Sunday, September 20, 2009

Doreen Cronin Likes My Status

During the last college class for future teachers, I asked how many people were Facebook members. One person near the front made a face...a judgmental face. I asked, "Is there something wrong with Facebook." The face-maker nodded with pursed lips. I explained to the students assembled, that I have some author friends on Facebook. From now on, I intend on saying, "Doreen Cronin likes my status." Yes, THAT Doreen Cronin. Author of amazing cihldren's books like "Diary of a Worm" (which, by the way, makes me laugh EVERY time), "Click, Clack, Moo: Cows that Type", and many others.

You probably already know that I am extremely fortunate to call Peter H. Reynolds a friend (and I work part-time for FableVision Learning -- greatest children's software and media company on earth). But, I also get to be 'friends' with literary luminaries like Sharon Creech (Love that Dog -- AWESOME book), Ellen Hopkins (Crank, Burned, etc), Jeff Kinney (Wimpy Kid), Laurie Halse Anderson (Speak  -- the book that started me reading YA in the first place), Linda Fairstein (Alexandra Cooper series), Deborah Wiles (author of my wife's favorite book, "Aurora County All-Stars) and I am positive I am missing some.

So, what does it mean to be 'friends' with all these amazing people?? I don't have them over for dinner, nor do I call them when I am having a bad day....But I do get an amazing look at the life of an author and get a glimpse of the writing process. I have actually responded to a few things, but mostly, I read what they write and feel great about having this inside look at the world of writers.

Life is good, is good.

Friday, September 11, 2009

September 11

A lot of buzz online today is about remember eight years ago. Two things come blazing back into my mind. First, a student, Brett, came into my office and said we probably shouldn't have chorus because the country was under attack. I laughed, as the trying to get out of chorus is an age-old joke, and then turned on the TV. Soon after, one of the most annoying students said, "Bet it was Osama Bin Laden". WAY before anyone on TV had made that guess.

The other thing I remember was going to my wife's school Homecoming game which came at the end of that fateful week. There was much talk around the state as to whether there would even be football games on Friday. . . But, it was Homecoming and the world had been encouraged to get back to normal (though all of us who lived through that have been forever changed). During the pre-game, the school had arranged for fireworks to go off during the National Anthem. I have to admit, I had a serious case of goosebumps when the first set of fireworks blazed through the sky as the band played, "and the rockets red glare."

What was most amazing was that after the game, there was another set of fireworks. The sound system was blaring music and, near the end, the song "God Bless the USA" played. Well, if you know me, you know I am not much into the country music or the twangy voices, but all around me, kids were singing along. There was lots of hugging and standing arm-in-arm and it seemed that the majority of the crowd was swept up in the moment.

Tonight is Homecoming at my wife's school....September 11.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

President Obama's Speech

"But at the end of the day, the circumstances of your life - what you look like, where you come from, how much money you have, what you've got going on at home - that's no excuse for neglecting your homework or having a bad attitude. That's no excuse for talking back to your teacher, or cutting class, or dropping out of school. That's no excuse for not trying. 

Where you are right now doesn't have to determine where you'll end up. No one's written your destiny for you. Here in America, you write your own destiny. You make your own future. 
That's what young people like you are doing every day, all across America."
President Obama

This blog is intended to highlight the best of education....what CAN be. Today might just have been one of the darkest days in education. A few vocal people, who lack education and intelligence, have stopped school children from watching a great speech by our President (regardless of what side you are on). In their mission of hatred, they have snuffed out a message of hope.

Share a message of hope with kids near you....They so desperately need it. Many of them can't see a way out of where they are...and you and I both know there is always a way.

Thanks, Mr. President, for caring enough about the young people of the country to speak to them and challenge them to be better.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

September 15 is "The Dot Day"

According to the Amazon book store, "The Dot" is about to have a sixth birthday. It's original publication date was September 15, 2003. So, using all the power invested in me by FableVision Learning and the 'Twinspiration', Peter and Paul, I am proclaiming September 15, "The Dot Day."

Here is how you can take part. On or around September 15, read the book "The Dot" to some kids or adult kids. Then have them paint dots. Huge dots, little dots, dots without painting dots, you know how it goes. Take pictures and/or video of the dot creation (or the final project) and email them to me (

Even if you aren’t in a classroom, never fear....You can do this with your family, a group of friends or paint your own happy, creative, joyful dot! Frame the final project and join in the fun!!!

Oh, be SURE to "Sign it"