Considering My Own Racism: The biggest lesson I learned from some of my high school students

This is the day we honor Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. here in the United States, so it seems an appropriate time for me to get back to my racism series. I taught at a new high school in Year Five of my 23-year high school teaching career. This school was a consolidation of two … Continue reading Considering My Own Racism: The biggest lesson I learned from some of my high school students

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Just what does a new school year mean for teachers?

If you're not a student or teacher, this time of year might mean extra muggy and hot days and the hope of cooler weather in a month or so. It might mean another month for beach vacations and swim parties and grilling outside. But if you're a student or teacher around here, early August has come … Continue reading Just what does a new school year mean for teachers?

Stress x Stress = Survival mode : My Middle School Experiment, What I Learned, Part 4

The everyday stress of teaching students in the throes of beginning adolescence adds up over a while. AND The everyday stress of living in poverty (which was about 90 percent of my students) adds up over a while. Put those two situations together . . .  and you get a classroom full of students - … Continue reading Stress x Stress = Survival mode : My Middle School Experiment, What I Learned, Part 4

My Middle School Experiment: What I Learned, Part 2. Less ego, more patience.

As I said in earlier posts, I'm sure I learned more during my semester of teaching middle school than my students did. And a lot - probably most - of what I learned was about myself. In this post, I'll share one of the "good" things I learned. I learned that I am a great deal more … Continue reading My Middle School Experiment: What I Learned, Part 2. Less ego, more patience.

The Just-Right Trip: Healing the energy of 90 days of teaching in a high-poverty middle school

Though it was right on the heels of a difficult 90 days and the teacher in-service days that followed, my trip to what I call "out West" was just what I needed. Maybe it's because it was right on the heels of this challenging time that it was just right. When I left the house on … Continue reading The Just-Right Trip: Healing the energy of 90 days of teaching in a high-poverty middle school