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
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?
"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
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 … Continue reading A Call to Help Students Find Purpose
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 … Continue reading The 9 Types of People Ruining Your School Email
"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!
This final sprint at the end of the school year is always chaos. Between teaching, grading, organizing my hot mess of a room, trying to motivate the end-of-the-year sloths called students, and trying to motivate the end-of-the-year sloth called myself, life is jam packed. However, one thing I will always make time for is connecting … Continue reading Podcasting with Weston Kieschnick
This is part one in a series on nurturing thriving learners from AffectiveLiving and WeAreTeachers. "Why do people go to school?" This is one of my favorite questions to ask my students. “Because we have to,” is usually the first thing I hear. But they know my response to what I call “have-to-ism:” You don't … Continue reading 23 Practices for a Thriving Life