The Problem with Alien: A Teacher’s Perspective

Recently, North Bergen High School in New Jersey put on a production of Alien: The Play. The show was clearly beautifully done, with the students building massive and accurate sets and costumes out of nothing but recycled materials. The show was a big hit and brought in a good deal of money for the previously-fundless drama [...]

The Royal Wedding: Why Should We Care? One American Teacher’s Perspective

The news broke this morning: another school shooting, this time in Santa Fe, Texas. I don’t want to think about it. I don’t want to entertain the thought that this most recent massacre is the 22nd school shooting this year. I can’t bear to think that ten more families will be planning funerals and that [...]

Integrating Trends in Education: Lesson Plan Development for the 21st Century

When school starts next year, I’ll be in my thirty-fifth year in education. I feel like the slogan of the Farmer’s Insurance ad, “I know a thing or two because I’ve seen a thing or two.” Group work is now “Cooperative Learning.” Homework and tests are now tagged as “formative” and “summative” assessments. “Bloom’s taxonomy [...]

Using Popular Music in the Secondary Classroom

Teachers born between 1950 and 1980 makeup both the baby-boom generation and those known as “Generation X.” The music with which they grew up is a reflection of the historical periods that produced it – Vietnam, the Cold War, the Fall of Communism, September 11, 2001, and the events that followed. Teachers of social studies [...]

Students Need “Specials”

What is the practical purpose of those "specials" kids have in school- you know, P.E., Art, Music, Library? There is even another special to simply help kids keep up with the gadgets that find their way into schools: a Technology class! Do these specials interfere with the demands for academic proficiency? Do they make it [...]