Question of the Day: “Why am I so excited to start the school year?”

If you read my blog for the last two years, you will know I have contemplated leaving teaching. You would have read all about how miserable I have been and how hard it has been. These last two years took a tremendous toll. It was not just me. There is now a considerable teacher shortage…

Read More

Teaching #101: Teaching Reading Strategies in the Content Areas

Despite what many content area teachers believe, it is really important to teach reading strategies in their content area. Sixty percent of US high school students are performing “basic” or “below basic” on standardized state tests. This is unacceptable, but it is nothing new. US students have been scoring this low in reading for years.…

Read More

Teaching #101: Who was your favorite teacher?

“The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires.” – William A. Ward Every student who is training to be a teacher is asked to write about your favorite teacher. This rather creative assignment is often followed by a similar one that asks you to write about your…

Read More

Teaching #101: Please be aware that our kids/students are struggling.

I have seen a lot recently about teachers not being okay. This is absolutely true, but I think it is overshadowing the struggles of our students, our children, during this time. I am a teacher in a public school in a very wealthy district. The vast majority of my students are motivated, well-behaved, and “capable”…

Read More

Question of the Day: “Why does it seem like our country hates teachers?”

When I first broached the idea of going to school for teaching, my father looked me dead in the eyes and said, “Absolutely not. I will not pay for college if you are going to be a teacher.” My father was a machinist at the Naval Ship Yard in Philadelphia from the time he was…

Read More

Question of the Day: “Where do I go for a miracle?”

Miracles often show up in literature. Characters ask for them. Sometimes they are just divinely given to characters who may or may not be deserving. They are small or large acts of mercy bestowed by a benevolent god or an understanding universe. But where do they really come from? Where does one go or whom…

Read More

Question of the Day: “What place does trust have in Education?”

Right before the Thanksgiving holiday, my building had an in-service training where they talked about trust. My school is working on creating better relationships between students and teachers. We are being asked to understand student diversity and respect students. It is important work, and the entire event started by asking us about trust. First, we…

Read More

Question of the Day: “Why am I praying this much this early in the morning?”

My anxiety levels are through the roof. My heart is racing. Two students in my first period are stressing me out. They are a brother and a sister who struggle considerably with school. They are quickly becoming my number 1 and number 2 reasons for not wanting to come to school. They are late every…

Read More

Question of the Day: “Are we all teachers?”

I have always wanted to be a teacher. When I was young, I propped up my stuffed animals and created imperfect spelling tests. I enjoyed grading them with my red marker. Stickers were placed on the outstanding ones. The methodical grading felt peaceful. A good teacher must believe in the ideas he teaches, but he…

Read More

Teaching 101: A true story from the pandemic

Thirteen students in front of me. Ten student icons blinking back. I am teaching a lesson on identifying signposts in fiction. An important skill as one reads for comprehension with the hope of developing critical thinking skills. Since the class is so packed, it is actually pretty easy to find students to participate and answer…

Read More