Thursday, June 14, 2018

Mainstream Appeal

I can't be the only one who saw this commercial and smiled.

Sunday, June 10, 2018


Happy Birthday, Zac!

Zac is one of the most cheerful, energetic boys in his class. I say this honestly: He did not know a single enemy. What's not to love? His heart is honest, and his positivity is infectious.

He is the third of his brothers than I have had in class, and sadly for us, the last in his family. I've known his family for a long time. I remember when they brought him home from the hospital, and asking his older brother if he was changing diapers (he insisted no). He truly lived up to his legacy in the classroom; I'm pretty sure everyone in their family is just always a happy person.

I hope you're having a great summer so far, Zac. It's been well-earned through all your hard work throughout the school year.

Happy Birthday, Zimmy! You definitely deserve it.

Thursday, June 7, 2018

This Is Not Good-Bye

Hello, everyone. I hope summer is treating you well so far.

This isn't easy for me to write, but it has been in the back of my mind for a long time. Some of you know that it's been on my mind for years.

It is time for me to move on from teaching school. It has nothing to do with the kids, the excellent staff with which I have had the honor of working, or anything like that. I have loved all the years I have taught at Woodbrook, the families I've met, and the relationships that I have built through my time there. Recent events have all come together and shown me that now is the right time to make this move.

The fact is, I'm not getting any younger. I never expected to teach school for my entire life, and if I want to try new things, now is the time to do that. Enough opportunities and possibilities have come my way this year that it has become clear that this is the way my path is leading.

I am forever grateful to the Woodbrook staff, families, and the students. Each one of them has contributed to making me who I am today.

I will keep Mr. Carter's Dojo going for now. I want everyone to have their birthday blog fair and square for one thing.

Everyone have a fantastic summer, and I will keep you posted on where life leads me next!

Sunday, June 3, 2018

Where Have You Been?

I spent yesterday celebrating the life of my grandmother, Dorothy Carter.

It's hard to put into words what she meant to our family. She served as the glue that held us together at the worst of times, and the better times, she absolutely swelled with pride. At all times, she had a heart that was completely filled with love.

Often, that love spilled over in ways that still make us laugh. When I was probably in middle school or high school, she had bought some cherry cordial ice cream for a family get-together. Her feasts always more than filled us up, though, ice cream or no. She went around offering everyone ice cream, and no one wanted any. She was clearly distraught over the fact that nobody wanted any, so I spoke up and said, "I'll take some, Grandma!" Even though I didn't really care for cherry cordial ice cream, I gobbled it down, insisting that I was loving every bite.

Everyone used to give me a hard time, because every time I came back to their house, she had a brand new tub of cherry cordial ice cream that she would pull out, just for me. She knew it made me happy, and she wanted me to be happy.

My happy place was in their basement, where I could sit and watch TV and smell my grandpa's pipe tobacco. It was always cold down there, and there was a huge trunk that contained old blankets and my uncle's Purdue football jersey. That basement also had some eerie, slightly damp closets packed with ancient memories, and a bar that I always assumed had served up some rocking parties in its heyday.

After exploring down there (or much more often, just chilling), I would go back up those creaky stairs, with each step raising the volume of the laughter of my dad and uncles upstairs, followed by the laughter of everyone else. As I reached the top and swung the door open to their kitchen, it was clear that my happy place wasn't truly in their basement (as much as I could curl up down there and take a nap right now). It was upstairs, the place where everyone felt so welcome, where everyone would say, "Where have you been?"

Tonight, I find myself thinking about one day, when my time comes, of climbing up the stairs, each step getting louder and louder with the beautiful, raucous sound of my family, and reaching the top, opening the door, and seeing everyone mid-laughter, turning, and saying, "Where have you been?"

Saturday, June 2, 2018


Happy Birthday, Cooper!

I'll bet he was starting to think I had forgotten, but that's why I write these things down.

I've had Cooper in my class since last year when he was in my math class as a fourth grader. I was so happy when he was on my class list for this past year. He always made me feel better about myself as a teacher just because of the way he would show his appreciation. This really became more and more manifest as the school year began to come to an end. It broke my heart to say good-bye to him a couple days ago.

Cooper was my office messenger--every day, I'd hand him my updated attendance list and he knew exactly what to do with it. The office ladies told me that they liked seeing him every morning.

Cooper, I hope you are going to have an outstanding time at Clay next year. You're one of the good ones and you deserve it. You're one of my favorite people.

Happy birthday, kiddo. You deserve it!

Friday, June 1, 2018

Friends Are Family

Here's 5-1 during the last few minutes of the school day yesterday. I love these kids and I'm going to miss them!

In the meantime, in the in-between time, I hope everyone is having a great, relaxing first day of break. 

Thursday, May 31, 2018

Rainy Day

What a heartbreaker.

This was one of the hardest last days of school in a long time--so many emotions and so many tears. We kept it upbeat for the most part, but the inevitable end of the day came, and just about the time the kids were on the buses, down came the rain.

I hope everyone has an incredible summer, and I look forward to hearing what happens next in all your lives.