Category: Teachers & Leaders

Senators, In Answer to Your Question, Rallying at the State Capitol Was a Good Use of My Time

I met with a few senators at the state Capitol this week who asked me if there were better things I could have been doing with my time on a Monday afternoon. My first thought was “sure, I would rather be with my students.” Then in a blink of an eye, I rethought that answer. Actually no, using my teacher…

We Need to Teach the Behaviors We Value

As a mother of teenage boys and an educator of young children, I recognize the many developmental differences between the children I teach and the children I parent. But the effects of suspension and expulsion are virtually the same. Last December, my 13-year-old son was asked to leave his private school.  The tangled combination of his Attention Deficit Disorder, social-emotional…

Restorative Practices: A Critical Component to Closing the Opportunity Gap

Last year at this time, Stuart (a sixth grader whose name I’ve changed to protect his privacy) had torn other students’ work to pieces, pulled large projects off the walls, thrown books and chairs, and yelled in frustration during challenging times. Despite this, I never asked Stuart to leave my classroom. All-too-often, educators like me are challenged to decide whether…

No Thanks Mr. President. I Will Never Be an Expert With a Gun in School, Even With Your Offer

President Trump, I heard about your offer to allow teachers to carry guns in schools. You even offered us training to be an expert in the use of them, and we will get a bonus, too! That is a first for this teacher. After all, bonuses for experts in the educational field are few and far in-between. Let me consider…

Proposed tax reform falls short of Constitutional guarantees

I ended a lesson discussing the American Constitution with my head spinning a bit today. Leave it to middle school students to bring raw reality to life through poignant comments about their concerns and aspirations, which they believe are not being currently addressed by their government. Though my students bought in to the ideal that our government was designed by…