S. T. Fleming

Language. Education. Literacy. Creation.

Author Archive

Heading Towards…

A writer who wrote had a dream:
Tell stories to feel, think and scream.
“I’ll motivate reading,
Young minds I’ll be feeding,
With wonders that aren’t what they seem.”

I have known “writers” who don’t write and folks who say they are not writers but who, in fact, write.  Me?  I like to tell stories about kids who are similar to my students, typically 4th through 8th graders with dreams and worries, hopes and inhibitions.  Soon I will join the legion of writers who take up an MFA program in writing.  It is a low residency program at Hamline University in St. Paul, Minnesota that focuses on writing for children- it is a perfect fit for me… and they accepted me.

In order to complete the program I will travel twice a year to Minnesota from my home in Lima to learn, write, reflect and revise.  My previous studies in the last 20 years have been to find or keep work.  I have enjoyed earning each of my teaching licenses and the learning that came with them.  This one, though, is for me and my students… and I am really looking forward to it.

If you know of any sources to assist with funding please send them my way.

In the meantime it is almost November and that means NaNoWriMo.  But who needs an excuse to write?

Weaving Our World

Africa brought my friend Abdisalam
Pangjua my pal is from Asia
Buddy was born on the East Side, Saint Paul
A quilt, a symphonic fantasia!

Frank is Lakota, a generous man
Angel an awesome amigo
Ela my doctor of Irish descent
Aunt Shirley? She comes from Otsego

The Nations United is more than New York
We world-weave through actions and talking
Together we journey, we wonder, we hope
The road that we make is by walking

This was my non-winning poetry submission for Impressions.   The end result of Impressions would have more people reading poetry and viewing art on busses and at bus stops in the Twin Cities (Minnesota).  Using easy to read, rhyming poetry I wanted to emphasize the global nature of St. Paul  while alluding to Spanish poet Machado in that we create the world with who we are and what we do.

I look forward to reading all of the poems!

Unfair to Learn?

Is it unfair to learn?

As I teach my classes, four sections of the same grade level content, I become a better teacher-  I notice the mistakes that the previous class made;  I understand their misunderstandings; I see the gaps in my teaching.  I learn.  That being said, class #4 receives all of my learning from the previous three classes and produces higher quality work.  They may even receive, on average, higher grades (I will check to see if this last item is true).

Is this unfair for class #1?  Is it unfair that the teaching they receive, because they receive it first, will always be a little less complete and polished?  Is this like asking if it is unfair for the first child in a family to have to train the parents?

Now, I return to weave the threads of learning for that first class, perhaps with colors not as bright but beautiful nonetheless.

The Hero’s Journey

Follow up the video by reading the book: The Hero With a Thousand Faces.

También puedes leer el libro en español: El héroe de las mil caras.

A Taste of Honey

Especially sweet
On St. Rosa of Lima eve
Flowed the cabernet

Recursos en español/ Spanish Resources

Here is a list of resources that I have been compiling over the years.  Most of them are links to texts and curriculum from all over Latin America.  Enjoy!

Son antologías que se usan en países de habla hispana de primer grado a 6to grado


Main Idea Videos


After breakfast a
tall, clear glass
of snow-white milk
rested outside.

The hot summer sun
sizzles my skin and
cooks the milk.

Thirsty, I …
Blech! Yuck! Plephtshw!

Sick in Bed

a four-legged horse
with a very flat back
carried cereal and milk
which Jack will attack

with his sword and a slurp
he’ll devour his prey
this banquet for kings
will return him to play

My School, My Teacher

I hate it on the playground
when someone’s on the swing.
I wait and wait and wait my turn
but hear the lunch-bell ring.

I love it, though, in springtime
and my teacher I adore
when recess isn’t over
and she gives ten minutes more.

I hate it in the classroom
when we’re sitting down to write
and Rob blames me for punching Pete.
Teach’ knows I never fight.

I love ‘em, though, the stories
of future, present, past.
I wish those times of wonder
Could last and last and last

(Ending 1)
My school is like kitchen and
my teacher’s like a mother-
serving up the Lima beans
with cookies like no other.

(Ending 2)
My school is like a woodshop and
my teacher’s like a dad-
sanding imperfections of
rough edges that I had.

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