Monthly Archives: June 2009

Not Nachos, Again!

In my passion for improved, healthy food in the schools, I came upon this article in the Chicago Tribune recently, which points out the few oases in the desert of urban lunchroom fare. It only exemplifies how much more needs to be done, and how our kids are being shortchanged.

Click on the link below to read the full article:,0,1006125.story


Paper Wars

      It becomes an endless deluge of white with black print.

      The amount of paper that I see wasted at my regular schools is astounding. Sometimes I imagine that the entire United States could be re-forested with the reams of paper that is gone through daily. Paper balls, paper airplanes, and just single crumpled paper sheets are basic classroom landscape. Continue reading

“We’re Just Playing”

    One of the challenges I faced on a regular basis was the high level of physical contact among the students across the grades. They would be consantly touching, patting, hitting, and pushing on each other, regardless of any reprimands I’d give.

     More often than not, all that physical activity escalated into lots of lets-top-this horseplay, blurring the lines between a little harmless fun, and a write-up for non-injurious combat. When the detention write-ups were sent in, a student’s defense usually was, “We were just playing.”

      For the most part, they really didn’t think they’d done anything inappropriate, saying “He/she started it first.” It’s really sad when, in a child’s mind, payback overshadows learning. But then, these are the ones who don’t see “learning” for the lifelong gift that it is; for them, school is only a place to hang out a few hours a day.

On the Menu

This is the first of a periodic listing about what’s served in the lunchrooms at the schools I work at. Having become more aware of how school food is anything but organic in my city, it’s no wonder that students fall right into the obesity trap. Nutrition that uses fresh, real food is something that seems to be only in the textbooks upstairs.

“Not really” sloppy joes–made with  that famous “mystery meat”
Canned green beans
Spice cake square
Fruit cocktail in small plactic cup [2 oz.]
White or chocolate milk

Not the “Write” Thing

       I’ve noticed that too many kids hate writing. They think it’s only something to study for the state standardized tests, and not an enjoyable and essential lifelong skill.

       A  positive trend in the opposite direction is daily journaling done in many classrooms. Using prompts or a freewrite, students can express themselves on paper without judgement. Continue reading