Worried About That Student on Your Class List?: Just Remember These 5 Things

You don’t like what you are thinking. How you are feeling, They’re somebody’s kid. Someone’s world. But you can’t help it. Seeing her name on your class list has you worried. All you can think about are class disruptions, interrupted instruction and stand-offs. Please know that that doesn’t mean you’re a bad person. We’ve all […]

Back to School Season Have You Feeling a Bit Nervous? (Here’s Why You’re Going to Be Okay)

It’s okay. You’re not the only one who gets a little nervous when the back to school ads start rearing their head. I’ve been in education for more than two decades and I still get nervous this time of year. And I am pretty sure that we are not alone. In fact, I think we’re […]

New Superintendent? Welcome to the Shark Tank

If you didn’t know, I’m from Jersey (New Jersey for all of you formal folks out there). I’m not related to the Sopranos, have no relationship to the cast of the Jersey Shore, and had Governor Christie put our state on the national spotlight for 8 years. Most of us in the Garden State go […]

The #1 Rule as a Superintendent: SAFETY

Serving as an Armed Special Police Officer, I had to shoot twice a year in order to carry my weapon.  Someone asked me recently why I am different from other Superintendents. I shared that I have a 13-year law enforcement background serving as an armed Special Police Officer. In New Jersey, officers have to shoot […]

That Kid at the Back! Scholar In Waiting, Now Scholar!

There is always a kid at the proverbial back, that one kid. The one who needs us most for a variety of reasons, maybe social, emotional, academic or human to human. There’s always one, sometimes, more than one, a lot more. That kid who makes us laugh, maybe shed tears of frustration at the emotional […]

Little Differences

When I was a school administrator, one of the interview questions I always asked prospective employees was, “Why do you want to be a teacher?”  The most common response:  “I want to make a difference in the lives of my students.” Obviously, this is the response I wanted…I mean, who wants a teacher who wants […]

Cultivating Aggression: Something We Should Never See on an Infant’s Daily Report

A recently published study in the Journal of Child Development, found that adults who express negative emotions towards infants or handle them in a rough manner may be causing significant and lasting psychological harm. The research study included 260 mothers and their children, from birth to 5, initially, and then continued for 30 years. A […]

3 Tips For Making Your Next Conference Your Best Yet

3 Tips For Making Your Next Conference Your Best Yet

How do you decide which sessions to attend when you go to a conference? Especially one that has amazing session at every time slot. It’s not easy and until last week, I had no plan. It’s not as if this is tragedy, but I can tell you that I left the most recent conference I […]


Sometimes it doesn’t take much. Hours of heavy lifting can be negated by a letter (eval rating), a look or an unmet expectation. A sculptor sees hourly progress. A writer, daily. But a teacher? Weeks may pass without even the hint of a step forward. And then what? Give up? Start over? Salvage? I admit […]


One afternoon, a week before the end of the past school year, I was washing my hands at the classroom sink.  When I was finished, I turned to walk to my desk.  Instead, I slipped on a pile of student backpacks left sprawled about on the floor and soon found myself sprawled out next to […]