Teaching The Legacy of Dr. King: Fifty Years Later

I sit to write on the waning hours of April 4, 2018, fifty years after the assassination and death of Martin Luther King, Jr. I was seven when we all heard the news of his death. Even at that young age, I knew something had happened that would change the direction of my nation, indeed; [...]

Let’s Embrace the Move to Standards-Based Grading

When my Principal mentioned that we would start the move towards Standards-Based grading next year, all I saw were looks of horror on most teachers’ faces. Look, I get it. Change is hard. Super hard. Among all the other tasks teachers are charged with, adding another just seems… impossible. But I also believe that change [...]

“Let Them Eat Cake:” How Teachers Can Resist Banned Words

Used with permission from Susan DuFresne.                         Words never uttered can be extremely significant. Often the perception of words said (or unsaid) carry more importance than truth. In October of 1789, Marie Antoinette did not look down at the swarming hordes of [...]

The Writing Gap: Why a Renaissance in Writing Instruction is Imperative

"Appositive?” “What is an appositive?” “Is that even a word?” These were snippets of conversations overheard in a teacher’s book study at Liverpool High School, a large, suburban school north of Syracuse, NY. The assembled teachers, from a variety of disciplines including World Languages, English, Social Studies, Science, Mathematics and Special Education, comprise a group studying [...]

3 Steps to Helping Students Develop College-Ready Writing Skills

Teachers are forever reminding their students that what’s going on in their classrooms will be ‘important to know in high school and college’ - but how many students actually believe them? I remember one student who replied to me when I said that: “Yeah, that’s what they say every year. And it’s never really true [...]