

Certified teachers should earn more than $20 an hour. My organization is actually on HIGH end in terms of pay rate. I have investigated others that recommend starting at a rate of NINE dollars a session. Are you kidding?

Those tutoring services that offer slightly more do not recruit students for you, for the most part. Instead, you need to sell yourself. I’m a teacher, not a salesperson. I never have been. Any time I see that I can “set my own rate,” and should include an “introductory video,” and so forth, I immediately pass.

It seems disrespectful. I know that tutoring is a business. However, teachers need more support than many tutoring services are willing to provide. I am lucky that I do not have to recruit students.

Help them with instructional resources

I have paid a great deal for the instructional resources I have curated over the past year: assessment and diagnostic services, worksheets, free-to-distribute ebooks, PDF workbooks, strategies for teaching ELA skills, etc.

Tutoring organizations would do well (and some do) to provide a repository of resources for their tutors. If we are going to accept a pay rate of below $20 an hour, we should not have to sacrifice that pay for resources.

Alternatively, pay your tutors to create their own resources and save them to a repository for others to use. I believe in the value of curation. When we work together, we can make glorious things happen.

Pay them for prep time

For every hour I tutor at a particular grade level, I spend at least an hour preparing. Then, I spend about another hour differentiating for the student. So, that means for every hour I tutor, I have usually spent two hours preparing. I do not get paid for that.

Now that I am in my second year, I do have resources to draw on. I can modify them to accommodate the student. Perhaps I will spend less time preparing this year, but still, I think about all the hours I spent this year with a bit of regret.

If I were to run my own tutoring business, I would pay my tutors at least an hour per grade level, include a repository of resources for them, and ensure they received reimbursement for resources they would like reimbursed. That’s just respectful.

Let’s all be mindful of everyone’s time

We teachers are used to trying to squeeze four preps into one prep period. It happens all the time. Still, that doesn’t mean we like it much. When teachers become tutors, it is important that they feel valued. I think a few changes mentioned above could help.

Thank you for reading!

Ideas for Bell Ringers

Make that first five minutes work for you and your learners.

Photo by Luís Perdigão on Unsplash

In this post, I will share my thoughts on bell ringers for this year.

Any middle or high school teacher knows that the first five minutes of class can quickly go by without any learning going on. Students need to use the restroom, go to their locker, or talk to you about something. Suddenly, you notice that most of the classroom is staring at you because they have nothing to do.

While bell ringers are a great way to fill that time, my experience has been that I can’t keep up with them. I create, say, 30, and then I think, “I’ll create more during prep; I know what I’m doing now.” So, instead of doing that, I’m going to push myself to create many more, and I hope you’ll come along with me.

Step 1: Think about your curricular strands.

For each content area, there are usually several strands that categorize the standards students are expected to master. For English Language Arts, they are:

  • Reading Literature
  • Reading Informational Text
  • Writing
  • Speaking and Listening
  • Language

To that list, I would add 21st Century Skills and College and Career Readiness.

With that list in mind, contemplate some short tasks you could display that would take 5–10 minutes.

  • Reading Literature
  • Annotate a short poem
  • Write 50 words on a question about a literary device
  • Write 250 words about your favorite book
  • Reading Informational Text
  • Summarize a news article provided to you
  • Write 250 words about what you learned in history, science, or math yesterday
  • (Yes, I’m coming up with these in real time)
  • Writing
  • Write a short poem
  • Create a setting / plot / character for a short story about ____.
  • Write about the challenges you face when trying to write.
  • Speaking and Listening
  • Discuss: What is active listening?
  • Discuss: How does one overcome nervousness when speaking in public?
  • Language
  • Edit the passage for clarity
  • Combine the sentences

Step 2: Determine what kind of bell ringers you want to do that will work for each class you have.

There are several types to choose from. I don’t know if any of these are “official” types; these are just tasks I’ve brainstormed.

  • 250 Words (later in the year, increase it until you are requesting 500)
  • Image prompts
  • One-word prompts, like the All Souls’ 5th essay, which they no longer do when choosing fellows, but it’s still an interesting concept
  • Short-poem annotation
  • Short-poem analysis (this is good to try about 30 days in)
  • Breakout Bell Ringer (during COVID, we had to use breakout rooms in virtual classes, so I would use the same concept for in-person learning, but have them turn their desks to collaborate and keep the name, because I think it’s cool)
  • Grammar challenges
  • Today’s Wordle
  • The New Yorker’s caption challenge

Step 3: Start creating

I recommend presentation software for this part of the process (e.g., PowerPoint or Google Slides). Choose a theme or create one, consider the format of the slide, and if you like what you come up with, duplicate the slide and change the information.

