Category Archives: HGSE

Times likes these, HGSE love!

I don’t normally plug my grad program.  I’m ambivalent about the stances they take and the directions their churned out alumni run towards.  BUT I’m REALLY thankful for the research I got to dip into AND the classmates.  Even people (like the two below), with whom I’ve only had very brief encounters with (well, I guess with M, it wasn’t brief since we ended up driving across the continental states together), because we bonded over shared ideas, I CAN STILL HIT THEM UP NOW!!!!

Anyway, I love the resources that spill out of this convo. I feel like they’re pretty rare too. SO, if you’re interested in bringing in relevant and thoughtful resources surrounding native history in the US, look through this convo!

  • Junia

    Hey ladies – just took over a 4/5th combo class. They haven’t started US history yet. We’re starting by looking at regions and I’m doing a slapdash job of it.

    If you guys have references for how to do due justice to native history (upper elementary reading level) pre-Columbian.. I would totally be grateful.

     12/5, 8:39pm

    Hey! I haven’t looked too much through it but this was created by a friend who works at NACA in NM:

    12/5, 8:41pm

    I think the key would be to connect the narrative of history to the narrative of today (i.e. native people are still alive – funny how often that isn’t taught lol expose them to the traditions but also modern day native authors, music (tribe called red), art (Steven paul judd) – some well known ones

     12/5, 9:26pm

    I’m trying to teach it as waves of immigration but yeah – THIS is what I need like – names / people to look into

    12/5, 9:27pm


    do you follow adrienne keene’s blog native appropriations? there’d be some good resources there, too

    you could have kids do a media or report on an article on a native news site perhaps

    as a way to help them see natives are alive and have agency in their communities

    12/5, 9:31pm


    i’m clicking everything you’re sending me – I really appreciate the quick turn around and ideas.

    12/5, 9:52pm


    Check out “time immemorial” — it’s the curriculum created by tribes in WA state! I’ll find a link

    12/5, 9:53pm


    no problem! wish I could help more!

    12/5, 9:53pm


    Buzzfeed’s Another Round and #NoDAPL
    Just a quick post to let ya’ll know that I was on Another Round on Buzzfeed again, and had a lovely conversation with Heben (she’s back!). In addition to talking Standing Rock and #NoDA…
    12/5, 9:54pm


    “We Are Still Here” — A Documentary on Today’s Young Native Americans
    What is today’s young Native American’s life like? What are the challenges they are facing? How the historical traumas influenced their life? This short docu…
    12/5, 9:54pm


    Also, could be interesting to have them draw similarities between AIM (american indian movement) and BLM

    12/5, 9:55pm


    Here is the curriculum:

    Article VI The constitution, and the laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all treaties made, or which shall be made under the authority of the United States, shall be the supreme law of the land; and the judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in th…
    12/5, 9:55pm


    Native American Girls Describe the REAL History Behind Thanksgiving | Teen Vogue
    6 Native American girls school us on the REAL history of Thanksgiving. Still haven’t subscribed to Teen Vogue on YouTube? ►► CONNE…
    12/5, 9:56pm


    Naelyn Pike, Danny Grassrope, Bobbi Jean – all young native activists I met at a recent summit, Naelyn is still in HS – could be cool for her to FB live or skype into your class she’s awesome! you couod prob google some of her videos

    12/5, 9:56pm


    Also I would check out the stanford history education group’s “reading like a historian curriculum” — it is a teaching framework for getting kids to use “historical thinking skills” and simulate historian’s practices — namely using primary sources to view history as the construction of narrative. they have a lesson on the battle of little bighorn that is GREAT

    12/5, 9:56pm


    From Times Square to the Capitol, Apache Protestors Fight U.S. Land Swap with Mining Company
    Apache protestors pass through Times Square on the way to the Capitol to fight a federal land swap with a copper mining company.
    12/5, 9:57pm


    they also have a great lesson on retelling the story of Pocahontas — that basically has kids pick apart disney (really engaging)

    12/5, 9:57pm


    U.S. History Lessons | Stanford History Education Group
    The United States Reading Like a Historian curriculum includes 71 stand-alone lessons organized within 11 units. These lessons span colonial to Cold War America and cover a range of political, social, economic, and cultural topics. Each lesson includes a 1-2 day plan that outlines the lesson’s activ…
    12/5, 9:58pm


    keep an eye out for articles on Standing Rock on I do freelance for them and they’re going to have a series of articles on grade level with assessments aligned to CCSS

    5th graders would also eat up “absolutely true diary of a part-time indian”

    might be interesting to contrast a contemporary native story to the stories told of native people as history and not as modern

    also — for humor, the 1491’s have really create satire. not sure if 4th/5th would get it all, but could be interesting!

