Time for a Conversational Diet

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…

Why Teens Don’t Talk to Us

“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…

Stop Hoarding Emotions: Become a Goodness Curator Instead

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…

Are you a mentor or a de-mentor?

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…

We Have a Problem with Alternative Education, and We Need to Talk About It

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…

Essential Questions for 13 Reasons Why

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…

Let the writing begin . . .

Many people know that I’m an avid “bucket lister.”  The list, which I started 8 years ago, has pushed me to take risks, prioritize, and never lose sight of my passions.  Soon, I will get a chance to check off one of the most daunting items on my list: #5: Publish a book. Since September,…

A Call to Help Students Find Purpose

The simplified story is that one of my students cried after I made her pick up garbage for a day. The real story goes more like this: Each trimester, I take my students on a service learning field trip. We spend a morning volunteering at a local homeless shelter. In the afternoon, students pick up…

The 9 Types of People Ruining Your School Email

I love 5% of the “reply all” emails I get at school. Wait . . . I hate 100% of the “reply all” emails I get at school. I only love the 5% of reply alls that get hijacked by my smart ass colleagues who turn them into jokes. Take the day we got notice…

EDU TERM: Soul Janthem

“I Found My Smile Again” by D’Angelo is keeping me going these first few weeks.  Post your Soul Janthem and share with a teacher you know!