Thursday, May 20, 2021


 Wow! Is there dust flying in the air as you open this post??!! It's been so long since anything has been posted on this blog, that there was at least an inch of dust when I opened the blog to submit a new entry.

But what an amazing reason to open the blog - celebrating MaryLee on Poetry Friday:

  • #MarvelousMaryLee
  • #PoemsforMaryLee
These are the hashtags being used to honor MaryLee today.

While poetry isn't something I normally write, I gave it a try, especially for ML. Congratulations on your retirement!!

Thirty-five Years of Knowing and Learning With ML

In the beginning…

One hot summer day in 1986

Two teachers new to a district

Moving in across the hall from each other

Teaching 4th grade together

“Hi, I’m Karen.”

“Hi, I’m MaryLee.”

ML inquired if I knew 

Donald Graves,

Lucy Calkins,

The concept of writing workshop,

Charlotte Huck

I knew none of those names or ideas

So my learning journey with ML began.

Our first year together…

Rooms caddy-cornered from each other

Sharing ideas

Classroom successes

On an almost daily basis

Discussing do-overs we wished we could have

Celebrating students

And student writing

Building poetry book libraries together

Trying to find the next great read aloud for our classes

Reading professional books, and

Reflecting on them as we learned from mentors

Trying and refining writing workshop in our classrooms

One year later, August 1987

I had been in labor with our first child for 36 hours

(started labor in July..)

MaryLee and another colleague

Calling to check on my progress on a constant basis

While at the Worthington Arts Festival

As soon as she heard I had delivered,

She got in her car to come see me

Besides my husband and me,

And before any grandparents arrived,

ML was literally the first person

To celebrate this amazing life event with us

On August 1, 1987

Through our Years in Dublin…

Continued those collegial conversations

Grew as an educator from each and every one of those chats

Eventually we went to different elementary schools

But continued to stay in touch through...

Scarves and Hats party

Teaching me how to begin a blog

Books and Brunches

Many trips to NCTE conventions

Road trip to MRA

Jeni’s for ice cream

And so much more.

And now today…

Celebrating all the lives -

Students, educators, parents, administrators, poets -

That MaryLee has changed

And made better.

A teaching life well lived.

An amazing educator.

A prolific poet.


Can’t wait to be part of the next journey 

You will travel.

How fortunate I have been to know you as a friend and colleague the last 35 years!!!!