    12/5, 10:01pm


    pocahontas lesson i was talking about —

    1. Pocahontas | Stanford History Education Group
    Thanks to the Disney film, most students know the legend of Pocahontas. But is the story told in the 1995 movie accurate? In this lesson, students use evidence to explore whether Pocahontas actually saved John Smith’s life and practice the ability to source, corroborate, and contextualize historical…
    12/5, 10:22pm


    yes 1491s for sure you might be able to find some that are approps

    12/5, 10:35pm


    Oh man remember when they came to Harvard??

    12/5, 10:38pm



    Ahhh let’s all just go back 5 years 😬

    12/5, 10:39pm


    yeah lets!


Teacher’s Appreciation Week: Favorite teachers remembered

I can’t say I’m where I am because of me.  I can’t say that at all.

At first, I was going to post a quick response to this facebook post:

In honor of National Teachers Appreciation Week, the HGSE community reflects on their favorite teachers. We encourage you to leave comments below for any HGSE faculty, college or K-12 teachers that you would like to thank on this special week:

During ‘National Teacher Week’, members of the HGSE community reflect on their favorite teachers over the years.

But then, it got too long.

Kindergarten, I had Mrs. Gerard. She was amazing and super intense.  I knew no English but somehow I still remember Presidents James Monroe, George Washington, and Abraham Lincoln.  I remember random letters.  I remember money.  I remember a treehouse inside the classroom where we had an astronomy unit.  HOW DO I REMEMBER ALL THIS? My mom says this was also her most intense year of school. 😛  (I moved in the end of Kindergarten, and went on to some other teacher, who was a boo.)

First Grade:  Mrs. Pamela Hayworth. The strictest, scariest, tiniest teacher I ever had.  She stayed after school with me and another group of kids and practiced reading.  She taught me how to pronounce Eugene.  She was a scuba diver and was really scary.  I have very positive feelings though 🙂

Third Grade:  New school (again). Mrs. Beck. Magical. Taught me to love fairytales, Roald Dahl, and multiplication.  She modeled awesome teaching.  I love her. One bad thing: I had to sit next to Ian Jennings often, a crazy boy with behavioral problems who wiped boogers on me and tried to cut my skirt with safety scissors.  ***FAVORITE TEACHER ***

Sixth Grade:  Independent study. I met with Althea once a week.  She taught me how to learn by myself.  She stopped me from saying “like.”  She helped me to become an independent thinker.  Seriously set the foundation for the rest of my life. And that is huge.

Eighth grade:  Algebra.  My second year at a new school, in junior high, was miserable.  Mr. Tsuruda taught a traditionally difficult, leveled, high-stakes class in an interdisciplinary, engaging way that acknowledged different learning styles.  He was great, caring, and “cool” (for an old man. :P).  Most thankful though for the fact that he took me from the dead-end math track to the one that ended in Calculus.  I think that also changed my academic trajectory.

Junior Year Lit:  Mrs. Klein. She taught me how to read and write. Like, really read and write.  This set me up for college. I swear, most useful class ever. Also, introduced me to my favorite author: Toni Morrison.  Inspires and finds time for me even today.

Junior and Senior year Math:  Ms. Chute.  I was in the depths of math despair, and this lady can teach.  And by teach, I mean that she can teach calculus so that I understood it, loved it, and owned my standardized tests…. she did all this without teaching to the exam. Awesome.  Also, she knew how to be a mentor even if she wasn’t in the “official” position as one.

Sophomore, Junior, Senior Years: Mr. Camner.  I think I took like, 7-8 classes with this man.  Ceramics, Advanced Sculpture, Independent AP Art Studio, and Yearbook.  He created our art lab and pushed me artistically and as a person.  So grateful for the opportunity to learn how to make glazes, put on an exhibit, cast bronze, and of course, blow glass.

Spanish: Sr. Vericat.Honestly, not the best spanish language teacher.  GREAT literature teacher.  Amazing, caring, kooky, crazy man.  Artist.

