What are the parents like at your school? Amazing. They really are. After 12 years of teaching and throughout my first year in an administrative role, this is overwhelmingly the answer. Unfortunately, it often takes some time to remember this if someone asks me. Recently, I’ve gone back to reread the book Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahnemann. The general outline of the book is to … Continue reading The importance of thinking slowly in schools
I am thankful for children, because I am a giant. 6 foot 4 is not gigantic by most definitions, but size is relative. As a high school basketball player, I was tall. As a college basketball player, I was slightly above average. As a first grade teacher, I was something closer to enormous, as a third grade teacher, huge, and as fifth grade teacher really … Continue reading I am thankful for children, because I am a giant.
There is no way to keep our students from falling, or failing, but if we can break their fall a little bit, we give them the confidence they need to keep going. We always say get back up and try again. My goal is to make getting back up and trying again a little easier. Continue reading Failing soft
Why would any kid walk into a classroom in September, meet you for the first time, and dislike you? They are not out to get you. They aren’t being difficult because they dislike you. Children are supposed to be difficult at times. They are supposed to be flawed. Love their flaws, embrace them. Those flaws are your challenge as much as the child’s. Continue reading Do you understand your students well enough…yet?
Earlier this summer, I was introduced to the idea of a pineapple chart. I was thrilled with the idea, shared it with the faculty, and we’re starting to grow the idea slowly. Since I wasn’t bogged down with meetings this past week (and hopefully won’t be most of the time), I took the opportunity to visit as many classrooms as I could, even if was just for a minute or two. Every room had something amazing happening. Continue reading The teacher next door is amazing!
In my opinion, giving presents can be much more rewarding than receiving them. When you give a great gift – a gift that the recipient really wants and needs – it feels amazing. It feels like you have the inherent power to improve someone’s life. What can be more rewarding than that. Unfortunately, giving the wrong gift, especially when you thought it was the right gift, can be incredibly disappointing, for everyone. Continue reading The best teachers choose the perfect gifts (most of the time)
How might we create a teaching challenge that encourages the passion and joy we hope to see in the classroom? Continue reading The Glass Classroom Challenge