Why you need a Classroom Mission Statement

A mission statement. The best businesses use them to guide direction and lead to success. Our classrooms are definitely not businesses -- but I believe, like in business, that a classroom mission statement can lead us and our students toward a clear outcome, guided by a defined purpose. I’ve created a teaching philosophy before. I’ve [...]

Traveling Teacher: National Museum of African American History and Culture

I was recently able to attend a conference earlier this February in the nation's capital, and the hottest ticket in town is the National Museum of African American History and Culture, or NMAAHC for short. In the span between its opening (September of 2016) and Valentine's Day, 2017, 1 million visitors have walked through the [...]

Protesters Were Wrong to Block Betsy DeVos From School

One of the continuing traditions of my classroom is to display 100's of inspirational and thought provoking quotes. And one of the quotes I have on that border is by famed Chicago journalist Sydney J. Harris, who says, “The whole purpose of education is to turn mirrors into windows.” While I've had more than my [...]

Distrust of Facts Highlights Need to Return to Primary Sources

"Get your facts first," quips satirist Mark Twain. "Then you can distort them as much as you please." These words were first put to print in an 1899 Rudyard Kipling interview of the timeless sage, but they could have just as easily been written yesterday. In an era where the news makers are jabbing back [...]

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 [...]