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
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
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, … Continue reading Let the writing begin . . .
Hi all, You may have noticed that I haven't posted here in months. Let me explain why: I have a new job, one that has taken a lot more time, attention, and energy than even my most liberal guesses. I'm now a parent of a fussy, growing, baby boy. So, if you're wondering why I … Continue reading Why you haven’t heard from me in a bit
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.