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Baby's Grasp

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(For Parents & Educators) You will go to college! by P. Himmele

My dad sat me down, and with his thick Spanish accent and a determined look, said, "Pérsida, to what college you go?" It wasn't really a question. He was daring me to say anything other than the name of a respectable university. He said that to all seven of his kids. As a result, even though we were dirt poor, we now boast two PhDs, two master's degrees, one theology degree, one bachelor's degree, and one high school diploma. (The high school diploma was earned by the daughter with special needs. Even she was given no choice.) If I could say anything to educators that could make a lasting difference in the lives of the children they serve, it's this: Parents are the silver bullet. No amount of poverty can compete with an informed and determined parent. Starting in kindergarten, make sure your students' parents know that the expectations they convey about schooling will likely determine their children's future.


Parent Letter in English and Spanish

This letter takes the story posted above, "You will go to college!," and presents it with a focus on parents. "...Parents, there is something that you ought to know: The decision of whether or not your child will finish school and go on to college is almost entirely yours, and it needs to be made as early in your child’s academic career as possible."


Giving birth to the Hobbit: Why we're totally sold on the family read aloud by P. Himmele, with the help of the Himmele family

My daughter was born right after Chapter 6 of The Hobbit. No, seriously. Bill was reading aloud from The Hobbit while I lay there trying to think about something other than my contractions. Of course, he put the book down when he could no longer hear himself above my angry demands for more epidural. But still, you could say that I gave birth to the sounds of The Hobbit... (see more)

(For Teacher Educators) Teaching future educators and families; helping maximize children's learning by P. Himmele

I remember starting a second-grade teaching position in an elementary school in California with a large Latino population, where I was told by my colleagues that parents were not involved in the school and that I should keep my expectations in check. Instead, I put a sign outside my door in Spanish that read, “Necesito Voluntarios” (I need volunteers). Five volunteers signed up that day... (see more)

(For Teacher Educators) Transition as a shared responsibility by P. Himmele & M. Nell

As teacher educators with the goal of helping students navigate the practical everyday issues that teachers face, we have found that the Harvard Family Research Project case studies offer valuable real-world perspectives... (see more)

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