Teaching is poetry. It's the creation of something deeper, something sleeping below a classroom structure. Its meaning is buried underneath flash cards and Power Points, grade checks and rubrics. The surface seems simple and direct -- we see the quizzes and cold-calls as clearly as pure rhymes. The bells ring and the lines break and we prepare for … Continue reading Something Deeper: On Teaching with Heart and the Poetry of Teaching
What do you think is the lowest G.P.A. I need in order to get into a good retirement home -- one of those fancy ones with never-ending soft serve ice cream and Jeopardy tournaments in the common area? How many gold stars do you think I need in order say, "I'm happy"? Oooh, most importantly, … Continue reading Going beyond grades: Why we HAVE to do better.
Glance around your classroom, or house, or job. If you work with groups of kids, chances are you'll notice some things. - You will notice one kid picking his nose. Hard. If he's older, he may be trying to hide it. Under 10 years old and he is proudly showcasing his gold. Regardless, no nose … Continue reading Dear Kill-Joy, Take a Breather.
NOPE! N.O.P.E. I refuse. I won't. I don't want to. I can't. These are the words we teachers loathe to hear, yet seem to hear on the daily. Lack of motivation (amotivation) is one of our greatest plagues on the individual, educational, and societal level. What contexts cause it? And, is there anything we … Continue reading Four-Horsemen of the Motivational Apocalypse
Picture an average teenage boy. Probably smells like stale sweat doused in a layer of Axe Body Spray. Atrocious haircut. Eyes glazed by the flashing images of Call of Duty blaring from the screen. Poster child of "whatever." His parents, not wanting to raise a child into an adult pile of mud, want to see … Continue reading Searching for Sasquatch: Why unmotivated people don’t exist
Hundreds of yawning, red-eyed students are crammed in pairs, stretching the school gym. A dull hum, like distant locusts, murmurs the space as pencils scratch hundreds of little bubbles. It's state-test day, and there is an air of anxiety among more than just the students. We teachers have one thought: "How are they going to … Continue reading The “L” Word: Education’s greatest disease (and no, it’s not Lupus)
It's 4 a.m. I've struggled for the last hour to go to sleep. But, I can't. Yet again, I am tossing and turning, unable to shut down my brain. Why? Because I am stressed about my students. Really stressed. I'm so stressed that I can only think to write down what I really want to … Continue reading What Students Really Need to Hear
For well over three years, I've been wanting to blog regularly. It makes sense because I love to share ideas, I have a passion for Language Arts, and – true to my Millenial Generation-form – my ego needs the boosting that only social media can massage. Sure, I have posted a few times here and … Continue reading Why I can’t wait to fail
Boys are animals. Plain and simple. Anyone who believes otherwise has clearly never worked with the teenage variety of the so-called male species, nor seen them in their "raw" form. What's fascinating to me, though, is that these animals are experiencing what many might call a crisis: Boys are failing academically at a growing rate … Continue reading Boys will be boys . . . without jobs.
Henry Rollins is pretty bad ace -- not solely because he rocks hard; he is one of those individuals who embodies life-long learning, a concept I am more and more convinced is the critical factor in personal and professional success. Here, he lays out thoughts worth listening to: http://bigthink.com/big-think-tv/henry-rollins-education-will-restore-a-vigorous-democracy Here's what I gain from this … Continue reading How do we teach rock stars?