Category: education

How does a teacher become a veteran teacher?

We watch a fair amount of baseball around this house and the words rookie as well as veteran are often heard. It seems that there is no in-between, no equivalent of “middle age” and there needs to be. I think in other fields there are various distinctions and since I know teaching well I will... Read more »

In Defense of the National Endowment for the Humanities

I joyfully taught Spanish and French for 35 years in Illinois public schools. During that time I constantly sought out opportunities for professional development. I applied for grants, scholarships and programs from my school districts, the state of Illinois, private foundations, the US federal government as well as the governments of France and Spain.  In... Read more »

I am really good at teaching Spanish and French

Hurray, it is Blogapalooza night. Once a month we have an hour to write about a specific topic. Here is tonight’s topic: Without trying to be humble, write about something you’re really good at. Like most people, I have a long list of things I am not good at – whistling, math and poker. If... Read more »

Everyone in Chicagoland should visit the Illinois Holocaust Museum

A number of years ago I was fortunate enough to visit the US Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington DC. It was a sobering but important visit and we brought our tweens along with us. I know that schools study the Holocaust and visit DC but this kind of a lesson was something I wanted to... Read more »

I will be a crazy fun Grandma in the Future

Tonight is our monthly blogapalooza post night. We get one hour from the topic to publish. Here is tonight’s topic: “Pick any point of time in the future and write about what you hope/think/fear/expect your life will be like then” I didn’t even have to think hard about this, I will be a crazy fun... Read more »

Teacher reaction vs Quilter reaction to start of school

School is starting up in waves across the states. I see cute pictures of  kids on their first day. When my girls were starting school there was no Facebook so I just took them for our own photo albums and I love them, all of them. I am pretty calm about the start of school... Read more »

The best principals are those with whom you can disagree

It’s our monthly Blogapalooza night and the topic is to write a letter to someone with whom you’ve had a disagreement. Easy, I’ll write to one of my former principals. Dear Jim, Hey there, it’s me, Kathy! You were my principal and I was the 8th grade Spanish teacher. Remember all the good times we... Read more »

Teacher gift ideas for retirement or end of year

The end of the school year is rapidly approaching, words which bring a smile to many faces. I have had a slew of emails asking about teacher gift ideas for retirement or end of year. This surprised me but I am glad to help. If you have a teacher that has really gone above and... Read more »

8 reasons why I am glad I am no longer teaching

I began teaching full time in the state of Illinois in September of 1975 and I loved it. It was scary but exhilarating. I worked like crazy, had some fears and doubts but got so much support and love from administrators, fellow teachers, parents and students over the years that I loved it right until... Read more »

Junior Colleges deserve respect

I went to a four year college, University of Illinois in Champaign, Illinois. I had a ball. I got to live in a dorm, be in a sorority, spend my Junior year abroad in Spain, take a tailoring class and try a year of apartment living. Oh yeah, I also got a college degree and... Read more »
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    Kathy Mathews

    My passions are quilting and sewing. Add to that French, Spanish, books, swimming, travels, new restaurants, yoga and chocolate and you have me. All of these are best shared with family and friends. Except for chocolate, don't touch my chocolate. You can email me at

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