Education Enterprise

Learning, Teaching, Journalism & Public Policy
JULY 15, 2013 8:01PM

Do you love your students?

Do you love your students?

“Do you love your students?”

As we approached graduation from the School for Education, our teachers coached us on how to respond to this standard interview question.

“Your answer should always be, ‘Yes.’”

Sure enough, in one of my first interviews for a te… Read full post »

JULY 2, 2013 12:08AM


Time for bed, Sweetie.
Because you need your sleep.
Because you'll be cranky tomorrow, if you don't get your sleep.
Because Dad and I will be cranky tomorrow, if you don't get your sleep.
Sometimes I answer,… Read full post »
MAY 14, 2013 12:32PM

Mars and Male Anatomy

 Artist's rendering of a Mars Exploration Rover.
Usually my daughter eats a hot lunch at school, but today I had to pack a sack lunch for her to take on a field trip. Her class is going to hear a talk sponsored by National Geographic. The speaker is Kobie Boykins, a NASA engineer working with the… Read full post »
SEPTEMBER 5, 2012 6:04PM

Put Those Kids to Work!



I always find it interesting how many teachers gleefully agree that maybe it would be a good idea if we send middle school students out to work and not let them come back to school until they’re ready to learn.

This idea is on my mind, because it’s the… Read full post »

AUGUST 13, 2012 10:41AM

"This Homework Is Against My Religion"


Act 1, Scene 1: Our dining room over dinner last Wednesday, the day after Missouri voters overwhelmingly approved adding Amendment 2 to our state’s constitution

ME: Wow! I can’t believe so many people voted for that amendment. I don’t think a lot of them/… Read full post »

AUGUST 7, 2012 2:15AM

A Day at the Beach in the Drought

 Today was warm -- but not as hot as it has been. And it's the week before school starts up again. You'd think there'd be a lot of folks with kids enjoying a day at the beach. 

Geese were there. 


Gulls, too. 


No people, though. Except for me.

DSC_0658_edited-1Read full post »

JULY 27, 2012 10:29AM

Bad Teachers

Bad Teacher

 “First of all, we need to get rid of all the bad teachers.”

I was talking with a friend — a mother whose opinion I generally respect — so I was shocked to hear those words come out of her mouth. I was shocked, because I didn’t think she really… Read full post »

Cooley Lake is an oxbow that used to be a bend in the Missouri River before it shifted and the Army Corps of Engineers locked it into place. 

Map Credit: Missouri Department of Conservation 

My daughter and I heard the lake had dried up in the drought, so we went to explore. Although it's in the… Read full post »

Photo Credit: 123rf stock image (published with permission)

What if schools were more like video games? 

Think about it. You wouldn't have a problem with attendance. As a matter of fact, it would be hard to get the kids to go home for the day. And you probably wouldn't spend so much time rounding up dropouts and truants.Read full post »

Photo Credit: JoLynne Walz Martinez

 I do some of my best writing when I walk the dog. She knows the word “walk” and does her doggy dance, toenails clicking on the tile floor in the front hall, as I click the leash on her collar. Sometimes it feels like an interruption of my work toRead full post »

Editor’s Pick
MAY 14, 2011 11:15PM

Child Soldiers

Unidentified Young Soldier in Union Uniform and Forage Cap old does this boy look? If he were alive today, he would be about the age of my junior high school students.
This spring in social studies, our eighth graders were studying the United States Civil War, so the communication arts teachers decided -- in the interest of interdisciplinary… Read full post »

FEBRUARY 18, 2011 12:49PM

Democracy in the Twilight Zone


Photo Credit: royalty-free image purchased from


Imagine if you will, a United States in which John Boehner is just a guy running a plastics company in addition to struggling in an unpaid position as the Speaker of the United States House of Representatives. Imagine if you will, that Gabrielle Giffords is running… Read full post »



Although my husband's surname is Martinez, his mother is German, and the first years of his life he spent with his mother's family in Germany. My husband has an Uncle Volker who lives in Stuttgart, and I started learning about German food in order to please him. Volker enjoys… Read full post »

no yogurt001
In the early years of my marriage,  I had a lot of romantic ideas. One of them was about how we would frequently dine al fresco. With that ideal in mind, I purchased a magazine filled with photographs and recipes for the romantic picnicker. I only ever made one of the/…

Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
FEBRUARY 1, 2011 7:12PM

Blizzard Frisbee

Blizzard Frisbee

How to keep the dog exercised in a "historic, life-threatening" (that's how describes it) snowstorm? Blizzard Frisbee, of course. The dog's name is Girlfriend, and printed on her pink flying disc is "Catch It Like a Girl!" Only two problems with Blizzard Frisbee. The driving wind… Read full post »

NOVEMBER 14, 2010 2:22PM

Future of Journalism

I have seen the future of journalism. I know it is the future of journalism, because I was the only adult in the room.

It was 8 a.m. yesterday at the fall conference of the Journalism Education Association and the National Student Press Association. Students had undoubtedly been up late… Read full post »

AUGUST 14, 2010 12:22AM


My Daughter's Orange Belt Graduation

My daughter and husband started studying karate together a couple years ago. The picture is one I took of my daughter at her orange belt graduation demonstrating all the moves she had learned: The Sumo ... Full Nelson ... Eagle's Beak ... 

Isabella and my husband would come home from… Read full post »

I'd forgotten what the summer sky looks like away from city lights. Last Saturday evening, my husband and I fell asleep on the back porch of a house out in the country, gazing up at the Milky Way. Tonight I took the dog out in our yard at home in the… Read full post »

AUGUST 9, 2010 12:57AM

I Had a Community Garden Dream

"I have a dream ... "

And it was nowhere near as grand as Dr. King's dream. But that is how my e-mail to Mrs. Casey started last year. Mrs. Casey is the principal at my daughter's elementary school.

My dream was that we take a portion of the green… Read full post »

When my daughter was four, I started thinking about ... I almost said "re-entering the work force." That sounds so stilted. I started thinking about going back to work. Although my career had been in journalism and public relations, my husband knew I had been thinking about re-training as a teacher.&… Read full post »

Jimmy crack corn and I don't care,/Jimmy crack corn and I don't care,/Jimmy crack corn and I don't care,/My master's gone away.

Anyone else remember singing those words as a child? Having just turned 50, I remember a time when elementary school children still sometimes learned the words to blackfaceRead full post »

JULY 31, 2010 12:18AM

School Supplies & Mulch As Metaphors

Because our house sits on almost an acre of land overlooking a poor-excuse-for-a-creek, the forces of nature are continually trying to remove the soil from the top of the hill to the bottom, which means I have an ongoing erosion-control project. Most of the year, there is an untidy pile of… Read full post »

A couple years ago, my daughter's school district purchased a new phone system allowing them to place robo calls. Now, instead of having to rely on phone trees or the U.S. Postal Service or notes sent home via backpack mail -- which may or may not be delivered -- our principal… Read full post »

Could I be in trouble here? I'm a communicator and a teacher in training, and I want to be hired to teach in a public school someday. But -- and this is paranoid thinking -- what if someone in a position to hire me takes a look at my posts and… Read full post »

JULY 28, 2010 1:49AM

I-Dosing Madness

The incidents and characters portrayed in this blog post are purely fictional and any similarity to Reefer Madness is coincidental.


The blog post you are about to read may startle you.

It would not have been possible, otherwise, to sufficiently emphasize the frightful toll of the ne… Read full post »