AuthorMarv Hoffman

high holidays – high and low


As many of you know, the Jewish New Year, Rosh Hashana, begins on Friday night, September 18th and ends on Sunday night, the 20th. Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement begins the following Sunday evening, the 27th. For these coming two weeks, my usual Monday postings will appear at odd times as I prepare for and participate in the observance of these important landmarks on our Jewish calendar. The...

Dream on


In the last 24 hours I had two dreams which I remembered in great detail. This wouldn’t be worthy of mention for most people, but I am of the unfortunate camp for whom dreams are erased almost instantly when I open my eyes, like those children’s pads where you can make the writing disappear by simply lifting the top plastic sheet. Some people who come up empty in the morning contend that they...

Gimme Shelter


In the early Wild West days of March and April, I was helping Kimberly plan the online instruction for her second-grade class. What could we do that would simultaneously help her kids cope with the unprecedented conditions of their locked-down lives while at the same time offering challenging academic instruction? Out of those conversations grew a unit on home. Their physical worlds had shrunk to...

Zoom: the case for the defense


Many of you out there are suffering from Zoom fatigue – for good reason. If you’re a school person, you may already be doing either six-hour instructional stints on your screen or, God help us – PD sessions. I have to temper that last snarky remark. Although I hated PD through all of my teaching years, it may actually be useful under the present circumstances by focusing on skills and strategies...

Don’t shoot the Messenger


I think I’m more tuned in to the ways of elementary school-age children than most geezers. Before the lockdown, I spent several days each week visiting their classrooms. Most of their teachers were my former students in the Urban Teacher Education Program at the University of Chicago. Almost all the classrooms would be real eye-openers for people who have never borne witness to the amazing things...

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