What Is Kim Parker Wearing?

Dr. Kim Parker is the assistant director of the Teacher Training Center of the Shady Hill School, and a great friend to the Horn Book, serving as a judge for the 2019 Boston Globe-Horn Book Awards, and as the author of a really wonderful piece about John Steptoe's Stevie. For working at home she rocks a classic black hoodie honoring a great project. (You can get your own hoodie here.)


1. I was just talking with a psychologist who said parents are having to learn new ways to get along with their children. How's that going for you?

I’ve done lots of adjusting (my kid, maybe not so much)! In the first weeks I realized how I could either let everything he does be a point of tension, or I could, as someone told me long before this and I never listened to, just “drop the rope.” I’m getting better every day about deciding what to let go and what to insist on doing, and that looks different daily. I do insist on a few things: reading, playing math, following a loose schedule that he determines the order of, and baking once a week. Oh, and putting on lotion. We can’t be ashy even in a pandemic.

2. Are you teaching via the internet? How's that going?

Most of my work is administrative, so I don’t have to plan as much as if I were teaching every day (praise the Lorde), so it’s less of a stressor than it is for my colleagues. We have weekly seminars with our preservice teachers but have shortened our time together, provided many more opportunities for check-ins and self care, and have increased individual 1:1 meetings. I also teach high school young people once a week and that’s been a bit harder. They miss their friends and are trying to figure out how to complete assignments that aren’t necessarily interesting to them.

3. What are you reading for fun?

Reading is saving my life now! I’m reading Julian Winters’ How to Be Remy Cameron during moments when I’m catching my breath while my sun is resting, The Best of the Brownies Book over dinner and in random moments; Renee Watson’s Ways to Make Sunshine, and am about to start Angie Kim’s Miracle Creek for my post-kid bedtime book.

4. What are you watching?

I got sucked into Tiger King and still can’t believe the whole thing, and now I’m watching All-American on Netflix, with endless reruns of Grey’s Anatomy and anything from the 90s.

5. What is the pettiest but oh-so-desirable thing you are missing the most?

I miss brunch with my friends. We’d spend hours loving on each other over great food and drinks. I can’t wait to do that again.

Roger Sutton
Roger Sutton
Roger Sutton has been the editor in chief of The Horn Book, Inc, since 1996. He was previously editor of The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books and a children's and young adult librarian. He received his M.A. in library science from the University of Chicago in 1982 and a B.A. from Pitzer College in 1978. Follow him on Twitter: @RogerReads.

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