About Dan McConnell

Raised in disreputable back-road barrooms in the hills of Cortland County, when draft beers were seventy five cents, the pool tables only fifty cents, and the soda pop was free, little Danny McConnell was a dark horse contestant for husband, father, elementary school teacher, and writer. Which one of those he has been able to win at is just as debatable as his sanity- but he continues to listen to the voices in his head and give it his best. Now, on a country hilltop in Central NY with a wife and three beautiful daughters, he claims some small slice of success-but he hopes to earn full redemption through the written word and shaping the dangerous young minds of tomorrow.

More Rural Schools Journal: The Sick Day

On a recent Thursday afternoon, I decide to take a sick day. I just called for a sub to cover my duties tomorrow. I'm taking a "sick day." My youngest, (of the three girls I have written so much about in the past) didn’t really want to go to school this morning, was clearly feeling [...]

Close Reading and Deep Thinking = “Textploration”

My focus in this piece will be on inspiring truly close reading and deeper thinking as a facet of ELA instruction. When a reader can go beyond recall; go beyond simple inference and analysis, and go spelunking deep into reflection on and evaluation of story characters and elements (while using the text to support their [...]

Poverty, Parents, Homework and Kitchen Tables

Poverty is more than just an excuse Policymakers and mainstream education reformers have been chronically unwilling to acknowledge education research and evidence indicating the impact of poverty on school children and the need for social and economic reforms. Yet at the same time they demand attention to and respect for the test data they believe [...]

Teaching, Unions and Parenting in New York

Teaching these days drives one to read and research whenever possible about what has been going on. I read an old article with a title that grabbed my attention. My search was driven by curiosity regarding the roles of teacher unions moving forward, as well as what they have been doing (or not doing) for the [...]