Four Ways to Reduce Classroom Risk and Reach the Whole Child – ASCD guest article

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

A Teacher’s Inside Advice to Parents: radio interview

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

A Teacher’s Response to the Trump Election

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

The Fallacy of Failure: Getting Growth Mindset Right (ASCD guest article)

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)

It Takes Strong Adults to Raise Strong Children (Part Four of a Four-Part Series)

Let's dispel a major misconception about motivating and managing kids: Proper, proportional adult leadership is always less about control or compliance and so much more about cultivating willing cooperation and courtesy in children. That said, "compliance" and "control" are not dirty words, and they certainly should not be dirty little secrets when used with adult … Continue reading It Takes Strong Adults to Raise Strong Children (Part Four of a Four-Part Series)

Teaching the Whole Child: The Four Indispensable Aspects of Education

What if the key to narrowing the achievement gap was to focus on closing any serious gaps in student motivation? It is entirely possible for teachers to markedly inspire, influence, and embolden every student, but only when they do so in a manner that honors and embraces the four elemental needs of all children. Imagine … Continue reading Teaching the Whole Child: The Four Indispensable Aspects of Education

The 12 Cs of Student Engagement (Edutopia article and featured by the U.S. Department of Education)

Meaning is magnetic! Creativity is captivating! Passion is powerful! Emotion is engaging! Charisma is contagious! Discover compelling ways to draw your students in and invite them to dream and innovate. Transform your curriculum into exploration and adventure. Entice even your reluctant learners and hold them transfixed. There is a marked distinction, however, between teachers who … Continue reading The 12 Cs of Student Engagement (Edutopia article and featured by the U.S. Department of Education)

Nurturing Responsible Global Citizens

Every parent naturally strives to raise children who are respectful and responsible—as much for their child’s sake as for their own peace of mind. Yet in this interconnected global village in which we all now live, character traits like courtesy and cooperation are only a first step. To truly be a world citizen, confidence and … Continue reading Nurturing Responsible Global Citizens

Helping Students Develop Self-Control: Education Week guest article by Robert Ward

Educators are waking up to the fact that academic learning is intertwined with social, emotional, and soulful learning. Although balance is imperative in helping all students become successful and satisfied, both in the present and future, we still too often approach problems in a one-sided way, neglecting the big picture of the four fundamental needs … Continue reading Helping Students Develop Self-Control: Education Week guest article by Robert Ward

It Takes Strong Adults to Raise Strong Children (Part Three of a Four-Part Series)

Admittedly, firm leadership runs the occasional risk of the adult authority figure being perceived by some children as unpopular or as the “bad guy.” Yet if one of your greatest fears as a parent or a teacher is falling into disfavor, no matter how temporarily,  with the very children you are endeavoring to raise right … Continue reading It Takes Strong Adults to Raise Strong Children (Part Three of a Four-Part Series)