Superheroes and superstars already captivate kids, and many could teach a master class on these subjects. The fresh perspective teachers offer is how students themselves can and should be heroes. As advocates of growth mindset, teach children that heroism does not require obsession with perfection or product. When educators also value process and progress, students … Continue reading Outcasts and Underdogs: 8 More Young Adult Books that Teach Gratitude, Grit, and Growth Mindset (Edutopia featured article)
If we truly believe that parents and teachers must be allies in education and partners in the nurturing of the whole child, then we must consistently explore ways to not only engage parents with the school community but to actively involve them in the process of meeting the essential needs of every student. If we think of … Continue reading Parents Deserve Professional Development, Too!
Someone should have warned me: Twitter education chats (EdChats) can become addictive. I never knew how fast two or three hours could go by as some evenings I participated in chat after chat - and some weeks I chatted every single day. But if you want to grow your PLN and check in with your loyal colleagues … Continue reading Improving Twitter Education Chats
Intention is everything, especially when educating and nurturing children. Words matter, and specificity with vocabulary determines whether or not adult interactions with kids have the desired impact. One misguided message many teachers instill in their students is that risk-taking is good. On the surface, this may seem like a worthwhile component of social-emotional learning. Yet … Continue reading Four Ways to Reduce Classroom Risk and Reach the Whole Child – ASCD guest article
After twenty-four years in the classroom, teaching gets tougher for me with every sweeping swing of the educational pendulum. Like clockwork, a “new” strategy or solution is inevitably espoused, everyone eagerly (or forcibly) jumps on the bandwagon, and the poor baby is again thrown out with the bathwater. Occasionally, these shifts are truly progressive and … Continue reading Enduring the Educational Pendulum: Education Week guest article
On Sunday, May 21, 2017, I had the pleasure of being interviewed by Lamont Patterson and Dr. Matthew Anderson on their excellent World Movement Enterprises radio show. The subject was my book, A Teacher's Inside Advice to Parents: How Children Thrive with Leadership, Love, Laughter, and Learning. As the American Library Association's Booklist said in their review … Continue reading A Teacher’s Inside Advice to Parents: radio interview
After nearly a quarter century of educating three generations of public school children, the majority of my former eighth grade students are now of voting age. I therefore take the election of Donald Trump and what he represents very personally. Frankly, I had thought that I, as well as my colleagues across the country, had … Continue reading A Teacher’s Response to the Trump Election
In honor of Teacher Appreciation Week, I want to share some of the ways my husband, family, friends, and students have made me feel special and acknowledged over these past twenty-four years spent in the classroom. My Husband's Support Without fail, on the very first morning of every school year, my husband secretly tucks a … Continue reading Teacher Appreciation: Moments that Touch my Heart
Using the word “failure” sends the wrong message to students about what true growth mindset entails. It is time to STOP telling kids to embrace failure and to instead help them persevere through everyday struggles, stumbles, and setbacks while on the way to eventual success. Failure is all the rage in education circles these days—but … Continue reading The Fallacy of Failure: Getting Growth Mindset Right (ASCD guest article)
Check out this short (only eight minutes!) Q&A facilitated by Larry Ferlazzo from Education Week. Two other educators and I discuss how we deal with the toughest parts of teaching: BAM Radio 3/23/17. You can also read my EdWeek article on this subject.