This teacher would like to know: would anyone like periodic tips for using this crazy language, English?

crazy english         Hello, readers.   This educator, me, misses teaching.  I am wondering if any readers here would like some little English tips I’ve picked up through my many years of teaching English, ELL, and reading?  If so, reply here or send me a message! 

I believe it’s important to give back, and this is one way I can do that.  I’ve volunteered in literacy settings by tutoring or other ways since the 1980s, and I miss it.

So this is a personal post: I am wondering if any readers here would like some little English tips I’ve picked up through my many years of teaching English, ELL, and reading?  If so, reply here or send me a message! 

Thanks for reading in this CRAZY ENGLISH language!

Laura Lee

Some (not so?) random thoughts

thinking    A kinder atmosphere in my world with the teachers out for summer.  It’s just nice to know good people are out there. And I know such good teacher colleagues and friends.


I would have returned the email, even between terms.  Yes, I judge her for not replying.  Yes, I know she wasn’t being paid to check emails between terms.

But I would have. And I always did.

Because of being like that, so hyper-vigilant, I will never relax.  I have never relaxed.  Always on.  Retirement would kill me.


Some people are multi-talented in music and art and writing.  It’s amazing.  It’s great to see.



I wish I’d thanked my parents for moving us from a middle-class existence in a high-crime area to a poor existence in a much safer one.  I never thanked them, but rather blamed them for making us poor by moving.  I am ashamed I didn’t appreciate how much better a safe life would be for all of us, and especially for someone as sensitive as I am.  I am decades too late for they have died, but I wish I could tell them: “Thank you for this sacrifice.”


One of the joys of being a highly sensitive person is that I can find great joy in simple beauties, actions, sounds, smells, sights. To me, nothing is simple, and I am grateful for all beauty of person or nature.

Because I am off-the-chart highly sensitive, I also find life to be greatly complicated and difficult at times, exhausting often.

A gift and a curse, but I don’t know how to be otherwise.

Someone laughed at me chuckling over ducks recently, but that’s all right.  It was delightful to hear them quacking and see them flying overhead on an otherwise cool and quiet spring afternoon.

That’s me, sometimes flying, often quacking. Never graceful, but often feeling grace.


This aging is a hoot.  I remember things so clearly that turn out to be decades ago.



Kindness matters.  I would advise against ambition over compassion.  In the long run, if we are human, we need each other more than another thing.  Yes, that’s a privileged point of view, for many struggle to survive, and I’ve been there.  When I was struggling so hard just to keep a roof over my head, I was all ambition.

But after survival, and during survival, I do believe compassion is paramount.



What’s with so few people reading poetry? Language is so magical and poetry the most possessed!


I like the free photo/ image I found from more than anything I have created.  Talk about evocative!


In my dreams, I can paint.  And sing.  And dance.  Also in my dreams, I awaken and realize I cannot do any of those.


Just some random (or not) thoughts on a lovely quiet and cool late spring evening before the riot of summer heat sets in.

Laura Lee

 article on CPS scandals

pexels-photo-459846     I felt sick reading this article: Chicago public schools scandals

Behind the scandal are kids, living, breathing kids in schools.   Heartbreaking that kids are denied needed special ed. services and that all are denied clean schools.  Oh, let’s not forget the safety aspect of sexual abuse scandals!  Are we creating a generation of traumatized youth from our schools, when schools should be a safe place?

Read more if you can stomach it.  If I feel sick just reading this, what is happening to the students, faculty, and staff that work in these schools?

Part 3–Literacy can be the Bridge: in Praise of Public Libraries

cropped-be-creative-creative-creativity-256514      Getting to there from here? How does one change careers while still paying the bills?  This was a true dilemma for me, for there was no trust fund, no rainy day forgotten account, no family to turn to once I quit my job in business.

This is a nice problem to have, and I know that.  It reeks of privilege, and I know that.  Yet I was a healthy adult with so much energy, and I knew I wanted a different type of life than working in an office.  I did not turn to drink, but I turned to sadness.  I turned to tension. Those are not healthy.

Since I loved to read and write, I turned to the public library and was amazed to find the library had become a hub of activity.  The library was not a quiet place as I remembered it, but a place of reading groups, tutoring, computer training, and so much more–in addition to having quiet places for reading and studying.

I wonder if librarians know they have helped to improve the lives of many?  For that is what I saw daily as people looked for jobs, learned a new skill, found positive activities for themselves and their family.

I found the world of book discussion groups, and never looked back. Like-minded reading lovers–what a joy!

And more–the library was looking for literacy tutors and I wanted to become a teacher.  Would I dare to take that risk, even while I was so very sad in my everyday world?  It almost seemed too difficult to risk change and then have the change not work out.

Would I take the risk and make changes?

More to follow.


Link to article about text v. screen reading

                           open-book-library-education-read-159621  As a reading specialist, teacher, and avid reader myself, I am interested     in reading research.   This study shows that students often learn better when they read print v. screen reading materials : Study: text v. screen

For everyday leisure reading, I am fine with a kindle or screen reading. In fact, it’s more convenient so I read MORE. But when I need DEPTH? Then I need paper. Might be true for many others, according to this study.

I am not, in any way, denigrating the power of e-texts to engage us to read. I read so much more now that I can quickly and easily access texts on my Kindle. I am, and my colleagues have been concerned, about the pushing of e-texts in formal education, textbooks on iPads, etc.

What about you?  Do you prefer to read using paper texts or e-texts?

Delaware Charter Teachers Vote to Unionize

From the article:

Laslinkst night, Charter School of Wilmington teachers made a huge vote. They became the only current charter school in Delaware to join the Delaware State Education Association. As such, they will be a part of the National Education Association as well. This opens the door for other charter schools to unionize in the future. Often, when one domino falls…

For more information, go here: Delaware Charter Teachers Vote to Unionize