The Hazards Of the Accelerated Reader System

I am so fed up with the way our school systems use, or, rather, misuse, the Accelerated Reader (AR) testing system. I work with struggling readers on a daily basis, kids who hate to read because it is difficult for them to do so. I view my job as a teacher to help ease the [...]

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 [...]

‘Hillbilly Elegy’ and the Blight of Rural Schools

“I was one of those kids with a grim future,” author J.D. Vance begins in his book Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis. “I almost failed out of high school. I nearly gave in to the deep anger and resentment harbored by everyone around me. Today people look at me, [...]

Being a Teacher (but first, just being “Dad”)

About four years ago my wife called me at school and told me that our oldest daughter had gotten off the school bus crying. Walking up our 100 feet of driveway between the road and our door, she had her report card in one hand and was clearly trying to gather herself before getting to [...]