American education has a faith problem. No, I’m not talking about the debates about religion and to what extent it influences schools. I’m talking about the blind, unquestioning faith we have to the god of educational purpose: College. American education is obsessed with college as the answer to all our woes. College will fix our … Continue reading The Cost of Our College Obsession
Hi all, After months of drafting, adding, and re-writing, I've finally finished a collection of strategies I've used to help cultivate grit and growth mindset in thousands of students. This beefy 60 pager is free for anyone, no strings attached. Just click on the link below (or the "free ebook" menu option). Below the image is … Continue reading Free eBook: G Words – 20 Strategies for Fostering Grit and Growth Mindset
One of my greatest thrills is helping my students share their experiences, their passions, and their lessons in writing. So, I'm geeked to share the following post my student, Bailee Rieman, wrote for WeAreTeachers. Check it out. What It's Like to Be a Kid With OCD by Bailee Rieman "I don't want to live anymore." I said … Continue reading What it’s like to be a kid with OCD (and what teachers can do to help)
For all the great educators I've met, including those who are soon to lend their passion and talents to the field. Please share this with an educator you know! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bySSgjbjqqw Huge gratitude to Kevin Romeo, Daniel Juan Martinez and the whole RHINO MEDIA PRODUCTIONS team, as my student volunteers.
Traveling always strengthens and reaffirms my faith in teachers across America. Read on for a reflection I wrote for WeAreTeachers during a recent stint to work with a small village in Alaska. For years I've been teaching. For these same years I've been exposed to conversations about teachers in America. Each day I hear people talk about what … Continue reading Why I have faith in American educators: I see America teaching
My wife and I love to play a game called, "Y'know what blows my mind?" It consists of one of us randomly ranting about things that blow our mind -- things beyond our comprehension. Outer space. How tiny humans grow inside larger humans. How our voices can be made into invisible data, thrown into the … Continue reading 7 Books About the Brain Every Teacher Should Read
Some critics of education quip that teachers need to change, as if we don't face change on a weekly, a daily, a minute-to-minute basis. Think about all the changes you were expected to make in just the last year of your teaching. Ten. That's the number – a conservative estimate – of changes we faced as a … Continue reading To Make Change This School Year, It’s All About the Benjamins
“What are your thoughts on student motivation?” my principal recently asked. Knowing that I have an interest in motivation, as well as a love of working with at-risk students, he wanted to know my thoughts on why our achievement gap wasn't narrowing. As a teacher, I of course had many thoughts. But, the many thoughts … Continue reading What Kills Student Motivation? We Asked Them.
It's coming. Soon. Before you know it, we'll be back in school trying to bolster up our mental fortitude for that one reoccurring event that taxes our patience and our joy: The dreaded staff meeting. Soon we'll be jammed into a library or cafeteria, forced to awkwardly create those collegial good vibes and hurrahs. If … Continue reading Survive your upcoming school year with Staff Meeting BINGO!
My favorite event of the school year is graduation. But it's not the graduation you are picturing. I love the graduation ceremony of our local alternative high school, the kind of school at which many teachers scoff. You know the one: filled with the “problems” and misfits that weren't smart enough, motivated enough, good enough … Continue reading A Graduation that Taught Me About Student Resilience