Professor Celeste Langan: Taught me to hate and then to love Romantic literature.  How is that possible?  Also, taught me how to write better.  Her person also just inspires me.

Professor Julio Ramos: Understanding, compassionate professor who cared for me as an individual, and not just as an academic pupil.

Professor Tim Hampton: So smart, so humble, so down to earth, so supportive.  Love how he conducts seminars and love his brains! haha.

At HGSE, there is an abundance of amazing, supportive professors.  I have a hard time though.  Some professors, I’ve been less than pleased about their instructional style (especially, since I like smaller classes where we delve… which is not the nature of education), but then I love how they care.  I think I’ve loved or found a reason to respect all my professors here.  However, thankful for Dr. Pamela Mason, my program coordinator… because she’s a woman who’s been there, and done that. Really thankful that I’m in close quarters with someone who has not just studied education, but who has been IN the schools.  Thankful also for Jenny Thomson, Lauren Capotosto, and Christina Dobbs in being so gentle in walking me through increasing my scope of understanding literacy.  Loved Kay Merseth and Vicki Jacobs’s helping me understand just education and pedagogy.  Mad respect and thankfulness for Fernando Reimers and Monica Higgins in inspiring me just about… entrepreneurship and leadership.

First last class of the semester

Yesterday I found out that today would be my last Writing Development class at HGSE.  I mildly flipped.  Okay fine, I just flipped.  I really loved this class.  I learned so much, but one of the main things I learned from this class and from Jenny Thomson’s Reading Difficulties class is that you don’t have to be intimidating to inspire hard work.  Or, the way a teacher approaches my work really affects the way I work.

Does this make sense?  Let me backtrack.

One of my favorite classes in high school was with Ms. Klein.  She was a tough woman and her reputation was that of a tough-grading feminist.  She was awesome and I learned so much.  I was deathly afraid of her piercing green eyes but over time recognized that she was just as passionate about us as she was about literature and writing.  Because she was so tough, I felt all the more gratified by that B+ or A- than I did by an A from other English teachers.

I think something about this rubbed off on me.  As a teacher, I wanted to be real with my kids and not just compliment them on effort but to push them to great writing that they could achieve (if they stopped being weenies!).  I thought of my scary bio, chem, and math professors and subconsciously, I assumed that acknowledging a tough subject matter is serious by also being tough and serious when approaching the subject would really inspire and encourage students when they conquered such subjects!  I can see how this isn’t totally off, but this year, I discovered something different.

This year, I think, was the first time where I physically panicked over a paper, and this was the first time where I really felt like I was faking my way through certain topics (more about this later).  My teachers were far from harsh, but they weren’t necessarily soft and chummy.

I wouldn’t say Jenny and Christina are soft and chummy either.  However, they did have a way of making their materials approachable.  For example, in Reading Difficulties (with Jenny), I never feel stressed.  I was learning about stuff I’ve never even tried to approach before (i.e. brain stuff, dyslexia stuff, assessment acronym stuff).  But the way she conducted office hours was in a very understanding way – she acted like my ideas are good and I felt confident in my work.  Sometimes my grade was good, sometimes it was not.  Regardless, I still felt good and still felt able to go and talk to her about it, and I realized that the work I gave her was actually good work.

Same thing goes for Christina’s Writing Development class.  She doesn’t go for this intimidating, “let me establish myself as a knowledgeable teacher,” but she acknowledges what we bring to the table.  Her and Beth’s (the Teaching Fellow) comments on my writing has been the sweetest, most sincere words I have ever received and they made me want to think and write and respond more — which is what teachers should be inspiring in their students anyway! 

You don’t have to make a feat appear great just so that kids feel great after accomplishing the feat.  If the purpose is to learn something, then we should make it easy to learn it.  If the purpose is to teach the kid to persevere, then let the kid know that this about teaching him/her perseverance, not necessarily the topic at hand!  (This epiphany came from another wonderful class with Vicki Jacobs).

I remember a class where although I respected the teacher, I hated to ask questions, I felt overwhelmed, and when I left the class, I realized that YES I had learned a lot, but it wasn’t a gratifying experience.  I got sick.  I felt sick.  I was scared for the full class, hoping she wouldn’t call on me.  Everyone else acted like they knew what they were doing – we all did.  It cultivated a classroom of pretend.

