A veteran teacher turned coach shadows 2 students for 2 days – a sobering lesson learned

I’m a big fan of student’s interaction in their learning to minimize boredom in the traditional classroom . This is a very intriguing experiment and it’s sympathetic to what kids endure daily. We can do better!

Granted, and...

The following account comes from a veteran HS teacher who just became a Coach in her building. Because her experience is so vivid and sobering I have kept her identity anonymous. But nothing she describes is any different than my own experience in sitting in HS classes for long periods of time. And this report of course accords fully with the results of our student surveys. 

I have made a terrible mistake.

I waited fourteen years to do something that I should have done my first year of teaching: shadow a student for a day. It was so eye-opening that I wish I could go back to every class of students I ever had right now and change a minimum of ten things – the layout, the lesson plan, the checks for understanding. Most of it!

This is the first year I am working in a school but not teaching…

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Connector Day

Pondering further the in-betweens, the connector people in our lives, I propose we celebrate National Connector Day – a day to honor people who initiated positive links to others who helped us – maybe even led to life turn-arounds, or amazing good experiences in our lives, or resulted in new deep friendships. These are the connectors in our personal world.


Like the Connector friend who happened to mention a company looking for a person with skills like yours, which led to your employment there. The mental health professional who suggested a treatment that sounded perfect for a hurting loved one.


The fellow writer who sent me an e-mail today to connect me to other writer friends she knows for our mutual benefit. Often after a Connector gives the helpful link we’re off and running forward and forget to thank the person who made the connection possible.

This link can be as small as a kite string or huge.DSCF2078

Our lives are entwined in countless ways. Certainly as a family counselor I know the impact isn’t always positive, but more often than not the connections are beneficial and that’s worth celebrating. Perhaps today ponder your past and thank a Connector who has helped you. Look for ways you can play this gratifying role of Connector. We who connect one person with another are greatly blessed.

There’s no greater connection than initiating or enriching someone’s connection with our great God. So many have never even heard about the richness of a relationship with Him. Will you be a voice that carries this good news outside your comfort zone? Will I? Colossians 2:19 But they [proud men] are not connected to Christ, the Head to which all of us who are his body are joined; for we are joined together by his strong sinews, and we grow [spiritually] only as we get our nourishment and strength from God.


My mystery novel Bullet in the Night involves the relationship of two women connected professionally and personally. When one is shot by a sniper the heroine goes into action to find her assailant. It’s available at amazon and most bookstores. 

Hegai and the In-Betweens


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Today I read about Esther in the Bible, the beautiful woman who was able to persuade King Xerxes to prevent the annihilatation of the Jewish people.

Her success would have been impossible without a biblical character named Hegai. His name is scarcely recognized. I’ve read the story of Esther at least ten times in the past and never noticed him until today.

Hegai, an eunuch of the King’s, took a special interest in Esther. He assigned special food and beauty treatments for her, gave her seven personal maids and even recommended how she should speak to the king. Hegai strongly facilitated her relationship with the king. Then later, when Esther made her life-saving request, the king was receptive.

Isn’t that how it is with many individuals we meet – the in-between people whose words and deeds make a great impact on the happenings of our lives?

I thought of that in Wheaton IL yesterday at the Write to Publish Conference where I visited with Susan Baganz, the Acquisitions Editor who connected me a year ago with Prism Books, the fiction publisher for my mystery novel, Bullet in the Night. Yesterday I got to thank her in person for her confidence in advancing my work and see her delight when I showed her the newly released book.

God is ultimately responsible for the Hegai’s and Susan’s we encounter. Sometimes we don’t know who they are. Other times we identify our in-between helpers most clearly in retrospect.

Being willing to let God orchestrate our lives is foundational in these interactions, as is participating in the Body of Christ helping one another.

Some Thoughts To Discuss With Your Spouse and Children:

Who have been some of the in-between people in your life? The connectors?

How might you or I be a link in someone else’s life?

[You may want to read more about Hegai and Esther in Esther, Chapter 2 Verses 9-10, 15.]