Getting Students to Write (Part 1)

Getting students to write can be difficult. For students who don't like writing, being confronted with a lengthy writing task will turn down the will and up the resistance quick. Think about it: they are uncomfortable for a reason. Who knows why: unsure of their skills, confused by the task, maybe just uninterested in that [...]

Why I Worry About My Students

There are a thousand reasons why I worry about my students I had a challenging group this past school year. Generally, my "teacher radar" runs in the background on low intensity-ready to alert me as needed. Off-task behavior or potential disruptions elicit a ping. But with this group, I had to be constantly aware of [...]

Why We Need LGBTQ+ Inclusive Classrooms

The PBS Kids show “Arthur,” which began in 1996, recently aired an episode in which Arthur’s teacher, Mr. Ratburn, marries his partner who turns out to be a man. Although this isn’t the first children’s program with openly gay characters, it got me thinking: if there are increasing numbers of LGBTQ+ characters in children’s television, [...]

How to Use This Year’s Reflections for Next School Year

The end of the year for a teacher is especially difficult: everyone is tired, the kids are off the rails, there are a plethora of special events going on, and grades are due. Many of us are holding onto our sanity like a life raft. The last thing many people want to think about is [...]

Teacher Confession: The Student I’ll Never Forget

I have a teacher confession to make. I failed him. Not “gave him an F” failed him but failed him as a young man. A student with a future ahead of him, someone who could one day be a father, a councilman, or even president. But I failed him. It was my second year as [...]