Teacher-Student Connections

At this time of year, both students and teachers find themselves in classrooms with new faces. How do teachers cultivate their own and students’ creativity and foster new lasting connections? Here’s an excerpt from Zing! Seven Creativity Practices for Educators and Students, Pat’s book supporting inventive teaching.

Zing Seven Creative Practices for Educators and Students“Students sense our interest by the way we establish connections with them, in who they are and what matters to them. We’re all part of the same family, made of the same clay, our skin and bones. When a student feels your respect, he can take risks, essential for writers. You can create a community, a safe place to gather, write, and explore. Some teachers still perceive their bright Latino or African American students as exceptions, teachers who doubt the power of high expectations and effective support. How do we erase the dangerous foolishness that equates diversity with deficiency, inferiority, low standards, or incompetence?

It’s challenging but doable, dear teacher, once we remove the filters we’ve been taught to wear, once we really view our students and families as “created equal,” as full of surprises. Wise teachers form connections by steadily assessing their students’ many levels including their cultural and previous educational experiences.”

Summer reading, family style

My Family * Mi familia
I was encouraged to write this four-book series of easy-read bilingual books by a friend in Texas who is not bilingual but who generously and creatively fosters literacy by putting bilingual books in the hands of children who need them.

In this series, readers meet the Rosas family: Isabel, Tina, Danny, Mom, Dad, and Abuelita. They meet the familiy’s dog, Tico, and the family’s new kitty too. The books depict children’s daily activities: a family meal, chasing a kitten, bedtime, and a boy’s mischief.

Here Kitty Kitty Ven Gatita Ven

Let's Eat A Comer

Sweet Dreams Dulces Suenos

Wiggling Pockets Las Bolsillos Saltarines

National Aunt & Uncle’s Day is Saturday

I was blessed with some wonderful aunts and a fantastic uncle. The aunt in The Gift of the Poinsettia wasn’t based on a family member. A Birthday Basket for Tía and I Pledge Allegiance starred my beloved aunt, whom we called, Lobo, who was like a second maternal grandmother. I’ve also written about her in my poetry collections for adults. All my special aunts and my uncle appear in my family memoir House of Houses.

I love celebrations! A toast to wonderful aunts and uncles!

The Gift of the PoinsettiaA Birthday Basket for Tia
I Pledge Allegiance by Pat Mora and Libby MartinezHouse of Houses

Nonprofit book contest

Books for Babies…and Toddlers, Too! is an innovative fundraising program of Southwest Human Development featuring the publication of a children’s book. They are seeking submissions of children’s book manuscripts in the inaugural First Edition Children’s Book Contest. The author of the winning manuscript will have their book professionally illustrated, published and promoted by Southwest Human Development and will receive a $1,000 advance and 8% royalty on sales. The book will be sold using a “one for one” model similar to that of Tom’s Shoes. For every book sold they will give a book to a child who otherwise might not have a book of their own. For more information, visit their website.
First Edition contest