6 Tips on Teaching Social Studies in a Politically-Charged Era

I've been challenged by parents plenty of times in my career. However, one that often protrudes in my mind is a 12-page email I received 7 years ago. In teaching about the post-Civil War Reconstruction, I shared both the late Abraham Lincoln and Radical Republican plans for what the South would look like as the [...]

Budget Cuts? Don’t Take It Out On The Teachers – Or The Students

I spent the day today working with professional educators.  This group of experienced teachers gathered to learn more about mentoring those just entering our profession.  Technically, we’re there to participate in the California teacher credentialing program, which requires beginning teachers to partner with experienced support providers. But while I was sitting there, learning about learning-focused [...]

Failing our Poor Students: A Crisis of Morality and Character

Our schools aren't failing, we all are. When outcomes for our poorest students are the concern, education reform advocates like to point to"failing schools", but it's not just about schools. It isn't out-of-touch middle class parents, teachers and their unions, or civil rights organizations willing to challenge the “school choice” narrative. Those are only convenient scapegoats [...]

Teenage Girl Drama: Breaking The Everlasting Gobstopper

The film Mean Girls is a lesson for anybody teaching, living with, or raising teenage girls. It's no doubt that the line between being "popular" and being "Plastic," as the 4 main characters are satirized, is a fine one. And, without some adult intervention, it can become an everlasting gobstopper that chokes out the functioning of [...]

Dealing With Personal Tragedy In the Classroom

I experienced quite a lot of personal tragedy last year. And as a result of my stress, my students experienced them too. I tried so very hard to keep my personal life from affecting my students, but I’m convinced that sometimes no matter what you do, some events just can’t be disposed of at the classroom [...]