5 Things to Consider Before Coming out as LGBTQ+ in the Classroom

By: Tory Waggoner I came out to my students as both queer and gender nonconforming while working in a district just outside of Portland, OR. I was not prepared for the backlash I faced from colleagues, students, and parents. I thought in the liberal mecca of the Portland metro area that I would be relatively safe, [...]

Organizing Discussions on Controversial Topics

We are always challenging students to think differently: branch out, think outside the box, get out of their comfort zone. As a social studies teacher, I’m often trying to incorporate issues and ideas into our study or conversations that are relevant to students’ lives; things they may be facing now or will likely deal with [...]

On Being Radicalized: A Teacher’s Struggle

My whole life I have wondered how people become radicalized. What prompts someone to follow what started as logical beliefs to a dangerous extreme? It has always seemed so irrational to me. Now, I think I get it. The current political climate is testing me, radicalizing me, despite my best efforts to the contrary. There [...]

The Importance Of Early Intervention

I am a huge advocate for early intervention. Unfortunately, my district doesn’t always share the same philosophy. In my experience, students who are having difficulty in first and second grade (even some students in kindergarten) can be identified and remediated with the right supports. We are doing a huge disservice to children and families by [...]

The Importance of Communication For IEP Students and Parents

I realize that I am a little on the eccentric side. I like it there, without the boundaries and regiment of the real world. And since I see things from a different perspective than most I also enjoy some things that many teachers find to be less enjoyable. One of those things being IEP meetings. [...]