Cathedral Building

Another Teaching Blog

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Shh. The money is sleeping.

Today when a toddler was playing with fake money and I asked what they would buy, they told me an elephant.

When I came back over later in the session they had put all the coins away and told me we had to be quiet because the money was sleeping.

I can’t tell if I love my job or just want a toddler or a little of both.

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It’s very comforting to think we’ll be able to solve America’s nutrition crisis by building more grocery stores in low-income neighborhoods and educating low-income families on how to cook healthy, nutritious meals.

But the unfortunate truth is that more grocery stores and nutrition education (while helpful to some people) doesn’t address the larger problem — which is that eating is expensive.

According to the Population Reference Bureau, the number of low-income families is increasing. The report defines low-income working families as “those earning less than twice the federal poverty line.”

In 2011, the low-income threshold for a family of four with two children was $45,622. If you estimate rent at $1000/month, which is quite low for a family of four, that leaves about $33,000 for health care, transportation costs, clothing, and groceries for four people. That’s $687.50 per person per month for every single expense except rent.

Let’s do some more math.

Gala apples are among the cheapest fruit nationally. The USDA lists them at $1.16 a pound at the time I’m writing this article. There are about three apples to a pound, so if you wanted to buy your two kids an apple for each day of the week, you would spend $5.80 just on an afternoon snack for your kids. And let’s keep in mind that apples are relatively low-calorie, which means they aren’t very filling.

Six bucks doesn’t seem like much to someone with a middle class salary, but when you’re working with a weekly budget of under $700 per week for everything you need, including car repairs, gas money, winter clothing for constantly growing children, toilet paper, laundry detergent, electric bills… $5.80 starts to look pretty hefty for a snack that won’t even satisfy.

“I look at this list and can’t help but wonder how she’s supposed to do it. If $11 of apples equals two snacks, but $3 in Ramen will feed her entire family for dinner, how can she possibly pick apples with her limited food stamp budget?”McClay wonders.“And how will she ever afford to fill half of every mealtime plate with fruits and veggies, the amount recommended by the same government that issued her food stamps?”

It’s a good question.

The US government heavily subsidizes some foods, such as corn and soybeans. The result is that processed foods that are heavy in these ingredients end up being cheaper than fresh produce, which is not as heavily subsidized, if it is at all.

There is a serious disconnect between what we should be eating to stay healthy, and what the economic reality is.

Why Judging People for Buying Unhealthy Food Is Classist by 

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(via kicksandgiggles)

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Because I know I’m not the only one who’s been here:

an awkward and necessary honesty moment:

Going from an old position to a new one can be hard, even if it’s for all the right reasons.

It means coming from a place, even if you didn’t realize it, where you were knowledgeable about the work you’d been doing — and ending in a place where even if it’s a familiar field, things may be confusing.

You may feel less capable.

You may feel overwhelmed.

You may feel like less of a whatever-your-job-may-be.

You may be going from feeling competent, maybe even feeling like one of the experts in even one particular thing, to feeling like you just aren’t very good at your job at all.

It’s okay.

You’re learning.  You’re new.  You may be in a new place with new people, and even if you’re doing the same sort of job you may have a whole new crop of kids and families (and even coworkers) who have a whole new set of needs and strengths.

If you’re moving from one position to the next and you’re feeling down on yourself, remember: this is a change.  You’re good at what you do.  You may have felt really good about your work at your last position, but did you go in that way?  You felt good about your work because of all the time you had there, even if it was just a semester for some of you student teachers out there, to get better at it.  And by the time you’ve been at the place you are now that same amount of time, you’ll feel capable with what you’re doing now, too.

You’re learning.  Nobody starts out an expect.  Most people don’t start out spectacular.  In fact, I’d even hazard a guess that for many of us starting something new, we start by feeling like we’re fumbling through and tripping on our own two feet.

But you’ll get there.  Give yourself time.

Filed under education positivity I don't know if you needed this but I needed this learning change self-care mental health

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Potty-talk superhero reigns as king of the 2014 banned book list

Is anyone else raising en eyebrow at the fact that the book that in part addresses race and racism is banned in part for racism?

(Source: gjmueller)

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Why I love teaching _______________:


Why do you love teaching the grade level you teach at?

Birth through five: Because they’re literally learning everything.  Last week I got to see a toddler’s face as they realized that putting cups over their ears had a sound to it, and you would have thought they just discovered the meaning of life itself.  Everything is new and exciting to them.

Filed under new experiences for them and for me early childhood eec toddlers education

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Bisexual Awareness Day: An Important New Study by HRC

Today is Bisexual Awareness Day, and HRC released a report along with BiNet USA, Bisexual Resource Center, and the Bisexual Organization Project that is very important in further understanding the stigmatization that many in the bisexual and pansexual community face on a regular basis.

Check out the full report here!

