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Building a Dream School

March 12, 2023

“I want to be colleagues with you and teach next door!” I tell the fellow slicer at our virtual meet-up this morning. I’ve known since the first year of following her blog that we could be best buddies–if only we could meet in person.

“Wouldn’t it be awesome to teach at a school with ALL these fellow slicers?” she ups the ante.

It’s true. We would be a dream team.

One of my favorite slice formats each year is when Leigh Anne Eck ( invites us all to a party. I love reading what people bring, and love getting to know slicers through their personal responses to the common prompts.

And so, I invite you to sign on. No contract needed. Just copy this simple placement interview and fill it out for yourself, whenever in the month you need an idea for a slice. Let me know when you’ve joined the staff and I’ll add you to the staff roster.

What would you teach?

Me, I’d teach a multi-age 4th and 5th grade. I love, love, love fourth graders, and also love having kids for more than one year. This year I’m teaching a 3rd-4th grade, and I’m enjoying it, so I might eventually move down a level at our school, but I’m a sucker for kids’ fantasy books, and there just aren’t as many good ones written for 3rd graders as there are for 5th graders.

What’s your teaching super power?

Tonight I’m having trouble thinking of one, but to be a good role model, I’m going to say that my super power is matching kids to books. (Matching adults to books, too. Careful not to stand still too long if you don’t want me to hand you multiple books that I think you’ll love!)

What is one poster you’ll have on your walls?

I like to hang a copy of “Invitation” by Shel Silverstein just outside my door. (You know the poem: “If you are a dreamer, come in….”)

What music will we hear coming from your classroom?

I mainly try to play world music that gets us dancing in the morning, but I also love starting the day with “Try Everything” by Shakira, and starting writing workshop with “Unwritten” by Natasha Bedingfield.

What will your favorite writing celebration of the year be?

I used to have students culminate our poetry unit with an author reading at our local Barnes and Noble. Each student would go up to the podium, I’d give them a fancy introduction, and then they’d read a couple of their poems and say something about them. I loved it! I can tell this will be a school where I can bring back that tradition.

What food offering would you bring to the teachers’ room?

I love to bake, and I love chocolate, so banana bread with chocolate chips or pumpkin bread with chocolate chips, most likely. Every once in a while I do make these chocolate swirl buns–like cinnamon rolls but with chocolate–for my favorite people. I already know that I’ll want to make them for you!

What book will you share with us?

My newest favorite picture book is Patchwork by Matt de la Pena. So gorgeous. If you haven’t already read it, stop everything and watch the read aloud video. I’d read it differently, but you’ll at least hear the words.

What tradition will you want our school to start?

Let’s do a One School, One Read. Wouldn’t that be SO fun?!

Which other slicer would you want to have for your work spouse?

I call first dibs on Amy Spitzer, of Living Workshop, though I’m open to sharing. Truth be told, there are so many of you I want to teach next door to.


And there you have it–9 easy interview questions. No “describe your teaching philosophy,” no “What is your greatest weakness?”, no “How would you handle…?” Just join us.

If you are a dreamer, come in!

Staff roster:

12th grade: Elisabeth Ellington at

Middle School Wrangler: Amy Spitzer at

6th grade ELA: Eva Kaplan at

Multiage 4th/5th grade: Natasha Domina at


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  1. This was a fun slice to read–and really got me thinking, too! I’m tucking this away for a future slice. 🙂

  2. So fun! My friends and I always talk about starting our own school!

  3. amyilene permalink

    This makes me happy to my toes!! I cannot wait to use it for my slice & dream about the day when we can make dream schools a reality. Oh, if only, if only…

  4. Natasha, I don’t know how to add my name to your Dream School list, but I love this and used your idea for today’s slice. Thank you for shareing this! If only….

  5. However did that little e get in the word sharing?

  6. I’m obsessed with this, and I’ll absolutely fill one out!

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. Dream a Lil’ Dream – Living Workshop

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