Every morning, my husband and kids like to have bacon with their breakfast.   My husband is usually the one to cook it (I’ve gone veg myself), but usually I get things rolling for him by putting it in the pan.  Well, there are undoubtedly those mornings where the others in my house take a while getting themselves downstairs and the bacon ends up being my responsibility.  But, you see that is not a good thing, because I regularly burn it.

It’s a running joke now – “Mommy burns bacon.”  But wait just a moment, here and let’s think about why exactly…

Well, not only am I trying to get the bacon started in the pan but I’m packing lunches, making my own coffee (don’t mess with that part of my morning), making sure HW is put in folders, gathering my own belongs for school, helping my 5-year-old daughter pick out appropriate clothes for the winter, yelling at my 7-year-old son to wake up, and my husband, for that matter, shoving breakfast in my face and doing all those other nitty gritty things that will get me out the door in relative “on time.”   So many of us feel this way in the morning.

Peggy Lee recorded an awesome song called, “I’m a Woman.”  It tells of all the things a woman can do.  If you haven’t listened to it, you must.


I can rub & scrub this old house til it’s shinin’ like a dime
Feed the baby, grease the car, & powder my face at the same time
Get all dressed up, go out and swing til 4 a.m. and then
Lay down at 5, jump up at 6, and start all over again
‘Cause I’m a woman! W-O-M-A-N, I’ll say it again”

Oh, Peggy, how I wish I didn’t disappoint you on this one.

As Wonder Woman stares her look of strength and dignity into the distance every time I turn on my smartphone, I think to myself, “I shall conquer all.”

But as I try to do just that, things are constantly prioritized and reprioritized in the moment.  I work to correct papers at my desk, but my colleagues need to discuss the most recent assessment.  I start to email a parent, but then remember to write down the names of students I need to group together and see about a certain math concept.  I am going through my email, but have to check up on a link I promised I would look at three days ago.

There’s so much to do and so much I want to do.  Sound familiar?

…and that’s why I burn bacon.

But there’s a lesson here.  Bacon seems to act as a metaphor for some of what we do in life.

There are just some things that, if we leave them simmering on their own, will burn.  (Here’s where I switch from busy woman talk to teacher talk.)

Take our students.  If we leave them too long simmering on their own, they may burn out.  For example, leaving some students with a hard math problem for too long may frustrate them until they want to give up.  We need to go to them every so often and offer motivation, if not assistance.  (Flip that bacon.)  Or if a student is working feverishly on a concept, but is going at it all wrong, they may be developing a bad habit (forming letters, steps in an algorithm, spelling a word incorrectly).  (Don’t let them burn.)

We need to care for our students like bacon:

  • Turn the stove top on low and place them in gently.
  • Flip them often.
  • Keep a watchful eye.
  • When you smell they are ready, take them off the stove.
  • Pat them dry to take away the access grease.

Please have a ball with the student-bacon imagery!

I hope you had as much fun reading this one as I have had writing it.   Regardless, the truth is there – be careful in all you do to not burn the bacon! (Now, let’s hope the whole burn-the-bacon issue doesn’t affect Thanksgiving dinner…)