In March 2019, I (Pamela) learned I needed to have 40+ daily radiation treatments for a breast cancer recurrence. I felt nervous and a little bit afraid. A few days before I began treatments, a box of note cards landed in my Los Angeles mailbox. They were from my friend Judy. At first I thought she had sent a pretty box of stationery to me. But when I opened the box of cards, I found something so surprising and special. The 10 note cards were sealed. And atop the 10 sealed cards was this note:
Dear Pamela, I may not be next to you, but know that I am with you. This box contains 10 cards with 10 thoughts so you know I am thinking about you. Open one when you want to feel that I am sitting with you sipping a cup of tea, sharing a smile, a laugh or a hug. Love, Judy
I kept Judy’s box of cards open, with the most recent card on display throughout my entire treatment. Her caring cards sustained me and supported me through some challenging days. In the THE SCHOOLHOUSE EXPERIMENT, she writes letters to readers about her experience as a public school teacher. Her letters are filled with love.
In my last year of teaching, I set aside the standard curriculum at the start of every week and introduced what I called “Outside-the-Box Thinking.” Monday mornings began with a game or a challenge. I would have my students first work individually, and then after a certain period of time, collaboratively. One such challenge was
Once we become parents we are constantly faced with watershed moments when we have to trust our instincts and make the best decision that we can for our child—even if it means deviating from the expected path. Most parents agree that when we are faced with these moments, the answers aren’t always crystal clear and,
The alarm goes off at 5am. We leave the house at 6 and we’re on the trail by 6:30ish. Every morning as I stumble out of bed, pushing past sore muscles and rubbing sleepy eyes awake, I remind myself how lucky I am to live minutes away from beauty. Hiking in the mountains in the
Dear Pamela, I found this cool, small company called Litographs based in Boston. I was impressed that besides printing very unique shirts, etc. with words, they also encourage reading and donate books to communities. In addition, when I ordered the shirts, they were donating all of their proceeds for two days to Black Lives Matter.
Dear Pamela When you told me the other day that you had stashed small give-away containers of Play-Doh in your Little Neighborhood Free Library, I knew that all would eventually be right with the world. I know this because Play-Doh, that malleable blob of vibrant color from my childhood, always gave me permission to empty
If we peek into the most effective classrooms, we will probably see not just students thriving, but also teachers thriving. We all know that with so many kids with different needs and so many demands to juggle, every day won’t be perfect for each and every child. In the October 2017 issue of The Atlantic,
Judy Feuer Walden was in her late 40s, with a son and daughter in middle school, when she decided to return to school so that she could follow her 6th grade dream and become an elementary school teacher. During her decade of teaching, she taught kindergarten, 2nd grade and 3rd grade in a public elementary school. She is one of the co-authors of The Schoolhouse Experiment: Reimagining School at Home and in the Classroom.