Teaching Consideration, Not Just Kindness: A Benefit Mindset Lesson

Kindness is often encouraged as a random act, but this is only a start. I’ve already written about how kindness can be intentional and everyday, not merely arbitrary. Now I want to take this element of purposefulness a step further and suggest we model and teach the value of being a consistently considerate person. I … Continue reading Teaching Consideration, Not Just Kindness: A Benefit Mindset Lesson

Teen Jobs, Being of Service, and the Benefit Mindset (Guest article by Ron Stefanski)

It is part of our natural development to seek out work, even at a young age. Toddlers mimic their parents' household chores before they're old enough to be helpful. In primary grades, students want jobs in the classroom. By high school, adolescents seek value through traditional jobs or other service opportunities. But can a teenager … Continue reading Teen Jobs, Being of Service, and the Benefit Mindset (Guest article by Ron Stefanski)

Literary Symbols: A Reading Treasure Hunt

As a middle school ELA teacher, I regularly teach whole-class novels to guide my students beyond a surface reading of great books and toward a deeper understanding of the author’s use of literary devices—especially conflict, theme, irony, point of view, foreshadowing, and symbolism. Although symbols can be difficult for young readers to grasp, the quest … Continue reading Literary Symbols: A Reading Treasure Hunt

Lessons Learned from the Los Angeles Teachers’ Strike

As a Los Angeles Unified School District teacher for the past 26 years, I was hoping to complete my career without ever going on strike. Nevertheless, I joined the 98% of United Teachers Los Angeles members who voted late last year to authorize a strike because I wanted to force the district into serious, substantive … Continue reading Lessons Learned from the Los Angeles Teachers’ Strike

Parental Pressure: Competitive Advantage or Overwhelmed Children?

A natural question parents tend to ask themselves is: Because I want the best for my kids, what more do my children need from me besides meeting their four essential needs of leadership, love, laughter, and learning on a consistent, comprehensive basis? Oh, your children themselves can come up with a laundry list of “more” … Continue reading Parental Pressure: Competitive Advantage or Overwhelmed Children?

Writing Complex Sentences Develops Substance and Style in Student Essays (Edutopia featured article)

Have you ever dreaded grading a pile of upward of 150 essays you assumed would be filled with the uninspired ramblings of students who couldn’t care less about the craft of writing, let alone the topic of their composition? When every student writes on the same topic, you often see a limited number of examples … Continue reading Writing Complex Sentences Develops Substance and Style in Student Essays (Edutopia featured article)

Benefit Mindset 101: A Simple Explanation for a Simply Beautiful Concept

The benefit mindset is thinking caring thoughts about all people and the whole planet. But living the benefit mindset doesn’t remain only in our minds. We can actually do things that help others and protect nature. These acts of kindness create a better world for everyone. The benefit mindset asks each person to share what … Continue reading Benefit Mindset 101: A Simple Explanation for a Simply Beautiful Concept

Ten Intentional, Everyday Acts of the Benefit Mindset (No More “Random” Acts of Anything!)

I'm often asked about specific suggestions for students to practice the benefit mindset. While my new book, Teaching the Benefit Mindset, is full of practical strategies to infuse empathy, inclusion, and altruism into any content curriculum and at every grade level, I have also complied a handy list of ten ways to teach, model, and praise … Continue reading Ten Intentional, Everyday Acts of the Benefit Mindset (No More “Random” Acts of Anything!)

Teaching the Benefit Mindset: Class Dismissed Podcast interview

I had the pleasure of being interviewed by Nick Ortego for the Class Dismissed Podcast. The subject was my my latest book, Teaching the Benefit Mindset: Moving Empathy, Inclusion, and Altruism to the Forefront of Education. Listen to the interview here. (You can fast forward to 18:00 for my twenty-minute interview.) Redefining Success What does success look … Continue reading Teaching the Benefit Mindset: Class Dismissed Podcast interview

Learning Mindsets and the Whole Child: The Fixed, Growth, and Benefit Mindset

Do we really need another learning mindset? Carol Dweck's fixed and growth mindset theories have revolutionized the way we teach students to approach their learning. Yet we must not forget that education used to be solely focused on measurable outcomes and the "what" of learning. Unfortunately, in some schools and classrooms, this rigid definition of … Continue reading Learning Mindsets and the Whole Child: The Fixed, Growth, and Benefit Mindset