Behind the Lens: 2015 Year in Photographs

Pete Souza has an incredible job as Chief Official White House Photographer. 

Editing photographs, especially for a project like this, is both subjective and personal. I not only found key historic moments from the year, but also chose moments that give people a more personal look at he lives of the President and First Lady.

There are some beautiful and powerful moments captured in this retrospective on Obama's penultimate year in office. Seeing the president love on the babies is refreshing!

Behind the Lens: 2015 Year in Photographs

Why I Teach

Each year since I began teaching, I've reflected on why I teach.  I often share my annual poem at Back to School Night.  I shared this with my students' families on September 11, 2014 at Odyssey School of Denver.

I teach because I love you deeply.
Not cheaply,
but deeply.
Not the free love of the 60’s,
or the sugarcoated praise and
cheap self-esteem of the 90’s.<!--break-->
But real,
hard earned love.
from struggle
building trust
brain sweat
pencil chewing angst
and moments of 
sweet, sweet discovery.

I teach because 
I believe in the power of
communal child rearing.
When all of us
lift up our children 
together with love, 
constructive criticism
the watchful eyes of many
cultivate kids that care 
and cope 
and love 
and act.

I teach because
together we reduce
and sadness.
We fight the fundamentalism 
that’s crushing humanity.
I teach because we need
more healing
in our broken
broken world.

I’m not teaching for performance pay.
(Lobbyists are paid to perform.)
I’m not teaching for performance pay
because I’m not 

I am
looking for pathways to understanding
figuring out what makes you shine
showing you how 
to rise up
how to create
and celebrate
and deviate.

No pay is enough for 
sleepless nights 
and marathon days
Worrying about the child
that feels unheard
whose home is falling apart
who's looking for friends
who’s testing boundaries
who's searching for something more
who doesn’t feel smart enough
good enough
cool enough
Who doesn’t realize that
she is 

I’m not teaching for performance pay
because I’m not performing.
I’m not teaching to the test
because there is only
one real test.
It’s called your life.

I’m teaching because I want you 
to pass your test with your best
to be the doctor
and poet
that helps repair our world.

I’m not teaching to the test.
I‘m teaching to see you light up 
when you craft the most beautiful math explanation
you’ve ever created 
and the heavens part
and the math angels look down and
sing “Hallelujah”
for the first time.
And you smile because you understand.
And it
it is beautiful.

I teach because
You‘re my hope.
You’re the world’s
life insurance policy.

Our fractured and overheated Earth
needs you to be 
better, smarter, 
and more actively 
than any 
generation before.

I’m teaching because
the world needs
your greatness.


Listen to Passenger for a musical and inspirational treat. His music could be the official soundtrack of Sweet Gravity.

I'm so thankful I went to his concert at the Ogden. His albums are rock'n, but he's absolutely amazing to experience live. Thanks for the tickets, Kate! Mike, thanks for sharing your love & talent with the world.

Mike, when will you be passing through Denver again?


Someday by Alison McGheeMy daughter's first grade class used Alison McGhee's Someday as a mentor text to craft their own Someday books. The parents were also invited to write Someday stories to share at Exhibition Night. I read my Someday poem to my daughter's class. It is inspired and dedicated to my mother who passed away when I was 15. She didn’t get a chance to see my Somedays.


Sophia, a while ago you told me that someday you wanted to grow up to be a pig. Now you want to be a veterinarian and zoo keeper. Zivi, you told me that someday you want to be a farm animal or help your sister at the zoo.

Someday I want to see you reach your Somedays.
But, there are Somedays and there are Everydays. Someday you want to be veterinarians and zoo keepers. 

Everyday, I want you to treat animals and all of nature with respect.
Someday, I think all kids should feel good about themselves and not bully or hurt each other. 

Everyday, I want you to practice kindness and be generous with your compliments and your actions..
Someday I want a world where all kids are free from sickness and disease. Including our friend Carson. 

Everyday, I want you make choices that keep your body and mind healthy.
Someday, I want your children and grandchildren to breath clean air, drink pure water, and enjoy the wilderness. 

Everyday, I encourage you to make choices to keep the Earth’s fever down and care for our lovely planet.
Someday, I want every child to read good books and learn to think critically. 

Everyday, I want you to get a little smarter and bit wiser and make better choices.
Someday, I want every child to create the music and art that is in their hearts. 

Everyday, I want you to find your own rhythm and dance to it.
Someday, every child should be a able to play, have enough to eat, and feel loved. 

Everyday, I want you to feel happy, safe, and loved.
Someday, I want to see you fall in love. 

Everyday, I want you to know that I love you more than anything in the world.

There are Somedays and there are Everydays.

Someday, I want to be with you to celebrate all your dreams and all of you Somedays.

But if I can’t, remember that everyday I love you and everyday you make my Somedays come true.

Sums of Summer

One rocket swimming in the lake
Two weeks of mountain summits
Four bottles of SPF 25
Eight swimming lessons
Sixteen days at the zoo
Eighteen museum explorations
Countless band-aids covering    
and invisible owies

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