The Myth of the School-to-Prison Pipeline

The next time you are inclined to seek scapegoats, stupid slogans, and simplistic "solutions" for complex educational issues, please keep this fact in mind: Schools and teachers, both individually and collectively, are not the problem. Now, I may be preaching to the choir on a blog dedicated to educators and parents, but sometimes we too … Continue reading The Myth of the School-to-Prison Pipeline

Growth Mindset Is Not Enough: Edutopia featured article

We educators may be tempted to believe that once students develop growth mindset, they are adequately prepared to face life’s challenges and changes. While in one key respect this is true, outlook and affect are not nearly enough to thoroughly outfit any person with all it takes to attain one’s full potential. Possessing a positive … Continue reading Growth Mindset Is Not Enough: Edutopia featured article

Outcasts and Underdogs: 8 More Young Adult Books that Teach Gratitude, Grit, and Growth Mindset (Edutopia featured article)

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)

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)

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)

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)

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

Parents and teachers alike need to stop thinking that cultivating warm and fuzzy relationships with kids is all that is needed to produce successful, secure children. I can understand people’s good intentions, but I am sick of constantly hearing that the fruitful rearing and educating of children is “all about” relationships. Just because you sincerely … Continue reading It Takes Strong Adults to Raise Strong Children (Part Two of a Four-Part Series)