Beans & Rice for the Soul

teaching, learning and living around the world

What fuels self-worth? 691st place, that’s what.

  During my senior year of high school, I distinctly remember having a conversation with one of my closest friends about how we weren’t really ‘great’ at anything. I was … Continue reading

May 31, 2016 · 4 Comments

Why ‘making learning fun’ doesn’t wow me

Why did I think Vicky Kuo’s understanding of teaching and learning was so exceptional? It was exceptional because there were no frills. Each lesson learned highlighted an essential aspect of excellent instruction. … Continue reading

April 10, 2016 · 5 Comments

Correspondence with a Kindred Spirit

The first time Anga came home from a lesson with Vicky Kuo, I asked him how it went. He said, “Wow, Sara. Wow. Just… whoa. You’re going to love her. … Continue reading

April 7, 2016 · 3 Comments

Passports, Privilege & Presidential Eligibility

I was born in the United States and both of my parents are American citizens.  My husband was born in the Democratic Republic of Congo and both of his parents are … Continue reading

January 21, 2016 · 4 Comments

A Warm December

I’ve been quietly inspired by a lot of things lately. 1. Anga flew me to Portland, Maine on his birthday! We had fresh lobster rolls for lunch.  It was so … Continue reading

January 1, 2016 · 2 Comments

Nuggets of Hope

Big, bad things can happen anywhere, anytime. Going to high school in Alexandria, Virginia put me 3.5 miles away from the terrorist attack on the Pentagon.  Teaching in Kinshasa put me … Continue reading

November 19, 2015 · 1 Comment

A Solid Life Cycle Event

Long hiatus.  Got married! The ceremony was in the small church I grew up going to every Sunday. Our friends and families came together from every corner of the earth. Walking … Continue reading

October 5, 2015 · 6 Comments

Fanfare for the Uncommon Teacher

Usually I abide by a no-work-emails-past-8pm policy, but when I received word one night that the 2015 Fishman Prize winners were coming to our office, I immediately responded with unbridled enthusiasm: I AM … Continue reading

July 21, 2015 · 1 Comment

#TheAfricaTheMediaNeverShowsYou

Five years ago, my 6th graders in Kinshasa wrote a fantastic speech about #TheAfricaTheMediaNeverShowsYou. I like to think that we were ahead of the times! People always want to hear … Continue reading

July 19, 2015 · Leave a comment

News from Nairobi

I’ve been working on a new collection of teacher training videos. Our videographer sends his daughter to Bridge.  Right before this photo was taken she had spotted her dad, SPRINTED out … Continue reading

July 11, 2015 · Leave a comment

5 tips for muzungus writing about Congo

A Beans & Rice reader recently asked me for tips on how to write about DRC. She and her husband recently moved from North Carolina to North Kivu.  She writes, I was … Continue reading

June 6, 2015 · 2 Comments

When life is going really well, we can sometimes lose sight of the powerful role the village plays

A while back a colleague of mine told me she was interested in working internationally again.  She had served in the Peace Corps in Sierra Leone and I of course … Continue reading

May 30, 2015 · 1 Comment

Get together and let the good times roll

Warmer weather sure makes it easier to let the good times roll! On May 6th, I finally went to work without a jacket on. It was so glorious. When I … Continue reading

May 18, 2015 · Leave a comment

Crying and leaning on: it’s okay to not be okay

I love my fate to the very core and rind. But that doesn’t mean it’s always easy or that I’m always so optimistic. I had a great email exchange with two old … Continue reading

May 9, 2015 · 1 Comment

Computers vs. teachers and other frilly ed debates

I have plenty of opinions about Teachers vs. computers. Teaching about computers. Teaching using computers. Teaching computers to teach. Which all falls under the banner of Technology in the Classroom … Continue reading

May 2, 2015 · 6 Comments

Dress shopping, bacheloretting and rugby. Plenty traditional.

Wedding dress shopping is SO weird.  I had no idea that sales ladies would literally go into the tiny dressing room with me.  Or that there are no mirrors in there … Continue reading

April 25, 2015 · 5 Comments

Makutano#2 Bits and Pieces from the Crossroads

Wait, what’s a makutano?! Read the invitation to Beans & Rice readers here and Makutano Post #1 here. ONE “Here’s my makutano – an encounter with two adorable local girls … Continue reading

March 27, 2015 · 3 Comments

Why Nancie Atwell should be a household name

Teaching is a performing art. And one of the greatest artists of our time is Nancie Atwell. When I studied teaching at UVA, I specialized in secondary social studies.  History, … Continue reading

March 23, 2015 · 2 Comments