Tag Archives: Teaching

Six Months Later – Six Highlights

ALIANA REACHES FOR THE MOON was released on 2/19/19 (An author’s reflection in no particular order)
  • Reconnecting with children I used to teach and their families and knowing how proud they are that I reached this goal.
  • Being on panels and in groups which connected me with authors of distinguished status.
  • Being part of Apollopalooza in July as the world celebrated the 50th anniversary of landing on the moon.
  • Seeing my book on the shelf at a bookstore or library.
  • Hearing feedback from children and parents that they love the book.
  • As of today Aliana has 62 reviews on Amazon for which I am sincerely grateful.

Tomorrow night a giveaway raffle that I’m participating in will be available! #12Books12Winners – I’ll share the link when it’s live.

Why I love Social Media

More from my visit to Chicago

I was a teacher and reading specialist in Chicago for ten years. My final year was full of wonderful memories of children I will never forget.
I had the good fortune to work with two first graders that made every day rewarding. They were both the little sisters of former students so the families are also special. When I went to visit last August, I discovered that one of the two girls who I named ALIANA for was no longer at my former school. 😢 The phone number I had for her mom wasn’t valid any more. My excitement to share my book with her was dashed.
I noticed a parent from my school was following my Facebook author page, but the profile picture didn’t look familiar. I’m active on Twitter and Facebook but rarely used Instagram until my illustrator started an account for the book. Aliana Reaches for the Moon
Suddenly, I had the same parent mentioned above following and liking my Instagram posts, but I still didn’t know who it was.
Then one night, I saw a picture that made me cry happy tears and filled my heart to overflowing! It was the girls I thought I lost. A picture of them celebrating a birthday had me jumping up and down! I woke Charlie who’s always ready to join in the fun.
The following day, I messaged with Maria (the girls’ mom) and told her my plans to visit. We met in the afternoon before school pickup time to get the girls from school together. More happy tears, this time from my little friend who is now a fourth grader. Then, her sister spotted us and more excitement, more hugs, and a very happy reunion.
I love a happy ending, don’t you?

Do you believe in Karma?

I’ve always believed in putting positive energy into the world. I cheer on my friends when something wonderful happens; their joy is my joy. I try to be encouraging when they are facing challenges. Sometimes just letting someone vent or have as much time as they need to talk about what’s bothering them, is a gift.

This is also my habit on social media and with people I don’t know. You never know when your smile, your kindness, your acknowledgment of someone will make a difference.

Last week, after a successful day of two school visits that included seeing children who used to be my students and their families, I was driving in Chicago to meet a friend for dinner. I saw a man spreading out newspaper on the wet street so he could kneel and change a flat tire. I had an empty box that had been full of books that morning. I stopped and offered the box to the man and the woman whose tire he was changing. They were grateful and I was happy to be able to help.

I mentioned that I would appreciate it if they would recycle the box when they were done because it had my name and the title of my book on it. They asked to see the book and each of them bought a copy! When I stopped, selling books wasn’t even on my mind. I just felt like I could spread a little joy after a wonderful day.

photos of the wonderful families who I used to teach who came to see me.

National #STEM Day

A few more photos from Wings Over the Rockies Air and Space Museum to celebrate National STEM Day! A museum made to inspire anyone who looks at the sky with wonder!

My debut picture book is available for preorder! ALIANA REACHES FOR THE MOON – on Amazon and Eifrigpublishing.com

Love this tribute to teaching and all things STEAM! Science, technology, engineering, art, math

Taking a closer look

One of my favorite things about being a mother and a teacher is how children view their world. They see things we overlook. This photo from a few days ago, demonstrates that I was not only the teacher, but the student.

“I like noticing details that no one else sees.”

You can go home again

I was lucky 🍀💚🍀 enough to spend a decade at a great school with fabulous colleagues, the most supportive families, and children that filled my heart every single day.

I’ve been gone for 17 months but whenever I return to Chicago, a priority for me is reconnecting with the children who made getting up at 5:30 worthwhile. I may no longer remember all of their names, but I remember stories about each one – how hard they worked, how genuinely sweet and caring they were, and sometimes how challenging and challenged they were.

Yesterday (in my first 24 hours back in town) I visited school and was made to feel like a celebrity as a chorus of voices called my name. 💕💓 💕

Children who I knew from kindergarten and first grade are now eighth graders and beyond. I met kindergarteners yesterday that are the baby of a family I’ve known since before they were born. The magic of children never fails to impress and inspire me.

And in a perfect twist of fate, yesterday was the Scholastic Book Fair which is also something I treasure. Buying Matt De La Peña’s book and sharing it with the sweetest children in the world is a new memory for me to treasure.