Trees of Transition

Planting seeds of hope throughout our world through sharing photography and thoughts on teaching, cooking, and life transitions.


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Full Circle: Seeing Students from Over the Years

“Do you remember me? You used to teach at Hope, right? Your sister-in-law came and spoke to us…” The high school senior smiled at me as she paused while I went back a couple of years in my brain to remember her face, and I did. She used to be a bubbly freshman when I helped lead the girl’s camp and taught for a short stint at the private school in Chicago that she attends; now she stood next to her boyfriend at the carnival on the south side that the last school I taught at has every summer. Seeing her reminded me that I am glad I tried teaching at that school…I did influence a few students…

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Tips on Teaching at a Catholic or Private School (You are entering a new culture…)

After student teaching at a public school, I found I fit better into teaching at private schools, so over the last seven years I have worked at five different private schools; two Catholic schools and three private Christian schools — one international, one urban, and one suburban. Private schools have a different culture than public school that that takes time to learn.

Have you started teaching at a private school? Want some tips on how to transition even more strongly into that school’s culture? Here you go:

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Coach Campbell has Arrived

Me? An assistant cross-country coach?!? Late Friday afternoon two weeks ago, I had just been sitting there in the tutoring center, when a guy walked in and asked, “Do you know anyone that would be interested in helping coach the cross county team?”

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Full Circle

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Recently I looked up when I heard a student call my name, “Miss Campbell!” The girl with light, flowing hair looked much more of an adult than when I last saw her in her school uniform as a Senior last year. There stood a graduated Senior from the class I taught for two months last fall! Continue reading


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Learning Self-Concept

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The helpful book Teaching With Love and Logic by Jim Fay and David Funk has helped me understand myself and the students I work with greatly. Here are a few quotes:

“We respond to covert messages much more than we ever do to the overt” (Fay and Funk 126).

“The basic rule is: Unconditionally accept the worthy person, even while rejecting the questionable behavior” (Fay and Funk 129).

“Learning from consequences is a struggle that can cause pain, but surviving the struggle is a great self-concept builder. We learn that we are capable” (Fay and Funk 131).

How these authors mix stories with action steps on how to relate to students and manage people better makes me feel I can do this. Whether you are a teacher or parent or work with children somewhere, it is a helpful book.

It took me over a year to read this book through because it was helpful to read a bit, put it into practice, think about it for a time, and then get back to it. Now that I’ve finished it, I get to loan it to friends who have seen me reading it, but I’m so thankful for the self-awareness it taught me.

Check it out!

By M. H. Campbell

Copyright 2015


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A Homeschooler Takes on the “Mean Girls” and …

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Homeschooling’s Black, White, & Gray Series 1 Ep. 7

What does it mean about me if a dysfunctional institution led by some “mean girls” throws me out? Here’s what happened, but first of all, my definition of “mean girl” is a sometimes fun, but really selfish, usually gorgeous, controlling woman who uses manipulation to get what she wants and to keep admiring people around her (similar to the mean girls in the movie with that same title)…

I met her on the day I interviewed for the job, and she seemed interested in me and glad to have me come on board. This beautiful, married woman seemed like she could be a friend; since I was used to being friends with my bosses, I thought I could do it here too. I jumped into the job, helping with even more than I probably should have, but keeping my eyes open because I knew the institution had a reputation for dysfunction. I invited her to go see Shakespeare in the Park (which she couldn’t make), we had other interesting conversations, and I thought she liked me.

Because my “dysfunction radar” was on high alert, I didn’t let things slide when my schedule got changed around the day before school started. I spoke up, respectfully. I let her and the boss over her know that it shook me up to have more students thrust upon me and rooms changed around the day before school starts, and I felt disrespected. I thought they understood…

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Life Is All About Learning And Gaining Knowledge

Here’s an interesting guest post on the topic of homeschooling:

Hi, I am the Momma from “A Momma’s View” (https://amommasview.wordpress.com/ ) and I am a homeschooling mom. Sometimes it is easy and sometimes it is not. But what I learned from this experience is, that life in itself is all about learning and gaining Knowledge. The world is nothing more than an oversized classroom.

First I was hesitating when my husband mentioned that he wants to home-school our son. Of course I had all kind of questions (not to say worries). What about socialization, what about isolation, what about teaching them the right things? Will we be able to handle it? Will we teach him right?

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