Most importantly, have fun!

Thank you for reading!

Read this post and more on my Typeshare Social Blog

What Is Forgiveness?

How can you really forgive someone, or be forgiven?

Photo by Melanie Stander on Unsplash

I used to believe that forgiveness was quite simple. We all make mistakes, and we all deserve second chances, or multiple chances, to make amends and change our behavior. Who are we to withhold forgiveness when we ourselves so often need it?

Now, I see that forgiveness is much more complicated. Forgiveness without understanding is nice, but not effective.

Perhaps I should qualify that a bit. Both sides need to express an understanding. The person who has asked for forgiveness needs to recognize and express why they behaved the way they did. The person being asked needs to recognize and express why they have been wronged.

Yesterday, as I thought about this idea, I said to myself, “Forgiveness without understanding is putting a bandage over a large wound and taking it off before it has fully healed.” The problem is still there. The wound could fester and get infected, just as people who do not understand, and yet forgive or receive forgiveness will eventually find themselves in the same situation they thought was resolved.

Forgiveness after understanding breaks the cycle. I used to think that I had to forgive immediately. What if something happened to the other person before I forgave them? Now, I know that isn’t fair to myself or the other person. Holding them accountable is much more respectful and demonstrates a confidence in the other person to do the right thing in the future. Holding myself accountable, by making me go through the exercise of understanding my role, demonstrates an increased self-worth.

What about forgiveness being for yourself?

Wise people have advised me that forgiveness is for yourself. While I agree, I would add that forgiveness without understanding is not treating yourself with kindness and care.

The next time you find yourself in a situation where you do not have the other person around to extend forgiveness, don’t forget to try to understand. Counselors are so helpful here. Once you understand, extending forgiveness will stick. You can finally get that person living “rent free” in your head evicted for good.

Although more complicated, forgiveness with understanding is best for the long-term, for your health, and for your life.

This process could be time-consuming, but it seems to me that it could be much more rewarding for everyone concerned.

Thank you for reading!

Read this post and more on my Typeshare Social Blog

“What’s the plan?”

The first conversation with myself that I actually want to put in writing.

“So, Miss Mac, what do you think of this Roe v. Wade thing?”

Suddenly, I’m transported back to 1993 and a debate over abortion in my Senior Seminar class at a Catholic University. I didn’t answer their questions well that day, at least in their opinion. It was supposed to be a debate right? I’d been assigned the “pro-choice” side. I’m still not sure what I was supposed to say, and I still don’t care.

Next, I imagine myself standing at the front of the classroom, my mouth open just a bit as I ponder it. Meanwhile, 15 kids stare at me, while the one who asked smirks a bit.

I’m the type of teacher who gets these questions, you know. I must have something written on my forehead, as my mother would say. I welcome these types of questions, but am not wild about this one. Therefore, I have to prepare myself, or I’m going to say something unintelligent.

Teachers aren’t supposed to say unintelligent things. We do anyway, but try our hardest not to.

After stumbling through several responses, I finally came up with something.

“I have one question for both sides. Now that Roe v. Wade is no longer, what’s the plan?” Before the student can answer, I admit there isn’t just one question.

“My next question is why haven’t both sides planned for this? Ever since Roe v. Wade was decided, it has been contested. So, why haven’t they been preparing for the day the Court would overturn it? Yes, it took forty years to overturn it, but everyone knew this would happen eventually.

“How will we help those who find themselves without this option now? Is this a matter of ‘pulling oneself up by one’s bootstraps’? Well, that’s not going to work.

“Now wait… you asked me and I’m answering, so no interruptions. Why, I ask both sides of this issue, has no one come up with a plan to help women so they wouldn’t even have to take that option in the first place? Why have we not addressed the social and economic disparities in this country that made this so important?

“Why have we not found resources for those who don’t want to take this option beyond, say, adoption?

“Why do we not support families? Why do we not have universal child care, so women can return to school or work and raise the child without having to work specifically for child care? Why do we still not have equal pay for equal work, so that women who face this situation can support themselves?

“Why do we not have a more rigorous system to hold the men accountable? So many women are left on their own to raise a child. It’s easy for the men to walk away. They should not be allowed to just walk away. Where’s the plan for that?

Both sides wasted all those years, and now it is the women who will pay for such incompetence.

I am not celebrating this Independence Day. My country has let us down… again.

Thank you for reading.