At present, I'm starting a new year with new students. As I'm looking to the future, I'm thrown back to the past – to all the students who have stepped through this room, have sat in theses seats, have longed to get out of this school. A teacher's character is a collective contribution made by … Continue reading To My Former Students
It's hard not to feel like our society needs more empathy – more shared connection rather than polarized disconnection. What if we approached teaching empathy the way we teach literacy?
Educating kids is rewarding. But it's also exhausting and challenging. Sometimes we give so much of our energy to our students and kids that we forget to take care of ourselves. We burn and burn until we our passion is about to extinguish. When that happens, no one wins. One of my greatest learnings as … Continue reading The Burnout Cure Giveaway!
My dad is a stoic man, hardened by a blue collar upbringing. Thirty-plus years of working construction made his hands and his personality calloused and sinewy. He's prone to show joy after a few drinks and anger after minor annoyances. I've seen him cry twice. The first time, he took a baseball straight to the … Continue reading One Happiness Practice You Need to Try…Now
My conversations might be making me ill. At least that was my thought after my friend Weston posted this: The quote stuck with me as I thought about my consumption: What articles did I spend my time reading? What social media posts did I hover over? Most of all, I thought, "What conversations do I … Continue reading Time for a Conversational Diet
"My friend told me I should talk to you. I'm really struggling and I didn't know who else to talk to..." Frequently, students come to my room, starting conversations like this. Some of them I have in class. Some I've never met. I work with them after school or during their lunch, listening to their … Continue reading Why Teens Don’t Talk to Us
My wife once pulled a human tooth from her pocket. For a split-second, I thought she was a serial killer who finally let her evidence slip (I watch too much t.v., I know). Then I remembered that: a.) she was a 2nd grade teacher and b.) she often helps students pull their loose teeth.While she felt … Continue reading Stop Hoarding Emotions: Become a Goodness Curator Instead
There is no shortage of articles and musings on the issue of teacher burnout. Why can't we gain and retain quality teachers? Low pay. Little respect. Testing. Classes wrought with internal and external malaise: apathetic students, dated facilities, finger-wagging parents, administrators, and legislatures all getting speared with blame. I can attest to many of these … Continue reading Are you a mentor or a de-mentor?
Educate every child. That is the audacious aim of American education. Sometimes I marvel at our commitment to that aim. Other times, that pursuit seems overwhelming, given the diverse learners in any and every classroom. But, no matter how daunting the task, we go into education wanting every child to succeed. Or do we sometimes … Continue reading We Have a Problem with Alternative Education, and We Need to Talk About It
If you work with teenagers (or parent one) you've probably heard of Netflix's 13 Reasons Why, a series based on Jay Asher's book of the same title. It's that show everyone seems to be talking about. The gist, if you haven't seen the series or read the book, is this: A teenager, Hannah Baker, takes … Continue reading Essential Questions for 13 Reasons Why