Feedback and I have a love-hate relationship. We've had horrendous moments, lowlights including: YouTube comments from trolling strangers; The parent who threatened to sue me for targeting his daughter by – get this – reminding her of homework due dates; A teacher's constructive feedback of “Wear better clothes” after a PD; Blog commenters arguing that … Continue reading A 3 Minute Tradition for Powerful Feedback
Seventy high schoolers I’ve never met are either staring at me or pretending I don’t exist. I’ve come 750 miles from my home in Kalamazoo to spend a day teaching this eclectic group of freshmen and sophomores, who struggle with school. I have just 6 hours to build rapport with them, to shift their thinking, and … Continue reading 4 Power Moves for Building Rapport
There's no question that today's young adults are feeling intense levels of stress. 31% of all teens report feeling overwhelmed, depressed or sad as a result of stress 36% of teens report fatigue or feeling tired 23% report skipping a meal due to stress 2x as many students report their stress is getting worse compared … Continue reading Stepping Off Our Stress Box
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