Friday, 28 February 2014


I visited the anti-bias/restorative justice preschool this week for a few hours. My initial impression last week, when I toured Bloom and met with the director, was a general sense of "ehhhhh." But that was when all I had to go off of was the facility, which is undergoing renovations and is just generally dated and hodgepodge -- but with grand plans and so much potential! -- and my sort of awkward, informal interview with the director. The director's educational philosophies seem to line up quite well with mine, but I walked away from the meeting really appreciating some of the organizational/administrative structures in place at Escuela. Like that Escuela trained me as a sub and paid me for it, and made their expectations explicit (on paper, even!), and prioritized getting my paperwork squared away. Bloom seems to be more haphazard in this regard.

Today I got to see the teaching practices in action in the preschool/pre-k program, and I'm enamored all over again with Bloom. The teachers responded so sensitively to the children, and I saw a lot of Reggio best practices actually taking place. Probably my favorite thing that I observed was "story circle," which was a totally different approach to the circle time I've typically seen in preschool classrooms. Circle time is usually an exercise in trying to micromanage the children's bodies and attention while slogging through a series of singalongs, picture books, and maybe something like the weather or calendar or class jobs. But story circle! Story circle was a time for the teacher to use small props (small wooden dolls, gemstones, scarves) to set a scene and tell a story, to which the children listened raptly. And the story she told, with robots and bears and dragons and humans and foxes, was one about family, adoption, and community. YES. SIGN ME UP.

Lots of other little moments made me feel like this would be a very good place for me to teach. I love the children at Escuela but I'm not sold on some of the approaches to classroom management, curriculum, and behavior modification. I hope Bloom has a staff opening soon so I can graduate from part-time subbing!

High fives,

Wednesday, 19 February 2014

the ultimate arts 'n crafts project

It has begun. HB and I have started researching, in earnest, babymaking. We have a timeline and a budget and multiple library books out about the whole process. (This one was mostly useless but this one is proving to be about a thousand times better.) We recently had dinner with one of my favorite professors, her wife, and their itty bitty three-week-old preemie to interrogate them about their experience with conception. I've started accumulating local resources and idly skimming donor profiles in a few online sperm bank databases. We're still a couple years out but we have A Plan. It is very exciting.

We've mentioned it to a few friends and some of HB's family but are very intentionally keeping it quiet from my family. Mainly because my family would be very excited and would bombard us with a million questions and then would tell absolutely everyone and it would just get out of hand really quickly. With HB's family, we knew we'd get a sort of neutral "okay, cool" from most of them and an uncomfortable "you are doing whaaaat? Howww?" from HB's mom, who we delighted in regaling with details about intrauterine insemination just to watch her squirm. (She squirmed admirably.)

Of course, two major things we need to get worked out before we can start this Making New Life arts 'n crafts project for reals is Actual Money (it's about $1,000 total per "try" when your lack of the appropriate gonads forces you to buy one of the essential babymaking ingredients, plus I hear children actually eat money as their primary form of sustenance) and Not My Mother's Medical Insurance (because you can't just give birth in the woods anymore, I guess?). HB just became a co-owner of the place they work, but I'm still trapped in the cycle of paying off student loans/paying for grad school tuition/working sporadically as a sub at Escuela (Ezra's preschool), which is slowly but effectively gnawing through my savings. For several (mostly boss-related) reasons, I'm trying to wean myself off of working at Escuela in favor of wedging my foot in the door at a preschool that I strongly suspect is my dream preschool (its whole schtick is restorative justice and anti-bias education, how rad is that?!), which in theory should help me accomplish goals one and two (Actual Money and Not My Mother's Medical Insurance). The future is in the future, though, so we shall see how this all pans out.