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
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
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!
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
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.
A parent’s involvement with their child’s education is imperative, but staying informed does not always necessitate visiting the school site. Besides phone calls, emails, social media, and all manner of new apps, there is another crucial way parents can remain actively engaged and intimately apprised about what is going on at school—all without leaving their … Continue reading 4 Questions Every Parent Should be Asking about School