I know we don’t want to coddle students, and we want to teach them to live in the real world, but really, also part of it is making sure they learn.  Why make it harder emotionally or mentally when the final output is just as good or even better if we give the students the confidence that they do know what they’re talking about and their thoughts and questions are just as valid as the ones we present?

I don’t want my future students to scramble unless the purpose of my lesson is to teach them to scramble (in which case I would let them know that yes, they are scrambling, but they’re supposed to be).  Does this make sense?  No more surprises, mystery, or posturing.  There’s other ways to maintain order in the classroom and inspire great accomplishments.

“I used to think that to validate students and to inspire in students a sense of accomplishment, you needed to give them large, slightly intimidating goals.  But now I think that being open, understanding, and providing positive, encouraging feedback does not communicate a “this is an easy class” vibe but actually empowers students to accomplish more.”

Class picture on the last day. It moves just like those in Harry Potter!

Just another day for thinking and creating

Today was an inspirational day.  I met up this morning with Dr. Reimers to discuss a class project and some personal ideas.  He is seriously one of my favorite teachers here.  Then, in my Charter Schools class,  there were a slew of great speakers with practical advice.. it was so jam-packed.  And then, oh, Mike Feinberg (cofounder of KIPP) decided to swing by.  Regardless of my personal feelings about KIPP schools, it’s times like these where I am amazed and thankful to be at HGSE.

Today I’m working on my Business Model Canvas since tomorrow I’m meeting with a friend to discuss a nascent business plan for The Mind Garden.  Wheeoo wheeoo.  Should’ve started this earlier!

I’m also eating Mike’s Pastry, Ben & Jerry’s Jimmy Fallon’s Late Night Snack Ice cream, and Haagen Dazs five’s coffee ice cream.  🙂

Just read the following article to pump myself up.  An oldie but a goodie.

Disruption is coming, there is no doubt of it! Will it be soon? Will it be virtual? We have little idea at this time as to how it will eventually turn out. What is also clear, however, is that the technology revolution taking place means that when disruption does come, it will be more than mere operational rearrangements; it will be profound and revitalizing.

– Disruption: Coming Soon to A University Near You []

Thyme Ms. Stick King | Three Random Vignettes

Do any of you guys play Mad Gab?  I love Mad Gab.


The Charles, right before it starts to bloom.

Anyway, this semester, I spent a good four hours consolidating all my syllabi into one master syllabus.  It took a loooong time since only one prof gave me a MS Word documents and the rest used PDFs.  But it was so worth it.  I’ve been relatively on top of my projects and readings!  It’s come to a point though, where all I’m realizing is that it is week 10, I have projects and papers due in the last week of April and the first week of May, and then it’s o v e .

Second semester was so much better in figuring out how to end, but it could always be better.  I sort of gave up some areas of my life to prioritize for others and of course, leaving a lot of time for play.  I’m a sentimental type of person, and sometimes, I see people in the library or walking down the street and I feel this urgency to meet up for “one last time,” study together for “one last time,” and then I feel very very weepy.

One of my hopes for this blog was to explain the name and the title.  I thought it was a clever way of incorporating this “search for the elusive  snark” and little witticisms.  Recently, as I’m trying to figure out where to go after graduate school, how to plan my ideas for The Mind Garden or whether to jump head first into different nonprofit start-ups, this chunk of Lewis Carroll’s The Hunting of the Snark resonates more deeply.

” ‘But oh, beamish nephew, beware of the day,
If your Snark be a Boojum! For then
You will softly and suddenly vanish away,
And never be met with again!’

I have goals and I have dreams that I am hunting.  But if it’s the wrong Snark, if it’s a Boojum, “you will softly and suddenly vanish away, / And never be met with again!”  I feel that although I’m surrounded by much passion, sometimes, I feel sad at the meaninglessness of being only full of passion, even if it is properly guided or stems from well-meaning thoughts.  I wonder a lot for myself, what does it matter if I gain my whole world, but then lose that which put meaning into it in the first place?  (Mt. 16:26, Mk. 8:36, Lk 9:25).

I was sad when I saw the melting ice rink.

It was by The Charles Hotel.  The weather has been in the 50s and 60s lately, and I love it. I take walks around the Charles River.  I squeal with delight when I walk outside, brace myself for the cold, and realize that it’s warmer outside than indoors.  I sort of wish I’d had seen more snow.  It was not as cold as it could have been.  I did not utilize all the gear I brought.  Which, I guess, brings me to my next point.  Should I give Boston another year, another try?

