Tag Archives: teenagers

Tales From the Classroom

She didn’t have her photos.

Easy photos.

20 photos that tell the story of our classroom.

But nope. No photos.


Her phone had no storage.

No problem. I gave her a little point and shoot to take her photos.

Excited, she took the camera, started walking around pressing the display screen in frustration.

Wait. What?

“Miss, how does this work? How do I get pictures?”

That’s when I realized I’d made a world of assumptions. When I handed her that camera, I assumed she would know how to use it because it was a simple point and shoot.

But that simple camera was completely foreign to her. She’s 14. She’s grown up pushing a button on a screen to take photos.

Fortunately, she wasn’t afraid to speak up when doing that didn’t work.

I showed her how to snap the pictures and she quickly took care of the assignment.

She learned how to use a point and shoot. I learned a whole lot more.

So often I think I’m assigning something super easy, but it’s only easy if the students have had specific life experiences.

I’ve got a lot more to learn.

On to the next assignment.

What I’m loving: The Young and the Restless, the train running from Fort Worth to the airport, DoTERRA On Guard, Quest snickerdoodles, Spark People, teaching

What I’m writing: So Much For Happily Ever After

Generation Homelander: Something Needs to Change!


That’s what this generation of students is known as. That was the big lesson I learned at yearbook camp this summer.

They’ve never lived without security cameras everywhere. They’ve never known life without a cell phone. Their parents know where they are at all times. Their lives are orchestrated with calendars, every hour planned. Instead of play, they take classes. Even their time at the park is scheduled with play dates. They fear being alone and believe absolutely that evil is out there, and could strike at any minute in school, at the mall, at the movies, while they’re out for a morning run.

They grew up in the US after 9-11. After everything changed. And in an effort to keep them safe, I wonder if we’re not actually making the world a more dangerous place.

One common denominator I’ve heard time and again in discussions with other educators this summer is how many teenagers are on anti-anxiety meds. I’ve taught relaxation techniques to students for years. We can do the 13th floor like nobody’s business and Pilates deep breathing is a must. But this is different. This anxiety can’t be visualized or breathed away.

When we bought my daughter her first cell phone, I was excited. I remembered being a teenager AND I remembered the whole “we’re staying the night with… switcheroo.” With the cell phone that was over. Sort of. With today’s cell phones parents can just look at the GPS to see where their kids are. And they do. Constantly.

A couple of my former foreign exchange students recently posted pictures of their summer European trip. They’re not 18 yet, but they were traveling across the world without a guide or chaperone, just having fun, making memories, learning. When I saw the photos, I was shocked at first. I had a hard time letting my 18-yr-old daughter drive to Dallas. No way would she have gone on holiday around Europe without a parent present. No way. I’ve seen the movie Taken, complete fiction. I’ve watched the Natalee Holloway story again and again on the news, awful truth.

9-11 changed everything. We knew it when it happened, but I don’t think we truly understood. I hope we can change this overarching feeling that the world is evil, that the “bad people, terrorists, killers,” are out to get us. I hope we can find a way to give our kids time to breathe.

We have to. Our kids need a chance to have a new name. Something closer to Generation X and Y. Homelanders can’t be our future. It just can’t.


If you haven’t signed up for my newsletter, you can here. I send one a month at the most, so no spam.

Angel Eyes,Angel Eyes 6 The Guardian Book 3 released this week. Yay! And Dead Girl Walking, The Guardian Book 1 is free for the last day. Get your kindle copy now. The DGW audio book will be out soon! I can’t wait to share it with y’all. You Will Love It! ❤




I’m so happy I’m a teacher.
Kids get a bad rap, teens more than others.
My students are smarter than I ever thought of being at their ages. They’re also WAY more responsible than I was. They gave over 3000 pounds of pet food to the Humane Society yesterday. Instead of trick-or-treating for candy, they went door to door collecting food.
Pretty cool.

I looked at my manuscript again and I think I’m going to send it in just like it is.
There are some places where one of the characters isn’t in as deep a point of view as I usually like, but she’s in this place where she feels like she’s watching herself because she’s totally pretending to be someone else. I like the effect.
The subplot timing might be a little off in places, but it flows better the way I have it then it would if I were to make it fit chronologically. No MAJOR shifts, just day/night type stuff.
There’s one scene I’ve included that might need to come out or be developed more. But right now I like it.
I guess the test is to see if an editor likes it.
I’ve spent nine years trying to figure out what it is I need to do to sell a book. I think maybe the answer is giving them a book they have no reason to reject.
I hope this is one of those books. It’s going to New York tomorrow.
AND then I get to spend the weekend with my Intrigue. I did MAJOR villain work on it this week. I realized my villain was weak. A weak villain is like a gnat. Annoying but nothing too bad. He was smart but nothing special. Now he’s evil, dangerous, smart and he doesn’t much care what happens. He either dies sooner than planned or gets rich first. He’s a total psychopath, but he wasn’t always. I wrote this freaky scene a couple weeks ago with him and I couldn’t figure it out, but now I totally get it. He chose to go to the Dark Side. Kind of like Darth. But there’s no redemption for him. Except maybe, when I do the revisions, I’ll decide to give him the Pale Rider Marshal death. Where he knows he’s going to pay and he decides what the heck, I’m going out anyway, but there in the back of his eyes you see the man he used to be before he sold out. I don’t know. I guess I’ll see.

I’ve got to get my local RWA chapter newsletter done this weekend too. I love doing the newsletter but I hate the time it takes sometimes. Funny how I hate it more when I’m actually writing. 🙂