Teaching Empathy with Concrete Examples

"They just want to sleep in their own bed" The first 50-plus days of Donald Trump's presidency have provoked an intense mixture of anxiety, fear, anger, and urgency for many Americans. As the great-grandson of immigrants who fled anti-Semitic pogroms in Eastern Europe, it's heartbreaking to see our president close the country's doors to refugees and [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]