TED Talks All Students Should See

I have lost many hours to the "suggested for you" videos listed on the right side of ted.com. There are times that I believe that their algorithm is broken . . . Really? Do you think I would be interested in "How I became part sea urchin"? More often, however, they nail it. Why, yes, [...]

Teach Hard History. We All Need It

I am a social studies educator.  Emblazoned on the wall of my classroom is a sign proclaiming “I Teach Hard History.”  Earlier this year my students looked at vivid, graphic, and unfiltered views of the Middle Passage that brought enslaved Africans to the New World.  I’ve challenged students to think about whether or not the [...]

Reflections on my 3rd Black History Month Celebration…

I have been teaching social studies for twenty-five years, eight of which I focused on United States History, but February 11, 2020, was my third celebration of black history. Although I am a veteran educator, I am a novice historian. I am a rookie at social justice, and my students are my mentors.  My third [...]

Why Chick-fil-A Matters in my Classroom.

It was Christmas dinner 2017, and the talk was of a new (and only) Chick-fil-A opening in our central New York area. My family endorsed the taste of their remarkable chicken and delicious drinks. Discussions of their charity and fundraisers abounded. As I listened to the conversations, I felt myself grow smaller. It was like [...]

“Why haven’t I learned that Harriet Tubman fought in the civil war?”

On a cold day in central New York, I had the fantastic opportunity to take 26 students to tour the Harriet Tubman National Park, located in Auburn, NY. After an enlightening hour, we loaded onto the yellow submarine (aka the school bus) and watched the movie Harriet at the local Movie Tavern.   By the end of the [...]