This is an incredibly important conversation to have and continue having until those with any and all sexualities and gender identities are welcomed within and outside of the LGBTQ+ community.

Kristin also weighed in with her own experience on the issue in an article on the same topic released today by Autostraddle.

Check out the Autostraddle article here!


This is something that I hear over and over again, not only from youth but from adults as well. When bisexual and pansexual youth come out and are told that they’re “faking” or need to “pick one,” that they’re “greedy” or “confused” or “going through a phase,” it invalidates their identity. And then, when they look to the adults in the community — if they can find any mention of bi- or pansexuality, as both are so frequently erased in the media and the streets — and see that little changes for them, that bi- and pansexual adults are still derided, belittled, and erased, what is the message we as adults are sending?

People often ask, “but how can I address these specific issues if I’m not working with youth I know or suspect to be part of the community?” It’s easy: examine your own behavior as adults, toward other adults as well as toward youth. Examine your actions and your attitudes. And if you’re still thinking of bisexuality or pansexuality as “the first stop to gay-town,” just a stepping stone, just experimentation, indecisiveness, or some comment on sexual appetite — stop. Re-evaluate. Think, “if a young person heard what I was thinking or saying right now, how would that affect their development as a person?”

You can change it.

Filed under education sexuality lgbtq social justice bisexuality pansexuality youth

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The Whitest Kids U’ Know x

I really spent four years in the states thinking this couldn’t possibly be a real thing but then I graduated and everyone knew the pledge of allegiance PERFECTLY and then I realized how true this gifset really is. If you say something enough as a kid, it’ll never leave you. The thing tho, is that normally, kids know lullabies, and songs. Not a poem about mindless patriotism.


SAME! I used to “baaaaaaa” during the pledge in middle school lol

I also refused to say the pledge starting in middle school. I always got in so much trouble even though i respectfully stood and stayed silent. I wasnt disruptive or anything.

I didn’t get in trouble per-say, but back in high school I refused to do the pledge and got some pretty dirty looks from my teacher.

In the fourth grade, I sat behind a black boy who crossed his fingers behind his back when we said the Pledge. Back then, I didn’t understand why. Other than that one boy, I, and no one else I knew, ever,
ever questioned the Pledge, not even to ask why we did it. In hindsight, that’s actually pretty damn scary.

They finally made it a thing where we can’t be punished for not saying the Pledge. I haven’t even stood up for the damn thing in six years. People give me funny looks and I just think to myself, “At least I’m not the one mindlessly following a country that can’t even get its own shit together before policing the rest of the world.”

I’d always say the version from “Year of the Boar and Jackie Robinson.” No one caught on until high school, and my law teacher heard me. She laughed so hard she had to sit down. She didn’t make us say it again after that.

I’m curious as to where people live where they were punished for not saying it? Because all throughout high school (and maybe middle school, I don’t remember), no one said the pledge. We just kinda stood up, slapped a hand on our chest, and maybe mumbled a word or two, but usually it was just silently staring at the flag in a dead-eyed morning exhaustion state.

I never stood for the pledge, I always just sat quietly and respectfully while other people did. people muttered things about this behind my back - they wondered if it was because I was Jewish and the pledge says “god”, they wondered if I was a terrorist, they wondered if I was a satanist. Seriously, a girl actually asked me if I didn’t stand up for the pledge because I was a satanist. And I remember the first day of my sophomore year of high school my new biology teacher lost her shit at me for it, shouting about how her brother was a veteran and how the pledge of allegiance is what brought this country together and all sorts of other shit, and when she finally asked me why I didn’t stand up I very calmly told her, “I’ve decided that for the time being I am not going to pledge allegiance to a country that does not stand for me, or for that matter half of its population.” 

She took me into the hallway and apologized.

This was in West Hartford, Connecticut. About as Yankee as you get.

When I was in high school, in NY, and downstate no less, we had to stand. It depended on whose classroom you were in as to whether this was enforced. But in my sophomore or junior year, when I was very vocally against the war but stood silently in respect for the folks who’d enlisted (military family), a friend was outright anti-authority and declared that she was not going to stand that day. We were in the cafeteria for study hall. The security guard came over and demanded that she stand up. She wouldn’t. He demanded again. She told him it was her right not to stand up, and she didn’t believe in the pledge and wasn’t standing. He leaned over and was about to forcibly pull her to stand up, but as soon as he got a hand around her arm she tugged, took a deep breath to start swearing, announcements started, he realized people were watching, and he let go and gave her a detention slip.

She ripped it up.

This was the same school in which they had a square-dancing unit and our square decided to for the hell of it rearrange into same-sex couples, and the gym teacher told us that if we didn’t fix it we were going to get detention and kicked out of class.

I started high school in 01. It wasn’t exactly the stone age.

To this day I stand in respect, but I don’t recite.