Okay, it’s not just weather.  I’ve been working with this woman I met through a case we studied in Monica Higgins’s class, Leadership, Entrepreneurship, and Learning.  At first, I thought this lady was crazy!  (This phenomenon happened often: I’d think whatever the subject was going to launch, it wouldn’t happen, and then somehow, it did).  Anyway, I met with her because I was interested in her work, and after working with her, I’m still interested in her work.  Just that, right now she’s starting out and I’m not really getting paid – which is totally fine for grad school, but not fine after I graduate.  BUT, today I was thinking, what if I get a “chiller” job at the University and spend another year in Boston, keep on working with her, and also further my education just a smidge more (I’d love to audit Elmore and a bilingual literacy course).  I think a lot of pros could come from this.

Of course, I’m applying to jobs in SF.  I’m also opening myself up for international work because I feel that professionally, since I’m still young, I’d have more responsibilities and more opportunities to learn on the job.  Anyway, as I think out loud (out print?  on print?), I still haven’t finished editing my resumes or writing cover letters.  So, this is definitely just empty theorizing.

My Last Spring Break

That title sounds like that of a Korean Drama or a movie, huh?  It’s nothing that dramatic though.  This is hopefully my last year as a student; hence, it’s my last spring break.

The theme of this spring break will be (get ready for it): Girls Gone Mild!

The HS English teacher, the Kindergarten teacher, and I, all decked out for "Nerd Day." This was the day when I the math teacher walked into my class (we shared a room), looked right over my head and asked the class, "Where is your teacher?"

The reason I’m sharing this with you is because as a blogger, I know that what I write will be preserved forever (thank you, Google, I think).  Also, as a reader, you guys get to hold me accountable and make sure I get stuff done.

My classmates aren’t really going wild though.  Many are going on career trips to DC and NY (future HGSE’ers: you guys should really ask them to bring back the SF trip).  Some people are going on school visit trips in Jamaica and Finland.  The rest are visiting home or working here.  Yes, that’s HGSE for you: busy, busy, busy.

I’m staying here because I have 1 paper due during spring break (class-wide extensions = double-edged sword), 3 papers due after Spring break, and I’m going to California that following weekend (for a Cal/West connection event, visiting a charter school, going to a friend’s wedding).  Thus, I gotta work!  (I’m also tutoring a few of my students from Harvard Bridge).

I also want to start researching jobs and applying.  Last weekend, I spent one whole period of unplugged Mac time (about 4 hours since I was playing music too), looking up interview outfits.  Counting a lot of eggs before they hatch.  Okay, counting a lot of eggs before I even have any.

Wednesday through Friday, though, I’m going to NYC with my cousin.  We’re seeing Spiderman: Turn off the Dark!  I’m really excited.  I’m also going to go super tourist and see the Statue of Liberty, the Guggenheim, and the Met.  Oh, and I’m going to eat.  Lastly, we want to visit the World Trade Center. I think I have to go there.  It’s nonnegotiable.

Then during the weekend, I’m going to catch up on everything else I need to finish up.


  • Finish my midterm for Charter Schools.
  • Have first draft of Adolescent Literacy final paper done to talk about with a classmate when she returns.
  • Research for Reading Difficulties paper (on teacher support training for LD students)
  • Finish rough draft above paper
  • Figure out the company to research for my Reimers class.
  • Start the draft
  • Finish the draft?
  • Update resume
  • E-mail a person for more info
  • Figure out what to do with my life / where to go after I graduate (the Bay? stay here? leave the country?)
  • Write at least 3 cover letters (aka apply to at least 3 places)
  • Read… and stay on top of my regular duties

Okay, I’ll try to 65% of the above before Wednesday, and the rest on Saturday and Sunday.

I also want to play here in Boston.  I’m going to brunch with a dear classmate in a few minutes, we’re going to study, and then we’re going to go swing dancing (yikes).  Tomorrow, I’m going to church and then babysitting some kids afterwards.  Next Saturday, I’m going to lunch with some good friends from college.  And then the next 2 weeks will be a whirlwind of visiting CA, being visited, and then, it will be a chill period of a paper every other week.  Then finals. Then, oh my gosh, I’m graduating.