all about the bump: promoting positive adult culture in schools

The post that appears below is the original draft I submitted to Edutopia, an amazing website of all things education! (To all my readers in schools, it is highly valuable and worth following.) Here is the link to the edited post as it appeared on Edutopia. I cannot count the number of times I have heard a colleague advise a student to “do what makes you happy.” Yet ironically, I wonder often how many teachers are happy in their jobs. Research indicates job satisfaction was at a 25 year low in 2012, turnover trends are alarmingly high and costly, and Read More


Learning in Circles: Implementing Effective Socratic Seminars

An edited version of this post first appeared on Edutopia. “Socratic seminars help me understand other people’s perspective as well as advance my own through critical thinking…They have also helped me become a better leader by engaging my peers in the discussion through deepening questions.” ~BQ, class of 2016 One of my favorite moments as a teacher is when guests come into my classroom, and despite their best attempts to locate me visually and auditorily, they can’t. I am hidden quietly among the students, who are engaged in a student-led, high-level academic discussion. Throughout my nine years as a high Read More


building a place we all want to be

I insist upon creating a close community in my classroom. When students come through the door, they cannot feel inhibited or unsafe; if they do, they won’t learn, grow, or worst yet–they won’t laugh and love and enjoy being in C212. Besides, I myself don’t want to be in a place where the majority of people don’t want to be there. To this end, this month I’ve done two community builders that have fostered “the love” in my room. The first has been to create a door to the future. This was inspired by a student who created a door Read More