Disrupting April

Disrupting April

There is that pesky “default setting” that starts to think that this whole world is just in our way. When we get stuck in that for too long, we start feel miserable and annoyed. We start to live a life that we will forget the next week or the next day because we are barely thinking. One of the big problems in the world is that so many of us our thinking that way.

Getting Our Knees Dusty

Getting Our Knees Dusty

Belief looks different in every moment. But I’m pretty sure it means sometimes sitting down on a dusty floor and holding the hands of a crying 8 year old. I think I believe in my students, but that teacher with a dusty pair of pants has been my inspiration for this week. Hopefully she is yours as well.

Being Awake at 3am

Being Awake at 3am

Restorative practices, and the conversations that surround them, are some of the more important conversations that we are having in education today and I would never suggest that we should stop this work. However, I think this work needs more context. It needs a more nuanced approach that addresses one of the most fundamental problems in education: there are groups of people in our society for whom schooling has never worked. This tragedy is disproportionately impacting students of color. We can look at almost every measure available to tell this story, but systemic bias and racism, low expectations, and bad school models are creating environments in which so many students never enter successfully.

Treat Yo Self: An Educator's Guide to Self Care

Treat Yo Self: An Educator's Guide to Self Care

Although some people use the original airdate of this episode (October 13) as the official Treat Yo Self Day, mine has always been the Monday after the Super Bowl.  Not only do I get to enjoy staying up later to watch the game instead of my usual insanely early bedtime, February is smack-dab in the middle of the school year’s winter blahs. It’s the perfect mid-year opportunity to get refreshed, and I look forward to it every year.

My Best Observation Ever

My Best Observation Ever

I think I'm going to start making student observations a more regular part of my practice. I'll come up with a more organized form to help the students give targeted feedback and conference with some students before I throw them on the spot like I did the other day. Then, I'll invite them in when they have a free moment and see what they notice. They are, after all, the client. I should be orienting my methods and styles to their methods and styles. I should be building a classroom that caters to them far more than it caters to principals, folks in business suits, or myself. 

Shovel Your Sidewalk

Shovel Your Sidewalk

In this country, we have allowed for the existence schools that are failing and tried to find ways to ignore the problem, while entire generations of students, largely students of color, are slipping on our ignored sidewalks. The result is much more disastrous than my sprained ankle.

Let’s go get our shovels.

Don't Eat Supermarket Cupcakes

Don't Eat Supermarket Cupcakes

In the middle of a school day, one of those red-and-green-frosted cupcakes looks like how I imagine any opportunity to act the role of a guy who needs to get his shit together looks to Vince Vaughn. They’re impossible to resist. And so, I sometimes fall victim to eating them by the handful, just as Vince plays the same character 4 times in a row (Wedding Crashers, The Breakup, Couples Retreat, AND The Internship). My decisions aren’t calculated. But, I’m hungry and worn down, and they’re right in front of me...so it seems like the best answer to the problem. Even though it isn’t, and I know better.

Bad Teacher Resolutions

Bad Teacher Resolutions

One time, I heard Adam give an 22 minute best man speech at a wedding. Half of the audience ate it up as one of the best stand-up routines in modern history, while the other half was disgusted as Adam, champagne flute half-raised in his right hand, stood willfully between them and the cupid shuffle. 

Shit was hilarious.