Let's connect!

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Dear Friend,

Maya Angelou says,

“At our best, we’re all teachers.”

True teachers share their lessons on many levels and this website is a vehicle to do just that. We already share so much: your success is my success; your pain is my pain; your air is my air; the children in your care are related to the children in my care. They are all our children, because there is no such thing as “other people’s children.” We belong to one another, then, now, and always.

I learned the truth of our belonging as a high school teacher, something I loved with my whole heart and something from which, after twenty years, I walked away. The children I gave birth to are now both in high school and a girl can only take so many hormones and back-talk in a day. Truth be told, I love a sassy teenager almost more than anything. Although I enjoy carrying a workbag that no longer holds 190 essays, I sure do miss our kids.


Because there is no such thing as other people’s children.

Because we belong to one another.


I’m a classic introvert in many ways, far preferring to spend quiet time at home, not an easy feat when a person lives with a husband, a mother, two sons, two dogs, two cats, and a hamster. I tell you, sometimes I wish I could join that hamster burrowed in the corner of her cage under a mound of bedding, but I am charged with another path, one I call Joyous Madness.

To ensure I stay on that path God gave me an adorable and maddening husband who pushes me out of all kinds of doors, proverbial and literal, and I hate him for it. I also love him for it. Our children are our greatest blessings, and my greatest teachers.


I’m so glad you’re here. I hope you explore widely and visit often.


This is my online home and, because of the good Italian girl I am, that means it’s your home too. For those of you who are not lucky enough to have been raised in an Italian-American home, the rule is we welcome you once and then you’re family.

In the “The Teacher Collective” you’ll find teaching stories, resources, inspiration, and opportunities for us to engage together in professional learning. My work in this area is grounded in serving the national treasures who are our teachers in what has become such a complex political time.

Among the “Wildflowers” is where I invite anyone who is tired of pretending everything is perfect or working themselves toward sheer exhaustion trying to make it so. In a time so full of contradictions and mixed messages, this is the place I can embrace imperfection and live among the wild and wonderful experiences of being a mother, wife, teacher, writer, and Wildflower.


Now, you are in charge of getting what you want from the kitchen.

nicolelusianibycandacesmith-3888-Edit-Edit (1)

Writer. Teacher. Wildflower.

I believe that my primary purpose is to live and work with integrity, authenticity, and grace.

By doing so, I hope you feel free to do the same.


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