Teaching While White: How can a white suburban teacher lead students of color in their celebration of Black History?

The 2017–2018 school year has brought new opportunities for this veteran teacher, including the challenge of advising the Umoja Step Team, a cultural dance group at the suburban high school where I teach. Previously, I outlined my amazement with this group in my piece, “My Classroom is a Dance Floor,"   which highlighted my first [...]

Religion in Schools: A Delicate Balance

The Impact of Religion and Education It cannot be denied that religion is a major element of culture around the world. Its existence cannot be denied, and it is a central focus in the lives of a vast majority of people on planet Earth. Religion acts as the foundation for the moral and ethical structure [...]

“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 BEST New Year’s Resolution for Teachers: STOP EXCUSING Student Profanity

“For as good manners cannot subsist without good laws, so those laws cannot be put into execution without good manners.” – Machiavelli   When I was a high school freshman many years ago, I once told a fellow student in a fit of annoyance to “stop bitching” about something. My teacher glanced over and with [...]

The Second Quarter Blues

The weeks between Thanksgiving and the New Year are often cited as the most wonderful time of the year... except when they are the worst. In schools that begin around Labor Day, the Second Quarter - or second grading period - typically stretches from November to January. Due to holidays, concerts, sporting events, interruptions, and the [...]