Welcome! At forty-something years old, I am still trying to figure out what I want to be when I grow up. To date, I’ve earned a master’s degree in teaching and spent a couple of years teaching high school English in rural Maine; I’ve spent more than a decade practicing law; I’ve enjoyed some modest success blogging about the intersection of education policy and parenting and then turning that into pro-public education advocacy; and I’ve worked short-term jobs ranging from secretary in a kidney dialysis center in Newark, NJ to waterski counselor at Seeds of Peace Camp, a camp in Maine that brings together teens from conflict regions around the world.
One of the ways this trip idea got started was as a bit of a joke. I was frustrated with the lack of social studies instruction at my daughters’ public elementary schools, which I blamed largely on the way that math and English Language Arts have swallowed public school curricula due to the outsized emphasis on preparing kids to obtain high scores on high-stakes standardized tests. So I said that if the public schools weren’t going to teach social studies, I’d take my kids out of school for a year of traveling to do it myself. Three years later, here we are. Ironically, my big one is now finally getting excellent social studies education at her middle school, but we still believe that our kids will learn so much in a year of traveling. Given my ongoing interest in public education policy, one goal I have this year is to visit innovative public schools across the country and around the world. If you have any contacts, please let me know!
Politically, I fall toward the left side of the spectrum, but I try to be a practical progressive, and I believe in supporting a progressive but fiscally responsible agenda. I hope that our family will learn a lot this year from getting out of our liberal lefty NYC-suburban bubble, and that our kids will at least appreciate how and why our country appears so divided, and that they will learn to respect that reasonable minds can differ on many politically-charged policy issues. That said, I’ve found that my political activism and protest has at times overwhelmed my need to plan this trip as I’ve attended Newark Airport protests, the Women’s March, and local Fridays with Frelinghuysen events.
I can’t wait for our adventures, and I thank you for joining us vicariously through this blog.